* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

3899 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under EU rules – ICO

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

If they took money from a single EU citizen / EU-registered card to access their site - then they are trading in the EU

It's even more complicated than that. GDPR doesn't cover EU citizens, it covers people physically present in the EU. A US citizen who happens to be in the EU on business, and accesses one of those sites, is doing so under GDPR.

7
0

Brexit: UK will be disconnected from EU databases after 2020

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Just build a wall down the middle of the Channel

"and the Scandinavian one fell apart with WWI".

I wonder where you got that from, it's rubbish.

I suspect he's referring to the Scandinavian Monetary Union that lasted from 1873 to WW1

0
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Co-incy-dink

Paddington?

Isn't he from Peru?

4
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Ah, the UK gov

UK exports to EU = 45% of our exports

£275 billion

EU exports to UK = 7% of their exports.

£340 billion, which is indeed bigger than £275 billion.

The liars keep 'forgetting' that.

No, they just choose their "damned lies" carefully.

4
2
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Ah, the UK gov

Most of us are just sick of the whole fucking mess we're in now, and want it sorted out

And it's treally sad that Brexit is being seen as the only way to do that. If the self-serving politicians in Brussels could actually see past the end of their own ambitions, and stopped assuming that the only solution for Europe was centralized control with them in charge, we'd never have needed Brexit.

I can't help but feel that the next EU elections are going to be quite a wake-up call.

3
5
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Ah, the UK gov

It would of course be easier simply not to leave the EU.

And there is the crux of the matter. People want the easy option, even if it just leads to mediocrity and economic stagnation. The idea that a difficult choice which requires lots of hard work might be better in the future is just unacceptable. Much easier to let someone else do the work, and just tell you what do. Anything for a quiet life. Truly shameful.

3
7
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: re: Scotland

Scotland and NI would have remained thereby remaining in the EU as well (I seem to recall this was what the voters in the respective parts wanted).

Except that the EU made it very clear that it wasn't going to be allowed. The UK is the EU member, if Scotland and/or NI were to secede from the UK they could apply to join the EU as independent nations. It would not matter if the UK were still an EU member at the time of secession or not, there would be no automatic 'pass' to membership. They would be required to accept the Euro (after demonstrating that their independent economies were up to it), join Schengen, abandon all opt-outs & rebates. It's a complete non-starter.

2
4
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Just build a wall down the middle of the Channel

try to hand over an Ulster Bank or Northern Bank note, you'll be lucky if the shop owner doesn't try to detain you while trying to dial the cops.

It's less of a problem now that RoI uses Euros. It was more confusing when they still had Irish pounds, I even had a bank in Bristol question what exchange rate they should offer on an Ulster bank 20 pound note!

3
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

I think what saddens me most about this whole sorry affair is the polarisation happening here that we see has already destroyed US politics.

I have to agree with you, but it's not just in the UK. It's happening all across the EU. For the Brussels politicians there is only one valid viewpoint: "EU über alles". They seem blind to the way that is polarizing people, who have no moderate eurosceptic option. The result is that they go to the extremes, right and left, as the only way to say "slow down a minute, we don't like where the EU is going". That is incredibly dangerous for the future of Europe as a whole.

4
2
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Guys, guys, Project Fear Mark 75 can be wound up now!

The answer would be yes

Well, it might be in some of the small countries that get the subsidies. Not so much in the larger ones who pay for them, but even there it's an economic issue, not a political one. Of course, the idea was always that those smaller countries would eventually become net contributors, hasn't worked out that way though. Let's see what May 2019's elections bring.

don't forget there's five countries currently in the process of joining

I can't see Erdogan's Turkey ever getting in now, though, and it's debateable if the others actually want political union, rather than just free-trade membership.

4
2
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Guys, guys, Project Fear Mark 75 can be wound up now!

I had a fascinating hour listening to the Swedish Green MEP explaining how her committee got the common fisheries policy changed to something sensible.

If only they'd spend all their time sorting out that sort of trade issue, instead of trying to impose a one-size-fits-all political solution on the whole continent. We might indeed be better off.

no power to change what the Government Ministers decide, all doing exactly what the whips tell them

Right about now I guess Theresa May wishes it really were that simple. But it isn't, of course.

3
4
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Guys, guys, Project Fear Mark 75 can be wound up now!

What about democracy at an EU level?

An excellent question. Where is it?

What about having an EU-wide referendum, to ask everyone in the EU if they want to continue towards "ever-closer union" and an eventual centrally-controlled superstate, or if they would prefer to return to a common market of friendly, sovereign neighbours, co-operating in a free trade area?

The EU won't ask, of course, because they're scared of what the answer would be, so please don't pretend that it's even close to being a democratic entity.

11
25
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Happy

You obviously never studied British history properly...

Or French, or Spanish, or....

12
1
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Ah, the UK gov

Still pretending they can move out but keep the keys.

Actually given the current "Brexit means Remain" agreement that May wants us to sign up to, it's more like we hand over the keys but want to keep sleeping in the hallway.

14
2
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Just build a wall down the middle of the Channel

*It's been about to collapse since the 1990s according to them.

And it will, perhaps not imminently, but a single currency can't survive without full fiscal union, and that's certainly never going to happen now, no matter how much taxpayer money is spent on bailouts.

12
13
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Just build a wall down the middle of the Channel

£1.00 will be worth than 1 Euro by the end of the week.

Poor Theresa, her 30 pieces of silver still won't buy her much, even so.

14
3
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: TL;DR

So, after we leave the EU we won't have access to EU data, unless we have an agreement for access to that data for security or similar reasons. Just like every other country that isn't in the EU. Why is this being reported as if it's a surprise?

26
1

Microsoft slips ads into Windows 10 Mail client – then U-turns so hard, it warps fabric of reality

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
WTF?

one size fits all?

the advertising would be tailored to their interests

My interest is in not seeing adverts. Tailor to that!

35
0

Bloke fined £460 after his drone screwed up police chopper search for missing woman

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Hunting season

most of them have a "safe land now" and "return to Home" command you can just broadcast at 'em

So, finally a reason that not having IoT security is a good thing!

10
0

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Implanted chips

So will these be built to a universal standard so that when you change jobs your new employer can scan you

I think the current "smart" meter debacle should answer that one for you.

25
0

Up to three million kids' GPS watches can be tracked by parents... and any miscreant: Flaws spill pick-and-choose catalog for perverts

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: I've seriously been thinking about "starting something"

Why are all the people who *could* do this well not doing anything?

My guess is there's no money in it. If the crap tat is cheaper, it will sell better, insecure or not.

4
0

French president Macron insists new regulations needed to protect us all from Facebook's claws

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: "made it a little surprising"

all it will take is a ban stopping the bulk of their citizens from accessing the service to get their attention in a hurry.

And we all know what happens when the French state bans its citizens from something they want. They just sit back and meekly accept it. Not.

"Let them eat Google"?

3
0

France: Let's make the internet safer. America, Russia, China: Let's go with 'no' on that

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

So is it significant that companies like Amazon and HSBC are missing, along with India and Russia?

5
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Strange bedfellows here...

and as far as El Reg can tell, Germany, the UK and Australia are also missing,

No, Germany (Allemagne) and the UK (Royaume-Uni de Grande-Bretagne et d’Irlande du Nord) are both there.

21
0

Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

be able to track those with one of their mass-produced robotic drones

Until the navy starts filling the oceans with mass-produced decoy submarine drones for them to track, that is.

26
0

Townsfolk left deeply unsatisfied by Bury St Edmunds' 'twig' of a Christmas tree

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Old but good

Obligatory xkcd

8
0

If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Northern Ireland

The IRA started out fairly non-violent,

I doubt if people who lived through the civil war in the 20s would agree with you, the anti-treaty forces were in no way "fairly non-violent". The split to form the Provisionals in 1969 was driven more by what they saw as the failure of nationalist politicians to take a hard line and their willingness to see the Army as peacekeepers. To suggest that it was only because of the violence from the UVF et al is disingenuous, the PIRA had it's own agenda well planned. I suggest reading Tim Pat Coogan's "The I.R.A." for a detailed overview from that side of the fence.

is it any wonder that the IRA became increasingly violent in response

"he started it first" is hardly an excuse, even if it were true.

Northern Ireland history is a complicated mess and not the black and white IRA = bad, everyone else = good that was spoon fed to the British public by the media over 30 years.

It is indeed complicated, but the mainstream UK and Irish media did an excellent job of portraying the reality, although the same can't be said for US and some European media.

On that subject, did you see Fergal Keane's recent "Story of Ireland" series? I thought he did a reasonable job of giving a high-level balanced view.

t was the culmination of 400 years of oppression in Ireland that saw millions die unnecessarily in the famines of the C19th.

You're conflating two separate issues. The (lack of) reaction to the famine was mostly due to ignorance from absentee landlords rather than any deliberate oppression, and the real roots go back much further than 400 years. More like 900, when Derrmot invited the Normans in, or arguably before that to celtic/gaelic fighting. In any case it serves no useful purpose to keep going back in time until you find someone to blame for "your tribe" losing, and hence to justify present-day violence.

If you're going to condemn the IRA, then you must also condemn the RUC and UVF at the same time

I'll happily blame the UVF, UDA, LVF etc. along with the republican groups, but I will take great offence at you lumping the RUC in with them as terrorists. I wouldn't claim they're perfect, far from it (and especially the long-disbanded B Specials) but I have and had many friends in the RUC and PSNI who took great risks to protect everyone in NI. To group them in with IRA/UVF is an unjustified and offensive slur on their professionalism and courage.

1
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

The important thing for being in charge of anything is to understand your own limitations.

We're talking about politicians here. They firmly believe that they have no limitations, so the question of understanding doesn't apply.

4
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Northern Ireland

You're jumbling all sorts of things there.

electoral laws that ensured the majority of Catholics were ineligible to vote

Catholics had the same rights to vote in parliamentary elections as anglicans since the 1830s. There was, however, a "property qualification" for everyone (lifted in 1918 after WWI) so that only property owners could vote. Although there was no legal bar to catholics owning property, they had to find someone willing to sell it to them, which was almost impossible in NI. As a result there was effective disenfranchisement, but it was due to local persecution, not legal rights.

A similar situation applied to local elections until much later, where only ratepayers (owners or tenants) had a vote. Since local authorities controlled council housing allocations it was that latter issue that caused the main civil rights issues in the 50s and 60s.

it wasn't long until the troops were seen as an occupying force by the Catholics and became their target.

Not quite. The troops were sent in very reluctantly (the home secretary at the time made the prophetic comment "It's easy to send them in, it'll be the devil's own job to get them out again") and they were welcomed by the catholic community as neutral peacekeepers, which the RUC & Special reserves were not.

It was rather the IRA that were horrified to see ordinary catholics turning to the hated British army for protection. The IRA attacked the army, and since the resulting clampdown was much more severe in the catholic areas where the IRA hid out, that turned many ordinary people against the troops. That was carefully orchestrated by the IRA.

You can however blame Thatcher for repeatedly blocking any dialogue with Sinn Fein during the 80s

The blame lies much more with SF themselves. Danny Morrison's notorious Ard Fheis speech in 1981 "But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in this hand and an Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland?" was hardly an encouragement to democratic dialogue.

It was only after Adams signed up to the Good Friday agreement, a process kicked off by John Major despite Tony Blair's attempts to take all the credit, that some democratic discussions could really start.

14
1
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

Robin Cook - Principled MP.

True enough, but he was a shadow minister during the Thatcher era, and died almost 15 years ago, so I'd still consider him part of the Thatcher/Benn era.

3
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

Some of Tony Blair's ministers could even be considered far right-of-centre

Blair and almost all of his ministers were "wherever sort of centre-ish will get me re-lelected". We haven't had politicians with any kind of principled beliefs since the Thatcher/Benn era.

20
0

Can your rival fix it as fast? turns out to be ten-million-dollar question for plucky support guy

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Not just assembly.

Try a VAX MOVC5 with the wrong address parameters. Trying to figure out what went wrong in an assembly-language program which crashed because the whole code was bodily shifted 8 bytes up really teaches you how to use the debugger. In hex.

8
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Not just assembly.

Late 70's, ICL 1900 FORTRAN, I was an undergrad student just learning the language, and had a program that just behaved bizarrely, loops that ran for the wrong number of times and similar weird things.

Turned out that 1900-series systems had no machine-level instructions to add a constant to a location, you had to put the constant into another storage location and then add the two contents together. As an optimisation the compiler stored the numbers 1-10 (or maybe 20, I forget) in a fixed table so that they could be quickly accessed.

I was calling a subroutine with a constant argument, and inside that subroutine I was inadventently changing it. FORTRAN passes all arguments by reference (i.e. pointers) and there was no form of readonly page protection on those systems, so my when I inadvertently added 1 to the passed-in constant 5, all "constant" 5s in the program became 6s...

43
0

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

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: "The tax would benefit countries with large populations"

So why did Merkel agree on doing it at the EU level with Macron last year? It's that change I don't understand.

Donald Trump happened, I think. Germany is worried about reprisals against its industries if this becomes an EU/US trade war. That seems to be the French interpretation, anyway. I don't read German so I can't check their press, perhaps someone else will have info.

3
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: "The tax would benefit countries with large populations"

Though I'm not really up on the politics of why Germany isn't in favour. Is it coalition politics?

Germany wants a worldwide agreement, WTO-level, and isn't in favour of the EU going it alone, as France wants.

1
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: "And they do that LEGALLY"

rarely, if ever, the common people...

Are you sure? My tax bill each year shows a reasonable number of allowances for things like pension contributions, energy savings, charitable donations, etc.

3
2
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: VAT

No, because I value morality above profit.

So you voluntarily hand over more tax than you are legally required to, every year? That's nice of you, but perhaps you'd consider giving to some charities instead, they'll likely use it more wisely.

Avoiding paying tax that you don't legally have to is entirely reasonable. Evading tax that you're legally required to pay is of course both morally reprehensible and criminal. Not the same thing.

3
3
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: "The tax would benefit countries with large populations"

Those three countries together are little more than 1/4 of my country population...

Which is why it's curious that the article only refers to Ireland, Sweden and Denmark, while ignoring the 4th country which is opposed to this tax on revenue that was proposed by France - Germany. Hardly a small player.

It was discussed on French radio yesterday. The commentator made the point that while Macron is pushing this as a good initiative for the EU, Germany's reluctance is embarassingly blocking it. He added that Brexit will allow the UK to introduce such a tax alone as Hammond has suggested, which is not good for Macron's image.

3
0

UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess

So that they can be pwned by poisoned documents, of course.

66
2

Premiere Pro bug ate my videos! Bloke sues Adobe after greedy 'clean cache' wipes files

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: What an idiot

Insurance companies apply a "duty of care" rule to people who own insured items, for example if your new Mercedes is stolen they aren't likely to pay the full cost if it turns out you left it in a back street, unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

The same should apply here. His lack of a backup suggests that either the data wasn't valuable, or if it was he wasn't taking sufficient care of it. The judge should probably find in his favour, Adobe have admitted to the bug after all, but perhaps just award him a symbolic $5K or so in damages on the basis that he was 95+% responsible for the loss.

4
8

British fixed broadband is cheap … and, er, fairly nasty – global survey

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

if people in the UK actually went for the best package available to them rather than the cheapest we could be number one.

Isn't that a bit like saying "If everyone bought a Jaguar instead of a Fiesta we'd have the best car fleet in Europe"? People buy what they need, why should they spend more money for something they won't use?

Just using a mean is a bit pointless as a measurement, I'd much prefer to see mean/median quoted, and over different times of day.

15
0

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

This is the problem with "None of the above": what do you do with votes for it? If it isn't the top choice then it is, to a large extent, much the same as just not voting, or a spoiled ballot. If voting is compulsory then it could be considered as an indicator similar to turnout, but would only have an effect if there were some minimal threshold for that vote, i.e. if the vote were invalid without at least 60% turnout.

If NOTA were the "winning vote" then things get more complex. If you ask someone to choose between options and they reply "I don't want any of them", the obvious next question is "well, who do you want, then?". If they can't answer that question, is their opinion actually worth much?

What about elections which allow a write-in?

I wouldn't agree with using a NOTA result to disqualify the others, it would again achieve little since they clearly were unwanted that time and presumably would lose if they stood again. As for excluding parties, it's important to remember that in a respresentative democracy like the UK you vote for a person to represent you, not for a party. The party name wasn't even on the ballot until the Wilson government of the 70s. Blocking a party in one constituency because of one undesirable candiate (often chosen by a local group) also seems extreme.

The reality of giving everyone a vote is that people will chose to vote, or not, for their own personal reasons, and we have to respect that. Forcing them to vote, or forcing change based on non-votes, is hardly democratic.

6
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

Re: N.Ireland

Vote Early, Vote Often

6
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Should we also consider making voting compulsory

What would that achieve? People who don't care would either spoil their ballot or just tick a box at random. Neither would improve the quality of the results.

12
11

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

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: The name 'Tesla' has been hijacked

That's why you usually have some local brand management

And why Rolls Royce decided not to produce the Silver Mist, since the German market was important for them.

2
0

This revolution will not be televised – but it will be sanctioned: Googlers walk out over 'sex pest' executive scandals

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Which is worse?

The trophy was cylindrical and stood vertically.

Like a cactus, you mean?

2
0
Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse?

I's say that harassment (as distinct from, say, actual assault) is continuing to do something which offends someone after they've asked you to stop. Just flashing a lighter like that is juvenile, and the person's manager should probably have asked them to wise up & leave it at home. If a female staffer has complained, and they continue to display it, I'd certainly define that as harassment, although admittedly of a fairly low severity.

15
1

Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Chasing ghosts

As a guess, False is defined as zero and True as anything non-zero. The boolean constant value "True" is probably defined as 1, so if a routine returns, say, 2 then "Blah != False" will be true (if you see what I mean), but "Blah = True" will still not be true.

Maybe the test should just have been "if (Blah) then"?

18
0

Now Europe wants a four-million-quid AI-powered lie detector at border checkpoints

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Language/Accent?

And what if the questions are being asked in a language in which the perfectly legitimate traveller is not fluent, and is struggling to understand the question & formulate an acceptable answer from their limited vocabulary? Current speech recognition "AIs" have enough trouble with regional accents as it is.

12
0

GitHub lost a network link for 43 seconds, went TITSUP for a day

Phil O'Sophical
Silver badge

Re: Wasn't Split Brain solved 30 years ago?

Yes, VMS cluster, Solaris cluster, Veritas cluster, they all do that for local HA, and it works. Disk vendors like EMC and HDS can also do it for their distributed storage.

It gets much harder once you bring geographical distances into the picture. Fully synchronized updates so that both sites always have identical copies of data gets too slow once you go much past a few mS latency, so you have to live with the fact that each site has a different view.

There are solutions, usually requiring more than three sites with a mix of local/remote and sync/async replication. That gets expensive.

Oracle DataGuard (yeah, I know it's the evil empire, but the DB is still good) has a useful feature called "far sync" where the data exists only at the two main sites, but there are additional copies of the redo logs maintained synchronously at nearby sites. If a main site is lost, the survivor will automatically fetch & replay the logs to make sure it has caught up before becoming active. Still needs multiple sites, but the intermediate ones only need small systems & storage for logs, not the big servers & TB disks it would require to keep another copy of the whole DB.

4
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018