* Posts by veti

3118 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

US border cops must get warrants to search citizens' gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges

veti Silver badge

Re: going to KiwiLand?

There are lots of ways of flying from the UK/Europe to New Zealand without going anywhere near the US. I've done it via Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai+Sydney (and now, I understand, "directly via Dubai" is also an option), Seoul, Bangkok, Shanghai...

Basically, Asia is full of airports, and all of them are more comfortable and welcoming than LAX.

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Can you say

"blatantly unconstitutional"?

If it's legal for an American agent, on American soil, to do it - then the citizenship of the victim target subject makes no difference. It's either legal, or it's not.

"... nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". 14th amendment applies to states, and by reverse incorporation also to the federal government.

Hundreds of millions 'wasted' on UK court digitisation scheme

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Re: Ooops?

I see it's been revised now - by taking out the initial figure.

So it still doesn't support the headline, but at least it doesn't actively contradict it any more.

veti Silver badge

Re: Silly

True, but most things called "agile" depend more on user engagement.

Seems to me that, instead of overselling the product, which is what normally happens with government IT projects, here what's been oversold is the methodology. Somebody heard about "agile", went and read a book about "scrum" and assumed it was the same thing. Someone else - didn't. So as well as "no agreed product plan", there's also "no meeting of minds on project plan".

Trump sets sights on net neutrality

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Re: What happens when the 1% has all the money?

I'm pretty sure that the whole reason Trump ran was to catapult himself into that "top 1% of the top 1%" club.

So far it's working fine. The tributes - to the Trump name and family, not to America - have been rolling in from China, Mexico, and everywhere else he's targeted.

When Mubarak was finally forced out of Egypt, his family's net worth was estimated at 15% of the country's entire GDP. Trump won't have that long, but I think he's got his sights set on "at least 5%".

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Re: I suspect...

I suspect that what we're seeing is a ritual cleansing of the United States, to remove the 'taint' of Obama from the land. Everything Obama did must be reversed - not because it was particularly bad, but simply because he was the one that did it.

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Re: President Swoop and Poop

Trump is the anti-Reagan. His signature policy is to undo everything that Reagan accomplished.

NAFTA was Ronald Reagan's initiative. Reagan believed firmly in free trade, he thought that American workers and American companies could compete on a level playing field, and the discipline would make them better for it. That's diametrically opposite to what Trump believes, which is that American workers are incapable of surviving either change or competition.

Reagan passed the Emergency Medical Treatment Act, entitling anyone, regardless of insurance, citizenship or anything else, to free emergency treatment at (effectively) any public hospital.

Reagan believed in truth and democracy. No Reagan aid ever coined the phrase "alternative facts". Nor did they perpetually accuse the media of lying. When Reagan was caught out (e.g. Iran-Contra), he put his hands up and said "You got me".

Reagan oversaw the end of the Cold War and the dismantling of the Russian empire and one-party state. Trump is doing his damnedest to reverse all of that.

Reagan introduced the (current form of) the Alternative Minimum Tax, which Trump wants to abolish.

Under Reagan, the number of people living in the US who were born in Mexico - doubled. 'Nuff said.

Reagan signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and pressed for further treaties that the Donald has decried as a "bad deal".

Cambridge Analytica arrives in Australia to STEAL our democracy!

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Great Barrier Firewall

While acknowledging the scepticism, I can't help but feel you're being possibly over-complacent here. Clinton and Cameron both under-estimated these fsckers, and look what happened to them.

But Australia has a good option at this point: block Facebook from the whole country. Don't wait, do it now and watch national productivity surge.

Home Office accused of blocking UK public's scrutiny of Snoopers' Charter

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The gummint is supposed to custard the tarts.

They're elected, so answerable to the electorate. But in the past 40 years or so, we've gruesomely undermined that accountability by looking over their shoulders all the time. When we put so much work into micromanaging the buggers, it becomes that much harder to blame them for fucking up.

Hell, look at Brexit. That's completely our mess. And we got it by "not trusting our politicians".

Not that it's, generally, a good idea to trust politicians too far. But it's also not a good idea to distrust them too much, because then they can't do their jobs, even if (outside chance) they're genuinely, honestly trying to. Just look at the US, anytime in the past 15 years, to see what comes of that.

Robots are killing jobs after all, apparently: One droid equals 5.6 workers

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Re: jobs aren't entitlements

I mean, as a contractor, I deal with that ALL of the time. Why can't EVERYONE ELSE deal with that, too?

What do we call it, when people demand EVERYONE ELSE should be exactly like them? Whatever it is, it's the opposite of what I've always thought of as "American".

Many people don't want to be contractors. They don't have the temperament, the inclination or the skills to "market their skills". And what does "being responsible for your own situation when it comes to jobs etc." mean? "You picked the wrong industry, sucks to be you"?

No, a job is not an entitlement. "Life", however, is - at least according to the founding document of the US. It follows that the one should not depend on the other.

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I can see how "robots improve productivity", in the conventional sense of "economic output divided by input".

How they raise wages, however? They will raise *total* income, because rising productivity implies that much - but as far as I can see, approximately all of that income will go to the people owning the robots. So they will - buy more robots, I guess?

It seems to me that the NBER's research is flawed in that it focuses on certain "sectors" in isolation, without taking into account how they interact with the rest of the economy. But Steve Mnunchin's analysis is even more flawed because it's not an analysis, just a dismissal, and not, so far as we know, based on anything that could actually pass for research or rational thought of any kind.

"Labour market adjustment assitance" sounds like something that gov'ts have been talking about since at least the 1980s. It sounds nice, but in practice it means the government has to identify where (i.e. in what industries) new jobs are going to be created, and they're crap at that kind of prediction.

How UK’s GDPR law might not be judged 'adequate'

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Who are you?

If you're going to publish an article with extensive use of the first person singular pronoun -

Is it really asking too much for your own name, rather than that of a company, to be attached to said article?

Doesn't have to be your real name, you can use a pen name if you're shy. But "Amberhawk Training" doesn't sound like anyone I'm likely to meet in a pub.

Oracle doing due diligence on Accenture. Yep, you read that right

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Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

A lot of big companies with Oracle systems need auditing.

It'd be nice if the auditor was someone who was willing to work through an Oracle database.

That's your synergy right there.

UK digital minister Matt Hancock praises 'crucial role' of encryption

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Re: Left hand, right hand

To look at it another way, different ministers have different jobs.

Hancock's job is to encourage businesses to do stuff. Businesses like privacy.

Rudd's job - isn't.

This is how cabinet government works, different people have different priorities and they argue it out between them. In Rudd's case, specifically - she's pushing exactly the same line that has been pushed by every home secretary for at least the last 20 years, so I assume she's just saying what her staff tells her to say.

The Home Office permanent staff have a lot of experience of telling ministers what to say.

After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

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Re: the Guardian is polarizing

Oh yeah? Here is a Daily Mail story about the Cumbria shooter, who killed way more people than this loon in Westminster. Here is what it has to say about Harold Shipman, easily the biggest mass murderer in modern UK history. Here is its discussion of Pavlo Lapshyn.

Strangely enough, in all three of these articles, I don't see any discussion of the murderer's religious beliefs.

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If I wanted to kill people, I wouldn't hire an ix40 or any other kind of family car. I'd hire a pickup truck, or at least a Ford Transit.

It's a real shame the murderer was killed. It would be nice to know something about what he was thinking. Did he really plan this at all, or was it a spur-of-the-moment thing?

DNA-bothering eggheads brew beer you were literally born to like

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Re: Almost Interesting

You "might well be interested in learning more about yourself" - but would that interest really inspire you to spend $31k?

I'm up for trying a beer, if someone who knows me thinks I might like it. But seriously, that's a lot of money to spend on checking out someone else's hunch.

'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

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Re: Place your bets

Everyone gets away with this sort of nonsense.

Seriously, when did you last hear of a software company being successfully sued on the grounds that its product failed to perform as advertised?

This is 20 years overdue, and if they can catch Apple, Google, Oracle, Sun et al in the same blast, that'll be fine with me.

That 'Trump lawyers threaten teen over kitten website' yarn is Fakey Fakey McFake Fakeface

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Re: It's fake news folks.

Assuming NYO and HR interviewed "Lucy" by phone, or better yet Skype - she could be anyone, anywhere. They may have reported the story in "good faith" (setting aside for the moment that they really should have checked the domain record).

Since trumpscratch.com "now" belongs to a soft porn site, she might just be one of its "models". Or some random actress hired for the part.

A bit more fact checking on stories like this would be nice. C'mon, surely someone can claim $49 for expenses?

veti Silver badge

Re: It's fake news folks.

Domain tools aren't quite the clincher they're being presented as.

Looking at the linked page: domain registered 22 March. But the story was being discussed before then (see here, for example). That means this registration didn't even exist at that time.

Looking a little further down the record, I see: "1 record has been archived since 2017-03-21". What did that record say? Well, it'll cost you at least US$49 to find that out. I'm actually tempted to spend it.

Coppers 'persistently' breach data protection laws with police tech

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Re: Power corrupts

There are about 125,000 police officers in England and Wales, and that's not including non-officer employees. If there are 2500 allegations of misconduct per year, then - assuming they all involve separate officers - that's 2%.

Wherever you work, how many of your fellow employees do you trust not to abuse private information they have access to in the course of their jobs?

If the answer is no more than 98%, that suggests police are no more corrupt than the average.

In the land of Google, Holocaust denial, death threats – all fine. LGBT? Oh, no, that's sensitive

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Re: They have a point

I agree. This is the most positive thing I've heard out of Google in a decade. "Treat your users with basic respect" - there's a concept I can get behind. "If they clearly want to see something in particular, it's not our place to hide it from them."

It's the same rationale whereby if you search for images of "london bridge", you'll get photos of several well known historical landmarks. But if you add a word like "sex" or "porn" or "milf" in there, you'll get photos of something else entirely. (You have been warned.)

Bloke cuffed after 'You deserve a seizure' GIF tweet gave epileptic a fit

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Re: Attempted manslaughter?

I believe "attempted manslaughter" is best translated as "reckless endangerment".

But "attempted murder" would probably be a better fit in this case, as there was clearly malicious intent.

Of course IANAL, TINLA.

Russian! spies! 'brains! behind!' Yahoo! mega-hack! – four! charged!

veti Silver badge

The reason the Russians get blamed for a lot of hacking is, because they do a lot of hacking.

And trolling. At both hacking and trolling, they are far, far more active than the Chinese, Norks or any other bogey-group you care to name, except possibly "American nerds", and they don't count because they're doing it individually/independently, without co-ordination.

If you seriously, honestly doubt that, I've got an internet to sell you.

Boffins Rickroll smartphone by tickling its accelerometer

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Re: Sympathy

Oh, don't be like that. In the fast-paced, frog-eat-badger world of web memes, I find it positively heartwarming that Rickrolling, apparently, is here to stay. I mean, it's been ten years now.

Who saw this coming, back in 1987?

Dungeons & Dragons finally going digital

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What's new?

' A “D&D Compendium with Official Content”' - Rules have been available online for years. Check out www.d20srd.org for the most comprehensive set, but the "basic 5th edition" handbook is also available, and that's just the official resources. There's also half a ton of independently-run wikis.

' The ability to “Create, Browse, & Use Homebrew Content”' - Or, as those of us who've been on the web more than ten minutes call it, a wiki.

' The ability to “Manage Characters - Build, Progress, & Play”' - OK, this could be new. Well, really you could do that within a wiki, too. But it'd help to have a nice template, I guess.

' D&D News, Articles, Forums, & More' - You mean like WOTC has been maintaining for years?

' Anywhere, anytime, access on any device' - A website. That's nice. Why did nobody think of that before?

Tim Berners-Lee says privacy needs fixing – and calls for 'algorithmic transparency'

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Re: "Control of personal data"

There's an important difference between personal data and aggregate data.

If you're Google, you can still make a shedload of money off aggregate data, without needing to sit on all that personal data.

Now, of course you can make even more money if you exploit both kinds at once - and hence that's what people do, because stockholder value. But there's no reason why the companies should starve, if they're restricted to just the aggregate stuff.

The people who would starve would be the fucktards who target fake news to people preconditioned to believe it. And that would be a shame, because if they starve we can't stake them spreadeagled over a termite mound covered in jelly.

Official: America auto-scanned visitors' social media profiles. Also: It didn't work properly

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Re: Travel to the USA down?

Well, I'm sure that has something to do with it.

But if you look at the timing, you'll see the really dramatic drop in bookings and queries coincides nicely with Trump's first travel ban. The pound's drop happened following some idiot exercise last June.

veti Silver badge

Re: the DHS: it's only a state of mind

@Ivan 4, it was GWB who instituted the regime whereby "all foreigners are arrested upon landing", which is where I would date the rot setting in.

Once they've taken your fingerprints, everything else is a formality.

veti Silver badge

Re: What if you don't buy into the whole social media thing?

I'm pretty sure you can get a bot to run a Facebook account for you.

Leastways, I don't know how else to explain the things.

'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

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Re: My favourate: '; DROP TABLE users /*

If the database has a table that's just called "users", and that table can be dropped in isolation (implying that it has no dependencies), then... well, let's just say password strength is the least of your problems.

Spies do spying, part 97: Shock horror as CIA turn phones, TVs, computers into surveillance bugs

veti Silver badge

I smell a snowjob

One of the oldest and most basic rules of intel is to pretend that your organisation and powers are much, much greater than they really are. Thus intimidating and discouraging the enemy, maybe preventing them from using effective countermeasures, and increasing the likelihood that they'll choose to co-operate with you.

Riddle me this: if the spooks can listen in on all of us with such ease, then why are they so fixated on requiring new backdoors in equipment and protocols? Why did the FBI have such a hard time unlocking that iPhone last year?

Assume that whatever Wikileaks publishes, the CIA wants you to see it. Countermeasures don't have to be perfect: the goal isn't "total invulnerability", it's just "don't be the low-hanging fruit".

Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

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Meter accuracy

All meters used for billing in the UK must be tested and certified in compliance with BS EN 62053-21:2003. I assume the Netherlands has an equivalent requirement.

And believe it or not, that test and certification is exactly the same for a smart meter as it is for a dumb one.

So what this test has shown is that either (a) someone is skimping on their compliance, in which case they need prosecuting, or (b) the test is badly written, in which case it needs rewriting, that's what standards bodies are for. And we should be grateful that the test has brought this issue to light, because who knows how long it's been lurking under the radar.

Facebook shopped BBC hacks to National Crime Agency over child abuse images probe

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Re: Answer

I hate it when spokesdroids say "xxx is against the law", without specifying what law, or even jurisdiction, they're talking about.

BBC hacks? Well, who knows where they were viewing the images, but there's a good chance it was in London, so "CPS guidance" is relevant.

Facebook moderators? Might have been based just about anywhere. But the company is headquartered in California, so California state and/or US federal law apply.

These are two (well, three) different things, and what's "abuse" in one place might not be so in the other.

Google, what the hell? Search giant wrongly said shop closed down, refused to list the truth

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Re: And people trust goo ...

On what basis do you think it's correct "99.9%" of the time?

Try this. Go to Google Search, and type in 'arrosto roast chicken portland' (without quotes). Note the number of results it claims to have.

Now page through the results. (Skip directly to page 10, then onwards as far as you can with each screen.) Note how many results you actually get.

You can do the same for just about any search term you like: the number of results Google will actually show you is far, far lower than what it claims to have.

Trust Google? Yeah, right.

Awkward. Investigatory Powers Act could prove hurdle to UK-EU Privacy Shield following Brexit

veti Silver badge

Re: No, it's about humans, not citizens

Actually - little-known fact - the same applies in the US. The law makes no distinction between citizens and non-citizens, except on the very narrow subject of who is allowed to enter the country, and who is allowed to vote in federal elections. The 14th Amendment is admirably clear on this: laws that discriminate on the basis of citizenship are unconstitutional.

US lawmakers hate this so much that they make every effort to obfuscate it. For instance, they fund the NSA on what amounts to the pinky-swear that "they won't use their powers against US citizens". And we've all seen what comes of that.

veti Silver badge

Well, obviously your British customers have to give you their national identity number when they sign up (and also specify whether they want porn). If they fail to do that, they're guilty of identity theft and probably tax evasion and money laundering charges thrown in.

Then your non-British customers are easily sorted out.

Pence v Clinton: Both used private email for work, one hacked, one accused of hypocrisy

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Re: Fail on El Reg's part.

If you wouldn't expect this from El Reg, you can't have been around here very long. Or you've got a very selective memory.

And if you would have expected it from a "typical Mainstream Media rag", I can only assume you've got a very strange idea of what those look like, too. For your information:

Here is the Guardian's coverage

Here is the BBC's

Here is the "failing New York Times".

All of which go out of their way to make the same points you made.

My guess is that your only exposure to "Mainstream Media" is what various probably-right-wing tools tell you they're saying.

Smart meter firm EDMI asked UK for £7m to change a single component

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Re: The pi-zero w is less than £10 and I bet it would do all they need and more.

My answer about the possibility of hacking the on/off function seemed to be a new one to him.

Assuming you live in the UK, that's a bit like "refusing to go outside on the grounds that you might be eaten by a tiger".

Look, there are reasons to dislike smart meters, but most of those talked up here are pure FUD. With hundreds of millions of the things installed worldwide for years now, there have still been zero, count them, zero credible reports of remote hacking. I'm not saying it's impossible - just that the people who enjoy doing that kind of thing simply have much softer and less boring targets to go after.

Germany, France lobby hard for terror-busting encryption backdoors – Europe seems to agree

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Re: #OscarsSoWhite, really?

Look, when I call Trump a fascist, I'm not trying to insult him. I'm just calling him like he very clearly is.

"Fascism" has many definitions. For instance, Umberto Eco lists 14 characteristics:

- "The cult of tradition" - four words, "Make America Great Again"

- "The rejection of modernism" - "global warming HOAX", removal of experts from council of advisors

- "The cult of action for action's sake" - as in, hastily and poorly written executive orders

- "Disagreement is treason" - "the dishonest media is a great danger to our country"

- "Fear of difference" - Google "Mohammed Ali Jr"

- "Appeal to a frustrated middle class" - "The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again"

- "Obsession with a plot and talking-up of an enemy threat" - "bad hombres", "figure out what's going on over there"

And so on. The man ticks at least 12 of the 14 boxes.

Or to consider another definition (Roger Griffin):

[F]ascism is best defined as a revolutionary form of nationalism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical revolution, welding the ‘people’ into a dynamic national community under new elites infused with heroic values. The core myth that inspires this project is that only a populist, trans-class movement of purifying, cathartic national rebirth (palingenesis) can stem the tide of decadence

Ernest Nolte:

"Fascism is anti-Marxism which seeks to destroy the enemy by the evolvement of a radically opposed and yet related ideology and by the use of almost identical and yet typically modified methods, always, however, within the unyielding framework of national self-assertion and autonomy."

Kevin Passmore:

Fascism is a set of ideologies and practices that seeks to place the nation, defined in exclusive biological, cultural, and/or historical terms, above all other sources of loyalty, and to create a mobilized national community. Fascist nationalism is reactionary in that it entails implacable hostility to socialism and feminism, for they are seen as prioritizing class or gender rather than nation.

Robert Paxton:

A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity

Seriously, how can you claim he's anything but a fascist?

veti Silver badge

The reason we have "wannabe Trumps" now popping up all over the place is, Trump has shown them all that it can be done. Fascism does work.

That man has done real, quite possibly terminal, damage to democracy as practised in the Western world for the past 75 years.

Post-Brexit five-year UK work visas planned – report

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Re: Immigration

Net immigration is a very new phenomenon in South Korea, which only (officially, according to the UN) became a net 'receiving' country in 2007. Previously it was exporting people, so its population density was actually dropping, and is (probably) still below peak levels.

Currently, about 11% of Britain's population are first-generation migrants. That's about the same as the Netherlands, France and Greece. A bit less than Germany, Canada, the USA or Spain, but all those countries have vastly more land area to work with. Of those 11%, two-thirds are from outside the EU.

In absolute numbers of immigrants, though, Britain is 5th in the world - 3rd, if you exclude Russia and Saudi Arabia on the grounds that they're hellholes that nobody in their right mind would want to move to without powerful independent incentives. This matters because it means Britain looms disproportionately large in the minds of potential migrants - meaning, poor people in whatever country who simply want a chance of a better life - who are, all other things being equal, proportionally more likely to head for Britain than almost any other country except (until very recently) the USA.

At least some of the anti-immigrant talk in the UK is consciously aimed at those "potential migrants", to discourage them from coming. So it's not quite as irrational as it might appear.

veti Silver badge

Re: If only..

@druck: maybe you missed the Facts Of Life lesson as applied to migration:

Getting out of a country is easy. "Leaving the UK" is no problem. Likewise, leaving any other country.

The problem is that there has to exist another country that will let you in. And the UK has no power or authority to force them to do that. (At least, not any more. It used to have the authority to grant you automatic entry and rights in 27 other countries, but then some idiots voted to give that up, so here we are.)

Even Hitler was all for Jews leaving Germany. But after a short while, no other country would let them in, and so they were stuck.

Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

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Re: Can they detect when ad blocker blockers are disabled?

The relation between ads and Javascript is not quite that simple.

Sometimes the ads themselves rely on JS to download and/or render them.

Sometimes the site itself depends on JS to download and/or render its content, so if you have JS disabled you won't see anything, or at least anything you wanted to.

And sometimes JS is sneakily used to arrange the content around the ad - such that if you have JS disabled, the ad will block the content. Or it shows you an ad, and uses JS to replace that with content after 5 seconds or so. Basically, there are lots of ways to use JS, some of them more evil than others.

(But even at its worst, JS still beats heck out of Flash...)

Get this: Tech industry thinks journos are too mean. TOO MEAN?!

veti Silver badge

As usual...

... there's actually some kind of reasonable point being camouflaged by the stupidity.

I completely agree with El Reg that the bulk of the tech press is, basically, lazy. That is to say, they're quite willing to publish dross that's actually written by someone else's marketing or sales department, lightly edited, and then pretend it's their own findings/opinions. I have no doubt that happens a lot. Always has.

But on the other hand, as well as being lazy, journalists are also stupid. (I'm talking about the aggregate here. Obviously some journalists are brilliant. But remember, the most inexperienced and cheapest journalists have to go somewhere.) Those ones tend to go with the herd, so the herd mood/instinct is a thing that matters.

This is a real problem in the media, caused - like most online problems - by overcapacity. Simply put: the number of stories that the world's journalists (in aggregate) are required to file every week, massively exceeds the number of stories that actually need to be written. This is a hangover from the days when every newspaper/channel had its own coverage, for its own readers; the industry hasn't caught up to the point that on the Internet, a story only has to be published once, then it can be linked from anywhere.

And that herd instinct, for the last ten years or so, has been increasingly technophobic. Some luddism, as always, comes from people who feel their jobs are threatened. Some is actually well founded (think IoT security, punitive EULAs, licensing terms). But a whole lot more comes either from people who've only recently become aware of what's been going on since long before they were born (government spying), or from those who just plain don't know what they're talking about, but instinctively distrust those newfangled Things. And let's face it, if you want to rubbish a new Thing it's not hard to come up with arguments that look plausible to an uninformed eye. (Look at any online forum touching on climate change, for instance.)

This leads to a lot of hacks who don't have any better ideas - basically, rehashing FUD, because if you're a journalist you gotta write something. And most of the time, these hacks know nothing about the subject - they're literally just paraphrasing what they've read elsewhere. So these "stories" become memetic, repeating the same tired old talking points (and if they were paying any kind of attention they'd know most of them were debunked decades ago, but even if they do know that they choose to ignore it because it would spoil their "story").

Software glitch, not wind farms, blacked out 60,000 in South Australia

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Re: It's nothing but money!

IMO, a good compromise is to bake fixed financial penalties into the regime. For a domestic consumer, there would be a clause saying something like:

- if you ever lose power for more than 15 minutes, you automatically get $10 off your next power bill

- (if the outage persists for 1 hour, make it $20. 2 hours, $30. 3 hours, $50. And so on.)

(Exception: suppliers can avoid paying compensation if they give notice of a cut, up to 2 hours duration, at least 1 week in advance, specifying the date and time of the outage to within 1 hour.)

Who, specifically, has to make the payment for each outage would be determined by an independent tribunal (in Australia's case, probably convened by AEMO).

What this would mean is, if 10,000 homes have to go without power for 2 hours, then somebody in the industry is out of pocket to the tune of $300,000. It may not completely eliminate the gains of price spiking, but it would put a thumb on the right side of the scale. As well as giving some compensation to the long-suffering consumer.

veti Silver badge

Re: It's nothing but money!

GP is incorrect, but not as much as you think. The actual peak spot price was around $14,000 per MWh, not kWh. So "only" $14 per kWh. (Source: AEMO report, here.)

These sorts of price spikes are actually not uncommon. I first observed them in the UK industry in the early 90s, a couple of years after it was privatised. In Australia, they've been occurring periodically ever since the early 2000s. This event was mostly unusual in that the "spike" lasted more than half an hour.

And GP is correct in so far as it is - as far as anyone can tell - caused by generators gaming the system. As you correctly observe, they're in business to make money. And it turns out that supplying 2800 MW at $14,000 per MWh is more profitable than supplying 3000 MW at $100/MWh. Who'd've thought.

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All you really need to know about the industry is (1) a lot of Australians work in coal mines, and (2) China has recently sharply reduced the amount of coal it imports, meaning that the Australian mining industry now has massive overcapacity.

Everything else follows from these simple facts.

'Hey, Homeland Security. Don't you dare demand Twitter, Facebook passwords at the border'

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Re: This has been a policy since at least 2008

Arnold wasn't required to hand over his social media passwords. That is new, and it's all Trump.

UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

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Re: What's the Brexit angle?

Since the referendum, the pound has dropped about 10% in value against the euro. That is to say, everyone in the UK has had a pay cut of about 10%, even though some of them haven't quite noticed yet.

Makes the UK a more attractive place to employ people, if the jobs are portable. (And they still are, for at least the next two years.)


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