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Comment: Re:Assumptions (Score 4, Informative) 78

by raburton (#49604465) Attached to: Hacking the US Prescription System

Very pleased we have a different system in the UK. Drug reps aren't even supposed to give us pens anymore. That said I've had plenty of free lunches from drug reps along with a presentation about their latest drug, but I'm not talking about fancy dinners just a light picnic type spread from the nearest supermarket. There isn't much point them doing it anyway, as a general rule we are only supposed to prescribe things that are approved by NICE (after proper cost/benefit analysis) and/or in our local formulary. If you are prescribing outside that they'll be coming to you for an explanation, not the drug companies. Drug companies are also not allowed to advertise prescription only drugs direct to the public, which I think is probably the most important difference.

Comment: Re:What? Why discriminate? (Score 0) 700

by raburton (#49477965) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Simple. 'Real religions' that have been around for hundreds or thousands of years could be true. Presumably they can't all be, but one or more of them could be. I know many people don't believe in any religion and think they are all made up, but that's opinion (yes it is, you really can't prove otherwise) and it's not the point. Choosing to follow a religion, despite knowing that it could be made up, is called faith. Choosing to follow a 'fake religion', one where the origin is recent enough to be well documented and ultimately known to be made up is called stupidity.

Comment: Physical product, so you can't pirate it? (Score 1) 56

by raburton (#49175167) Attached to: A Versatile and Rugged MIDI Mini-Keyboard (Video)

Timothy: An important question, because you’ve got a physical product: what does it cost?

Implication being that a physical product can't simply be pirated, so cost becomes a factor in whether people will want it. I guess if it was software he wouldn't have bothered asking because cost is unimportant in that scenario ;-)

Comment: Do we need another open source browser? (Score 1, Interesting) 165

by raburton (#48865413) Attached to: Time For Microsoft To Open Source Internet Explorer?

I'm not saying we need a closed source browser more than an open source one, so a better question would be do we need another broswer at all?
Sure competition is good, even when the product is free, but why do they want to make a new browser at all when there are so many out there already? And if they did why would they bother to open source it and who would be interested if they did? If you want closed source you may need to reinvent the wheel, but if you're going to open source it anyway why bother starting from scratch, you might as well just start with a free, decent open source base and build on that. Otherwise it's just a huge duplication of effort, a lot of time wasted at MS.

Comment: Underwhelming picture (Score 5, Funny) 81

by raburton (#48424741) Attached to: Millions of Spiders Seen In Mass Dispersal Event In Nova Scotia

Once you find the link to the article (after links to every vaguely related topic) you'll find a very underwhelming picture of some bits of web in a field. I was expecting something like the scale and impressiveness of a crop circle in web form, not a few bits of tatty web on the tops of some long grass.

Comment: Depends why you are going (Score 1) 182

by raburton (#47965241) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

Just because it's relevant to your day job doesn't mean it's of any benefit to your company for you to go. If you want to go for your own interest you can't expect them to pay. It wouldn;t be unreasonable for them to insist you take annual leave for the time away from work too. If it's to learn things that will make you more efficient at your job and benefit your employer I'm sure they'd be willing to pay (assuming costs are sensible). Or if they want you to present something that is good PR for the company I'd expect them to pay for you. However, if you want a certification, perhaps for something you can already do anyway, that makes you more valuable (when you start asking for a pay rise) and potentially more employable somewhere else (when you get head hunted after chatting to someone at a conference) all of which are negative for your employer, I wouldn't expect them to be keen on you going let alone at their expense.

Comment: Re:T-MOBILE, T-MOBILE, and one more time T-MOBILE (Score 3, Interesting) 146

by raburton (#47341163) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

> Even Africa one gets better and easier SIM offerings than USA
Some parts of it yes, Kenya was just like here in the UK. In Ethiopia I had to go to a government office with my passport, fill in a form, and provide a passport photo for them to keep just for a pay as you go sim. Although you could buy them unofficially off the street too.

Comment: Re:They checked without a warrant (Score 1) 206

> EULA does not and never will override legal, law of the land.
> I can put slavery in a EULA, that doesn't make it legal.
> I can put invasion of your privacy, that doesn't make it legal either.

I think you are missing an important legal distinction. Microsoft / the EULA isn't overriding any law. You can't make slavery illegal by putting it in an EULA because slavery is illegal. Reading email is not inherently illegal. Reading it without the permission of the owner might well be, but microsoft does have that permission (therefore they are never doing it without permission which is the the part that might be illegal). They have permission it because the user gave it to them. The law is generally fine with you granting other people permission to do things on your behalf, so long as that thing isn't illegal in itself. It's not uncommon for people to give their secretary permission to read their email, does that mean the secretary is breaking the law when they do?

Comment: Re:They checked without a warrant (Score 1) 206

> That *is* a legal question. If the EULA says: we own your first born, is that so just because you checked a box on a web site? Nope. There are laws governing the reading of email, and Microsoft has to obey those rules like everyone else.

I'll ignore your stupid analogy and stick to the point. Do these laws you reference say that that you aren't allowed to give your permission for someone else to read your email? I'd be very surprised (though you haven't stated any specific laws to check), so if you've given someone permission to read your email then they have every legal right to do so. There are plenty of issues here, moral ones mainly, but I don't see any legal problem. If you can see a legal issue here, i.e. one that isn't addressed by the user having given microsoft permission to read his email (under certain circumstances, which appear to have been met), do please elaborate.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759