* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

3653 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Brit MPs vote down bid to delay IR35 reforms, press ahead with new tax rules for private-sector contractors

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Re: Worse than that bloody virus

Just noticed an error in my earlier post - it should be "... hasn't been a socialist government..."

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Now, those hard-won rights... there is an organisation that oversees the protection of rights - something like the Erpian Onion. It's a shame we never joined - once in we'd never want to leave - oh, wait :-(

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Re: Worse than that bloody virus

There has been a socialist government in the UK for decades. IR35 is not, by any description, a socialist policy. However, no matter how you class it, the combination of IR35, leaving the EU, and Covid-19 combine to create a perfect storm. Changing any one of those would make a huge difference to the future health of Britain's economy. IR35 was the easiest to change, but our glorious representatives failed epically (again). Who do they work for? Well, not you or me, that's for certain.

UK space firms forced to adjust their models of how the universe works as they lose out on Copernicus contracts

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Re: About this 'Taking Back Control'...

They couldn't take control of their bowel motions.*

*This isn't particularly aimed at the current crop of incompetents - there isn't anyone from any party that I can see would do better. It is unlikely to change any time soon - even Tony Blair has said he's pleased his children aren't interested in going into Westminster because it is such a toxic environment, FFS!

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

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Re: Rental vs privately owned

I think the good Doctor meant "... les likely ..."

Remember, folks, context is a real thing.

Happy privacy action day in California: If you don't have 'Do not sell my information' in your website footer, you need to read this story right now

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Re: Of course there is an alternative

Some types of data need to be collected by some types of business, either to fulfil a key element (such as delivery), or to comply with legal requirements (money-related activity, for example). This Californian legislation is a good start, but there are two fairly obvious compromises*: a) the use of the word "sell" is very specific, and doesn't describe what the worst offenders (Google, Facebook, etc) actually do with personal data; and, b) this puts the onus on the data subject to protect themselves, rather than protection being the default with a tick-box to opt out of protection.

It will be interesting to see how enforcement goes, and compare and contrast with the EU "enforcement scheme".

* I'll use that word to indicate where brown envelopes were most obviously directed during conversations with legislators.

The internet becomes trademarkable, sort of, with near-unanimous Supreme Court ruling on Booking.com

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This is interesting stuff. Both sides have good points to make. I'm not sure I agree wholeheartedly with Sotomayor's argument about a term gaining the ability to be trademarked by transitioning from e.g. washing machine to washingmachine.com by virtue of usage. To me, "booking.com" does have a particular individual character - I would ask if a place was booked through booking.com, or TripAdvisor, or Airbnb, for example. Note that I use the url for the first - just to say "Is it booked through booking?" makes no sense. I can't see a situation where most terms would become that sort of unique identifier, but, if it did, then there would be a transition from $term to potentially trademarkable identifier.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

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Re: A good way out

We have the winner!!

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Now we're talking! Cheese scones are marvellous, and don't have any disputes about the order of toppings. Fruit scones are fine with no toppings - nyam!

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For me, there is only one type of butter - salted. There have been a number of arguments in this house about the apparent need for yellow bland to cook with.

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Re: Obvious really...

How many ways *are* there to pronounce "smoothie"?

[Did I miss a "whhoooshh"?]

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Re: Northern option

Personally, I don't like cream and jam on meat pie in either order, but each to their own :-)

Brit police's use of facial-recognition tech is lawful, no need to question us, cops' lawyer tells Court of Appeal

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Re: Mask

Damn! Now you've given me a good reason to wear a mask!

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Don't be so sure. I'm passing ugly (not enough to scare a troll into fits, but enough to scare small children and animals if the light is right), but I've seen two people close enough to make even me look twice. One was the clergyman conducting my nephew's christening, and the other was a bloke on the alumni version of "University Challenge".

Here's a headline we'll run this century, mark our words: Alien invaders' AI found on Mars searching for signs of life

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Re: So

Yes - as is often said around these parts: the most important sentence in science is "Hmmmm, that's odd..." Use of "AI" (which isn't "I") seems to be prejudging the results, whether on Mars or at CERN.

Can't get your Pi fix online? The Cambridge shop's back open for business, Brits

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Re: An idea for allowing hands on action...

But I'm not in the rest of the world, and, currently, I don't want to be. This obsession with wearing highwayman garb really frightens me.

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Re: An idea for allowing hands on action...

Healthcare related - hospital, GP, ambulance. Not shop. If you can't see the difference, then I despair.

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Re: An idea for allowing hands on action...

Any requirement to wear certain items to enter an establishment or mode of transport other than one related to healthcare means that they will not get my custom - certainly now, probably not in the future. It's security theatre destroying the fabric of society.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses... but not your H-1B geeks, L-1 staffers nor J-1 students

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Re: L-1

Your optimism is genuine, but I see very little evidence of these masses in the UK, unfortunately - hence the need to get them from elsewhere.

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Re: Silicon Valley to fill engineering departments with top international talent ...

@ST: downvote for unnecessarily partisan politics. This is definitely as much Republican as Democrat.

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Re: L-1

Figures given on the "Nature" newsletter yesterday is that 30% of all researchers in the USA come from other countries, with the figures for some key areas being much higher. I hope there are lots of unemployed wannabe researchers coming out of the US education system...

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

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Re: stupidity out of ignorance or avarice

"Way to punch down, I hope you're proud of what you are."

Yes, I'm quite proud of what I am, thank you. What is it you think I shouldn't be?

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Re: stupidity out of ignorance or avarice

I didn't realise that there were too many people with a reading age lower than 12 here. I learn something every day.

You must hate posts by AManfromMars1 ... and love those by Bob at his most bombastic!

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

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Re: We should retain only minimal flights; no 50-mile jollie

@Bloodbeastterror: why do you want to destroy my childrens' freedom to travel for the sake of trivial amounts of possible pollution?

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Re: COVID-19 decides. And CO2 decides.

@hoola: "Is it stupidity, ignorance or being selfish?" More likely, it is people making an assessment of risk and deciding what risk profile they wish to accept. Cowering inside, afraid of a virus, was never going to last long, especially once it became clear that the worst-case scenario wasn't even close.*

The problem is going to be in the future, when a really serious pandemic strikes - people will be very slow to accept restrictions. This was a one-shot project, and it failed and keeps failing because our glorious government won't accept they got it wrong in every single way - they isolated the young, who have a very small risk, and failed to isolate the old in nursing homes, who gave a very high risk. The damage from separating children from their peers will last for years.

* As I read somewhere yesterday, an epidemiologist would far rather overestimate an infection risk by two orders of magnitude than underestimate by one order of magnitude.

You'd think lockdown would be heaven for us layabouts – but half the UK has actually started 'exercising more'

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Re: Snowflakes....

@LucreLout: I think you are taking a very negative point of view here. Other commenters have made many of the points I have in mind. Your comment about not understanding why it is more difficult for younger people to work from home again shows what seems to be wilful ignorance - a lot if younger folk are sharing accommodation with other people, and have restricted room for working from home. Anecdata alert - the other day I was speaking with a tech support contact for my ISP, and she was clearly being distracted by someone else. I asked if she was back in the office, and she said no, she was at home, a flat shared with three other people and only one ethernet socket - in the living room.

Additionally, lots of young people have children and no separate work space. It is nearly impossible to work in those conditions.

We're no longer helping UK Post Office persecute postal workers with our shonky system, says Fujitsu

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Re: Been thinking

"Automation bias" (the device must be right) is a real thing. I'm currently writing an expert witness report in a case where, if people actually did their jobs properly it would be obvious that the disputed report makes sense only with thought. Instead of that, the reputations (and possibly careers) of several people are wrongly on the line.

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Yes - the sheer number of cases should have raised a huge red flag.

Former UK Labour deputy leader wants to know how the NHS's contact-tracing app will ensure user privacy

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I'd go with if, and, if so, how user privacy will be ensured.

Laws on police facial recognition aren't tough enough, UK data watchdog barrister tells Court of Appeal

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@Ben: "... extra manpower put into checking the matches"

Are you serious, or did you miss a <sarc> tag?

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Something stinks a bit...

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Re: There's several issues with sitting judges today

I left that bit out, Peter2. Senior judges are aware that they are talking to the future, and that Court Rolls are invaluable historical documents. As you say, past cases are a real insight into lived history - I love them!

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Re: There's several issues with sitting judges today

That's exactly it. There is something called "judicial knowledge" which is a (very) short things that can be accepted without definition. Back in the 1960s a judge got ridiculed by the press for asking counsel "Who are 'The Beatles'*?" after an undefined reference. The judge wasn't personally unaware of the group, but he needed the reference defining for the court reports.

* or maybe the Rolling Stones - I can't remember exactly.

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I'm surprised that Singh LJ is sitting on this bench. As President if the Investigatory Powers Commission, bias can be quite easily inferred, leading to an easy appeal - see Lord Hoffman and Amnesty International.

Ransomware crims to sell off 'scandalous' files swiped from Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Puff Daddy's legal eagles

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RoI?

Let's suppose someone does buy this crap information - how do they recoup the cost?

UK police's face recognition tech breaks human rights laws. Outlaw it, civil rights group urges Court of Appeal

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Re: What's a "Human Right"?

@AC: what you are using here is idea every cloud has a silver lining.* However, compared to the amount of cloud the silver lining is minimal and that is probably the case here.

*Though we all know it isn't true - yesterday was horizon-to-horizon cloud, with no lining, let alone a silver one!

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

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Is there enough rope in the world?

Facebook accused of trying to bypass GDPR, slurp domain owners' personal Whois info via an obscure process

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Re: Keep WHOIS public

Thanks for your input, Mr Zuckerberg, but no one is listening.

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Re: Because if the service is free YOU are the product --

@Palpy: the bugs from "Starship Troopers" are exactly what I think of when I think of Zuckerberg and Facebook! I have done for quite a while now.

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

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But does Wakefield want to be accelerated by plasma?

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Oh, no! Pascal, take a look at the posting history of this person/bot - you might get an answer, but you wouldn't like it...

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Re: That would solve homelessness, poverty, privacy, and wars.

Do Brussels Sprouts need solving? What sort of answer would it be? Indeed, is it actually possible to solve them?

Hey NYPD, when you're done tear-gassing and running over protesters, can you tell us about your spy gear?

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Re: Liar, she hit a traffic light

Interesting piece about Churchill's time as MP for Dundee: https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/churchill-in-dundee/

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all

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Re: More Middle Manager insecurity

No, but there's a fair chance that more projects will come in closer to time and nearer the budget.

How do you run a military court over Zoom? With 28 bullet points and a ceremonial laptop flunkey, of course!

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Re: If the Boris Johnson Junta decides to declare Martial Law

What a bizarre comment - one is an adult only if one is a member of a certain political party?? I'm sure there's a word for that.

Winter is coming, and with it the UK's COVID-19 contact-tracing app – though health minister says it's not a priority

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Re: Feels like no one cares whether the app will work

Thanks, ibmalone - you have made my point much better than I did!

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

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Re: Proximity and stuff

I think you are confusing two different things there. I speak as an ex-psychiatric nurse and depression sufferer when I say that I abhor the trivialisations you mention - depression isn't unhappiness, bipolar isn't not quite knowing what mood you're in - because they make nearly impossible to explain why depression and bipolar are so disabling. However, using mental health-related terms actually normalise having problems. I will not stop using "crazy", "nutty", "daft", "barmy", "bonkers" "looney" etc, because they no longer mean what they used to. As the pro-language buggering lot keep saying, language evolves.

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Sadist and masochist?

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Re: When did El Reg get so old?

Troll.

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Re: BAME Covid deaths

There are at least two genetic elements to deaths and serious illness from Covid-19. One relates to blood group, and the other to ACE2 and chemokyne receptors. People with blood group A have a greater chance of death or serious illness than other blood groups. See https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/two-genetic-regions-linked-with-severe-covid-19-67619, for example.

I haven't had chance to refresh my memory on the distribution of blood groups amongst different ethnicities, but I do remember that group A is more prevalent amongst some non-European groups.

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