* Posts by Maty

667 posts • joined 6 Jul 2007

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Retail serfs to vanish, all thanks to automation

Maty

Re: so they are saying

Actually, the guy with a liberal arts degree asks 'Do I need to hire a science, engineering or accounting graduate for this?'

A liberal arts degree pays shit only if you go for a job in that discipline. However, people with degrees in medieval poetry might end up running banks and government ministries. A liberal arts degree shows you can think analytically and deal with and in heaps of BS. There's demand for those skills.

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Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life

Maty

For the record

According to a survey I read a whiles back, over 90% of people reckon they are above-average drivers. That should tell you all you need to know about the ability of humans to assess risk.

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Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Maty

Does this firing thing only work one way?

Two quotes from this article struck me -

'There's just something about using a long list of stereotypes to argue your pre-decided conclusion that doesn't engender much love in people.' and

"Using someone’s biological sex to essentialize an entire group of people’s personality is like surgically operating with an axe."

I've just finished reading an article in the Guardian entitled ' Salma Hayek is right: compared with women, men are lazy and entitled.' And yes, the rest of the article reads as you might expect after that headline.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/11/salma-hayek-feminism-inequality-men-women

Should we confidently expect feminist writer Julie Bindel to be fired by the end of the week? I'm not holding my breath.

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Dems fightin' words! FCC's net neutrality murder plot torn apart

Maty

Re: Not for profit

'You yanks do appear to have the worst ISPs in the developed world'. 'Appear' is the operative word. Canadian telecoms are way worse - we actually envy the Americans.

Still if the yanks scrap Net Neutrality that might change.

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Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

Maty
Pirate

Re: This is why you want anonymous payments

'Civil forfeiture' is simply highway robbery by law enforcement officers in many US states. Abuses have been so rife that congress tried to control it, but discovered that some police departments have become so dependent on the income that they literally cannot survive without what they strip from passing motorists. Many confiscations are for less that $500 because the cops know it's not worth tourists fighting to reclaim the money in court.

It's standard advice in our part of the world that one does not travel in the USA with anything that a law enforcement officer might fancy. In some southern states, that even includes the car - even if you have a vehicle, at times you're better off still using a rental.

If that sounds like exaggeration, consider these cases

http://listverse.com/2015/06/29/10-egregious-abuses-of-civil-asset-forfeiture/

Piracy icon can be repurposed here ...

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Sweden leaked every car owners' details last year, then tried to hush it up

Maty

Re: Too Many Idiots in the Kitchen

I think he meant 'tautology'.

'Oxymoron' btw IS an oxymoron. The word is from classical Greek and means 'sharp-dull'.

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AlphaBay and Hansa: About those dark web marketplaces takedowns

Maty

Re: TL;DR -

You know, that sounds like you are calling US football players rapists.

Following your link, and leaving out the repitions and unproven claims I found less than 100 cases this year. But let's round it up to 100, to be on the safe side.

Now there are over a million teens and young adults who play football in the USA

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/football-top-sport-us-1088158-high-school-players

Which makes the number of rapists around one in 10,000. This is actually well below the percentage of rapes per male population of the UK. You might as well say British men are rapists.

Now, back to the issue of stupidity ...

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Male escort says he gave up IT to do something more meaningful

Maty

Re: i did this when i was younger

Thanks guys

Reading this thread was a real ride down memory lane, right to the back of the bike sheds at secondary school. All it lacked was someone bragging that he'd screwed the gym teacher. ..

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Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

Maty

no

This is typical CIA obfuscation. Don't be taken in by this attempt at misdirection. OBVIOUSLY, there is no Mars colony.

It's on Venus.

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Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone

Maty
Headmaster

not just bad spelling

The name is not only misspelled, it is inaccurate. These are messages to be delivered after death. A swan song should be delivered at the moment of death.

So to use the app as the name says, Dabbsy should spend his last moments in this realm of tears frantically tapping at his keyboard. Otherwise, it's not a swan song but merely a pre-recorded message.

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US court decision will destroy the internet, roar Google, Facebook et al

Maty

Sometimes it's blatant

For example, I've found entire books photocopied and sold on sites like scribd.com. We're talking technical books that sell for around £40 in a bookshop or on Amazon.

Do the moderators on the site really believe that somebody in Albania has been given permission to sell it online for £2? Or does the fact that they get a cut of every book sold induce a degree of wilful blindness?

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Ransomware scum have already unleashed kill-switch-free WannaCry‬pt‪ variant

Maty
Headmaster

Re: Experts all giving advice how how to stay secure

'Windows 10 was effected'

It was affected. To effect is to put something into operation - as in 'effective'. To affect is to change or influence someting.

Pedantic, I know. But it's one of those errors that actually hurts when I read it.

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We are 'heroes,' says police chief whose force frisked a photographer

Maty

Umm... I can see why you chose 'anonymous coward' to post that comment.

Make that 'anonymous coward with poor reading skills' as the photographer was not 'approached by a copper'. In this event, the photographer was approached by a member of the public who seemd to think she was a copper.

You wouldn't be of that persuasion yourself perhaps?

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

Maty

air dryers - ugh

To quote Sheldon Cooper - I would rather have a diseased orang-utan sneeze on my hands.

Take a bacteria-rich environment, and then pump warm damp air over a dark surface such as the interior of the blower. What could possibly go wrong?

Some reading for the unsqueamish

https://arstechnica.com/science/2016/04/dyson-dryers-hurl-60x-more-viruses-most-at-kid-face-height-than-other-dryers/

(We don't seem to have a biohazard icon)

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Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

Maty

.. .and the thing about your new windows is that it makes it so much easier anyone who is interested to see what you are doing.

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Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

Maty
FAIL

Well, someone had to ...

Tune in next week when Will is going to share with us what he discovered when he typed the phrase "eager beaver" into one of those new-fangled search engines.'

Well, if he'd used Google as I did, he would have found a removal company, two dictionary definitions, a scout adventure camp, a list of animal idioms, and a woodsplitting firm. Even page 10 of the results offered nothing more risque than a Dutch design company.

try #2 was image search with all filters off. The first hundred images were of - surprise - a flat-tailed rodent, which was occasionally depicted on a T-shirt.

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More brilliant Internet of Things gadgetry: A £1,300 mousetrap

Maty

A better mousetrap

Back a whiles, we had a problem with mice in the kitchen. A friend took a standard 2l plastic coke bottle, cut off the top third, inverted it and duct taped it back on. He then put some minced sausage at the bottom of the bottle and taped it upright to the side of the kitchen cabinet.

Next morning we found that the mice had dropped into the bottle via the inverted top and were awaiting disposal. Total cost - something like 15p + sausage, as the mice had eaten the sausage and the bottle couldn't be recycled.

That's a saving of £1,29.85

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DDoS script kiddies are also... actual kiddies, Europol arrests reveal

Maty

Tried and true works best

"Well my team and I really concerned ourselves fundamentally with a statistical analysis as a whole; in tandem with and related to a psycho-chemical and broadly speaking a behavioral analysis of over a thousand individuals."

"We've come to the inevitable conclusion that the one course of action that the authorities must take is to cut off their goolies."

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HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Maty
Headmaster

Wouldn't 'homophone spellings be a better usage here? 'Homophones' - apart from gay chat lines, obviously - are words with the same sound (homo = same, phonos = sound) but different spellings. For example 'moat' and 'mote'; or indeed 'beanz' and 'beans'.

Homonyms are words with the same spelling but different meanings, such as the Poles who are from Poland and the poles that hold up phone wires.

I'm aware that there's a certain overlap between the two words, that's why my suggestion is 'better usage' rather than 'correct usage'.

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Congrats America, you can now safely slag off who you like online

Maty

evaluating reviews

Something else to look for is polarization. If a product has mostly 1 and 2 star reviews on one side and 5 star reviews on the other with nothing in the middle, that's a red flag.

I recently reviewed a book like that on Amazon. Some one star reviewers went into great detail about how and why the book was terrible, and the 5-star reviews were mostly 'Good book'. and 'I loved it.' Most of the 5-star reviewers had never reviewed anything else. As you might guess, the book was an abomination.

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Men overboard! US Navy spills data on 134k sailors

Maty

Another one to add to the list of meaningless PR buzzphases

'We take X extremely seriously' = now that we have been found not to have been taking X seriously at all.

This joins

'We apologise for the inconvenience' = we don't give a shit

'Is our highest priority' = after making money, of course

'We are sorry that people feel .." = we want to sound apologetic but are not

'Robust' = we need a positive-sounding adjective that can mean whatever we want

Anyone else care to add?

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Kill Flash now. Or patch these 36 vulnerabilities. Your choice

Maty

Why is Flash so relentlessly crap ...?

Every time you have to update the latest security failure in Flash you have to look around for, find and uncheck that optional extra program that Flash has bundled with the update.

Assuming the makers of that extra program pay Flash for bundling the software along with the update, it would seem that for Flash producing software with security holes must be quite the money-spinner.

If people don't need the patches, they don't download the extra software. Call me cynical, but if making a more secure product will cost the makers lots of money, expect an insecure future.

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Donald Trump confirms TPP to be dumped, visa program probed

Maty

Re: are you saying all American programmers are too stupid to learn?

'What evidence is there that this is the case? Or is it just supposition and speculation? You may well be right -- I haven't a clue -- but data, please, not anecdote.'

I know! Why doesn't someone - perhaps America's new president-elect - set up an inquiry into this, and other types of visa fraud?

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Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

Maty

Re: Objectivity

As a matter of interest, during the US election the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) made its preference so obvious that it was widely referred to as the 'Clinton Broadcasting corporation'.

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2016 in a nutshell: Boffins break monkeys' backs to turn them into tragic shuffling cyborgs

Maty

Re: Not ethical

Facts don't have ethics.

If someone discovers a fact in an immoral manner, that research is immoral, not the discovery. By all means find and punish the researcher appropriately. (In the case of the Nazi researchers, they should have been punished as one would any other murderer and torturer.)

However, the facts do not change according to who discovered them, or how.

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Drubbed Grubhub bub scrubs anti-Donald-dubbed snub sub-hubbub

Maty

Re: such poor reading comprehension

'One out of every five illegal immigrants agents caught along the border in 2014 had a criminal record.'

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, quoted in USA Today.

'When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best they’re sending people that have lots of problems. They're bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists… And many of them are good people”' - Donald Trump.

Likewise, Trump never said 'Women are pigs ...' etc. He called some individuals who happened to be women 'pigs'. He's an equal opportunity insulter. I'm no Trump fan, but what is alarming is the extent that the media have deliberately skewed so much of what he said (which was not admirable to begin with).

Also note that Trump is regularly called 'homophobic' despite having very little on the topic, and being well on the liberal side of the 'official' Republican posiiton as expressed at its convention.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/gay-republicans-platform-lgbt-rachel-hoff-log-cabin-republicans-gop-donald-trump-1.3686672

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Trump's taxing problem: The end of 'affordable' iPhones

Maty

ah ... economics

Here's how it was explained to me (it was late, the pub was about to close, so the economist doing the explaining had to use some heroic simplificatins, but still ..)

Basically, it's about the consumers. If everyone in the state has a good job, they can afford to buy stuff. If company A moves its operations offshore, but continues to sell stuff within the state it makes a profit, because its goods are cheaper. However, the pool of available consumers has shrunk by the number of jobs moved offshore.

Currently the US is in a position where the consumer pool is shrinking as more and more companies move jobs offshore and try to sell to the diminishing number of people who have good jobs within the state. (Not a lot of people are buying stuff in the rust belt right now) Everyone knows that the way to stop this impoverishment of the nation is to stop offshoring. But any individual company that tries this will be broken by the competition. It has to be the government.

It's rather like raising the minimum wage - when this happens there's more money going around (poor people spend money, the rich bank it). However, no single business can unilaterally raise wages and stay competitive.

Some economic actions have to be done by the gubmint for the common good.Sort of government by the people for the people ...?

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

Maty

[One word of comment: It's our ruling party, not their ruling party, you made a couple of grammar errors specific to Polish native speakers.]

I found none either. Perhaps you meant 'grammatical errors'?

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Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

Maty

Re: Only 96 batteries

Yes.

I once had the fuel line rupture on a motorbike I was riding at speed down the A10. It sprayed petrol over my legs which somehow ignited. Because I was wearing thick leathers, it took other road users to point out that my lower half was basically a moving fireball.

A battery would not do that.

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Blighty's Home Office database blunders will deprive hundreds of GB driving licences

Maty

Re: Stasi nation

'There has been a long-standing transfer of wealth away from younger people towards the elderly'

Not necessarily so. Interest rates at the moment are lower than inflation, which means that those on fixed incomes or saving for pensions are getting right royally screwed. The elderly usually benefit from interest on their savings, but currently they're running on capital.

Meanwhile, it's the millenials who are borrowing cheap money at rock-bottom rates to buy houses, cars and yes, a better education. In other words, in the topsy-turvey world central bankers have given us, nothing really works the way it did (or should).

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BOFH: The Idiot-ware Project and the Meaningless Acronym

Maty

Outflanking from the extreme side

Okay, let's say you work at a university. When involuntarily co-opted onto a committee take extensive notes (you'll need them for later, and it helps you to pass the time). Then as matters wend to a conclusion, point out that every third person pronoun needs changing to 'she or he' to reflect gender diversity.

Then point out the focus of the programme is inherently patriarchial and does not reflect the need for inclusiveness in the student body and everyone needs to restart from scratch because of the total disregard the committee has shown for environmental issues. And disrespect for the LBGQTZYB community.

Add that you'd like to help re-work the programme, but you have to go to a protest about the exploitation of Elbonian orphans in animal adoption centers. Mention racial issues somewhere.

Because it's a university no-one dares disagree with you on any of these things, but a quiet consensus develops that you should never, ever be allowed to sit on a committee again.

I chose universities because I know them, but every outfit has its own hot-button issues.

Make the system work for you and you don't need quicklime.

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Snoop! stooge! Yahoo! handed! all! your! email! to! Uncle! Sam! – and! any! passing! hacker!

Maty

So, to summarize ...

Yahoo left an insecure backdoor on their email servers for American intelligence to use. Later some un-named hackers - allegedly a foreign power - found some way to get into Yahoo's mail accounts and slurped the lot.

Are we seeing cause and effect here?

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Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark

Maty

ah, win10

The last update but one took out my wife's sound card.

The last update bricked the entire computer, because it decided that the disk imaging system was not compatible, and so blocked it, making it impossible to so much as open a file or folder. You could also not uninstall the imaging program, even in safe mode, because the uninstaller was also deemed incompatible.

So far it takes about a morning every month to keep this POS operating, and we live in dread of what the next update will do. Meanwhile, my win7 computer just chugs along. I think I'd rather eat my own foot than 'upgrade'.

15
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Moron is late for flight, calls in bomb threat

Maty

Re: Wanted to visualise him

'It most be possible to look like a complete moron without wearing a baseball cap, by why bother when you can don one and save all the effort.'

That's a heck of a slur on the 2.3 million males in British Columbia, Sir. Almost every man outside Vancouver wears one of these things whenever outside his home and they cannot decently be removed without a crowbar or the playing of the national anthem. I've seen people with baseball caps eating at 5-star restaurants.

Incidentally, have you seen the headgear they make you wear while you receive a P.hD?

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Sex is bad for older men, and even worse when it's good

Maty

Re: Evolution

'A parenting failsafe would reduce fertility to zero 15 years prior to end of life.'

Well, that would be useful. Become infertile in 2016, make no plans for after 2031, take out a large loan repayable in 16 years, update insurance policy.

Anyway this does not affect me. My family have been sterile for generations.

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Maty

At what point are the British going to be honest with themselves and admit - 'Yes, we live in a police state, (but it's for our own good).'

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League of lawsuits: Game developer sues cheat-toting website

Maty

fun with bots

Many bots are easy to spot. They have names apparently created by smashing one's face against a keyboard, and - for example - single mindedly whack away at an ore node no matter what is going on around them.

In my MMORPG the correct equitette is to attack the nearest hostile, and then lead it to the bot. Stand back and let bot get gibbed (they are crap at fighting back) and then rez the bot. Since the bot loses a bit of armor every time it dies, it's not uncommon to see re-animated corpses standing around in their underwear regularly getting shredded.

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The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

Maty

Re: Fat chance

Honestly ...

This is what you get when you buy shop clothes like lumpen proletarians. Just get a decent tailor instead of the work of some east asian factory slave. You will both feel and look better.

I'm sure your valet can recommend someone.

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Hacker shows Reg how one leaked home address can lead to ruin

Maty

small-town solution

There's no way of keeping your private informaiton off the interent. That ship has sailed. Hell, you can probably dig up more about your great-grandfather than your father ever knew. Great-gramps certainly never posted that information - it's just that the net is great for agglomerating bits of random info into a coherent whole.

So it's not us, but the gatekeepers who have to change. Banks, social services, and govt departments cannot assume that someone is who he says he is simply because he can provide a lot of personal information. It's not security by obscurity if its not obscure any more.

The easiest way is to bring personal relationships back into the business. You can't impersonate someone at the bank if the teller knows the real person. I live in a (very) small town. We all know a frightening amout about eachother. But no-one would last a moment trying to impersonate me to a local shopkeeper.

The problem comes because systems rely on computers having data about people, rather than people knowing people, and today that data is easy to get.

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Facebook ‘glitch’ that deleted the Philando Castile shooting vid: It was the police – sources

Maty

some comparisons

Canada has 10% of the US population and shares many aspect of a common North American culture.

Canada has 31 guns per 100 residents, but mainly rifles. In Canada there are around 150-200 deaths from firearms per year - over 70% of which are suicides and 3% are accidents. All Canadian cops are armed Police shootings make up less than 2% of fatalities.

In the USA there are around 11,000 deaths from firearms, of which around 60% are suicides. Guns are used in 60% of US homicides and 10% of Canadian. Whites are killed by police officers more often than blacks, but white make up around 60% of the population, blacks make up 10%.

OTOH, apparently police officers are eight times more likely to be killed by a black gunman than a white one, which may partly account for their trigger-happiness

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Telia engineer error to blame for massive net outage

Maty

I remember a company director telling me that the scariest sound in the world is when the computer tech doing something vital to the system says 'oh' in a small, quiet voice.

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Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

Maty

Hmm ...

What if you develop a 'personal' relationship with a client? E.g. you exchange gifts on birthdays and Xmas, play golf together etc. Presumably changing jobs does not mean you have to break off all your previous relationships (or there would be many fewer lobbyists from big business).

So can you argue that yes, you handed over all the contact details for Mr Megabux, CEO of Bigbiz Ltd. But you kept the details of Sam Megabux, your occasional bridge partner at the country club.

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Dad of student slain in Paris terror massacre sues Google, Twitter, Facebook for their 'material support' of ISIS

Maty

obviously ...

Why is this guy not suing the arms manufacturers who produced the weapons in question?

Not that such a lawsuit would wn either, but attacking Google et al. is like suing the road builders - without roads these terrorists could never have reached their destination.

1
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Should we teach our kids how to program humanity out of existence?

Maty
Headmaster

Re: Is it programming?

'... old automated cart in Greece.'

Alexandria is not in Greece. It's in Egypt. The guy who did it worked for the Library in Alexandria, and had the name of Hero. He also developed a steam engine (the aeliopile) and the world's first vending machine.

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In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning

Maty

subside veggies = subsidize your grocer

They tried this hereabouts in BC- lowering the tax on fruit and veg to encourage healthy eating. The tax is lower, but the base price is higher as the supermarkets simply jack up the price again to what the market will bear.

If the average customer is prepared to pay $3 and no more for a cauliflower, then $3 it will cost, no matter what the price/tax split.

6
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Bloke flogs $40 B&W printer on Craigslist, gets $12,000 legal bill

Maty

Don't give up on Indiana

The judges in the appeal ruling were pretty clear

'Before conducting any further proceedings, the trial court shall hold a hearing for purposes of determining whether this case should be dismissed pursuant to Trial Rule 41(E), based on Zavodnik’s repeated, flagrant, and continuing failure to comply with Indiana’s rules of procedure. '

That looks to me like the green light to counter-sue or at least get the case dismissed - with costs.

4
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'Whites are taking over': Race storm hits heart of Africa's internet body

Maty

Re: unfortunate but real legacy of race oppression

Rhodesia did not have an apartheit system. That was unique to South Africa.

Rhodesia did have a government which deliberately slanted voting qualifications - through property and education and other values - to favour white minority rule but it never went the whole hog and legalized racial discrimination.

It might sound like a distinction without a difference, but remember that back then places like Texas were not doing it much differently.

1
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What's holding up Canada's internet?

Maty

not news

From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today ...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cellphone-deals-canada-1.3587744

For those who just want the skinny - its the story of a woman who gets to make cellphone calls in Canada at half the price Canadians pay. Because she lives in Paris, and her provider offers that much better a deal than the Canadian telcos.

Everyone knows the CRTC is a bad joke.

5
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A cracked window on the International Space Station? That's not good

Maty

Kessler syndrome

Wasn't the point of the Kessler syndrome that space damage is exponential? That is, debris hits a satellite in an explosion creating lots of junk, which increases the risk of another satellite getting hit, creating even more junk until there's a sort of orbiting band of destruction that nothing can get through.

(and communications go back to the 1950s)

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Cops deploy StingRay anti-terror tech against $50 chicken-wing thief

Maty

Oddly enough, I was watching Person of Interest just before I read this article. That's fiction right? For now anyway ..

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