* Posts by Arthur the cat

730 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009

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A game to 'vaccinate' people against fake news? Umm... Fake news

Arthur the cat
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Re: DIY version

There is a reason why it's called The Torygraph.

It always was, but the recent changes are something different. I have no problem with a right leaning journalist who makes a coherent argument backed by hard facts, anything that makes me think about my own position is good, but the Telegraph seems to have lost most good journalists it had and sacked the rest over the last year or so, to replace them with what seems like a mix of high profile Rentagobs and unpaid interns.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: It's not censorship. It's editorship.

If the original poster and the moderator are different people, you can call it what you want, but it is still censorship of one by another.

Censorship attempts to stop material appearing anywhere at all. Editing/moderating merely stops material appearing in one place. The difference is qualitative as well as quantitative.

If I stop you spray painting your slogan on my living room wall it isn't censorship.

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Careful with the 'virtual hugs' says new FreeBSD Code of Conduct

Arthur the cat
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Happy

Re: consent forms in triplicate, notarised and submitted to court

Ooooh, queuing as foreplay!

Well, that's got us British breathing heavily.

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Magic Leap's staggering VR goggle technology just got even better!

Arthur the cat
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"everyone goes to [Magic Leap's HQ in] Florida, signs an NDA, and says: it's amazing but I can't talk about it."

This reminds me of the teachings of A Certain Religion of an SFnal Nature proselytised by A Certain Actor of Short Stature(*). Any connection perhaps?

(*) Not to mention any names, just in case.

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Waddawewant? Free video codecs! When do we... oh, look, the last MPEG-2 patent expired!

Arthur the cat
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including one for the CRISPR gene-editing tool

Why would a video patent pool company have that?

"All Disney™ films are pre-engineered into your offspring's DNA, you just have to pay $20.00/month to let them have their choice of Disney Entertainment whenever they think of it."

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Sorry, Elon, your Tesla roadster won't orbit for billions of years

Arthur the cat
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Elon Musk remarked that he liked the idea of it orbiting for a billion years.

Liking an idea isn't the same as expecting it to happen. I like the idea of having a harem of supermodels but I'd expect the wife to veto it.

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Hate to ruin your day, but... Boffins cook up fresh Meltdown, Spectre CPU design flaw exploits

Arthur the cat
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Re: Consistent

"The Meltdown and Spectre design flaws are a result of chip makers prioritizing speed over security".

Which is just another typical instance of modern business prioritizing marketing over quality.

More a case of business listening to their customers. Everybody wants faster CPUs, almost nobody(*) screams "make my CPU slower and more secure".

(*) Maybe a few security types did, but they're such a small minority they rarely get heard until it's too late.

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US govt staffers use personal gear on work networks, handle biz docs on the reg – study

Arthur the cat
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"Federal agency"

That can cover a lot of ground. I doubt (well, hope) the TLA agencies are that slack about security, especially post-Snowden, but why would it matter that much for agencies like the US National Park Service or NOOA?

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IBM's chief diversity officer knows too much and must be stopped!

Arthur the cat
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Re: @Arthur the cat ... This isn't that unusual in the U.S.

If you don't sign the new agreement, you're gone.

You live in the US, land of the corporate lawyer and no employment rights. Here firing someone for not signing a new contract would be constructive dismissal which would cost them dearly.

Also, at the time all software companies in the area had major problems finding staff, which meant that a) getting a bad reputation for mistreating staff was a total no-no, b) I could have got a new job with a couple of phone calls, and anyway c) I was essential enough to the company that the local UK management would have flatly refused to fire me.

As to the lawsuit. That was predictable. Because you worked for them and are now creating a competing product?

Nope, not a competing product. They'd canned the project because "it wasn't core software". We moved into an area they weren't in. A few years later when we were succesful they did want to be in that area - so they came to us asking nicely for a partnership.

(Yes, it sucks, welcome to America where lawyers can be found under any rock... )

Which is why I'd turned down a couple of US job offers a few years before and remained in the UK. I think you missed that I originally said "When I worked for the UK subsidiary of a US corporation"?

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Arthur the cat
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Re: @Arthur the cat ... This isn't that unusual in the U.S.

You should have signed it.

Why? It was simply my original contract plus a US style non-compete clause and a tripled notice period. No benefit to me whatsoever from the change, just extra bureaucracy.

Now... in your case... specifically to your case... you claimed to be working on a piece of software that your old company was working on. They could sue you for IP theft if your new work was based on anything taken from the old company. (e.g. notes, docs or code) You're a direct competitor.

No IP whatsoever was taken over. The work done in the old company suffered badly from having to cobble up the new software over the existing products, which weren't at all suited for the task(*). In the new company we had the luxury of doing a clean sheet design, using technologies the original company didn't possess.

(*) It was almost as bad as trying to write a GUI in COBOL.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: This isn't that unusual in the U.S.

Non-compete clauses are common in employment contracts in the U.S.

When I worked for the UK subsidiary of a US corporation they tried giving us new contracts with US style non-compete clauses. I pointed out such things were illegal under EU employment law and HR said "sign it anyway, you can ignore the clause". I refused on the grounds that the Yanks would try suing me even if it wasn't legal for them to do so and I didn't want the hassle. A year later some friends and I set up a new company to work on software in an area that our original company had been working on but which was scrapped by the US owner. Guess what the bastards did. They failed of course, and paid for our legal costs.

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Icahn't get right Xerox Fuji merger spoils, cries activist investor Carl

Arthur the cat
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My heart bleeds... Not!

As Oscar Wilde remarked, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

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UK Home Sec Amber Rudd unveils extremism blocking tool

Arthur the cat
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Trollface

This blocking tool

As an alternative title to Home Secretary that's not bad.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: 99.995% is impossible

A minister wouldn't lie would they?

If a minister speaks an untruth about something they are too stupid to understand(*), have they lied?

(*) Or their job depends on them not understanding it.

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NASA budget shock: Climate studies? GTFO. We're making the Moon great again, says Trump

Arthur the cat
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Re: Moon? Mars? Moon! Mars!

Presidents don't want to commit the funds to really make a manned mission to the Moon happen

Maybe Trump wants to go to the Moon because someone told him that people have played golf there?

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Arthur the cat
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Re: I really hate that man

I suppose if you elect a moron you must expect more than usual political stupidity.

I think you might be putting the cart before the horse.

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It's official: .corp, .home, .mail will never be top-level domains on the 'net

Arthur the cat
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One company I used to work for used intra.<company>.com as their intranet domain, where the "intra" subdomain only existed internally. Seemed to work quite well.

I do something similar, with machines on the internal LAN being in the subdomain home.mypublic.domain. However, there are a few gotchas when an externally visible server has one (NATted) address to the outside world and an internal RFC 1918 address internally. Nothing that the knowledgeable can't handle provided they understand DNS and have a sensible gateway, but not for the average punter. This is one area where IPv6 will make life simpler, as all internal addresses will be globally routable without NAT. (I really must sort out IPv6 this year.)

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Arthur the cat
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Re: .int

Sadly tpc.int is no more. A pity for those of us old enough to get the reference.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: as an alternative to '.local'

Post RFC6762 it's officially reserved for mDNS. Wheee.

And if you actually read that RFC:

Multicast DNS designates a portion of the DNS namespace to be free for local use, without the need to pay any annual fee, and without the need to set up delegations or otherwise configure a conventional DNS server to answer for those names.

[My emphasis.]

In other words .local is exactly what it should be and anybody can use it for their local network. Nobody's going to come round to verify you're actually running mDNS rather than having a DNS .local domain or just putting the addresses in your host file.

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Arthur the cat
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Reserved Top Level DNS Names

For that matter there are the user assigned code elements of ISO 3166-1 alpha-2. OK they are country codes rather than ccTLDs but we can be pretty certain that they won't get used as ccTLDs as it would cause too much confusion.

TL;DR version: the following two letter combinations can currently be used as non-conflicting TLDs and are highly unlikely to ever conflict in the future - AA, QM-QZ, XA-XZ, and ZZ(*).

(*) Long beards optional.

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Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

Arthur the cat
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Re: Surely the necessary comparison

is to train a *real* nematode to balance a stick on the end of its tail.

C elegans is only about 1mm long, so it would have to be a very tiny stick.

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ASA tells Poundland and its teabagging elf: Enough with the smutty social ninja sh*t

Arthur the cat
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Joke

I'm trying to figure out how Twinings determined it was their tea bag

"I like my tea like I like my women - loose"

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CLOUD Act hits Senate to lube up US access to data stored abroad

Arthur the cat
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So, the US can just claim jurisdiction by saying it wants it?

That's what they've done for the last 50 or so years. Why would they stop now?

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LISA Pathfinder sniffed out gravitational signals down to micro-Hertz

Arthur the cat
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Quiet

The scientists reckon the end result is that the Pathfinder was, for a while, the “quietest place in space”

And then some flash bugger in a Tesla roadster went past with a Bowie song blaring out at 120 decibels.

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Arthur the cat
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Table football

Did anyone else casually glance at the first image and wonder why there was a table football game between the cubes?

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NASA's zombie IMAGE satellite is powered up and working quite nicely

Arthur the cat
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Paris Hilton

Re: Unless they're dancing...

if it can can money to fund the effort.

OK, the less said about Reg editing, the better

Maybe El Reg scribes are fans of the Folies Bergère?

(Vaguely related icon chosen.)

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Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing

Arthur the cat
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Devil

Serve it with kæstur hákarl and durian to make a truly cosmopolitan dish.

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Capita contract probed after thousands of clinical letters stuffed in a drawer somewhere

Arthur the cat
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Re: Meanwhile in NHS Tayside...

The Tory MSP for NE Scotland is complaining about £100,000 worth of uneaten food in Tayside hospitals, claiming it's " further evidence of the health board’s inefficiency"

Judging by my last stay in hospital, it's more likely it's evidence of the food's inedibility.

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Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

Arthur the cat
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Tesco kettles

A friend of mine who works at Tesco's gets the same sort of problem with their kettles. Customers bring them back complaining there's no power lead, often very loudly. He simply takes the kettle, opens the lid, shows them the lead inside the kettle, hands the kettle back and walks off.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: The worst customers...

"Do you know who I am ?"

At which point you loudly ask a colleague to call the local nursing home to see if they've lost another amnesiac patient.

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Are you taking the peacock? United Airlines deny flight to 'emotional support' bird

Arthur the cat
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A simple comfort animal that is both effective and considerate to others has been around for hundreds of years. It's called a teddy bear.

Teddy bears are just over a century old.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: You don't need to fly

Since when is Israel in Europe?

They're in Eurovision, that's close enough

Pretty much all of north Africa is. And the associate members include Australia and New Zealand.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: emotional support donkey

I want an emotional support tiger to deal with the annoying little brats who sit in the seat behind me and kick my seat back the entire journey.

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UK.gov mass data slurping ruled illegal – AGAIN

Arthur the cat
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Re: Watson, not Corbyn

It used to be Watson and Davis. Now it is just Watson. Quite funny how being in power suddenly re-adjusts your moral compass.

It's the doctrine of Cabinet collective responsibility. In theory the Cabinet are united on everything they do(*) so if DD(**) continued with the law suit this would mean that by the magic thinking of collective responsibility the government would be taking action against their own legislation. Daft, but probably no dafter than a man in black tights getting a door slammed in his face or other parliamentary customs.

(*) Stop giggling at the back. And the front. And everywhere else.

(**) Make your own tit joke.

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Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs

Arthur the cat
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"leap 200 feet into the air and scatter yourself over a large area"

Or as Terry Pratchett had it: "one mistake and you're geography".

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Firefox to emit ‘occasional sponsored story’ in ads test

Arthur the cat
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Trollface

Re: Firefox should get money from UK's TV licence...to save it from ads.

404 error pages to be replaced with a short film of the potter's wheel?

Introduce the Millennials to the joys of Muffin the Mule!

"We like Muffin, Muffin the Mule …"

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New Sky thinking: Media giant makes dish-swerving move on Netflix territory

Arthur the cat
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also known as

I screwed up your line at the other end while working on another line and without a tracer plugged in here I can't fix it.

Not in this case. It was old cable on a south facing wall that had given up the ghost after decades of UV.

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Arthur the cat
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Although I hate to say anything good about BT, whenever I've needed an OpenReach engineer to come out they've been first class.

BT the company can be awful but the BT engineers I've had have always been excellent. One time my landline went kaput late on Friday afternoon and BT's response was "it's a domestic line and we only work on those Monday to Friday, so Monday at the earliest, maybe Tuesday depending". 10:30 Saturday morning the door bell goes and it's a BT engineer saying "I was in the area, so I thought I'd come and fix it now". 15 minutes later and I had a working landline again.

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Fancy coughing up for a £2,000 'nanodegree' in flying car design?

Arthur the cat
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Re: "Degree"

How are they getting away with marketing something that is plainly not a degree, as a degree?

By using the meaningless term "nanodegree". Or in old money, four fifths of fuck all of a degree.

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Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

Arthur the cat
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Re: UAT Testing

My user acceptability testing is done to discover which users are acceptable to the software.

"Unix is user friendly. It's just picky about who it allows to become a friend."

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User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Arthur the cat
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Re: Reminds me of a story

Most elderly don't have a problem using a TV remote control

They do if they have presbyopia like my wife's late aunt. She understood perfectly what was going on, but had to put on her reading glasses to see the button labels on the remote, then switch to her long distance glasses(*) to see the on-screen menu, and back again to press the next button. Total faff for her. If she was still alive she'd have loved the voice control systems we have now.

(*) she hated varifocals.

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Google can't innovate anymore, exiting programmer laments

Arthur the cat
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Those who don't learn from history

It would seem Yegge has never heard of Joseph Schumpeter, or he'd have known this is pretty standard behaviour for businesses.

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PACK YOUR BAGS! Two Trappist-1 planets have watery oceans, most likely to be inhabitable

Arthur the cat
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Trollface

Re: Pack the car folks...

Best set off now, given that it will take around 685,000 years to get there.

Are we nearly there yet?

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President Trump turns out the lights on solar panel imports into US

Arthur the cat
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A new arrival gets a tarrif slapped on any job he is going to do that could be done by an out of work grizzled IT veteran.

I have this vision of an old school Cobol programmer taking to DevOps like a duck to lava flow.

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Firms pushing devices at teachers that let kids draw... on a screen? You BETT

Arthur the cat
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Re: Want to prepare kids for their future ?

Tell them to pull their pants down and bend over

Try that in the UK and an angry mob of tabloid readers will lynch you before you can say "only a metaphor".

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

Arthur the cat
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Drugs or alcohol could just as well explain things

They certainly are the best explanation for the last few years. I just wish whoever is using them would stop and let reality get back to normal.

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

Arthur the cat
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Re: Dear America

For your next president, choose a person who is honest, passably intelligent, willing to listen to advice, familiar with your Constitution, and fully persuaded of the need to uphold it.

You have got one of those, haven't you?

Paging Mr Diogenes. Will Mr Diogenes please bring his lamp to the US as soon as possible, and definitely before 2020.

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China's first space station to – ahem – de-orbit in late March

Arthur the cat
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Alien

Re: anyone know

What salvage rights exist here? If you lose control of a spacecraft and someone else flies up and fixes it, who can claim ownership?

To the best of my knowledge international law on space says satellites are always the property of the country that launched them (as in the sense of paying for the launch, not whose rocket it was), even if they've lost control. The owners are also responsible for any damage caused when/if it re-enters.

That's theoretical of course, it's not like there's a lot of case law on satellite theft.

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France may protect citizens' liberté with ban on foreigners buying local big data firms

Arthur the cat
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Le Maire said Chinese investment is welcomed, but not if it “plunders” French technology.

So rather than invest, the Chinese will simply use industrial espionage. Just like everybody else does.

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Butcher breaks out of own freezer using black pudding

Arthur the cat
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Re: Ee, bah, eck etc

They advertise gluten free black pudding and haggis. Catering to the post-modern psychosomatic illness crowd[0] is a sure way to let standards slip.

Although the "gluten free because I'm sensitive" crowd can be intensely annoying, they have done genuine coeliacs a great favour. When I first met my wife 30+ years ago the only gluten free bakery and pasta products she could get tasted disgusting and the pasta turned into wall paper paste unless you cooked it just right. Mostly she just did without. Nowadays the "free from" aisle in the supermarket has stuff that's near enough in taste to genuine gluten containing products that I'm prepared to eat it rather than put on two pots for pasta like I used to, and she can have a decent sarnie when she feels like it.

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