Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Just wow. (Score 4, Insightful) 109

by cardpuncher (#47522737) Attached to: Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

In 2004, the Court of Appeal in England ruled that it was OK to admit evidence obtained under torture into English trials, provided that the torture had been carried out elsewhere. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary at the time said:

"We unreservedly condemn the use of torture and have worked hard with our international partners to eradicate this practice. However, it would be irresponsible not to take appropriate account of any information which could help protect national security and public safety"

The Appeal Court ruling was finally overturned by the House of Lords the following year.

However, given the enthusiasm of the original judges and the Home Secretary of the time and the ever increasing use of the "because terrorism" excuse, I'm not sure that there would be similar hope of justice prevailing in the future. It's not just privacy on the line.

Comment: Re:So, why pay UK taxes? (Score 1) 104

by cardpuncher (#47261307) Attached to: Google and Facebook Can Be Legally Intercepted, Says UK Spy Boss

>You should not be allowed to just arbitrarily decide which countries laws apply

It's a long-established principle that you should be able to decide, as part of a contract, how disputes relating to the contract should be resolved. That includes things like alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, clerical courts, spinning a bottle...) as well as a national jurisdiction.

However, this only applies to the two parties.

You can't arbitrarily decide how a third party (such as the government of the country in which the contract is effectively executed) should treat you. Google, Apple, et al, can shift their earnings around the globe because of international accounting regulations to which governments, including that of the UK, have subscribed. Partly, they did that because they hoped that by competing with each other to offer favourable tax treatment, they could get international companies to relocate and make up in volume what they were losing in margin by dropping rates.

Surprise, surprise, small countries which get the greatest proportional benefit from headquartering multinationals are able to offer the lowest rates.

Blame your politicians, not the companies they are actually encouraging to behave in this way.

+ - UK Plans Secret Trials->

Submitted by cardpuncher
cardpuncher (713057) writes "According to the BBC , the UK is planning its first entirely secret trial in which the defendants are unnamed, all "evidence" will be heard behind closed doors and reporting will banned. Media organisations, who were not originally permitted even to report the existence of an order barring them from reporting the trial, are appealing against the banning order."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Does a manufacturer have the right? (Score 5, Informative) 221

No. Not in UK law, I'm pretty sure, though IANAL.

The Data Protection Act (DPA) means you have to be able to opt out of this kind of intrusive data harvesting and if the disabling of advertised functionality isn't covered by the Sale of Goods Act, it would seem that the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations would apply. The DPA applies to your relationship with the data processor (LG) while the functionality of the TV is the responsibility of the retailer.

The correct remedy would be to return the TV to the retailer and demand a refund or a "repair" and to go to the small claims court if they refuse. LG won't be happy when retailers start pushing back.

Comment: Re:Majority Rules (Score 1) 92

by cardpuncher (#46989999) Attached to: New Zealand Spy Agency To Vet Network Builds, Provider Staff

You could certainly argue this where the legislation, as in this case, has passed through a legislature.

The way this would play out in the UK (and appears to have happened in the US) is that you get invited to a meeting in a government office and some people whose exact role is not clear will explain how important they feel it is for you to co-operate in the interests of national security. They might hint at the unfortunate consequences of being unco-operative or of letting anyone know that the meeting has taken place. You then leave and do as you're told.

When the government's policies (and, indeed the laws) are secret, you can't blame the voters, because they don't get to find out what the government is actually doing, as opposed to what it says it's doing. There is an elected government and an unelected shadow government - which, by means of a similar process of nods and winks, makes sure that no-one who stands for election is a threat to them.

Comment: Look at it from a different perspective (Score 2) 384

These are just avatars in a game. Someone actively decided that certain rules would apply to their interactions - there was no necessity to impose any societal values on those interactions, players would simply have applied those values they felt appropriate for themselves. In other words, the developers decided to impose their own vision of societal norms when there was no real need to do so.

This is a very similar issue to the "emoji racism" campaign - someone actively designed the almost-exclusively-white characters, even though there was no functional or other requirement to exclude black faces. It almost certainly wasn't concious racism - they just failed to think beyond their limited personal experience and reflect the wider world.

That's a reasonable thing to call out.

Comment: Re:Buggy whips (Score 1) 417

by cardpuncher (#46956969) Attached to: London Black Cabs Threaten Chaos To Stop Uber

Actually, up until 1976 it was a legal requirement for taxi drivers to carry hay in case their horses got a bit peckish. It's an area in which regulations seem to change very slowly.

There's been a (decades-) long ongoing war between black-cab taxis (which you can hail on the street) and minicabs (private cars you book by phone) and this is merely another phase of that battle.

There is a genuine issue of ensuring standards (for example, disabled accessibility to vehicles), but these are things taxi drivers have historically resisted themselves. As taxi drivers tend to be one man bands in London their earnings are also somewhat opaque and I'm sure they're not only concerned about competition, but also about a growing expectation that your journey can be recorded by a third party llike Uber whose records might be available to the tax authorities.

Comment: Re:Screwed the Pooch (Score 1) 477

by cardpuncher (#46926653) Attached to: Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

I did buy a Blu Ray player, because it was being heavily discounted and had streaming built in (and, more importantly for me, it was at the time the cheapest way to add BBC iPlayer to my TV). I've never bought a Blu Ray disc - the cheap ones seem to be forgettable Hollywood potboilers and the films I might want to watch I already have on (ripped) DVDs and I don't personally see the value in reacquiring them for the modest increase in quality that's possible in the averagely-sized living room. In fact, I've barely used the disc drawer. And I'm hardly "younger people"...

Comment: Re:Microsoft Has These Patches (Score 1) 345

by cardpuncher (#46906691) Attached to: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Patch the XP Internet Explorer Flaw

Additionally, a chunk of those end users who still have XP machines and obey the call to replace them are going to go out and buy iPads or Android tablets because they'll do the job well enough and be a lot less trouble. You'd think Microsoft would have an interest in keeping people on planet Windows until they're ready for their next fix.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 3, Insightful) 230

by cardpuncher (#46881157) Attached to: One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

>terminals and PCs w(h)ere common in 1983

No they weren't.

The IBM PC was introduced in 1981. You couldn't do much with it, certainly not much related to mainframe programming. They were very expensive for what they did. Minicomputers existed, but they also didn't cross over mainframe territory.

People with heavy data processing requirements were mostly using DOS/VSE on S/370 and 4300 mainframes. No timesharing in DOS. It was still extremely common in industry to have people sitting with coding forms that were then passed to data preparation teams for punching. I've sat with teams painstakingly writing DOS JCL onto coding sheets.

If you were a larger user that could justify the investment in MVS, you could potentially use the Time Sharing Option, an interactive environment with a reputation for being cumbersome and inefficient - you'd only extend the "luxury "of using it to a comparatively few select people.

Computer time was also extremely expensive. Cambridge University wrote their own version of timesharing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_%28computer%29) for their (early) S/370 in order to support a larger number of users and time on it was still so restricted that usage was "priced" to reflect demand at different times of day and CS students would either have to work at 3am or make extensive use of cards or other offline data entry to get their projects completed within the allocated budget.

Whereas there were minicomputers and early personal computers around, they were scarcely to be seen in what was still the predominant environment of the computer industry - the (IBM) mainframe shop.

Actually, the British government tended to prefer homegrown procurement and more of its staff were likely to be working with George 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEORGE_%28operating_system%29), which had a far better interactive environment than IBM offered.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.

Working...