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Comment: I sense bias here... (Score 1) 120

by cloud.pt (#48018755) Attached to: Apple Faces Large Penalties In EU Tax Probe

it seems that the Irish government would actually get the extra money and suffer little for its part in the scheme

So, if the government was the victim because some of its members decided to abuse power in order to get personal compensation (be it money or just public opinion), why would the government itself be penalized? It's true that the government is made by elected members of the people in a democracy, but these people did NOT represent the government's best interests with the deal, as the deal did not do justice to the government by breaking its law.

It might even have benefited the country overall, with new money getting in through other revenue from Apple keeping business there, but that is just a political illusion of benefit to the government - it is more of a treat to the elected political party, who managed to gain popularity to the eyes of the community by committing public taxes for it.

Deals like this can be done, as long as they are made under the guise of a solid investment and they do not break any trade policies without lawmakers consent, which does not appear to be the case.

Comment: Re:Make money out of them (Score 1) 418

by cloud.pt (#47908949) Attached to: Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

I see your point, but 99% of the services anyone uses online instantiate a form of server. Any P2P network, such as torrents or TOR, can be considered setting up a server. If that is basis for establishing that the user is running a server, they could very well shut down their entire user base. Nowadays, even a very basic browser page can be considered a server, the page just needs an open socket for incoming connections. Anyone else creating an online multiplayer private match (thinking of counter-strike, UT, Age of Empires, among thousands of others) can also be incriminated for "providing internet services" if you follow that logic.

Comcast gets to determine whether your activities can be deemed unlawful.

Now, this is a concept that even here in Europe we have to condone contractually, yet nobody abides to legally. If a com company is known to be doing something fishy like terminating contracts out of their own free-will, companies here get the hammer, be it from a lawsuit or from being dropped by their market. That's why you don't see any company doing it, even there in the US. Do you know of anyone having their service suspended out of the company not liking their usage patterns (and that don't go to jail)? All I hear is people getting their band throttled, but this happens on a mass scale and not to a singled out individual.

A company cannot just speculate, because that would be considered an abuse of power. The state can do that though, and that is why we have "piracy taxes" for hard disk drives and now even for flash-based built-in memory on our cells and tablets (yeah, we just got it approved in Portugal last month)... The state can say that if there is "massive, yet unidentifiable known use of copyrighted material", it can establish a generalized tax that applies even for people that do not infringe the copyright. It is even applied twice or three times for people that purchase digital/physical content. Companies can't do such type of generalization or speculation.

Comment: Make money out of them (Score 1) 418

by cloud.pt (#47907827) Attached to: Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

To whomever is getting calls like these, take the chance to install a call recorder. Ask for the operator name, and for a reference that proves the operator is really a Comcast representative such as "can you tell me my current service/plan?".

After all this, let them know you will continue using TOR, and sue them for breach of contract and intimidation if they go forth with their mischievous threats. You are allowed to use your internet connection according to their TOS, which does not bar TOR unless the FCC really let that slide. If Comcast themselves are trying to enforce the law-enforcement right to spy on you as approved by congress, they are infringing the law by abusing a right not theirs. Comcast can't also add policies ad-hoc unilaterally. Tell them you will not stop using the service, and that their communication to you is proof that you are most likely going to be targeted by law-enforcement agencies due to Comcast snooping and discriminating your internet usage.

You can sue them for discrimination out of the blue, just from that call, as they are probing your ability to be blacklisted.
You can sue them for breach of contract if they cut your line and/or suspend your contract like they said they would.

+ - SPAM: Electronic Cigarette WHO and co. Position 'Alarmist', say top UK Researchers

Submitted by cloud.pt
cloud.pt (3412475) writes "Earlier this summer, the World Health Organization was quick to dismiss nicotine dispensing replacement e-cigs (or now more commonly referred as vaporizers by its users), after stating in May that their position was in the making about the subject by its Tobacco Free Initiative. Old Media has also been swift in discrediting e-cig usage, mostly focusing on the negative aspects which are yet to be proven. Now, BBC has gathered top UK academical research about the subject, which sees the WHO statements as "alarmist" and "misleading", biased for the cons and against the pros of using vaporizers over death-stick replacements. Investigators claim the organization might even be affecting public safety with the unpondered claims. Research also points out e-cig usage is saving 6.000 lives per year in the UK alone, and could prevent premature death for 60.000 if everybody made the switch today.

Imperial College London had also released[paywalled] a 5000 people study this year which found e-cig usage was a healthier practice than smoking, and was more effective than other conventional methods to quit."

Comment: IT'S A TRAP (Score 2) 74

This is just another one of the recent MS gimmicks to get you to switch to the Metro version.

I just received a very official Skype Team email stating my desktop version would be automatically removed. That's exactly what it said: YOUR SKYPE VERSION WILL BE REMOVED. If a company would add such a trigger on an application (even one that highly depends on a single external cloud service to do anything at all), I would call that heavy persuasion.

Comment: Kimberley apparently did stuff right (Score 1) 928

Southwest policy appears to restrict entrance in this very specific case to JUST after all A-list passengers and before others. This is because his kids were older than 4 and NOT entitled to A-list boarding. If they were younger than 4, the hostess would be infringing policy. But she was actually enforcing policy strictly, doing her job as she is told to.

The real problem here is a conflict between the freedom of speech right and the defamation civil wrong (for which she can sue actually). I personally don't think there is real libel here, but some might argue that using the hostess's name on the tweet is reason enough for her to sue. What is impressive is the fact the guy had to go to the news after the incident to whine even more, and that gets me thinking he is a little more butthurt than he should for nothing important. He pretty much wanted the hostess fired from her job, which is her source of income. I think everybody gets defensive when their job is at stake. And all this for not indulging him in something he didn't have the right to, despite being "used to" have.

She wanted to avoided having defamation about her and the company wanted to avoid bad publicity. If the tweet was still up, he would have been left on the ground and he could be sued. If they let him fly without deleting the tweet, hostess would have been fired and both hostess and company could sue. This was the best scenario for both... Until he decided to strike back like a little girl. He could have never used the company again for the lack of poise but he just had to make the issue bigger. These are my two cents about it,

Comment: Re:This is just a repeat (Score 1) 282

I have no idea on what's going on in Finland, but I extrapolated it because it's what I see in Western/Central Europe. What I meant by young prodigies is pretty obvious: I doubt Nokia hires any freshmen with an average lower than A on the European Scale (that's the top 10%). Since I wasn't close to an A and I knew where most of the A's from my year ended up (top companies or research, for those who disliked corporate environments and/or wanted to give some luck back to the environment). When such a student is hired to by , they usually assume (and sometimes even implied in interviews) that they are gonna have a big shot at the managing pos. in a short term (I know this from friends in such scenarios).

Something I don't notice is people being fired right-and-left in most of the IT sector as you describe, as all companies here tend to overvalue the importance of knowing what you can count on (and they also spend a lot in education for all their human resources, making severance packages highly prohibitive, especially here in Portugal). Keeping employers is usually cheaper and safer than firing them. Talent IS the driving force in escalating the corporate food-chain, but it rarely is a catalyst for dismissals, even in at least 2 major companies I see here (one is a Big Four consultant and the other is the major betting company back/front-end main developer). And these companies are probably the exception to what I mentioned in my first comment, as I have yet to know companies that are so self-sufficient in Portugal as these 2 are - they never happened to use co-paid internships to my knowledge and supply/abuse outsourced work as a means to keep a good number on fixed positions.

I definitely think you might have not understood the larger print in your contract: if you are staying in a company that is so eager to downsize in order to pursue a dead cause such as WinMo, you are on your way to a dark future as opposed to a promising one. In your defense, I am very young, and might have a narrow vision of the industry, but there are a lot of supporting facts to my statements :D

Comment: Responsability-linked quotas (Score 1) 98

The only way I see this happening is if you totally migrate your lab to something like Amazon AWS/EC2, and link each user to an individual account with specific bandwidth and storage (GRATIS) quotas.

For one, processing power wont be an issue since that's on Amazon's side, and it's virtually unlimited. Now, everyone will have a decent amount of the other resources for whatever they need, as long as quotas stay inside each user's scope (for which their free quota should have been well defined).

A user abuses his quota? No problem - Students get overcharged on their tuition fees, or reflected on their grades. Same for employees/researchers, in their salaries OR performance reviews. Is it a public community lab like, say, a library? Restrict access based on fair usage, maintaining an external log of who is where and when. Hell, if anything like this is politically unfeasible, just warn your users, at least you will know individually who is doing what without the heavy-lifting that is required to analyze it manually.

Everybody will be self-educated on how to use the system. On the long-run, the community will educate itself with no need for personal bad experiences. Much like using a printing quota, or the water/electricity bill.

All resources are very similar when it comes to management, so the principle of fair-use with retroactive consequence will always be the best bet.

Comment: Re:This is just a repeat (Score 3, Interesting) 282

In the US it might be H1B visas to hire cheap specialty workers from abroad. In the EU (where apparetnly most of this is happening), it's basically the same strategy but applied to EU supported fresh-outta-college internships (co-paid salaries tending to ZERO by employers), basically sending off the worst of the elders, and enslave the f*ck out of the young prodigies who they will scopp with mild salaries and a "promissing" future. This cycle happens in every major company in Europe. I have seen it in 3: Bosch, PT.pt and Siemens

Comment: Updates can't be left unnatended (Score 1) 265

by cloud.pt (#47432605) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

I'm not familiar with CentOS or Redhat, but in Debian it's not uncommon to get the odd update that requires configuration wizards. There's no shortcut to those, and in the event of it happening, you are gonna have some early risers complaining.

And even the supposedly safe, unattended updates aren't that safe: For example I updated to the latest linux-image from Debian's repos yesterday. I didn't expect some core services to depend on a computer reboot to start working again, but 5 minutes in people were complaining a Jboss web app wasn't working.

Comment: Re: Good strategy (Score 1) 131

by cloud.pt (#47396401) Attached to: Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

I agree with everything you said except the first sentence. China does not have good IP laws because there is no balance. Some countries have restrictive IP laws like the US, and some have liberal IP laws like China and India. I don't know if there is any particular country with the perfect balance of protecting the interests of the inventor while not encumbering social development. To me that is perfect balance. Big Pharma is a known abuser of that decades long exclusivity which makes people die of tuberculosis

Comment: Re:Good strategy (Score 1) 131

by cloud.pt (#47396343) Attached to: Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

Dude, it's a subsidiary, it's not that big of a deal. I bet you use a lot of hardware and software made by worse companies, which unlike Facebook have a track record of abusing your privacy for your own prejudice. Google, Apple and Microsoft are just some examples. Do you consider the hardware worse because it was made by such companies? Or are you saying that the fact a social media company, like Facebook, controlling a gaming company might have worse consequences than:
- a search company creating a mobile OS, phones, and enforcing guidelines to phone developers (Google);
- a "designer" company limiting your (as described by themselves) high-margin smartphone from being smart because carriers can't handle the bandwidth (Apple);
- an OS company which instills last century software patterns while playing catch with the previous 2 in new platforms for hardware, software and the cloud?

I'll give you 2 examples of weird success stories on companies one would least expect it:
- Blizzard making an MMO out of an RTS
- Amazon making an e-reader out having an online bookstore

Comment: Re:So the Chinese have created a free market econo (Score 1) 131

by cloud.pt (#47395751) Attached to: Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

Why bring politics to a much more complex topic. This is not about liberalization of this good. It's not a good yet, it hasn't been released. It's not even an essential good. They are issuing developer editions for genuinely interested developers who will make the device popular with new content.

If you get a free market for these controlled sales, you will end up with gaming enthusiasts or knock-off reverse-engineers rather than real contributors getting the item, and companies know better than to buy an overpriced SDK: product won't sell if developers don't get easy access.

And from what I know, America is far from being "a bastion of free enterprise" mate: they sell iPhones through selected carriers, they won't allow companies to sell cars directly to consumers (Tesla), and they are one of the most import-afraid economies around - there's no other country where "Made in this country" is such a strong compelling argument. They don't like free markets, they like controlled markets, for whatever good or bad that may bring

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

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