* Posts by veti

3118 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Bruce Perens quits Open Source Initiative amid row over new data-sharing crypto license: 'We've gone the wrong way with licensing'

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Re: What does vaccination have to do with software licencing?

This is an answer to the above question "why do we need an OSI at all?"

A hundred approved licences may sound like approximately 95 too many, but think how much worse it could be if there were nobody to filter out nonsense like this.

IT exec sets up fake biz, uses it to bill his bosses $6m for phantom gear, gets caught by Microsoft Word metadata

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Re: idiot

Thou shalt not share documents in Microsoft Office formats. Surely everyone who works in IT knows that?

Mostly, I think it's another example of one of the cardinal rules of crime: it's really, really hard to think of everything.

We live so fast I can't even finish this sent...

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Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

Decades were always approximations. Depending on your priorities, the 80s, for instance, may have started anytime between 1979 (Thatcher's election) and 1983 (when The Smiths released Hand in Glove), and (again, depending how you want to count) may be said to have ended as early as 1989 (season 1 of The Simpsons).

It's just easier to say "the 60s" than "the intense counterculture and enthusiasm for civil rights and drug use that really only lasted about five years".

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Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

It sounds like you poor heathens back in the Old Country have missed out on the veritable renaissance of crisps that we've been enjoying here in the colonies.

Here at my elbow is a bowl of hand-cooked, organic, beer-flavoured (Nelson hop) "Proper" crisps. As far beyond "kettle chips" as kettles themselves are beyond the cheap, oily experience that is Walkers'. And they're not the only domestic manufacturer of gourmet crisps - there's at least a couple more.

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan

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Re: Remote bricking

Everything electronic degrades over time. I recently had to retire a sound system that has lasted me through four PCs over 20 years, when it developed intermittent hissing and buzzing.

Still a crap reason for killing the secondhand market, though.

Fuming French monopoly watchdog is so incensed by Google's 'random' web ad rules, it's fining the US giant, er, <1% annual profit

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Re: Deceptive units.

If it comes to that, who buys bog rolls by the sheet?

I don't think I've seen a shop where you rip off and pay for X sheets of bog roll, you just buy "a roll" of the stuff.

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Re: Google are the Good Guys here

True. But good guys have to follow rules, otherwise they quickly stop being good guys. You can't just go all vigilante on spammers, you have to be enforcing - something.

If that makes life more difficult for Google, then - sorry, but the world does not owe them a business model. It's up to them to square this circle so that they can enforce rules consistently and still beat the spammers - that's their problem, it's one that they've claimed for their own, and if they misbehave in the process they should be held accountable for that.

ACLU sues America's border cops: Tell us everything about these secret search teams targeting travelers

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An "emergency" is an acute crisis requiring immediate action. Emphasis on "acute". The whole reason for having a "state of emergency" is to allow the executive to take action without waiting for legislators to discuss it, because sometimes there isn't time for that.

Now, I sympathise with anyone who gets a bit impatient waiting for Congress to act on stuff, but after 40 odd years, the whole "no time" schtick starts to feel a bit - forced. If Congress haven't yet reached any conclusion about the ownership of Iranian government property (i.e. whether the government property under the Shah should now belong to the revolutionary regime, which is the oldest "emergency" still on the books), we can be pretty sure it's not for want of time.

FYI: FBI raiding NSA's global wiretap database to probe US peeps is probably illegal, unconstitutional, court says

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Read the 14th amendment

Keiran: please stop using the word "citizen" in these stories.

The court clearly and precisely talks about "US persons". That's not the same thing at all, it applies equally to anyone on US soil. This matters because if it could only be used by citizens, that would be a flagrant breach of the 14th amendment, which says "no state shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

If the target is overseas at the time, that's another matter. Then it's legal to discriminate in favour of citizens. But the moment the subject sets foot inside a state's "jurisdiction", it becomes illegal. Anything they can do to us, they can do to you - so sayeth the constitution.

Hey, ICANN, if you need good reasons to halt the .org super-sell-off, here are two: Higher fees, more website downtime

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Re: Especially because this sale doesn't provide any benefits to holders of .org domains

Do you not have fair trading laws where you come from? Is there no assumption that goods and services offered for sale are "fit for purpose" and of "merchantable quality"? Companies certainly go well out of their way to persuade potential customers that they provide these things, so there must be some value in them, ne?

In this case there is a specific "public interest" case to be made, which ICANN is supposed to take into account. ICANN's mission statement says it is "... in particular to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems". That's why the word "stability" features so strongly in the story.

All now depends on which way ICANN wants to jump. If ISOC has greased ICANN's palms appropriately, then I would expect them to say "there is no threat to the stability of the system, if a domain goes down for a while that's a problem for the owners and the registrars but it doesn't damage the system as a whole, we have no remit to interfere". If they've been cut out, however, then this should give them all the ammunition they need to force a renegotiation stop it.

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Re: Afilias losing their money tree

Isn't that why they explicitly draw the comparison with other TLDs that are run on tighter budgets? - which is where the "3 days downtime per year" estimate comes from?

If there exists a company that can do as good a job for a fraction of the money, why aren't more people using them?

The IoT wars are over, maybe? Amazon, Apple, Google give up on smart-home domination dreams, agree to develop common standards

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Re: Will they go far enough?

That's actually not a bad idea, commercially.

People who've already bought IoT tat are the most valuable market segment there is: early adopters. People who are curious or jealous or vain, or just have more money than they know what to do with. People like that are very likely to buy new gear anyway within the next year or two, even if their old stuff is still working just fine - so maybe there's little to lose, and much to gain (customer loyalty) in helping them to run their old equipment for as long as they like.

Hate speech row: Fine or jail anyone who calls people boffins, geeks or eggheads, psychology nerd demands

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Re: I think she's trolling

"The Hate Speech laws" - which laws exactly are you talking about?

In the UK, it's forbidden to express hatred that is based on someone's "colour, race, disability, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation" - doesn't say anything about academic interests, athletic capability or lack thereof, or even offensiveness. It's also forbidden to say things that are "threatening or abusive", and intended to "harass, alarm or distress" someone. Note, that's based on intent - a judge and/or jury have to decide that you were wilfully trying to "harass, alarm or distress" people.

Good luck persuading them of that just for using mild deprecations. If you shouted to an angry mob "Let's crucify all the dweebs!", that would be another matter, but at that point you'd deserve it.

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I think she's trolling

This is an effort to make the outrage industry see just how stupid it already looks.

I recognise it, because I've made the same argument for the same reason myself.

Canada's .ca supremo in hot water after cyber-smut stash allegedly found on his work Mac ‒ and three IT bods fired

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Re: Do you think

While this is partly true, you still need to involve HR in the same way as you need to involve your own manager, and for the same reason: if you don't, it can be held against you.

HR are there to protect the company, yes. That doesn't necessarily equate to supporting its management against you, though. Quite often, the management are by far the greater threat.

Put the crypt into cryptocoin: Amid grave concerns, lawyers to literally dig into exchange exec who died owing $190m

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What took them so long?

Didn't we all think of this when the story first broke that he'd died? Why are they only getting around to checking on him now?

Buzz kill: Crook, 73, conned investors into shoveling millions into geek-friendly caffeine-loaded chocs that didn't exist. Now he's in jail

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Re: I don't get it...

Chocolate-coated coffee beans are already a thing.

US and China wave white flags, hit pause button on trade war

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The "Democrats have tried to impeach 5 of the last 6 Republican presidents" line is a gross distortion. To make it true, you have to count every call made in every speech by every democrat, not just in Congress but all over the country. The historical reality is that Democrats have launched only one other impeachment hearing in the past century.

I'd like to see a similar accounting made for the other team.

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I would imagine they take great care to avoid being noticed.

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Neither side is "stupid". You just don't know what they're thinking, that's all. That's not the same thing.

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Not true at all. Approximately 50% of American voters think Trump should be impeached and removed.

Unfortunately it takes more like 70% to get action.

Huawei 5G kit in Faroe Islands: Chinese ambassador 'linked Huawei contract to ... trade deal' – report

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Re: It's quite clear there will be an ongoing battle on who will control 5G and other networks

That would be the white-tailed or "carrier" mackerel.

ICANN demands transparency from others over .org deal. As for itself… well, not so much

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Re: have you heard of ISBN numbers?

ISBNs are used by publishers, not editors.

And they are an international system - an ISBN issued in any country works just fine in every country. So even if you live in the USA, if you don't fancy paying Bowkers, you can import one from Canada or the UK with a minimal amount of hoop-jumping.

(You'll need a mailing address in the country, but how hard is that?)

So, in practice the monopoly is only as damaging as its users let it be.

When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games

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Re: Good job Arizona!

"In favor of the status quo" is not bad as a working definition of "conservative".

One thing you can be sure of, anyone who wants to upend the status quo is not a conservative, whatever else they are.

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Re: As this article mentions, up to 98% of people with "engineer" in their titles

By the definition just given: if you write software, you're a software engineer.

If you want to make the definition more exclusionary than that, you're gonna have to come up with some rules that go beyond anything yet mentioned. And, much like other requirements that are added after the project has begun, they will probably turn out, on examination, to be pretty stupid.

Internet jerk with million-plus fans starts 14-year stretch for bizarre dot-com armed robbery

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Re: May have been something more serious

That plan - assumes a truly monumental level of incompetence from the police. It also makes both perps guilty of first-degree murder, which in Iowa would earn a life sentence with eligibility for parole starting at 25 years.

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Re: I feel sorry for the defence lawyer...

It's America. The defendant is entitled to be presumed innocent until proven broke.

Americans should have strong privacy-protecting encryption ...that the Feds and cops can break, say senators

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False dichotomy

The choice isn't between "unbreakable encryption vs exploitable backdoors". You don't have to add a backdoor, just make sure it's possible to use the front door.

If a communication is fully encrypted from end to end, that still leaves two ends. Take control of either one of those, and you will probably be able to access the content of the communication. I have no problem with the feds doing that, when circumstances warrant it.

Of course the owner of the end in question may be so paranoid that they carefully delete both the decrypted text and the key used to derive it - but in that case the communication really no longer exists (to put it in 19th-century technology for the benefit of lawmakers, it's like burning a letter) - so you wouldn't expect to retrieve it if you searched the subject's personal effects, either.

We've heard of spam filters but this is ridiculous: Pig-monkey chimeras developed in a Chinese laboratory

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Re: And why not create a race of hideous super-monsters?

Possibly they've played Fallout: New Vegas, and know what happens to people who do develop such things.

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Would you rather they used humans?

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Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

I'm not Jewish, but my understanding is that the rules for determining kosherness have nothing to do with the animal's ancestry, and everything to do with its own inherent properties.

If it's shaped like a pig and it acts like a pig, then it's not kosher - not because it's a pig, but because it's not a ruminant. If, on the other hand, you could genetically engineer a pig that chewed the cud, then it would be kosher.

And then there were two: HMS Prince of Wales joins Royal Navy

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Re: Bloody Shambles

Churchill's fears for Singapore were well founded, as the world found out just a few weeks later.

Politicians have different priorities from military commanders, which is why they get to "outrank" them.

Don't pay off Ryuk ransomware, warn infoseccers: Its creators borked the decryptor

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Re: The next iteration of Ryuk

Well, if you're going to make them add extra features, of course they'll want more money. That's only fair.

Oh noes! Half the NHS runs on Windows 7! Thankfully, here's Citrix with a virty vaccine

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Re: Same old reason

It really is high time Linux comes to the desktop.

Because that never has problems with versioning or drivers or support or updates.

Worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable and royalty-free: Amazon's Alexa NHS contract released

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Re: Wow

My point exactly. The Lib Dems got thoroughly stitched up when Cameron lured them into supporting tuition fee rises. And now the DUP have been equally brutally shafted (not that they don't deserve it) by Johnson's Irish-Sea plan.

This is what happens if you make a deal with the Tories, which is why Johnson is adamant it can't happen again - he knows no-one is ever going to trust him.

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Re: Wow

And for 7 of those 27 years, they were sharing power with other parties. (Both of whom got stitched up like kippers in the relationship.)

I don't blame Corbyn, I blame the numpties who voted for him as leader of the Labour Party. As a backbencher he was fine. As a leader, he's by far the greatest weapon in the Tory arsenal.

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Re: Wow

This isn't about sharing "your" data with Amazon, it's about sharing the NHS's data with Amazon.

The closest it comes to "patient records" will be something like "if the patient reports these three symptoms, ask about these possibly related symptoms - then based on answers, branch recommendations as follows".

Homeland Security backs off on scanning US citizens, Amazon ups AI ante, and more

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Re: "extending the process to include American citizens was too risky"

For a foreigner to get into the USA, they already have to complete at least one form (possibly more), be fingerprinted, and interviewed by an immigration official who is on average about as welcoming as Joe Stalin. All that after getting a visa to travel in the first place, which is where they demand access to your social media accounts.

I don't see anyone who's prepared to put up with all that making much fuss about a photograph. I've been avoiding the USA since 2002, but enough people don't to keep it in business.

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Re: Sellafield, Maze, facial comparison …

Meh, things change their names all the time for all sorts of reasons. The ECSC became the EEC became the EC became the EU, as its ambitions became more political. The Holy Roman Empire became the Austrian Empire, then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as nationalism became more important than historical continuity. St Petersburg became Petrograd became Leningrad, then back again, as governments changed their priorities.

"Killer whales" were rebranded as "orca dolphins", which I suspect the real dolphins were none too happy about but wisely refrained from publicly objecting. The successor to the 80486 processor was renamed "Pentium" (from "80586") because Intel had realised it was hard to enforce a trademark on a number. Global warming became climate change, and now I'm beginning to see "global heating" bandied about.

OK, in some of these cases there may have been a taint of ordure about the old name, but in most cases it's about either political fashion or commercial expediency.

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Because if you do your own R&D, you get to know what you want to know, not whatever someone else happened to uncover.

That's basically the same reason everyone does R&D, even when everyone else's findings are published.

Ericsson throws $1bn at US authorities to make bribery probe go away

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Re: Ericcsson's stock is traded in the U.S. on NASDAQ, so it is subject to the FCPA

And when those company execs are hauled into the dock, their defence will be "You can't possibly blame us, look at all this training we made people sit through!"

Yes, it is all about liability.

Elon Musk gets thumbs up from jury for use of 'pedo guy' in cave diver defamation lawsuit

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Re: Surprised

So, that would be - like describing political opponents (= opposed to the state) as "traitors" or "enemies of the people", then?

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Re: Surprised

That episode had nothing to do with the US legal system (which has never considered the case for a minute, and probably never will), and everything to do with diplomacy (read: politics).

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Re: Surprised

The "don't take it seriously" defence might have flown, if Musk hadn't followed up by doubling down on the insult in further tweets and emails that showed he was very much in earnest.

As it was, I can only put the verdict down to Musk's money, status and home-ground advantage.

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Re: Surprised

Is a facist one who believes in discrimination against the excessively ugly?

Two can play that game: China orders ban on US computers and software

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Re: @Charlie Clark - The year of the Linux desktop

Meh. it's still valid to point to the disasters of attempted communism in every state that's tried it. Even China, before they could get to where they are now, had to go through the Great Leap Forward, which is not something any sane person would want for their country.

And there are still plenty of scary stories about how China treats its population - most prominently, currently, in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, but there are plenty of hardship stories in the heartland too, every now and then one leaks out.

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Re: Say it ain't so!

No, China does things differently.

In the US, it's all about heroes. The individual is sovereign, one person - almost invariably a Man - gets the credit for everything, even though we may all know they have a team of minions doing the actual work.

In China, everything is collective. Li isn't premier because he's a hero, but because he embodies the collective philosophy, authority and will of the Communist Party. So he doesn't need to tweet personally - his views are reliably reflected by the Communist Youth League (and similar groups) on Weibo.

Pentagon's $10bn JEDI decision 'risky for the country and democracy,' says AWS CEO Jassy

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Re: A Close-Run Thing

Does it? It seems pretty natural to me.

If you think you've been discriminated against on grounds of race or sex, you can sue. This is the same thing at a corporate level.

A future Labour government might avoid Capita, but Capita could sue under similar circumstances. At least, assuming EU competition laws are still in effect when it happens. Presumably those would be one of the first things to go, in the event of a Corbyn Brexit; not sure about Boris's version, but I suspect that he too wants to be able to award contracts to his cronies without interference from courts.

Your duckface better be flawless: Huawei's Nova 6 mobe has a needlessly powerful selfie camera

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We do these things differently in the west. Google knows pretty much everything I do online, and they also have a pretty good idea of everywhere I go. Mastercard and my bank know where I spend money. Microsoft and Valve know what games I play. The gov't knows where I drive or fly, and I assume they also have access (whether on demand, or through a more drawn out process) to all of the abovementioned companies' data as well.

But nobody cares enough about me to keep a lot of video footage, that's a very inefficient way to gather the sort of information that interests them.

Oil be damned: Iran-based crooks flinging malware at Middle Eastern energy plants again – research

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Re: "So it was easy..."

This is one team of researchers announcing their findings. Other teams may look and reach their own conclusions, in time, if the whole show is considered important enough.

And eventually, in a completely separate process, someone (completely different - certainly not IBM) might decide to respond in some way.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. This is not a declaration of war.


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