* Posts by onemark03

124 posts • joined 9 Aug 2018


National Crime Agency says Brit teen accused of Twitter hack has not been arrested


Re: Nice to see the American Justice system has its priorities straight

Typical America.

People (including a foreign national) break a few reasonably minor laws and catch a few people with their pants down, and Uncle Sam is out for blood instead of just kicking a little arse and moving on.

Struggling company pleads with landlords to slash rents as COVID-19 batters UK high street. The firm's name? Apple


Mega corps such as Apple ...

... didn't get rich by being socially responsible.

Disgusting but true.

AI assistants work perfectly in the UK – unless you're from Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Belfast...


Re: And how did the Apple or Samsung solutions perform?

And I believe "Menzies" is pronounced "Mengiss" in Scotland.


Southern (US) Accents

Yup - like deepest Mississippi.

With the US election coming up, when better to petition regulators for a controversial way to chill online speech?


Trump'S Getting Worse

Due to the pressure, he will continue to get worse in the period up to the election. After that, God knows.

What the duck? Bloke keeps getting sent bathtime toys in the post – and Amazon won't say who's responsible


I don't even have a bath

I'm sure he means "bathtub".

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory


Bill Gates ... saving millions of lives across the globe

I don't mind Bill Gates saving all these millions of lives across the globe. However, I'd be interested to know how well or badly he pays his employees.

Something about charity beginning at home.

Brit telcos deliberately killed Phones 4u, claim admins in £1bn UK High Court sueball


Inadmissable Evidence

Not in Germany.

You cannot make a sound or photographic recording of an illegal act unless you have police permission or other official permission to do it. Any recordings of such acts made without such permission are not admissible in court as evidence.

This is why many neighbourhood feuds literally fester on for years. It is also why it is illegal to record telephone conversations in Germany subject to the above conditions.

Officially it has something about breaching the perpetrator's right of informational self-determination or some shit. Personally, I suspect it has more to do with the constitutional right not to incriminate oneself. But that's just my personal opinion.

No ghosts but the Holy one as vicar exorcises spooky tour from UK's most haunted village


Church Tax in Germany

In fact a religious tax is collected from all church members (RC's, Lutherans and a few other "official" religions, including some Jewish and Moslem religions). It is collected by the German inland revenue authorities on behalf of these "official" religions.

The tax is 9% of what you pay in income tax (8% in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg) and is mostly used by the religions to fund social welfare and educational activities. There are a few other uses that I can't recall at the moment. NB: It is not a tithe in the strict sense of the word.

You can get out of the religious tax by filling in a form at your local town hall but that also means that you're leaving the religion, which means you're not eligible for a religious funeral, for example. (Some clergy are flexible on this, however.)



and scroll down to "Germany".

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


Re: Pour encourager les autres?

Yup: a deliberate murder, not a spontaneous tiff.

Detroit Police make second wrongful facial-recog arrest when another man is misidentified by software


Ssecond wrongful facial-recog arrest

Americans have an implicit faith in technology - apparently whether it works or not.

Look at the intelligences failures of the CIA due a failure of technology and their failure to rely on "humint".

Detroit cops employed facial recognition algos that only misidentifies suspects 96 per cent of the time


Re: What's the false negative rate?

As far as I'm concerned, the question is still why the police deployed software with a 96% failure rate.

Details of Beijing's new Hong Kong security law signal end to more than two decades of autonomy


government (...) doesn't have enough faith in their own policies to hear criticism.

Hardly surprising.

Authoritarian governments of all stripes typically don't tolerate criticism.


... Hong Kong people who want to leave.

Assuming the authorities let them leave.

But I stand to be corrected.

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer


Re: Protecting culture...

Yeah, like we're supposed to accept FGM, forced marriages and honour killings.


Some men won't work for women.

Some white people won't work for non-whites.

Some older people won't work for younger bosses.

We're not much better.

Detroit cops cuffed, threw a dad misidentified by facial recognition in jail. Now the ACLU's demanding action


What the eff did those cops think that they were playing at?

Not difficult, really: your basic American police racial prejudice coupled with pressure to achieve an arrest target.

The incumbent President of the United States of America ran now-banned Facebook ads loaded with Nazi references


"Some Mothers Should Have Had Their Tubes Tied"

The trouble is that some mothers should have their tubes tied before they become mothers.

After is too late.

Bring on the downvotes.

Singapore already planning version 2.0 contact-tracing wearable


Re: Workarounds if device made compulsory?

Then they'll have your arse for being untraceable and for destroying the tracing function.

Sorry mate, they've probably got that one taped already.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram


British football pitches

If we're talking football pitches, are we talking about soccer or rugby? (I am excluding American football and Aussie Rules football for the purposes of this argument).

And if we're talking rugby, are we talking union (94 - 100 m long & 68-78 m wide: https://www.harrodsport.com/advice-and-guides/rugby-pitch-dimensions-markings) or league (112-122 m long & 68 m wide: https://www.harrodsport.com/advice-and-guides/rugby-league-pitch-dimensions-markings)?

Just asking.

Travel-sick Windows needing a Systemwiederherstellung would be in Germany, right? Austria? Not necessarily


Re: You ain't seen nothing yet...

Not quite:

Beef Labelling regulation & Delegation of Supervision Act

Tech set responds in wake of American protests, police violence and civil unrest


... birth rates in caucasian America are falling ...

Caucasian birth rates in America are indeed falling - and white America knows it. This is what has spawned the rise of various white supremacy groups over the last ten or so years.

White America is scared.

As Twitter blocks white supremacists posing as anti-fascists, FBI appeal is flooded with images of cop violence


... First Amendment protected peaceful demonstrations ...

In a country whose origins are based on a revolution, I find it gigantically ironic that peaceful protesters (I exclude all the bad actors) risk possible investigation by various law enforcement authorities for peacefully exercising their democratic right to protest and dissent. It is heartening that some police are joining their protests but will this be enough?

Just a thought.

Oh, right, it's (presidential) election year in the US. How could I have forgotten?

Staff in a huff, personal call with Trump, picking fights with Twitter, upsetting civil-rights groups – a week in the life of Facebook's Zuckerberg


Upsetting Civil Rights Groups

Y'know, in a country whose origins are based on a revolution, I find it gigantically ironic that peaceful protesters (I exclude all the bad actors) risk possible investigation by various law enforcement authorities for peacefully exercising their democratic right to protest and dissent. It is heartening that some police are joining their protests but will this be enough?

Just a thought.

Oh, right, it's (presidential) election year in the US. How could I have forgotten?

You're not getting Huawei that easily: Canadian judge rules CFO's extradition proceedings to US can continue


"We expect that Canada's judicial system will ultimately prove Ms Meng's innocence."

The Chinese said that because it knows that Canada is anxious to get its two prisoners back from Chinese jails and in an effort to prevent Canada from sending Ms Meng to the US. The two Canadian prisoners are nothing more than hostages.

IBM cuts deep into workforce – even its Watson and AI teams – as it 'pivots' to cloud


Everything better with beer? Except driving.

And bonking.

Far-right leader walks free from court after conviction for refusing to hand his phone passcode over to police


The Police

On the one hand, the police often have to do a dirty job and deal with many nasty "clients" at the more unpleasant underbelly of society. In short, they do a job which not many of us would like to do. ("Where are the police when you need them?" Well, as we all know, the police cannot be everywhere.) Not surprisingly, doing a job like this requires a certain pyschological toughness that not many of us possess.

On the other hand, this pyschological toughness usually turns into into a mentality which might not inaccurately summed up with the idea that "To maintain the law, you sometimes have to break it." I will not debate the validity or otherwise of that idea here.

In other words, many such police officers the world over believe (a) they are the goodies, (b) that justice is (or should be) what they personally believe it ought to be (a bit like many of us, if truth be told) and (c) that for that reason they themselves are or should be above the law. This is what gives rise to the contempt towards and the feeling of betrayal towards "whistle-blowers" who report breaches of the law by colleagues - usually at the price of their own careers.

In a country with a legal system based on the rule of law, this violates the principles of observance of the law by all (including the police), neutrality of the law and equality before the law. Such violation is a massive, massive mistake and arguably represents a threat to both the legal system and (indirectly) to democracy.

Bring on the downvotes.

New Zealand releases Bluetooth-free COVID-19 tracing app


Re: Trust?

The NZ (govt) authorities and private sector have a shocking attitude to data confidentiality.


Police don't get it

The NZ Police won't get those data? Yeah, right!

And if Amazon really wants that data, it will find a way: like a backdoor or it will pay someone enough.

Beer rating app reveals homes and identities of spies and military bods, warns Bellingcat


Sensitive Jobs

Frankly I'm surprised that the entire armed forces simply don't make it a disciplinary offence for serving members in sensitive positions to use social media - or at the very least somehow censor contributions before publication.

Such an offence should also apply to relevant civilian employees.

Failure to comply would be subject to severe penalties.

Disclaimer: I have never served, so happily stand to be corrected.

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?


Re: Only way

I far prefer a trackball.

I find a mouse too clumsy and I don't have enough space on my desk anyway.

If American tech is used to design or make that chip, you better not ship it to Huawei, warns Uncle Sam


Re: Globalization: Who's fault is that?

@ sanmiguelbeer

1. America's (school) education system is not going to improve any time soon. It is controlled at local level (big mistake) which sees no point in teaching of "overly academic" subjects – after the motto "You don't need to know about Shakespeare or history or geography to be able to work in a warehouse, flip hamburgers or even write software". Or something like that.

2. As someone else said in these comments, manufacturing is going to become increasingly automated in the future, which means that the workforce will not require many well-educated people anyway.


Re: Globalization: Time to rethink education?

@ chivo243

Yes, but did anybody force you to take these subjects? No, thought not.

Whatever you're doing now, I venture to suggest that you are a far more rounded person for this knowledge than someone without it.

Beer necessities: US chap registers bevvy as emotional support animal so he can booze on public transport



@ spamfast:

If you book early enough* on the ICE (not everyone can, admittedly), you can get really dirt-cheap fares.

Just saying.

*Three months out max.



Nah, Heineken's dog's piss.

I far prefer Becks or Holsten - both beers with balls.

Uncle Sam courting Intel, TSMC to build advanced chip fabs on home soil – report


Re: Missed Opportunity

@ John Savard:

Come on, mate, you don't really believe Russia would have voluntarily given up its nuclear weapons, do you?

Total Eclipse to depart: Open-source software foundation is hopping the pond to Europe


Re: A long time coming

@ Len:

Couldn't agree with you more.

However, what puzzles me is that many newspapers that normally use British English also use the "month-day-year" date format.

Anyone know why? Is it for historical reasons? It's a mystery to me.

In this connection I'd also be interested in your views on the not-too-common "year-month-day" format.

And I couldn't agree with you more on use of the 24-hour clock. It's a hell of a lot more sensible, especially where people forget to use "a.m." or "p.m.".

Oracle faces claims of unequal pay from 4,000+ women after judge upgrades gender gap lawsuit to class action


Oracle's Gender-Gap Lawsuit

Nah, just personal financial liability (not covered by D&O insurance) and some serious jail time.

Come to think of it, that would cut out a shit-load of managerial greed generally.

Assange should be furloughed from Belmarsh prison, says human rights org. Here's a thought: He could stay with friends!


Re: time marches on

Julian Assange just pissed Uncle Sam off and Uncle Sam is reacting vindictively.

Then again, Uncle Sam always was vindictive.

Zuck loves free speech so much Facebook will censor 'anti-state' content in Vietnam after telcos 'crippled' access


Shakes Head

@ Will Godfrey:

It's not that difficult.

Zuck only believes in freedom of speech/expression to the extent that it doesn't interfere with his revenue stream, i.e. his compliance with Vietnamese law is purely conditional.

If he considers his revenue is in danger, he's more than ready to compromise on his principles.


However, whether his compliance with Vietnamese law in this case is some kind of tactical withdrawal until such time as he can organise other means of transmission to/from Vietnam that renders such compliance superfluous/unnecessary (such as the abovementioned satellite internet) remains to be seen. We'll see.


I'm another one who generally believes that we should shut him down until he toes the line.

Former UK PM Tony Blair urges governments to sort out online ID


Same numbers for NI, Passport, Hospital, Tax etc.


This makes the card more attractive to thieves and forgers.

Bad idea.

What's required is compartmentalisation, i.e. separate numbers for each service, so that if you lose one card, you still have others, can still officially exist and it's a hell of a lot easier to replace the lost card.


@ Aladdin Sane: "Papers please!"

Oh, for fuck's sake!

Iran military manages to keep a straight face while waggling miracle widget that 'can detect coronavirus from 100m away'


Re: you may laugh

@ Chairman of the Bored:

I take it you mean Fort Detrick.

India allows half of IT services workers back to the office next week


Re: Good grief.

@ anonymous coward:

No, this is not illogical.

"Count" used in this context is simply an old-fashioned word for "consider" or similar.

Nothing more.

In this context, the use of either word is correct.

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much


people who sow grass seed with a tape measure.

Over here in Germany there are people who literally trim their hedges using a tape measure (in addition to manual hedge-clippers or an electric hedge-cutter) to ensure that the final result is absolutely and mathematically even.

I am not making this up.


Re: Lord Sumption: ... police are citizens in uniform. ...

Not any more, mate.


When I go out cycling into the (much quieter now) country,

Just make sure you go cycling in the general proximity of shops, not too far away into the boonies.

If you're stopped, your claim to be going shopping is then a lot more credible.

(Not at all. You're entirely welcome.)

Who's going to pay for Britain's Aunty Beeb to carry on? Broadband users, broadcaster suggests to government


Re: April Fool

Here in Germany, your car radio and your PC/laptop are also subject to the broadcasting licence as these are considered capable of receiving German (state) TV programmes, regardless of whether you have a radio, TV set or (internet-capable) computer or not.

What's worse, every household is subject to the broadcasting fee regardless of whether it has a radio/TVset/internet-capable computer ("media-receiver", if you like) of any kind or not. So you end up paying for a service whether you use it or not. It's never been stated publicly but I suspect this scheme (charging all households) was introduced (only a few years ago) to simplify collection. Previously they used to have inspectors and detector vans.

I'd be interested to know whether this (or something similar) applies in the UK as well.

FTR, I don't have a car but I do have a TV set and a PC, so I pay €17.52 a quarter. Fortunately I can deduct this expense from my taxes.



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