* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Sociology student gets a First for dissertation on Kardashians

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"not doing much to help women. Or anyone really"

Not entirely true. Clearly did something for a sociology student, for what that's worth.

UK patients should have greater data slurp opt-out powers – report

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Re: Still faffing about on patient control of data ?

"Yes Minister ; so actual that, apparently, it is still ahead of its time."

As I always say, it should be part of the National Curriculum.

Ofcom is to get powers to fine mobe providers for crap service

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Re: Fine?

"Its about time @ofcom"

Downvoted for not realising this isn't Twatter and the missing apostrophe.

TP-Link abandons 'forgotten' router config domains

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Re: It's foreshadowing

"The quote represents the value the dollar will be at when Trump gets elected."

Looking forward to the pound's recovery. Maybe two wrongs do make a right after all.

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Re: Internet Rip-Off

"If individual members of the public were being blackmailed in this kind of way there'd be a public outcry, riots, laws enacted, etc."

It would be nice to think that, but somehow I doubt it.

Chap fails to quash 'shared password' 'hacking' conviction

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Re: The ever-increasing rigidity of The Law scares me...

As the saying is, circumstances alter cases. If the sharing was contrary to the business's explicit rules then that's one circumstance. In the case of the overbearing boss that would be another - it would be quite reasonable to convict the boss and not the employee.

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"it was willingly shared"

AFAICS it was not willingly shared by anyone authorised to share. Those who shared were also charged.

Celebrated eye hospital Moorfields lets Google eyeball 1 million scans

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Re: This is OK

"If Royal Free were a company then the Board would have to resign and there would be an eye-watering fine."

Established practice seems to be that neither would happen.

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@ Uberseehandel

Medical research is not incompatible with following proper data protection procedure. Has this been done here? If it has, all well and good but questions about successful anonymisation have been around for a good while, even when the likes of Google weren't involved. It isn't unreasonable that such a project should receive careful scrutiny along these lines.

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Re: A little perspective

"Yes, precautions need to be taken"

This is the crux of the matter. Have adequate precautions been taken? Was patient consent asked for, let alone given? Is there sufficient information to prevent Google de-anonymising the data? What legal steps and real checks exist to ensure they don't try?

The fact that it might benefit some patients is not at issue but it's not a valid excuse for not strictly adhering to the requirements of the DPA. "It's for your own good" is exactly the justification used by the Mays of this world. Legitimising it by means of benign medical research is not a good idea.

Dell confirms price rise post Brexit vote as UK pound stumbles

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Re: No Problem...

"If you remove the cost of pre-installed Windows 10 you can save approximately 10%"...and also lose the money that comes from paying for all the pre-installed free trial crap which invariably depends on Windows. I don't know if it's still the case but that used to be worth more to the manufacturer than the cost of Windows so the cheapest route to a Linux PC was to buy a Windows PC and blow away Windows.

London Stock Exchange's German mega-merger: It's a go, despite Brexit

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Re: Tobin Taxes are Stupid but useful

"the rump EU"

Fog in the channel, continent isolated.

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Re: Globalists?

"We have a queue of countries wanting trade deals."

Really? Where?

All I see is a queue of companies planning to leave so they can stay in the EU.

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Re: evenly ? what for ?

"Mrs May was and is a remainer."

I'm not convinced about that. The EU was liable to get in the way of her ambition of a surveillance state. I think she just assumed Remain would win and she wanted to stay in Cabinet.

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Re: Even with Article 50 by November...

"UK will be out of the EU by November 2018."

Given that the majority of all major parties seem to to want it I reckon the likelihood of the whole thing being kicked into the long grass must be about 50:50.

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The worrying thing is that a lot of Leave voters will be glad to see it go. What was that about taking back control?

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

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Re: What would happen if...

"What would happen if someone ran for PM on a platform of NOT invoking article 50?"

Not quite the same thing but I can see us having an autumn general election on this question by which time the voters of Sunderland etc will have been clearly informed that after the immigrants return to eastern Europe your jobs will follow them and you won't be allowed to but if you move to Lincolnshire you can have some seasonal outdoor work picking potatoes and cabbages.

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Re: "... in spite of the popular vote to leave the block."

"But, this is a referendum, not a neverendum..."

It doesn't need to be a neverendum. Set a sensible required majority for a change of this magnitude. Look at the existing referendum results. Do they match this majority? No. Job done.

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@ H in The Hague

One thing you didn't explicitly mention is that a good number of businesses represent foreign investments made in the UK specifically to provide an EU manufacturing facility. These include a number of car plants which are in areas which seem to have supported Leave. We once had a largely native motor industry. Its employees pretty well destroyed that. Foreign investment gave us another. It now looks as if that's also being destroyed by its employees. Does anybody think anyone will give us a third?

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Re: This is why you write down your constitution

"Instead of relying on oral history or tradition or whatever the heck it is you lot are relying upon here."

As has been said in other comments the British constitution is very largely written in a variety of documents from Magna Carta onwards, through the Bill of RIghts, various Reform Acts and Common Law.

What we have here is an unprecedented situation and when that happens there needs to be an evaluation of what is the best constitutional way forward. One way of doing that is via the court system. Doesn't the US also rely on its Supremes to interpret the constitution when the necessity arises?

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Re: Reg readership

"Something which the population of the capital seem to have trouble comprehending"

Something you seem to have trouble in comprehending is that some of us making comments against Brexit don't live in London.

I'm not sure what some of those who voted in favour are going to think when not only do the immigrants go back to eastern Europe but their foreign owned car factories follow them.

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Re: 52 to 48 gives them the authority...

"There are three ways this can end."

4. Parliament is dissolved, a general election is fought on the issue and the returned MPs vote against it.

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Re: And the house of lords?

"the government was elected with the referendum as part of their manifesto."

The referendum as held wasn't binding. If the government treats it as it was I don't see that it would be outside the HoL's role to send it back to the house, especially given the small majority for change. This ability to impose a cooling-off period is an important one.

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Re: And the house of lords?

"Seems like you want Brexit to mean it's OK to deny people their human rights; disappointed eh?"

I'm sure Theresa May's working on it.

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Re: And the house of lords?

"Like around 75% of the population I live in a safe seat so right from the off my vote is basically worthless."

People keep coming up with this nonsense. In as far as a seat is safe it's only so because of the people who vote. If sufficient of you who aren't content with your MP actually go out and vote in elections you might effect a change (you don't say whether you voted or not but, assuming you did, I'm sure you realise that there will be a good many constituents who didn't "because it won't count").

FWIW the constituency where I live has returned MPs of all three major parties in my lifetime.

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Re: And the house of lords?

"The European commission is appointed by elected governments and approved by the European parliament."

In practical terms, is anyone ever going to be appointed by their elected government if they're not sufficiently communitaire? And even if they did what would their influence be?

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Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

"Nigel did as he set out to do and got us a referendum."

Several did that. But they should have come clean beforehand and told everyone that it would lead to problems they had no idea how to fix.

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Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

"how about his promise to resign as UKIP leader if the 2015 election results didn't show a significant breakthrough for them "

AFAICR he did. Then he unresigned.

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Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

"his word that if a vote to leave was won he would sack himself"

Does that count as bribing the electorate?

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Re: From another angle...

"Now, don't go throwing a spaniard in the works."

Otherwise you might need to Greece them.

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Re: From another angle...

"Hi - Grammar Police here."

Hi - Vocabulary Police here. You're stepping outside your jurisdiction.

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Re: From another angle...

"so egotistically cocksure of their divine right as to be dangerous."

The number who meet that criterion are a bit of a worry.

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Re: From another angle...

"Sorry but that is absolutely the case due to UK Parliamentary Sovereignty, whether you or I think it is right or wrong."

Moreover those MPs were voted into office little more than a year ago by the same electorate - give or take a year's deaths and 18th birthdays.

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Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

'It would be a brave new PM indeed who took up the job and said, "er, well, I'm not going to do what you asked, I'm going to do what I want to do, instead."'

It would also be a brave PM who took up the job and said "I'm going to go ahead with what you voted for even though most of you are against it now you've discovered what the consequences will be.".

52% falls well short of what you'd have to consider a "expressed will" for a change of this magnitude. First past the post might be reasonable for putting someone into Parliament to be your MP for a maximum of 5 years. It should take a lot more than that for what would be effectively an irreversible change in constitutional and economic affairs with a massive impact.

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Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

"If parliment voted on it, then voting to remain would be literial, and not metaphorical suicide because ignoring the people on this issue would cause severe social unrest on a level we haven't seen in the UK since 1642"

That's pitching it a bit strong. It certainly wouldn't be the entire population rising up against Parliament given that there have already been demos against the result. You'd also have to take into account the individual strengths of feelings about those who voted Leave - which seem to extend right down to "OMG what have I done?" and "Was that for real?" and probably including "meh".

Vuln drains energy sector control kit

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"only with pre-existing local access"

With pre-existing local access it's surprising how much kit is vulnerable to damage by a large hammer; chisel optional.

Theft of twenty-somethings' IDs surges

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Re: For context, how much has the rate increased for those over 30?

"data on the CIFAS website"

It would be a good start if they were to encourage basic security: "This page requires Javascript".

Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out

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"in the enterprise"

Your very own qualification of "in the enterprise" makes you aware that there are those using Linux in other environments and you're still perplexed?

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Re: Goodbye Skype?

"Are there other binary-only proprietary things that folks might want to keep using in the Linux world?"

Yes.

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Re: Not surprising

"you could pick a 64bit pos laptop up for peanuts!"

Unfortunately you might need a huge store of peanuts to replace the 32-bit versions of S/W.

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Re: Not surprising

"And yes, commercially 32bit x86 is quite dead already."

What an odd comment. I have commercial 32bit x86 S/W which is still running and frequently used.

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"Usually you don't have to worry about this on Linux, as 32 bit-only software is rather rare."

That depends. If you have and use legacy 32-bit S/W it's not at all rare.

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Re: Netbooks

Upvote for pre-compiled propitiatory software. It might cause GPL purists to choke on their hair shirts but any realistic definition of freedom should include freedom to run such software if it's your choice.

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Re: Netbooks

"Cheap lightweight Netbooks still have a place as computers to take on holidays"

They're also handy to take into libraries and archives if you're a researcher. Then there are the Atom mini-ITX boards that make quite nice quiet MythTV etc. boxes.

However, given that this is open source there'll be people prepared to continue building 32-bit versions.

Data protection, Brexit and campaigners: Privacy policy? Eh?

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"It is clear that the personal data above provides a detailed profile of the data subject’s social and political views"

Of the data sources listed the only ones which would provide this information are the social media ones - i.e. those where the data subject has actually proclaimed those views. I don't see how even voting in the general and local elections could provide any significant data: the most they could tell is whether the subject supported one of the parties standing in that particular constituency and as that almost invariably includes all the main parties it's not exactly a very specific piece of information.

Nevertheless the use of a supplier in a country with such a lackadaisical (I'm being generous) approach to privacy is a major concern.

Humans and bees share the same sociability genes

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"As I said, if the retention of growth control genes between archeoforms and more modern organisms has been proven, which it has, then it is an eminently reasonable hypothesis to state that it is likely other gene systems would have evolved once and been retained since."

This assumes that such systems evolved before the lines separated. That's not a given. Results like this serve to tell us how ancient such systems are. That's new information.

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"This isn't a surprising result it's almost blatantly obvious."

No, it might be a blatantly obvious hypothesis to you (when did you publish) but even so, a hypothesis needs to be tested. It's the confirmation that makes it interesting.

SQLite developers need to push the patch

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Re: Not Open Source

I think you're confusing open source with GPL.

Microsoft: Enterprise Advantage will be 'a step in quite a long journey to modernize our licensing'

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And if you're an SME that doesn't trust cloud?

fMRI bugs could upend years of research

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Who'd 'a'thunk it?

Clustering software produces artefacts.

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