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Comment: Re:Simple Fix (Score 1) 592

by mrsmiggs (#42415323) Attached to: Facebook Paid 0.3% Taxes On $1.34 Billion Profits
Tariffs on IP licensing would just hinder the businesses that are genuinely licensing IP, the tax avoiders would switch to something else and the charade would continue. If the EU wants to play hard ball it should impose a levy on transactions with known tax havens and have a uniform corporation tax level across member states, this would of course require the member state who are tax havens to agree, so perhaps unlikely then.

Comment: Re:Redirect to a page... (Score 1) 369

by mrsmiggs (#40271319) Attached to: An HTTP Status Code For Censorship?
In the UK this makes sense the isps put up a legal fight against this and we have at least notional principles of free speech the isps should show their opposition with a simple informational page. But in other situations we might find a status code or codes that could be inserted into headers or other data stteams, it might be better if this was unofficial so it could be inserted subversively so technocrats don't cotton on to this.

Comment: Re:This is end of democracy (Score 0) 297

by mrsmiggs (#39380077) Attached to: European Parliament Blocks Copyright Reform With 113% Voter Turnout
I don't think the EU could ever realistically be called a democracy. The decision making process and appointments are often the result of political horse trading between politicians with very little mandate from the people. A prime example of this being the removal of democratically elected governments in Greece and Italy during the debt crisis, with the Greek prime minister being removed after he dared to ask the people what they thought. This story is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to contempt for the democratic process in the EU.

Comment: Re:Multiple logins and players on a single account (Score 2) 233

by mrsmiggs (#39231669) Attached to: Valve Reportedly Working On 'Steam Box' Gaming Console
By putting a steam box under the tv they are moving out of the basement and into family life. Like it or not if valve want this to be a success beyond the rich poser demographic they are going to have to adapt to family life and that means sharing and probably censorship control for parents.

Comment: Re:Can, but will? (Score 1) 273

by mrsmiggs (#38665242) Attached to: British Schoolchildren To Get Programming Lessons
No doubt Microsoft indoctrination classes will continue but from age 11 to 24 I think I got introductory classes to Word, Excel, Access etc about 5 or 6 times. Each tediously going over the same things we were taught at the previous attempt as there isn't really that much to teach and we'd forgotten everything as we didn't use them outside the classroom and it was duller than dull. You only need that twice; once to allow you to write essays for other subjects and when they're about to kick you out in the 'real world'. The lack imagination in the ICT curriculum in UK has been staggering for the past decade holding non-geeks back and being studiously avoided by anyone who knew anything about computers. No doubt Microsoft will try and shoe horn in their own technologies but who cares anything is better than 10 years of powerpoint lessons.

Comment: Re:Reflections (Score 2) 960

by mrsmiggs (#38184424) Attached to: Why Everyone Hates the IT Department
The IT department should have told him that instead of just saying no. The IT department shouldn't try and hold the keys to the budget, I've worked in IT departments and whenever someone came out with an out of the park idea or request I would provide a price and say we need authorisation from you manager / budget holder. The IT department is there to provide advice, create solutions and fix problems but when it comes down to business costs it's for the business people to make a business decision about whether the cost is worth the benefit provided. As an IT department you should not be a road block to business decisions, make sure it's the business manager or finance department who take the heat.

Comment: Re:Open Source vs. Open Development (Score 1) 203

by mrsmiggs (#37804060) Attached to: Android 4.0 Source Code Coming "Soon"
A number of companies disagree with this viewpoint; Amazon, Baidu, QQ and Alibaba have all forked or modfied Android beyond recognition. Nokia could have taken a similar route providing it's own app store and making it a complete no-brainer for developers to upload their apps to Nokia's market too. Sure it's not a pure Android solution but it would have allowed Nokia to maintain it's own user interface design and uniqueness in the market while tapping into a wider ecosystem.

Instead Nokia choose to join hand in hand with Microsoft and as far as I can lose their uniqueness in the market place while at the same time marrying their success to that of Windows Phone. While it might be easier and cheaper for Nokia to pick up Windows Phone they've lost the opportunity to make their product stand out while still tapping into the underlying application development created for Android. Clearly the fee and attention paid to them by Microsoft was what really cut to the chase.

Comment: Re:Decouple GUI from OS (Score 1) 315

by mrsmiggs (#37752518) Attached to: Linux Mint Will Adopt Gnome 3
The continuous debate we're having over user interface isn't about simply packaging the user interfaces and putting them in repositories as pretty much all the distros allow you to install whatever user interface package you want, it is instead about the average "user" experience of the product. However much we like to laugh and joke about the "Year of Linux desktop" the people who design those Linux desktops are still shooting for the best user experience for the man off the street who isn't going to delve into the repositories and install KDE, Gnome, Unity or whatever. In addition to that the enthusiasts berating Shuttleworth and Ubuntu for moving away from Gnome must have in the back of their mind that Ubuntu could provide significant developer time and user eyeballs (i.e. testing) to Gnome 3 development (or perhaps forking Gnome 2) and that's now all going into Unity.

And who's to say Debian aren't making a statement about this? Last I heard the packages had only just been moved into experimental when every other distro is kicking out full releases with Gnome 3 or Unity as default. I know by the time we get to the next Debian release we'll be talking about Gnome 4 but with the lack of urgency they're clearly showing they either don't care or it's not ready.

Comment: Re:Oops no rollback ? (Score 2) 272

by mrsmiggs (#37694882) Attached to: BlackBerry Outage Spreads To North America
On Channel4 news (in the UK - report here) a spokesman said it was a problem with their core switch infrastructure at their primary European site in Slough. Their backup infrastructure was also not functioning correctly either - the problem with the backup infrastructure is unspecified. My first reaction to that is that it must be gathering dust somewhere untested - but it's been on and off for the last three days in the UK so either they have the same problem with the backup infrastructure, they are lying about having a backup infrastructure or their back up plan is to use the North American network for European traffic. If that's the case did the volume of traffic just take out the North American network?

Comment: Re:Also this is not the audience you want. (Score 1) 462

by mrsmiggs (#36711840) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Living Without Internet At-Home Access?
I've been living with a limited internet connection (3G phone only) for 4 months or so as I've moved twice in that time. It hasn't made me anymore productive, I just find other ways to procastinate or waste time and it just leaves you frustrated not having all the possible information at your finger tips - making you even less productive.

Comment: Re:Nice Try (Score 2) 108

by mrsmiggs (#35843026) Attached to: Today Is Record Store Day 2011
They actually did the exact opposite and produced a series of limited edition vinyl records exclusively for the event, which is great for the collectors but I'd asumme they will already aware of their local independent shops. For those of those who have been tempted away from independent record stores by the internet first with cheap cds then downloads and finally streaming, it doesn't offer that much more really apart from a chance to pull in a few extra pundits with some publicity. My local shop put on a band and given that I'm new in the area and hadn't heard of the shop I tagged along, it did the job in a way I suppose as I've now been in the shop but I came away empty handed, no way am I paying GBP100+ for something I can't even play.

Comment: Re:This is way over the top (Score 1) 475

by mrsmiggs (#35195606) Attached to: Why Nokia Is Toast

I'd reckon on Nokia needing something like four phones:

1. Small basic calls and text with a traditional numbered keypad
2. Basic touch screen device aimed at web browsing and social networking
3. "Business" or "Chat" device with a built in physical keyboard
4. Super Computer in a phone

They could iterate no 4 fairly rapidly, it seems to work well for HTC they're hardly ever out of the news with their rapid release cycle.

Comment: Re:What is the internet verses a network? (Score 1) 339

by mrsmiggs (#35154306) Attached to: Is an Internet Kill Switch Feasible In the US?

Say we get hard intel that sometime later that day, someone will be using Twitter or Gmail to issue timing commands to a bunch of people ready to drop off backpack bombs on metro trains in half a dozen large cities around the country. The "kill switch" mechanism doesn't shut down the internet. It allows the counter terror people to ask the administration to use that legal power to get on the phone with Twitter and tell them what needs to happen to prevent such use.

What exactly do you need to legislate for? If there was genuine intel that terrorists were going to use Twitter to arm a device or orchestrate an attack, do you really think that when presented with this information and a request to make changes if order to avert an national catastrophe that Twitter would turn around to the government and tell them to get lost? Even if the data was being transmitted on services outside the US and it required changes at a network infrastructure level to disrupt peering of data from those services, do you really think that a company would turn down a request to make such a change?

Somebody's terminal is dropping bits. I found a pile of them over in the corner.