* Posts by MonkeyCee

871 posts • joined 16 Apr 2013

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Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron 'emails' two days before French presidential election

MonkeyCee
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Re: "far right" is a misnoma

"The "far right" is simply another leftist label, this time to try and distance themselves from Nazism. Which the most current leftists seem so uneducated to know it was a socialist movement. "

It's OK if you don't understand that socialist means a lot of different things. You're probably a left-pondian, so anything that the rest of the world would view as socialist is classified as something else, since the commies are bad, or something.

National Socialism, that's the nazis to you and me, is a very particular form of socialism. It's socialism for corporations, as long as those corporations are doing the bidding of the government. The general theory is to make profits private, and losses public. Thus if your arms factory goes bankrupt, the state will step in and bail it out, but if your arms factory is making a killing, then you just pay your taxes.

The reason that (in particular in the US, but UK et al are pretty bad at this too) that the nazi's as described as some complete "other", be it them being far-right-wing, socialists or extremists, is because there are an awful lot of similarities between our corporate run democracies and nazism. The military-industrial complex (or military-industrial-congressional as Eisenhower first termed it) is pretty literally nazism. Same for bailing out "vital" industries, be it the banks or cars.

Citizen's United ruling reads like something from nazi Germany.

Remember, if profits are private, and (corporate) losses public, then it's nazism. If profits and losses are public, then it's socialism.

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MonkeyCee
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Russia gains...

"I mean as a country would you really be that obvious? What do they actually gain from Trump and Le Pen?"

I take it you've not actually been paying any attention to Russia communications. Lets take Crimea, where the blanket denials of Russian support and action where contradicted at the time. After things had settled (ie the West wasn't going to counter attack*) in Putin's annual press conference he straight up admitted that the Russian troops had seized it, but it was all OK, since that was what people clearly wanted.

Same way as the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines plane, so much FUD spread from the Russian press, as well as meddling with the physical evidence still didn't change the actual facts that is was a Buk, and highly unlikely to have been under the control of rebels (versus Russian control). But the FUD is enough, if you make it look like everyone is dirty, then you get away with your crimes.

As for wanting Le Pen or Trump, it's much more about who doesn't get in. Clinton was always going to take a hard line on Russia, she's more hawkish than Obama, and Russia needs those sanctions lifted in the next few years or things might start unraveling. That Trump is uninformed, weak and unpredictable is not great for Russia, but he's clearly easy to manipulate. They've got plenty of experience dealing with puffed-ego dictators, and there's the bunch of shady money that Trump has borrowed which, like Le Pen, is not "officially" Russian state assets.

Le Pen and Brexit is about weakening the other geo-political bloc that is anti-Russian. Well, the EU would actually probably be OK (economically) with lifting the sanctions on Russia, the very public dicking with the elections is somethng them technocrats are not happy about.

I'll also note that hacking and then releasing information on wikileaks to discredit a candidate is something that the USA (or at least anti-Russian types) has done before, the Panama papers and Putin's hidden fortune being splashed just before the Russian election. It's just that Putin is massivly popular (and feared, so a proper Machiavellian leader) in Russia, so no-one really cares he's nicked off with a few tens of billions.

TL&DR: Yes, it does suit Russia to visibly interfere to elect divisive nationalistic candidates or agendas (Brexit). But it's not new, the USA certainly has been using the same tools.

* That the West was also dicking around in Ukrainian politics is also pretty indisputable

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Heroic stepmum takes one for team, sticks pot pipe up wazoo

MonkeyCee
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legal...

"Am hoping that UK gov finally sees sense and legalised 6 plants to be grown at home,like many other countries have done,preferably with a system safety check before you can start.."

Which countries are those?

Just fyi, if the cops found your setup over here (Netherlands) then you'd be in jail. Nice Dutch jail, pretty cosy and all, but still jail.

It's tolerated, not legal. So the cops show up (along with the council) and say there has been a complaint, hand over the weed and you get a stern letter (telling you to go to the coffeeshop*) and the fuzz has a wee nosey through your place.

If you are growing "professionally" then you are *not* tolerated, and you'll be charged. The criteria for professional growing is if you have over 5 plants, and/or are using lights. Hence why people seem to think 5 plants is legal.

As for growing it myself, hydro corrals and compost, then a balcony and a watering can. Most annoying thing is some of the local felines get a taste for it. Well, and getting it confiscated a week before harvest.

* my local ones are run by a Moroccan criminal gang or motorcycle gang, so I'm not sure what the council is pushing

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40,000 Tinder pics scraped into big data service

MonkeyCee
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Re: Side issue

"Do you _have to_ try to find the owner or can you just walk on by because you have better things to do with your time?"

No, you can just leave it there. It's only if you find something and intend to keep it.

If you find something, make a "reasonable" attempt to locate the owner, then after an amount of time it belongs to you.

So if you find a bag of money (or more realistically, a wallet with cash in it), then handing it in to a cop shop and leaving your details will result in the money going to you if no-one claims it within three months IIRC.

However, if it might be evidence in some other crime, then it can get held for quite a long time. I found an envelope containing about $600 on the side of the road in NZ, and I got to keep it after the cops had it for about 18 months. Well, I got a bank transfer for the amount, since the actual banknotes are still potential evidence.

It's a bit different if someone has abandoned goods. So if a flatmate leaves a fridge when they move out, and make no effort to collect it for two years, then the fridge then belongs to whoever it was left with.

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Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

MonkeyCee
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"The legal porn industry can barely make any money off of it these days"

Source please.

Hollywood still makes plenty of profit, and you can torrent it for "free".

Porn is roughly 5 times the size of Hollywood, and is generally more profitable. Plus all they do is remake shit :)

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Just how screwed is IT at the Home Office?

MonkeyCee
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Re: Can anyone explain IR35?

The IR35 changes have not a lot to do with HMRC collecting more revenue. It's about making them look busy while fucking the little guy over.

HMRC (along with most other tax departments) have a quite clear plan for getting more revenue. Hiring investigators, going after the biggest offenders first and enforcing the penalties is guaranteed income. It costs roughly 100k pa to raise an additional 2m pa.

However, the biggest offenders know this, and so tax departments are restrained, cut and fucked around with as much as possible since those big offenders often are greasing the wheels of politics.

So as with any real clusterfuck, it takes politics and vested interests to screw things up.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: So how are these aging systems going to handle

"the at least 10x uptick in British citizenship applications by all the long term EU citizens that have married UK citizens, lived here for 20+ years etc but never bothered applying for citizenship as they didn't previously have to?"

Just to be a pedant, they are applying for nationality, as we're all EU citizens. Thus they currently already have citizenship (of the EU) and are of a particular nationality.

Once the UK is out of the EU, then they would be applying for citizenship.

Since the Home Office auto-reply letters get this wrong, I don't expect anyone else to get it right :)

The transferring of citizenship is going to be a fairly big issue for brexit, one which (hopefully) is going to be addressed first to avoid too much disruption. It's also one of those areas where the EU team has at least read the relevant laws and the UK's public pronouncements appear they haven't (or are not interested in the legal niceties).

Essentially the EU is not sure they have the legal power to take away people's citizenship, either individually or en masse. The UK *may* be able to, if it is no longer bound by the ECHR, but that would require some neat timing to achieve. I would imagine that the solution would be in giving people a choice, rather than forcing a particular outcome.

Whatever happens, there is a current rush of applications on either side of the channel to gain nationality prior to any cut off date, which no-one appears prepared for.

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Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

MonkeyCee
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Re: I'm the one that brings a paper towel

"I have an inkling that even sturdy paper toweling must dissolve, eventually. Am I wrong?"

Yes. The advice to only put TP down the bog is for a reason.

"Now I've never known the plumbing to suffer the subsequent 'backup failure'."

Not on your end, no. But unless you dropped a tracking device in there too, then you've got no idea about the downstream effect.

Sewerage systems are for liquids, not solids. Poop and near equivalents (soups, smoothies, vomit) are usually within the systems capability.

Various other unsuitable items get in there too, but are generally accepted that it's pretty hard to stop them. Hair and fat are the obvious ones here, and if you're expecting to put a lot of it in there then you are expected to filter it.

Putting cellulose based products that aren't designed to *immediately* dissolve in water (normal TP) is going to help cause a blockage. It takes several months to decompose paper in ideal conditions. Putting baby wipes/nappies or other polymer based items is even worse, since those don't decompose at all in a helpful timeframe.

Unless there is a real problem with your building plumbing, you indeed will never see the issue. Same as dumping fat into the system, it's very rare to block up an individual connection. But the cumulative effect is what gets the various fatburgs and other joys of the deep.

As for being to scared to throw your shit paper in the bin, just use the sanitary products bin. no-one wants to handle those bits either, and they'll have a half decent bag on it, and a lid.

Oh, and please don't dump paint, motor oil or any of the other items into the waste water systems either. Just because it doesn't fuck up your plumbing doesn't mean it won't fuck up something else.

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Hard-pressed Juicero boss defends $400 IoT juicer after squeezing $120m from investors

MonkeyCee
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Re: @MonkeyCee

"Are you the guy who made Tesco rethink the serving suggestion on their chillies? ("Why not toss into a fresh green salad?") "

@ John H Woods: Alas no, Tesco being very good at ignoring anything I say.

My local Lidl is very nice, since I'm apparently the only person who puts stuff in their suggestion box. I thought the manager was having a laugh with me when he said it, but apparently true.

Just to show my awesome health credentials, I've managed to get them to add doughnuts to the bakery section, and bring back the chocolate/praline blocks that Mrs V likes an awful lot.

I am amused by the fact that a suggestion slip with "doughnuts!" being the only thing written on it got a result, along with its follow up "more doughnuts!"

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Easy juice? Sounds good to me.

"For those of us that have the time to wander off to the market or grow their own"

You don't have time to go to the store? Or set up some sort of delivery system? Then go to fugging eatery :)

"you want the produce to be fairly fresh, so you need to be buying it every 2nd or 3rd day."

Going to the supermarket once a week and a market/grocer/bloke on side of road once a week doesn't seem too much of a hassle. Lots of stuff is as "fresh"* when canned or frozen, notably berries and legumes.

"I couldn't eat that much veg if I tried."

Try it. Seriously. Eating vegetables isn't that hard, quick boil and nom nom. I even hear carrots and broccoli can be eaten raw, by using the "food processor" of your teeth. If you don't wank about it no-one really cares, apart from the chewing sounds.

"It makes a mess and the machine is a hassle to clean"

You're doing it wrong, much like the rest of your diet ;)

Now I'm not a fan of juicers/blenders, since they appeal to lazy fuckers, and lazy fuckers don't like to wash up. So after you used it (right after, not when you get round to it) fill it with soapy water, run it, then do the same with clean water.

But I'd think you'd be better off just deciding to actually eat some freaking veggies as part of your normal diet.

My main issue with it is that a diet of apples, carrots, spuds, rice and veggies on the turn was what I ate for six months when broke as fuck. So I can still look at the ingredients of a liter of green juice as often being 4-5 days food. Well, the non starch parts anyway.

* in terms of retaining vitamins and minerals

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

MonkeyCee
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Re: Kodak Created The First Digital Camera

Sounds about right for Kodak. They certainly where a tech company, originally of the chemical type, but into many other things (lots of imaging etc).

When they went through chapter 11 the patents went for half a billion or so, which would also qualify them as pretty techy :)

Their inkjets are a lot nicer than HP, and don't rape you on the refills. Although a printer could randomly electrocute me and it'd still be better than most HP inkjets :)

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

MonkeyCee
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Re: Public wifi?

"I just use a card, like I have for the last 20 years."

Like my better half then eh? :)

I *have* to carry cash, as all the women in my life insist that everywhere takes cards, and are shocked (SHOCKED I tell you) when they discover various discount shops, takeaways, bars, food vans and market stalls don't in fact take whichever flavor of card they have.

Also never had anyone take five grand in cash from me, but have had that happen with a card. You know, with all those security features that allow it to decide that it being used in the Netherlands at 7pm, then two hours later is being used in Jakata. Where the PIN is incorrectly entered nine times, then correctly done....

Card fraud happens so often that it's often only when you are either on a super tight budget, aren't using your card much, or are doing some detailed budgeting do you notice the various weird and wonderful payments that are disappearing out of your account.

Nicking my cash at least requires physical access at the time.

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Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled

MonkeyCee
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Re: They walk amongst us

"Simple - any proper homeopathic practitioner (and I have met a number who are qualified GPs)"

Living in the Netherlands is nice for this, Germany too.

Homeopathy is a protected profession here. So you have to be an actual doctor before you can start calling yourself a homeopath. Which is great, since the snake oil sellers have to be quite a bit more careful (still tons of health food shops etc), but the actual shamans have enough medical knowledge that if you are ill and treatable then they will push you towards the correct areas rather than bilk you for more cash.

It appears to be mainly populated by kind, well meaning physicians who are not emotionally capable of dealing with the loss of their patients. Hence they are treating people who are mainly not unwell, just in need of some hand holding and some magic pills.

I've considered starting an online homeopathic pharmacy, you input all your instructions for what you want, then it gets printed onto a label and attached to the vial of sugar pills and sent out. I'll even tap the pills firmly on a red leather pad whilst thinking good thoughts for you :)

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Yee-hacked! Fired Texan sysadmin goes rogue, trashes boot business

MonkeyCee
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"The correct answer is that now I'm no longer employed by you, the consultancy rate is (5-10 x previous rate) and you would be happy to help, but given the circumstances, the terms are payment in advance."

You're way too nice :)

Either I'm already there on consultancy rates, in which case it's my summoning cost is being met.

If it's from a previous workplace, then I start with q request for a months salary for even looking at the proposal, and about a months salary = daily rate (or weekly = hourly).

I am no longer surprised when people will throw piles of money at you to solve their shit, who only weeks earlier where bitching about paying you a buck or two more an hour, and how your skills where easily available in the marketplace.

I am still a little shocked at just how quickly they agree. I'm obviously not charging nearly enough....

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SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

MonkeyCee
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Re: Bad people winning the world.

"AFAICT, Elon Musk is not a nice guy to work for"

Probably true. He seems obsessive, and keen to use his smarts to make things happen. Well, become a billionaire, then go make things happen. See other comments regarding the in at dawn, out at midnight work ethic.

I'd rather more of the 0.1% with ~45% of the wealth did things like this, rather than vanity projects.

A competent arsehole owner/boss who will fight tooth and nail for their company, when you share in their vision, can be great to work for. Exhausting, frustrating, but getting shit done well with management onboard is a wonderful thing. Musk doesn't even steal nearly as much credit as he could.

He's a terrible businessman anyway. Rocketry is all about bilking the government through a cartel, not launching things into orbit at a low cost :)

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Trump's America looks like a lousy launchpad, so can you dig Darwin?

MonkeyCee
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Fuel + oxidizer = thrust

The development has, in my limited understanding of scary chemicals, come around full circle to using essentially the same fuel mix as the original designs. For the part where you're going through atmosphere liquid oxygen and kerosene is highly effective and very safe. Safe compared to pretty much everything else suitable, and there's obviously a fair bit of engineering going into making all go bang at the right time in the right direction.

For the parts outside atmosphere, I know about as much as wikipedia does. Liquid oxygen and hydrogen apparently.

But doing it the same way for years when you've got a highly effective solution is usually a Good Thing when it's as error tolerant as a rocket.

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America halts fast processing of H-1B skilled worker visas

MonkeyCee
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Re: why was this called 'discrimination'

"Because he would have to give up his British citizenship and therefore right to residency in the UK"

Depends. You can hold dual UK citizenship with the Netherlands if you're the registered partner of a Dutch person, or if you would "lose a significant right". Just got to speak some Dutch and pass whatever tests they give you :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: why was this called 'discrimination'

@Missing Semicolon ... not at all, the Netherlands will be happy to have Mk4 et al, myself included. Or Germany/Belgium for more ease, but if you're working here there will undoubtedly be a path to keep EU citizenship. But the Eu cannot offer anything yet until negotiations formally start, and the UK proposes what it wants.

What the issue here is that the UK has to leave the EU under it's own constitution and laws. Hence this act of parliament, doing it all legal and such like. What the UK decides it would like to do with the EU citizens happens before what the EU agrees for UK in the EU, because the Lords have chosen to make it part of the act. So parliament is doing it's job*, acting as a check and balance on the government (or the executive, depending on which side of the pond) in how it is affecting the rights of people who are either voters, or important to voters.

Maybe we'll all get to choose. EU citizenship in country of residence or UK citizenship for UK in EU, UK citizenship for any EU resident in UK.

* and proving me wrong, again. House of Lords seems like the worst idea, but actually functions far more effectively than the Commons as a functional opposition to the current government.

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COP BLOCKED: Uber app thwarted arrests of its drivers by fooling police with 'ghost cars'

MonkeyCee
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Re: An alternate perspective

"I don't get the point about how the concept of an app that connects drivers and passengers to enable carpooling etc. can have so many ethical issues in some peoples' eyes."

Because companies that provide these services already exist, chiefly taxis and minicabs/private hire vehicles. There are existing, often quite extensive, laws and regulations that cover them, the vehicles they use, and the people who drive them.

Uber avoids some to all of these, whilst taking the business from the existing companies. It also pushes a lot of the compliance issues that would normally be expected to be taken on by the company onto it's drivers.

So while the current systems are not perfect, and there are no doubt real problems with deliberate shortage of NY taxi medallions, or with sexual predators driving taxis, Uber won't help (and will make worse) the safety aspect, whilst *probably* improving the market aspect.

Uber is cheaper because it isn't complying with rules that add extra cost (access for mobility impaired persons etc) and because they pay their subcontracted drivers less than normal taxi drivers. So by cutting corners and lying about what they are doing they gain an advantage over the law abiding competition.

Why they're still making a loss is a bit of a mystery, since they should be quids in, less their legal bills.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Cleared?

"I don't know that NZ would have such protections around entrapment. Given National's track record of changing laws when cops do illegal things to make it no longer illegal...."

NZ cops obviously source their internal lawyers from the same source as Uber :)

It's pretty common that the following occurs:

1. Court case falls apart when the evidence is shown to have not been collected legally*

2. Cops point out their lawyers said it was OK

3. Judge points out that no-one asked the courts, and that the police lawyers are wrong

4. Cops point out that they'll have to toss hundreds of convictions, and abandon several other prosecutions

5. Judge says "try doing your job within the law then FFS"

6. Cops pull strings with politicians

7. Law gets changed to fit cops position

* The public can take pictures in public spaces freely. The cops must still apply for warrants even if the cameras/mics are located in public, unless it's a permanently installed CCTV

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We found a hidden backdoor in Chinese Internet of Things devices – researchers

MonkeyCee
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Re: FFS since when is a GSM to VOIP gateway...

"I find the "Fake News" term boils down to sloppy reporting combined with indifferent editing"

Erm, no. That's not what fake news is. It originally was used to describe events that did not happen, that are being presented as having occurred, in order to elicit a particular response or confirm a particular viewpoint. It's the latest new/old thing in terms of propaganda and misinformation.

Most "proper" reporting involves some element of cherry picking or selectively ignoring facts that don't suit your narrative, rather than outright lies. Outlets that deliberately lie for satirical effect only get away with it because it is considered clear that it is not to be trusted. Same for gossip mags and Weird News type publications. Places like InfoWars and Breitbart (and equivalents from the loony left) should come with the same "pinch of salt" type deal.

What the Donald does is declare any story he dislikes, or feels does not 100% represent his views as "fake news", which also helpfully distracts from the issue of how certain countries are using fake news articles as propaganda to forward their own goals. Still better than him calling the free press "enemies of the people"

Obviously the USA and the Ruskies are the ones at the forefront of these shenanigans.

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Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

MonkeyCee
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"Men are 22 times as likely as women to be imprisoned. We should do something to correct this imbalance."

Perhaps men should stop committing the majority of crime. 98% convicted rapists are men. Roughly 80% of those convicted of assault, burglary, robbery and domestic violence are male. Same for vehicular theft, vandalism and handling stolen property.

White collar crimes are a bit more equal, although men are usually more likely (60-40) to have been convicted off them. Embezzlement, fraud that sort of thing.

That women generally get lighter sentences is an issue, but it's not enough to explain the differences in prison population.

As for the telly licence convictions, partially due to women being less likely to tell a person at their door to fuck off. Which tends to be my default if they are trying to sell anything.

I've let the cops in when they ask nicely, without a court order, but only because I'd rather they didn't decide I was uncooperative.

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Prisoners' 'innovative' anti-IMSI catcher defence was ... er, tinfoil

MonkeyCee
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Re: Wouldn't it be cheaper...

"wouldn't it be cheaper just to put a round of .303 into the cranium of any offender"

Of course it would be cheaper. Just lead to a completely different society, and where offence escalation is the norm, so if you catch someone doing something that will get them executed, they'll consider murdering you, since it's not going to make any difference. There's also the small issue that we're all guilty of something.

It's also a lot cheaper if instead of treating cancer in people over 40, heart disease in those over 50 and pretty much anything over 70, we just give them a big shot of morphine and comfy place to pass on.

Cost-benefit is not really a good plan when it comes to human life.

Also deterrents don't work (alas). Or more specifically don't work on those who are getting jailed, as they've already decided violating the moral/ethical/legal rules are OK for a certain situation.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Ready for the down votes, but...

"a few low powered jammers dotted around the prison buildings would suffice."

Based on my limited knowledge and experience, the answer is no, that will not suffice.

NZ Corrections has some barmy contract for some private company to block mobile signals. Original budget was 20 million plus a million a year to run it. Currently cost ~2 billion, and is about 95% effective (at the cost of ruining mobile around prison sites), meaning that almost all confiscated phones fall into the 5% of phone+sim combinations that work. There are also often spots where you can get a clear signal which are not apparent in a site survey, but are to lags who have a lot of time on their hands.

Having the telecoms company trace and log/block phones was the more sensible and realistic option, but wasn't done as it would have had a higher running cost.

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Post-Brexit five-year UK work visas planned – report

MonkeyCee
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Re: Meanwhile...

"you'll being laying in that hospital trolley even longer"

Don't worry, with the changes to IR35 you won't even have to wait that long.....

I reckon 6 weeks or a cold snap until the NHS starts to properly break down.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: If only..

I have, in part due to economy. But mainly because I'm married to a citizen of that country, my child is a citizen of that country, and I own a house there.

Since I've had the right to live and work here since before I was born, having this taken away* is a real PITA. Every institution pretty much shrugs and says "For two years it'll be the same, after that fuck knows".

So thanks to this BS I may well be forcibly separated from my family**, have no ability to plan for work or study after a two year horizon.

I also don't really want a third citizenship. It's annoying enough for tax with two, one being commonwealth.

*to some degree, to be decided when the brexiters get round to working out their plan in a realistic universe, and resolving that with the EU's universe. Which leaves me utterly re-assured.

** it's pretty likely that either Germany, Belgium or the Netherlands will let me become a resident, since I pay tax and don't break the law much, as there is quite strong political will towards keeping their brits

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MonkeyCee
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Immigration

Pedant alert:

Net immigration is ~300k. Actual immigration is ~650k, so about ~280k comes from the EU and another ~290k from the rest of the world, the remainder being returning brits.

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Get orf the air over moi land Irish farmer roars at drones

MonkeyCee
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Holy hell John. Look, I know all your comment is saying is that you're a big man with a gun who don't need no help dealing with all the scum of the earth, but jeez....

First up, this story is not in the UK. Although the legal codes are pretty close, and to a USian it can get confusing.

But even assuming that, it take about ten seconds googling to find out how the actual law is applied, so I've no idea where the utter bollocks you're spouting comes from. If you don't know, feel free to ask. And if you just want to say "In Texas, I'd have shot them all and buried them in the desert" just skip to that, rather than lying about the law.

Here's the summery from the CPS

https://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/householders.html

In short, you can use reasonable force to secure your property, and reasonable force to defend yourself and others. This includes using a weapon, and is based on your perception of threat. So in your example, arson/attempted murder, home invasion or rape would almost certainly allow you to use a firearm in defense. For securing your property I would expect that threatening by pointing would be OK, but no shooting. For trespass alone, pointing is probably over the top. You should still call the cops first, but you're not legally prevented from taking care of yourself.

If someone gets killed or injured, then it seems reasonable that people get investigated. The CPS in general will not be prosecuting you over and above the intruder for threatening them. Even if you kill them, you may well escape prosecution. However if you set out to harm them, by not calling the cops, setting a trap, or harming them after they have been subdued, then you could (IMHO should) be prosecuted.

The perception of the US as trigger happy is that there seem to be an awful lot of people being shot. As compared to say Canada, which also has high gun ownership, lots of rural areas etc.

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Jinn workers besiege delivery app co-founder to protest wage changes

MonkeyCee
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Re: Targeting immigrants as a workforce?

"In the UK?? That doesn't seem like a good long term strategy what with Brexit and all."

Unless you're hell bent on employing EU workers, brexit is going to make ZERO difference to the ability for immigrant workers to come to the UK. Turns out if you reduce the supply from area, it increases from others.

Half the current immigration (120-150 thousand a year net, 280-300k gross) comes from countries outside the EU, over which the UK has pretty full control over whom they let in. Despite much talk from T.May, both as her stint in the Home Office and as PM, she has presided over the largest amount of immigration to the UK for 30 years.

It's all in the carefully chosen words. "Taking control over immigration" "control of our borders" "getting the right sort of migrants". Sounds enough like "kick out the furrners" to get the racist vote, while allowing the politicians plenty of wriggle room to keep the supply of cheaper labour entering the market while waving their hands and saying "we never promised *that* you silly peons".

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We've found a ‘vaccine’ for fake news. Wait! No, we really are Cambridge researchers

MonkeyCee
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Re: Is this about fake news, or hidden ways of censorship?

"And what "facts" would that be, considering that global warming is one of the most hottest topics for debate around the world right now?"

Really? I thought the debate was fairly settled on "climate change is happening" and that global warming (leading to wetter weather etc) was definitely happening.

If it's caused (or how much the cycle is influenced) by human activity is still being argued, but that seems fairly clear to most people.

What should be done is definitely not settled, still being debated, yadda yadda.

As for the whole "fake news" shebang, it's interesting what is considered fake and what isn't (despite not being true). Cameron and the pig was clearly bollocks, utterly unsupported by any evidence, but everyone ran with it, because it was funny.

People also prefer lies/fake news/alternate facts because the truth often is complex and fails to support whatever view someone is expressing without a spot of selective editing. Eg: USAians are super litigious even when it's clearly their own fault using the example of McDonalds hot coffee, even though the facts of that case point to the opposite, that serving food or drink at too high temperature in flimsy containers is dangerous. Or bitching about H+S while ignoring how many lives it has saved. Or the whole brexit campaign, on both sides.

A lie can get around the world twice before the truth gets it's boots on and all that.

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Why Theresa May’s hard Brexit might be softer than you think

MonkeyCee
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Re: Stretch your legs on March 25

Lying isn't election fraud. Alas.

The ASA also doesn't moderate political ads.

It's also a bit of clever rhetoric, since it asked something more along the lines of "We send x bajillion to the EU, wouldn't it be better spent on the NHS?" which is not a promise to do anything. You can also agree with that even while voting Remain.

Not counting the rebate is a manipulation of facts in the statistics/accounting deception style. Anyone who cares enough to understand is aware the figure is lower, but is less likely to be swayed by the line in the first place.

It was also a neat trick of having multiple "official" Leave campaigns. Their claims supported each other, but they could always point to the other side and say "I never promised that". I have trouble keeping straight who said what out of Gove, Farage and BoJo, along with the vario

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Ooops! One in three tech IPOs now trading below their starting price

MonkeyCee
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Re: Why?

"Is whoring your users from advertiser to advertiser really that profitable?"

Short answer, yes.

Bear in mind that various traditional media, with far more real-world costs (newsprint, radio, TV) can make good money purely on selling adverts. Hence why "free" papers continue to be profitable.

Facebook is a media company where other people generate the content. Much like Google and the various other social media platforms. It's just much much MUCH more personally targeted, both data gathering and in advertising.

The part that bothers me most is less the shilling of goods and services, it's the influence and manipulation that FB et al are being paid directly to do. Political advertising is obviously not illegal, but is influential when you can target specific demographics with just the right sort of article/ad.

FB and the Tories have kept a bit of a lid on it, but the 2015 election win is widely held to have been due to micro targeted advertising campaigns through FB aimed at swing voters in tight races. There's some suggestion that the negative campaigning worked even better, persuading Labour voters to switch to SDP/Greens/UKIP in races the cons couldn't win.

Considering how effective gerrymandering has been in the UK and USA for breaking representative democracy, and the resistance to any form of change to the systems, this will just allow an even more effective form of forging consent and ensuring people vote the right way, even if for the wrong reasons.

No idea how to deal with it either. Obviously banning political advertising is Not Cool, since that can pretty much be used to cudgel any dissident opinion, and requiring warnings like "this utterly baseless piece of propaganda was brought to you by $Party" is going to be dodged pretty quickly, since there are plenty of think-tanks etc that can be used to front someone else's agenda.

So since FB can probably now sell you the ability to win an election, I'm pretty sure they've got their money+power printing machine running quite nicely thanks.

I'm sure there's a modern equivalent to "Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel", it'll be interesting to see what happens if some party pisses off Zuck enough for him to break them.

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CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme

MonkeyCee
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Re: Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme

My issue with the Leave voters is very little to do with what each of them individually decided on as their reason(s) for voting that way, but that that many of their views where mutually contradictory.

Most will repeat things that are demonstrably false. When these falsehoods are explained, they are dismissed as the conclusion is clearly "correct" and doesn't need no steenkin' evidence. The persistence of BJ's assorted euro myths managing to show the EU as being some evil empire, rather than the UK being somewhat incompetent (eg prawn cocktail flavorings)

" It's incredibly bigoted, almost fascist perspective that only serves to divide our society "

Perhaps you missed the lessons on what fascism is. It's about might = right, that force is the only true measure. You'll notice that it was a right wing, Britain first, Leave voting chap who decided to gun down a democratically elected representative because he disagreed with her.

If you're voting for the same cause as the actual fascists, then I'd take a good hard look at yourself.

PS Remainers are about as racist as the Leavers, just in an "exploit them" rather than "shoot 'em all" kind of way

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MonkeyCee
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Re: @Doctor Syntax: It will be horrific

"apparently the locals are basically to f'ing lazy and work shy to actually get up each morning and pull veggies out of the ground."

That's one way of putting it.

My experience is that unskilled agricultural laborers are treated like stock. You get driven to the field in a cattle wagon, you have to work fast and accurately whilst freezing your tits off, and you get called a lazy PoS if you suggest that maybe they should follow even the most basic of safety rules or have work breaks more than once every four hours.

Much the same as hospitality manages to flaunt labor and H+S rules, and if you disagree you get shown the door, there is a cultural acceptance of a way of working that most people find a tad dickensian. I've also found that if there is even a whiff of a union or basic knowledge of labor rights it is a very good way to get your hours cut to zero.

In defence of farmers, since I've got plenty of friends and family who are, they have one of the hardest jobs out there, and they expect much the same of their staff.

Oh, and whatever happens wrt brexit, seasonal EU labor is hear to stay. The laborers just don't get to. Stay that is. Just make sure they are shipped in and out each year, and May can say they aren't immigrants.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: It will be horrific

" "you're going to have to dig your own potatoes."

There'll be enough unemployed natives looking for seasonal work."

If there where such natives, then there wouldn't be the need for migrant labor in the first place.

It's incredibly naive to think that by blocking one source of cheap labor migrants, that somehow the local labor force will suddenly decide to pick up the slack, rather than there will be migrants from other countries instead.

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AI shoves all in: DeepStack, Libratus poker bots battle Texas Hold 'em pros heads up

MonkeyCee
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Re: The use of games to train and test AI is prolific

Good poker players can still read you through a screen. Most of the actual play is interpreting what bids the other player(s) are making, and thus what they are claiming to have.

So you can make pretty good play by making a bot "tight and aggressive" with fairly simple mathematics. You can teach someone who knows a bit about probabilities, and paying attention to how quickly a player makes a decision can also give quite a lot away. So less "Ted rubs his ear" but more "Ted tokk less than a second to decide, Ted is probably not bluffing".

Teaching a decent Magic player how to beat fish takes a few hours. Anyone who can handle high school stats should be able to after maybe 6-8 hours practice. It's much less about what odds does hand x have, and much more about how much of the pot is your money, and thus what your expected profit is if you call/raise.

You can memorise the 20-25 hold'em hands that you should play, and fold the rest. That alone will allow you to beat most face-to-face players.

As always with AI research, it's only really useful if it's a general rather than specific AI. Which is the point why Deepmind is actual AI, wheras Deep Blue was a specific problem solver.

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Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

MonkeyCee
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Re: Not only in America

"In fact, the precedent base at present is - if there is the smallest suspicion that you have done it deliberately setting up "burglar punishment facilities", then you are at fault."

IANAL but my understanding is that the crime being committed (by the homeowner) is something like "setting man traps". In NZ at least it's still used, dating from people setting traps for poachers. This is generally a bad idea, since while scrotes are scum, you can't go around killing and maiming them. As much as that sounds nice, vigilante justice, especially blind (no check on who falls in the pit or triggers trap) is strongly discouraged.

Only know this since some charming vegan save-the-planet types poisoned the milk at a previous workplace, and that was what they got charged with, as no-one was actually harmed.

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Barcodes stamped on breast implants and medical equipment

MonkeyCee
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Re: But how to know if someone has an implant?

My implants have a serial number that I have several printed copies off, also recorded in a database. No writing required. Also comes with barcode and QR code, something humans are also poor at reproducing ;)

Not sure how useful the bar code being on the things would be, it's also a bitch to engrave titanium.

Pro tip, don't get kicked in the face. Even the best replacement teeth are worse and waaay more hassle than the originals.

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How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

MonkeyCee
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Vader

It had proper bad guys. Who are scheming against each other, which adds to their depth.

Had decent action sequences, and (IMHO) a proper character arc for the protagonists. If you attempt a suicidal mission against all odds than success still involves you all dying in the process. Which the protagonists accept, don't spend their time whining about, so their deaths have some gravitas. Rather than some redshirt or Sean Bean dying at the end of act 1 and everyone else lives happily ever after. Duty heavy as iron and all that.

Still has the usual issues with the fairy tale of the US. Plucky (American) rebels against evil (British) empire, evil empire is super evil for no point other than to justify chaos caused by rebels. Wheras for most non-USians the empire is pretty clearly the US, with it's super CV being taken out by the equivalent of a zodiac with a limpet mine, and plenty of oppressing brown people in sandy countries.

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Landmark EU ruling: Legality of UK's Investigatory Powers Act challenged

MonkeyCee
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Indeed

GCHQ may well do what they like, but they have been shown to have been breaking the (very small) amount of legal restrictions that where placed on them, and deliberately hiding the evidence from the court that is supposed to have oversight of them.

So passing the law to retroactively make ~15 years of illegal surveillance legal, and the retention of data also legal was pretty much the goal. It's why the same legislation has been making the rounds for a decade or so now.

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Non-existent sex robots already burning holes in men’s pockets

MonkeyCee
Silver badge

Sex surveys

Slightly off topic, but sex surveys are one of the handy tools to show just how inaccurate surveys are, especially when dealing with anything that is not the norm to be publicly discussed.

Durex does surveys into people's sex lives, as part of their market research for selling condoms. For straight people, apparently men have on average 3-5 times the number of partners (over a lifetime) than women, based on survey answers*. Since proving that the average number of partners for both genders** in this section of the population is equal is trivial, it's clear that some combination of the following factors:

- people lie about their number of partners

- people have different definitions of "sex", such as counting (or not) oral-only partners

- men with low numbers and women with high numbers do not answer the survey

It's also one of the more fun examples to give in class when showing that self selecting surveys will almost always miss data. CPI basket of goods selection is far more important (wealthy people do not answer it) but less interesting to show that you can clearly see incorrect results.

* exact rate depends on country, NZ being the only place where the ratio is roughly 1:1.

** This is for straight people who've only had partners of the opposite gender

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1

Trump's 140 characters on F-35 wipes $2bn off Lockheed Martin

MonkeyCee
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Re: The new President

"What a way to run a country."

To be fair we haven't seen how Pence will run the country yet.

Trump is going to be spending all his time being presidential, he doesn't rely have time for policy, domestic or foreign.

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

MonkeyCee
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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.

They are against the "wrong sort" of immigrant. White ladies with careers who like wealthy douche bags are perfectly acceptable, even if they flout working visas.

Since they are usually clueless about what sort of person migrates, what age/gender they are, and their average economic contribution, because all their "good immigrants" tend to fall into the category of "immigrants".

Both Farage and Trump are quite keenly aware that the support they get for immigration stems from some mix of rascism/fear (yeah, yeah, you're not racists, just on their side) and mainly from changes to jobs. But they can't promise to return jobs, since that would require workers to be more productive than the Germans or cheaper than the Chinese.

The democrats are not any better. They don't have any real answers to the jobs question other than than education, and tend to just ignore the states and districts where the industry is gone and isn't coming back.

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Stay out of my server room!

MonkeyCee
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Re: storage of IT equipment.

"Once, an old old OLD freezer. Locked. Rusty. most definitely was NOT empty."

My bad. No carpet in the van that day.

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Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

MonkeyCee
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Re: I can understand

Big fan of the x220. Last "proper" laptop keyboard, 5 rows, non-chiclet keys.

Pretty easy to service and repair yourself (including screen fixes).

Once you've maxxed the RAM (it can do 16, but 8 will do most people), decent drive(s) and a spare battery, you'll still be cheaper than a new machine.

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Antivirus tools are a useless box-ticking exercise says Google security chap

MonkeyCee
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All the same

"Ah, a New Zealander. Met any attractive sheep lately?"

Wouldn't know, it's all cows there now.

Given the relative rates of bestiality in the population (OZ >> NZ) and convictions* for said nastiness (NZ > OZ), I'd be a bit careful about those insults.

Then again, it's those accusing others who are always a bit more suspect.

* the trend is to use animal welfare laws rather than bestiality laws, since it gets a lot less press that way.

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CERN boffins see strange ... oh, wait, that's just New Zealand moving 2m north

MonkeyCee
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Re: More a storm than a quake

As mentioned in other comments, depth+intensity is far more relevant than intensity alone. NZ has masses of small quakes, I wouldn't bother getting out of bed for anything under 30 seconds duration.

The quakes that done for Christchurch where shallow, hence the much wrecking, quite close together (long enough to repair and have it wrecked again) and with liquefaction being the major destructive force.

Even then, Christchurch wasn't totally fucked. That took government spending ~4 years deciding on what parts of the city to save (so your property could be fine, but be in a red zone, so no road or utility repairs), using 10+ year old property valuations for insurance, and getting in some of the dodgiest salvage companies out there to do the cleanup.

A story I've heard repeated in several differing formats goes roughly like this. Everything in a salvaged building belongs to the salvage company, apart from intact safes. If there is a row of buildings, with one quake damaged building at the end, then the business owners are not allowed back in the other buildings until the damaged one is demolished. In the process of demolishing the damaged building, the neighboring one becomes "unstable". Repeat down the row. Note that the salvage companies would then strip the remaining stuff in the buildings *prior* to demolition. Known at least three companies and a dozen individuals that lost much of their professional equipment, only to see it for available for auction a month or so later. Mainly engineering type kit, specialist tools, prototypes etc.

Also, if you drop a safe ~10 times from a couple of stories it usually is no longer intact.

So after being (legally) stolen from, being offered 60% of your properties value (if you had insurance), and then watching the various government bodies fuck things up, much of Christchurch's talent went to the 'naki or to Oz.

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2

Brexflation: Lenovo, HPE and Walkers crisps all set for double-digit hike

MonkeyCee
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Re: Brexploitation

"As for Farage, not sure he cares. "

His salary is in euros. So is his (German) wife's.

So he's in clover.

Probably sharing a pint with Cameron, having a laugh over leading the country into a fractured state then fucking off.

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Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

MonkeyCee
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Re: The majority of people who voted, voted to leave...

"Getting lawyered up is always the final pathetic position of the desperate."

That's what the government is doing, in order to avoid an Act of Parliament. That's why they will appeal it. It's Ms May standard playbook, why follow the law when you can just rule by popular diktat.

Once A50 has been triggered, by a majority vote in parliament, then we're leaving the EU. Until then, it's *just* a politically divisive topic that gets a MP gunned down in the street, by the "we're not racialist" side.

"If you didn't vote, then your fault."

The amount of hoops I had to jump through to get my vote (been outside UK for 14 years, back for 2) was quite a lot. If I hadn't come back to the UK for a bit I'd have not gotten any vote on keeping my EU citizenship.

"The fact that the majority didn't vote the way you wanted"

That's not what majority means. No group (leave, remain, abstain) got a majority. Since the plebiscite was not required to be acted upon (despite much foaming at the mouth) it didn't have a proper majority requirement, which would have explicitly cast the abstain voters into one of the camps (typically the one for maintaining the status quo).

While I voted remain, and live in the EU, I can perfectly well accept that the UK will leave the union. Means I have to get a third nationality and (hopefully, depends on how UK citizenship works post EU) keep my current citizenship. It's a bit of a pain in the arse, but my life isn't going to be badly affected.

Still think it's a terrible idea for the UK. The government and Parliament are going to be spending years sorting this out (including big fights over who controls what) instead of addressing issues of actual import.

So there's a nice distracting, divisive "issue" that the public can be relied on to focus blindly on (see also abortion, gun rights etc) while the elites can get on running the country without any awkward public interaction. Just wait until something dodgy comes up, guarantee that it'll get buried in brexit news.

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Alleged 2010 flash crash trader loses latest appeal against extradition to US

MonkeyCee
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Re: Using software to defeat trading algorithms

It's exactly that. It's also something that you can see happen ~20 times a day in various markets. A mini crash every week or so. Prices being "forced" just before certain benchmarks are taken.

He got charged about 5 days before the statute of limitations kicked in. To ensure no-one else could get charged for the same crime.

His real crime is not having nearly enough lawyers and politicians on his payroll.

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