* Posts by veti

3118 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

The gig (economy) is up: New California law upgrades Lyft, Uber, other app serfs to staff

veti Silver badge

Err... you don't think healthcare is linked to corruption and extortion? Suggests you haven't been paying much attention lately. And healthcare is tied to public health, which is necessarily a public (shared) good - if there's an outbreak of, say, cholera in your city, it's very much in your own interests that it gets dealt with quickly and effectively, even if you and yours may have ironclad health insurance for yourselves.

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Why are you willing to accept single-payer provision for policing, courts, defense and fire protection, but when it comes to healthcare, that's "Stalinism"? Why draw the line there?

Do you want fr-AI-s with that appy-meal? McDonald's gobbles machine-learning biz for human-free Drive Thrus

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Don't be silly, you won't drive anywhere. The whole thing will be delivered to you by a drone, probably owned by Uber.

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Now all they need is a robot to cook the "meal", one to package it into the greasy paper bag, and one to extend it out of the kiosk into the driver's window. Then more to take customers' orders at the desk, process their changes-of-mind, accept their payments, smile at them, and above all, clean the damn' restaurant. Continuously.

The fully automated McDs may be a horrifying vision or a utopian ideal, but either way it's some way off yet.

Breaking, literally: Microsoft's fix for CPU-hogging Windows bug wrecks desktop search

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Re: Fixed

Well, that depends how many times it retries to launch, and how many parallel instances it spawns while it does so...

UK ISPs must block access to Nintendo Switch piracy sites, High Court rules

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Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

Laws are always optional. All it takes is a willingness to accept the consequences of breaking them.

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Re: Let the whack-a-mole begin

No security is impregnable, but it doesn't have to be. It just has to raise the barrier enough to prevent X% of the loss, where 'X' is a closely guarded secret.

Huawei thanks Uncle Sam for returning its seized comms kit ... two years later, ya jerks

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So they have to drop the lawsuit saying "give us our kit back", because the cause has gone away.

Doesn't mean they can't file a new one for "abuse of process" and "tortious interference with legitimate trade", or whatever the correct legal jargon would be.

Facebook: Remember how we promised we weren’t tracking your location? Psych! Can't believe you fell for that

veti Silver badge

So, split the Facebook app into two parts. One part, "Facebook", being the presentation layer, the other - something anonymous, like "Networking Services", being the layer that slurps data and feeds it to "Facebook".

Alert changes to "Networking Services is trying to access your location."

Like a grotty data addict desperately jonesing for its next fix, Google just can't stop misbehaving

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Re: Not once have I been harmed by them having access to my data

Oh please. You're saying your political views are immune to the information you see? That they can't be affected by the news?

How does that work, exactly?

veti Silver badge

Hey, don't blame Google for Amazon's simplemindedness in ad targeting. That's Amazon's own biznai.

Blame where it's due.

eBay eBabe enigma explained: Microsoft bug blamed after topless model slings e-souk's emails at stunned Brits

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Look, if you want to see pictures of boobs on your computer, they're not exactly hard to find. Having one pop out at you when you weren't looking - is probably unwelcome in many more than 50% of cases.

The wheels on the bus go round and... Oh dear. Chancellor Sajid Javid unveils spending review

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Re: "the opportunities created by Brexit".

As I interpret it, what's happening is that - well, farmers need to be subsidised somehow. In the EU, that happens by taxpayer-funded subsidies handed directly to farmers. In NZ, it happens through (indirect) price controls artificially inflating prices, so the buyer (rather than the taxpayer) pays.

But the need for someone to pay that subsidy isn't going anywhere. Assuming you want there to be a UK farming sector - and I don't know of anyone who doesn't want that - then someone is going to have to pony up the money currently coming from the EU to support them. Direct government subsidies (as now, but paid directly by the government) would presumably be a good deal - but it would further dent the UK budget. The alternative is basically to double the price of everything.

veti Silver badge

Re: "the opportunities created by Brexit".

I live in a country that, it's universally acknowledged, has led the way in opening its markets and exposing its farmers to global competition.

And I'm here to tell you, food in New Zealand costs far more than it does in the UK.

For example: New Zealand is famous for its locally produced lamb, beef and dairy. According to my sources, a litre of milk in the UK currently costs around 59p. A litre of milk here in NZ is in the ballpark of $2.40, or 1.24 pounds. Minced beef costs over $15 per kg, more than twice what it does in your local Tesco.

And those are both products that we produce and export in large volumes. I'll leave it to your imagination what imports cost.

This is the reality of a no-tariff economy. Enjoy.

Q. If machine learning is so smart, how come AI models are such racist, sexist homophobes? A. Humans really suck

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Re: So AI in this instance got it right

In case you hadn't noticed, the University of Southern California isn't in the UK.

Racism in the UK is very different from the US. It exists in both places, but the historical background and processes and manifestations of it are completely different.

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Re: How come AI models are such racist, sexist homophobes

That would mean the AI should take a negative view of people in general. It doesn't explain why it should associate different qualitative values with people of different races.

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Re: Pimp or madam?

Not quite. It can also be used to demonstrate the fact that biases do exist in the source material.

A surprising number of people still doubt this.

Another sign of the End Times: Free software guru Richard Stallman speaks at Microsoft HQ

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Not so surprising. Both Stallman and Microsoft have been mellowing.

Of all the tech giants, currently I regard Microsoft and Apple as the two most likely to be on my side on any given issue. (Because they give me the option of being their customer rather than their product, that's why.) They're no longer the threat they were - if only because they're no longer in a position to be.

Freebie tier coming to issue-tracking Jira, but you'll have to cough up to unlock the good stuff

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My employer uses Jira. Now you're telling me, they actually pay for this shite?

Bugzilla is also free. Just sayin'.

Big bang theory: Was mystery explosion over New York caused by a meteor? Dunno. By a military jet? Maybe...

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Now that basically everyone carries a camera with them at all times, sightings of UFOs on lonely roads have dropped dramatically, because (obviously) the aliens don't want us proving their existence too easily.

So they have to invent new ways to keep us guessing, letting the select few perceive the truth while the deluded masses continue to huddle in the cold light of officially sanctioned doubt. Ways that don't rely on visual contact. "Randomly generating a distant sonic boom from time to time" could be an easy way of doing that.

Allowlist, not whitelist. Blocklist, not blacklist. Goodbye, wtf. Microsoft scans Chromium code, lops off offensive words

veti Silver badge

So what? The history, while I'm sure very interesting to those who care about such things, isn't really relevant. What matters is what effect the words have today. Citing etymology at this point is really calculated to arouse suspicions that you're looking for reasons not to do the right thing.

Unless you have a consistent personal history of caring about the etymology of all words, all the time. Which you may have, I don't want to jump to conclusions about you - but if so, you need to recognise (and deal with) the fact that most of the time, it's one of those arguments that only gets dragged out when it's convenient to some other agenda.

veti Silver badge

Re: Putting the C into AC:

Every fringe has its loonies. I don't think it's particularly helpful to spend time arguing with them, as if they were representative of the mainstream arguments that they're attached to - that just legitimises them and makes it harder to deal with, or even see, the real points being argued.

veti Silver badge

Black tea and white bread are fine, because the colour words there have no particular moral weighting. Nobody imagines that "black tea" is somehow corrupt, or that people who drink it are inferior to others.

"Blacklist" and "whitelist", those are another matter.

Honestly, I can sympathise with both sides of this argument. On the one hand, this sort of self-conscious language shifting drives a wedge between us and every previous generation, which is bad. On the other hand, allowing moral weight to attach to terms that are simultaneously used as objective descriptors of some people - is thoughtless at best.

And once that has been pointed out to you, you can no longer claim "thoughtlessness" - you'd have to escalate to "a calculated putdown". So really, Google - and anyone else whose goals include "staying in business" - has no choice but to go along with it.

Cortana makes your PC's heart beat faster: Windows 10 update leaves some processors hot under the cooler

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Re: Bing!

Remember the 90s, when Microsoft totally missed "this web thing" and the threat it posed to their business model?

Yeah, well they do. And when they woke up, circa 1998, they resolved that from now on everything they did would have "web" built into its very bones. This is the after-effect of that awakening: they now have trouble even recognising that a client PC can exist as a physically distinct machine.

No it's not Russell Brand's new cult, it's Microsoft's Office crew rolling out their Save Experience

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Re: Consistency

For all his sterling work, I'm not so sure Raymond Chen still qualifies as a "school", rather than "a lonely guy shouting at clouds". It's some 15 years now since Microsoft lost the backward-compatibility religion, and they've shown no sign of rediscovering it.

I just love your accent – please, have a new password

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Re: heavy

It's not necessarily the accent. Some people just mumble.

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name

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Re: Eh?

How about "Bob"? That seems to be the name around here most associated with trying to foist his will upon the world.

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Re: People can feel insulted by anything if they want, it is their choice and it is their right

Sooo... *THEY* are trying "to FORCE THEIR WILL upon the REST of us".

Just for the record, what do you call it when someone advocates the use of instruments of torture to "adjust the attitude" of people who don't agree with them?

veti Silver badge

Re: Eh?

You can ignore whoever you like, within the law. Just don't complain when they, and their friends, take their business elsewhere.

Home Office told to stop telling EU visa porkies

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Very few countries? I only know of the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Germany...

So yeah, nowhere you'd really want to live.

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Re: SOP from the HO/FO

I must be missing something in this story - what did the HO know about "your previous fiancée", and why?

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The Australians are outliers in xenophobia, though. Remember, they're the country that refuses the right for dual nationals (such as the present UK PM) to sit in their parliament.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament

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Re: What an unmitigated shitshow

If anything, Trump has shown just how little the written constitution matters - because those who are supposed to enforce it are unable or unwilling to do so.

That's "populism" - by nature, it defies any kind of restraint, no matter whether it's written or not.

veti Silver badge

No! The unbiased viewpoint is "A says this, B says that. Authorities C, D and E concur that A is incorrect."

"A is a liar" draws inferences that go well beyond the facts in evidence. First, that A is not just misinformed but deliberately dishonest. Second, that A does this frequently or habitually, it's not a one-off.

"This is an outrage" cannot possibly be an unbiased comment. "Outrage" is a state of mind, it requires a specific mind (i.e. subjective point of view) to be "outraged". It's like "offensive" - there is simply no way to assign any objective meaning to the statement.

veti Silver badge

Re: Balance

Where is the balanced point between, "the dodgy bugger in number 10 is at it" and "Boris Johnson will basically act in the best interest of the U.K".

Neither one can be in any way defended as an objective statement. Any site that uses either of these, unless in quoting some other relevant party, is transparently commenting/opining on news, not reporting it.

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Re: Now we know what taking back control really means…

England never had an inquisition of its own, but its rulers were quite happy to co-operate with the institution when it suited them. See 'Arc, Joan of'.

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Re: So, to sum up. . .

I would hope that the army would refuse to take a side. That's what armies in democracies are supposed to do.

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Re: So, to sum up. . .

You can have as many referendums as you like, so long as it's clear what the options are.

In 2016, the "remain" option was clear, but the "leave" option was not well defined. (Many people say it was deliberately obfuscated. I'm not taking a position on that, but it is undeniable that the "leave" campaign did not advocate, then, for anything even remotely like what they're advocating for now.) That needs to be rectified if that is to be held up as the definitive democratic verdict.

Female-free speaker list causes PHP show to collapse when diversity-oriented devs jump ship

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Re: This needs to stop

(1) Citation needed

(2) and (3) are essentially restatements of (1). So, citation still needed.

(4) There are two points (4), but neither one makes any pretence at being objective or testable, so whatever. You believe what you want to believe, but if you want to persuade anyone else, then either evidence or argument would be handy. At this point you're offering neither.

(5) And, finish with a personal attack, still not grounded in anything that could be dignified with the description of either "evidence" or "logic".

Git the news here! Code quality doesn't count for much when it comes to pull requests

veti Silver badge

The ability to comply with a style guide does not necessarily translate into a strong mastery of the problem domain.

Of course reputation matters in any community. That's pretty much the definition of "community".

Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one

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Re: Get back to me when....

Any EV, out of the box, already sounds infinitely better than a V8.

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Re: Does EV adoption just encourage 2-car families?

I doubt if any family decides to buy a second car just so they can have an EV. That decision has much more to do with logistics of the family daily routine. So no, I don't buy the idea that EVs "encourage" two-car families. Say rather that it's easier for a two-car family to adopt an EV for one of their vehicles than for a single-car family to make the same commitment.

I would like to see some actual numbers on the "lots and lots of people" you mention. Not that I deny it, but it would be nice to quantify those "lots".

veti Silver badge

Incorrect. Renewables (wind, solar, hydro and biomass) account for around 30% of the kWh consumed in the UK per year. Add in nuclear, and you can see that over 50% of UK electricity generation - by volume of power generated - is - well, it's not quite true to say "zero carbon" because there are costs associated with transport and installation and maintenance and what have you, but "very low carbon".

Audible hasn't even launched its AI-powered book subtitles and publishers have already fired off a sueball

veti Silver badge

Re: Old-skool publishers vs Amazon

The publishing industry deserves zero sympathy. I began my career in that business, so I've watched with interest their shenanigans over the past 20 years (since I got out),and if ever a bunch of companies deserved to go to the wall, they do.

veti Silver badge

Re: Old-skool publishers vs Amazon

It's not Amazon who's eaten their lunch. Amazon's business model depends on a reasonably healthy publishing industry.

The danger to those publishers is from the new publishers, Facebook and Google. Amazon could be an ally, and they certainly need one.

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Old-skool publishers vs Amazon

Part of me wants to see both sides lose this, but only because it's good to see both of them lose everything.

Another part is wondering when the companies that call themselves "publishers" are going to wake up to the fact that their business model is broken, and Amazon is one of very few companies who may have both the capability and the incentive to help them rebuild it.

Uncle Sam is asking Americans if they could refrain from slapping guns on their drones

veti Silver badge

Re: But...but

"Shall not be infringed" applies to "keep and bear arms". Nowhere does it say anything about the right to attach said arms to an independent controlled vehicle.

Unless you can define the drone itself as a weapon - and I think that may have implications that you wouldn't be entirely happy with.

Leaked EU doc plots €100bn fund to protect European firms against international tech giants

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This is why Brexit is as bad for Europe as it is for Britain

All these years, Britain has been the number one moderating force keeping Europe away from this kind of idiocy. Since it withdrew from the decision making, the EU has made more and bigger strides in the direction of full-on stupidity than it ever did in the 30 years before. (Well, discounting the euro, at least.)

It's sheer pie in the sky. The total EU budget is only €165bn. Which specific European nations do you think will be up for donating their money into a €100bn fund on top of that?

US regulators push back against White House plan to police social media censorship

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Don't confuse "not caring" with "not knowing". Trump isn't stupid, he's bad. He wants the world to burn, not for its own sake, but because the worse the world gets, the less likely it is that he or his family will ever be held accountable for their actions.

veti Silver badge

Re: TL;DR - The Constitution is working as intended ...

What's illegal about them? What law, specifically, do they violate?

The constitution certainly doesn't say that military forces can only be deployed in the context of a declared war.


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