* Posts by veti

2633 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Nul points: PM May's post-Brexit EU immigration options

veti Silver badge

Re: How we leave should be ...

Back in the 80s, I used to hear a lot of "most Tories are old, just wait for them to die off and we'll have perpetual socialist government".

That reasoning doesn't work.

Very likely some "Leave" voters would now switch their votes if they could. But for all we know, there are just as many if not more "Remain" voters who would also switch. We don't really know, short of having another referendum - and even that wouldn't really answer the question, because if you signal the electorate that you're willing to keep on voting until you get the Right Answer, the voters will quickly change their behaviour to send another message right back...

Yes, the Leave campaign was full of shit. But so were the Remainers. Neither one would have lasted ten minutes in a decently-run high school debate club, let alone in Parliament; the only reason they could get away with a tenth of the bollocks they parroted was because the 24 hour media is constitutionally incapable of checking them.

This is a design flaw in modern media. It's a big flaw. And it's going to be the death of democracy if we can't do something about it.

Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

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Re: I don't get it.

@ AIBailey:

"Tax avoidance of the highest order" is precisely what Apple's accountants and tax lawyers are paid to do, they wouldn't see anything troubling about that.

The question is whether they knew the Irish government was doing something that put it in violation of its own commitments. I think there's reasonable doubt about that, and I'll be astonished if it can be proven against them.

veti Silver badge

Re: I don't get it.

@Bob Dole (tm): First, as has been explained, the EU isn't saying Apple has done anything wrong. They're saying Ireland has done something wrong.

It is possible that Apple, being a resourceful company with no shortage of lawyers, knew that Ireland was exceeding its authority in the deal it struck. But that's conjectural, and unless it can be proven, Apple won't be punished. Merely required to pay the back taxes it owes, with no penalty or even interest charges.

"EU member states continuing to lose sovereignty" is one of those... slurs, I suppose is the best word, that relies on not thinking too carefully about what "sovereignty" is. It's the kind of thing Putin's people have been saying a lot recently, in their remorseless efforts to undermine the EU (which worked a treat with Brexit). But "being told off for breaking the rules you've agreed to abide by" is not a loss of sovereignty.

The fact is that - thanks to Brexit - we're just about to discover whether or not EU member states still have meaningful "sovereignty". If Britain is allowed to leave with a minimum of fuss and without punitive retaliation, then sovereignty is as good as it ever was, for whatever that's worth. If not - then the EU has overstepped its legitimacy, and the Brexiters were right all along. I'll be agog to see which it is.

veti Silver badge

Re: Just Heating Up My Popcorn ...

Presumably because Apple is loudly resisting the FBI's efforts to backdoor their kit.

(Ooh err missus)

veti Silver badge

Would you take a job where the description of your duties said "do the right thing"?

Can you imagine how the reviews would go?

Europe to order Apple to cough up 'one beeellion Euros in back taxes'

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Re: Hehe

The referendum is over. Move on.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by the Committee to Get Over It Already.

An ethical Google won't break the internet, leaked EU report finds

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Re: If we're going to create a new "ethical" copyright law...

The words we need to bake into the copyright law are "These, enumerated, acts are the ones you're allowed to restrict. Everything else is none of your goddamn business, and any attempt by you to limit it in any way whatsoever, whether legally or technically, will result in your work losing whatever legal protection it might otherwise be entitled to claim".

So for instance, you can sell a copy of a work, and you can prevent making or reselling unlicensed copies of that work. But if you try to, e.g., prevent the owner from playing it when he buys a new computer, or prevent him from playing it on a particular type of device, or because the playing device was purchased in a different country from the medium - bzzt, you're out, your work can now be hacked freely and serve you right if it ends up on a torrent.

Because copyright law doesn't give you the right to limit any of those things.

IoT manufacturer caught fixing security holes

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Re: Reflexive luddism

"Did I remember to lock the door this morning? Let me check."

"Little Johnny gets out of school at 3:15 every day, home at 4, an hour and a half ahead of either of us. Instead of giving him his own key (which he'll undoubtedly lose, sooner or later), how about he texts us when he's home and we open for him then? You can even check the camera if you're nervous."

"Hi, it's Jenny, I'm on my way back from Brazil and I need a place to crash in $HOMETOWN. Is it OK if I use your spare room? I'll be arriving about lunchtime, leaving the next morning."

Yep, I can certainly imagine wanting to control my locks remotely.

veti Silver badge

Reflexive luddism

Mutter "smart" grumble locks groan real keys mumble solved problem simmer hiss get off my lawn.

But seriously: for once, I can actually see a plausible use case for these things, and I quite look forward to the year 2050 when they might actually be fit for purpose.

Corbyn lied, Virgin Trains lied, Harambe died

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So is that belief based on - anything, or is it just something you feel very strongly, like appendicitis?

Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?

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Re: Parliamentary negligence

Yes, but remember the regiments of fearmongers threatening what horrible things would befall if the vote was to leave?

Yes, the Brexiters were full of shit. But so were the Remainers. I don't see anyone really acknowledging that.

There is no recession.

There is no World War Three.

There is no brigade of vindictive EU governments out to screw us every way they can.

Happy Anniversary: What’s new, what’s missing in Microsoft’s giant mobile update

veti Silver badge

Re: Skype on Winphone 8.1

My phone runs 8.1, and 10 hasn't even been released for it. I guess because it really doesn't have a lower hardware requirement than 8.1, despite MS's policy over the last few Windows releases.

When this handset croaks, I'll do what I always do: look around for a replacement and buy whatever looks good at that time. I don't do OS loyalty.

Russia is planning to use airships as part of a $240bn transport project

veti Silver badge

Re: ...helium currently comes from natural gas..."

Hydrogen is better than helium for balloons in just about every way. It's lighter, providing more lift; the molecules are larger, meaning they will take much longer to leak out of the balloon; it's way, way cheaper and easier to produce; and unlike helium, the supply is a renewable resource. As for the fire thing - it was the fabric of the Hindenberg that burned, the hydrogen was incidental at best.

The only reasons not to use it are (1) it's a bit dangerous to store (much like any other explosive fluid), and (2) there's more profit in selling helium.

What bothers me about airships for long-distance transport is the speed. If the ship manages an airspeed of 60 knots, then a gale force or stronger headwind means your ground speed will be zero or negative. I've found it hard to find decent data on the subject, but from what I have found it looks like in the upper troposphere, wind speeds are at least that fast fully 25% of the time. That's a lot of downtime.

Julian AssangeTM to meet investigators in London

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Re: Ugh...

Ten years from now you'll be able to watch your pick of documentaries, and come out with whichever preconceived story the producers wanted you to.

If you really want to know "what the heck went on", you'll have to pay much, much closer attention than that. I'm not sure it's even possible at this point, short of applying to work at the Ecuadorian Embassy: there are so many shills and trolls on both sides who both have plenty of mud to throw up, to defame Assange on one side or muddy the issue on the other.

Neither side is making even the most cursory attempt to pretend to be fair or honest, and I don't see that changing in my lifetime.

veti Silver badge

Odd. In every police procedural I've ever seen, the cops are forever bimbling all over the place, talking to suspects wherever they happen to be at the time.

Breaking 350 million: What's next for Windows 10?

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Re: Windows 10 did especially well

Windows 8.1 is Windows 9. Joke's on you if you missed it, it was the last "good" Windows release.

Really. If the 'Metro' thing annoys you too much, install Classic Start Menu. Then you'll have the speed and security of Windows 10, the control and customisability of Windows 7, and extended support to January 2023.

veti Silver badge

Re: What's next for Windows 10?

If your business model relies on you being able to sell a fully operational PC for $300...

... how is that Microsoft's problem?

You want to serve the market segment of People With No Money? Good on you, best of luck with that, let us know how it goes. We'll be over here selling PCs for $1000, and we anticipate no shortage of customers at that price point.

Defuse census outrage with independent oversight of data-handling

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Re: Optional

As I understand it (and I admit, I had the same misgiving when I saw the article's terminology), it's not suggesting that the 'data broker' actually hold any data itself. All it has to do is provide a secure 'cloud' platform for other people to hold data, and give them the tools to manage access to it and the rules for using them. There's no reason why the broker itself would ever need to access that data - indeed, it'd be better if they have no way to decrypt it at all.

"Connecting census data with other records is unnecessary" ... yee-eess, unless you want to, y'know, USE the census data for something. Like projecting future road use, capacity for public services such as schools, parks, libraries, demographic projections - you know, the things that are the whole purpose of having a census in the first place.

You are, of course, quite right that there's no earthly reason why personally identifiable information should be stored with census data. Last time I filled in a census form I don't think it even asked for names, although I don't know what the Australian census collects.

How many zero-day vulns is Uncle Sam sitting on? Not as many as you think, apparently

veti Silver badge

Re: Failure to responsibly disclose is one definition...

Nobody, and I mean that literally in the sense of "not one sentient human being in the entire history of ever", has ever tried to claim with a straight face that government agencies don't do anything shady.

Australian spooks' email guide banishes MS Word macros, JavaScript

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"Converting attachments to another file type" - and how exactly do you do that without opening the frigging attachment first? If they just said "delete all Office documents unopened" that would at least be coherent, even if it's not very practical.

Honestly, the best protection against macro viruses now is to be running an up to date version of Word. It won't run macros unless you, the user, explicitly enable them.

F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

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Re: Wait until you see the next generation fighter...

You're missing the point. If you make it "cheaper", then you get less money. By definition.

Whose interest is that in? Certainly not yours. Nor yet the armed services procurement people, because their boilerplate funding proposal says "Whatever It Takes" - and the more they spend, the more important they are. Only the poor old taxpayer would gain, and they are so distracted by every other issue you can imagine that the chances of their vote being swayed by this issue are infinitesimal.

Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

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Re: @Ivan4 - Wow.

I'm not familiar with GNUCash, but if it's anything like ProjectLibre I can only be thankful for that.

Like OpenOffice and LibreOffice: it's only a substitute if your use-case involves the word "workaround" a lot.

veti Silver badge

Re: Come on you MS Fans

Steam on Linux might one day take away the last excuse for home use. But it is not this day.

The list looks impressive, right up to the moment you try to search for a specific game you actually want to play.

Airbus doesn't just make aircraft – now it designs drone killers

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Re: Citation?

Espionage is "legal" in so far as it's not against the law of the country committing it.

The law of the country it's being committed against, however, is another matter entirely.

The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

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@ Kumar2012

Immigration and Nationality Act 101(a)(42): err, that defines what a "refugee" is. The only 'religious test' established there is, it says it is possible to be a refugee if you are fleeing persecution on religious grounds.

I'm not clear what you're trying to establish with that reference.

Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

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Re: Tu use Hillary's own words...

"What difference does it make?" - well, if you're OK with Putin - who is at this point basically Lex Luthor - trying to influence the US presidential elections, then not much, I guess.

Me, if I were American I wouldn't care for that one bit.

Tinder porn scam: Swipe right for NOOOOOO I paid for what?

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Nunno, clearly what we need is a government-issued identity card. Isn't that just what the Home Office has been telling us since Michael Howard's day?

She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

veti Silver badge

Re: @CrazyOldCatMan (Been there, done that...)

Since Scott Adams quite openly begs for his readers to send anecdotes from their office to serve as fodder for his strips - it's not entirely surprising that he seems to have spies everywhere.

That's because he does, in fact, have spies everywhere. In direct proportion to the level of his own readership among the employee base.

Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung

veti Silver badge

Re: Nahh, the old Star Trek was for nerds...

Movie makers have been hijacking pre-existing franchises and dumbing them down for as long as movies have been a thing. Early example.

Moral: don't expect anything else of movies. Certainly not of any movie that has the word "franchise" attached, however tangentially. Artists are creative, they don't want to spend their time splashing about in someone else's imagination. Everyone associated with the Star Trek franchise since Gene Roddenberry died has been a bought-and-paid-for hack, nothing more.

EFF declares anti-piracy DMCA unconstitutional in new legal showdown

veti Silver badge

I am so, so glad that someone coherent has finally stood up and said exactly what is wrong with DRM in general, and the DMCA in particular.

I made this point to the NZ parliament, almost ten years ago now, and it got translated into a clause that specifically excludes legal protection for measures that overstep their bounds:

for the avoidance of doubt, does not include a process, treatment, mechanism, device, or system to the extent that, in the normal course of operation, it only controls any access to a work for non-infringing purposes (for example, it does not include a process, treatment, mechanism, device, or system to the extent that it controls geographic market segmentation by preventing the playback in New Zealand of a non-infringing copy of a work)

... which is a legal formulation I'd like to commend to our American cousins.

GOP delegates suckered into connecting to insecure Wi-Fi hotspots

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Shurely shome mishtake

More people shopped on Amazon than played Pokemon Go?

Stack Overflow takes on technical documentation

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Re: Excellent news

Well, yes... except that it presumably means Microsoft will now abandon all attempt to provide their own documentation, in the same way as they've already handed "support" over to online communities (including Stack Overflow, for developer tools).

It's just a cost-cutting exercise for them.

Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

veti Silver badge

Re: QR Codes are still around....

And there's the problem, right there. QR codes in the west have only ever really been used for advertising. We've become accustomed to seeing it as an invitation to "scan this if you want to see more ads".

Not very surprisingly, not a lot of people take up that invitation.

We've always seen it as a machine-optically-readable version of a URL. But it really doesn't have to be. It can convey (exchange) all sorts of information that's got nothing to do with web browsing, and it sounds as if the Chinese have realised this. Good on them.

Fear not, humanity – Saint Elon has finished part two of his world-saving 'master plan'

veti Silver badge

Re: Well, here's your problem

I so want a 'semi-autonomous' car that screams 'DO SOMETHING' at me now.

Preferably in the voice of Plankton's "wife", Karen, from Spongebob.

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

veti Silver badge

Re: Bet they assumed Windows Phone contributing a few hundred million

I don't know how many times I'm gonna have to repeat this...

Windows on a phone is a really nice system. I, and many other users (as of last year, it had a double-digit market share in my country) greatly prefer it to either iOS or Android.

What Microsoft did that I don't understand was, stop making Nokias. The Nokia brand was by far its best ticket into the phone market. Whey they stopped shipping those, their sales went from "very low" to "virtually nonexistent". And how that can have come as a surprise to anyone, has me fair betwattled.

Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

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Re: Can I just check I have this right..

Well, ideally, you'd be including a UK organisation because that organisation had the best people and experience for the work you want to do.

If it doesn't, then why include it? If the answer is "just to qualify for EU funding", then that would explain a lot about the generally glacial pace of EU R&D over the past 30 years.

On the other hand - if it does have that expertise, then you'd be an idiot to exclude it just because the political status of the UK is likely to change.

This is a positive thing, folks. It's one less factor distorting the award of money based on arbitrary political rules instead of - well, any real reason.

veti Silver badge

Re: It's the law, isn't it

This is precisely the kind of thing that needs to be negotiated. You know, in the negotiations.

My suggestion would be, Britain continues paying its bit - maybe overpaying, slightly - for programs that include UK researchers and are already underway at the time of Brexit. When those programs eventually wind down, the payments stop and the government of whatever's-left-of Britain at that time can start running its own R&D subsidies.

Windows Phone users beg Pokémon Go creators for attention

veti Silver badge

Re: no chance on win mobile

Pokemon Go requires geolocation enabled. If you've ever used your Nokia for navigation, you'll know what that means for the whole "days instead of hours" battery life thing.

veti Silver badge

Re: There are dozens of us, DOZENS!!!

I'm just saying No to Android and iOS. There, that's my individuality asserted.

Theresa or Teresa May? Twitter confuses nude model and new PM

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Re: It's not just Twitter

Yep, Google's "helpful" parsing of search results jumped the shark long ago. I think it's actually impossible to perform many searches now, as Google simply won't believe you want them.

veti Silver badge

Re: Just twitter?

Too right. Is it too late to nominate Teresa for the job?

Win 10 Anniversary: 'We're beginning to check in final code' says Microsoft

veti Silver badge

Re: There is absolutely no way

In other words, Windows 7, but with Windows 10 inner performance improvements, but no spyware, no failed UI experiments....

It's called Windows 8.1.

No, really. Check it out. It's got the stability, performance and security improvements of W10, but you can turn off the spyware and control your own update cycle. And for all the hate directed at Metro, you can live with it for the few occasions when it actually appears. Well, I can.

Gartner: Brexit cluster-fsck has ballsed up our spending forecast

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Brexit must be a gift to forecasters

For the next year, they've got a simple go-to excuse for why nothing has worked out the way they said it would.

It's an ill wind.

Australian Information Industries Association*: you're not the future of democracy, so please shut up

veti Silver badge

Re: Picking and choosing

The price per vote will tumble if, and only if, the system as delivered is perfect and never needs to change.

If, on the other hand, it works like every other major IT project in the history of ever, the price will just go on accumulating for as long as the system is in use.

veti Silver badge

Re: definition of "better".

It's obvious. "Better" means, "would funnel more money into the pockets of those who pay the report authors' salaries". Viz, the tech industry.

I suppose there's no way to criminalise the release of self-serving bullshit "studies", but can we at least ridicule them a bit more?

UK.gov wants to fine websites £250,000 if teens watch porn vids

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Re: You're missing the point

@chris121254: perhaps you missed all the spadework that's already been put in to Step 2.

It's been a pornographer's wet dream for over a decade, and thanks to the gullibility, or is it corruptibility, of UK lawmakers, the UK is blazing the trail.

veti Silver badge

You're missing the point

This legislation is being pushed as hard as possible (ooo err) by what is called, without as far as I can tell a trace of irony, the "adult entertainment industry".

Step 1: Outlaw providing porn to minors. A lot of people support this, mostly because they haven't thought through what it means.

Step 2: Implement the Great Firewall of Bri^H^H^HEngland&Wales, although to be honest Scotland and NI are if anything even more prudish in this regard so they'll probably be on board too.

Step 3: Block all pr0n sites that don't require proper age verification, which means a credit card number.

Step 4: Bingo! No more free pr0n in the UK! from now on, You Will Pay for your grumbles. As an added bonus, all the transactions will be identifiable and traceable. Won't that be nice?

Post Brexit EU will spend 'stability and peace' budget funding Chinese war drones

veti Silver badge

Yes, and?

This is how Britain preserved the peace of the world, mostly successfully, for a century before the Americans took over. And the Americans did precisely the same.

Look, if you want peace, somebody has to enforce it. If the central government has no teeth - well, if you're very, very lucky and privileged in your geography, history and politics, you get Costa Rica, but more likely you get Somalia or Afghanistan.

One way of "keeping peace" is to put your own soldiers in there. But that's - unfashionable, now. Also, not at all by coincidence, hideously dangerous and ruinously expensive. Or you can try to trick, cajole, shame or bribe another country into doing it for you, but that has most of the same drawbacks plus the fact that you have no direct control over what they do, because their goals are different from yours.

The only other way - note, only other way - is to pick a local team who will do the job for you, and support them. This is far cheaper, more acceptable to voters just about everywhere, and much more sustainable. But of course it means you have to let the local team set their own agenda, like the mujahedin in Afghanistan.

The only time it seriously backfires is when you badly misjudge the local team and find yourself supporting someone really nasty. And we've all done that, the French and Germans as well as the British and Americans.

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

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Re: Bollocks

So who decides if the notice is "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements"?

Basically, the Germans, although everyone else in Europe can put a fair bit of pressure on them (and by the looks of things so far, that pressure will mostly be in favour of Brexit). A British court may provide a figleaf to either side, but it's up to the Europeans whether they want to respect that figleaf. Ripping it off and throwing it in the gutter is a perfectly viable option for them.

Data protection, Brexit and campaigners: Privacy policy? Eh?

veti Silver badge

Note to author

If you're going to write in the first person, signing your name would be a nice touch. "Amberhawk Training" doesn't sound like anyone I'm likely to meet in a pub.

Also, the painting of "NationBuilder" as a data controller is unconvincing. Seriously, does there exist, anywhere in the world, a company that won't "disclose customer data... if required to do so by law or subpoena”? Without a lot more detail on specifically what "customer data" may be disclosed, this is not nearly enough information to call them a "data controller".

Maybe they'll just disclose the billing contact name and address of the Leave campaign (after all, that's their customer, right?)

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