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Comment: Working from home is irrestible (Score 1) 117

People want to work from home and companies recognise that this is desirable, so I think you're hoping for too much in trying to ban it. However making it safer - and getting insurance companies to impose the right constraints - may be the best way forward. 'If your system is hacked because an unauthorised laptop was attached to it, we don't pay out' should be a standard insurance clause. Similarly trying to separate the email system from the rest of system to sandbox spear fishing attacks should be required.

The point of course is that risks always exist; the challenge is to identify them and manage them. At the moment those risks are not being recognised, and the insurance companies are beginning to take exception to taking the fall for things going wrong.

Comment: Frighten them with this story (Score 1) 117

by Bruce66423 (#49780881) Attached to: Insurer Won't Pay Out For Security Breach Because of Lax Security
This may offer a useful weapon in such debates; doctors - having been sued for everything - have developed a respect for the impact of law suits. Beyond that: making sure that your concerns are logged in an email to your supervisor gives you significant protection - and looking for another job may be the only answer after that...

Comment: Seems reasonable (Score 5, Insightful) 117

by Bruce66423 (#49780709) Attached to: Insurer Won't Pay Out For Security Breach Because of Lax Security
If a company cuts corners on security, then in the same way that if I leave my door unlocked and get burgled, I can't make a claim. There's going to be a good living for lawyers establishing what is the required level of security. But if this incentivises senior managers to ask the right questions, then it's probably a good development.

Comment: Tighten up peer review especially STATISTICS (Score 5, Informative) 395

by Bruce66423 (#49774087) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?
Much of the problem comes from studies being published whose data is not robust because the sample size is too small to be meaningfully significant. This needs to be headlined in the abstract if it is published at all; the best magazines should refuse anything without a decent sample size, whilst the ones further down the food chain should have statisticans on hand to ask hard questions.

Discovering an apparent effect should result in more research - not a rush to believe...

Comment: Give the anti-EU brigade a nice shiny new argument (Score 0) 253

There seems to be absolutely no need for Europe to get involved in this issue, and the fact that there are some wanting it to do so is a sign that there's no real commitment to subsidiarity (why does the decision need to be taken an EU level given that ISP are inevitably local?). It also suggests there are Eurocrats with too little to do with their time...

Of course the whole area is product of the ignorance of our lords and masters at how easy it is to get past such barriers...

Comment: What 'secret' agreement? (Score 1) 98

There isn't an agreement yet - there couldn't be because Congress hadn't agreed the fast track power. WHEN the agreement exists, it will be presented to congress as a treaty and will then be public. It's unfortunate when people misunderstand what is going on, because it increases the mistrust of congress, but wrongly. When they are criticised wrongly, it merely bounces off and makes them less willing to hear right criticism.

Comment: No - this just lets the opponents kill their issue (Score 1) 98

If the lobbyists KNOW that the area where their employers are concerned with is currently under discussion, then they will harass the negotiations while this is the case. If it's all hidden, then they will be spraying their efforts less effectively, with the result that the general interest - which is what the lobbyists are campaigning against - is slightly more likely to be heard.

This is merely a particular example of the wider problem of such lobbying. If the general interest of the buying public is being set against the interests of the car manufacturers, the tendency is for the manufacturers to win. This is because they can easily corral the money required to present their case noisily, whilst the consumer has no such well financed lobbyists to present their perspective. Occasionally a Ralph Nader will come along and use the mass media in such a way that even the congress rats notice, but that's only possible on a small range of issues. Most of the time there's noone with the public interest at the table that really decides.

Comment: How can you say that? (Score 1) 98

Given that we haven't actually got to see the text yet, that is speculation combined with gross pessimism about the state of most parts of the US government - the executive doing the negotiating and the legislature that will actually agree to it. Let's wait and see, shall we?

Comment: Trust them at the vote in the end (Score 1) 98

"Unfortunately it also requires trust in government to be working in the best interest of the country and that trust simply is not present today and hasn't been for a while."

You're missing the point. The trust is demonstrated when the proposed treaty is offered and passed or rejected. There's no need for negotiations to occur in public, but they don't actually commit anyone to anything. The belief that it is possible to negotiate anything in a blaze of publicity is one of the strangest pieces of fundamentalism on the planet today; in practice it's inevitable that compromises and trade offs have to be approached cautiously, without those being disadvantaged being able to torpedo them. Otherwise nothing will happen, because both sides will resist being the one to make the first compromise proposal. If you put microphones in the negotiating room, the real negotiation will occur in the rest room etc etc.

Comment: Back in the real world... (Score 1, Troll) 98

Yes - everyone who has done Economics 101 understands why free trade is a good thing. But given that the people who lose out shout far more loudly than the vast numbers who gain - which is inevitable - it is necessary to present the entire package with some way to ease the pain for the losers and restrain the abuses that can occur. Given this, the most likely way to get a package agreed and enacted is to do the negotiations in secret until a complete package that can be sold to the people emerges. The alternative is to leave the present mess in place, and lots of people a lot poorer than they need to be.

Of course all this assumes that free trade DOES advantage the whole population. Unfortunately telling rust belt union members that the rest of the country has benefited from it is hard work. It's easier to play to their suffering.

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!