* Posts by Vimes

1253 posts • joined 3 Dec 2012

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Lords slam 'untrammelled' data sharing powers in Digital Economy Bill

Vimes
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Re: @ZanzibarRastapopulous

Again: no it isn't. Anybody who has made FoI requests will tell you that, especially when the private sector organisation doesn't actually give that information to the department they report to (with regards to transport, it's not just NATS, but also National Rail that would fall into this category for example)

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Vimes
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Re: Multiple Disadvantages

It seems that if all else fails they just flat out lie

https://twitter.com/IamMrJ/status/822397067540635648

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Vimes
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@ZanzibarRastapopulous

I don't think you do. At least nowhere near as much as the public sector. My own attempts for example to get information from NATS - despite it being a quasi-governmental body - have completely failed precisely because this did not appear to be the case.

From the ICO's website:

The Act covers any recorded information that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland. Information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by Scotland’s own Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces. However, the Act does not necessarily cover every organisation that receives public money. For example, it does not cover some charities that receive grants and certain private sector organisations that perform public functions.

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-freedom-of-information/what-is-the-foi-act

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Vimes
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Some of them still seem to manage to talk about things about which they have no understanding. Look at Floella (sorry, 'Baroness') Benjamin and her support for age verification on the internet for example (all 'for the children' of course).

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Vimes
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If they're looking to extend access to the private sector when they provide services to government, then perhaps they can extend the responsibilities when it comes to those same activities too?

Freedom of Information comes to mind for example: if government bodies have to comply with demands for information, then why not the private sector when acting on behalf of government bodies?

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Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts

Vimes
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Re: @Pascal @Paul 195 @ac

Here's the fun bit: it's also actually illegal in Europe

In that case, this is also from the services agreement:

The laws of the country to which we direct your Services where you have your habitual residence govern all claims relating to paid Services. With respect to jurisdiction, you and Microsoft agree to choose the courts of the country to which we direct your Services where you have your habitual residence for all disputes arising out of or relating to these Terms, or in the alternative, you may choose the responsible court in Ireland.

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Vimes
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Re: @Pascal @Paul 195

It's not spying if it's a machine doing it? Seriously?

Microsoft employees are not going through everyone's files to do this

It's irrelevant if it's a person or a machine doing it. At the end of the day Microsoft is putting every single private file under the microscope. That's wrong.

Oh, and their services agreement also states that:

[...] When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue. However, we do not monitor the Services and make no attempt to do so.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/servicesagreement/

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Vimes
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@trevor_pott

They'd spend too much time looking through customer files for golden shower pictures and wouldn't get anything actually done.

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Vimes
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Re: poor widdle snowflakes... wait, what? @Mark 85

Forget for a moment the claimed reason for going through private content. 'For the children' has to be one of the most widely abused excuses out there.

What is their LEGAL justification here for invading privacy?

The stated law doesn't appear to imply any requirement to actively scan content. Assuming for a moment that I haven't missed anything then however traumatising this task may be it still doesn't tell us by what right they're doing this or what legal requirement they're relying upon to justify this.

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Vimes
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Funny how 'Forget privacy: we want to shaft you and your quaint notion of privacy - for the children!' never seems to make it into the sales pitch...

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Vimes
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... following a federal requirement that unlawful material like child pornography must be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

A requirement to report something as and when it's found as a result of a support call or other associated activity is one thing, telling companies that they have to actively go out and find things to report is quite another. It's difficult to believe that the latter is really a requirement.

I won't shed any tears for any perverts caught out by this, but all the same: by what right have Microsoft been rifling through the private files belonging to their users?

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Clone wars: Wrestler sues Microsoft over Gears of War character

Vimes
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At least one other case seems to suggest he'll have an uphill struggle.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-09-01-lindsay-lohans-grand-theft-auto-lawsuit-rules-in-rockstars-favour

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'He's taking the piss'

Vimes
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'He's taking the piss'

Google 'Trump' and 'Golden'. Go on. I dare you.

I can imagine his associates desperately trying to avoid using bad puns all day today like 'urine denial about this'...

You know things are bad when we're only 2 weeks into 2017 and 2016 already looks tame by comparison.

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You have the right to be informed: Write to UK.gov, save El Reg

Vimes
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Re: Except the new regulator must be approved

The possibility nevertheless remains for the media to come up with their own regulator. It just has to satisfy the conditions laid down by the PRP and be more responsive than the currently useless IPSO.

Assuming.for a moment that the PRP isn't making unreasonable demands then one wonders why the media has not done so, especially if the failings of Impress are so obvious.

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Vimes
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Even the NUJ think that IPSO is a waste of space. Mind you this is an organisation that counts Trevor Kavanagh as a member.

https://www.nuj.org.uk/news/nuj-condemns-ipso-decision-on-describing-migrants-as/

As for a regulator that hates the mail and the sun, have you seen the crap that they put out on a daily basis? It's their sort of xenophobia that helped to bring about the killing of Jo Cox. Perhaps we could do with a regulator that hates the tabloids for once. Maybe they'll actually take substantial action against them.

I'm also curious: if IPSO is bad then why has nobody either here or elsewhere in the media made suggestions on how to improve it? People have legitimate concerns about how the media behaves and it's only the repeated failures to either recognise or significantly deal with those failings that has lead to this situation.

Personally I think section 40 is an overreaction too (SCO is a good example of how litigious a company can be for example) but it was the sort of thing that sooner or later would have come, and frankly it's difficult to have any sympathy for a press that has been given decades to sort things out and repeatedly failed.

Incidentally Impress will be enforcing the same editors code as IPSO, so the accusations that they will end up being biased seem more than a little overblown. So far all I've seen is Mosley's name mentioned and hyperbole. Is there anything of substance to that fear?

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Has the British Library started scraping this site?

Vimes
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Has the British Library started scraping this site?

Log entries from the access log for my own site are included below, but you'll note that it's likely the only reason they came to my site was because of a posting here.

This is the first time this has happened, even if I have posted other files located on my site before.

So the British Library think that they are entitled to a copy of this website, as well as anything it links to Their own page effectively says they'll only respect robots.txt when they feel like it. And paid for content? They can force access there too

(not that this is new admittedly - it's been like that since 2013 where the law is concerned apparently)

Time to block that user agent and any remote host ending in *.bl.uk I think...

crawler04.bl.uk - - [12/Dec/2016:02:46:15 -0700] "GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.0" 404 277 "-" "bl.uk_lddc_bot/3.3.0-LBS-2016-02 (+http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit/websites/websites/faqswebmaster/index.html)" patrick.seurre.com

crawler04.bl.uk - - [12/Dec/2016:02:46:20 -0700] "GET /wp-content/uploads/2016/04/register_ad3.PNG HTTP/1.0" 200 168523 "http://m.forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/04/05/Alistair_Hey_what_is_that_oddball_box_on_the_left/" "bl.uk_lddc_bot/3.3.0-LBS-2016-02 (+http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit/websites/websites/faqswebmaster/index.html)" patrick.seurre.com

crawler04.bl.uk - - [12/Dec/2016:02:46:33 -0700] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.0" 404 278 "https://patrick.seurre.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/register_ad3.PNG" "bl.uk_lddc_bot/3.3.0-LBS-2016-02 (+http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit/websites/websites/faqswebmaster/index.html)" patrick.seurre.com

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100k+ petition: MPs must consider debating Snoopers' Charter again

Vimes
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Re: People. The person you need to write to is your MP. @John Smith 19

Sadly when I chose to write to my MP about this when it was still being debated, his reply consisted of a large think envelope containing all the forms that have to be filled out when undertaking surveillance.

Of course this ignores the way in which the various services effectively self-authorise what they do making this whole thing a monumental waste of time but he didn't seem to be interested in hearing that.

Too many MPs are blindly following the government and have done so repeatedly in the past. For them to change course now would involve the acceptance that they had previously made mistakes, and most people should know how difficult it is to get an MP to actually do that.

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Make Christmas Great Again: $149 24-karat gold* Trump tree ornament

Vimes
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Re: Drumpf was the grandfathers name

Neither Trump nor Farage are anti-immigrant. Both their politics and personal life clearly show that.

You just had one advocating the building of a wall to stop immigration, and the other posing in front of a giant billboard showing a poster eerily similar to ones shown in Nazi Germany. Nothing anti-immigrant about that all. Nope. Nothing...

They are against the "wrong sort" of immigrant.

You mean Muslims? Wasn't Trump supporting the idea of implementing a registry of them at one point? I'm only surprised they're not going to be forced to wear yellow crescents.

For that matter, when it comes to the 'wrong sort' of immigrant, does anybody else think it's rich of Farage to complain about of freedom of movement? He's given up on dealing with the clusterfuck he helped create so now he decides to take advantage of that freedom himself and bugger off to the US.

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Vimes
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Re: Conclusive proof

That speaks against theories he's susceptible to money corruption

Seriously?

Do you honestly think there would be no temptation to follow certain courses of action as President if doing so appears to benefit his business interests?

He's not, unless he's stupid as a box of rocks.

...or thinks the laws don't apply to him?

Some of what he has been quoted as saying (“The law’s totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest”) sounds very Nixonian in my opinion and doesn't bode well for the future either.

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Vimes
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http://boingboing.net/2016/11/24/funny-reivews-pile-up-for-dona.html

"It called Mary a nasty woman, told Joseph to go back where he came from, built a wall around the manger, and then when you press it it sings "I'm Dreaming Of A Totally White Christmas."

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Vimes
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Re: Conclusive proof

Having large amounts of money doesn't necessarily mean that you have good taste.

No, *THIS* is conclusive proof:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/p3-johnston-view-from-osaka-a-20161120.jpg

Ever get the feeling he's trying to overcompensate for something?

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Vimes
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Looks like with a little care somebody could come up with a cut-out design that could be printed out from a colour printer and folded together. It might not be shiny but then the gold content on the real one isn't that high anyway. And make the document freely downloadable.

Oh, and change the caption on the hat to 'Make Donald Drumpf Again' too...

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Merkel calls for balanced approach to data protection

Vimes
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Big data often benefits big business.

Why should we give a shit about their needs, much less spend any time 'balancing' them with ours?

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TfL to track Tube users in stations by their MAC addresses

Vimes
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...will enable us to provide customers with even better information for journey planning...

If that truly is one of their aims then why have they been busy closing ticket offices, where people could get that information?

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Vimes
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which is expensive, time consuming and limited in detail and reliability

Whereas this still costs money, and is probably just as limited in detail and reliability. 'Time consuming' appears to be the only issue this trial deals with and even that is debatable.

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Vimes
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Even if you take out of the equation the fuzziness of detail of what goes on within a station, doesn't the fact that they won't be tracking everybody reduce the whole thing to a pointless exercise in futility?

Not only will a lot of phones have Wi-Fi switched off but it's entirely possible some people won't even have Wi-Fi enabled devices with them in the first place.

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Ye Bug List

Vimes
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If you're going to insist on moving the top advert down as the user scrolls down the page, perhaps you could include the links at the top of the page in the part that gets moved? Otherwise the advert ends up covering useful links, including the one for these forums.

I note after all that you make sure that moving the advert doesn't cover up the main menu bar directly underneath the main logo image on the page (which funnily enough is where the forums link was until recently)

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Shhh! Shazam is always listening – even when it's been switched 'off'

Vimes
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'Shazam takes user privacy very seriously'

Funny how this term is abused so frequently.

Phorm, BT, 3UK, Vodafone, even the UK government when it was begging the EU commission not to sue them over 'implied consent'...

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Cynical Apple gouges UK with 20 per cent price hike

Vimes
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The price on the French site is slightly higher than the new British price once the price in Euros is converted back to Sterling, so either this is down to the exchange rate or we're not the only ones who've had price rises.

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Burgundian iPhone wrecker hit with damages, suspended sentence

Vimes
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EU law demands a minimum of two years for guarantees? If bought in January 2015 he should have been able to demand a replacement for a faulty unit until January 2017?

Under EU rules you always have the right to a minimum 2-year guarantee at no cost.

This 2-year guarantee is your minimum right. National rules in your country may give you extra protection: however, any deviation from EU rules must always be in the consumer's best interest.

If goods you bought anywhere in the EU turn out to be faulty or do not look or work as advertised, the seller must repair or replace them free of charge or give you a price reduction or a full refund.

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/guarantees-returns/index_en.htm

Apple seem to have form with this one though...

https://gigaom.com/2012/11/13/apple-decides-to-comply-with-italys-free-two-year-warranty-policy/

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Early indications show UK favouring 'hard Brexit', says expert

Vimes
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It's gone from January/February (according to Donald Tusk's account of conversations with Theresa May) to March in a couple of weeks. At this point given how things keep on changing the only meaningful thing will be the actual act of invoking article 50.

Anything else just amounts to meaningless words that seem to change on an almost daily basis.

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Germany calls halt to Facebook’s WhatsApp info slurp

Vimes
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This only applies to Germany though? What about the rest of the EU?

A month on and the best the ICO can do is regurgitate the same press release from back in August.

https://twitter.com/ICOnews/status/780746235082862592

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Vodafone UK blocks bulk nuisance calls. Hurrah!

Vimes
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Meanwhile over at Three they're apparently more concerned with their attempts to push targeted advertising and promoting it as ad-blocking, rather than provide anything really useful such as this...

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Samsung wants your exploding Galaxy Note 7. Have a new one instead

Vimes
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Any word on when we'll actually be able to buy one of these in the UK?

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EU 'net neutrality' may stop ISPs from blocking child abuse material

Vimes
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Re: @Alexander Hanff 1 @Charles 9

Perhaps I should have phrased things more carefully. What I was intending to refer to was the part of the process that involves the transit of communications on systems outside the local network being used by the end user.

Such 'clueless users' would presumably be content to simply use the router provided by the ISP.

There is nothing to stop the ISP from setting up their equipment to stop adverts at the router level, and any information generated by the blocking need never leave the router or be sent back to the ISP (nor would there be any need for the ISP to either intercept or analyse traffic passing through their network).

In any case it might be worth noting this:

http://www.threemediacentre.co.uk/news/2016/shine-announcement.aspx

From the blog entry:

Our objective in working with Shine is not to eliminate mobile advertising, which is often interesting and beneficial to our customers, but to give customers more control, choice and greater transparency over what they receive.

To me personally that sounds very similar to the sorts of things Facebook have been coming out with recently.

Shine seems to be another type of Phorm, just dressed up differently.

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Vimes
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@Alexander Hanff 1

it is absurd to suggest that publishers should have a veto over a citizen's choice to block ads

I don't think anybody is suggesting that.

What is being suggested however is that getting the network operator involved in the process is a bad idea, and one that will be unnecessarily invasive and inefficient given the alternatives available.

The likes of ad-block plus is presumably run locally without the involvement of 3rd parties and without the need for any company having direct knowledge of where you've been or what you're currently doing.

Why then should the prerequisite for the network operator to see your traffic be changed to fit the need for blocking anything? Would blocking at the router not be a better alternative, since like the ad-block plus solution this would prevent the need to make your communications viewable to 3rd parties?

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Vimes
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@Ken Hagan

Knowing that it's happening makes zero difference to the legality - or the ethical situation surrounding the activities (IMO at any rate).

Interception is interception.

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Vimes
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@Preston Munchensonton

Basically, ISPs aren't allowed to manage their networks with these rules

Clauses b & c in the paragraph quoted in the article would seem to contradict your conclusion.

ISPs are not always stopped from doing this, they're just stopped when it doesn't fit into one of the categories they specify (and the first one relating to national legislation would seem to allow for even further wiggle room depending on how far national governments want to take things).

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Vimes
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"It makes far more sense from a privacy and security perspective to be able to manage all these devices from a single point and an ISP service is a sensible approach because it blocks these risks before they ever reach the customer's home network," added Hanff.

And if the device is used on another connection that isn't filtered?

Managing each device might be more of a hassle but it's still better than merely securing the connection that the device is uses most frequently if we're talking about devices that won't always be using the same connection.

Why has Hanff changed his tune from 2008 after the Phorm trials when he was busy proclaiming that consent from both sender and recipient was needed to make any interception legal?

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Lenovo's tablet with a real pen, Acer's monster laptop, Samsung Galaxy S3 watch

Vimes
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Re: Yoga 'virtual' keyboard

Toshiba also tried something similar in 2010

https://www.engadget.com/2010/09/08/toshiba-libretto-w105-review/

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Vimes
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Re: Yoga Book

If I understand the new Yoga laptop correctly you're supposed to be able to use the space used by the keyboard as a graphics tablet with the input being shown on the screen?

But why would anybody want that when they can draw directly on the screen itself with something like an ipad pro or surface pro?

As for this:

Another twist is that the pen includes actual ink, allowing you to write or draw on a paper notepad clipped to the device. Your input is automatically transferred to the tablet.

Wacom already tried this concept with the Bamboo Spark. Reviews weren't that good if memory serves. Why would this pen be any better?

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

Vimes
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Re: This:

'Preparing to leave is probably' the best way of putting it.

And we'll probably never get past the 'preparing' stage...

http://jackofkent.com/2016/08/brexit-a-story-of-a-brainstorm/

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Vimes
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Re: This:

they said no to Europe

Given the arguments in the cabinet it seems that they can't even decide what saying 'no to Europe' even means, let alone how to go about implementing it.

The furore around ministers getting upset with civil servants not acting on Brexit would be funny if the implications weren't so serious, and ignores the fact that they haven't even given the civil servants a policy to start implementing.

It seems odd that those that complained the most loudly about unelected bureaucrats before the referendum now expect those same unelected bureaucrats to do the job of government ministers.

It must be OK though - at least they're OUR unelected bureaucrats...

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Vimes
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Maybe the 2013 change enabled this:

If that's the case then if anything it strengthens the case against Apple IMO. The majority of the complaint seems to be around behaviour in 2014. If the change was introduced in 2013 and Apple had competent accountants working for them at the time then they should have been aware the deal wasn't tenable and was likely to be challenged.

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Vimes
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retrospective taxes

I don't recall the definitions of what constitutes illegal state aid changing very much over recent years, so to me it would seem likely that whatever arrangement they had was just as unacceptable then as it is now.

Personally I fail to understand how this is a retrospective tax when the rules seem to have remained pretty much unchanged, and the only difference between now and then is the willingness to enforce them.

Add to the mix the fact that large corporations often have access to well funded and competent legal & accounting teams. When you take that into account it ends up being rather difficult to believe that somebody in one of those teams didn't raise the questionable nature of the arrangements *before* the investigation even started.

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Vimes
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Their HQ in Cork apparently has 4,000 people working there.

The technology giant’s Cork base now employs 4,000 people with a further 2,500 people employed indirectly “in the local area”, according to Apple. Only the UK has more Apple employees than Ireland, although this is due to its 37 Apple retail stores, which employ an average of 100 retail staff per store.

The Cork office, which has been open since 1980 and was once primarily a manufacturing site, is Apple’s only global corporate headquarters outside the US. The majority working there are now engaged in non-manufacturing roles such as finance, supply chain management and customer support.

http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/25pc-of-apples-european-workforce-based-in-cork-30487720.html

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Vimes
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I wonder how the Irish government will explain to it's own people that it doesn't need that extra €13bln when austerity has already caused so much damage and is continuing to do so?

And if this sort of ruling applies to the whole of Europe, will large corporations really bother moving when the advantage in doing so is likely slim to non-existent? The process of moving people and facilities represents a big cost in itself and one they'd have to justify to their own shareholders.

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UK watchdog: You. Facebook. Get over here now. This WhatsApp privacy update. Explain

Vimes
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Given the lack of action from the ICO in the past I'm not hopeful.

There's a hell a lot of inertia there against taking action that she'll have to confront within her own organisation before she gets anywhere with this.

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NHS slaps private firm Health IQ for moving Brits' data offshore

Vimes
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Why are they allowed to continue to provide services to the NHS at all?

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WhatsApp is to hand your phone number to Facebook

Vimes
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Re: The only surprise

Maybe your old colleague had your phone number in his phone too and did use Facebook themself?

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