* Posts by LucreLout

3054 posts • joined 30 Jun 2014

Bored binge-watchers bork beleaguered broadband by blasting bandwidth: Global average speeds down 6.31%

LucreLout Silver badge

Re: Not bad,

Moaning millennials mangle mobile middle managers making massive maladministrative mess most mornings.

Architect of tech contractor tax fraud scheme jailed for at least five years

LucreLout Silver badge

Re: Better stay in jail

I'd imagine the odds of that will increase markedly if the taxman decides to make the contractors pay the tax they've not actually paid to date. I realise its not the individual contractors fault, but does the tax collector?

Someone made an AI that predicted gender from email addresses, usernames. It went about as well as expected

LucreLout Silver badge

Re: The complaint seems confused

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that gender-targeting ads works (I'm not so sure about that).

Lets polarise things for a minute to show that it might.

Most people buying tampax will be women (some men buying for female relations or fringe reasons). Most people going to strip clubs will be men (some women do go but I have a friend who assures me its mostly guys).

If you could differentiate between genders with a better than 50% accuracy, you can make your advertising more effective. Spam everyone and half of the tampax adds go to waste along with half the titty bars.

If the 'AI' could get gender right 60% of the time I could get 20% more bang for my buck with the advertising provided those misidentified did not become angry with my brand enough to bad mouth us and damage the brand. A bit like advertising the local strippers in the gents toilets while the tampax are sold in the womens bogs.

For most products there would be less polarisation and so the required accuracy would be significantly higher and so harder to achieve. I mostly agree with what you're saying but I think you've overlooked where gendered advertising does work.

Muddying the water slightly comes the idea of how do you sell a car, say a ford focus, to a guy or a girl. Do they on average care about the same things, or do you want to give greater prominence to different features to each gender? Do more of the people that care about the horsepower have penises, or boobs? Same for the parking sensors or reversing camera etc? Note I'm not implying or giving answers to those questions, simply showing how subtle targeting along gender lines does work at scale.

And it's off! NASA launches nuke-powered, laser-shooting, tank Perseverance to Mars to search for signs of life

LucreLout Silver badge
Pint

Roll on the test flight....

... I'm stupidly excited abut the helicopter drone, almost as much as about the science the main vehicle will be doing.

Well done NASA!!!

USA seeks Moon and Mars nuke power plant designs ready to fly in 2027

LucreLout Silver badge

Sounds cool though....

..... probably a very interesting project to work on.

How big a heat sink do commentards think this puppy would need?

What do you do for a living?

I built a nuclear power station on the moon. You?

Erm, accounts....

Brit unis hit in Blackbaud hack inform students that their data was nicked, which has gone as well as you might expect

LucreLout Silver badge

At this point they know they are definitely dealing with a criminal who sees intrusion, theft, and blackmail as being legitimate means to acquire wealth. It rather begs the question of why lying about destruction an reselling the data would be seen as verbotten, doesn't it?

Suspected armed robber’s privacy was not infringed by cops’ specific cellphone tower data slurp, US judge rules

LucreLout Silver badge

The upcoming election is going to be democracy's final test.

Sorry Pascal but I have to disagree.

The problem isn't Trump or Biden, its the total outright polarisation of politics being caused by the losers refusal to accept the winners legitimate democratic mandate. We can see this behaviour all over the globe.

What happens is that we then begin lurching between extremes, and sooner or late one extreme just really doesn't fancy letting go the levers of power and so they stage a coup of sorts and become an effective dictator for life.

The Republicans should have accepted Obama as President rather than kicking off the birther movement. The Democrats should have accepted Trump as President rather than planning a revenge impeachment for Clinton before ever he set foot in the White house. So it goes.

The only way to salvage democracy is for the losers to wind their necks in, swallow hard, and to accept they lost the vote and that the other outcome - whoever or whatever that may be - is democratically legitimate and must be enacted in good faith.

In that regard Trump & Biden are mostly irrelevant. The real danger is that before the dictator comes the civil war.

LucreLout Silver badge

The problem is that what is not a "crime" today might be one tomorrow.

The converse has been shown to be as likely if not more so. My only reasoning for not liking Turing's posthumous pardon is that a pardon implies wrongdoing that has been forgiven, when it is the UK that should feel guilt for its appalling treatment of one of our greatest geniuses.

Generally what was not a crime in the past cannot be prosecuted once it becomes illegal. See the criminalisation of Marijuana and Opium but no retrospective prosecutions by way of my evidence.

LucreLout Silver badge

This is just one more reason not to carry a phone, let alone one that's turned on all the time.

I can't take the battery out of mine so its pretty much always on.... at least, that's the only safe assumption.

ever increasing punishments

Evidently you're not in the UK. Tough on crime, tough on the victims of crime.

Sorry, but I have no sympathy if an armed robber is caught and convicted and then jailed for 30 years. Good. Thankfully I've never had a firearm pointed in my face by an angry stranger, but I can only imagine its terrifying and deeply traumatic. What I wonder is how the hell their defence was considered before the courts when it essentially amounts to "Well, yes, my client did do the armed robbery but Officer Wiggam may have been lax on his paper work so my client shouldn't be punished". In a reasonable system Officer Wiggam may also face sanction but that shouldn't absolve the scrote of their played for and got justice.

For those of a criminal bent, having the phones location tracked may be problematic, but for the honest citizen it can also be useful. I can prove that I wasn't speeding through Wales in a car with my cloned number plate on it last week because my phone records show me as visiting family in Edinburgh at the time and they're backed up by witness statements.

I'd prefer not to be tracked all the time, obviously, but I've never worried that so being would fit me up for a crime I didn't commit. Does anyone here really worry about that? If so please can you explain why in rational terms?

UK surveillance laws tightened up as most spying demands to be subject to warrants

LucreLout Silver badge

???

anyone trying to spy on your communications data must now get the permission of your telco or postal service - or convince a judicial commissioner to sign off a warrant forcing disclosure

Wait, what? Permission of my telco should be trivial to get - the council can just clag them on the PSL and they'll bend and receive. Permission of the postal service.... so just ask Royal Mail? WTF have those dinosaurs got to do with anything? I'm not sure what I've missed here but I hope its something....

The judge bit is a good move.

UK formally abandons Europe’s Unified Patent Court, Germany plans to move forward nevertheless

LucreLout Silver badge

@Intractable Potsherd

I'll give you that, and an up vote, it may well be the reason. But then why would they value a "benefit" they never use? That some of those that used it view it as a loss doesn't convey upon those not using it any requirement to seek to retain it.

The flip side of freedom of movement, particularly in the North East, was that much factory work went to flat rate overtime rather than time and a half, because so many Eastern Europeans were willing to work at that rate. Now most of the shift to which I refer held no complaint for the Poles coming to do the work - it was after all just "Auf Wiehdersehn Pet" in reverse. They do however blame successive governments for not implementing better protections before opening the borders.

The benefits I've enjoyed of free movement came at their cost. It seems fairer to me that I complete some small amount of paperwork before emigrating to another country in return for their not having their livelihood cut out from under them.

Not everyone will agree with what I've written, but the usual refrain of "thick Northerners" and "racists" simply holds no water, and is why Brexit remains anathema to so many remainers. Leavers have been patient, more than patient, since the vote but its time to move on now and those remainers still clinging to an often confused vision of what the EU was are going to have to be forced to move on.

The thing I've never understood is if freedom of movement is so important to them and if the EU is such an overwhelming positive force in their lives that they would rather wreck our democracy than accept the vote, why do they not simply use that freedom and move to another EU country?

I still intend to learn Spanish and retire to Spain (with blocks of time in America & the UK, and some time travelling) and I expect zero problems in doing so when the time comes.

LucreLout Silver badge

You obviously don't want to talk about the number of civil servants and the EU budget. The UK has almost spent the same on Brexit now than was ever paid into the EU.

Well yes, it turns out that 4 years of delay, obfuscation, court cases, and increasingly desperate attempts by Remainers to overthrow the result IS expensive. Who knew? Nothing to do with Brexit, that's just the losing side refusing to accept defeat.

So, yeah, higher tariffs all round. You won't be offsetting anything against that.

At best you may find a few increases in tariffs with non-EU countries where we won't have trade deals, but all of those countries will be signing trade deals with us - we were the economic jewel in the EU crown - because trade with us is why they signed up with the EU in the first place. Maybe, maybe at best, you have a temporary blip while we sign the new agreements, but for sure it ain't going to take 7 years to do them.

Do you know why there are no deals with USA or China deal yet? Because the EU refused to be bullied.

ROFL. No, its because the EU couldn't bully them. They had to trade as equals, well actually in those cases the junior partner. It's the same with the UK now - they can't bully us anymore so they don't want to do a deal. Unfortunately, they have to do a deal (just maybe not by December) because their entire economic edifice is predicated on selling stuff to and in the UK.

It is a region jointly administered by two countries. These are all facts.

Sorry but you have that wrong. There are two separate legislatures one in NI and one in the Republic because they are not a jointly administered region at all. It's a fiction Republicans tell themselves because it sounds better than "surrender", which is what happened.

By the way, equal pay for men and women was in the Treaty of Rome in 1957 whereas the UK had to wait until the Equal Pay Act 1970 as a condition of entering the EU.

Revisionist nonsense. The Referendum Act wasn't passed until 1975 to enable the referendum to join to take place later that year. The EU wasn't formed until 1993. At best you lack the knowledge to distinguish the common market from the european union, in which case you need to study more, and at worst, you're lying to yourself and all of us here.

I'm comparing and contrasting the visa process and FoM and there appears to be no basis at all to what you say, I really don't understand why you believe there is no benefit to having FoM in EU countries.

You still have all the registration hassles. The only difference is an extra form to complete before you move there. More Brits live and work outside the EU than ever have within it (there's more just in Australia alone) and yet they find no insurmountable obstacles. You're assuming problems where the people that do migrate find none.

The fact that you're a person who considers not learning the local language is an advantage says loads.

Mostly it says you have appalling comprehension skills. I speak (not great) Swedish too which is the only one English speaking country I've lived in. What I said what being able to move about where you already speak a common language benefits the EU more than the English, which is why there is considerably more of them in the UK than Brits in all of the EU.

Pretty shitty retirement though, as the UK won't be uprating pensions for new retirees.

Unsupported speculation.

Unfortunately UK Citizens' healthcare costs will go up over 7%... shame about that.

Speculation again.

Freedom of movement is the biggest paper tiger you could have raised. SMH.

And yet it was the bogeyman that delivered Brexit.

Gordon Brown delivered Brexit, and Junker brought it screaming into this world. Both by their own behaviour. It is, after all, the "thick Northerners" who voted for Brexit (and usually for labour). Gillian Duffy was their awakening and the Islington set of lefty loons was their driving force.

Is it unsurprising wonder the honourable member for the 18th Century said that it would take 50 years to see the benefits of Brexit.

Maybe. I think it'll take 10 for the EU to implode and for even remainers to see we're better off out. Maybe another 10 to see clear economic blue water over where we'd have been if the EU doesn't implode. By the time we're 30 years out we'll be so far ahead of where we would have been that the EU will have shrunk to a handful of nations.

The EU already cannot keep pace with the changing world and its going to go into warp speed after Covid blows through. There's no chance of them evolving in time to keep pace, so they will continue to slide into irrelevance.

I know you're scared, but frankly this display of cowardice in front of the enemy is most unbecoming of an Englishman.

God help me, that there are people on this planet who post this nonsense let alone believe this it.

Mostly people believe it because its true. If you're shitting your pants on the way to the negotiating table or the battle, then you've already lost it. Stiff upper lip old boy, there's a good chap.

LucreLout Silver badge

OK, I'll bite...here's just one reason...freedom of movement. I worked in the EU half of my working life. It was great, financially and culturally.

Fair enough if you made use of it then it would be valuable to you as it was to me when I did it. You do know that puts us in a very small minority of the country though right? Probably around 2-5% at the very most will ever live and work abroad and much of that won't be in the EU. You can't really complain that people gave up a 'benefit' they weren't using for one they will (free trade agreements with the ROTW).

It's not like we can't go work abroad, there'll just be some more paperwork this time, same as when I lived and worked in the USA. The additional complexity of moving abroad for work outside the EU is not substantial compared to the complexity of doing so in the EU regardless of previous rights - you still have mountains of official and unofficial paperwork to wade through and much to organise. Its a marginal inconvenience to be completed before you depart and then its no different unless you commit a crime and get deported.

LucreLout Silver badge

Re: Why people voted Br(exit|emain)

Interesting survey, so in 30-40 years when the majority of leavers have died out there will be an increase in calls to rejoin ?

Not likely because the same thing will happen as happens with labour voters. As they age, some might say grow up, they drift further away from the left. Its a demographic drift that has been going on since the formation of labour.

The same would have happened to the remainers - had the vote been held in 30 years, they'd have been voting to leave. Today's remainers are tomorrows leavers in the same way as today's lefties are tomorrows Conservatives.

What is likely now is that in 30 years there will A) not be an EU to be a member of, and B) nobody will remember what all the fuss was about, we'll have moved forwards economically and socially and nobody will want to go back. Yes, you do get the union baron or treehugger wanting to go back to the 70s but the rest of us don't want dragging back to the past and the same will be true 30 or 40 years hence. It's one of the reasons nobody voted for Corbyn but the halfwit Starmer actually does have a very good chance if he can sell a positive vision of change rather than carping from the cheap seats.

There's no going back. People that are gearing up to waste their lives campaigning for this would be better advised to spend their energies achieving something of value, such as abolition of slavery from the world.

LucreLout Silver badge

Re: Why people voted Br(exit|emain)

One of the benefits of brexit is we finally get unlimited (by number) immigration.

I expect to see a number of new citizens thanks to the offer to residents of HK. Young, educated, hard working, etc..... whats not to like?

LucreLout Silver badge

I'm no international trade economist, but it strikes me that the reason the "share" (size in relative terms) of the UK and the EU in global GDP is falling could be that the emerging economies are getting bigger in absolute terms, rather than UK/EU getting smaller in absolute terms.

This is undoubtedly true but it is only part of the issue.

I'm going to make up some numbers to keep things straightforward. Lets say 100% of Global GDP (GGDP hereafter) is £1000. The EU have 25% of that so £250. Lets look at some examples of what could happen:

GGDP rises, EU share is static. GGDP rises to say £2000 our 25% becomes £500. Sort of good, sort of not because things of finite quantity (eg gold) now also cost twice as much. We're not really better off or worse off, though some things of infinite replication (eg downloads) may now be cheaper.

GGDP rises, EU share falls (your case). GGD rises to £2000 and our share falls to 15% or £300. That gold price has gone up again and we can now buy less of it. Downloads we might be ok on.

GGDP rises, EU share rises (best case). The gold and the downloads are both more available to us in the EU at the expense of their being available to everyone else.

Reality is pretty much as you described, but as we're about to see this year, a falling GGDP and a falling share of that will make for some difficult choices.

The real question is can the UK increase its share of GGDP faster inside or outside of the EU. Well, trade deals follow trade and lubricate it, and trade increases GDP. So provided we can do deals faster outside than inside the block, we should grow our share of GGDP vs the EU.

Our GDP is the same as the smallest 18 nations in the EU added up. Its second only to Germany within the EU. Most of the EU trade deals landed because places wanted to do business with Germany and or the UK. They didn't land because people wanted to sell to 6 million Danes or to export to Poland. We will have no problem signing trade deals but nobody will want to finalise any until our position with regards to the EU is finalised, which is the secondary reason there must be no extension to the transition period - the primary reason is that remainers have demonstrated their duplicity (see the various Gina Miller cases "Oh no, this isn't about Brexit its about parliament..... until its about a campaign to overturn Brexit") and as such they cannot be trusted with any further opportunities to frustrate the will of the people.

GDP is the best measure of human happiness and wealth

GDP is a poor measure of wealth (I pay you to dig a hole and your mate to close it, GDP goes up but nothing is achieved). Its a worse measure of happiness, though there is some correlation which intensifies at the extremes.

LucreLout Silver badge

It is the leavers who have never been able to justify leaving, to give one good argument for it.

I've given you two good ones already this very thread - ability to sign our own trade deals in a fraction of the time it takes the rEU to do so, and freedom from their courts insisting we obey the letter of their law while the rest reinterpret the rulings to suit themselves.

Share of global GDP for the EU has been falling fast for decades. That has dragged our economy down with it. The only way to increase our share of global GDP was to leave, because reform was not possible (see Cameron's road trip for details).

LucreLout Silver badge

Lucrelout is outright delusional.

Coming from you I'll take that as a compliment, since you're one of the slowest posters adding the least value.

ust like there is "No evidence" of Russian interference in the referendum.

Less than there is fromt he General Election and Corbyns Dodgy Dossier he downloaded from Reddit where it had been planted by Russian hackers. So yes, we know for sure they have meddled in our politics, via Comrade... what was his code name that spy bloke claimed he had again?

I can always tell when they are back on the site, as my recent posts all acquire an extra down-vote, regardless of topic.

Not me, but I'm happy to start.

Do you think they automated that, or are they really that petty?

My JavaScript ain't great but I could probably figure out how to do this.... I just can't see the point. I automate trading worth billions (gross), not downvoting nutters on the internet. Downvotes are meaningless & painless, and I'm not sure why you're wetting the bed over them. Pretty sure I have more than you as they're going up about 100 every time I log in at the moment!

Maybe its a case of the lady doth protest too much and you're responsible for them all. If so, bravo, but I truly don't care.

LucreLout Silver badge

_only_ being able to sign sign our own trade deals, for which no other country is rushing to negotiate

Half the world is lined up waiting to get their chance to do a deal. We're the 5th biggest economy in the world - all of the rest of them want a deal. IT just won't take 7 years to do each of them, you get that right?

the Irish situation is dire: either we have a hard border between NI and the South, or we have a hard border between two parts of the UK.

The border would be between Northern Ireland and the Republic, yes. That will be an inevitable consequence of no deal. It'll be interesting to see how the terrorists respond though, because this time it will be the rEU installing the towers and border not the UK.

Another great problem is the fact that London has ceased to be the financial capital of Europe.

You simply could not be more wrong. There is nowhere else in Europe the financial capital could possibly go - frankfurt doesn't have neough people even if they all worked in finance. Nobody in the City is the least little bit worried about Brexit related cuts - we'll be busier than ever thanks to the new rEU slush fund because they will be coming to London to get their bonds away.

Similarly, as of January 1st, certifications for goods issued by the UK cease to be valid in the EU, which is going to cost British businesses over their European counterparts.

The balance of trade deficit means we can pay our suppliers costs out of the net tariffs we receive from rEU and still make money.

We just saved 250 Billion Euros that we'd have had to put in the bailout fund (since we used to make up 1/3rd of their net budget and the bailout is 750 billion EUR). That's on top of the £350 million a week we save by not being in. Keep adding it up at this rate and it'll start to look like a lot of money, even to a labour chancellor.

Brexiteers claim that Britain will not be subject to foreign courts, but just a lie: if we want to trade, foreign courts will be part and parcel of any deal, including (obviously) the WTO tribunals.

WTO tribunals are part of the deal now. Nothing changes int hat respect. What we won't be subjected to any further is rulings from the ECJ. Do you not understand the difference and when each is used and why?

Lastly, the claim that "we're never going back" is suspect and inherently naive: Northern Ireland is the closest to "going back", but the Channel Islands and Scotland both recognize a different balance of probabilities...

NI is going nowhere, but is the only part of your paragraph that possibly could. Scotland can't afford independence and the ultimate irony is that they can't be independent in the rEU. Their moaning is akin to that of a bitter ex-wife depending on her ex husband for financial support - she may not like him but she very much needs him more than he needs her.

There isn't going to be an EU in 10 years from now. Certainly whatever crumbled edifice may remain will look nothing like it did when we were members. Remainers may have been happy to bow and scrape before a Franco-German rEU alliance, and Scotland certainly is (though more people voted for Brexit there than ever voted SNP), but fortunately most of us have ore sense.

Be honest with yourself for a moment as you'll never be honest with us. The disgusting behavior of the rEU towards Greece in the financial crisis, Italy in the Covid crisis, and us when we voted to Leave (and before).... is that really a club that you want to be a member of? Does their behavior really reflect your values? Really?

Its a morally and now fiscally bankrupt cesspit and we're well rid of it. Our future is so much brighter outside than it ever could have been held captive within. You've lost so many arguments and votes now that I've honestly lost count - it must be one for each EU President by now. Its time to accept the result, accept that you were wrong, and move on. You don't have a choice about doing it, so you may as well do it in good graces and in a dignified manner instead of parroting delusion after delusion, lie after lie, no?

LucreLout Silver badge

a value-for-money bureaucracy that is smaller than many UK city councils

Value for money? Really? How many presidents does it have now and what does each one do? No Googling. You don't know, nobody does, because they do so little of any actual value.

companies will now need to spend a lot of money on imports and exports)

Sort of like trading with the rest of the world, whose global share of GSP is growing where the rEU is shrinking fast? We can offset their costs by using a fraction of the net tariffs (absent a trade deal) to compensate their costs.

the ability to take part in trade negotiations representing an area of approx 460 million people meaning you generally get your own way and get to set standards

No, no you don't. You get to bully weaker trading blocks like the African Union, but you don't get to set sh*t with important parts of the world like USA or China. And for that you waste 7 years negotiating a very small trade deal with Canada, who are probably the most reasonable nation on earth. 7 years!

creating an all-island economy between Ireland/NI based with the single market and customs union to help bring peace to the island

No it didn't. We joined in 1973 and the Irish were still bombing the piss out of each other and the mainland for several decades to come. Best case you could claim the rEU helped the IRA lie to themselves about already having a unified Ireland inside the rEU, but that was never true and was never going to be the case. Its just more deception.

high food and environmental standards and strong consumer laws

So your view is that these only exist in the rEU? Pathetic. Truly pathetic.

laws to protect everyone from discrimination in the workplace which went back to 1957

Sure, go try being not white in Poland and then come back singing the praises of this.... I've had 3 different mates marry Polish girls and relocate - the white guys had no problems and were accepted into their community and workplaces. The black guy not so much - spat at in the street, regarded with suspicion, subject to hate. He had a breakdown after 18 months and came home.

freedom of movement to live, study, work, and retire in all EU countries.

Ah, that theoretical freedom again. And yet, nobody did any of this. If we net them all up you're talking about around 500,000 people, of which more than half are retirees in Spain. British people live, work, and retire the world over - the rEU conveys no particular benefit in this regard to most people because they'll never use it. I've lived and worked in two foreign countries and found it no easier in the rEU. This is a classic example of a paper benefit - something you think you might value because you think you might use it, but you never do - sort of like the spare pack of bogrolls in the airing cupboard, no?

The fact that you only barely managed to go on holiday to the EU doesn't mean that other people don't think the EU was useful.

Yeah, my wife is Swedish and unlike you I have have lived and worked there. I've lived and worked outside the rEU too. The much vaunted freedom of movement was always far more important to Europeans because they had English as a shared second language, than it ever has been for us Brits.

London is France's 6th biggest city.... Paris, in terms of British population, would barely pass for an English village. Spain, where half of all British expats in the rEU reside, makes up a place about the size of Swansea by population. And you'll still be allowed to retire to Spain after the transition period expires. You don't really think that Greece offering a competitive 7% tax rate on all income if you retire there is going to refuse you right of entry? Freedom of movement is the biggest paper tiger you could have raised. SMH.

Do you actually believe this stuff or are you just repeating what you read in the guardian? There's nothing at all to fear from no deal. We have no deal with America or China, and yet I type this on a Chinese keyboard, wearing American jeans and trainers, and sipping a Coke.

There are none so blind as those that will not see. I know you're scared, but frankly this display of cowardice in front of the enemy is most unbecoming of an Englishman.

LucreLout Silver badge

Not even the most insane brexitters claim there are no benefits to staying in the EU.

I never said they didn't exist, I just said Remainers don't know what they are.... looking at your post I was right.

Jobs, inward investment, being the European base for English speaking multinationals.

This is a key benefit of leaving - its why multinationals are increasingly moving their work here out of Europe since the Brexit vote. You've not understood global commerce properly and as a result hold a view completely contrary to the reality of what is happening - see closing European car factories to bring the work here, McDonalds new shinny HQ etc etc for details.

Great trade deals with other countries (due to the might of the EU being the biggest trading block)

Sorry, no, you've not understood this correctly either. It took 7 years to do a very limited trade deal with Canada. It took 20+ years to not do a trade deal with the African Union. Trade deals shouldn't take as long as they do and that is purely because the rEU does them wrong - little Belgian provinces that nobody has ever heard of suddenly refuse to ratify without bribes, for example. We need to be out of the rEU so we can do global trade deals much much faster than they do and with greater clarity.

Independence ... Yeah. We were a sovereign state with a huge influence in a powerful block.

Perhaps the best example of cognitive dissonance I've seen all week. We're so powerful that when we sent the PM to negotiate an options list of utterly trivial changes, they not only insisted that each member state's negotiator made space for a "german chair" in the room, but they sent him packing like some naughty school boy. That's how "huge" our influence was in the economically increasingly irrelevant EU.

Now we're going to be Americas bitch. Of course, that means lower food and working conditions.

More remainer lies. Not one single change has been proposed by anyone to employment law, the vast bulk of which the EU adopted from us in the first place when we became a member.

So far your reasoning amounts to misunderstanding a whole array of issues around which you have no competence, and lies about the path independence will take. In short, you have nothing. As a Leaver I could give you a more realistic list to want to stay a member that would be based on fact rather than emotion, but I find it too entertaining to watch remainers flail around like chicken little. The sky isn't falling, we're going to be just fine, better than fine.

LucreLout Silver badge

And yet you still don't give an answer. Not one. One might be given to consideration that it is because you don't have one? Lots of downvotes, but never an answer.

It's always the same old remainer nonsense. Afraid of change. That is your whole argument in 3 words. The biggest lie of all was always that the rEU had kept peace in Europe since WW2 - only for Russia to annex half of the only country to be a member of the rEU and not be a member of NATO. Quite honestly how you can keep a straight face while accusing others of lies is beyond me - you should be ashamed.

Either way, we're out now and we're never going back. Onward and upwards.

LucreLout Silver badge

Re: advantages all backwards

Arguably, the fee should be reduced (or waived) for people who cannot afford it, or even for everyone. You want people to put their ideas into the public, even if they don't have the expenditure to see it through to production. Big businesses can then buy the patent from the owner, who are able to see it through to production.

The problem there becomes that I can start patenting a great many things and doing little to bring them into reality, and then sit back and wait for the future to enrich my descendants. Imagine if Gene Roddenberry had patented much of the Start Trek ideas - no tablet computing without paying the Start Trek tax, no real time ML language translations, etc etc

Where patents are available too freely they act as nought more than a tax on the future rather than protection for bringing it forth. By way of evidence I give you the patent trolls / farmers whose sole business is buying up defunct companies to mine their IP.

LucreLout Silver badge

Re: advantages all backwards

The SME argument is a complete straw man. Patent assertion/defence starts at about £10million. SME's do far better by developing version N+1 so any copies of version N are completely uncompetitive. The real value of patents to SME's to accelerate the rush to bankruptcy and have the patents picked out of the corpse by trolling vulture capitalists for a pittance.

This is probably the best description of the realities of patent law I've read this year. Patents are a bit like employment rights, in that if you can't or won't go to court to enforce them then they don't really exist.

Changing employment law to make tribunals anonymous for the individual but public for the corporate would allow people to enforce their rights without trashing their careers. Changing patent law to make the parties over a certain fiscal size cover the costs of parties under a certain fiscal size should prevent some of the abuses there too.

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Brexit just keeps on giving. So how is it going to be better again?

And yet here we are, all these years down the line and still no remainer has ever been able to give voice to why they wanted to remain, to explain what tangible benefit they think they have that they think they're losing and how they think that might impact them. Not one remainer, no one reason, in more than 4 years.

Being able to sign our own trade deal with the rest of the world is a major advantage over the rEU which took 7+ years to do a trade deal with Canada. There's a whole world out there beyond little old Europe.

Being able to control our own laws and interpretation of them rather than having some court in Europe dictate to us what we will and won't do, while the rest of Europe interprets the law as they please and are never sanctioned for it, that will be a major benefit of leaving.

Advantages of staying.... erm..... maybe something about booking a holiday once or twice a year.... but that's about all most people will have, and when they realise how many holidays they have outside of the rEU they'll quickly see that was no benefit at all.

Project fear never had any answers, and unfortunately for them, England is unafraid.

My life as a criminal cookie clearer: Register vulture writes Chrome extension, realizes it probably breaks US law

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Re: Contempt

Why should anyone residing in the civilised world beyond USA borders give a damn about the DMCA?

Well, I've no prior experience with any custodial establishment, however I have seen a few on TV, and without exception the worst seem to be in America as opposed to say Sweden where they seem almost nice.

America regards its judicial law as having global reach, which may or may not amuse you, but its quite difficult to avoid having anything to do with either the USD or an american company - for all I know El Reg is hosted on AWS and so we're interacting within the bounds of American legal oversight.

Idealism is one word and reality is another because it is something else. I'd not fancy a decade or two in Terror Hut or San Quentin because I wanted to watch something for free. Ripping off Sweden and stuffing it through google translate if you don't speak the language is far safer :)

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I don't generally believe in skipping around pay walls but I do understand why some folks do. Many of the major print titles simply took their old print budget as profit rather than sharing the cost reduction of digital with the consumer, leading to some quite large subscription costs.

Much as I might malign the BBC and its telly tax, it is remarkably better value (if you ignore the insufferably left leaning slant) than most of the publications listed on that github page.

Germany bans Tesla from claiming its Autopilot software is potentially autonomous

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Joke

Stop arguing with your Anonymous Coward of a wife.

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Re: "prepared to take over at any momen"

a "driver" using Tesla "autopilot" is never going to be prepared to take over - they're always going to be unprepared.

They're far more likely to be drunk, asleep, on the phone, fiddling with the radio / passenger. Self driving only works if its FSD. Anything less is a dangerous distraction.

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Re: But...

The Fanboi's are gnashing their teeth and ranting at this. How dare some ignorant judge in the home of BMW rule against the lord Elon and his disciples?

ROFL.

I'm a petrolhead, always have been, and I'm a massive "lord Elon fanboi", so I'm not sure how you think I'm supposed to feel about this. I'd quite like a Tesla model 3, or better yet the roadster, however I'm equally happy to tool about in a V6/8 bimmer.

The ruling itself seems perfectly sensible to me - Europe is not America, and has a very different style of road network with very different hazards (many many European cyclists for example). Self driving cars, as in there's no steering wheel because we don't need one, may only come about on sealed roads containing only FSD vehicles. Or Musk and others may crack the problem. Whichever. The thing is, they haven't yet, which is why this ruling makes perfect sense to me.

Let me explain the Musk fanboy thing for a moment, though the chance of anyone reading to the end before the red arrows fly is virtually nil. I don't believe in man made global warming, in my view it is a political outlook and not a scientific one. Now, I know many of you will disagree with that, but just hang fire a second... Lets assume I'm wrong. Very wrong.

All transport needs to decarbonise, which means it'll have to go electric and that electric will have to be some shade of renewable energy (I'm not getting into the nukes are good/bad argument here). Musk has done more than all of the climate committees, all of the pressure groups, and all of the Greta's to make that a reality. Why? How? Well, if he can make an electric car that appeals, and they do, to a petrolhead, then he can make one that appeals to the average Joe too. And he has. He's made the end of the ICE age possible.

Putting aside the stoner culture, the ego cult, and the "Ironman is based on me" stuff, he's moved the world view of what is possible with an electric vehicle and made them not just acceptable, but desireable. Now, how long have Ford, or VAG had to achieve that in, and how much progress had they made? Nobody really wants a Nissan Leaf, right?

If I'm right about MMGW, we get some cool cars out of it. If the environmentalists are right, we get some cool cars that can be carbon neutral. Its a win-win in as much as anything ever is.

IBM profits cratered 46% last quarter. But its share price is up ~5% because Wall Street expected that to be worse

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"We are committed to building, with a growing ecosystem of partners, an enduring hybrid cloud platform that will serve as a powerful catalyst for innovation for our clients and the world."

Who thinks the business bollox, above, is anything but meaningless drivel?

Hybrid cloud isn't quite meaningless drivel, but it is IBMs only hope now. Nobody configuring a startup looks past AWS and Azure. Google cloud barely registers by comparison, and IBM is a rounding error on that.

They need their old legacy businesses, what millennial's of the investment world term "boomer stocks" to want to migrate from their IBM hardware into an IBM cloud as their hardware ages.

The rest of it was indeed meaningless drivel. Though their main issue is how to encourage their "boomer stocks" to use them for their hybrid clouds rather than AWS or Azure. There seems to be nothing in there beyond being a corporate puff piece - a strategy you can't execute may be a good idea, but it isn't a strategy; a middling strategy that you can execute ends up being better. And I'd love to see IBM's actual plan to deliver that of which they speak.

An axe age, a sword age, Privacy Shield is riven, but what might that mean for European businesses?

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Gdpr bark is worse than its bite.

This won't change until people are able to bring claims for breaches to the small claims track for themselves rather than the ICO for the government. You leak my data you get one claim from me for me and by me for my cut of your revenue.

Pretty soon companies will change as coordinating all these small claims would be a nightmare for them as would the revenue implications, but as long as the ICO keeps viewing fines as a last resort rather than the default for a violation then little will change.

UK's Co-operative Group to centralise IT teams across various divisions, warns redundancies 'inevitable'

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Re: And...

Yup - there's only two types of CEO: In-sources and outsources. One follows the other like night follows day.

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Pint

Re: Just wrong

The Co-op could have followed the Amazon example and offered their IT expertise as a service.

I agree with your sentiments but I'm afraid not with your reasoning. The beer over there is for those staff about to lose their roles - something better will come along, even in a pandemic, so keep the faith and keep upskilling yourselves ---->

So, why would this not work:

1) Too few staff - they have hundreds not thousands or hundreds of thousands of people available so their ability to scale is zero.

2) Staff lacking expertise - those working for protracted periods at a non-profit are quite probably not going to have cutting edge skills - Now's their AWS/Azure certs? How many React/Angular devs do they have? etc etc I'm not trying to be unkind, but clients don't know you they need to see certs and track record.

3) Price - The existing staff base isn't set up to be cost effective by design because its designed by a non-profit where efficiency then doesn't matter so much as it might in a commercial enterprise.

Sadly the people making IT outsourcing decisions haven't really understood just how digital their lives are in the digital age. If they realised at any one moment they are a single bug away from a fatal accident (car, smoke alarm, medical device, kitchen appliance etc etc) they'd first be paralysed with fear and second far more respectful to those engineers (software and hardware alike) upon whom their very lives depend at any moment.

Oh deer! Scotland needs some tech smarts to help monitor its rampant herbivore populations

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Re: Import Wolves

Magical animals that can solve most of life's problems if only people were willing to give them a fair chance.

Travelers parking caravans in your field and won't leave? Wolves.

Demonstrators won't disperse? Wolves.

It's 4am on a Friday morning and you neighbours kids party is still pumping out crap music at full blast? Wolves.

You're testing them wrong: Whiteboard coding interviews are 'anti-women psychological stress examinations'

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My (Fortune 500) company now has a policy that states that panel interview is no longer acceptable. It unnerves the Millennials and Snowflakes too much.

In the City stress and your ability to deal with it is a core part of the job in almost any role. Anyone that cannot handle that is best discovered during the interview process rather than when they're in the role because workplace stress is dangerous as well as horrible for those that suffer from it.

When something breaks and there is serious money on the line, the people whose money that is tend to get shouty quickly. Screw up a traders bonus and they will not particularly care how you feel about their choice of language or tone of voice, and that applies to the women traders too. The atmosphere goes from peachy to purgatory in a finger snap.

In return you get to work on projects at a scale few other industries ever manage or need, and you get well paid for your efforts. The downside is that the environment is robust, your performance always has to be good just to make it through next years 20/70/10 [1] review round.

Some industries are higher pressure than others. Medicine must be near the top of the tree - your surgeon has a bad day and you're dead or crippled, same for the anesthetist and a whole raft of other staff. People want a surgeon who gets to success, not a surgeon who did their best and is sorry that you died anyway. ATC must be there somewhere, soldier in a combat zone etc etc.

People react to stress differently, and choosing a role with the correct level for your best most comfortable performance is probably the smart thing to do. That being said, if you are pressure testing candidates and all you're actually building is a few websites, then you're probably doing interviewing all wrong. Breaking people isn't clever.

1 - The top 20% of performers get a good pay rise, the next 70% get a cost of living pay rise, and the bottom 10% get the sack, every year whether we're making reductions in force or not.

€13bn wings its way back to Apple after Euro court rules Irish tax deal wasn't 'state aid'

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Re: Good

Now, this is my friend Bob the Ogre.

Hi Bob the Ogre, have you met my pack of Ogre eating dogs? And did I show you my shotgun which I keep loaded for bear? (No society, no rules, means nobody can stop you having an M-16 if you like so your whole world view falls just about here).

What you perceive as society has never protected me from criminals because most criminals don't care about another conviction and a slap on the wrist from an aged judge. What the law does very well is protect those criminals from my retribution because I do need to keep a clean record until the end of my career. Once I retire however, well, as my ex-finance colleague used to say, there is no justice but that which we take for ourselves. 10 more years and its open season on scrotes.

Society/government enables property rights, but does not create them, but a right you can't keep others from violating isn't much of a right.

Wow, you really think society prevents others from taking your stuff? It doesn't. Society occasionally identifies, catches, and "punishes" someone for taking other peoples stuff, AFTER they have taken it, but that is no kind of deterrent hence the 2+ million reported thefts last year. There's probably at least as many unreported on top of that.

Sorry Jim, but you've got this whole thing arse about face. The state exists because of private wealth - taxes can only come from private wealth to fund public spending, and as such it is logically impossible to have a state without private property rights, while it has historically been the case that private property rights have existed long before the notion of countries, states, or society.

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Re: Corporation Tax should be 0%

It's a cycle. My income is your expense, your income is my expense.

Not really, no.

Y = C + I + G + (X − M)

All you've done here is express a basic expenditure algorithm for GDP, which is not a good way to look at an economy because a lot of what is captured is worthless and a lot of value is not captured, and secondly its irrelevant to the point to which you replied.

You can't take one of those and analyze a tax based on that. A very progressive tax at all transaction points is the only fair way to cover it.

Taking a guess at whatever you may mean by "fair", I'd still say you're wrong. Transactions don't have to occur to diminish value in one place and increase it in another - If company A and company B both own shares of company C (and nobody else does) their value is linked to whatever declarations company C makes about the value of its assets. No transactions required.

"Fair" is a horrendous word to use when trying to objectively define anything, same as ethics, because everyone has different views on what is fair or ethical. Life isn't like the movies - the "bad guy" doesn't know he's "bad", and lots of people who think they're the "good guy", aren't.

You need to study macroeconomics more closely.

And you need to understand the relationship between the dismal science and reality is tenuous at best. Macro economics is to the economy what astrology is to astronomy.

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Re: Two things

How the hell does it cost €3.9m to set up an escrow agreement.

Typical fees incurred in global tax arbitrage range from about 5% of principal to about 10% depending on the complexity of the arrangement. If all taxes were 10% you'd find all money was taxed, because avoiding it would not be worth the effort. Global tax collected would rise and more evenly geographically.

I have a map in my office of nations drawn to the scale of the revenue taxed there divided by its population. It looks nothing like the map on your wall.

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Re: Corporation Tax should be 0%

But if it's 0% they don't pay any, do they?

Yes.

The company will either issue dividends, which are taxed, or increase in value, which is taxed upon death or disposal. Somewhere down the line all companies are owned by people, and it's usually easier just to tax them.

I live in the UK. I have shares in companies in many countries around the world, who if we're being honest, don't give a fig about healthcare/education/transport etc in the UK, but I do because I live here. Taxing the company just means somewhere else gets the revenue that would have accrued to me in my taxable jurisdiction.

Put another way, how many people do you really think live in the Cook Islands, or Delaware, or Lichtenstein? And how many legal entities? See what I mean...

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Re: The Elephant in the Room

The rules on IP creation and so called "royalties" on it need changed on a Global basis.

Still wouldn't achieve your aims - APPL to pay the prevailing tax rate on what you perceive as its profits.

A global flat tax would work, but it would have to be a flat tax - same rate on all income everywhere with no allowances - or it wouldn't work for the same reasons as they don't work now. If you think you can achieve such a thing then have at it, but in the mean time, everyone else will play the game that is being played, not the game that you think should be played.

You need to look into structured finance (equities, loans, bonds etc), transfer pricing, service delivery models etc - It's a massive area of work and the only true way to stop any of it is with a global flat tax. There is no other way - the rest is just window dressing to keep socialists happy.

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Re: Good

Your "private property" only exists because there is a government to insure that I don't take yours and make it mine.

Not so much. Private property predates all forms of government and corporate or income taxes, that's just a fact.

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1. Get huge subsidies from the EU

2. Using this money instead of tax revenue, charge very low corporation tax

3. Use this low tax to attract businesses from other EU countries, by shielding them from paying tax in those countries

#2 isn't quite right. All those companies headquartered in Ireland or using it as a staging post, require expensive lawyers, accountants, IT folk etc etc which creates a significant non-domiciled demand for those services, which means many more high income tax payers, which provide the revenue for everyone.

Its been going on for decades and nobody else has had the political balls to copy the play, so Ireland just laps it all up while everyone else sends their granny to jail for avoiding the telly tax instead.

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Having made the tax rules it must be annoying when you find somebody obeys them and the outcome isn't what you want. It's almost like you got them wrong.

Indeed. It won't be popular in these shires, but the EU makes tax arbitrage oh so very easy. It's literally like the "internal market" was designed to facilitate it above all other concerns.

Ireland may be playing the game better than most other states, but it isn't the only one - each of the countries has their own specialism for tax avoidance - the easiest one for people to understand is Holland - why do people think a certain band with a name similar to T1 hold their IP in a hedge fund there?

The only way the EU can stop this is to harmonise taxes across the board and force states to live within their means by revoking their ability to issue debt. Otherwise there will always be an arbitrage play for those willing to read a few books and fill in a few forms.

Motorbike ride-share app CEO taken to pieces in grisly New York dismemberment

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RIP

Rest in peace kid - horrible way to go.

Twitter says hack of key staff led to celebrity, politician, biz account hijack mega-spree

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Re: Celebs and Politicians Silenced

... and nothing of any value was lost.

Unless you were one of the simps transferring your $1000 BTC hoping a Billionaire will double it for you for shits n giggles.

I suppose in theory the BTC isn't actually lost, to quote Gekko "Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply transferred from one perception to another". That's $100,000 in BTC definitely transferred in someones perception.

Top Ubisoft execs eject after staff complain of 'toxic' workplace environment for women at Canadian studios

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How are we supposed to know what's Ok and what's not..

I'm pretty relaxed about how my team behave within reason, however, none of them would be in any doubt that to display adult images at work would not be ok. It would, in fact, be straight to HR for a disciplinary.

The idea is that everyone should feel comfortable at work and feel able to offer their best without being criticised for who they are. Some women get uncomfortable seeing naked images just as some straight guys get uncomfortable seeing gay versions of same.

Even in finance, its not the 80s anymore, and this sort of behaviour is frankly unacceptable. I don't understand why some people still feel it might be.

It's handbags at dawn: America to hit France with 25% tariffs on luxuries over digital tax on US tech titans

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Re: Rates don't matter

As if it is any more difficult in the USA, check Delaware for an example.

Delaware is a very very special place for tax arbitrage but its real secret is not the one you describe. Its a magical place that underpins a great amount of fiscal gymnastics all around the world.

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Re: Pay tax where users reside

You can fix that in one of three ways:

1. Make the tax bill hard to circumvent by simplifying it, meaning your accountants can't help you find sneaky ways out.

2. Make a law like France's which simply targets those viewed as most problematic, which lands you in this situation.

3. Try other solutions that might work, but history is not on your side.

1 - doesn't work because going offshore with your assets always works.

2 - see above or incorporate.

3 - there's lots of solutions that do work, such as places where the percentage of tax claimed reduces the more tax you pay, which incentivises wealthy people with high incomes to pay there taxes in such jurisdictions. The same trick can be pulled with corporation taxes too, see Ireland for evidence.

Taxing peoples assets and incomes is drawing to a close as an effective way to finance public spending because as the pandemic closes the way of working is going to change. As home based working takes flight, the idea of working for a company near where you live will fade, and with that, the idea of working for a company in your legal jurisdiction. Once that happens, you may as well incorporate to simplify your taxes and have whoever you work for pay your ltd co - which may be based somewhere other than where you reside. You'll then only be taxed on what you remit for spending rather than what you actually earned. We'll all become contractors in a sense.

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Re: Pay tax where users reside

Corporation tax has come down from about 28% to 20% over the past 10 years or so. The theory behind the reduction is that companies will be left more of their profit for investment in people, training, automation, growth, etc. In practice what's happened is that many companies have used the money to buy back their own shares which ramps the price and triggers director bonuses and/or they've distributed it to shareholders.

You do understand that in paying the money to shareholders the tax raised is higher than the CGT rate right? Taking capital gains is in almost all cases more tax efficient than taking income.

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