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Comment: Re:Jury of your peers (Score 1) 303

Yes, that's true (mostly; it's really the English and Welsh legal system, not the non-existent British legal system) --- but it's missing the underlying point.

You have to realise that in the English and Welsh legal system that the progression of cases through appeals traditionally led to the House of Lords as the highest court of the land. Peers of the realm (including Lords) had the right to have their case first heard in the House of Lords --- but in doing so had no right of appeal to any judgement, as the highest court had made its ruling. A commoner could eventually be tried by the House of Lords, but had to appeal (or have lower courts commit them) all the way up from the magistrates'.

Comment: Re:I thought the surveilance was about terrorism (Score 1) 229

by gsnedders (#48655455) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

before terrorists showed up on the scene

GC&CS (Government Code and Cypher School, which gives a very clear idea about what the aim was!), the forerunner to GCHQ, was started in 1919, by which time the IRA had already come into being after the Easter Rising. OK, so GC&CS was primarily concerned with SIGINT pertaining to diplomatic communications, but it's worthwhile noting that there was a serious terrorist threat to the UK at the time it was formed (the Irish War of Independence had been under way since the start of 1919, when GC&CS came into being only at the end of the year).

Comment: Re:Well, that's cool I guess (Score 2) 125

by gsnedders (#48253595) Attached to: It's Official: HTML5 Is a W3C Standard

On the other hand, the W3C Patent Policy makes it impossible for MS to do that --- they must either disclose their patents and notify the group that they are withholding them from the royalty-free grant within 180 days of certain points of the spec's development or they grant all members of the group an irrevocable RF grant (the intention of the policy is you give a list of all patents you have covering the spec and whether you're withholding them; in practice most people don't even look at patent portfolios because they know they'd just give an RF grant for any it covers and hence it's not worth the time looking).

Comment: Re:So in other words . . . (Score 1) 46

by gsnedders (#48168549) Attached to: Microsoft's JavaScript Engine Gets Two-Tiered Compilation

You say it dismissively, but the big thing lately is that Microsoft can play catch-up and is really trying to do it. Did you ever think you'd see the day? Starting around MSIE 9 they made huge strides toward becoming fairly normal, rather remaining forever obsolete, as a weird, special, anachronistic case. You never would have heard anyone say this in 2009 or 2004 but it now looks like a fresh Windows install might be able to surf the web, right out-of-the-box.

I dunno, I heard plenty of people saying it in 2009, especially around specs circles (both around WHATWG/W3C groups and those around implementers doing evangelism work), even if whenever it was voiced it got laughed at by most web devs. In reality, it was very obvious that IE7 was mostly just trying to quickly fix what they thought were the biggest shortcomings of IE6 (which, after all, hadn't really been touched in years, and most of the dev team didn't have any idea about the codebase); IE8 followed on making pretty significant low-level changes that were pretty obviously designed at making many of the modern parts of the web platform easy to implement (from what's been said, it should definitely be the case that many CSS modules nowadays are easier to implement in modern IE than in other browser engines, simply because they rewrote so much for IE8), even though ultimately it shipped more or less at feature parity with IE7 (albeit with fewer bugs). IE9 was when all that work started to come together, starting to add large amounts of the more modern parts of the web platform.

Comment: Re:London's Docklands Light Railway is automated (Score 5, Informative) 179

by gsnedders (#47956877) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

None of the Underground lines are driverless. The ones you list are GoA level 2 (i.e., opening/closing doors, starting the train, and emergencies are handled by the driver). Go look in the cab of any of them, they all have drivers!

Even the DLR is a GoA level 3 system, as the "attendant" handles door closing and emergency driving of the system.

The only GoA level 4 systems (which are truly driverless and can operate without any trained staff onboard) in the UK are the people movers at Heathrow T5, Gatwick, and Stansted.

Comment: Re:The Million Dollar Question (Score 2) 172

by gsnedders (#47604667) Attached to: Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

I have a PRS-T1. I've never bought anything from Sony's store (it only existed in the UK for a bit over two years, compared with the eight or so in the US!). To my knowledge, the device supports ADEPT only, and once the content is decrypted once it is forever accessible on that device unless you revoke it (there is no online checking). So, uh, at least content already readable will remain as such on devices already authorised.

Also note that ADEPT has long been broken (it's got a good cryptographic basis, but there's almost no obfuscation in the system, so it's pretty useless as DRM), so it's /really not difficult/ to break content out.

Quickly Googling makes it sound like customers had their accounts transferred over to Kobo (thereby losing no content), unless they opted out (and I haven't looked closely to see what happened in that case).

Comment: Re:Completely infeasible (Score 1) 282

by gsnedders (#47578729) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity
The Apply for your first adult passport page tells you what documentation you need, which makes it pretty clear. The common case of British-born-of-British-parents is your birth certificate (to establish you are, well, you) and one of your parents' certificates (to establish you are indeed a British citizen).

Comment: Re:I still can't understand this insanity. (Score 1) 186

It's all in the definition of "processing" and "controller", which are both very vaguely defined. (The web was scarcely in mind in the early 90s when the Directive was written; it's planned to be reviewed to deal with such cases but there's nothing finalised yet.) My memory was that the ruling brought specific attention to Google's cross-referencing of the index to advertising it sells, but that's not correct. So, uh, ignore me. :)

Comment: Re:Spent convictions (Score 1) 186

(Disclaimer: I haven't actually looked at the law in about a couple of years. My memory may not be entirely correct. You can look this up for yourself, the act in question is the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.)

One may declare a spent conviction on an application; an employer may ask about any spent convictions but the employee is under no obligation to give the truthful answer (i.e., one can always answer, "I have no spent convictions"), and any knowledge of spent convictions cannot (in general) be held against the person seeking a job.

Note that there are a number of professions where one is always obliged to declare prior offences, regardless of whether spent or not, including your example of a child sex offender applying for a job at a day care centre. I believe that in such cases they are legally obliged to refuse the job application.

The restrictions are far harsher as to when spent convictions are admittable before any judicial authority (which in this case has a very broad definition), where they legally cannot ask, and if asked one is exempt for perjury for failing to truthfully admit. The exemptions here are primarily pertaining to adoption and firearms.

Records of convictions are always on the public record; however, they do not (ordinarily) appear in their criminal record. (A police caution is not a conviction but is on the complete criminal record; a caution is spent immediately upon being given.)

Comment: Re:I still can't understand this insanity. (Score 1) 186

My understanding of the judgement is such that it is pretty clear that the original source would equally be obliged to remove it (but they weren't party to the case).

Also note that not all search engines are necessarily bound by this; the whole thing is dependent on the "processing" of data (which thereby binds you to the Data Retention Directive), and it was held that Google as an advertiser processes the crawled dataset.

Comment: Re:You want IE to be relevant? (Score 1) 105

Bizarrely, listed separately, is Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. IE11 runs on Win 7, Win 8.1, and Windows Server 2008 R2. That's 56% per the above figures, a far cry from 6%! Also, another 6% can freely upgrade (from 8 to 8.1) to a supported version. Note the 25% of users on Windows XP have no security updates, and the 6% on Windows 8 have until 1 December 2016 to upgrade to 8.1 (or later) to continue receiving security updates.

Comment: Re:rarely is an accident an accident. (Score 1) 800

by gsnedders (#46939271) Attached to: Autonomous Car Ethics: If a Crash Is Unavoidable, What Does It Hit?

Then why do you even have crosswalks, or zebra crossings or whatever you call them? That's stupid. Not only can't you figure out what side of the road to drive on, but you can't figure out that roads are for vehicles?

Because at crossings (of whatever sort) vehicles are *required* to yield to pedestrians. The only requirement on pedestrians at zebra crossings is they look to ensure they don't walk out in front of a car unable to stop in the distance to the crossing (i.e., if you walk out 10m away from a car travelling at 30mph, you're at fault when it hits you; if you walk out 100m away from a car travelling at 30mph, the car is at fault when it hits you).

Aside from crossings, you are permitted to cross where it is safe to do so without impeding the flow of traffic. (A common case where such things end up impeding the flow of traffic is where a vehicle is not indicating that it is turning, and a pedestrian walks over the end of the road where the vehicle intends on turning. In such cases the vehicle is at fault for not indicating.)

From my experience in America, crosswalks are frequently more dangerous than jaywalking is here, with cars speeding round right-on-red, and then having to slam on brakes when they find a pedestrian on the crosswalk at the junction; another case that I remember is a crosswalk just beyond a blind crest cars where were doing 50mph over, where they likely couldn't have stopped in the distance from seeing the pedestrian to the crosswalk. If that were here I'd simply have crossed at the crest where I could see the road is clear before crossing.

Memories of you remind me of you. -- Karl Lehenbauer