* Posts by bdsl

6 posts • joined 8 Jul 2010

EC antitrust cops raid offices of Philips, Samsung, others


Re: Price fixing?

In some industries you're right, and price fixing would be near impossible.

The problem comes when it is difficult or expensive to start making and selling McGuffin devices. Would you want to invest millions of pounds in building a McGuffin factory and promoting your brand, only to risk getting put out of business as soon as you start to threaten the established manufacturers?

Brussels: Water cannot be sold as remedy for dehydration


Actually I think the sticking point wasn't "whether water alone, and how much, will cure dehydration", it was that the application defined the dehydration and the risk factors of dehydration to be the same thing.

The food standards agency didn't agree that having less water in your tissues could be rightly considered a risk factor for dehydration, since it *is* dehydration as defined by the applicants.

Also I'm not expert on EU food law, but from reading the linked decision it doesn't look like they're banning something that was previously permitted, instead they're refusing an application to be able to make a health claim, in a context where the only health claims allowed are those that have been applied for and approved.

WTF are... connected appliances?


Not kettles or toasters

Because they have to work quickly at the moment the user asks them too. No point a kettle boiling water just because it can get cheep electricity if no-one wants hot water.

You have a point about high frequency trading though, and you'd have to be careful to design the system to prevent speculative purchases. I think that might not be too hard because all energy storage and transmission is inefficient, so as long as purchasers have to take delivery of the energy straight away, they'd only buy what they actually want to use.

Probably the comments thread of a tangentially related Register article is not the place to work out all the details though.

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I want a connected fridge

Not so it can tell me when to throw away pre-packaged food. I want it to ask my smart meter what the current electricity price is, and then use that information to decide whether to run the compressor now, or to wait five minutes and not try to compete for power with people boiling the kettle in an ad break.

Or if there's lots of wind power available for a few minutes, the electricity price should drop and the fridge should take advantage of that and bring the temperature down close to 0°C.

Court slaps down coppers in photography case


Police didn't have as much right as anyone to take pictures.

"Without showing legitimate cause to film, the police had as much or as little right as anyone else to be taking pictures, and therefore no right to complain when they were obstructed."

This isn't quite right. Having heard no evidence that the police had a legitimate aim, the judge found that "We cannot be sure the police were acting lawfully and within their duty".

The courts have found infringement of privacy by the state, although sometimes justifiable, to often be a more serious issue than infringement of privacy by private individuals. The judgement and some extracts from the evidence and arguments in the trial are now up on the fitwatch website. Much of the reasoning is explained in the case of Wood v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis.

UK.gov scraps stop'n'search terror power

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The plod can say "I thought he was a terrorist, guv!", but if the search comes to be relevant in a court case (as it could do if the photographer sues for assault & imprisonment, or if the photographer was charged with obstructing or assaulting the officer conducting the search) then he would be asked to explain why he thought he was a terrorist, and the court would make a decision as to whether or not to believe that the officer reasonably suspected as much.

Note the 'reasonably'. It's not enough for the officer to suspect it based on his own made up logic, it has to be based on something the courts would consider reasonable.

Of course, if evidence of a real crime was found during the search that wouldn't necessarily stop that evidence being used to convict the photographer.


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