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Comment: Re:Doubleplusgood! (Score 1) 257

by Xest (#48030593) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

I suspect even that would be better served by simply factoring in locale/language settings though rather than say something that can be used a bit more nefariously though like IP and/or some IP geolocation result, as you get different cultures within individual geolocation areas quite frequently.

Again, this isn't to say I necessarily trust Microsoft in this respect of course regardless, I'm just saying it's possible to gather this data in a fairly mundane manner with no ill effects if your intentions are genuinely innocent. The problem is that Microsoft's rarely are, so I'd still personally avoid this service by not installing the OS or turning it off if that was an option. It's not something I'd trust to have running on my system from Microsoft, or even any of the large tech vendors in all honesty.

Comment: Re:Doubleplusgood! (Score 1) 257

by Xest (#48030533) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

I'm not naive, I thought I was pretty blunt in stating that I'm not convinced that Microsoft can stick to simply collecting only purely anonymous data, my post was made merely to point out that it's most definitely not impossible to collect anonymous usage data that is useful which is what you originally implied (but now seem to agree is incorrect).

Comment: Re:Doubleplusgood! (Score 2, Informative) 257

by Xest (#48027163) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

"How does one obscure data to the point where you can't identify the user, but still have meaningful data? Haven't we heard this all before?"

Easily, if all you want is to figure out things like "How long does it take a user to find the application they want in the Start Menu" then all you're doing is timing from the moment they click start, to the time they click a start menu option. You don't need to know who the user is, or even what IP the data was submitted from and when you have a lot of this data it's trivial to tell if the mean time users take to find an application has increased or decreased after you made a change in an update, or after they changed a configuration setting.

If all you're doing is getting metrics on millions of users as to how they use things like this then it's trivial to keep it anonymised and non-identifying. I don't care how long it takes John Smith from Outer Mongolia specifically to find Microsoft Word in his Start Menu - I don't need to take information about who he is, where he lives or any such thing, I just want to know how long on average it takes a sample of users to do so for example.

Though of course, this isn't to say that I trust Microsoft to do just this, I don't for one moment imagine they'll be able to resist the urge to keep the data anonymous and/or only collect data that is non-identifying, but that doesn't change the fact that it's trivial to come up with useful metrics they may choose to gather without it being identifiable - what they're claiming is certainly possible, realistic, and even helpful to them (and arguably users too if they get a better product out of it) but whether they'll stick to what they're claiming or not? that's what's troubling here.

Comment: Re:I would like to see a return... (Score 4, Insightful) 120

by Xest (#48019269) Attached to: Apple Faces Large Penalties In EU Tax Probe

Yep, they'd never follow through with the bluff anyway. If the UK government called say, Amazon's bluff, and said we're forcing you to pay this tax so go ahead, leave the country if you want and Amazon left then that'd create a massive void in which a competitor for Amazon could start up in the UK and use it as a launchpad to challenge Amazon elsewhere in the world.

It is genuinely a ridiculous argument that they'd leave if they had to pay intended corporation tax, especially in a country like the UK - no major company is going to forfeit a market like that over a 21% corporation tax rate, it's just still way too profitable to ignore and way too risky to leave open to a competitor that would gladly fill the void and gain a foothold.

It's even more ridiculous in the context of companies like Starbucks who face heavy competition in the UK from companies like Costa and Cafe Nero - these guys could take over Starbucks' premises and hire all their staff within no time so you wouldn't even really see anything more than a very very short term hit in terms of job losses in many cases. As we've seen during the recession as a result of bankruptcies, you can take over another companies stores post-Administration and rebrand them and get their staff working for you in their old premises within a matter of only as little as a week or two in many cases.

Companies aren't simply going to turn away and say "We can only make £100 million in profit if we pay corporation tax, instead of £120 million, it's just not worth it" if they were given an ultimatum between paying corporation tax and leaving the UK market altogether. They might well sulk, but millions in profit is millions in profit and you don't say no to that- especially when all your competitors are at the exact same disadvantage.

Comment: Re:Police?? (Score 1) 296

by Xest (#48018533) Attached to: Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

They're funded by the tax payer, corporate lobbying is not part of their mandate. Thus, the only capacity in which they should be doing this is a personal capacity, and not whilst making any use of the City of London Police name, facilities, or anything else.

But what's particularly offensive about the City of London police's anti-piracy efforts is that they spend a disproportionate amount of time and resources outside their square mile chasing it in other parts of the UK which are not their jurisdiction. This is even more concerning when you recognise that there are countless criminals undealt with in their square mile who have had far more damaging impacts on the global economy from libor riggers, to illegal use of investment funds, through to high class pickpockets raiding the bags of the rich in the area's restaurants and bars.

None of which would be a problem, if it weren't for the fact that when I asked if my local police force could priorities these City of London criminals who have done far more economic damage and send some of their officers to the City of London to deal with it just as the City of London sends their officers up here for economic crimes, I was eventually, after 3 months, told that the City of London police would prioritise these issues themselves and would not support our officers in doing so in their jurisdiction.

The real question should be why is anyone letting the City of London police operate outside their area of jurisdiction when they wont let anyone deal with the far bigger, far more damaging criminals in theirs.

Comment: Re:think globally (Score 1) 203

by Xest (#48001341) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

You're blaming everyone else for your country's woes, but it ignores the fact there are other countries, including some of your neighbours that have turned things around. You seem set on the idea that everything that's been told to you by your media/government is correct and that everyone else is at fault and Argentina is just one of the world's victims- why is Argentina one of the world's victims? Chile turned itself around after Pinochet incredibly well, Brazil is now one of the top 10 global economies. You have success on both sides of you, and yes you have nations less successful next to you too, but you and they might want to consider how others have succeeded whilst your countries have failed.

Worse, Argentina was actually on the up until Kirchner decided to resort to the most vile form of politics there is - nationalism. She started roaring off about the Malvinas again, started nationalising foreign firms, and started refusing to service debts and you tell yourself this is okay because the other guys were just as corrupt, but it's not - it's the sign of a politician who is out of ideas, out of her depth, and desperate.

Your country can and will change, just like your successful neighbours have, the question of when is entirely down to when you decide to start finding decent political leadership.

As an aside you asked the question, what is the point in higher bonds if you can be ordered to pay them anyway? - I can answer this, you're being ordered to pay them by a judge, but you don't have to, the alternative is default, and if there's a chance you'll default then the bonds have to be higher to cover that risk. If Argentina declares itself default and bankrupt then it can opt not to pay, but then the price of bonds will increase even more - it's the choice your country has to make, either give up borrowing from elsewhere and default, or continue to want to participate in the world bond market and pay what you legally owe no matter how high and unfair that might be. Risk comes with a cost, and if you're a risk you must accept that cost or patiently work hard to stop being a risk.

Comment: Re:think globally (Score 1) 203

by Xest (#47981363) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

I'm not mixing anything up, on one hand your saying you don't have control over your government including currency controls and on the other you're asking people to send money in. You don't seem to realise that the former creates much greater risk for those doing the latter.

I'm not blaming you for the actions of your government and I do sympathize with how it effects people like you but my point stands that it's not the fault of others that they won't take the risk your asking them too either - it's wholly on your government.

You say they only borrowed 80 million, but here's the thing, why did they borrow it in the first place with such ludicrous terms? However your government may wish to spin it you simply cannot take money under some terms and then suggest you should have the right to renege later on without there being consequences.

As for stealing foreign assets in taking about things like nationalisation of Spanish oil forms without proper compensation - if you do this stealing billions of assets off people then why are you surprised that a judge wold take a hard line in holding you to your agreements elsewhere? You can't run a country by taking money and assets and not living up to your on obligations. If you do then you'll be seen as a risk and people like you won't be able to get startup funding from investors that they're asking for.

Comment: Re:think globally (Score 1) 203

by Xest (#47971521) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

No unlike you I understand economics. It doesn't matter who is or isn't responsible for your country's situation, the fact remains that you have no control over it and your government is not improving the situation. Whether you like it or not that makes lending to your country an extremely risky proposition and if professional investors with the wealth of information they have available feel that your nations credit worthiness is junk then individuals with less knowledge of the risk should be protected from that too. If you want start up funding then move to a country with financial stability where it's safe for investors to invest, don't bitch at others for not setting up in a place where it's far too risky to do so.

This is a fact of living somewhere with poor financial management, that's defaulting on debt repeatedly, and has been stealing foreign assets. I know it's not your fault, but it's not Kikckstarters either so you can't blame them for not being willing to face the risks your country has created for itself. You may have a good idea, you may have good financial management, but whilst your government could tank your investors money over night it's not fair to ask them to take such a massive risk.

Comment: Re:What a Waste of Fossil Fuels (Score 2) 200

by Xest (#47967773) Attached to: Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

I guess it depends whose doing the calling. Sure a child minded simpleton who believes the whole world is black and white might call it hypocrisy, but most intelligent minded people with an understanding of how the world actually works call it what it is more reasonably defined as- pragmatism.

Again, you're free to try and offer counterexamples, but you won't find any because whether it's Stallman having to use a computer with a proprietary BIOS to push his FOSS philosophy because he's sometimes had little other choice or Ayn Rand accepting social security when it was her only option to survive. Sometimes reality leaves you a choice - compromise, or give up. Anyone who gets anywhere in life with their goals selects for compromise, no one has achieved anything by giving up.

Even Ghandi's principle of non violent opposition had to take a back seat once Hitler's tanks started rolling and the Japanese got ever closer.

Comment: Re:think globally (Score 0) 203

by Xest (#47963999) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

I had some sympathy for your point until I saw your homepage is an Argentinian domain name.

Do you really think it's smart for Kickstarter to setup in a country that's defaulting on a national level and whose currency is so volatile as a result?

This story is about Kickstarter trying to reduce the chance of financial loss to backers, if ever there was a way to do the opposite and instead further increase the chance of loss then setting up in a country with the financial instability of Argentina would be it.

Comment: Re:What a Waste of Fossil Fuels (Score 2, Insightful) 200

by Xest (#47963909) Attached to: Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

Sometimes to get your point across you have to temporarily sacrifice your principles short term for a massive improvement in gain long term.

An environmentalist burning 1 barrel of oil in fuel to do the necessary travelling to raise awareness of and put a stop to thousands of barrels of oil in spillage in a part of the Niger Delta isn't ironic, it's a net gain in their cause to the tune of thousands of barrels of oil no longer being spilt and the rational thing to do.

I'd like to think it's just that you're not grown up enough to understand that sometimes short term pain is worth the long term gain or something, but let's be honest, when people like you make such facetious arguments what you're really saying is "I disagree with the point these people are making so I'm going to suggest they should be silenced by insisting that they do something that wouldn't advance their cause in the slightest".

These points of determining merit and relative gain of an action are a necessary evil of furthering any cause, whether you're a staunchly right wing NRA member that accepts that the worst criminals should be banned from having guns to protect the principle of well meaning people to continue to be able to have them to defend themselves, or whether you're a left leaning flower loving hippy that blows a barrel of oil to go and buy an electric car and some solar panels or a wind turbine that means you'll never have to use any more oil in your vehicle ever again - whatever portion of the spectrum you sit on, compromising your underlying morals for a greater long term gain is a fact of life and there's nothing ironic about it.

I doubt there's a person on this earth that's ever achieved their political goals without at some point having to sacrifice their principles to at least some degree.

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 1) 325

by Xest (#47963775) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Thousands of people isn't exactly a worthwhile population though is it? We're not talking about a few thousand people, we're talking about finding room for another 4 or 5 billion.

"That still makes it a dumb comment since your example was of colony-based insects who are notoriously colony-focused. They are far more racist than humans, viciously competing with even with their close kin in other colonies."

Oh dear, you realised you made a stupid comment and are one of those folks that would rather talk nonsense than back down? starting to declare species with colonies as racist? what kind of crack are you smoking? it must royally mess you up as it's apparently obliterated your ability to partake in a sensible adult conversation.

The fact that you've extended to such absurdities tells me one thing - you realise you had no idea what you were on about, felt the need to vomit out your opinion anyway, and have now resorted not only to reframing the discussion but to also talking complete and utter nonsense. The only sane conclusion therefore is that you know full well my points were valid, and that you were stupid to try and argue against them with arguments that are completely and utterly stupid and nonsensical.

So I shall walk away knowing that you had nothing worthwhile to challenge my points with, the absurdity you've descended to is perfectly ample evidence of that.

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