* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

71,000 Minecraft World Map accounts leaked online after 'hack'

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Re: Correct Horse...

"The first seven characters are from a previously owned vehicles reg plate"

I can only even remember 3 of my car number plates: the first because, well, it was first, second because it was my MG and it was an easy one to remember and my current one because I have to. As soon as one becomes no longer current, it's gone.

USBee stings air-gapped PCs: Wirelessly leak secrets with a file write

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"That's a radio jammer, which is illegal"

No, it's a hair dryer. Also blocks attempts to get information out via sound waves.

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Re: There's another way...

""Excuse me while I watch you type in your password, no? well could I just borrow your laptop for a sec while I extract your crypto keys.""

"Could I borrow your laptop to install this code which will enable me to extract data when you have a USB storage device plugged in."

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn wants high speed broadband for all. Wow, original idea there

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Re: Socialism?

" I made the original post this morning when Europe was awake. Lots of downvotes."

Probably from people who can't get 4G in London upset at the idea that people in Wales might.

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Re: "democratise the internet"

"It all depends on how it is used, but look at Estonia. They have a distributed set of services, all linked by a middleware layer with a unique identity product."

That would require trusting your politicians - at least twice as far as you could throw them.

EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

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Re: Apple have strong bladders..

"The very existence of the EU is at threat and the single market is right up there as the biggest cause of the problems."

The single market was what it was all about originally. It's all the "ever closer integration" nonsense that's the cause of the problems. None of which is relevant to this case. The issue here is that Ireland decided to let Apple play silly buggers with paper companies. Apple would still have got a good deal at Ireland's standard tax rate although they'd probably have found a different tax haven for all the rest-of-the-world business that's been put through Ireland. In general I don't think the rest of the EU are terribly happy with the standard Irish rate but short of the EU imposing yet another EU-wide diktat they have to lump it.

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Re: What I don't get...

"The sale of products of services within a country should be taxed in that country."

OK, assuming you're in the UK*. You buy something off an eBay seller in Ireland. In which country is the deal done?

This, of course, oversimplifies the matter given that eBay is Luxembourg so that's another country thrown into the mix.

*It doesn't matter if you're not. It applies to any pair of buyers and sellers in different countries.

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Re: Of course, Ireland has already protested

"Governments everywhere have to start recognizing that in a global economy they all have to co-operate and agree to a uniform tax structure"

Some governments - e,g, Ireland - realise that at the level of multinationals there's a free market in tax rates. Individual governments can decide whether they're better off being poor competitors in that market in order to clean up taxing purely domestic businesses so it's not going to be a race to the bottom, more a matter of strategic choices.

If the US wants to continue the high tax route it can scarcely complain about the obvious consequences with multinationals. Nobody's stopping them from lowering their tax rate if they wand to.

Countries such as Ireland, however, are better off with a low tax strategy. Would it be right for the US or anyone else to force them into a tax regime they don't want to apply?

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Re: Of course, Ireland has already protested

"So this'll be a case for the courts."

Right now it's more likely to be a case for the Irish tax commissioners.

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Re: Particularly interesting...

"that when you have an issue with the TaxMan"

In this case the tax man is still the Irish tax authority. They're not going to upset the Apple cart.

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Re: Particularly interesting...

"I wonder if they will now leave Ireland, since the benefit maybe isn't there, and if other high tech firms will follow?"

It depends on what the EU decides about the other arrangements with Luxembourg etc. but for US companies 12% plus English as a 1st language is probably going to be a competitive deal.

$329 for a MacBook? Well, really a 'HacBook' built on an old HP

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The cached Google page says that it "comes with the latest OS X El Capitan installed". The current version of the page says that it "ships with everything needed to start running the latest version of OS X" but "Once installed, OS X cold boots...". Maybe they've already had a call from Apple's lawyers.

Pump-priming the new ampere: NIST works to count electrons in silicon

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Re: Down for the count

"Why exactly is it so embarrassing not to have a physical standard for the Amp?"

First find your infinitely long wire. Then find another.

Microsoft redfaced after Bing translation cockup enrages Saudis

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Re: Think on

Note that there are people more critical of Microsoft than el Reg & co.

Ireland looks like it's outpacing Britain in the superfast broadband rollout stakes

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Re: Livin' in the USA

It sounds like a good line for Apple vs the EU: "We're not here for the lower taxes, we're here for the faster internet."

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Re: Why FTTP?

"It will be the future, but not yet."

What will make it the future? Getting rid of the trees and buildings?

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Re: There are non so blind who cannot imagine the future.

" For some of my clients, 40 to 100mbps are needed to backup their data to the Cloud."

So basically you're saying that you think the tax-payer should subsidise your clients backups in the cloud rather than have them pay for the kit to backup on premises and store the backups off site. Or have I missed something?

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"The original plan had been to begin procurement by the middle of 2016, bringing broadband to 85 per cent of premises by 2018 and 100 per cent by 2020. It has now been delayed until 2017, with talk now of all homes not having high-speed broadband until 2022."

Tomorrow never comes.

Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

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Re: tytso

"we meant as in the lawyers in his community"

And even that isn't what you quote him as saying.

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Re: Linux is a fucking bell end crybaby

There's nothing like a good reasoned argument and ....

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Re: I'm mixed about this..

"That's like using nothing more than harsh language against a Dalek."

It's worth reading what Linus (and Greg who he quotes) actually says about this.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I too don't like lawyers - on principle!"

What principle would that be?

One of the principles in which I believe is that enunciated in Magna Carta: that we should be protected from arbitrary treatment by due process of law. It's something I've said here a number of times when we find TPTB getting above themselves with surveillance and the like. I don't recollect any cotrary arguments here. If we are to have due process of law than we need people to operate that process. They're called lawyers.

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Re: Let the adults speak...

"I would only deal with an RDBMS disk access layer if I absolutely had no choice."

Just curious, but which engine?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I wonder if some of the commentards have read the actual article or just the misleading summary in the subtitle. The article quotes him as saying "I personally think this arguing for lawyering has become a nasty festering disease". It's quite clear that not only is it "his lawyer" that's his target as per the summary it's not even any lawyer, it's an argument.

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"Sounds like Lunis"

Does anyone remember nuxi?

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Re: Easy to get rid of the lawyers

"This way, no-one can "take over" the kernel and turn it proprietary."

Nobody could take over the kernel and turn it proprietary if it were under a BSD licence either. What they could do would be to take a fork of the kernel and add their proprietary changes to it. That could be done with one of the BSD kernels at any time. The BSD devs are obviously quite aware of that and must be cool with the idea. It's their work and their call as to how its licenced.

Of course as the proprietary fork drifted further away from the original it would become more difficult to apply any patches from the public version so the devs of the proprietary fork would have to assume full responsibility for maintaining it.

But the notion that only the GPL preserves open source code from being taken proprietary seems to be a common misconception.

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Re: Easy to get rid of the lawyers

"Just release the Linux Kernel under the BSD license."

Easier said than done. There are contributions by thousands of contributors in there. You'd have to find and get the agreement of every single one, including the heirs of those who are now dead.

Maybe not enough thought was given to the license in the first place but that's too late now.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

A couple of points.

Firstly, imagine you're the leader of a project with a project team of thousands of participants - it varies a bit as people come and go. You don't, either personally or on behalf of a company employ any of them. They're volunteered, wither in their own right or by the companies who do employ them. You don't select them. You don't hire or fire them. You don't do their annual appraisals. You can't give them pay rises or bonuses. You can't have a word with their line managers. In short you have absolutely none of the normal management resources you'd have in a company. How would you manage that situation?

Secondly, although for most of my career bad language wouldn't have been part of normal office life. Towards the end however there were a few sweary youngsters and maybe not so youngsters showing up in development teams. Similar folk also show up here. Is this the norm for people of his generation in development shops now? I don't know, maybe someone out there can tell me. But if it is then you need to remember that what goes onto the public mailing list is the conversation between developers that would normally be verbal within the office. Where the work is distributed over the world the mailing list replaces the air that would carry sound waves in the office.

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Or batter

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

OTOH, Linus has put together a team that has put together an OS kernel that runs on everything from a mobile phone or a Pi Zero to the top N of the world's supercomputers. And Kieren?

OTOH again, not all his ideas have been great:

He's excoriated RDBMS developers for preferring to deal with raw disk rather than go through the file system. The reason they do this, of course is that plus or minus any buffering in smart interface boards or the drives themselves, they know that when a write call returns the data's on disk. As a sometime DBA that's the way I liked by database engines to work. Eventually, as available memory grew he realised that file system writes could be buffered a long time and the data was at risk if the machine failed in the interim. It provoked a comment about "what moron did that". One might reasonably have asked what moron allowed it in the kernel.

I also had an experience with Linux on a Cyrix board filling the log with messages to the effect that that particular processor didn't support speed throttling. Googling for the error message brought up a comment by Linus that the worst that could happen would that it would write that particular error message in the log. Yes it did. About once every second.

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

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Let's hope she's starting as she means to carry on.

Europe to order Apple to cough up 'one beeellion Euros in back taxes'

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Re: "We’re not going to bring it back until there’s a fair rate."

"Tim Cook says that the U.S.'s 40 percent tax is not a fair rate"

Tax rates for multinational companies are a competitive international market and it's a buyer's market. The US hasn't realised that yet. Ireland has.

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' It went so far as to call the approach "state aid."'

What an odd comment. The inquiry was to determine whether or not it was state aid. So what's with the "going so far" bit? You make it sound as if it was a finding beyond the remit. It wasn't.

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"The EU is gearing up for when the UK stops paying"

They must have been remarkably prescient given that they started the inquiry in 2014.

Phoney bling ring pinged by Tolkien's kin

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I can't help thinking that over a long academic career JRRT must have quoted a lot of bits out of other scholars' work. I wonder if their heirs or, worse these days, their journals' publishers might raise the question of copyright infringement against his.

Chinese CA hands guy base certificates for GitHub, Florida uni

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Re: "the company would 'do better'"

"They can't do any worse."

Unfortunately it's a ternary choice. Continue to do as badly remains an option.

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Re: You can't trust anybody

"many folk just ignore browser warnings anyway"

Maybe the solution is to add a further category for whom the "Ignore these warnings" buttons are greyed out.

Both HPs allegedly axed people just for being old, California court told

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"hiring is essentially a crap-shoot"

Especially when you ignore the candidate's experience.

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Re: So what?

"Or, to pay for their grand-children's day care that the parent's cannot afford."

Or undertake that day-care themselves.

Corporates ARE sniffing around Windows 10, says Computacenter

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Re: There's no sense asking if the air is good if there's nothing else to breathe

' it doesn't look like Microsoft's plans for "the last version of Windows ever" include it being Windows as we have known it for that long.'

In the long run Windows will have to be what users want if Microsoft are to make money from it. And I did write "users" and not customers. If they don't have users they don't have customers, whether it be customers to buy software or, as they seem to want, customers who want to buy the users.

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Re: There's no sense asking if the air is good if there's nothing else to breathe

"we really have few options."

One option is for a few really big customers to go to MS and tell them if they really want to sell more S/W and services they have to keep W7 going.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Corporates will change there O/S only when they have too

"Turn the table for a moment."

Turn the table again. You're a corporate buyer who's been stung a couple of times with EoL, rollouts of new versions and all the accompanying hassle. What are you going to say to the next salesman trying to flog you more where that came from?

Sure, you're going to be told this is the last Windows ever. What that really means is that bits of it are going to be EoLed every few months. All you can do is delay that for a few months at a time. The rollouts are going to be ongoing.

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Re: It is beginning to happen

"Important parts to note is that enterprises DO have full control of updates, so the buggy anniversary update is typically not on the table to be deployed at present."

Are there any non-buggy updates for them to apply?

Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood

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Re: insurance

"Of course after purchasing the generator, the power hasn't gone out in the entire 5-year period since."

Obviously a wise investment. Just think what the weather would have been like if you hadn't bought it.

Sprint learns that a 'rebate' includes paying people money

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"I would have hoped that the State would charge them for this 'service'."

And not stint on the amount they charge either. Gotta think of taxpayers interests.

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

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"Why do charities need access to medical data?"

They're probably charities such as http://www.cruk.manchester.ac.uk/

I think it's reasonable that they may require medical data.

But as for data processing firms who can't be bothered to comply with the T&Cs under which they have access, it should be end of contract for good. Once one or two discover the hard way that the T&Cs aren't just collections of black marks on paper or screens the rest will get the message.

Robot babies fail in role as teenage sex deterrents

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'The trouble is, a lot of teen girls (and boys, definitely) don't immediately associate the act of procreation with the end result, so "OMG babies!" is not something that goes through their mind at the time...'

The thought often seems to arrive the following morning along with the hangover. At that point (caution, my knowledge of this is 30+ years old) the rape complaint gets made. The police surgeon offers a morning-after pill. Job done.

Yes, eventually you get cynical but it was one of two patterns commonly observed in case work.

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I used to say the first 20 years were the worst. I'm moving that out to 40+ nowadays.

New booze guidelines: We'd rather you didn't enjoy yourselves

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Re: If there serious about this

"Carrie Nation carried a hatched."

Was she chicken something out?

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Re: life is risky

"Life is not risk free"

Worse than that. It's inevitably fatal.

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