* Posts by veti

2633 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

In news that will shock absolutely no one, America's cellphone networks throttle vids, strangle rival Skype

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Unfortunately, those "policies" are more like guidelines, which management will tweak constantly and may well violate randomly with ad-hoc decisions from day to day.

Publishing them would reveal to the world how amateurishly it's being run. I don't know of any company, in any industry anywhere, that would be up for that.

European Union divided over tax on digital tech giants as some member states refuse free money

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VAT is collected from the party that sells the thing. That's a sales tax. Yes, there's some extra accounting that goes into it, designed to make it fairer and avoid accumulating, but the end result is that 20% or whatever it is of the total turnover goes to the treasury.

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Of course the tax is ultimately paid by the end consumer of the item. And who the heck else do you imagine is going to end up paying this tech tax, if the EU is dumb enough to pass it?

OP is spot on: VAT, aka sales tax, is the only fair way to tax big companies. A tax on "profits" inevitably ends up with a lot of very fat accountants, and angry headlines in the tabloids about how some billion-dollar business is paying $4.93 in tax.

Web Foundation launches internet hippie manifesto: 'We've lost control of our data, it is being used against us'

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Re: We already have the solution

Translation: "If everyone were more like me, there'd be no problem."

That's not what we earthlings call a "solution".

Slabs, huh, what are they are good for? Er, not quite absolutely nothing

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Re: Odd middle ground

It's a screen that you can put wherever you like, that turns on instantly (zero boot time), that can be propped up against the toaster to show a recipe, or shared with the whole family if need be.

The big mistake people make is in thinking that it's a type of computer. It's not. It's a media consumption device, it has more in common with a TV than a laptop. Think of it in those terms, and you might understand the use cases better.

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Re: Not surprised...

My 8-year-old iPad 2 is still going, still more than good enough for web browsing, video streaming and older games. It still gets used quite a lot, but I see no likelihood of replacing it when it finally flakes out. The spouse will just have to give in and get a smartphone like everyone else.

Google: All right, screw it, from this Christmas, Chrome will block ALL adverts on dodgy sites

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Re: It's out of control

Meh. If a forum uses an ad server to insert its own bespoke emojis, rather than relying on Unicode, that's on them. Can't blame Google for that.

30 spies dead after Iran cracked CIA comms network with, er, Google search – new claim

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Re: Commander-In-Chief to blame

The political system in the US has been hijacked by a modern day praetorian guard who think they know how to run things better then the politicians.

I don't think there's much doubt about it - they do know how to run things better than the politicians.

The problem is that this leaves out the important question: "better for what exactly?" That's what politicians are supposed to decide, but instead they spend their time trying to micromanage, mostly in the hope of scoring points off each other.

If politicians would stick to their jobs and let the intelligencers do theirs, then the system would have a chance to work. But until then, expect this pointless power struggle to continue.

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

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Re: It wasn't that long ago

And Charles Darwin used to be on the £10. Way back, Stevenson was on the £5.

I'd say scientists (and engineers) haven't done so badly on Bank of England currency. (The Scots have their own hangups, as usual.)

50 ways to leave your lover, but four to sniff browser history

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The big question here

Why in the name of all that is noodly does any feature of CSS need a frickin' API?

The server sends the data, the browser presents it to the user. CSS makes suggestions about how it should do that, but suggestions is all they are. If the browser is sending information back about how it chose to present it - frankly it's time to tear down the whole Web and start over.

Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette

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Re: Lack of science in schools

You're asking for an awful lot of analysis from a minimum-wage mailroom drone.

From today, it's OK in the US to thwart DRM to repair your stuff – if you keep the tools a secret

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Re: DRM didn't protect anything, ever.

Good grief, you name a couple of turkeys and present that as evidence that Hollywood is dead? Would you care to name the golden age in which there were no sucky films produced?

Hollywood is doing very nicely, thank you for your concern. The complaint about everything being remakes and sequels has been made routinely for the past 20 years, and it's never been true. Just look at the programme at your nearest multiplex right now: is there really nothing new there?

Of course the quality is completely hit and miss. It always was. But off the top of my head, since the alleged death of Hollywood, I've seen: Life of Pi, Saving Mr Banks, Gravity, The World's End, Frozen, Lincoln, Wreck-it Ralph, Pacific Rim, Death of Stalin, Zootopia, Moana. All of them pretty good, of their kind. If over the same period you've seen nothing but turkeys, remakes and superhero pap - I'm afraid that's on you.

Euro eggheads call it: Facebook political ads do change voters' minds – and they worked rather well for Trump in 2016

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Re: Gosh

This isn't about "advertising your opinion". If that was what people were doing, we wouldn't be talking about it.

It's about ads carefully designed and directed to create a false impression of facts. Not opinions.

Of course you can reasonably retort that the press does that all the time, and that's a whole separate argument we can have. But first let's recognise what's happening here: the ads are not about argument or persuasion, they're not even about spin or slant - they're straight-up lying.

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

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Re: QA Prestige

More than that, because testing is only as good as the documentation that comes with it. Before you can test, you need - something like an actual spec.

That rules it out for about 30% of all companies right away.

And the spec needs to be reasonably clear, complete, accurate and up to date. That probably strikes out another 50%.

Without that documentation, QA is always getting the mushroom treatment.

Alternatively of course you could just write comprehensive user documentation. (Then tie it to the leg of a passing carrier pig.)

Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

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Re: I'm not missing the opportunity to flip this...

If Labour hadn't adopted its "members elect the leader directly" constitution...

If the Scots had voted to leave the UK... or if their referendum had never happened at all...

If the Germans had treated the Greeks a little better...

Heck, if Philip II of Spain had succeeded in invading England in 1588...

I could play "things that could have prevented the referendum" all day. But I've got things to do.

Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

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Nobody has convicted him of rape. True.

But what I don't see is anybody suggesting that he should be jailed for that without a trial. If you have seen such a suggestion, could you point to it?

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Re: Please, someone set up a GoFundMe

If you could create a self-cleaning cat litter tray, you wouldn't need GoFundMe. Venture capitalists would be falling over themselves to shovel money at you.

Google Cloud chief joins Saudi shindig exodus over journalist's worrying disappearance

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Re: Lets face facts

Ruthless, "no-nonsense" leaders have a long and distinguished history across all civilisations and religions, there's nothing distinctively Muslim about them.

Consider, e.g.: Stalin, Mao, Franco, Mugabe, and many more of their ilk.

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Re: Follow the money

Searching for "Yemen" on the BBC News site shows more than 10 stories published this week. Exactly how much coverage do you need before it stops being "non-existent"?

In Windows 10 Update land, nobody can hear you scream

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Re: What a mess.

Well, yes, of course, in the same way as Windows XP will still run. But if you're still using it past that date, you deserve what you get.

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Re: The Hunt for Bug October

Waitaminute - Microsoft Support has a phone?

Waitanotherminute - Microsoft has Support?

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Re: What a mess.

You've got less than 15 months left on that. I'd suggest looking to the replacement about now.

The Obama-era cyber détente with China was nice, wasn't it? Yeah well it's obviously over now

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Of course they're competing for resources. What else *could* happen?

And better for them to have a military that you (indirectly) support, than to have one that doesn't need you to support it.

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Re: China

China has a million people in re-education camps

The US has over 2 million. Plus twice that number on parole.

You don't see me rushing to move to the USA either.

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Re: Reall?

They hacked data for the F-15 in 2007. Source. All they took in 2016 was some manufacturing data, to supplement the much more valuable (but still non-classified, according to the DOD) design materials they already had.

Microsoft deletes deleterious file deletion bug from Windows 10 October 2018 Update

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and moving your files off the OS partition actually is a very sensible thing to do. Most unkind to sting these users

They didn't sting *those* users, those users were fine. The ones who got stung were the ones who started saving *some* of their files on another partition, but still left others in the original location. Which is *not* really "a very sensible thing to do" in my estimation.

Intel's commitment to making its stuff secure is called into question

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The articles say it all

It's "a top priority", "a critical priority". In other words, it's one of many such "priorities". How many, exactly? - might actually be an interesting question to ask, next time they lay themselves open to such interrogation.

I'm sure they're "sincere in their desire to be more secure", just like I'm sincere in my desire to be more healthy. Wanting something, no matter how "sincere", is not enough. You also need to be willing to give up something else to get it. What, specifically, is Intel willing to cut down on, to improve security?

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

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Re: Classic Reg, keeping it classy

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

If you insist on knocking people down just because they're popular, you risk lowering everyone to the same level. You miss the salient fact that some people really are a whole heap worse or better than others.

"The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones." I would rather have a world in which Trump had died and McCain and Jobs lived.

What could be more embarrassing for a Russian spy: Their info splashed online – or that they drive a Lada?

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In most countries, journalists don't have any special privileges. If they can do it, so can you.

US law, for instance, allows "journalists" to claim limited immunity for not giving up the name of a source. But the kicker is, there is no real definitive description of "journalist". If you, as a private individual, want to claim that you were acting "as a journalist" when you made that blog post, you can.

(This is a necessary consequence of the First Amendment, which makes it illegal for the government to pass a law saying "these are the criteria for being a journalist".)

In Russia... I don't know, but I imagine people who pull this kind of stunt when the Kremliin doesn't want them to, are running considerable risks that have nothing to do with the courts.

Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how

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Re: No one asked the question yet

It's more accurate to say that the US, like Russia and for that matter every other country, feels that its laws don't cover the whole planet, and therefore anything that happens outside its borders is no concern of its courts, and therefore doesn't need to be legal.

It may be against some other country's laws, but as far as the US courts are concerned, that's Someone Else's Problem.

It's more obvious with the US and Russia, because they've got the resources and the brass face to pull off these operations more often than anyone else. But every country takes that attitude.

UK pins 'reckless campaign of cyber attacks' on Russian military intelligence

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Re: Every one spies

You don't think Putin would trade the Skripals, then order them murdered in the most publicly attributable way possible, just pour encourager les autres? Somehow I can easily see him doing exactly that.

I'm sure the GRU agents will be fine, they'll just have to keep a low profile for a while. Maybe they've been shuffled to desk jobs, or maybe they're even now recovering from plastic surgery. You don't pack trained assassins off to Siberia just for getting made one time, they're too valuable a resource.

New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

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Re: Australia has more draconian laws

And as has been observed, the US doesn't give a toss about "reasonable cause". In fact, nothing in their so-wonderful Constitution applies to non-citizens entering their borders.

This is widely believed, but it's not true. The constitution and its protections apply to anyone within US jurisdiction, regardless of citizenship.

American citizens like to forget this, because it makes them feel special. Politicians like to forget it, because it makes their voters feel special, and simultaneously allows them to pass laws breaching those protections and pretending that they're only for foreigners, when in fact - once the law is passed - it by definition applies to everyone.

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Re: Have fun!

In a way it's funny that the "trade craft" of visiting our major Nato ally is now something like visiting East Berlin in the early 80s

New Zealand is not anybody's "major Nato ally". Perhaps you are getting it mixed up with some other country. At least NZ doesn't subject you to mugshots and fingerprinting (fingerprinting! Seriously, why?) on entry, like some "major Nato allies" I could name.

If you think that the officials are going to be passing around your family photos for their titillation and amusement, then... I suggest you lobby for them to get a pay rise so that they can afford broadband. Believe me, there's better material already online.

More to the point, what do you expect you'll find on it when you get it back?

If you honestly believe that the authorities would do that just to get at you personally, then sorry to break it to you, but you've already lost. Not just the battle, you've lost the whole war, and your country is officially a shithole now. Or maybe you're just paranoid.

In a previous role I had accounts on my phone which allowed access to security and audit documentation for a sensitive UK Government IT system. I personally wouldn't have cared who saw it except that I'd signed some paperwork that would let me be jailed if I made them available.

Then you'll be pleased to note that the phone is examined in flight mode. What you have "access" to is literally neither here nor there. Unless you're rash enough to store local copies on the phone itself.

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Re: Have fun!

That sounds like a very expensive way to make a point. Why don't you just stay away?

I'm happy to unlock my phone for any reasonable authority who asks politely. It's a phone. What do you expect they'll find? By this time they've already got my name, address, biography and family details.

Seriously, I've never seen so much fuss made about a provision that - by current international standards - is still incredibly mild (by which I mean, you're subject to way more intrusive searches if you fly into, say, the USA or Australia, where they will simply seize your device - indefinitely - if you refuse to unlock it on demand). What the hey do some of you people keep on your phones, anyway?

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Re: Mission Creep

If you're transiting through a US airport, then you're considered to be entering the country and are subject to all the checks that come with that process, including customs and immigration. I bitterly remember standing in line at LAX after a 12 hour flight, to explain to a frankly incredulous immigration officer that I didn't have an address in the US because I was never planning to enter the blasted place.

If you're transiting through NZ - from one international flight straight on to another - currently you are not required to go through NZ customs. There's been no announcement of any plan to change that.

Civil rights group Liberty walks out on British cops' database consultation

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I can see "migrating the unfiltered data, then purging excess data from the new DB" as a sensible strategy. But that purge would have to be immediate - something that happens, done and dusted, before the first daily full backup gets taken.

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Re: And there my fellow commentards is THE brexit dividend

It's not the dividend, it's the whole point of Brexit for the politicians

It's not "the politicians" who wanted Brexit in the first place.

Something like 80% of them campaigned against it, and something like 75% would still like to stop it, if only they could figure out a way to pin the blame on everyone but themselves.

Microsoft gets ready to kill Skype Classic once again: 'This time we mean it'

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I use Skype every week to talk to an elderly and technophobic relative, on the far side of the planet.

What version is he using? Heck if I know, and I'm damn sure he wouldn't even understand the question. But if it suddenly stops working, I wouldn't give much for his chances of learning to use anything else. It's taken him several years to learn how to receive calls on Skype, and even now he's far from confident with it.

Dear Microsoft: is it really asking too much for you to just STOP FUCKING AROUND WITH THINGS THAT ALREADY WORK?

Android Phones are 10: For once, Google won fair and square

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Re: Define "win"

What are you talking about? Several Android phone manufacturers are doing very nicely for themselves. Huawei, Oppo, Vivo all make a very nice living for themselves. Source. Huawei made over $7 billion profit last year.

I should lose such money.

Holy smokes! US watchdog sues Elon Musk after he makes hash of $420 Tesla tweet

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Re: Conclusions?

How are any of those stories remotely relevant to this one, Anon?

WWII Bombe operator Ruth Bourne: I'd never heard of Enigma until long after the war

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Re: All hail Ms. Bourne

"Heroes" are, simply, people you look up to. It's an inherently subjective thing, there is no agreed canon.

No doubt Ms Bourne is a hero to some. But if anyone, anyone at all, actually claims to be "a hero", I think they're full of... effluent.

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British wartime intelligence went to great lengths to keep the secret. The high command even (as mentioned above, and downvoted for some reason) sometimes refused to act on Ultra intel, because they felt it could blow the gaffe.

There were some close calls, and the Germans must have had suspicions from time to time, but never to the point of acting on them, at least not concertedly and effectively.

Heck, if they'd just stopped saying "Heil Hitler" in every other message, that alone would have made the job significantly harder.

Have I been pwned, Firefox? OK, let's ask its Have I Been Pwned tool

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You use an email address for banking? Why?

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Re: zoology

Looks exactly like a red panda to me. For comparison.

And I don't get the joke, either.

MI5: Gosh, awkward. We looked down the sofa and, yeah, we *do* have intel on privacy bods

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The big surprise here

... is that they admitted to it.

Why? Anyone?

Some credential-stuffing botnets don't care about being noticed any more

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Re: Maybe sites need two factor authentication

Ah, you're lucky you got to talk to a human...

Last time I tried to call a system like that, it wouldn't give me that option, not even by the time-honoured "wait two hours for the call centre drone to wake up" route. The only way to talk to a human was to request a call back. Since the phone I was using wouldn't accept the incoming call, that left me pretty well stuck.

The curious sudden rise of free US election 'net security guardians

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Poor ol' Zuck...

Facebook clearly can't come up with any plausible way of fighting "fake news", and so it's focusing on what it can do. There's no suggestion, as far as I know, that hacking Facebook accounts is a major issue, but at least we know how to make it more difficult, so let's do that anyway.

In a race to 5G, Trump has stuck a ball-and-chain on America's leg

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Re: Experts

Yep. The only thing worse is the "experts" who think that non-ionizing radiation is, axiomatically, "safe", regardless of dosage.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

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Re: Equality in advertising

To me the solution is so simple, I wonder what is the obvious thing I'm missing:

Let advertisers aim their ads at whoever they like. But also make all ads available to anyone who requests them, filtered only by such terms as the viewer specifies.

Then any woman using Facebook would easily be able to get a list of ads for job type XY, even if the advertisers themselves ticked "men only".

Holy macaroni! After months of number-crunching, behold the strongest material in the universe: Nuclear pasta

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Re: Pastafarian

Science doesn't acknowledge "forbidden". There is only "possible" and "impossible", and the line between those categories moves from time to time.

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