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Comment: Re:Just run your own (Score 4, Interesting) 147 147

A former colleague of mine left to a startup which some years later was absorbed by Google. The work she does at Google involves access to multiple Google databases (to detect fraudulent access patterns), which is apparently unusual. I asked her about the DNS database; she said that is the one database to which she (and most other projects at Google) doesn't have access. I took from this that Google does track DNS access.

Comment: Angular (Score 5, Interesting) 175 175

I can't comment on the other technologies, but Angular has transformed how I build the interactive parts of web pages.

When you first approach Angular it seems like an over-engineered, incomprehensible edifice, and the tutorial throws you straight into writing your whole website as a single-page application. But once your realise that you can use a small lump of it on a single page to bind some UI elements to javascript state objects, you find yourself using it all the time even for small things. For me at least, it's as much a revelation as jquery was.

Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 396 396

The EU referendum is a proxy for a vote on immigration. If limits could be placed on the right to live anywhere in Europe, people would be completely fine with the EU and would likely be swayed by arguments like the need for unity in the face of neighbouring dictators, free trade, energy policy, climate etc. There are other issues with the EU, around sovereignty, democratic deficit, two-speed Europe, etc, but I don't think the average person really cares about those, they're too abstract.

In principle I think if it could be shown that the current rate of overall population growth (about 450K per year, the bulk of which is net immigration) is sustainable, that might have been enough, but in practice people perceive social systems to be overwhelmed and in crisis, or at the very least that government forecasting and planning is woefully inept.

I suspect if there is a referendum, people will vote to stay in, mainly because no one will paint a realistic picture of what it would mean to leave (the fact that the leaked document was intended to remain secret whereas the governor of the Bank has not been secretive about the case for staying in Europe, is a case in point), so all that will be heard is horror stories about how the UK will become Zimbabwe if it leaves.

Nevertheless I predict it will be a closeish vote, rather like the Scots referendum, 55%-45% or so on a highish turnout.

Comment: Re:Fuck this bullshit. (Score 4, Informative) 125 125

The shop down the road can't avoid sales tax.
The online shop based in Australia can't avoid sales tax.
The online shop based outside Australia can avoid sales tax.

This puts Australian businesses at a disadvantage, i.e., the tax regime fucks your own people.

So the choices are:

* level the playing field by abolishing sales taxes (the market fundamentalist/tax haven model)
* level the playing field by requiring individuals to declare and pay the sales tax (the US model)
* level the playing field by requiring foreign companies to collect and pay tax

Most governments go for the latter.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"