* Posts by Bernard M. Orwell

1206 posts • joined 12 May 2010

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Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Loaded words replaced by euphemisms

"Slavery was happening at scale in Britain until at least the 12th century, so its wholly possibly most of us are of slave stock if you look far enough back, and yet the impact of that upon 99.999999% of us is absolutely nil."

Some excellent arguments in many posts here, both for and against, but I thought I'd add in some contemporary history that some readers may find deeply uncomfortable.

Whilst it is true that Britain was one of the first western nations to declare slavery illegal, it had, up until that point, had its paws deep in the trough of human misery. It is not widely spoken of, but Scotland in particular was a fundamental part of the international slave trade for centuries, a practice which only ended in 1807, just over 200 years ago. It would be a bold argument indeed to say that a measure of the wealth of the UK, which remains in circulation today, was not obtained by means of our history of acting as a "middle man" for much of the actual transportation, if not so much the purchase and selling of slave labour.

I think there is something far more contemporary about how the slave trade impacts and informs our culture than most would like to believe and its a weak argument to say that slavery is a matter than we can consign to history without considering the ramifications it has on our modern society.

[Reference: https://www.nls.uk/collections/topics/slavery]

US govt: Julian Assange tried to recruit hacker to steal hush-hush dirt and we should know – the hacker was an informant

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Just a polite request with an uncertain air of positive expectation?

" However, they are generally complied with by the media. ..... "

Thats because what tends to happen, though informally, is that if you do not comply with a D Notification, then you don't tend to get picked by the gov. when they want to give an interview about something - you get "disadvantged" in the race for the front page headlines.

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

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: This is legislation which affects everyone, immediately and continuously

"A non-vote is a vote for the status quo."

This may be widely down-voted, but in political tradition, and standing orders, when a vote is tied it is usually the duty of the chair to vote in order to maintain the status quo, which usually (but not always) involves voting against a motion that changes something..most motions in other words. This is known as "Egality".

Bernard M. Orwell
Big Brother

"How pervasive is cctv?"

It is estimated that there is one CCTV camera per 11 persons per capita in the UK. On the average commute to work (in london) you will be recorded over 100 times.

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/10172298/One-surveillance-camera-for-every-11-people-in-Britain-says-CCTV-survey.html

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

Bernard M. Orwell
Alien

Re: a greater chance of finding intelligent Martian life on present day Earth?

Bah! The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one!

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

Bernard M. Orwell
Facepalm

The worst?

Two extended 1080p monitors full of desktop icons, including uncompressed video and images, running on a laptop with <512gb SSD, also had Creative Cloud and OneDrive in default user profile locations.

And you think your laptop is running a little slowly, sir? Ah.

Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: "I don't need help. I'm not the person struggling to read, comprehend or think. "

> No, it's not a handicap. Reading between the lines is confirmation bias by another name.

The inability to read between the lines, gain inference, or observe from another point of view (empathy) are signs of sociopathy.

Tech set responds in wake of American protests, police violence and civil unrest

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: The next step...

Mother nature has sent us to our rooms to think about what we've done.

London court tells Julian Assange: No, coronavirus is not a good reason for you to be let out of prison

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: @DougS

"compare and contrast with the way Snowden disclosed his leaks"

And equally how much the US would like to get hold of him too, but for the fact that extradition from Russia isn't quite so unilaterally convenient.

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: @Zolko

"Extradite him. NOW."

On what grounds?

Cops charge prankster who 'corona-coughed' on aged officer and had it filmed

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Re:This is Australia

Yep, its universal. We've had reports of our local neds joining the queues for the early-morning shopping slot reserved for OAPs then spitting on or coughing on everyone they can.

South Wales, UK.

Flat Earther and wannabe astronaut killed in homemade rocket

Bernard M. Orwell
Happy

Re: "bending their knees in anticipation"

You won't get me like that! It's turtles all the way down, Mr Fry!

Bernard M. Orwell

There's even worse that the Creation Museum...

https://www.icr.org/who-we-are/

London's Metropolitan Police flip the switch: Smile, fellow citizens... you're undergoing Live Facial Recognition

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Just the beginning

Those booth curtains are short for a reason.

China and Russia join to battle 'illegal internet content,' which means what you fear it does

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Where?

North America has sold off net neutrality, the EU and the UK both have fairly draconic plans/rules surrounding the internet and its usage (no anonymity, censorship of sites, backdoor encryption, mass surveillance programs) and Australasia is neither a state nor in the west.

….hmm...yes...mebbe Iceland. That country looks more tempting by the day.

Bernard M. Orwell

Where?

" Western states that have long sought to protect the liberal information-sharing that the internet has traditionally embraced."

Oh really? Where are those states then?

OK, peons, we'll obey the law and let you talk about politics and pay packets, says Google

Bernard M. Orwell

Now...

...Can someone show this to Walmart?

Get rekt: Two years in clink for game-busting DDoS brat DerpTrolling

Bernard M. Orwell
Joke

Re: Hackers v crackers v DDoSers

Yeah, its a cracker!

After years of listening, we've heard not a single peep out of any aliens, say boffins. You think you can do better? OK, here's 1PB of signals

Bernard M. Orwell
Alien

Re: A significant part of the problem

It'll be a EULA and, collectively, humanity will just click "we accept" without reading it....

Bernard M. Orwell

Another flaw is discounting Legacy Technology, which is something the famous Drake equation doesn't account for.

Have you read Rendezvous with Rama?

An ancient ship, abandoned for no one knows how long, stumbles into our solar system....

I agree with Arthur C. Clarke; I suspect our first contact scenario will be with a robotic probe of some kind. So, whilst we think of SETI scanning distant worlds/stars for signal origin, its not beyond reason that the signal will come from something that's moving. Hopefully, closer.

Imagine being charged to take a lunch break... even if you didn't. Welcome to the world of these electronics assembly line workers

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Not in our backyard!

You're right about the 20 minute lunch, but the 10 minute break is long gone.

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Is this really uncommon?

Many service sector jobs rake unpaid time out of employees. McDonalds is notable for this - In for setup time, 30 mins ahead of shift, unpaid and then "stay till cleanup is done satisfactorily" at the end of the working day, again unpaid. (McDonalds have even acknowleged that they are breaking laws here, but until they are successfully sued they won't do anything about it - not likely to happen as they employ youngsters who don't know any better).

its not uncommon, you'll find it in call centres (be ready and on your phone at the start of the shift, meaning you have to be there early to login/setup etc.), hotels, restaurants and even supermarkets.

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: "the cost of which would be automatically taken from their wages"

"(which on a weekend is from the moment I leave my house until the moment I get home, you are paying me for travel)."

That's an interesting one. If your employer has chosen to make your working day start when you leave your house then I'll doff my cap to them as being fairly progressive. There is no law at the moment that compels them to pay that travel time *unless* your job specifically involves travelling to customer sites for appointments (such as a sales rep. or field service engineer might). You are entitled to be paid travelling between appointments/sites of course, but "normal commute" is exempted.

This is currently being challenged in the EU that, during your commute, you are "at your employes disposal" and thus "in work", but that's not been ratified yet.

If you are a contractor and you're charging your customer for the travel time to/from a site then you *might* be making fraudulent invoices. Be cautious.

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: "the cost of which would be automatically taken from their wages"

"IIRC the working time directive states that your employer must allow you to take a minimum of half an hour out of the first six hours, and fifteen minutes out of every subsequent three hours. Which is all good for your health. It also states that you MUST take those breaks."

Alas, no, you do not recall correctly. As a union representative, I find this to be possibly the most frequently misunderstood area of employment law and you may well be surprised at the actual law - most employers are more generous than the law demands, but you don't have much in the way of legal entitlement to working breaks.

the following extract is from the EU Working Time Directive page on UK.GOV

"Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day, if they work more than 6 hours a day. This could be a tea or lunch break. The break doesn’t have to be paid - it depends on their employment contract."

And that's it. No other entitlements to breaks or rests etc. There is a clause in H&S laws however about extended VDU use (love that old fashioned term) wherein you are supposed to spend 15 minutes away from the screen every few hours; not a break, however, just different work.

There's lots of advice to employers about letting your employees take breaks to maintain peak productivity, but there's no law making them do so.

As an aside, the most frequently ignored or unknown rule I come across is the minimum break between shifts. I all too often meet with employees who are finishing late and starting early, especially on shift patterned work.

Again, from the Working Directive:

"Workers have the right to 11 hours rest between working days, eg if they finish work at 8pm, they shouldn’t start work again until 7am the next day."

Shut the barn door: UK data watchdog tells MPs mass slurping by firms is a huge risk to privacy

Bernard M. Orwell
Black Helicopters

Re: Tell people *why* the slurp is bad for them

"I have nothing to hide".

I hear your pain. I'm an evangelist for this, telling people about aggregate data all the time. I've had some success by making this comparison:

"I have nothing to say, so we don't need laws that protect our free speech, right?"

"I have nothing to hide, so its fine for the police to come and search my house whenever they like, right?"

"I have nothing to fear, so its ok for government employees to read all my emails, texts, letters, bank statements...."

But, I just get called a conspiracy nutcase most of the time.

Bernard M. Orwell

Apparently, the plan for AgeID rollout has been suspended indefinitely and is facing cancellation. Surprised not to have spotted an El Reg article on this so far.

https://news.sky.com/story/government-delays-new-pornography-regulation-as-it-works-out-kinks-11288064

Also yes, MPs are exempted from the tracking elements under the GDPR regulations that surround the planned block.

Human-rights warriors crack on with legal challenge to UK's lax surveillance laws

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Pragmatism

"the objective is to detect and prevent crimes before they occur..."

Pre-crime. An assumption that you are more likely to commit a crime than not; an assumption of guilt rather than a presumption of innocence.

Not the way UK should operate.

UK Home Sec kick-starts US request to extradite ex-WikiLeaker Assange

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: The Love-McKinnin precedents ?

Out of interest, when was the last time the US executed a foreign spy?

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames

Bernard M. Orwell
Pint

Re: EBCAK Error code: #id 10T

Oho! Do we work together?!

Apple strips clips of WWDC devs booing that $999 monitor stand from the web using copyright claims. Fear not, you can listen again here...

Bernard M. Orwell
Joke

Re: Apple can't stand criticism

"I'm sure a legal challenge could be mounted..."

Where? On the wall? A VESA stand?

Bernard M. Orwell
Windows

Re: Not just a pricing fail, but a PR fail.

Wow....the Windows PC rig I could build for you for HALF that price....I guarantee it'd batter the performance of any apple nonsense you care to present.

Bernard M. Orwell
Windows

My solution? Don't buy Apple. I want a computer. If I wanted a fashion accessory, I'd go elsewhere.

One man went to mow a meadow, hoping Trump would spot giant grass snake under flightpath

Bernard M. Orwell
Mushroom

Re: childish

"It is not ok to insult someones appearance.."

No, its not. It's also an ad hominem argument, which is the most purile of all logical fallacies. So, lets see what Trumpet said in his tweets yesterday....

"...Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job - only half his height."

Yeah. Live by the sword, die by the sword you rancid, racist, sexist, small-brained orange prick.

Bernard M. Orwell
Holmes

Re: childish

"But throw a milkshake in an actual assault (no doubt ruining a suit at the same time) and ... nothing"

Someone's not paying attention...

"A man has been charged with common assault and criminal damage after Nigel Farage had a milkshake thrown at him while on a walkabout in Newcastle city centre."

[Source] https://www.scotsman.com/news/crime/man-charged-with-assault-for-throwing-milkshake-on-nigel-farage-1-4931223

We ain't afraid of no 'ghost user': Infosec world tells GCHQ to GTFO over privacy-busting proposals

Bernard M. Orwell
Black Helicopters

Re: "...for example to stop terrorists..."

"...and selected private sector partnerships"

Who, conveniently, are not subject to the Freedom of Information act, and most certainly won't retail any data they mine from whoever wants to pay them a few shekels per record.

WikiLeaks boss Assange acted as a foreign spy, Uncle Sam exclaims in fresh rap sheet

Bernard M. Orwell

Yeah, I'd not count on that. Or any form of justice. The US practices only punishment and vengeance, not justice.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/27/conf-m27.html

TL;DR - Man dies after 35 years in solitary confinement. Lights on 24/7, minimal food, no access to outdoors. No human contact. - You'd be better treated by just about any other nation in the world.

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: This will be fun to watch...

"Bin Laden was not a US citizen. The fact that he was a resident of Afghanistan on 9/11/2001 did not create an implicit grant of immunity from prosecution for Bin Laden."

Oh. So, as they had a perfectly legal claim, upheld by international law, for arresting OBL, they didn't actually *need* to run that covert operation to his compound in Pakistan to snatch him in the dead of night at all, did they?

Silly America, going to all that trouble.

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: I was fine with the first indictment

Dear god, you do like to split hairs don't you?! We didn't join the EEC, technically, we joined the European Community (the forerunner to the EU) and yes, there was indeed a national referendum on whether we should. It was held in 1975.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum

Perhaps you should be trying to keep up at the back instead, but you seem to be too busy standing in the playground shouting to actually learn anything.

Bernard M. Orwell
Facepalm

Re: I was fine with the first indictment

There's no such thing as an advisory referendum?

Bullshit. Here you go:

"The European Union Referendum Act 2015 – the law that allowed the referendum to take place – didn't specify what would happen in the event of a vote to leave. ... It said “because of the sovereignty of Parliament, referendums cannot be legally binding in the UK, and are therefore advisory”.11 Oct 2017"

Now, before going all gammon faced, read that sentence again:

"because of the SOVEREIGNTY of Parliament, referendums cannot be legally binding in the UK, and are therefore ADVISORY"

How does that ruling by the EU, backing our SOVEREIGNTY, sit with your Brexit fantasy? Gotta be confusing that poor little brane.

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: I was fine with the first indictment

"I'd have a lot of respect for any remain leaning politician who came out and simply said "the referendum was only advisory, we think it's a really bad idea so we're not going to enact the result"."

Vote LibDem then.

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: I was fine with the first indictment

Well, clearly they expect Assange to do so.

Can't wait for the brain fart argument that the 1st amendment doesn't apply because he's not a US citizen, but the espionage laws do because he's a spy. US logic for you.

Bernard M. Orwell
Stop

Despite the fact there here, in these very forums, so many people posted to the effect that Assange was NOT wanted by the US, without a doubt, and was a fantasist for going into hiding in the first place, was simply being paranoid or seeking to inflate his own ego or importance.

Then, of course, there were the posters who claimed that Assange/Wikileaks hadn't released any information of value, that is was all doctored/edited footage and they hadn't revealed any crimes or other dubious activities of the US at all; that the NSA spying was for our own good, that no US forces had killed any innocents or reporters.

I seem to recall a LOT of such posts.

Well, where are you now, critics? It turns out that the US most certainly, definitely and decidedly want Assange in their mucky paws. What for, I wonder? Maybe because he keeps revealing some measure of truth about their crimes?

Embarrasing the USA is not a crime. Assange is not a US citizen.

They just want to duck accountability and damage to their quickly fading reputation as a shining beacon of freedom and justice for all. This is damage limitation, petty revenge, and an attempt to silence independent media, nothing less.

Assange is still a prick, personally, but this is about something much larger and we should not be distracted by ad hominem arguments. I'd use a black helicopter icon, but its not a conspiracy theory when its actually happening right before our eyes.

Parents slapped with dress code after turning school grounds into a fashion crime scene

Bernard M. Orwell
Big Brother

Dress codes for all! Imposed by unelected authoritarians! Yay!

Here's YOUR Blue Boilersuit, Citizen!

Uncle Sam charges Julian Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion

Bernard M. Orwell
Black Helicopters

Re: Good

"The argument in the indictment is that he did, or a virtual America. So hacking (or helping hack) US systems, even though that happened in Iraq. The US sometimes has a.. flexible approach to territoriality & jurisdiction."

Except he didn't help hack anything, did he? He suggested that someone else might do so though. So, in the interests of being fair, here we go:

Hey, Manning, it'd just dandy if you'd hack some US government passwords for us so that we can nab their secret files and expose all the dirty, nasty stuff they are up to in the name of exporting democracy. Whatdya think? You in?

There. I've now committed the same crime as Assange is accused of. I await arrest and extradition.

Anyone else care to copy and paste my Spartacus statement?

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Good

Whilst I believe that aggressive journalism such as wikileaks is important, my opinion of Julian Assange has been massively damaged by his response to the charges in Sweden and then also by breaking the bail conditions that he got his friends and supporters to fund. These are not the actions of a man with nothing to answer for are they?

That said, I think we can roundly condemn the actions of the US in this regard, as Assange has not commmited a crime in America. The USA needs to stop acting as "world police" and cease trying to hide their mistakes like some tin-pot dictatorship.

Bernard M. Orwell
Facepalm

Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

9 out of 10 UK economists state that Brexit is economic disaster waiting to happen.

[Sample Link, there are many.. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-nine-out-of-ten-economists-say-brexit-will-damage-economy-a6898886.html]

Are you seriously suggesting that all of them are wrong or engaged in your fantasy "Project Fear" like its some sort of organised conspiracy?

Whats your angle on climate change?

London's Metropolitan Police arrest Julian Assange

Bernard M. Orwell

So, he was right that they were after him all along then? Surely then, he was right to hide? (not right to skip charges in Sweden and bail in the UK though, those were deeply stupid things to do.)

YouTube's pedo problem is so bad, it just switched off comments on millions of vids of small kids to stem the tide of vileness

Bernard M. Orwell
Headmaster

Re: theregister.co.uk

Why not use the entirely correct term "ephobophile" instead of the incorrect pedo- or paedo- forms?

Romford Station, smile! You're in London cops' final facial recog 'trial'

Bernard M. Orwell

Re: Orwell ain't seen nothing yet

"Is that even legal?"

Yes, but they can't demand you comply legally, then can only ask politely. If you've not been arrested, you are under no obligation to provide anything and if you are arrested then you have the right to remain silent.

You can be stopped and searched if you are arrested, if the officer believes you are engaged or are about to engage in a crime and they have reasonable cause for suspicion (PACE 1996), or if they believe you may be engaged in an act of terrorism, planning an act of terrorism, or gathering information likely to be of use to a terrorist organisation (s.44 & s.45 of the anti-terrorism bill).

Here's a quick guide from UK.GOV :

https://www.gov.uk/police-powers-to-stop-and-search-your-rights

The mistake the fella made was to swear at the officer. Be calm and polite. Insist on your rights. Always ask what section and paragraph they are acting under. Always ask to speak to a superior officer even if that means going to the station.

Ever feel like all your prayers go unheard? The Catholic Church has an app for that

Bernard M. Orwell
Joke

Re: No point

Well, Jesus saves....

...and takes half damage.

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