* Posts by theAltoid

36 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jun 2011

Elon Musk's ambitions for Starship soar high while reality waits on launchpad



Musk moved the Starship launch date up so he could watch the rocket go high into the air on 4/20, triggering a chain of events that lead to the big sky boom. What a tool.

Brit broadband subscribers caught between crappy connections and price hikes


Re: standard American punctuation style

It seems right justified.

China chokes exports of semiconductor secret sauces gallium and germanium


Re: Middle Kingdom

Oh come on. There is no patent on being a thick police officer. It was news worthy because it is so unusual, and the Met apologized and affirmed the right to protest:


Where is the same contrition from China, the dictatorship that executes its own citizens for organs.

'An estimated 25,000 to 50,000 inmates are allegedly murdered each year to harvest 50,000 to 150,000 organs. Ethan Gutmann, of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, revealed witness testimony that the harvesting operations focused on healthy prisoners ages 28 or 29. After extensive health checks and blood tests, individuals are “cross-matched for harvesting.” A week later, the selected inmates “vanished in the middle of the night.”'


And they have been doing it for years.


Re: Middle Kingdom

Fear of its own citizens is the hallmark of all dictatorships. China included. Try hold up a pice of white paper in China, and see how long you last. Or try amass a group of 10 people with a poster of Winnie the Pooh, and walk down any street in China chanting down with Xi. Here in the west we can do this (and more), without fear and without government retribution. But hey, you have super fast high speed trains to whisk you away to prison without a trail.


Simple test: Try look online at a picture of Tank Man from within China (which you cannot see in China due to their internet filters/ban, like this one of Leica Online).



Re: Possible Impetus for Space Mining, and/or R&D of Alternate Materials

Smells like BS. US Immigration doesn't search you leaving the country. Reference for the three Mexican?

NASA to tear the wings off plane in the name of sustainability


British understatement

"...given the modest 30 percent target in emissions reductions".

Which part of 30% is modest? I'll happily take 30% more leg room.

China crisis is a TikToking time bomb


Re: Mote and Beam

People are right to fear their own government. But for China and the free world, it is not even close.

Here in the free world, there is a distinction between what a government does and what it is legally permitted to do. In China there is no rule of law. Politicians are the law. So if you want to protest your government by holding up a blank piece of paper in public, you disappear.

"Cao Zhixin (曹芷馨) received a Master’s degree in history at Renmin Univ., was working as an editor at Peking Univ Press when she was taken away by police after attending a “Blank Paper” protest at the Liangma Bridge in Beijing.



In the US, the government is subject to the law, all laws must follow the constitution and you cannot (legally) be denied your constitutional rights. This allows you to drive by a cop and give him the finger without the fear of being arrested.


The US has a constitution that protects its citizens from its own government, enshrining the right to certain freedoms and inalienable rights, which now includes giving a cop the bird. Dream on Chinese citizens, though I fully support their struggle for freedom.

The US government's collection of private data without a warrant issued by a judge is generally not admissible in court. The laws and constitution help inhibit this from happening, but surely some actors do it anyway. And when it happens, when your constitutional rights are violated as a private citizen you have redress through the courts.

The Reg articles you reference give the very examples you are looking for of people not being complacent. A sitting US Senator was investigating the CBP, and private citizens suing the government to protect our rights. In the US, the federal agencies are part of the executive branch (the president is their boss) but their operational rules (laws) are created by congress, and the legality of the laws is determined by the independent judiciary.


citizen of...

"I have exactly zero legal protection from the US, UK or any other foreign governments state security apparatus. I am not resident in the country or visiting, and I am not a citizen. I am not protected by their constitution."

Exactly right, and largely true for every country. Your (democratic) sovereign state protects you within your borders and you are subject to the law of the land, wherever that might be. The problem comes for undemocratic governments (Russia, China,... there are many), which do not protect their citizens within their own borders. They do not support the rule of law.

Wind, solar power outstrip fossil fuel generation for EU


Re: I'm all right Jack...

The problem isn't high taxes, it is uneven taxes, with the rich undertaxed and the middle classes bearing the brunt of the burden. Billionaires in the US pay lower taxes than the working class, as a percentage of their income.


Re: "our energy costs will obviously fall rapidly"

The problem is our political 'elite' are either a) Extremely stupid ..., or b) They don't care.

I'll go with c) both.

University of Texas latest US school to ban TikTok


Re: Texas has a university ?

You are not being unfair, but you ignorance is showing.

In the US, government funded public educational institutions (schools) are not allowed to endorse a religion. There is a constitutional requirement for a separation of church and state. No Christian only prayer at half time. It gets a little fuzzy around the edges, and the current GOP would like to install a christian theocracy, but in general this is the standard in the US.

If you are interested, the actual wording of the 1st amendment which provides this protection to US citizens is:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

though the "no law respecting respecting an establishment of religion" is not tightly adhered to.


No, they can't

I know the republican in congress make America look like a shit show, but the US gov't (Fed/state/local) can't simple eavesdrop on you and then use the data to "fuck up your life" thanks to the 4th amendment of the US Constitution. Any data collect outside of the legal system is inadmissible in court, meaning that before any government agency collect evidence of a crime (in the US) they would first need to get a warrant from a judge and show probable cause. See Breaking Bad Season 3: Episode 6, when Hank tries to arrest Jess holed up in his RV:


Me, I would rather live in the US than dictatorial China any day. And China maintains illegal police stations around the world (3 in the UK) to coerce it citizens:


From execs to factory products, Tesla's China unit is gaining prominence


Long live British understatement

"While Tesla continues to take some knocks in stock price..."

It has lost market cap of close to $1,000,000,000,000 (USD $1 trillion) from its peak in Nov 2021. Not bad at all.

British Airways flights grounded due to glitch in flight planning app



So... a critical piece of infrastructure went down, halting operations worldwide, and there was no failsafe? No backup plan, no alternative to having thousand of people sitting on the tarmac in cramped seats. Lovely.

Over to you, Sean Doyle, CEO and Chairman:

"...This is why we want to make every trip you take with us a great experience. Our entire team is here to provide exceptional service – from our signature warm welcome to ensuring that you arrive at your destination safely.

Nice, but arriving safely is a pretty low bar for a mission statement.


Twitter will lose 32 million users by end of 2024, Insider Intelligence predicts


Event Horizon

"There won't be one catastrophic event that ends Twitter,..."

Musk was the one catastrophic event.

Liberate tutemet ex inferis (Save yourself from hell).

Musk roundly booed on-stage at Dave Chappelle gig


Let that sink in.


OK, we know iPhones are expensive but... $11 a month for Twitter Blue on iOS?


It's over

Twitter is over. Even with his billions and a blue check mark, Musk just got booed for 10-minutes live on stage. Could going full pizzagate spewing hate-filled pedo tweets have anything to do with it? And TLSA is down 50%. Who wants to by a Telsa, or a blue check? Cry me a river.


How do you solve the problem that is Twitter?


Re: Unpopular opinion incoming...

If a surgeon removes a gangrenous limb, and a mad man hack away some vital organs away, just because the removed tissue weighs the same does not make the procedures equivalent.

When Jobs returned to Apple he ended the bleeding, buy killing the OS/HW licensing and Newton and presumably eliminated the departments and people it employed. He also brought in NeXT and its engineers, so presumably lots of duplication there as well. By the time he departed he had turned what was a $4B company into the world most valuable corporation, with more cash than most countries GDP.

Jobs had detailed knowledge of Apple, the product, their market and the industry. He did not pay a penny to become the CEO, added no debt to the company, and took a $1 salary.

Musk, knowing nothing about the inner workings of Twitter, took a bandsaw to vital, core departments, engineering, compliance and who know what else cutting employment by half, and publicly demonstrated he had no clue what he was doing with the $44B toy he just bought.

So not the same.


Re: More civics 101

"..then the First Amendment applies because IT IS THE US GOVERNMENT making the request, or demand.

The 1st amendment applies, but opposite to the way you say. It prevents the FBI from demanding this. It is the opposite of your statement.

The entire succinct point of the 1st amendment is that the government has no legal authority to suppress free speech. Congress is prohibited from such actions. Nor can it compel others to act on their behalf. The FBI can ask for anything it likes, and I or Twitter, can tell them to go jump in a lake, and the FBI would have no legal redress to compel me to comply. Beautiful. They, and the entire US GOV'T, are powerless in this respect.

1st: "Congress...shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press....",

or the succinct full amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Read much Alice?


More civics 101

"... But both these areas demonstrated pretty clear violations of the First Amendment, for arguably political reasons, and caused harm."

The first amendment has clearly NOT been violated. Learn some basics about the U.S. Constitution and U.S. system of government before making such pronouncements.

In a nutshell, the U.S. Constitution enshrines we, the people, with certain "inalienable rights". The deep, beautiful and brilliant insight of its authors was that people need protection from their own government, which freedom of speech helped to ensure.

Thus the 1st amendment is a limit on THE U.S. GOVERNMENT's power to regulate we the people's speech. It has nothing to do with a private company's regulating people who use that private company's network, chats, blogs, etc.

The late Larry Flint, owner of Penthouse, was sued for defamation by turd TV televangelist Reverend Jerry Falwell, for showing a cartoon of Falwell losing his virginity while ?sodomizing his mother. The case, revolving around free speech, went to the SCOTUS. During pre-trial of an earlier free speech case, Flint called the 9 justices (8 men and 1 woman) "8 assholes and a token c*nt". The court ruled that parody, even if objectionable, was protected free speech.

So please stop bellyaching about private Twitter limiting speech. There is no such legal protections for users of Twitter, and the 1st Amendment doesn't come into it.

Twitter tries to lure brands back with spend-matching scheme


Re: No

(With apologies to be squabbling in public)

You know even less than I imagined.

"So it was voluntary. Now, thanks to the Democrats, it's become compulsory. "

No, thank to Trump, who took the case to the Supreme Court, who ruled against him.

"Or can be compelled. "

No, it can be inspected by the house Ways and Means Committee with legitimate reason.

"And then leaked, or just published..."

The Ways and Means Committee has broad legal powers, and they could, legally, publish Trump’s returns. No contravention of any laws, as ruled by SCOTUS.

"Or ... it becomes mandatory for Biden's successor to disclose all tax and investment records."

No, there are only two requirements for running for president, age and place of birth. Congress can't amend this by law, only through a constitutional amendment.

Civics 101.


Re: No

You really do need to learn some US civics.

Congress, and we the people have had access to every modern presidents tax returns, until Trump. Trump was the first president not to release his returns, and to fight to prevent their release despite promising to. No lawsuit needed, 23 years of Biden's tax returns are here.


Croatian EV maker Rimac claims 412km/h speed record


It not the speed that kills.

It's the stupidity. €2 million for a toy while people are sleeping homeless on the street is obscene. Once everyone is fed and housed, you can play with your capitalist toys, but until then you should have some common decency.

I'm happy paying Twitter eight bucks a month because price isn't the same as value

Black Helicopters

Haha. For the last 10+ years, I thought it was a scorpion icon.

President Biden signs CHIPS and Science Act into law


Failed investments

Not just the government, plenty of private companies and funds invest in companies and ideas that go belly up. Funding industry and taking small risks is generally a good thing. Small as ~$400m out of a 2015 US federal budget of $3.7t, or 0.01% (or about $1.50 per US resident). Based on my income that would be the equivalent of investing about £7.

Copper shortage keeps green energy, tech ventures grounded


Re: Meanwhile

US pennies are only copper clad (2.5%). The inside in zinc.

That's a signature move: How $320m in Ether was stolen from crypto biz Wormhole



How is separating a currency from an element a scam?

Hidden text in MacOS 11.3 beta suggests removal of Rosetta 2 compatibility layer in some countries



What in the good name of Jesus is "urn", as it quite clearly states

"Applications requiring Rosetta will no longer urn”

'Angry Bird' netflinger projectile brings down drug ultralights


This is necessary

Because the DEA has a $2B budget to spend, and like all budgets if they don't spend it, they lose it. It will never be effective at stopping the inflow of drugs, but neither is the DEA despite a 40 year old "War on Drugs".

I can get any recreational drug any time of the day in any city in America, except alcohol and cigarettes. I love prohibition.

Amazon intros $199 movie Kindle


£89 = $79

It is because everything, except milk, is more expensive in the UK, because everything is more expensive. For example, petrol in the US = ±64p/l. Sales tax in the US (not added into the price) varies around 6%.

HP's WebOS mess: When smartphone assets go toxic


not printing

Trivial, but the governments didn't print money to support the banks, they borrowed it. That's why inflation is nowhere to be seen. I wish they would borrow and spend more.

Amazon throws tax hissy-fit, dumps California affiliates



"Taxes are assessed to pay for the benefits they provide. California offers Amazon no direct benefits."

Not so much. Taxes are assessed to pay for benefits for the people (AKA government), not the entity paying the tax.

"If California chooses to charge California residents for internet purchases, they need to pursue the residents, not the retailers."

Really? When you buy petrol, the government ca't charge tax via the petrol station, it needs to pursue directly?



I'd be happy to enlighten you. And there is no need for the tax system to be complicated.

Taxing income is how US personal income tax works, albeit with a minor percentage rate increase as income grows. I pay a personal income tax regardless on how much my kids school cost, how much my phone bill is, etc. The Feds and my State don't care how profitable I am as an individual. They bill me on my income. Why should it be different for corps?

As a business, the rate I pay for my paper, utilities, travel, etc is largely independent of how profitable I am. If I print frequently, then 10% of my income might go on printing. Why should taxes be different? Why should the tax structure be biased against profitable companies, but sympathetic to companies that can't make profit (or pay taxes). Why should other tax payers support low profit companies? Why should working class, or indeed any tax payer, subsidize lawyers, advertising, sporting events, the olympics and fancy hotels, or any business activity that a business requires to function? If the business needs lower taxes, reduce the headline rate.

Moreover, a tax system should be fair and equatable. Profit based taxes induce all sorts of undesirable behaviour, from booking business class tickets, as "otherwise it will go in taxes" to cooking the books/system to appear to make no profit (off shoring, Ireland until recently etc.) benefits for firms that can afford good accountants, etc. Please note that this is income tax I am referring to, not a UK style VAT.



Not the last refuge of a tax feeder, the last refuge of a tax payer. Every time someone avoids paying tax, legitimately or otherwise, everyone else pays the tax for them. Every idiot knows this, which causes the persistent race to pay as little in tax as possible.

I am amazed that, as a business entity in the US, every time I fly, eat a meal at work, buy a computer or pencil, some poor, hourly worker is paying for part of my expenses. It is true insanity. Even more so when fortune 500 corps lobby to write the tax code to their advantage.

Taxes should be based on income, not profit, and for business, a simple fixed percentage. That way, I could fire my accountant and calculate my own taxes, and large corps would have no advantage when paying taxes. It would even support the bullshit meme about business confidence being undermined by uncertainty.


no excuse

No coherent coherent system of determining how much tax to pay? Its called a Data Base. You can see a list online, here:


Surly Amazon could write a small pice of code to calculate the tax based on zip code, just like other large retailers. If I order online from HP, they manage to calculate the tax without a problem.

And even if it is difficult, it the law.


Nexus, not presence

The 1992 Supreme Court ruling spoke not of a physical presence, but of a "nexus". As such, Amazon appears to violate state tax law.