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Comment: Re:Reads like a "Modest Proposal" to me (Score 1) 269

by Sloppy (#47581327) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

I think the reasoning is fine, because of these words: "...if the behaviour which is currently criminal is to remain criminal..."

Your example is a simple crime, where the victim had an experience related to the crime (so there's a body to be found by the police, or a surviving victim who says "ouch, someone shot me"). They are talking about certain types of crimes where neither the victim nor anyone closely watching the victim would never have any idea that a crime happened. All the evidence is completely disconnected from the victim.

I publish a magnet link. You read it, and use it to acquire a file. Someone who isn't there and sees absolutely no effect on their life, is defined as a victim because the action is "currently criminal." Maybe it's because they hold a copyright on the contents of the file, or because the file contains a picture of them without clothes (taken by hidden camera when they were 17 years and 364 days old), or because the file contains some other information related to them.

You can't detect these kinds of things.

The House of Lords is saying that if these are going to remain crimes, then the laws should be enforced, and if we ass/u/me that getting laws enforced is far more valuable to our society than liberty, efficiency, etc then it's important that the watchers know about every transaction that is happening and who is involved. They need to know that I transmitted information to you (and who both of us are) and what that information was. Until they have all that information, they can't even begin to guess whether or not a crime occurred. Maybe the file contained a picture of my dog rather than a 17-year-old human, and they need to know who took the dog picture and that I sent it to you, so that they know it wasn't a copyright violation.

Of course it's absurd, but that's because the premise is absurd. Their reaction to it, is quite rational. But that's my point: it almost looks like (especially in the paragraph that I quoted) they might be calling the bluff, pointing out the inevitable consequences of having externally un-detectable things be crimes. If they weren't that clever and didn't mean to do that, too bad, but even if it's an accident, they did it.

It's not an accident, though. Look at it (emphasis mine): "if it's to remain criminal" (see the wiggle room there?) and "currently criminal" and "there is little point in [doing this] at the same time [as doing that]" and "difficult question."

I'm not saying this is ingenious, but it really is a fairly well-crafted.

Comment: Re:Strategy (Score 1) 131

by Alioth (#47580837) Attached to: HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

This is HP through and through. They acquire a business then ruin it. We used to use a (very expensive) piece of software from a company that HP bought, immediately when HP bought the company (for a hugely overinflated amount too) the customer service turned so awful that we dropped them along with many other customers.

Comment: Re:Here's an idea! (Score 1) 175

by Alioth (#47580219) Attached to: Nintendo Posts Yet Another Loss, Despite Mario Kart 8

As an antidote to that anecdote, in the UK during the same period the completely open Sinclair ZX Spectrum had one of its best game years, along with the completely open Commodore 64. Titles for both machines kept selling well right through the 1980s. Shops stocked games. It may have also been that a full price C64 or Spectrum game was half the price of a full price cartridge game.

Comment: Reads like a "Modest Proposal" to me (Score 1) 269

by Sloppy (#47578135) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

The techdirt article quotes this delicious excerpt:

From our perspective in the United Kingdom, if the behaviour which is currently criminal is to remain criminal and also capable of prosecution, we consider that it would be proportionate to require the operators of websites first to establish the identity of people opening accounts but that it is also proportionate to allow people thereafter to use websites using pseudonyms or anonymously. There is little point in criminalising certain behaviour and at the same time legitimately making that same behaviour impossible to detect. We recognise that this is a difficult question, especially as it relates to jurisdiction and enforcement.

I can't even say I really disagree with that reasoning. Can't you see how there are two completely different ways to reach a conclusion from that paragraph?

Comment: Re:Not deploying driverless cars kills people (Score 1) 189

by Alioth (#47572953) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

The highways (motorways) are actually the safest roads. In the UK only 4% of accidents happen on those roads and they are rarely fatal (while the absolute speeds are high, the impact speeds are often low because it's an impact between two vehicles going in the same direction, and there are safety features of the motorways themselves that try to avoid any accident resulting an a vehicle coming to a sudden stop). The same is likely true in the US.

Comment: Re:Not deploying driverless cars kills people (Score 1) 189

by Alioth (#47572949) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

I've lived in both the US and UK, and I can say that the reason the USA has 13.6 and the UK rate is less than half really is due to US drivers being *a lot worse* than UK drivers. Also there are other factors, such as the lenient treatment of drunk drivers in many US states, leading to people not really being deterred from driving drunk. I saw a lot of people driving obviously drunk in the 6 years I lived in the USA. In the UK, you get done for drunk driving you actually lose your license and have to retake the (very strict) driving test again, and you lose your license for a long period (e.g. 2 years) and a high probability of a prison sentence, and the ban really is a ban, no "you may still drive to your place of work", so there is a very strong deterrent against drunk driving. Second offence and you definitely go to prison as well as have an even lengthier driving ban.

Comment: Re:A Progression of Complaints (Score 1) 189

by Alioth (#47572899) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

My observation of the UK is that people do NOT run yellow lights (at least in northern Britain) and most people - especially on single carriageway roads - drive about 50 (the speed limit is 60 on those roads). With the cost of fuel I have also noticed that the vast majority are sticking to the 70mph limit and a significant minority do about 60. Britain is also infested with speed cameras.

It seems only about 10% of drivers or so play "fast and loose".

Comment: Re:A Progression of Complaints (Score 1) 189

by Alioth (#47572891) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

You have to do a ton of overtaking. When I go to the UK, I stick to the motorway speed limit because it saves a huge amount of fuel. However, there are so many speed limited (56mph) lorries that you're constantly having to pull out to overtake lorries. The worse is lorries overtaking lorries on the M6 between Manchester and Birmingham. You have one lorry with a speed limiter at 55.99999998 mph, and another with a speed limiter at 56.00000001 and the faster one is overtaking the slower one, and it takes about 15 miles to complete the manuevre, and in the right lane you have a van overtaking the lorry overtaking the lorry, but the van is only doing 60 causing all the speeding repmobiles to suddenly slam on the brakes and slow to 60, causing a standing wave traffic jam in that lane.

If we could get autonomously driven lorries that can communicate and agree on a speed to drive so they never overtake each other, then it'll hugely increase the capacity of the M6.

Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes. -- Mickey Mouse

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