Re: Civil War
Ok.. I swear - I read this AFTER my post. This made me laugh in the good way. :)
73 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007
First off, the referendum was *advisory* not *binding*. In the UK, because of parliamentary supremacy, all referenda unless explicitly decreed to be binding are advisory. Cameron himself called it advisory several times right up to the week before the vote. Changing it after the fact to binding - when there is literally no legal mechanism for that is anti-democratic simply because the choices people made might have been different.
Worse, the referendum was exceptionally undemocratic itself. 1.4M British citizens living in the EU were excluded from voting arbitrarily because they were living in the EU - which was legal and allowed - in fact, one of the four cornerstones of the EU which we agreed to when we joined. This amounts to gerrymandering the vote.
More, British citizens living abroad could not vote either, even though they lose their EU citizenship rights. This is also rigging the election.
But most bizarrely - Commonwealth citizens - who are NOT British citizens *could* vote if they were living in the UK at the time.
Next, the UK is a representative democracy. People vote for representatives who represent ALL of the people in their not just the ones who win. More importantly, they have to do what's best for their constituents and for the country - even if that goes against what their constituents want. The government just blindly doing what the majority wants hasn't been part of real world democracy since the Magna Carta.
So, let's sum up.
First, the government has the legal right to ignore the referendum.
Next, to actually invoke Article 50, Parliament has to vote on *rescinding* the 1974 act that got us into the EU in the first place. Most MPs are Remainers and if they vote on their conscience - they will vote against this basically scuttling the process before it starts. May knows this and this is why she's desperate not to let it go to vote in Parliament. Unfortunately she has no choice in this one.
Next, even if it gets this far - they would have to vote on the new treaty since treaties must be ratified by Parliament. See the previous point.
Next, even if it's invoked, it can be 'taken back' at any time up to the establishment of a new treaty with the EU, or two years has passed.
So no - it's 'not over, you lost' it's barely started.
No.. government law enforcement agencies are allows - with a warrant - to use exploits in the process of investigating a crime - in very specific and controlled ways.
But nice straw-man argument you've got going there. I recommend going out and testing in the real world.
"laws which were developed in the 19th century but on which billions of dollars of commerce are reliant"
We like to call this kind of reasoning "Appeal to Novelty" and "Appeal to Ridicule". Your tacit assertion is 'anything old must be flawed' and worse, we rely on these flawed laws to run big expensive things (which, by the way, is "Appeal to Fear".)
In fact, you've not established in any way that patent law is flawed - or if it is flawed, that those flaws are actually dangerous in this context.
There certainly are aspects of patent law that are problematic in the 21st century (and for the record, the first patent law in the US was enacted April 10, 1790, so it's actually an *18th* century law - the horrors), but ironically, most of those problems we're seeing now actually stem from two relatively *recent* changes: the inclusion of software patents and the inclusion of 'business process' patents: two things almost no other country in the world has.
As well, the movement of design and dress from trademarks and copyright to patent (again, a fairly recent change in patent law) just made things even worse.
I appreciate you're probably British - but Americans are rather fanatically protective of their Constitution - the foundation of all their federal laws.. and it's really old.. 1779. Even older than the patent law. Then again, as a Brit - you've probably heard of that Magna Carta thing?
15 June 1215
So, let's can the 'old laws are bad' rhetoric. Laws are bad because they're bad, not because they're old. And just because you don't like the outcome of a law doesn't actually make it bad. A lot of the time laws are there to protect minorities from majorities... not surprisingly, majorities don't like them.
What is this new thing of referring to a corporation in the plural. "Microsoft were" and "Microsoft make" for example. While it is true that a corporation is composed of many individuals, it is one entity and should be referred to in the singular: "Microsoft was" and "Microsoft makes".
It's as odd as suggesting that since you're made up of cells, you're a they, not a he or a she.
"What's the harm in obnoxious people tapping at their phones in a crowded theater?"
Losing customers like me. And apparently a lot of other people based on the comments I've read in quite a few forums discussing this decision and its rationale.
It's kind of the last straw for me. Between the talking, uncontrolled children (of all ages), the cell phone users, the people who have to put their feet up on the chair next to mine, the people who kick the back of my seat and the price of a ticket just to endure all this, I've all but given up seeing movies in theatres.
I can almost always wait for the movie to come out on disk or Netflix and watch it in the comfort of my home with my projector in the dark with my own cheap popcorn.
Well, except that the FBI doesn't have the authority to do that - and the remedy the FBI is requesting doesn't actually give them the ability to do it. Then there's that whole 'warrant' thing people keep missing - not to mention the 4th Amendment which pretty much says 'no - you can't do that'.
But hey - facts aside, I think Mr. Cue is confusing the FBI with the NSA (who actually CAN do what he's suggesting - but as we've already seen - don't need Apple's help in doing it...)
The rhetoric in this situation really has been turned up to 11.
Of course, over on the more primitive systems - you know - the ones used by around 98% of the world - they put the UEFI executables into a separate hidden partition and the keys into NVRAM so you can recover by just restoring the UEFI partition...
But hey - I'm sure Linux knows better because it is the bestest OS ever...
The Windows store is a mess. Try *finding* it. That's hard enough. Then try finding something. Also brutal. Then try getting onto your device.. if you're on the web, forget it.
Weirdly this is one thing Google got dead on right. I can go to Google Play on any browser, log in as me, find something interesting and say "Install" and which device it's going to and that's it and a few minutes later - there it is on that device.
Technically, 10581 is not likely going to be the final release.. 10586 is expected to be. The truth is, 10581 is just not ready. On some Lumia phones, 10581 has a bug that literally scrambles your screen if you have any 'desktop' picture active, for one.
It's possible they may be focusing fixes on the 950 and 950XL for their release later this month and then catching up shortly after with a general release.
That literally has nothing to do with Windows Mobile 10581. In fact, it has nothing to do with Windows Mobile at all. That's a decision by the OneDrive group and it affects anyone with a OneDrive account.
That aside, you have lots of other options - including but not limited to: buying more online storage from Microsoft, using a microSD card and backing up by syncing at home. using any other online file storage service and uploading from the phone or using other photo sharing services like Instagram or Google Photos.
More than that - I don't know what phone carrier you're using - but if you can push 30GB of photos to the cloud over your phone in any normal timeframe, I want to know who you're signed up with. I get 6GB/mo and that's a special deal. If I had to renew my account, I'd be lucky to get 3GB at the same price... so it would take me at least five months of solid heavy photography to fill 15.
But to put it into clearer focus: my Nexus 6 takes "12MP" photos, but the files are around 3MB... or 1666 photos. At 10 photos a day - it would take 5.5 months to fill that up. So no - for the vast majority of people, no - you won't fill it up soon enough unless you really want to keep every photo you take online and in OneDrive.
Is it unfortunate that MIcrosoft has overreacted to a few bad apples spoiling the party for everyone? Yup, it is. Is it the end of the world? No, not really. You have other options.
And yes, I believe YOU PERSONALLY have this issue. Perhaps you take hundreds of photos every day at highest resolution and minimal compression and upload them all to OneDrive. I'm sorry you've been inconvenienced, but you really aren't typical and I really doubt too many people are going to walk into a phone shop or Microsoft store and say 'Excuse me - I'd like to buy this phone - how much free online storage for my photos does it include? Only 5GB? Sorry - not interested.'
"The TPP means that America will write the rules of the road in the 21st century."
"If America doesn’t write those rules – then countries like China will."
As someone NOT from the US and who lives in a country that has to deal with the US all the time - the first statement terrifies me. The US already mostly writes the rules of the road - and that would be fine except that they're a nation of xenophobes for whom all issues are grouped into "Things that affect our stuff directly", "Things that affect stuff we want" and "Things we don't care about".
To me, any single nation writing the rules of the road is a bad idea. Especially one who is so completely disconnected from the rest of the world and so antagonistic to it.
As a citizen of two countries - Canada and the UK - I'm constantly appalled at how deep into the American crevasse Brits have managed to wedge their nasal probosci. In this case, even more amused at how a nation that is angry at the EU dictating too much control on their lives can turn around and rejoice at the US doing it.
No, It is NOT a good thing for the US to write the rules of the road. Nor is it good for China to do it. Or Europa. Or Canada. Or any one nation. "It makes things easier for business" simply isn't a good enough reason. Capitalism is supposed to be messy. It's supposed to be competition - which can only happen when there are differences. Countries also compete by offering different models for society.
Case in point - one that got glossed over rather quickly here - in Canada copyrights are only for 50 years past the life of the creator. With the TPP, that jumps to 70. We've had many spirited and involved discussions on this topic up here and we as a whole decided we don't want copyrights extended. We also decided we don't want people punished for copying the music they've purchased the right to listen to, for their own personal use - nor for downloading copyrighted works. Harper's Tories tried VERY hard to get that changed and the force of reaction by the public caused him to withdraw his first attempt and then water down his second.
That's what being a democracy is about: listening to the wishes of ALL the people, not just the ones who own property, run business or have great wealth.
I'm sorry the esteemed author from Britain has lost touch with those ideals.
Two points. First - Diebold doesn't make evoting systems anymore. They spun off that division into Premier Election System about five years go while looking for a buyer and when that fell through, shut down the division and sold down parts to several companies including ES&S about three years ago.
Second, did you read the actual article? There's literally zero evidence so far of any tampering. Someone found a memory stick and concluded it was one from a DESI system. He reported it to his superiors who dismissed the event (again - DESI doesn't exist anymore - so no one from that group could have been involved in it).
Pressing his case, they are now investigating the event (which is what they should have done in the first place). If it turns out to actually be a memory card from a voting machine, then they will have t find out how it was possible to swap it - contrary to what anti-evoting systems people believe - this is actually harder to do than you might think since there are scrutineers and observers at most poll stations *watching* for this kind of thing. As well, DESI machines have to reboot after changing the card which would leave a trace.
It's FAR more likely someone removed the card AFTER the election when the machines were back in the district office. Once they're back there - it's really hard to stop someone tampering with any machine since there's no oversight.
Americans aren't even generally aware Canada exists.
I'm not being sarcastic here. I live in Vancouver and when I was shopping in Bellingham - which is just 12 miles from the border on the Washington side, the clerk wanted my phone number for their system. I said there's no point since I'm from Canada. He seemed surprised that I was shopping there.. "Isn't that a long way to go just to go shopping?'
When I pointed out that it was just 12 miles up the road, he apologised and said that he was new here - and that he'd moved from Texas and so didn't know the area well.
I've run into people who think the fact that we have a Queen is so 'quaint' and that apparently, the Queen is just waiting to take over Canada and turn it back into a colony (yes... more than one American has suggested this and no, it's not possible).
And don't get me started on the health care issue. The American view of how that works up here is nothing short of surreal
In the end, Americans have a deep belief that their country is absolutely unique and thus no solution found for a social problem in another country could possibly apply to them or situation in any other county be parallel to theirs in any way.
The recent discussion over gun violence is a classic one in this respect. Games, movies, TV, comics.. all blamed - except that Canadians play the same games, watch the same movies and TV and read the same comics - yet we kill each other with guns 1/4 as much per capita. Population density? Over 1/4 of the entire population of Canada lives in just five cities. Downtown Vancouver has one of the highest population densities in North America.
About the *only* reasons for the difference in gun violence between our nations are cultural differences (such as a fearmongering media in the US which is far less the case up here, a stronger integration of religion - and one religion at that into politics in the US while up here it's far more secular) and strong gun control laws, yet both of these are rejected out of hand by most Americans, if they're even considered at all.
First off, it's very weird to see the politics of my country discussed on El Reg. :)
So, Bill C-51 is probably one of the most contentious bills ever passed in Canada and the Liberals' support of it probably marked the moment where they went from being the most likely party to replace the Conservatives to being a distant third, elevating the more left NDP to the lead.
Even if you accept a need for C-51 - and that's not at all a given since Canada has experienced very little in the way of terrorist action so far - the construction of that bill far overstepped the usual governmental limits by being so broadly worded that gathering like protests could magically become illegal at the whim of the government. It technically doesn't even require the protests being branded terrorist or supporting of terrorist groups, amazingly. Even if they're just disruptive they can be stopped.
The constitutionality of C-51 has yet to be challenged - most people suspect (or hope) it won't pass, but the fact that the Conservatives think this is a necessary bill and that the Liberals supported it has drawn political lines.
Oh, and Canada's national sport may be hockey (well, actually it's lacrosse - but you know what I mean), but politics may be a close second. Canadians are VERY aware of their political system and the people who run it. In fact, it's a saying here that in Canada, politicians aren't so much elected as thrown out of office.
Case in point, the election earlier this year of the provincial NDP in the far right, Texas-like province of Alberta which has had a strong majority Conservative government for the past 37 years. In one election, both right wing parties, the Progressive Conservatives and the Wild Rose Party were gutted and replaced with a left wing party majority mainly over the arrogant and disrespectful way those parties were behaving.
The Federal Conservatives under Brian Mulroney experienced this first hand in 1992 when they went from being the majority government to having just six seats. And the Liberals had a similar moment in 2006 when Harper's Conservatives took the minority lead and held onto it for 10 years to now.
You know - I have a Seek thermal camera for my Android phone and I actually tried this a while ago and it was a flop. The heat differences for normal keypad use just wasn't big enough to register. In the video the user presses hard for a prolonged time to get the pad key to heat up. I don't think that's normal use.
Ok... I'm hardly a fan of Apple.. but.. "The Cupertino idiot-tax operation"? Really? That's not even a *clever* slag.. it's just outright name-calling.
Man, first the hysterical paranoia about Windows 10 leading to admission that they're slagging it mainly because everyone else seems to like it and now this.
There's a difference between perceptive and contrarian, you know.
Uh.. a 0.375% market share of 1.75 billion+ computers in just 5 days after release isn't exactly something to be ashamed of... At that rate it will pass the 20 year effort to capture Linux desktops in just 20 days or less.
Heck, in 120 days or less, it'll shoot past MacOS X.
After that - it's just Microsoft competing with itself...
Linux didn't have to sell to actual end users. The only case where it's made a success there is in Android - which has a seriously pared down Linux that's almost nothing but kernel... and no one buys an Android device for the Linux... they buy it for Android.
Heck most people don't even know there's a Linux IN there. They think Android IS the OS.
So yeah - Linux is a real winner. As long as no one ever has to actually *use* it directly for anything.
If you're going to critique someone for their ignorance - be sure of YOUR facts first.
There is no such a thing as an 'illegal' monopoly. Monopolies are quite legal. What is illegal, on the other hand, is the use of the power of your monopoly to distort the market unfairly or to act in a way that reduces the competitiveness of the market.
That's what Microsoft was charged with. it was questionable then, but like it or not, that's what they were charged with. They've done their time so to speak and so it's time to let go of that one.
Now, onto Apple. You don't have to have a monopoly in all markets. Apple has a monopoly position in music services and of all things, electronic books. No other electronic music sales company comes even close to iTunes in terms of sales - which is why Apple can demand exclusives - which distort the market.
They were actually indicted for conspiracy for colluding with several book publishers to fix pricing on ebook sales.
While I don't think it's likely to happen, the iPhone could become the majority phone - and because of Apple's 'ecosystem' that could easily lead to another claim of monopolistic practices. And this is where you make another mistake WRT Google: being a monopoly doesn't go away just because people 'could' switch. By that logic, Microsoft didn't have a monopoly because people 'could' have switched to Macs, or installed some other browser on Windows. Interestingly - even when given the chance to choose some other browser at first install time, most people still chose IE.
Google isn't just a browser - it's an entire ecosystem of interlinked services. It's Android which is also linked into it. It's apps are in iOS. Once you buy into the Google system - it's not that easy to pry yourself back out... much as once you buy into the Apple ecosystem, it's hard to break free of it. That difficulty of escape also factors into whether or not a company is or has a monopoly position.
So it's finally happened - cat videos literally ARE the only thing left on the Internet.
Then again, Microsoft wants everyone writing desktop apps in HTML/JS and C++. Which is like suggesting the only two cars a person should drive is the Volkswagon Beetle and and Ford Pinto.
The Web. The only area of computing that's actually going *backwards* in time.
People arguing functionality are in first world countries, I suspect.
Apple has an advantage in one thing: there are a lot of fanboy driven companies which will ONLY develop for Apple - both hardware and software. Ironically, this will start to dissipate as Android phones adopt USB-C connectors and for the first time - both Apple and Android (and soon, I expect, Windows Phones too).
When that happens, the cost of supporting hardware for everyone will drop. There's already a growing base of development tools that makes cross-platform development of well designed apps easier, and Apple's recent introduction of unusual aspect ratios (the iPhone 6 Plus is 1.777 while the iPad Air is 1.333) means Apple programmers finally have to deal with variable design like the rest of us do.
Most of those peripherals tend to be pricey as well, and so aren't exactly in high demand in lower income countries. Most of the specialised software is also pretty high-end lifestyler and doesn't work in those markets.
The vast majority of *everyone* uses the same basic software: a browser, an email client, IM of some sort, mapping software, calendar, contacts and a music player. You can argue about which is 'better', but in fact they're all more than good enough for most people.
In the end, it comes down to two issues: price and status. Apple products have a perception of being a prestige product. If you're the kind of person who cares about that - you get an iPhone. If you're not, then it's price and that's where Apple fails utterly, Not surprisingly, the wealthier a country is - the higher things like status are. Apple product adoption rates are highest in the US and Japan.
The US is also almost disturbingly brand-loyal while other countries aren't. Europeans are far more likely to change brands when they feel their current choice hasn't lived up to their expectations while North Americans are far more likely to change their use patterns to accommodate their brand preferences. Conversely, Americans are far less willing to put effort into learning a product while Europeans and especially East Asians actually read the manual. :)
So there are other factors, but in the end, it's not things like 'more software' or 'more hardware' choices for the most part.
"You're driving it wrong."
Seriously though, the real question is: would these accidents have been less likely with a human behind the wheel?
From the sounds of it, not really. About the only iffy one is the rear enders, mainly because people drive by pattern and if the person behind the gCar was thrown off of unexpected behaviour by the gCar, they may have reacted incorrectly - which might not have happened if they were behind a regular car.
"This is sometimes known as the Keynesian ratchet. Boost spending in the good times, then argue vociferously that it cannot be cut in the bad. Because cutting spending in the bad is austerity and that's doubleplusungood. And thus does the size of government ever ratchet up which is the point and purpose of the tactic.
OK, that last is me being even more cynical than usual."
More cynical and partisan than usual anyway.
I'm sure you know perfectly well that's not what Keynes proposed. He said "save (or pay down debt, which is a kind of saving) in good times, spend (even if you have to borrow) in bad times... " which is essentially what you're proposing. The fact that governments (especially Tory governments, thank you) typically do only one side, the other side, or neither side of this and then mess up badly doesn't really discount Keynes' model.
I think there's a bit more to it than that though... I think pundits want to shock people and so either tend to leap to the extremes: "Macs are THE BEST... Windows is THE WORST... SSDs are THE FUTURE... spinny storage thingies are DEAD" when in reality, "Macs are fine, Windows is fine, SSDs are cool for somethings not for others, spinny storage thingies are great if you have huge masses of data" and so on.
But the latter is kind of 'yeah? we know that...' and the former is 'OOOH Them's fightin words!'
There's also a surreal tribal mentality that has leaked into computing (I say this because when I started programming, you didn't get status from which *brand* you owned - you got status simply by having *access* to a computer... If you actually *owned* one - you were a god) which gives pundits a wonderful kneejerk button to push by saying something as simple as "Macs are better than PCs" (which is so freaking old that it goes back to the 1980s.. lest we forget).
Personally, I'm over the whole pundit thing. It happened when I was following a live blog by Ars Technica, no less, on a WWCD Apple keynote a year or so ago and you could *hear* the reporters' eye glaze over when they started talking about Swift. One of them just outright said "I can't keep up with this - just call it 'magic'" and I suddenly realised the people I had been relying on to provide me with meaningful *technical* insight were... clueless. They were techie poseurs.
Didn't stop them from writing and having opinions they were obviously pulling from their collective arses though.
The problem was that his liver wasn't the problem - it was his pancreas.
People with advanced pancreatic cancer have a very, very low survival rate less than 4% survive longer than 5 years after diagnosis. That's why they generally don't transplant livers or liver grafts - even if it works, it won't be working for long. Why put another person at risk for very little benefit?
Even worse, he may have refused Cook's liver - but he did game the system to shop around for a state where liver transplants were done for people with advanced pancreatic cancer - and where he could move to the top of the queue quickly. He then bought a house there to establish residency to gain access to the medical system (transplant organs tend to be governed by the state, not by individual hospitals).
I wonder how many poor people with liver diseases could do that...
"Strictly speaking, Apple is the most valuable publicly held company by market capitalisation. There's a long list of state-owned oil companies ahead of it."
THANK YOU. I'm so tired of hearing people equate market capitalisation with corporate valuation. Apple doesn't get that money. They got what the share offering raked in and nothing more. The rest is just people paying each other for things based on (mis-)perceived value.
What the hell does that even mean?
You can construct a perfectly sustainable environment with about 1/10 the current population and zero growth. It would also free people up to grow intellectually rather than fighting all the time to survive.
Stop drinking the American/capitalist Koolaid.
Hawking - if you're so smart, find a way around the following;
2. Artificial gravity (figure out this one and you'll probably get 1 for free)
3. The speed of light limit
4. The problem of dust hitting your ship when you ARE travelling faster than light. (each grain would have an impact of a Hiroshima nuke...)
Once you have those solved, THEN you can start yelling at us to get off the planet.
Here's the thing - and this is what makes all of this truly sad and depressing - the only reason people keep using Flash is that there really isn't anything to replace it. HTML5? No - it doesn't because apparently the W3C thinks Flash == YouTube and so only worried about video streaming.
Which they didn't get right anyway.
What's been needed for a decade is a modern infrastructure that tames the Wild West mess that is the web and brings in a consistent, advanced *modern* platform based on a bytecode system like Java or .Net - in fact, .Net even has the advantage of being relatively language agnostic.
Antivaxxers? Well, I guess one kind of closed-mindedness rationalises another...
See, there's the difference between Google and Microsoft.
Microsoft wants to fix bugs that potentially impact over a billion users across several versions of their OS, so asks for secrecy while they try to fix it, but sometimes can't get it done in 90 days.
Google on the other hand doesn't care if anyone reveals if there's a bug someone can exploit - because they have no intention of fixing any bugs other than in the most recent version of their OS.
You know - the two things I love most about Linux fans are their almost indefatigable optimism and the fascinating parallel universe in which they live.
People aren't flocking to Linux because Windows 8 sucks and Yosemite sucks almost as much. They're delaying upgrading from Windows 7 and MacOS X 10.9 and waiting to see what Windows 10 and MacOS X 10.11 will be like.
Moreover, why would a Mac user jump to Linux when they have BSD Unix right there? (You DO know MacOS X is built on top of BSD Unix, right?)
Ironically, if you wanted to make your case, you could have dragged out the usual 'Look! Android! Linux!" argument - but then I'd have to remind you that in the one and only case where Linux has actually taken off like a rocket in a consumer space product - it's hidden away so deeply that no one can get to it. In other words, it's so ugly they had to put a bag over it's head before anyone would talk to it.
As for the other commentors inane 'desktop is dead' rubbish - if we include lappies in the 'desktop' group - since most laptops are basically movable desktops - then what's left? Tablets? Which are experiencing the same stall that led people to claim it's over for desktops?
No, sorry. 2015 isn't likely to be the Year of Linux either. Simply put, Linux just doesn't offer anything more of what people actually want (as opposed to what Linux fans think people *should* want) than the other OSes offer... and actually offers less of what they do want.
Until the Linux boffins get that - and build an OS real people want, Linux will remain third place.
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