* Posts by veti

2633 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

It's OK, everyone – Congress's smart-cookie Republicans have the answer to America's net neutrality quandary

veti Silver badge

Re: I've always wondered...

"Emergency" and "security services" are two very different things, and I find it rather disingenuous to conflate the two.

An emergency message is generally short and sweet. Total information payload - less than 1kb. Could be passed as overhead on any system without even affecting any other service, like SMS over cell networks.

Security comms are another story entirely, and I for one don't see why they should get any kind of special treatment. Anything that needs urgent response is an emergency. Everything else can get standard treatment.

HMRC: We 'rigorously tested' IR35 tax-check tool... but have almost nothing to show for it

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Re: It seems government is as bad as corporations

The incentives are fundamentally different. The private sector is motivated by money: anything that increases one's wealth is, by definition, good and correct.

The public sector is mostly motivated by laziness,hence "pretending to have done testing" beats "actually doing testing" every time.

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

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Re: Whats the difference?

And having a non-cloudy version of Office helps that situation how, exactly?

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Re: Nothing like having your work day extended a few more hours

Fortunately, a lot of home users' use cases for Office are entirely trivial.

It makes perfect sense that there's a free alternative for those people. If you can't tell the difference between MS and Libre, you probably *shouldn't* have to pay that sort of money for your needs.

If MS cared, they would produce a cut down version of Office (anyone remember Microsoft Works?) and bundle it into Windows for free. But why would they care? Libre is no threat to them.

Accused hacker Lauri Love to sue National Crime Agency to retrieve confiscated computing kit

veti Silver badge

If they have "placed anything of their own on it" - possibly as part of an attempt to break the encryption - then that could be represented as "damaging" the kit.

On the other hand, if it was just mirrored when acquired and the original kit has been been stored in an evidence locker for the past five years, I wouldn't like to bet a groat on the whole system still being bootable. (Even if it's been kept in controlled humidity and with a dust cover intact all that time.)

On the other other hand, what's a fair market price for a five-year-old desktop? Couldn't Plod just buy him a new system, for less than the price of defending this case?

Grumble Pai: FCC boss told by House Dems to try the novel concept of putting US folks first, big biz second

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That would be extremely costly for the committee, in both time and effort. I doubt if they have either the resources or the patience to enforce it.

In theory, if Congress wants to, it could do that. After all, it controls the purse strings; if it wants to fund the FCC for a month at a time, that's totally within its power. However, budget fights - which is what this would amount to - tend to lose focus, and very quickly become proxies for something other than what they were originally supposed to be about. For instance, air traffic controllers get defunded because the president wants to confiscate millions of acres of private land to build a wall.

So in theory it's already possible, but there are good reasons why it's not done that way.

Our vulture listened to four hours of obtuse net neutrality legal blah-blah so you don't have to: Here's what's happening

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Re: So where is Congress in all this?

When I learned to drive, I learned it was illegal to use fog lights when there was no fog. Of course I may have learned wrong.

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Re: Thank you

Separate the ownership of infrastructure from provision of services.

It's not that complicated. A wire is just a wire. There's no particular reason why the party that rents it to the user should have ultimate control of what goes down it.

This model works well enough for other utilities, including public highways, mail, electricity, long-distance phone service. What's stopping you from applying it to broadband?

Wednesday: Facebook sparks another privacy brouhaha. Thursday: Facebook axes Iranian disinfo bods. Fancy that!

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Re: The non-story story

That's a giant non-sequitur. This particular story doesn't say anything about corporations (except Facebook), or teens for that matter.

Why should it? It also doesn't say anything about Brexit, or the Rohingya, or the Rwandan genocide of 1994, but that doesn't make it reasonable to infer that silence implies approval of all those things.

Texas lawyer suing Apple over FaceTime bug claims it was used to snoop on a meeting

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Re: I guess this is going to be tossed out

"The actual complaint" is linked directly from TFA.

Even if we accept the complaint at face value, it's not at all clear how this defect prevents him from earning a living in future, unless he's already been disbarred as a result. Is he incapable of taking a deposition without carrying his iPhone with him?

Hard Brexit, soft Brexit, deal or no deal: Doesn't matter – all integrator CGI sees is dollar signs

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Contingency planning

This is not a bad thing. If more people (*cough* David Cameron *cough*) knew how to do this, we'd all be better off.

Much better off.

Personal data slurped in Airbus hack – but firm's industrial smarts could be what crooks are after

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Probably about as much evidence as there is against China, in this case.

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing

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Re: some stuff is going to become a bit more expensive

Also note the pound's drop in value, which means a 50% price increase is really only about 25% in real terms - the rest is just a manifestation of the pay cut that everyone in the country has already taken, effective immediately after the referendum.

Microsoft decides Internet Explorer 10 has had its fun: Termination set for January 2020

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Re: Good Riddance

There posts one who's never used it.

IE11 is a really good browser. Granted it's some years since I tested it, but back then it was significantly ahead of both Firefox and Chrome in some important-to-me ways (most notably, standards-compliant SVG support).

IE10 was OK, too. The days of mocking Microsoft as the non-compliant jerks of the web world are long past.

Should the super-rich pay 70% tax rate above $10m? Here's Michael Dell's hot take for Davos

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Re: It is a lost battle anyway, the 1% have it all

I can't believe you're holding up Trump as an exception to that rule.

Considering the one and only thing he's actually achieved so far was an unfunded tax cut to siphon more money from the poor to the richest...

As for the gilets jaunes - get back to us when they've published a manifesto that doesn't contradict itself more than once per paragraph.

veti Silver badge

Re: Other peoples money...

You are aware that the "slippery slope" is a logical fallacy, not a well formed argument?

In this case, there is no empirical evidence (that anyone has pointed out, anyway) that tax thresholds tend to work downward in the way you describe. Granted, they will move downward by fiscal drag, but that's a much (much) slower process than you're talking about, reckoning at least half a century to get from $10 million to $1 million.

I'm also not aware of any evidence that higher marginal tax rates correlate with higher inflation. Perhaps you would like to link to some?

veti Silver badge

Re: Who gives a crap

If "common people" are so virtuous, then why do so many of us still buy products created by slave labour? Fruit picked or food gathered by people working in inhumane conditions? Meat from intensive farming? Why do they vote for candidates and policies that promise to "protect" their country against immigration from those looking for a better life?

Maybe you don't. Maybe you're one of the exceptions. But the sheer volume of all these products on sale proves that "common people", as a group, are not particularly given to enlightened reflection about "the people they exploit".

veti Silver badge

Re: Who gives a crap

And that makes them different from you or me how, exactly?

The big difference between them and us is that if they think X should be done, they have ways to make it happen. Within limits, of course, but much less limited than us. And that, in a nutshell, is why we should care what they think.

veti Silver badge

Re: State tax

Umm. How exactly does moving to a different state help to reduce your federal tax liability?

To the extent that the wealthy are deterred by CA's tax rates, that effect has already happened. Particularly after Trump cut the deduction for local and state taxes. (A move I don't disapprove of, by the way, even though I believe it was pure spite against blue states on his part.)

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

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What intrigues me

Note the phrasing "someone in a nun costume".

There's an obvious suggestion that the witness never for one moment imagined that it was an actual nun. Why not? What else did they observe, that scuppered that possibility?

veti Silver badge

Re: Flag matters according to the bible

You make a good point, which is why even the Catholics stopped selling indulgences in 1567.

Stalk my pals on social media and you'll know that the next words out of my mouth will be banana hammock

veti Silver badge

Re: Could this be...

We've long known that words are predictable. That's how predictive typing works, as featured on your phone. (The text I send most often is "Leaving work" - all I have to do is fire up my phone about 5 p.m., select "send text - to spouse", and I can enter those two words in a single tap.)

I would guess that the more time you spend on social media, the stronger the effect - because social media is very susceptible to "memes" and mobs and bandwagons. Hashtags, basically. If you post about subject X, and your friends have talked about subject X today, then it can't be that hard to predict what you're likely to say next.

Big Red's big pay gap: $13,000 gulf between male and female Oracle staffers – reports

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Re: All else being equal...

Moral: If you want people to defend Oracle, this is how.

It's Oracle. And even for them, all it takes is a particularly detailed, offensive and egregious pay gap story, and suddenly the Internet is full of (mostly male, I imagine) commentators rushing to defend them.

Capita, are you paying attention?

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

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I'm sure the FCC will get right on it

Just as soon as their funding is back on, and they've dealt with everything else in their in-tray.

So, maybe by mid-2021.

Bipartisan Kumbaya: President Trump turns Obama's open govt data policy into law

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The summary is here. Heck, you can read the full text if you like. I guess somebody should...

I read the summary, and I can see a number of quite glaring loopholes available to anyone who still doesn't want "evidence" to get in the way of their policymaking. For instance:

- Appoint a Chief Evaluation Officer who's sympathetic to your aims

- Stack the OMB's "advisory committee" with political allies

- Although you have to publish evidence in machine-readable format, there's nothing to say you can't change that format at will, thus making it basically impossible to compare figures from one year to the next. Or from one department to another, or one state or region to another...

Basically, it's like the constitution. Sounds fine in theory, but in practice it's only as good as the people who enforce it - and the executive basically gets to pick those.

US prosecutors: Hey, you know how we said 'net gambling was OK? LMAO, we were wrong

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Re: Wot it sez...

Good catch, although I bet it doesn't work.

But what is a "wire" anyway? Does that include fibre?

veti Silver badge

Re: Doesnt this outlaw Wall Street ?

GP conflates two things. Shorting stock is not the same as high-frequency trading.

veti Silver badge

Does this have anything to do with Antigua's long-standing complaint against the US blocking its online casinos?

As I recall it, Antigua's case to the WTO was that the US was being discriminatory because it allowed online betting with US casinos. The WTO sided with them and awarded damages, but the USA has still not paid out so much as a dime. Now they're changing the rules - retroactively, no less - they can ask the WTO to re-examine the case and find they're not discriminating after all.

What odds can I get on:

- American casino owners having to repay all the money they've earned online in the past

- Antigua getting any settlement money, ever

- Campaign contributions by gambling interests increasing sharply in the near future?

World's first robot hotel massacres half of its robot staff

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Re: The room doll was removed

Came looking for this thought. Somewhat surprised it took so long to appear. Have people taken a new year resolution to keep the comments clean, or something? Seems unlikely.

*taps on glass* Hellooo, IRS? Anyone in? Anyone guarding taxpayers' data from crooks? Hellooo?

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Re: Just a question

Well, no actual money is being saved because employees are still due to be paid. And even if that weren't true, there's still last year's unfunded tax cuts to pay for. And when you've worked that off, then you can get started on the deficit.

Welcome to Republicans' idea of fiscal responsibility.

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There's one piece of confidential information that I for one would like to see stolen. It may be the only way we'll get to see Trump's tax returns.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

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I loved Turnpike. Still beats all kinds of hell out of Outlook.

But that was before it went all gui.

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz

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Have a heart. Anyone can produce a decent rant from time to time, but doing it every week to contract is genuinely hard.

It WASN'T the update, says Microsoft: Windows 7 suffers identity crisis as users hit by activation errors

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Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

Sounds like an under specced machine. I have one of those, it takes best part of half an hour to boot into what passes for a usable state on a good day. When there are updates, it gets way slower.

Peak Apple: This time it's SERIOUS, Tim

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Sounds like a plan that would work better for Google than for Apple.

If I were Apple, I'd be trying to form a strategic alliance with another oddball consumer electronics company that insists on going its own way: Nintendo.

veti Silver badge

Re: RE: BigSLitleP

A pipe is subject to leakage, corrosion, unauthorised (unpaid) tapping, and needs ongoing maintenance even if none of these things happen.

A bottle is easy to secure, practically immune to all kinds of degradation except drinking, and requires no maintenance.

It's not (necessarily) a corruption problem. Bottles are just easier.

veti Silver badge

Re: Durability?

Not the point.

Assuming you want internet TV services: then no matter how the signal gets to the TV, there has to be some bit of electronics in your home that's receiving and processing the data. It may be (what we used to call) a set-top box, or a laptop, or some specialised bit of gear. Increasingly nowadays, it's most often built into the TV itself.

But wherever it sits, whatever it is, it needs to be connected to the 'net, and that means it needs protection.

IBM insists it's not deliberately axing older staff. Internal secret docs state otherwise...

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Re: It's not just IBM

Yeah, there's the rub. When you're 22, "retiring at 35" sounds easy. Like winning the lottery, it's just a matter of ticking a few boxes, right? - how hard can it be?

Sadly, luck doesn't scale well.

veti Silver badge

Re: Just to play devil's advocate here

You're making an assumption about deviation from a baseline. We would need evidence to support that assumption.

(And then we should also consider valid business goals, such as cost saving, that would militate in the opposite direction. Given a choice between a 25 year old earning $50k and a 50 year old earning $100k with the same transferrable skills, what's wrong with firing the older person? Sure you can say (speculate) that s/he actually has a great many more skills that aren't being properly valued - but on the other hand, they may also have a lot of baggage/bad habits that are actively holding them back. We just don't know.)

veti Silver badge

Re: Just to play devil's advocate here

What about them? Last I heard, relocating your premises was a valid business decision that companies were allowed to make. There's no allegation that anyone is forced to quit on that basis, merely that a lot of senior people may choose to.

veti Silver badge

Re: Just to play devil's advocate here

Sure, if my initial assumptions are wrong. But I have no reason to believe they are. You've made an assumption, but haven't presented any supporting evidence for it.

I see nothing wrong with adopting "uniformity" as a baseline assumption. If you want to deviate from that, then make arguments and put together evidence to support them, and we can discuss them. But don't just go claiming that your particular non-uniform distribution assumption must be correct because it's just obvious. That's not how evidence works.

veti Silver badge

Just to play devil's advocate here

If we assume that the baseline workforce, if there is such a thing, is evenly distributed between the ages of 23 and 65, and layoffs are likewise evenly distributed, then you would expect 60% of layoffs to be of people over 40. Welcome to maths.

And the much-ballyhooed private documents refer explicitly to hiring decisions. Not firing decisions.

Much as I'd like to see a smoking gun here - hey, I'm no spring chicken myself - I don't.

Steamer closets, flying cars, robot boxers, smart-mock-cock ban hypocrisy – yes, it's the worst of CES this year

veti Silver badge

The problem with flying cars

... will be exactly the same as the problem with regular cars: it's really cool and exciting to imagine having one, until you realise that when that happens, there's no way to stop every other bugger from having them as well.

What we need is more inventions that don't suffer from this kind of reverse network effect. Where's my Orgasmatron?

Fake news? More like ache news. Grandma, grampa 'more likely' to share made-up articles during US election

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I agree, that dig was gratuitous.

But since those sites were explicitly not included, your point isn't really relevant to the article.

Microsoft wins today's buzzword bingo with empowering set of updates to Teams

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Does anyone else find it disconcerting when simple English words like Teams and Badges and Praise, without noticeably changing their meaning, suddenly sprout Capital Letters?

It'll soon be even more illegal to fly drones near UK airports

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Re: Keystone Cops

You try filming "the sky" for "an hour or two". Then watch it to see if there's something that might possibly be a drone flickering somewhere in the distance.

Bear in mind "the sky" is more than just one direction, so it's going to take a lot of cameras to watch the whole thing.

Let's make up some numbers, just for fun. Let's assume (optimistically, but you gotta start somewhere) that the drone is going to be 30 cm across, in whatever dimension we happen to see it. And we want to be able to spot it at least 2 km away. At that range, it's going to cover an arc of about 0.008 degrees in the sky. If your camera records a picture width of (let's say) 4000 pixels, then a single camera can be trusted to watch about 30 degrees (horizontally, about half that vertically) of sky at high enough resolution to capture the drone as a single pixel. (That's assuming the camera doesn't use some kind of lossy compression, of course.)

So, set up 30 cameras to watch 180 degrees of sky to a height of 75 degrees. In the rain. When you've analysed the resulting 30 hours of video, let us know if there was a drone in it. I look forward to hearing back from you. (And note that the area this experiment monitors is only a small fraction of the exclusion zone described in these rules, so a negative result is still far from conclusive. To cover the whole area, you'd need to be watching - considerably more cameras at this resolution.)

Senator Wyden goes ballistic after US telcos caught selling people's location data yet again

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Re: Re-seller

You seem to think that paying a premium rate might make it less likely that your data would be sold. I don't see what you base that on, at all.

Aussie Emergency Warning Network hacked by rank amateurs

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In Australia, a phone number would be considered personal information if, and only if, it's associated with some other piece of data - such as a name, address, social security number or whatever - that could be used independently to identify the owner.

Without that, it's just a number.

Hands off that Facebook block button, public officials told by judges in First Amendment row

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Re: Unexpected consequences

The first amendment doesn't say anything about citizenship.

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Re: Presidential private thoughts

The Founding Fathers made that decision when they opted for a common law system. They then explicitly doubled down on it by making the judiciary a co-equal and independent branch of government.

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