* Posts by veti

2633 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Did someone forget to tell NTT about Brexit? Japanese telco eyes London for global HQ

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Re: We are considered pretty trustworthy globally ...

That's not stealing, that's (at worst) freezing assets - which is standard operating procedure when it's unclear who should be entitled to them.

Since Maduro is not recognised by the UK (and other EU governments) as the legitimate ruler of Venezuela, of course he shouldn't be allowed to pull that country's gold. When Venezuela gets its government sorted out, then that government will have access to the money again.

Article 13 reasons why... we agree with EU, nods Britain at Council of Ministers

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Re: So more cheap entertainment being killed

People uploading their own shit on YouTube are welcome to keep doing it. But you know very well that a lot of the most-viewed videos are nothing but cheap rips of broadcast material.

The greatest con trick that publishers pulled off in the past half-century was painting copyright as something between creators and consumers. In reality, copyright was always meant to manage the relationship between creators and publishers. In the internet age the whole class of "publishers" have pretty much written themselves out of the legal picture, and it's high time they were put back there.

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Re: 'making Google's vid-hosting platform liable for infringements on copyrighted material would'

Monty Python's Flying Circus aired from 1969 to 1974. Under UK law it will start emerging from protection on 1 January 2020. Of course there is some older Python material, but not much - Flying Circus is generally regarded as their golden age.

Either Facebook is building yet another massive bit barn in Iowa, and doesn't want you to know about it....

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Re: every data centre job, there were five jobs supported elsewhere in the economy

Pizza - OK, granted, there may be a slight boost to that sector. Probably not enough to support a whole new restaurant, but maybe improve the menus of one or two already there.

Coffee - they'll surely have their own coffee machines in the building, so limited gain there.

Taxis - I think you'll find Uber is more their speed.

There will be a few jobs, but not enough to buck up the whole town - probably not enough to replace the housing the new workers will fill up. Now, if more digital companies started to come to town in order to be close to Facebook, that would be another story.

Facebook is not going to Like this: Brit watchdog proposes crackdown on hoovering up kids' info

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Facebook's response makes a good point

Why shouldn't these measures apply to everyone?

A quick cup of coffee leaves production manager in fits and a cleaner in tears

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Re: Builders...

What would be nice would be some kind of indicator, on every socket, of its rated load. Colour coded, maybe.

Just musing.

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Re: Never Turn up Early!?

The advantage of being early is that you can see the shitstorm brewing, and with any luck you can take yourself out for a while shortly before it breaks. That way you miss out on the headless-chicken phase, and can still earn brownie points by contributing to the cleanup.

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Re: So...

Yeah. They could surely have afforded a UPS.

Honestly, what was their plan for coping with a power outage? It can't have been any worse than that.

Astronomer slams sexists trying to tear down black hole researcher's rep

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Right. I'm frankly surprised, as well as disappointed, that neanderthals are still considered an OK target for racism.

Most of us have neanderthals among our ancestry. They were human, and there's no - as in, zero - reason to believe that they were any nastier, personality-wise, than Cro-Magnon or any other contemporaneous humans. All we know is that they were individually bigger and lived in smaller groups.

London's Metropolitan Police arrest Julian Assange

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Re: final straw?

If Assange suborned or conspired with Manning to get the leaks, then he's in trouble, yes. If not, then the US will never get him, because they'd have to show some such evidence to a UK court in order to extradite him.

(Discounting of course the possibility that the allegations relate to some other episode, such as the DNC hack.)

As for the timing - can you think of a time when it wouldn't have been "very suspicious"?

Lazarus Group rises again from the digital grave with Hoplight malware for all

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Re: Disinformation

I wish people would read stories before linking to them.

You are aware that the story you link to strongly suggests that it was the North Koreans who hacked Sony?

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Anyone remember when...

... the USA faced off against threats from the Soviet Union? Now it's worried about containing North Korea.

To put that in perspective: North Korea has a GDP of $12.4 billion. That's slightly smaller than Bristol (England), or in US terms it's less than the city budget of Washington, DC. That's right: Kim Jong-Un, even if he personally dictates how every one of his people spends every hour of their lives, still commands less resources than the mayor of Washington.

#MAGA indeed.

Uncle Sam wants to tackle bias in algorithms by ordering tech corps to explain how their machines really work

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If the algorithm isn't following any kind of logic, then why should we imagine its decisions will provide any benefit?

If it is following some kind of logic, then it's not unreasonable to require that the owner of the algorithm should be able, on demand, to explain its process. The decision tree may be unfeasibly complicated to put into a generalised if... then structure, but it should still be possible to map the path to any particular conclusion.

If it doesn't allow for that level of accountability, then it's not fit for use.

Make America Infringe Again: Trump campaign video pulled over Batman copyright

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That's right, it's nothing to do with Trump wanting to prove that the media and establishment are still conspiring against him.

As for Hillary - well, if we're going to judge people by "whose coattails they used to gain power", I'd rather vote for a woman who stayed with her philandering husband than a man who accepted the support of David Duke.

King's College London internal memo cops to account 'compromise' as uni resets passwords

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Re: Multi factor authentication

Sounds reasonable. Email passed its best-before date shortly after Gmail was launched, it's virtually unusable now for work purposes.

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Re: The mind boggles

Meaning that you can infallibly break into any account by looking underneath the owner's keyboard...

Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly

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Re: Grass?

Grass doesn't sequester any noticeable amount of carbon either.

The playing fields around here have mostly been replaced with astroturf. Now (1) they're sodden most of the time, and (2) they stink. I haven't tried falling over on one.

You were warned and you didn't do enough: UK preps Big Internet content laws

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Re: what is


"What is deemed harmful?" - the story talks about this issue, and how to resolve it, at some length. You just assume it's unanswerable. Throw in a brief non-sequitur about some unrelated nonsense from the 1980s, "Think of the children" catchphrase, invoke the slippery slope (without bothering to demonstrate that it is either slippery, or a slope), and finish with a dig at your own MP.

Lazy, knee-jerk post that shows scant evidence of having read beyond the headline. E.

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Re: Here we go...

You've not heard of geoblocking, then?

Happens all the time. You can quibble about how it can be circumvented, but that's not really the point: we all know the circumvention only works on suffrance, because it's not worth the providers' trouble to stop it, not because it can't be stopped. Just ask Hulu.

All's fair in love and war when tech treats you like an infant

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Re: Am I perhaps too old to use a payment robot?

I used to find that even though I was clearly old enough, and the assistant also old enough, they'd still have to call a supervisor. To this day I don't know why.

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Re: Why has it been made so difficult?

If you help the supermarkets to reduce their costs, they will reduce prices. It's a ferocious market, particularly in the UK.

And if you were really worried about the tellers' jobs, you wouldn't be in the supermarket at all.

Ex-Mozilla CTO: US border cops demanded I unlock my phone, laptop at SF airport – and I'm an American citizen

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Re: didn't Trump boast "we have the guns" or something like that?

If you start shooting at border officials, I'm pretty sure that will void your life insurance policy. The treatment you'll get from Homeland Security, the FBI and quite possibly even the US military at that stage would make the TSA seem like a happy memory. You would, literally, be lucky to survive it, and if you did, you'd be looking at 20+ years for terrorism.

The US government "started" becoming tyrannical a long time ago. The word was frequently used about Bush, about Obama (by different people), and it's been used upthread in this very discussion about Trump. (I imagine it was also used about Clinton, Bush Sr, Reagan, Carter et al in their day, but I didn't get to read so many comments by disgruntled Americans in those days.) And yet this uprising you predict has yet to happen.

As for "God Given RIGHT AND DUTY" - good luck arguing that. For every Christian who agrees with you, there'll be at least two who don't, and even those who do will all want to draw their own lines for "tyranny" in a different place from yours. And atheists - and by extension, anyone who respects the US constitution - will, of course, have no truck with "God Given" anythings.

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Fake news

That is - not even slightly close to an accurate paraphrase of what your link says. The exemption is limited to the 4th amendment (meaning the whole of the rest of the constitution is not affected), and to "routine searches". And that's at the border. The '100 mile' limit only covers a significantly weaker dilution of the same right.

Note the wording of the 4th amendment, which prohibits only "unreasonable searches and seizures". Obviously it was always going to be up to the courts to determine what was and wasn't "reasonable", and the courts have taken the view that at a border crossing, some more intrusive than normal measures are "reasonable".

Which seems pretty logical to me, and probably not that far from what the founders intended.

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Not true. I remember transiting through US airports without having to go through customs and immigration.

The change happened, surprisingly enough, shortly after 9/11. A few months later I had the misfortune to transit through LAX, and was frankly incredulous at the new rules. Some airport staff acknowledged that they didn't know why it had changed, but it had and I now had to spend my 3 hours on US soil standing in lines and explaining to jaded and undertrained officials why I didn't have an address there.

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Immigration and customs are distinct things. Two whole separate teams of people with the power to make your life difficult, if only for a time.

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Re: Don't travel to the US.

The thing is though, they knew who he was. They knew who he'd worked for and about his political opinions. You can't write this off as "shit happens" - it was targeted. Someone in a position of responsibility said "Pick on this guy".

BOFH: Tick tick BOOM. It's B-day! No we're not eating Brussels flouts...

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Re: Musak

I spent long, long years of my life working for a company that insisted on playing music in the office.

I tried many, many approaches to shut it up. At one point I replaced the entire music library with differently-labelled versions of Never Gonna Give You Up, so it no longer mattered what anyone chose from the playlist, they got rickrolled anyway.

Unfortunately they had backups. Eventually I gave up and left, and to the best of my knowledge they're playing their crap still.

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Re: Musak

You want to listen to music while you're working?

Get some headphones. There is zero excuse to involve anyone else in your fetish.

In the West, we're worried about shooting down drones. In Russia, drones shoot you

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Re: one Quaffle, the two Bludgers, and the Golden Shotgun

Bah. The RotW gets on with building things like the F-35, walls along borders, teams of agents devoted to trolling other countries' elections, and failing to murder erstwhile defectors living peacefully in Salisbury.

I'll take "fantasising about wizards" any time, thanks, in comparison to what else they could be up to. At least it's cheap.

Easy-to-hack combat systems, years-old flaws and a massive bill – yup, that's America's F-35

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Re: Easy to hack ...................

The sad truth that everyone with so much invested here is trying hard not to recognise is, the entire genre of things called "fighter jets" is rapidly obsolescing.

As the Gatwick episode showed so poignantly, drones are the new rulers of the sky - and fighters are basically powerless against them. What price "air supremacy", if you can't stop the major threat that comes that way?

What bugs me the most? World+dog just accepts crap software resilience

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The costs don't fall in the same places, though. It's a mistake to think of it as about money. The ultimate limited resource is "time".

If the user has to spend an additional 20 seconds every transaction re-clicking on the "send" button until it works, that's a cost to the user, not the owner of the software. The owner's cost is limited to (1) making sure the user knows enough to do this, and (2) handling the (probably not measurable) attrition among users who get too fed up to keep doing it.

Software changes follow a depressingly predictable lifecycle. Someone requests a new feature, it gets specced and costed, and a few months later it gets delivered and tested and the testers, invariably, discover it's a humungous pile of bat guano. They list the defects, demand that they get changed, and a month later the new version arrives in which defects A-E have been fixed, F-J haven't, and K and L have been introduced. This process can go on as long as everyone's patience holds out, but sooner or later something will give - the customer will say "close enough", or the supplier will say "that wasn't in the spec", and everyone concerned is so sick of the sight of it that they deploy it just so that it will become Somebody Else's Problem.

Is it a good system? Heck no, but it's what we've got. Software engineering practices assume that a spec "should" be perfect and any falling-short of this ideal is a failure by one side or the other, but Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem means that the "perfect" spec is a logical impossibility, even before throwing in other confounding factors such as the Law of Leaky Abstractions.

Aussie engineer accuses 'serial farter' supervisor of bullying, seeks $1.8m redress

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Re: There ARE classical references!

Or for a real classic reference, here.

Pre-checked cookie boxes don't count as valid consent, says adviser to top EU court

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Re: Not quite the same issue

Five little words: "Clear private data on exit". The site can't tell the difference between a session cookie and one saved to storage, so exploit that. Let them plant whatever they like on me, it'll be gone the minute I close the browser.

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Re: Let's report every case of this to the ICO

I've also gone off Adams since his performance in the 2016 election, but I really have to object to the characterisation of Trump supporters.

If you write off the entirety of the opposing party, and about 40% of the population, as "stupid and/or evil", you have given up on democracy.

Autopilot engineer drove off to Chinese rival with our top-secret blueprints in the glovebox, Tesla claims in sueball

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And yet Tesla is, apparently, in the habit of giving unfettered access to its entire codebase to low-ranking coders or analysts in whose career plans and movements it has no plans to take much interest.


Let's spin Facebook's Wheel of Misfortune! Clack-clack-clack... clack... You've won '100s of millions of passwords stored in plaintext'

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Re: What about insiders

All that means is that the data was very easily available, chucked up in response to some very common back-end queries. It doesn't mean that any of those users were actively trying to get that information or that they did anything improper with it.

Of course, it does imply that it'd be very hard for FB to find out even if they did. And my bet is, they're currently trying hard not to find out.

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

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Re: Scotland/Wales want increased powers locally

The other EU governments know that if the UK crashes out without a deal, the rest of the Union won't last another decade, probably much less.

That's why they have been to such pains to make sure "revoke article 50" is always on the table, no matter what else happens. They think that if the choice comes down to "remain" vs "no deal", the British will choose "remain". I used to think that too, but after the last three years of EU "diplomacy" I'm not so sure.

(It's easy enough to blame this whole fiasco on Cameron, and to be sure he deserves a lot of that. But Merkel also played her part. She was the one who, first, gave the Eurosceptics a talking point by inflicting needless austerity on the Greeks, and then backed the EU to send Cameron home with his tail between his legs when he came to them for "concessions" ahead of the referendum. If the EU does go down, she'll occupy a place in history as one of the major architects of its collapse.)

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Re: All too late

Reputations go down, reputations go up. Nothing is unrecoverable - just look at Germany. It's just a matter of how long it takes.

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Re: Scotland/Wales want increased powers locally

There's no doubt that Brexit will result in the reunification of Ireland, so Sinn Fein should be happy.

Of course that will in turn result in more bloodshed in Ireland, and an influx of refugees, mostly to Britain. The post-Brexit government will take them in because how can they not? So everyone who voted for Brexit in the hopes of reducing, or at least controlling, immigration will find it a most spectacular own goal.

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Re: The only conspiracy

Over 2 million now. And since the site has been down persistently for the last two hours, as well as intermittently before then, it's likely that a large number of people are still trying to sign.

You're right, it's never going to outweigh the absolute number of people who voted "leave". (We'll never know how many would have signed it, if the site had decent hosting. But on the other hand, we'll also never know how many signatories are, genuinely, unique British voters, so the results would be taken with a large bag of salt anyway.) What it does suggest is that there is more, let's call it, "public concern" over this issue than over any other issue in recent history. By a margin of at least one order of magnitude, probably two.

Carolina coward fesses up: I was a tech support scambag, and I made millions out of defrauding the elderly

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Seven figures in ill-gotten games? Must have kept them busy.

New Zealand cops cuff alleged jackasses who shared mosque murder video, messages online

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Re: His Manifesto

The "manifesto" has not (yet) been banned. Ardern has (politely) asked people not to share it, but there is no crime in possessing it or even sharing it at present.

Personally I feel about it the same as about "true crime" TV: it's rather gross, rather disturbing, rather sad, and I'd rather not waste my life reading it. Specialist psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, spooks and cops might get something from it. I'm not in any of those categories, so I'll leave it to them, thanks.

If you think you are gaining understanding from it - well, just keep in mind that the killer wanted you to read it. Some of the arguments presented there may represent sincerely held beliefs, but I'll warrant that not all of them do, and I'll further bet that you can't reliably tell the difference.

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To be clear...

That "Philip Neville Arps" is a man who, three years ago, turned up at one of these same mosques and dumped boxes of pigs' heads on the grounds, before making a Heil Hitler salute. He was quoted as saying at the time: "White power, I don't go to a mosque often, it should be f***ing molotovs."

For that event, at the time, he was fined $800.

When he heard about this attack, he posted "Excellent". So let's not waste too much time worrying about his true motives or sympathies.

There's certainly a debate to be had about the appropriate response to acts of excessive hatred that fall short of actual violence. But it's a debate, with arguments to be made on several sides. Let's not assume that "everything short of actual violence must be permitted, else you're no better than Stalin" is the only possible rational position to take. Or indeed, that it's any kind of rational position at all.

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Neither Oz nor NZ are "nations", in the sense that "nationalists" understand it. They're countries. It's a different thing.

nation, n.: a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.

A "country", on the other hand, is a political unity defined by its government, not its people.

On one level, it's ironic that an Australian white nationalist chose to commit these murders in a foreign country. But once you understand what "nation" means in this context, it makes sense. (Hint: it would exclude Aborigines and Maori, as well as Muslims.)

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Straw man argument. We are not forbidden from watching "for our own benefit", but for the distress and fear it is likely to cause to some innocent people who may be exposed to it, and for the aid and comfort it gives to our enemies (terrorists).

And how do you work out this is "the first time in history" people are being directly forbidden from accessing primary sources? What about, e.g., all those Isis beheading videos that have been repeatedly and systematically taken down from YouTube and elsewhere for the past five years?

It is a considerable reach to go from "classifying a video as 'objectionable'" to "the only 'true' source of information being government approved media", and you have made no attempt to justify the leap. You seem to be implying a "slippery slope" argument, without actually using the words, but you haven't said anything about either the gradient or the coefficient of friction of the slope. Without which, it's not an argument.

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes

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Re: Criminal Negligence and/or Corporate Malfeasance? Those are a Rock and a Hard Place

That's completely different. VW was a foreign company selling to Americans. Boeing is an American company selling to foreigners. And the victims were also mostly foreign, therefore not important.

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Re: Lifts the veil on aviation ...

Yes, that's exactly what it was. That was explicitly touted as a selling point in Boeing's pitch to airlines with existing 737 fleets.

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Re: Car analogy, software emulation

There's a joke that's been going around in aviation circles for a while now, that the ideal flight crew on a modern passenger jet is one pilot and one dog. The pilot is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to bite the pilot if he tries to touch the controls.

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Re: Want to try to reprogram it so it feels and drives like an F1?

It doesn't "determine erroneous outputs", that's kinda the whole point. It could, easily enough, calibrate the sensor while the plane is taxiing toward takeoff, when it knows for a fact that the angle of attack is zero, but apparently that wasn't deemed necessary or useful.

There's an excellent and detailed account of the whole sad ballsup here. (If you get a message about ad blocking, try revisiting with a mobile device.)

In a humiliating climbdown, Facebook agrees to follow US laws

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Dear Facebook,

This isn't hard. Let users request what ads they want to see.

If I want to search for a job as a dental receptionist in Walla Walla, or a short-term lease on a two-bedroom apartment in Chicago, then show me all the ads relevant to my query. ALL of them, regardless of any preferences expressed by the advertiser.

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