* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1830 posts • joined 22 May 2007

AR upstart Magic Leap reveals majorly late tech specs' tech specs

Dr. Mouse

Re: Should have been pretty obvious

The only place I see AR having much of a future is in warehouse fulfillment and roles of that nature.

I see it being of more use in non-consumer environments, too, once it is smooth and detailed enough.

Warehouse roles, as you say, are an obvious fit even with current technology. However, engineering roles could benefit, viewing details of internal structures and even controlling machinery. Once the tech is up to scratch, it could have huge benefits for medical purposes, too. Augmenting reality to assist in real-life work would be a great bonus in many fields.

However, for gaming most people want to escape reality and I believe that VR will be more successful. A fully immersive world where you can shoot bad guys, or drive like a nutter, or fly through space is much more attractive than overlaying a few sprites on the real world. Other than something akin to Pokemon Go (eurgh!) I don't see a huge consumer market...

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UK.gov agrees to narrow 'serious crime' definition for slurping comms data

Dr. Mouse

The usual threshold of serious crime is one where the case is heard in the crown court in front of a judge rather than a magistrates.

I would accept that as the minimum bar for a serous crime. If a crime would normally be heard in front of a magistrate, without a jury, then I would say it's not that serious.

However, I think we could deal with this by judges discretion. If the crime goes to court and the judge thinks it's not a serious enough crime to have warranted the intrusion (and that's looking at the original reason for the intercept, not anything uncovered since, as well as whether they had a reasonable enough suspicion in the first place) then they should apply something similar to the "fruit of the poisoned tree" doctrine the US have: ALL evidence gathered off the back of that "invalid" intercept is chucked out. This would certainly make the cops think long and hard (teehee) about using the powers!

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Dr. Mouse

Re: I'm Guessing...

They know they'll lose but want to do it as slowly as possible.

Or maybe they're just delaying until we leave the EU, so they can do whatever the hell they want...

Seriously, this is (for me) the scariest part of leaving. There will be noone to hold our government to account*. They will just pass whatever laws they want, gradually eroding our freedoms and rights until we have none left. Yes, there is likely to be chaos in many other areas, but the loss of oversight from an external body is terrifying!

* Before anyone says it, I know that Voters should be able to hold their government to account but, when both major parties have the same track record on privacy etc. and most people don't care enough** to let it affect their vote anyway, the government are going to have a free hand to do whatever the hell they want.

** Until it affects them directly, by which point they won't have a leg to stand on. "First they came..."

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CEST la vie, IR35 workers: HMRC sets out stall for ignoring Mutuality of Obligation

Dr. Mouse

Re: where does MOO fit in?

It's a shame that HMRC don't relise the slightly better paid contractor pays more tax than being employed on a lower salary. There are ways to clamp down on some of the shenanigans that some contractors perform that doesn't require everyone paying even more.

This.

If all contractors (or a large proportion of them) suddenly decided they were fed up of the HMRC's crappy treatment of them and decided to go perm, the tax take would plummet. (Also, businesses would suffer and the economy would take a hit).

Some contractors play fast and loose with the rules. Some even break the rules. Most, however, play within the rules in a fair manner and pay huge amounts of tax compared to an equivalent employee. Every contractor who decides he's had enough of this bullpoo cuts the exchequer's take by a fair whack.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: where does MOO fit in?

@AC

Some aspects of the rules are described at

https://www.gov.uk/employment-status

Due to the way the system works in this country, those rules do not apply in tax law/IR35. A person's employment status is completely separate to their IR35 tax status. You can be taxed as an employee but not be employed in terms of status. This is where the unfairness comes in, and why tax and employment law needs to be harmonised.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: So...

You are entitled to holiday and sick pay. YOUR company, of which you are most likely the sole employee and owner, pays it to you. You are not your consultancy company. The company money is not yours until you take it out paying the appropriate taxes. You are why IR35 exists.

That's the point, though. If you are found to be inside IR35 (i.e. the client should have hired an employee, but instead chose a contractor), then you are forced to draw all earnings as a salary. Your company must pay the employer's NI, and you must pay all income tax and NI on those earnings. There is nothing left to pay holiday or sick pay after that, or either your own expenses or the company operating expenses, like accountancy or insurances. There are also no consequences for the company who chose to take on a contractor for a staff role.

IR35 had very little to do with contractors themselves. It was aimed at people who were in a staff job, left, and came back the next day as a contractor doing exactly the same job. This was often at the employer's request rather than the employee's.

Contractors know that the money isn't ours until we draw it (at least all those I have spoken to). We keep some money in the company to use for company benefit, and/or to cover time out of contract. We pay a lot of tax, and a lot of additional expense in order to operate our own consultancy services. We accept the loss of employment rights and a lot of extra responsibility in return for greater flexibility and a higher rate of pay. We are not the problem, companies who take on contractors for staff roles are.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Poor old HMRC...

They have spent that time with their fingers in their ears singing "la la la, I'm not listening".

The courts have sorted "this shambles" out for them, but HMRC continue to ignore their rulings. Try asking HMRC for IR35 advice, and you'll get a very different answer to a competent Tax lawyer (or even what you would come up with yourself by a brief skim of the rules and associated cases).

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Fine HMRC...

That's what would happen: You would be forced to take your entire gross earnings as PAYE income. As this is an expense, your company would make no profit (or even a loss, considering there may be other expenses which you are not allowed to take into account), so would pay no corporation tax.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: So...

In fact, as it is generally accepted that a contractor's rate is higher mainly to cover the uncertainy and the lack of employment rights, those things can be said to be valued at the difference between the rates of a contractor and a permie.

Let's say that a contractor charges twice the permie rate, and that for the permie we talk of earns £40k. This means the permie pays £5628 in income tax and £3789 in NI, for a total tax of £9417 or 23.5%.

The contractor earns £80k, and pays £16k in corporation tax and around £8k in dividend tax, for a total tax of around £24k or 30%.

If you were to take the difference as the benefit of stability and employment rights, this makes them worth £40k, and that puts the employee on a very attractive sub-12% tax rate.

It's not fair that such an amazing, valuable benefit is not taken into account when talking of tax. Employees get this benefit tax-free, whereas contractors must pay tax on giving it up. Looking at similar role/level of experience/ etc, the permie gets a much better deal in terms of tax.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: So...

Contractors already pay a very similar amount of tax to permies, when you take into account the new dividend taxes. We pay around about 26% basic (20% corp tax, 7.5% dividend tax), where a permie will pay 32% (20% income, 12% NI). The big differences are in employer's NI and employent rights (if they were classed as taxable and a value put on them, you'd probably find actual pay and tax levels weigh in favour of the permie).

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Dr. Mouse

Re: @Herring: Just a question

The problem is that, strictly speaking, your employer is still once removed from the client or agency: Either your Ltd company, or the umbrella company. So it is they who would need to provide you with sick/holiday/etc pay, and it still comes out of your gross earnings.

What is needed (and this has been said many times over) is a harmonisation between employment and tax law. If you are deemed to be "inside IR35", you become an employee of the client. They become liable for employers NI, and you for employee taxes on gross earnings. You gain the same rights as any employee. That way, fairness and shared liability is seen. In addition, companies would stop taking on contractors for roles which are clearly employee roles (permanent or temporary) as they wouldn't want to risk the increased tax bills (just as contractors don't, now).

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Dr. Mouse

Re: where does MOO fit in?

IIRC, from case law, MOO for IR35 purposes is that the "employer"/client is required to provide work, and the "employee"/contractor is required to accept it.

Typically, if the client has no work for the contractor, they can tell them to come back next week, or just terminate the contract. They are not obliged to provide work during the contract length, and (even with clauses for notice periods, which are pretty meaningless unless you are prepared to shell out a lot of money in court to enforce them) can just tell you on a Monday morning that they no longer require your services, Similarly, a contractor doesn't have to request leave, they can say "I'm not working tomorrow" (or even, by contract, just not show up, although this is discourteous to the point that the client may just tell them not to bother coming back).

By ignoring MOO (or redefining it), HMRC are ignoring many years of case law. They will find themselves slapped down in court over and over again. CEST is not fit for purpose on this one point alone, and that aside still fails to correctly classify most of the cases brought to court against them in the past.

They remind me the record exec in the Chef Aid episode of South Park:

https://youtu.be/ZNJDV1XoEpw

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

Dr. Mouse

An ID card is a long way from an extensive database, and it's a shame that Labour tried to conflate the two

Indeed.

As you said, a pure ID card that confirms the identity of a person ONLY would be a wonderful thing, as long as it was either optional or free (or both).

If it was mandatory (either legally or effectively, as in you couldn't access things you need without it) and they charged for it, you have basically a regressive stealth tax. If it is optional, and this included a legal mandate to accept other forms of ID instead, then charging for it would be OK.

There are a few things which could be done to sell it to the country (and I don't understand why noone suggested this at the last attempt to introduce them). For instance, it could be made to allow you to incorporate your bank cards on it. Electronic cash could be implemented on it. A user-defined area could be set up to store things like club membership cards, loyalty cards, employee ID. It could be able to be used by your phone and/or PC etc to provide proof of ID over t'interweb.

All in, it could be implemented in such a way that everyone benefits from it. I doubt it will ever be: the Govt of the day will just keep trying to bring it in as a vast overarching surveillance mechanism, and a way to control the population, all the while charging them for the process.

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Apple hauled into US Supreme Court over, no, not ebooks, patents, staff wages, keyboards... but its App Store

Dr. Mouse

Re: That's not how apple store works...

When you purchase "Avengers Infinity War" at your local Walmart, are you trying to tell me that Warner Brother's is selling you that DVD / Blu-ray? No you are purchasing it at Walmart.

Surely that is an argument in favour of it being sold BY Apple. Apple is Walmart, in this case, and the developer is Warner Bros.

As things stand in the UK (I don't know about the US), if you buy something from a high street store, your contract of sale is with the store. That store has bought it from the supplier. If the item does not work, for instance, you go back to the store and they deal with the problem.

I would say that the same should hold true for the App Store(s): You buy the software/license/whatever from Apple, who have (effectively) bought it from the developer while keeping their cut.

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No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

It's obvious that we aren't going to agree, so I will just leave one final comment then stop looking back here:

If we are in the EU, there is no problem because there is effectively no border.

If we were both outside the EU, then there would be no problem because Ireland would be free to strike it's own deals.

However, Ireland wants to remain a member of the EU and, in doing so, accepts that such deals are handled by the EU and all members jointly. We want to leave the EU, and must accept that (through rules which we helped create) such deals are handled by the EU.

With Ireland in the EU, it is likely that it will be a matter of having the same border and trade arrangements between NI and RoI as exists between UK and the rest of the EU. How those border arrangements look will be a result of the trade negotiations.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

So the EU is incapable of trade deals?

Of course not. However, they take years to agree and it's what we are currently working towards. We are also asking for a form of freedom of movement between RoI and NI, but not the rest of Europe. That's a lot more than a trade deal.

"Do you really think that the other 26 countries (who all have to agree) would be happy with and accept that one particular country in the group gets to put special rules in place which disadvantage their own citizens?"

That must be the first time you have acknowledged (at least to my memory) that brexit is an advantage.

No, actually I didn't. I was talking of the other 26 vs RoI. If RoI has a different deal to the rest of Europe, including free movement to the UK and free trade with the UK, how happy are the other 26 nations in the EU going to be about that discrimination against their companies and their citizens? Why should Irish citizens get a better deal, and Irish companies be able to undercut their prices?

The trading block trades and negotiates as a block. What is available to one is available to all. So, if we want free trade and free movement with Ireland while it remains a member of the EU, we would have to accept the same terms with the rest of the EU (unless they make a very big, very public exception to their rules AND convince all of the other 26 nations within the block to agree).

Remember, though, that the EU has already offered a solution to the Irish border problem which we can do while respecting the outcome of the referendum: Remain a member of the EEA/EFTA/Customs Union. We would still leave the EU, as stated on the ballot, but the Irish border problem would be solved (as would the matter of a free trade agreement, rights of EU nationals in the UK, rights of UK nationals in the EU, and pretty much every other stumbling block in the negotiations). That "we" reject the only solution available within the existing framework make's it our problem to find an solution acceptable to the 27 other nations in this negotiation.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

How can the EU's border control be the UK's problem?

We are asking them to create an exception to their rules which doesn't exist anywhere else, and providing no realistic way in which it could be implemented while still keeping control of their own borders, migration, standards etc, and not discriminating against the rest of their population (part of the treaties and rules in place). Do you really think that the other 26 countries (who all have to agree) would be happy with and accept that one particular country in the group gets to put special rules in place which disadvantage their own citizens?

I can say "I want a car which produces 300BHP, does 100mpg, and costs £10,000 new. The car dealer down the road wants one to sell to me, too." Is it the manufacturer's problem to try to build one? Is the manufacturer being difficult or unfair when he tells me it's impossible?

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

@codejunky

Just one final point by way of an example.

Let us say that Wales wanted to establish a deal with, say, Canada. They wanted people and goods to move freely between Wales and Canada, with no border checks, and relying on "technological solutions" to ensure all standards were met. Canada wanted that, too, but only with Wales not the rest of the UK.

What do you think the UK government's response would be?

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

@codejunky

"Solutions have been proposed by the UK but the EU want a harder border so nuff said."

The solutions I have seen so far have either been rejected by Hard Brexiteers or Loyalist parties in NI (e.g. NI remaining in CU, moving the border to between NI/RUK) or depend on coming up with some magical new technology/systems in a very short space of time. In short, there have been no realistic solutions put forward. I think we can be pretty sure that there are some clever people involved on all sides trying to come up with a solution, and none have been found (or at least publicised) which would be acceptable to all involved. It will be interesting to see whether any does emerge...

You also forget that the EU, just as the UK, wants to have control over it's borders. If there is an "open" border between RoI and NI, the EU lose that control (as, incidentally, does the UK). To maintain proper control of the border, they would need a harder border between RoI and the rest of the EU (as they would be dependant on whatever customs, migration controls and standards the UK chose to implement, not those of their own policies).

We keep arguing round in circles, and we're obviously not going to agree here. I cannot see how the Irish border is not a problem of the UK's making for the UK to solve, and I also can't see how you would disagree. I'm pretty sure the same can be said of you in reverse. None of your arguments have made sense to me, and if mine haven't made sense to you so far then there's little point continuing the argument.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

@codejunky

So in your scenario we are better off after a few years. And then you ask how that is good for anyone? I think I will refer you to what you just said and hey presto we are better off out.

No, in my scenario we are worse off for AT LEAST a few years. If this has affected our growth during this time, which it will, then the repercussions last at least until our growth offsets the reduction in growth over those few years. Any improvements after that, which I again stress may or may not happen, are playing catch up. If the improvements you predict don't happen (or take even longer to happen), we are worse off for even longer.

"and forcing there to be an external EU border between RoI and NI"

And that is the EU's problem. Ireland doesnt want a border. UK doesnt want a border. If the EU wants one they can do it. Not our problem.

Ireland wants to remain a part of the EU, and the EU has rules to control it's external border. This has never been an issue, because the UK was part of the EU. However, now the UK want's to leave the EU, so the external border becomes one between NI and RoI. How is it not our problem? We are causing it! The EU doesn't want a border between the UK and the rest of the EU, but we are insisting on it and then saying "Except that bit, we don't want one there, we never meant that bit" (a common theme throughout Brexit negotiation so far).

Are you telling us what we wanted or interpreting the worst you can think of or what?

I'm not telling you what you think, nor interpretting the worst I can. I am following a logical path:

- A main part of the campaign to leave was removing freedom of movement.

- Freedom of movement exists between NI and the rest of the UK.

- Freedom of movement exists between RoI and the rest of the EU.

- Therefore if freedom of movement exists between RoI and NI, it exists between UK and EU.

Btw can you use a single comment to reply instead of multiple for the same thread. It wouldnt be fair for us to spam the boards.

I was replying to individual comments, of which there are a lot. You could have done the same, but decided to reply to each of the comments I made separately...

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

"Firstly, one of the main themes of the Leave campaign was control of our borders. So, having "no border" between NI violates that."

I dont understand how people can get this simple concept so wrong. Control of our borders means our own choice over the border.

For one, we don't have a border with Ireland (when we leave). We have a border with the EU (as the trading block maintains it's external border as one). If you would like to have no border with the EU, we can always remain inside the EEA/EFTA/EU...

Secondly, if there is no hard border between NI and RoI, there is no hard border between UK and EU (as there is no hard border between RoI and EU, and none between NI and the rest of the UK). Isn't that one of the main things which leavers wanted?

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

That would make the RoI/NI border an EU issue then

The RoI/NI border is an RoI/NI problem, hence and RoI/UK problem. The UK has decided to leave the EU, and they knew that there is an external border to the EU which is controlled. The UK was a party to the Good Friday agreement, and is now reneging on it's commitments in that by leaving the EU (and EEA/EFTA etc) and forcing there to be an external EU border between RoI and NI, so it's the UK's responsibility to find a way to resolve this.

The EU didn't kick us out, we chose to leave, and must accept all the consequences of that.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

The good news for leave is that the EU failing to make a deal gives us a hard brexit

I don't understand how anyone can think this is a good thing. In the short term AT LEAST this is likely to be damaging to the UK: We would leave with no trade deals with RoW, isolated on WTO terms. All the external deals we already have are through the EU, so they would cease, and negotiating new ones would not happen over night (they typically take years). So at least the first few years would kill our export market.

Then you get the fact that the rest of the world can see this and knows how desperate we will be to form new agreements, and they will take liberties with terms. We have already seen this with, for example, India: They would want vastly increased numbers of visas for their people to come to the UK for any trade deal. America have shown that they won't allow trade deals which would rule out their inferior food markets, and would want a serious slice of our NHS pie. The same goes for everyone else: They would be like vultures circling.

Then there's all the other bits of the EU (or satelite organisation) which are currently vital to the countries operation, like Euratom. Setting up our own versions of these will not happen overnight, nor will they be internationally recognised overnight.

Hard Brexit is likely to damage us severely in the first few years, and any improvements (which may or may not happen) will start to build after that. How is that good for anyone?

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

I was pointing out mutual gain is surely better.

You forget that EU members, rightly or wrongly, believe they benefit greatly from EU membership. Giving a good deal to the UK could quite easily cause other members to re-evalute that belief and seek a similar deal, which would hurt the remaining members. It could lead to the collapse of the EU, with pain to all involved.

Also remember that any new deal must be ratified by ALL the remaining member countries. Therefore, if even one believes that the deal will hurt them, they can stop it. The only way to be sure of a deal is for it to look profitable to all countries in the EU.

So while, viewed simplistically, a deal could be done which is beneficial to both the EU and the UK (compared to no deal), it would also need to be seen as significantly less beneficial than EU membership to discourage others from leaving AND would need to benefit (or at least not harm) each individual member country of the EU... Which all starts to sound a lot more difficult than just "mutual gain".

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Well

As for NI, I'm totally in favour of no border and telling the EU to propose a solution. Instead these UK negotiators are doing the job of solving EU issues. For the UK a no-border is obligatory for all the good reasons, if the EU doesn't like it then they should dream up some sort of solution.

Firstly, one of the main themes of the Leave campaign was control of our borders. So, having "no border" between NI violates that. It would also allow free movement of people from the EU to the UK, as there would be no border between the EU and Eire, none between Eire and NI, and none between NI and UK.

Secondly, do there already is a border, and will continue to be a border, no matter what happens. It's all about how "hard" that border is: It's currently virtually non-existent for all practical purposes.

Thirdly, we don't have autonomous control over our border with another country: They have a say too. While ever Ireland is in the EU, the EU has a say. They are not going to let people and goods flow freely from a third country with different standards into an EU country (from which they can flow freely to the rest of the EU). Nor are they going to compromise their security by allowing people to move freely (as mentioned in the first point, it would effectively allow free movement from UK->NI->Ireland->EU).

Finally, on to your point about the French unemployed, this will end anyway. Ending free movement is one of the govt's red lines. Unless we back down from that one (e.g. remain within the EEA/EFTA) that's not even on the table.

I still don't understand why people think the EU needs a deal more than the UK does. We are a small country. We may punch above our weight, but we are still tiny compared to the EU. In terms of the value of trade as a proportion of the total value of the economy (or per head of population), we need a deal far more than they do. We will suffer far more damage than the EU without a deal, and we don't have any serious other deals on the table yet. Even those in the pipeline have shown that other countries are quite willing to press for very good terms in their favour as they know how much we need to have sone form of trade deal.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Politics..

@Prst. V.Jeltz

Leavers will take the line that we will decide whats allowed in or out

While ignoring the fact that the EU (and it's remaining members) will also decide what's allowed in or out of their domain, considering their own best interests.

Yes, outside the EU the UK will have full autonomy to decide it's own policies, but so does everyone else. We can't demand that the EU (or anyone else) give us what we want, we must negotiate. If they decide, for whatever reason, that they don't want to do something, they are under no obligation to. This is the part most Leavers seem to miss, and start yelling about how unfair the EU are being when they tell us that they aren't going to agree to the latest demands from HMG.

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Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo

Dr. Mouse

This isn't rocket science, it's simply a total rejection of socialism, marxism and post modernism which are a cancer that eat away at the soft under belly of our nation.

You are right in a way: as long as they can still get access to the quality of labour and the services they need, companies would flock here if taxes were lower than everywhere else. It would be a paradise for corporations and the better off.

However, if the welfare state was dismantled, where is the safety net if someone loses their job? Where does the care for the disabled, elderly, and most vulnerable come from? With lower tax receipts, how will the government fund the armed services, the emergency services, and the NHS? Bin collections? Road networks?

And when these all suffer, how will the corporations feel about having to pay higher wages to fund private insurances? Where law and order is breaking down? Where garbage piles up in the streets? Where their employees end up ill because they can't afford to see a doctor? Where the roads are crumbling (even more than now) and wagons can't get where they need to go (or where they have to pay extra to use private toll roads)?

You are also assuming that we would get a tariff free trade deal with the EU and the US, which are definitely not guaranteed.

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Uber robo-ride's deadly crash: Self-driving car had emergency braking switched off by design

Dr. Mouse

Re: Six seconds at 43mph (18m/s) ...

If an in attentive "driver" is supposed to take over in an emergency in anything less than a level 5 system, then this incident demonstrates clearly that a properly trained person who is employed to monitor the cars driving can't react in time, what likelihood has Joe Public got of being better?

But, as has been pointed out by others, he wasn't being attentive at the time. He was filling in data which Uber had requested. His attention was completely off the road at that point, something which shouldn't be happening without a fully autonomous system.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Humans see intentions, cars only react afterward

Humans excel at something the algorithms utterly cannot do: determining INTENTIONS. I would see a woman with a bike and keep an eye on her, prepared to react if she moved into the road.... Humans can also interpret events that cars cannot. A ball rolls into the street - you know a child might follow it, the car would not expect that.

While I agree with your point that the original poster should stop driving if he thinks no human operator could have avoided this crash, I disagree that algorithms can't do the things you say they can't.

With the correct design, all of the things you mention should be well within an autonomous vehicle's reach. In fact, they should be better at them. They should be more likely to see the woman at the side of the road, and be prepared for that tiny movement which could indicate she is about to step into the road. They should be able to react more quickly to the ball rolling out into the road, take more appropriate action, and then react more quickly to the child appearing behind the ball.

With the machine learning which is going into this, they should be able to pick all this up very quickly. The default position should be "I don't recognise this situation, I'll take some precautions and be ready in case it turns bad". Once enough data has been provided back to the machine learning algorithm about this kind of event, it will start to have a good idea of how it will turn out and be able to decide for it'self the appropriate action to take. When this is pooled from all the cars on the road, it should learn very quickly and be much better than a human driver (or as good as a potential human driver who has driven as much as the thousands of cars on the road have in total, anyway).

However, the caveat here is "With the correct design". What Uber seem to have done is defintiely not this. They have gone for convenience over safety. Their default position is "I don't recognise this situation, I'll just ignore it and let the meatbag deal with it (and not tell them about it)". When combined with the fact that the meatbag must enter data during the journey, taking their concentration completely off the road to do so, it was only a matter of time before this happened.

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Uber says it's changed and is now ever-so ShinyHappy™

Dr. Mouse

I only had one bad experience with Uber. The driver didn't end the trip when my mate got out, so I was charged for him to get back to the centre of Leeds. This was resolved by the end of the next day.

Around here, they are all licensed private hire cars. The drivers mostly used to work for private hire companies, but moved and are now making more money (even after relevant insurances/taxes/etc) and have more flexibility in their work.

I know Uber have flouted the laws and regulations in many places, but the convenience of their service beats anything else I have come across. I've tried several other platforms and nothing comes close.

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Blighty: If EU won't let us play at Galileo, we're going home and taking encryption tech with us

Dr. Mouse

Re: Chokes with laughter

"You mean the minority group?"

Yes, I mean the minority group (by a tiny, barely significant margin).

"And so will you act like an adult as when tory or labour win an election and you wait for the next election to vote for change"

This isn't like an election, though, is it. We can't just change our minds in a few years. We would be unlikely to be readmitted on the same favourable terms as we have now. This is a decision which is likely to have very long reaching consequences for decades to come, whether those consequences are good or bad.

So, I will continue to campaign for us not to leave, to try to save our country from what I believe to be a disastrous course. This is not childish, nor is it undemocratic or unpatriotic.

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Dr. Mouse

Re: Chokes with laughter

If your for or against Brexit makes no difference now, we are leaving so the best thing to do is get behind it and make sure the UK gets the best divorce settlement we can.

Erm, nope.

Did all the eurosceptics "get behind" our membership of the EU? Did they work with the EU to make sure we got the best possible out of our membership? Nope, they blamed every little thing, real or imaginary, which went wrong on the EU (or on results of our membership, like immigration).

Why do you expect the majority of those who support our EU membership will do any different? If we disagree with something, it's our democratic right to campaign to change it. A single snap poll of a yes/no nature indicates only the answer to that specific question on that specific date. Opinions and circumstances change. So the outcome of the referendum may not even be correct anymore, limited as it always was.

I'm completely fed up with people telling me to get behind the result (normally worded as The Will Of The People). I'm not going to get behind something which I expect to be disastrous for the country, even if 99% of the vote had gone that way. I also wouldn't jump off a cliff if 99% of people voted for it.

16
2

Scissors cut paper. Paper wraps rock. Lab-made enzyme eats plastic

Dr. Mouse

Re: Ringworld Calling...

It calls to mind the Red Dwarf episode where Lister gets a genetically modified virus to peal potatoes. Unfortunately, it turns out to also eat clothing and hair...

7
0

You're a govt official. You accidentally slap personal info on the web. Quick, blame a kid!

Dr. Mouse

Re: Unisys screwed up

If he gets convicted of this, the law is not fit for purpose.

I have, more than once, used similar techniques to grab a bunch of data from a website, as I'm sure many on here have too. I haven't always needed it all, but it was easier to grab it all then filter it later, and who has time to delete the stuff you don't want?

Even so, if a file is on the public internet then you are authorised to download it. If you weren't, the server would respond with an error code.

This would be analogous to a library getting a kid charged with theft for borrowing a book which should not have been there, even though the librarian stamped it out and said nothing. How the hell should he know that it's he shouldn't have it? It was there with all the other books, in a place where books are supposed to be borrowed, with no indication that he was not authorised to borrow it.

40
2

If you guessed China’s heavy lifter failed due to a liquid hydrogen turbo engine fault, well done!

Dr. Mouse

Re: Translation...

The part that burns the cold air that once burned a big sky bag broke. This made everything burn, which is a bad thing.

2
0

They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

Dr. Mouse

Re: Too late

To those using gun laws as an analogy for encryption, there's a very big difference.

Encryption is designed to secure data.

Guns are designed to kill.

If you believe that killing and securing data are even remotely similar, then there's something very wrong with you.

4
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Dr. Mouse

Re: Too late

"Well, guns are pretty much illegal in the UK (with some exceptions) so mostly only criminals have them... I don't see the Police arresting that many criminals with guns though. False argument, totally based on trust of people who have abused our trust, repeatedly."

And how many cases of gun-related crime do we have? If a cop spots someone on the street with a gun, what do they do? A car on the M62 was recently thought to have an illegal firearm in it, and they did all in their power to catch them (and succeeded). The fact that there is such a low amount of gun crime in this country shows that the policy works.

The other end of the argument which always comes back is that guns allow you to protect yourself from the government. This is wrong too: The government will always have more guns and weapons, and having a gun yourself just leads to a higher chance you would be killed in any confrontation.

13
3
Dr. Mouse

Re: Too late

"too late for guns, and now knives. Those genie's are out of the bottle, and have been out for a LONG time... Make them illegal, and ONLY the criminals will have them."

The thing is that this makes the job easier for the police: Someone has a gun, they are a criminal. They don't need to start looking for other crimes they committed straight away, the dangerous nut job can be taken off the street immediately. Unlike the current situation in the US where anyone may "legitimately" have and be carrying a gun...

The whole "guns make people safe" argument doesn't fly with me, never has and never will. It's a machine designed with one purpose: to kill. Apart from a few people in specific circumstances, noone should have one.

10
10

'Disappearing' data under ZFS on Linux sparks small swift tweak

Dr. Mouse

Re: @disgustedoftunbridgewells

Ditto, I have also been using ZFS since I discovered it while trying out Solaris 10 (as a method of learning more about Solaris for work, where we had several Solaris servers doing various jobs). First use was on Solaris 10, then FreeBSD, and now running ZoL (including root on ZFS) for my home server. It's been very stable for me, although I'd hesitate to recommend it to a client without making them very well aware that there's a risk. Personally, I believe that risk is acceptable with a good backup regime, especially with ZFS's data integrity regime (checksumming everything), but it would be up to the client to decide for their own business.

5
1

Microsoft: Yes, we agree that Irish email dispute is moot... now what's this new warrant about?

Dr. Mouse

Re: What Does This Mean in Practice?

"goes to an Irish court and obtains an Irish warrant by Irish standards of reasonable suspicion/probable cause against the correct legal entity. Just like they should have done 4 shagging years ago."

This is the galling thing about it all*. If they want the data and have a good reason for it, all they had to do is follow due process and asked the Irish government to get it for them. By now, they would probably have had it (assuming they did have a good enough reason, of course).

Instead, what they're doing is saying "We want it, so we'll change our own laws and assume that makes it OK by every other country". Cockwombles, the lot of 'em!

* Although not at all surprising, seeing as Murkha always seems to think it's above everyone else's laws.

36
1

Which? leads decrepit email service behind barn, single shot rings out over valley

Dr. Mouse

Not that I'm condoning anything, but I have always thought it strange that people rely on free services for something as important as email is.

I have heard various complaints over the years about free email services shutting down, changing, and generally being terrible. The most recent prior to this was my dad whinging about Hotmail's switch to OWA (IIRC).

"If you don't like it, go somewhere else" was my reply.

"But then I'd loose my email address".

So, what if Hotmail was shut down? You're not paying for it, and you'd have no recourse. For personal stuff, fair enough: It's a pain in the arse, but doable. But I know of many businesses using these. What happens when your customers suddenly get bounce backs from the emails they are sending you?

Sorry, I know I'm ranting a bit with no obvious direction. The point is, though: Don't rely on a free service if it is important to you.

5
1

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough

Dr. Mouse

Re: Wow

@codejunky

I'm not going to do another point-by-point. We will not agree, and you will dismiss my arguments again.

One point though: I know many people from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland and many other EU countries. All acknowledge there are problems with the EU, but all support it. I don't think it's falling apart any time soon: The UK had the most anti-EU sentiment, and it only managed a narrow margin in favour of leaving.

4
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Dr. Mouse

Re: Wow

@codejunky

"I am glad you see that as a problem too. Brexit should be a full brexit, out of the EU and its dictats."

I only see it as a bad thing because we are hurtling down this potentially disastrous course. If we are to leave the EU, we need to back it up with a strong negotiation or we are going to be well and truely in the ****.

"Actually we have a very strong bargaining position. As strong as it could ever be. We are leaving. There is sweet F-all the EU can do about that."

But they do not have to, or need to, give us decent terms on future trade. We are a tiny island, with little they need which they can't get from elsewhere in the block. It would hurt them a little to have no free trade agreement, but it would hurt them a lot more to give favourable terms which encourages other countries to leave the block. However, we will be severely hurt with no free trade agreement. This gives the EU the stronger bargaining position, as well as a good incentive to ensure it is not a good deal for the UK, whereas we have a weaker position with a strong incentive to get a deal of any sort.

"As per the examples the EU is a child on isle 5 banging their head on a wall and screaming its our fault for not giving them what they want."

I see it the other way around: We want out of the EU, but we still want to keep certain bits which we like, and are having a tantrum every time the EU says No.

" As for what good news I assume you are confused? I quote you "Yes, there has been some good news around Brexit.". That is from the same comment and you say not anything you have seen!"

There is a difference between the 2 points. I have seen some good news stories (though not many), which are all based on potential future successes not what is happening immediately. I have not seen us "doing well" out of it now.

"If this is their strength in negotiation we are better off out."

And to hell with the consequences?

"That is where you are viewing it as an optimist for the EU."

I will admit that I'm biased in favour of the EU. I see it's flaws, but believe that on the whole it is a good thing.

However, you are also showing your own bias against them. Everything the EU does is shouted down as being petty and childish.

"The EU is desperate for a border in Ireland, the best we offer is a soft border that the EU cries about."

The EU, and Ireland, do not want a border. However, both their own rules (sensible rules which most countries or trading block apply) as well one of the main stated aims of leaving (control of borders) pretty much demand it unless NI (with or without the rest of the UK) remain within the customs union.

It is yet another contradiction from Leave: We want to control our borders, except that bit. We want to leave the EU, except that bit. We want to be free to strike our own trade deals, but we want to keep all the deals the EU already has in place.

"The EU want extra rights while not offering much for UK citizens in the EU, so far not getting too far."

The EU is offering reciprocal rights. So whatever EU citizens living in the UK get after we leave, UK citizens living in the EU will get after we leave.

"unless May sabotages negotiations (if she does that will be a remainer victory however much they will still cry about it)"

I don't think May will sabotage negotiations. She may screw up through incompetence and weakness, as well as putting party politics ahead of the country (which was what the referendum was in the first place). If that happens, it will not be a victory for anyone. We need to leave on good terms or not at all, or else the country will suffer. Personally, I don't see us getting good enough terms for the country not to suffer, but it's possible and I would be very happy if we did. I also believe that, if we don't get a good deal, May will get the blame anyway (not a bad thing, but Leavers will not accept that they put the country in this position, and will need someone else to blame: Probably May, but there would also be cries of "Remainers sabotaged us, we could have done great without them!")

At the end of the day, we are not going to agree. You are dead against the EU, and want us out at all costs. I quite like the EU overall, think we would be better off staying in and believe that we will be damaged by leaving. I don't think anything either of us say to one another will change that. We will find out who was right once negotiations are complete and we have left.

5
0
Dr. Mouse

Re: Wow

@codejunky

"Ok that is your opinion yet to be realised or shown in evidence but your not the only one who thinks things are going bad regardless of good news"

Yes, there has been some good news around Brexit. There has been much more bad news. The government doesn't have a plan, and every "negotiation" and "agreement" so far has seen them backpeddle furiously from their "red lines" and give in to whatever the EU wants. We do not have a strong bargaining position, strong negotiators or strong leadership. I cannot see this changing when we proceed to trade negotiations.

"Why is it obvious that the EU would be stupid?"

IMHO the EU aren't being stupid. They are in a negotiation, and using their position of strength to gain the best possible deal for themselves. Why do you think this is stupid?

"We already are [doing well from this]"

Not from anything I've seen, but even so we haven't yet left the huge trading block with which we do a large proportion of our business. The only good thing I can see is that the predicted immediate consequences didn't happen, but that's not good news, it's a lack of bad news.

"Why would we undo progress and good news to rejoin the EU which is in multiple crises and act like children? After seeing how petty and self defeating it is do you still want to be part of that sinking ship?"

Or, why should we leave a strong trading block which is using it's strength to apply pressure on us and is getting it's own way in pretty much every little bit of the negotiations so far? It doesn't sound stupid, petty or childish to me, it sounds like good negotiating tactics.

"The more desperate the EU is at doing anything to try and negotiate with to the point of self harm is amazingly daft but funny. It amuses me even more to read comments desperate for things to be bad for the EU, I dont know how you feel such gloom. You may or may not want the UK to burn if we leave the UK, you do seem to think its bad somehow so want us to change our mind, but why? Why excuse EU desperation and stupidity?"

I don't, because I don't see it as desperate or stupid. Who has the upper hand in negotiations so far? Again, the UK govt has pretty much bent over on every point and accepted the EU's position so far. This sounds far from stupid or desperate to me.

4
0
Dr. Mouse

Re: Wow

you dont seem to be replying to the point of my comment which again is the glee of remainers at any perceived knock down of the UK by the EU. The desire of EU or burn

OK, I'll address that.

I know of noone who wishes the UK to "burn", from either side of the debate. It is not a desire, from Remainers, for the UK to "burn", but a belief that we are likely to "burn" if we keep heading down this path. It is also highly amusing to see so many "The EU are being mean to us!" comments from Leavers, when it was fairly obvious that things like this would happen.

At the end of the day, personally, I hope I am wrong and that the country does well from this, either by making a success of leaving or by abandoning it as a bad job. I just don't see any way, in the current circumstances, that we can leave and be anything other than significantly worse off. I had a small hope, immediately after the referendum, that a few other countries would join us in leaving and form a strong, separate trading block. At least that would have given us some strength in negotiations. But that's not a possibility anymore within the time remaining, so I see no hope.

So, yes, I will laugh when this sort of thing happens: It's either that or cry at the country making what I believe to be a disastrous mistake. If you choose to take that as that I want the country to burn if it leaves the EU, that's your prerogative but it's a mistaken interpretation.

5
0
Dr. Mouse

Re: Wow

"As can be seen from this list, not all member countries of the European Union are members of ESA and not all ESA Member States are members of the EU"

But, again, Galileo is an EU project, not an ESA project.

"So EU petty politics is to play in this."

Or several other options, like the EU sensibly using it's strong bargaining position. Or the EU wanting to ensure that a military/security project is carried out mostly within it's own borders. Or so many other interpretations and reasons other than "Wah, the EU is being petty, it should just give us everything we want instead of looking after it's own interests... even though we are leaving to look after our own interests*".

* Not that I believe it is in our own interests to leave, but that is by the by.

4
0
Dr. Mouse

Re: Wow

So this topic is about the ESA a European (not EU that is different) agency being potentially subverted by the EU to 'punish' the UK.

From Wikipedia:

Galileo is the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) that is being created by the European Union (EU) through the European Space Agency (ESA)

So actually, it's about the ESA running an EU project, where the EU has said that major contributors should be from the EU. No subversion required, the project is the EUs and they can set whatever rules they like around who is involved. As it is primarily a military/security project, it's quite understandable that they don't want third parties working on it, especially on any security-related parts.

9
1

Privacy activists to UK plod: Wanna slurp folks' phone records? Come back with a warrant

Dr. Mouse

Re: Performance indicators

I think performance indicators such as arrest count have somewhat more to do with it than human nature or institutional mores.

I agree that they do not help, but I don't think they are the main reason.

I would suggest that the main reason is that cops spend all day, every day looking at the criminal aspect of society. Because of this, they become used to seeing anyone accused of or under suspicion of an offence as guilty. I think it ends up as a form of confirmation bias, They start from the view that the person is probably guilty. All evidence confirming that is given more weight than evidence disproving it. Those who are found not guilty in court "got away with it".

This is even more true in cases of a sexual nature, and is enhanced by the rules, now. Someone who accuses another of committing a sexual offence against them is immediately called the victim, and police are told to believe them in the first instance (i.e. presume the accused is guilty, the opposite of what our justice system expects). The accuser is called the victim, and the accused is thought of as a sexual predator from day one.

So, I think "human nature - and institutional mores" play a bigger part than performance indicators.

I don't say any of this to excuse police behaviour, BTW. I still think it's appalling how the police and justice system treat people, and also believe the justice system is set up to punish people harshly well before they are convicted (just look at the damage inflicted on people during the investigation and trial, the cost of good legal counsel, and the fact you can rarely recover this from the state even if the prosecution was deeply flawed from the beginning).

0
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Dr. Mouse

"The police are not your friend - their job is not to prove your innocence, just the reverse in fact."

Their role is to gather evidence - without bias to a presumption of guilt or innocence.

Their role should be to gather evidence without bias, but it isn't. As things stand, they gather evidence for the prosecution. Any evidence which may "prove innocence" is quietly ignored, and it becomes the accused's job (and that of his counsel etc) to "prove" his innocence.

I know this because a friend of mine was charged with a very serious crime. He, and his wife, had to do all the research themselves to find evidence. Passing any of the information on to the police was greeted with a "that's your job, not ours" response (and passed on to prosecutors to discredit). They used delaying tactics and every dirty trick in the book to make life as difficult as possible for both him and his family and friends.

When it came to disclosure, they were presented with an unorganised pile of papers the day of the trial and told "that's new evidence we've uncovered", with some important documents burried within a load of irrelevant garbage.

Separately, a friend of a friend ended up pleading guilty to a crime which he was innocent of (and multiple eye witnesses had confirmed he was innocent of). The reason he did so, and served jail time, was that the dirty tricks played by the prosecution were taking him close to bankruptcy and mental breakdown. Six or seven times, he turned up in court (having paid for a week for the barrister) only to have the prosecution say they'd found new evidence and needed to consider it. The barrister still had to be paid for. He couldn't afford to keep doing that, nor could he face the stress of being randomly taken in for questioning whenever the police felt like it, so decided prison was a better alternative!

So, to anyone who thinks the police are unbiased, you are wrong. Their job is to secure prosecutions and to assist the CPS (whether that's official or not, it's the way things are).

Side note: before the issue with my friend, I generally trusted the police. Now, I wouldn't trust any of them one bit. If arrested, no matter the circumstances, the first words out of my mouth would be "lawyer".

5
0

UK Court of Appeal settles reseller's question: Is software a good?

Dr. Mouse

Re: So.... [Dr Mouse]

"By the same line of thinking I could wardrive your WiFi and hijack it for my own downloading and streaming needs"

Actually, in this case you would be depriving the person paying for the bandwidth of that bandwidth. If you are using the bandwidth, they cannot, hence "stealing".

I (no longer) pirate material. However, I still maintain the point. Look at the maths:

- I do not purchase and do not pirate. Amount the IP owner gains from me: £0.

- I do not purchase but pirate the material. Amount the IP owner gains from me: £0.

There is a difference to me, as I get to experience something I otherwise would not. However, the IP owner experiences zero difference.

I'm not saying it's morally right to do so, but the pure fact is that it doesn't make a jot of difference to the IP owner. In fact they are likely to benefit from it. An example is that Microsoft strengthened their stranglehold on the desktop OS market through piracy, because those who would not normally have paid for their OS could get it for free and therefore didn't bother looking elsewhere. In the case of a movie, it means more people have seen it and talk about it, leading to more sales (as long as it was actually a good movie).

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