* Posts by Notrub

27 posts • joined 22 Jul 2013

IT systems still in limbo as UK.gov departments await Brexit policy – MPs


Re: Excuses Excuses.........

No actually she didn't.

For the first time I can remember, a sitting government admitted to a fuck-up without the slightest attempt at dodging.

What they DID state, quite truthfully, was that previous governments SHARED responsibility - indeed the key administrative change that caused the problem was authorised while Labour were in power - unlikely of course that the then Home Sec knew anything about it, or that TM was aware when the change was implemented.

BOTH Labour and Tories have for a long period of time, been rather schizophrenic when it comes to immigration, on the one hand cracking down with ruthless fury on any sniff of illegitimate immigration, while on the other, opening doors far wider than any EU or other rules obliged them to, in order to keep pushing the GDP onwards and upwards.

MPs: Lack of technical skills for Brexit could create 'damaging, unmanageable muddle'


Re: Hmm

"the EU have made clear they didn't want to negotiate"

Well, if when you say "negotiate", you are referring to the Brexit dictionary, then, yes, the EU made clear they weren't going to lean over and open their rear orifice.



"that puts the onus on the EU - as it should be, given the trade deficit we have with them"

Not this load of tripe again - I thought the Register commanded more intelligent readers.

In the event of a No-Deal arrangement, let's review the likely consequences of UK/EU trade.

All trade ceases?? LOL - although some Daily Heil readers seem to believe so - we have no deals in place with the USA but they are our second largest trading partner! No trade WILL continue - it will just be more expensive.

So given this, what happens to UK imports? Well, anything we can source more cheaply elsewhere, we will - there's mostly no chance of us simply producing it ourselves - we'll simply change where in the world our money goes.

UK exports on the other hand - well, Europe swallows a LOT of them currently, and many have competitive products from elsewhere in the EU. If ours suddenly cost more, then it's MOST likely that EU buyers will simply switch to another cheaper, non-British product. Can we sell stuff elsewhere in the world to make up for this? In a word no. Our costs are simply too high - our only substantive markets are the USA and the EU - we can maybe increase exports to the US a little, but nothing like what we lose.

So we end up with a rather large fall in Exports, while Imports will remain fairly constant - that equates to a massive hike in our Trade Deficit.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Channel, they're looking at a small but significant fall in Exports. Brexit will hurt them, certainly some industries/nations will be hit particularly hard, but equally many countries will hardly be affected. Nobody will be hurting half as much as we will be.

Worst-case Brexit could kill 92,000 science, tech jobs across UK – report


I see the Brexit trolls are out in force on El Register.

Personally, I believe Respect is something earned, not given, and not a single one of these feckless morons has managed to earn a shred of respect since the referendum was first announced.

People, who have their opinions delivered to them by the Daily Fail, and are content to vote for the biggest change to this country since WWII, because their hatred of Johnny Foreigner outweighs any suspicion they may otherwise harbor regarding trusting a mega rich fella guy telling them "Oh go on, vote out, everything will be rosy!"

I spent some time, trying to have sensible arguments, but gave up long since, given that they are mentally incapable of engaging in fact based arguments.

I'm still waiting for one to call me a traitor to my face - I'll greatly enjoy the following 60 seconds.

European court: Let's not kid ourselves, Uber. You're a transport firm, not a 'digital service'



Just a few misconceptions being bandied around above.

Uber DOES NOT prohibit it's drivers from working for competitors.

What it DOES do (maybe) is cease using them if they take advantage of customers referred to them by Uber, in order to promote a different, rival business.

This is no different to going into Robert Dyas, standing next to the checkout and handing business cards out to customers for your personal hardware etailer. You'd be quickly evicted from the store. Nothing to do with employment status.

NB That is not to dispute that it IS a taxi service - ridiculous to pretend otherwise.

Snopes.com asks for bailout amid dispute over who runs the site and collects ad dollars


The sad thing about truth and falsehood is that EVERYONE is fooled some of the time, and some are fooled almost all the time.

Most journalists are no qualified in the fields on which they report, and with the proliferation of blogs etc, most of these writers, when searching for information, simply find other blogs. This leads to the formation of bubbles where a false story becomes truth because it is repeated so often that after a while, it is impossible to find anything else.

If you also consider that most people will only consult sources that they find they generally agree with.

Finally, consider that when it comes to medicine, science, economics, etc the vast majority of people don't possess the skills to know whether the author is talking rubbish or not. e.g. a friend's dog recently had red eyes - I suspected conjunctivitis, but knowing nothing about dogs, I looked it up online. She was using cold tea to treat them (which I suspected would do little to help). I did find several websites that gave the same advice but I found their content untrustworthy.

My friend asked me how I could tell that they were rubbish - hmm - difficult to explain. I have medical experience, having chewed through hundreds of papers for a PhD with a medicinal side to it. I know that with stuff like this, certainty is rare, so when I see a site that kind of just links treatments with symptoms, without really considering what may be causing those symptoms, then it's just a bit too neat to be real science. Particularly once I'd read a genuine site that listed multiple possible causes and showed that different treatments would be required in each case. But still, I'd find it difficult to write down a list of rules that would differentiate - my scientific experience tells me when something just doesn't sound right - you can't easily pass that on to someone else.

I have seen attempts to do this, but bloggers are getting wise to this as well, e.g. it is common now to see bad science blogs using references, relying on nobody ever reading them (because heck, reading proper journals is hard) - I've seen writers claim x is true because of this research, when the actual cited research claims x is false...



Re: Baby on board

"The fact they couldn't see the blindingly obvious flaw in that logic"

Err - I'm sorry I fail to see a flaw in logic. Unless you're referring to the idea that just because it was copied from Europe, it doesn't mean the original premise is false??

It err does if the myths it is proclaiming as false refer to accidents in Canada/USA resulting in the creation of these signs.

Brexit White Paper published: Broad strokes, light on detail


Re: Business must be delighted

You're confusing growth with strength.

The UK and US economies have grown in recent years, but both have massively increased government debt. This is NOT helpful - it merely pushes the problem down the road for future generations to solve.


Much of the is incorrect.

- We cannot set "any tariffs we want" - see the "Most Favoured Nation" WTO rule.

- Tariffs can be set significantly lower on imported produce though, which means that UK farmers will need to lower their domestic prices to compete - hmm

- UK farmers will completely LOSE the EU market, as the EU tariffs (they'll also be forced to set them by WTO rules) will make UK goods totally uncompetitive. Yes, we may eventually get a trade deal, but it will be far too late to help.


A slightly more intelligent set of comments here than say on the BBC, but still many living in Cloud Cuckoo land.

Some observations:

1) The EU won't CHOOSE to impose tariffs. It will HAVE to due the WTO most favoured nation rule. Given that ANY trade agreement requires some kind of body to adjudicate on it, and given that the UK has insisted that the EC J will NOT have jurisdiction, we're talking about not only agreeing a deal, but also an enforcement mechanism, requiring unanimous approval from every EU region/nation, and all within 2 years. NOT A CHANCE!

2) If tariffs exist, then on some products it will affect UK shoppers, although on IMPORTS, the money will go into the UK govt kitty, so it's not all bad news. The PROBLEM though is that our exports will be that much less competitive. We export few things to Europe that do not have competing products. We also need to import materials for most things that we then export, so we're combining having sales margins cut by the tariffs, with higher production costs. A weaker pound helps a little, but overall, our exporters will be far less competitive within the EU. The overall effect of this is to markedly increase our Trade Deficit with the EU.

3) The chief Brexit Economist stated that Brexit would result in the death of UK manufacturing. He didn't seem to think this was entirely a bad thing - I couldn't work out HOW he came to this conclusion. Suffice to say that I don't think many of those blue-collar workers who voted for Brexit, read this small print. It's a fact of course that UK manufacturing has been in steady decline since the invention of the shipping container. It's far cheaper to make stuff in countries with a far lower cost of living, and few environmental regulations. Brexit has merely sped things up. I'm sure those made redundant will find solace knowing this.

4) Finally, to all those dicks, whining about "the will of the people", and politicians exist to serve. NO THEY DON'T. They are there to represent the best interests of the people and that SHOULD mean doing things that their voters don't agree with if their voters are being particularly stupid. If politicians were meant to merely represent the wishes of the people, then we could dispense with them all together and have everything decided by polls. And if you think that that sounds like a good idea, how about we take the same approach next time you are in a hospital eh and have your treatment decided by asking 100 random unqualified people what they think?

Time to re-file your patents and trademarks, Britain


"It would be just as disastrous for EU countries if agreements which allow for the continuation of trade between the UK and the EU"

I've seen this argument so many times and it's barking completely up the wrong tree. It's a straw man. Nobody in Remain has EVER claimed that the EU would cease trading with the UK.

Firstly, trade will continue even if we leave the EEA. All that would happen then is some tariffs would automatically come into operation on both sides in the absence of an agreement to the contrary. This won't stop trade but it would make goods more expensive.

BUT the IMPORTANT thing is what manufacturers, who produce goods for sale across the EU, think about the whole thing. If they base their factory within the EU there are fewer barriers to trade - this isn't just tariffs, regulatory frameworks are more important. So any company producing goods in the UK may start looking to relocate - it won't be a sudden thing but it will certainly start weighting decisions on where companies invest in the future. On this note you should note that the leading Brexit economist admitted that Leaving would mean the END of UK manufacturing. It won't be sudden, but expect a long slow line of announcements over the next 3-5 years.

Similarly with our Financial services which have prospered globally on their ability to sell themselves as a gateway into the EU. Again, the downfall won't be overnight, but slowly but surely companies will start to favour other countries.

These are the reasons that Moody's has already set the outlook for the UK to negative.


I've spent the last 4 months campaigning vigorously for Remain, and seen very little input from any of my friends. I awoke yesterday to a barrage of Facebook posts complaining about the result.

Today it's a barrage of posts about oh well, it's democratic, let's respect the result and move on.

Apathy or what?

For starters, arguing that it was democratic is flawed - not when the campaign was as one-sided as it was with the sole source of information for many (the papers), so one-sided and clearly pushing their own agenda. It didn't help that politicians who've used the EU as a convenient scapegoat for decades were in charge of defending Remain.

But more importantly - it's not over. There are several paths ahead.

The government could ignore the vote - they won't, and imo it would be worse if they did - all that would happen is that they'd be kicked out in the next GE and replaced with a more eurosceptic bunch.

They could proceed down a route to negotiate membership of the EEA, but given that their chances of getting this without Freedom of Movement is as likely as a free-range hen laying an egg in your egg cup, I cannot see how this will silence the voices that called for Leave.

So, the only solution likely to appease the hard-core Leave brigade is total withdrawal - but I know many voted Leave on the basis that we'd end up like Norway - if the full economic implications of a full withdrawal from the EEA were laid out I think a large number of Leavers would be having second thoughts. (Note quite a few already are!)

I don't believe the government has been given a mandate to take the 3rd option, so to me it is clear that we need a second referendum that presents 3 options not 2.

1) Remain

2) Leave EU, join EEA, taking the best terms we can which may include Freedom of Movmement etc.

3) Leave EEA.

Get people to rank their preference. Only THEN would we have a result the government could move forward with.

I believe it is worth still fighting for this.

Software snafu let EU citizens get referendum vote, says Electoral Commission



I think I'm agreement.

Actually I think the following years will look something like this:

1) Brexit

2) Gove attempts to negotiate terms with EU - they refuse until he intiates the exit agreement.

3) Economy tanks while government pontificates. Unemployment rises.

4) Finally we trigger leave clause and try and start negotiations in earnest - Poland demands freedom of movement or no deal. Spain demands access to fishing waters or no deal. France just shouts NON! Germany tries to compromise but nobody wants to.

5) Pound drops to below $1.20 - Petrol is back over £1.50 litre and further rises likely.

6) Trade deal attempted with USA - they say wait until we've sorted TTIP out.

7) Trade deal attempted with China - they offer us the same terms as Switzerland, i.e. no change on their end for 15 years, but we drop all tariffs immediately.

8) Immigration from the EU has reversed - many workers are going home. Tax revenues have dropped massively. Record budget deficit recorded. Pound loses it's triple A status. Interest rates on UK debt start to rise. Government announces new wave of austerity, including cuts to pensions. Talk of charging for doctor appointments and routine operations.

Move on 5 years and things have changed a lot. Immigration from outside the EU has been allowed to rocket as low paid workers needed throughout the economy. Everywhere signs that used to read in Polish and Czech are being replaced with Arabic and Hindi. We ended up joining EFTA and giving the EU everything they demanded - we had no choice. We've been unable to make deals with anyone else of worth - the USA has gone the other way and raised tariffs on UK imports as Trump has triggered a new era of USA nationalism and protectionism. New poll indicates that 75% think we should never have left the EU.

France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans


It's not like the French to start wining about stuff.

If Google remembers whom it has forgotten, has it complied with the ECJ judgment?


If you really want to be forgotten, it's pretty simple to just change your name.

Thumb Up

Good on you Google!

And this is exactly the response this kind of stupid and absurd legislation needs.

You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't


In the Western world, Sales type personalities are far more compelling than Engineer types.

All of our politicians and many of our senior managers/directors are all in the business of Selling stuff and rely on charisma and force of conviction to persuade others.

The people who actually know stuff are usually consigned to advisory committees and the problem is that these committees are rarely listened to, particularly by politicians.

That's why China is eventually going to stuff the lot of us.

Incidentally, I see the point of recycling not so much that it's about saving natural resources - after all, the first things to be recycled were glass and paper, and there's practically limitless quantities of both. No I thought the point is to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.

Brits to vote: Which pressing scientific challenge should get £10m thrown at it?


"2. New form of food packaging that is also a benefit to the environment."

Done - it's called biodegradable plastics.

"3, Robots that can do the washing (take clothes out the washing machine and hang them up to dry)"

I cannot believe you even put this one down - that's just so wrong for so many reasons!


"What we should be doing is re-educating patients and the medical profession to stop expecting, and stop handing out antibiotics for minor infections, or even (as has happened) for viral illnesses on which they have no effect."

Education won't cut it, particularly where there is competition at play in the marketplace, e.g. in the USA.

If a patient wants an antibiotic they are going to go to the Doctor who gives them one.

To counter this you'd need to make it a criminal offence for anyone to be given antibiotics unless there was evidence they needed them. If a doctor prescribes them for something that is clearly just a common cold or flu, they lose their licence to practise and are heavily fined.

WANTED: New head of crashingly expensive, error-prone and frankly cursed one-dole-to-rule-them-all system


I worked as a consultant on a similar project in Jersey. Obviously much smaller and simpler than UC, and also although all the payments were made through the same system, it maintained separate identities for the different claims - nevertheless the same issues troubled this project as UC has suffered from namely.

1) ANY government project is a whole lot more complex than a similar one would be in the private sector - mostly because in the private sector, that tiny thing of little importance that adds significantly to the cost and complexity would be cut - with government project their hands are tied to they can't do that.

2) Government projects are usually far larger - you then run into the issue that no single person knows enough to design the system - you get high level people in to do it, who have no knowledge of the details and they come up with over-simplified designs that break down when analysts subsequently start working on the details.

3) Requirements are frequently politically driven and change more frequently and radically than private sector projects, where the senior management usually keep their eye on cost, risk and value assessments.

So it was easy to see that UC was going to be far harder to implement than initial estimates.

It doesn't change the fact that it's the right thing to do - if you claim 3 benefits you currently complete 3 different forms which generally ask the same questions, often in different ways - far better for both the claimant and the assessor to have just one form to deal with. Essentially the form is a conduit for information to flow from the claimant to the assessor - the simpler this process is the better.

Goodbye, Mr Dong: Samsung Galaxy S5 boss disappears through trapdoor


"Given how tacky and cheap Samsung phones look I don't think this is anything to worry about."

Well I guess not if you are more concerned with a phone's appearance than its functionality...

My partner just swapped her iPhone 4S for a Galaxy Note - nearly 3 times the screen area, yet considerably lighter - even including its case.

Personally, my biggest gripe with Samsung has always been the amount of (unwanted) software they stuff onto the device - but a custom ROM sorts that out pretty quick.

Vladimir Putin says internet is a 'CIA project'


Reply Icon

Re: Macumba

The mere fact that you are happily posting severe criticism of the US/UK governments on a website shows you believe that you are not going to get in trouble for doing so. I cannot think that you'd post with such little fear of retribution were you a Russian resident criticising Putin.

CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO


The anti-establishmentarians raise their voices in unison...


Please imagine a world in which everyone was allowed to just park wherever they fancied parking. Knowing just how many selfish c***s there are out there, I suspect it would not be long before navigating our roads would become almost impossible.

You try to make out it's about privacy rights, but nobody can have an expectation of privacy in a public street - that's just ridiculous. What you really resent is that you've less chance of getting away with it.

Snowden: 'I have data on EVERY NSA operation against China'


So what should Snowden do?

If you think he should never have opened his mouth in the first place, then let's just say we disagree, vehemently and go our separate ways.

Once he had done so, the USA began a war against him, preventing him travelling as far as they could. Persuading other governments to arrest and search anyone connected with him. The guy is stuck in Russia (where I'm sure he doesn't want to be) and he is faced with the choice of either working his way out of this mess, or letting the US capture him, at which point he'll spend the rest of his life in jail.

So at this point, I have no problems with him doing or saying ANYTHING to make his own future! Why should he continue to hold loyalties to countries that have treated him despicably? And if preserving his future now rests on aiding an enemy of the USA, then I'd pick China over Russia any day.

WAR ON PORN: UK flicks switch on 'I am a pervert' web filters


Re: This is only the start

Yup - I did - well spotted!


This is only the start

I'm amazed that the public are now receptive of this idea to the extent that it will certainly go through without large demonstrations.

Of course in itself it's almost defensible - I mean who can argue against the idea of protecting children from harm? Note though that the government frequently confuse the situation by inter-mixing the terms kiddie-porn and porn when presenting their case. Kiddie-porn is bad - BUT this block will have ZERO effect on it, so the term should not even be used.

But let's assume that Cameron's threats are real - what happens next?

Well of course some porn will continue to get through the filters - there are so many sites where porn makes a percentage of the available material, but the site as a whole is not a porn site - Tumblr springs to mind. Is Cameron then going to live up to his threat to introduce legislation, presumably making it an offence to allow porn material through to a filtered account? If so then the ISP's are going to have to blockade far far more sites that are mostly non-porn in order to ensure that NO porn ever gets through - they are also going to have to err on the side of caution, meaning that they are likely to block sites first and ask questions later.

The next stage of course, is when the government decides to use the same mechanism to include other material - first up will be "terrorist" sites and banned organisations.. who will be able to argue with that? Then this list will inevitably grow - groups such as EDL are on the edge of being banned.

Then of course any sites that are deemed offensive will follow: the law is kind of vague here already on what material is illegal and what isn't, but from what I've observed recently, if a sufficient number of people are offended, that's enough for the judge..... goodbye to jokes about disasters, anti-religious views, ANYTHING on sex.....

ALL of this will be sold to the public on the basis of preventing them from breaking ALREADY existing laws. Of course the blocks are going to have to be oh so much wider than that in scope.

Then someone is going to suggest that instead of using a white-list, we use a black-list.

Of course while all of the above is occurring, other events will occur.

It will slowly become socially unacceptable and legally awkward to opt out. People's status will be revealed in court proceedings, and in the absence of other evidence prosecutions will still push the case that this man opted out of the porn block, therefore he is more likely to be a rapist.

Eventually only a small minority will dare to opt-out, at which point the government will probably decide to remove the option completely.

George Orwell picks up from this point onwards....


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020