* Posts by tiggity

955 posts • joined 2 Oct 2015

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EU watchdog: Govt bods are seeking 'legal knockouts' to dodge transparency

tiggity
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Data access

Or when data API is made available for public data you have to access it through ludicrously niche methods such as SPARQL (instead of something far more commonly used, but not trendy, such as bog standard SQL)

.. Stares at lots of "open" UK data where access methods seems to have been defined by a set of SPARQL fanboiz/girlz rather than thinking what could be easily used by lots of IT literate people with minimal effort.

Caveat, yes I know there are lots of good things about SPARQL, but learning curve will deter lots of IT bods who might have had a quick casual "out of interest" play with the data & revealed something tasty if it was readily available using their existing skill set - you have to be a lot more dedicated to investigating the data to learn new query languages (especially when code tools for SPARQL are not exactly pushed by the big vendors e.g. MS are a big player in SQL so have a vested interest in NOT providing good SPARQL tools)

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Manchester plod still running 1,500 Windows XP machines

tiggity
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"The remaining XP machines are still in place due to complex technical requirements from a small number of externally provided highly specialised applications"

My best guess is some dismal web app that is heavily dependent on some of the non standard idiosyncrasies of IE6 (less likely would be driver issues as number of machines way too high for any hardware related driver, and for most other issues compatibility mode on Win 7 would fix teh issue)

Though I have sympathy with GMP, I do not like planned obsolescence by stopping security patches (which is what we get from all the Software vendors, be it Apple or MS on desktop or Apple and Google on mobile, and in between makers of software e.g. Firefox that only support more recent Mac OS versions) and thus ensuring a costly purchase of new hardware and software when the old system "did the job"

I run plenty of archaic low spec hardware - it just ends up having its original OS replaced by a lightweight Linux so I can choose to add key security patches

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Google Cloud's API knows the sort of thing you like to look at

tiggity
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fun

Although, what they know of you depends on what you do, so you are stuffed if you reveal lots of genuine details of your life /opinions / interests on FaceBook, Twitter etc.

But if you do not (or consistently cultivate an online persona that is very unlike the real you) then you put a spanner in the works.

.. maybe do the same trick as with loyalty cards (keep swapping them between friends so that lots of people use them and so products purchased make no sense (if you pick a decent demographic of people to shuffle between obv)) and have rotating guest authors on your Twitter, FaceBook (obv that needs you to not care in the slightest about what gets posted on them!)

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Compsci degrees aren't returning on investment for coders – research

tiggity
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Don't bother

Unless you love coding lots, don't bother looking for a dev job as the pay is dismal for hours / mental difficulty of the job and often unrealistic timescales .

Plenty of jobs requiring shorter hours, far less brain taxing and pay huge amounts more.

And for all those JS "coders", quick hint, when a user visits your over scripted web site with JavaScript disabled, they should still see content and be able to see and follow links: website JS should be for nice optional extra improvement, basic web site display / links should work with JS disabled (I don't want malware so my default for a new (so non white-listed site) is JS disabled)

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Congress battles Silicon Valley over upcoming US sex trafficking law

tiggity
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Out in the open

If Backpage is a known site for such activities then surely it's in the interests of law enforcement that such activities stay there "in plain sight", rather than go to a "dark" zone where finding out what is occurring and tracking the users is far more difficult than in a site "out in the open".

Law enforcement then have easily accessible information on potential crimes which they can investigate and, if they find trafficking has occurred, hopefully catch some criminals.

Surely if ads no longer on Backpage (& only avaialble via dark web), any potential evidence is harder to get at and far less crims caught

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Behold, says robo-mall-cop maker: Our crime-busting dune buggy packed with spy gear

tiggity
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Maybe

If they are so worried about trillion dollar negative impact of crime in the US and want to make US safer then maybe ....

Make criminal justice system and post release process more about rehabilitation, when ex cons struggle to get a legit job, afford accommodation then going back to crime often seems the only option

Decriminalize a few commonly used drugs (kudos at least part way there in some states) to stop people getting criminal record for "crimes" that are almost based on a coin toss e.g. alcohol = OK, weed = crim

Have to add (just to get a few commentards frothing) - do something about the US gun laws, in the UK it is harder to legally get guns and various types of gun very difficult / impossible to get for personal use (plus a whole lot of sensible rules on how they are carried in "public"). Unsurprisingly gun crime deaths are low - yes we get violent crome (e.g. knives) but its a damn sight harder for someone to kill lots of people with a knife, close up than with an automatic at distance

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Now EE's challenging UK regulator's mobile spectrum proposals

tiggity
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Bald men fighting over a comb

Spectrum auctions are all well and good but ...

I spend plenty of time in out of the way places (usually with zero mobile coverage - not even 999 possible) - which means eye wateringly expensive satellite phone needed in case of problems (if you have a nasty accident on a mountain in the middle of nowhere then being able to call for help v. useful)

Can we please enforce 100% (and decent quality signal not some micro fraction of a signal bar quality) coverage of the UK.

.. and non exorbitant roaming if a telco other than your own has the monopoly on the mast for that area.

The current scenario leads to big cities being well served (as lots of potential customers = lots of potential cash), but places with 1000X more sheep than people getting dismal / no coverage.

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NASA Earthonauts emerge from eight-month isolation in simulated Mars visit

tiggity
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Tracking

An odd thing about tracking to stop those who wanted to isolate themselves, fail to see the issue if "crew members" want to spend time alone: Presumably there will be plenty of social interaction doing tasks, communal meals etc. but someone who is happy in their own company and does not need to seek out intearction from others does not equate to someone isolating themselves because they fear they may have a big argument with someone else: If I was given a choice between an hour of inconsequential chit chat with someone I already saw plenty of & chatted to in course of work, or an hour with one of the many great works of literature still on my "to read" list, I would take the book every time.

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EU's tech giant tax plan moves forward

tiggity
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But surely US has relatively hard to avoid sales tax and so (at least some) revenue does get taxed, but not really teh equivalent here (VAT is a joke as too easy to exploit for big companies)

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Google to kill Chrome autoplay madness

tiggity
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I would argue specially on YouTube you do not want auto play, as YouTube has its default behaviour of going on to play another video after the one you have been watching is finished.

This hit an older relative of mine who had to leave the house at short notice to deal with family crisis and so accidentally left their PC on YouTube for most off the day ..and burned through a huge chunk of their monthly data allowance in one day.

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tiggity
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Re: Autoplay

Firefox mobile on android is OK.

Proper autoplay block and decent add ons for script & ad defence / block.

I use Firefox as my default on android quite happily

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Chrome to label FTP sites insecure

tiggity
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How about

An insecure warning for all sites that use JavaScript?

A lot more risk of attempted virus / trojan installs from "rogue" JS on sites not labelled as "insecure" than from FTP site that Google flags insecure

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Web crash and pricing errors hit Argos

tiggity
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Have they altered their password requirements?

I was going to buy something from them online a whiel ago, until it got to the point of "joining" - it specified various password criteria ..

.. only allowed me to enter something way below anything I would regard as a decent complexity password (IIRC a very small max chars limit, various low limits on number of non a-z / digits allowed ) - so I did not bother & went to a nearby "bricks & mortar" shop for the sake of a couple of quid extra in price.

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tiggity
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lots of people trying website early doors

.. as news had rapidly spread of dodgy cheap prices and so always a few punters hoping to get lucky and get something dirt cheap due to web site / backend bug.

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Sony remembers it once made a great little phone

tiggity
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skimpy RAM for flagship

If trying to be flagship (albeit compact) then 4Gb RAM is not ideal future proofing given that apps seem to get more and more memory hungry, 6 or 8 would be more "flagship"

..though as I expect an eye watering price based on non UK price figures, RAM is fairly irrelevant as I won't be buying it!

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Prejudiced humans = prejudiced algorithms, and it's not an easy fix

tiggity
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Given this "no discrimination on these characteristics" rule has been in effect since 1990 in UK , and (a long time after that date) the police refused to come to my location when a crime was reported late at night as (paraphrase as I cannot remember exact words) "that area was too dangerous to visit late at night, we only attend there at night if someones life is at risk"

That area was predominately non "white", so can residents / ex-residents of there sue the relevant UK police force for their racial discrimination?

.. irrespective of the inferred prejudice it was a ******* dangerous area to live, but those of us who lived there did not have the luxury of keeping away when it was darkt.

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Stephen King's scary movie reboot provokes tears from 'legit clowns'

tiggity
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Re: Survey

It takes minimal imagination to dream up an image of a type of clown & outfit I would like ...

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We're not the 'world leader' in electric cars, Nissan insists

tiggity
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Meanwhile

ASA happily allow adverts for "video" games, with microscopic writing mentioning that (most) of the footage shown is not actual in game footage (but instead something that looks far better). I know people with grumpy kids after buying games that had far worse graphics than the (fake) clips seen on TV adverts (though I have minimal sympathy for those parents as kids were substantially below the age those games were aimed at).

I must say that ((as a UK person) for "real world" (i.e. you do not need to be nearly millionaire level to afford unlike Teslas) electric cars I instinctive think Nissan (specifically the leaf) as that's the leccy car I see far and away the most of (albeit not huge numbers, just far more than the competition)

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Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

tiggity
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Get Kim on it

The Sea Shepherd folk need to have a word with mad NORK Kim, get him to track the Japanese whalers and use their coordinates as target for another test missile firing.

NB This post not to be taken with any degree of seriousness!

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tiggity
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Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

Depends what you mean by sustainable..

Whale numbers (across majority of species, for some species not enough data to know) are a tiny fraction of what they were centuries ago (as far as best estimates go, ironically lots of the information comes from records of whaling vessels).

So, given that the whale population is much, much less than it should be then many people would disagree with any concept of sustainable hunting.

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Mazda and Toyota join forces on Linux-based connected car platform

tiggity
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The explosion of electronic junk gets worse and worse.

e.g. I used to be able to adjust the car clock via a simple manual device on the dashboard.

Now its hidden via umpteen layers of electronic menu that require weird combinations of pressing various indicators and push buttons on them, and so "intuitive" that read of manual required to change most things, so end result is I just don't bother and onboard time just drifts further away from the correct time

If I want to listen to the radio then I prefer a dedicated (& replaceable) hardware "radio unit" (with the benefit of local traffic news cutting in when I'm on long journeys)

As for non radio music, hardware "radio unit" will typically play CD / allow MP£ player to be used as input so no apps needed.

As for Sat Nav, cheaper to buy a dedicated Sat Nav with free lifetime map updates (or use freebie mobile phone app with maps loaded in advance so no connectivity needed) than pay manufactuers huge markup for map updates on their inbuilt Sat Nav.

I cannot be alone in wanting a basic car, where dross like this is *only* available as an optional extra, if you want to fritter away cash on "improving" a base model car, then maybe better shock absorbers, better brakes, proximity sensors or similar kit that actually makes the driving / parking experience better, rather than app tat.

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Ad blocking basically doesn't exist on mobile

tiggity
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Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

Though you need root privs to do the mobe equivalent of editing hosts file to "kill" various ad serving domains- lots of us like to fix some ad issues at that level, as then it's less relevant what browser you use,

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'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

tiggity
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"While the initial image this news prompts is probably that of a platoon of networked lorries doing 55.9mph up a single-carriageway hill"

My first image was platoon doing 55 MPH on M-Way, been (eventually) overtaken by other singleton lorries doing 55.00001 MPH (or whatever, that is just marginally faster sp the overtake lasts what seems like an eternity)

.. and everyone else wanting to go at a speed beyond 55 stuck in outside lane, burt that getting so congested that speed there drops to almost the same

.

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Reality strikes Dixons Carphone's profits after laughing off Brexit threat

tiggity
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No surprise there

Explain to me again how the clueless CEOs of such companies even pretend to justify their ludicrously huge salaries when they cannot predict obvious effects of events that will impact their market

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Science fiction great Brian Aldiss, 92, dies at his Oxford home

tiggity
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SF History

And of course Aldiss wrote some very good non fiction works on the history of SF, he was keen on studying the genre he (mainly) wrote.

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OnePlus cash equals 5: Rebel flagship joins upmarket Android crew

tiggity
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meh

I will stick with my el cheapo (massively sub 200 quid) dual SIM phone I have had a while, removeable battery, its 6GB RAM, only 16GB stoarge but has (additional, not a dual use SIM slot) SD card slot to top up the storage.

It's good enough, not the greatest camera but I have several proper cameras I take places when I'm expecting to do some photography so only use of phone camera is a quick snap of something unexpected when out & about.

Fail to understand the mania for camera quality on a phone, even the best camera phones are dismal compared to low end cameras because physics - a proper size lens (i.e. not a phone tiny lens) makes a huge difference to image quality. My very old Canon DSLR (so archaic electronics compared to modern stuff) will (foreseeable future) always destroy phone camera picture quality due to having decent size and quality lenses.

Same with screen resolution, it's a small screen, you soon hit diminishing returns on pixel numbers (and as the review mentioned, extra pixels eat battery) - little justification for some of the pixel counts on phones

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Three: No fixed date yet for 4G services abroad

tiggity
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re @pleb comment

"The operator was the first to pre-empt EU regulation with its "Feel at Home" deals, which abolished roaming premiums for Three UK subscribers visiting 19 countries."

Except taht "Feel at Home" was not open to all, if you had an existing subscription it was not added, you had to get a "new" subscription (I have kept my long standing el cheapo SIM only 3 "all you can eat"subscription because to change it to one that supports "Feel at Home" would have increased my monthly payments massively, and since my dual SIM phones are unlocked I can just slap in a "local" SIM in second SIM socket if I go abroad and set that as main SIM temporarily)

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Slapping crap bosses just got cheaper: Blighty's Supreme Court nixes tribunal fees

tiggity
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Re: "graph shows how much access to justice was damaged"

As in it's a court of law not a court of justice?

(Shameless Billy Bragg reference)

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Got some pom-poms handy? UK.gov seeks a geography cheerleader

tiggity
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Not much skill needed

Given how UK gov splashes its cash, the key geography take home message will be quite simple:

Inside the M25 - have loads of money

Outside the M25 - **** off oiks (unless you are a few Orange seats)

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Currys PC World rapped after Knowhow Cloud ad ruled to be 'misleading'

tiggity
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Lawyered up

The aggrieved individual would be better off lawyering up (Currys / PCW deserve it for blatant mis-selling if restore is a massive PITA), ASA is the definition of toothless

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Southern awarded yet another 'most moaned about rail firm' gong

tiggity
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random luck

"We consult more than 50000 passengers a year"

"Passenger opinions of train services are collected twice a year from a representative sample of journeys..."

So, might not be 50000 unique passengers, and with all surveys, depends who can be bothered to fill in and return them

Disclaimer, I & partner have commuted for many years (we travel to different destinations & typically at different times), neither of us have ever been asked to fill in a survey

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House fire, walk with me: Kodipocalypse now includes conflagration

tiggity
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Scare stories

Lots of power supply "plugs" from major vendors have no earth, just 2 wires, Can we expect warnings on various gadgets by big consumer names? Of more relevance would be were the products NOT double insulated or SELV (2 main reasons not to have an earth with CE) - if that was the case then it's an issue, but otherwise, fairly standard. I would guess, with most Kodi devices being low power, low voltage that no earth allowable due to SELV

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US vending machine firm plans employee chip implant scheme

tiggity
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Why implanted?

Plenty of RFID bracelet / wristband things out there, a lot less intrusive, no surgery involved, e.g. Barclaycard pushing their bPay solution (as mentioned on el Reg in the past)

The tags they add to animals leave quite a noticeable lump under the skin, so why bother (unless you like to cultivate knobbly extremities). Bear in mind your hand, wrist area is heavily supplied with nerves, blood vessels, not my top choice for implant site, as even though (you would hope), injecting the implant would not sever any of these, the compressive effects of the implant may not be great (human nerves are surprisingly susceptible to issues induced by low level pressure )

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Expect the Note 8 to break the bank (and your wallet)

tiggity
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Did they miss the austerity memo?

If I had a spare grand, I can list plenty of things / experiences I would like to spend it on / put it towards.

Oddly enough, blowing almost all of it just on a phone, is not on my list of things to do with such an amount of cash

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UK government's war on e-cigs is over

tiggity
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No vaping in the workplace please

Some of the vape clouds make me (a non smoker, non vaper) cough / struggle to breathe when I inhale them (hard not to when walking past someone on teh street) even more than "real" cigarette smoke does.

Really do not want vape fumes in workplace making me cough, struggle to breathe - people who want to vape can go outside, just like they do now.

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Another Brexit cliff edge: UK.gov warned over data flows to EU

tiggity
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Re: "The potential downside of not getting this right is very serious,"

GDP growth (or lack of) is not the only issue. Already, since the brexit vote, pound is at a dismal exchange rate.lots of products are far more expensive (though fiddled inflation figures do not show it, but my weekly "essentials" shops, which are fairly consistent in their content, keep spiralling up and up in cost way beyond quoted inflation rate ), so the buying power of the pound in your pocket is hit, couple that with (for most people) below inflation wage rises. so, even if net tiny GDP growth, lots of people will suffer financially, and there will be less "decent" jobs (plenty of evidence of companies relocating, where most of the jobs "lost" are not minimum wage).

Then all the (negative) health effects as the govt remove various EU environmental protections and the festering noxious substance laden waterways and beaches of back in the day become common again) - UK gov tries it's best to ignore enviro laws when we are in the EU, just imagine when we leave..

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Nearly three-quarters of convicted TV Licence non-payers are women

tiggity
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Re: See me...

And that magistates do not have any great legal skills / knowledge (usually). Most of them (not all, before someone whinges) just seem to be fascist tin pot dictator types - T. May reminds me of a typical magistrate.

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UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

tiggity
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Re: 1984

In 1984 they were told they subject to surveillance - e.g. via the telescreens although supposedly not all the time, the behavior control idea was they never knew when surveillance was on or off. Though a lot of the surveillance ideas were based on grass your neighbour

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Ashley Madison throws US$11.2m on the bed to mop up leak affair

tiggity
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Established

"sibling site “Established Men”, which “connects ambitious and attractive young women with successful, generous men”,

Were all the gold-digger related names taken?

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Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

tiggity
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Re: Shit we don't know

In your (very lucky person) world view nearly everyone is on flexi time.

I have never had a job with flexi time, none of my family / friends have a job with flexitime (nearest any of them get is different hours on different days but they do not have a choice in those hours, only choice any get is whether too do overtime on top occasionally)

So, most people are stuck with hours "the boss" dictates & the hell of peak time commute as"the boss" tends to want people in at similar times to other companies hence "peak hours" travel.

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tiggity
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Re: Did they...

On most of the trains I go on, they just irritatingly say reserved (naff electronic displays) - with old skool "ticket" they say where its reserved to / from, but that method is increasingly rare.

SO, you typically have no clue where a seat is reserved to / from.

As for first class seat availability, massively high prices & loads of carriages - a deliberate ploy to entice exasperated cattle class passenger to "trade up" (expensively) just to get a seat: Cattle class prices are a massive financial strain, but first class takes price gouging to amazing levels

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Robo-surgeons, self-driving cars face similar legal, ethical headaches

tiggity
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"What happens when region-locked abortion machines get hacked for unauthorized usage?"

You raise a toast to women wrestling back some control over their body / life choices and not just being treated as a (rights free) life support system for an embryo.

.. and auto doc workarounds such as Prometheus film spring to mind

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The AA's copped to credit data blurt, but what about car-crash incident response?

tiggity
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Last 4 digits still an issue

Even if we believe they only retained the last 4 digits and not the whole CC number (hard to believe much they say with the weasely behaviour so far), all you need is another breach froom another site where in this case first 4 CC digits stored and you are well on your way to stitching together CC number guesses (esp when you know the Lune algorithm helps you cut down options)

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Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

tiggity
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Re: Its the edge cases

The vehicles near me that love parking on blind bends so you have to go into the oncoming traffic lane to get past them, hoping no other vehicle hits you (white van parked so cannot make use of "reduced image" looking through the vehicle windows approach as its only window is windscreen)

I have to use the low tech method of windows down so I can listen out for other vehicles, horses etc., if no noise* then nervouslyy overtake parked vehicle in blind bend area.

Would like to see how "AI" cars deal with that - presumably they just stay behind the parked van hoping it eventually moves?

*Obvious problem issue is something not heard e.g. an electric car going at low speed (so cannot hear tyre noise until really close) so not 100% safe method but only way to drive that bit of road

Self driving car is of no use to me until I can be a 100% passenger - no point if I need to take over at short notice (as by time I have snapped back into focus it will probably be too late to deal with the unexpected incident): If I need to be concentrating all the time, "in case of manual taleover required, I may as well drive it myself.

As article said:

which means the driver can turn their attention away from the drive but needs to be ready to respond immediately. "They can't drink or take drugs,"

Contradictory really.

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It's time for a long, hard mass debate over sex robots, experts conclude

tiggity
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sy borg

It will make the latent appliance fetishists happy

Especially if parts of it look like a TeleFunken U-47

(Disappointed to have not seen any sy borg Frank Zappa references, especially the "the golden shower must have shorted out his master circuit line" - a handy reminder that the waterproofing will need to be good for some users!)

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New work: Algorithms to give self-driving cars 'impulsive' human 'ethics'

tiggity
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Pick your ethics

As has been said, peoples ethics may differ.

The assumption someone would (in an animal v human situation) would always choose to avoid the human.

What if your choice was between a cuddly animal or Theresa May / Michael Gove / Jeremy Hunt/ Jeremy Corbyn/ Nigel Farage / Piers Moron / etc. etc - delete as applicable. (i.e. animal vs someone you really dislike, go a real Godwin option figure if you like)

What if the animal was something extremely endangered and so of "higher value" than a random magpie, squirrel, etc. (and arguably "higher value" than any random person, e.g. animal species down to its last few dozen individuals)

Let's look at baby vs adult and idea of always avoiding the baby.

What if you bare in a country with very high baby / child moratlity rate (e.g. due to disease (& lack of vaccination. medical treatment) 90% infant mortality rate, but once someone has reached adulthood then a good long life ahead of them - it's not so long ago that most infants in UK never reached adulthood..)

In baby v adult situation, logic would suggest baby highly likely to die anyway, whereas adult should have good lifespan ahead so best option would be avoid the adult.

All sorts of "what ifs" you can apply to screw up the "obvious" ethical choice

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Met Police laggards still have 18,000 Windows XP machines in use

tiggity
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Telemetry

Better get the Win 10 licencing right so lots of telemetry can be disabled, a lot of sensitive data on police PCs, do not want the default "send all the typing" Win 10 telemetry mode in use

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Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe

tiggity
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Re: Erm

Agree dubious as plenty of search engines out there,so not anything like a monopoly, just that lots of people choose Google as the best of a bad bunch (though search being so bad is mainly down to SEO, link spam operatives etc all trying to game the system, Google, Bing etc. can finetune their algorithms like mad but dross still gets in searches).

Though when I search stuff I might wnat to buy on Google I get Amazon, Currys, Argos, ebay,Tesco, review sites etc.(depending on what I search for)

There is a Shopping link on Google, is that what the EU mean - I would expect that to be Google oriented (just like if I search on Amazon I do not expect results from Tesco)

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tiggity
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Re: Tax Dodging

Most UK companies (of decent size / with good evasive accountants) pay very little tax, it's only the smaller companies without corrupt accountants bouncing cash around via offshore trusts, loans, franchises etc that pay anything approaching reasonable tax.

UK taxation (be it personal or business) only hits the "poor" - your rich individuals or companies, get the tax evasion accountancy specialists to screw the UKs tax receipts.

(Yes I know the accountants will use weasel words like tax efficiency, avoidance) and say evasion is only for "illegal" things, but as UK tax rules have so many millions of lines of regulations, and hence umpteen loopholes, then the line between efficiency & evasion is minimal, as the "efficiencies" are against the spirit of the law, even if they weedle a technicality to make it "legal").

It's very wring when there have been years where many individuals on PAYE have paid more in a tax year than Starbucks

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Northern Ireland bags £150m for broadband pipes in £1bn Tory bribe

tiggity
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Re: Not a bribe?

@John Smith 19

If <ulster ascent> was a typo, it was quite an aposite one

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