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Comment Re:Who still thinks is a good idea? (Score 1) 728

So you would stop refugees coming in because ISIS infiltrated their ranks.

Not what was said, OP said everyone would be stopped unless vetted and checked, if refugees pass the checks then they obviously they can pass the border, like anyone else.

You don't stop drinking all water because the source is infiltrated, you ensure you filter and purify it.
You don't not-dress a wound because the dressing may be contaminated, you ensure the dressing is sterile.

Of course, most of the "refugees" don't seem to want to be checked at borders, they would rather sneak across or use force of numbers to storm the border. They don't want to say who they are or how old they are or where they come from, they would rather destroy documents if they have to go through passport control, pick a country of origin that has most sympathy and lie about being a minor, all to get best chance of asylum. That all needs to stop.

Refugees need a safe place to go, but that doesn't need to be in any European country. Western nations should look to ensure safe camps in countries nearest to the war zones, to minimize the numbers undertaking fatal journeys, defend and police them with our troops if necessary (be a better use than bombing the war zones).

Comment Re:Anything is possible (Score 1) 225

Anything is possible.

So it's impossible for anything to be impossible?

No, but some "impossible" things may just be very very hard and take a long long time, and that also means it may take a long, long time to show that it definitely can't be done.

Apple should use the deep thought defence:

Judge: your task is to decrypt this phone
Apple: tricky
Judge: but can you do it?
Apple: yes, but it may take a while
Judge: how long?
Apple: approximately seven and a half million years

Now find an expert witness to prove Apple is wrong...

Comment Re:Correlation is not causation (Score 1) 131

Perhaps, but can you get me a sample certified to be the stuff being pumped into the ground so that my study has merit? Otherwise it's almost useless - I can get a container of random chemical sludge to test from anywhere. And if we could get certified samples there wouldn't be a host of unanswered questions about the potential effects.

of course there would.

There are certified samples of radiation levels around nuclear power stations, there are also studies showing those levels are too low to have any health effects, and there are also studies showing adverse health effects...

Same applies to wind turbines, there are plenty of infrasound readings, plenty of industry people saying the levels are too low to affect health, and plenty of reported adverse health effects...

the same unanswered, or disputed, questions will remain in every case - a) is there a real effect or just a quirk of statistics or noise and b) what is responsible for the effect from the millions of variables.

Even if you answer those, there are still issues. We have been mining coal for hundreds of years, we have plenty of data on the risks of working in mines and of living near them, and it sure looks like coal mining is the cause. Yet we still mine coal. And when we close the mines, oddly we still have the health problems, yet they get blamed on poverty resulting from the mine closure, not on any residual pollution. This is possibly because there is no owner left to sue, or because people naturally want a fashionable cause to blame for their effect.

Comment Re:Some people should not be buying diesels... (Score 1) 420

Well, just as long as you go for the occasional motorway long drive to burn all the stuff out, you should be fine, the problem is if you leave it to clog. The particle filter will only clear at high temperatures, like long high-speed journeys. So as long as you somehow do that, the car won't complain and it should go without any issues.

How often is occasional, how much motorway? I've seen stuff that says you need at least every two weeks and never-drop-below 50mph for 20mins? Sometimes, as said above, my current diesel has gone months without a motorway, nearest motorway is over 30mins, and you need a clear stretch without 50-limit roadworks which means going further - basically a 60mile 2hr run every two weeks, thats a hell of a lot of time and fuel if you aren't doing it anyway, and like I said, some years I do, some I don't.

Also, dpf max lifetimes are rumoured to be only 100k miles or so (pre-dpf VW diesels are usually good for much much more than that) and replacements may be 2-3k, i.e. about the same price as a new engine. Even if we assume no dpf issues until end of expected dpf life, you would be better off with a petrol that was 15mpg less fuel efficient. Crazy.

All I want is Golf TDi like they made 15 yrs ago, but new. Instead I will have to get something that is less efficient (real-world mpg) or less reliable or has shorter lifespan, or all three. All in the name of meeting tighter emissions standards, which it turns out they don't actually meet in the real world anyway (not VW or anyone else). And this is progress!?

Comment Re:Good intentions, but excess or impossible law? (Score 1) 420

The governments of the world are criminalizing otherwise legitimate business by enacting laws that make the cost of doing business such that actually complying would put them out of business.

The business of government is regulation (and taxation). This is not news, it's been the way of government since probably before the Roman empire. It is a business risk, I hope you identified it and planned appropriately.

Now the FCC is passing a law that is going to *outlaw* for all practical purposes my business. Is there intent good? Sure. I want to be able to use the airwaves and we need some regulation. However banning free software doesn't solve the problem of stopping a small number of people (the ones intent on breaking the law) from continuing to violate the good rules.

Regulations never stop the small number of people intent on breaking the law - that is not their purpose, it is to reduce the larger number of people who accidentally break the law because it is easy to do so and easy to claim ignorance "all I did was... how is that illegal". The gun laws in my country do not stop criminals (the ones intent on breaking the law) from getting hold of guns, they make it harder, more dangerous, more expensive maybe, but really they only prevent ordinary law abiding people. But they work. Ordinary people are not armed. Result: police are not routinely armed, Result: US police shoot and kill more people in a typical _day_ than ours do in a typical _year_, about 50 times fewer accounting for population size. But the people intent on breaking the law can still get guns, the laws do not stop them.

Secondly, the FCC regs as I understand it do not ban free software, rather they ban modifiable devices. Devices may still be made with free software, but must be locked down in some way. That may require redesigning your software to lock down only the bits legally required, or locking down the device - your choice.

Should everybody involved in GNU/Linux just stop shipping product and go out of business? Those who don't are outlaws. Either they follow the law, lock down devices, and violate other laws on copyright, or they stop shipping there product!!!!

Ah, you must be talking about GPLv3 software. Linux itself is ok - it is v2 - you can ship a locked down Linux device.

For other GPLv3 software, I think you are reading the GPL incorrectly. There is no "either/or" in S12, you MUST stop shipping because that is what the GPL says, there is no option to not comply with the conditions and not lock down - you would still violate the GPL (IMO, IANAL, and I am not in your jurisdiction).

"if conditions are imposed on you [...] that contradict the conditions of this license [...] you may not convey it at all."

Again, there is no option to not comply with those other conditions, it is the imposition of the conditions whether you comply or not (and likely even if the conditions exist in law but are not generally enforced) that triggers the clause.

Even the FSF has referred to this as a "liberty or death" clause. The GPL has always been a political license, intended to subvert copyright (and patent) law by using it against itself, some conflict with the law is inevitable and when the law wins the GPL software dies. Your business is a pawn in someone else's bigger political battle. That is by design, clearly inherent in the license of the software you chose to use - other Free Software does not have this issue, with BSD of course you wouldn't have a problem complying with the law.

But of course you know all this from back whenever you chose GPL over BSD etc., and when you assessed the relative risks of each license and regulation (and the risk of gplv3 conflicting with regulations was known before gplv3, because I knew and I am damn sure I wasn't the only one to raise it in the consultation), and before you bet your business on it. So, I am just reminding you that you took a risk - some you win, some you don't, that's business. If you didn't consider the risks, well that's more like gambling, some you win most you don't.

There are still ways round it even within the GPL. GPL allows software in ROM, for example - might be more expensive but hey, regulation has a price, just like the FDA keeps you safe from all those dangerous Canadian drugs, that are exactly the same chemical but oddly much cheaper...

The other way is to restrict/re-target your products to business markets, because GPLv3 allows locked down devices for business/professional users (or more exactly, the anti-lockdown provisions _only_ apply to personal/family/household devices). You might want to ponder why that is, I don't know but I am pretty sure rms didn't just wake up one morning and think hey lets add a field-of-use restriction (which is what it is), after years of arguing against such. More likely some large commercial interests who sell stuff to business users and didn't want to end up in the same position as you and lobbied rms to give them an exception. They refused to be the pawn, because when it's liberty or death, pawns get sacrificed. If you think that interpretation is wrong, then explain why business/professional users do not get the same protected freedoms as home users under the GPL. If you think it stinks, then welcome to the club - it is one of the main reasons v3 put me off GPL (not the anti-tivo clause per se, but the fact it only applies to some fields of use, whilst claiming to be there on principle).

Comment Re:Good engineering (Score 1) 420

Engineers design things to meet the constraints they are given, This doesn't indicate malice on the part of the engineers, this indicates that the testing methods are faulty. Put the cars on a dynamo and simulate real world driving conditions!

Trouble is, there are various systems (traction control, stabilty, braking, abs/esp/ebs/ecs/dcs/tcs/lalala) on a modern car that _have_ to know if they are on dyno or they f**k up and trash the test, the car, and maybe the dyno.

Real world driving conditions are variable, unpredictable and unrepeatable, test conditions are not, that is the point. Any test that is predictable and repeatable and hence fair to the multiple participants is also going to be detectable and hence can be designed-to or cheated.

Comment Re:Phones, Computers, etc. (Score 1) 420

This is the greatest thing to happen to the libre firmware movement.

no, it is the worst.

It is the clearest, easiest to explain to dim people (e.g. politicians), real-world example of why "end users must _not_ be allowed to control firmware".

Pretty much all emissions control measures in cars reduce performance and/or fuel economy, and therefore removing them tends to be made illegal. Now it has been shown that a practically undetectable (escaped detection for almost 10yrs) firmware change can reduce emissions when tested and improve performance at other times. How tempting is that for users ?

Govt.s can afford to investigate VW and fine them billions, they cannot afford to do complex technical investigations on millions of car owners many of whom wouldn't be able to pay a fine that covered the cost of the investigation. So they will go back to VW (and other mfrs) and demand that they make it impossible for users to change the EPA-approved firmware, and this scandal will be the reason given.

Comment Re:Some people should not be buying diesels... (Score 1) 420

Unfortunately the marketing for diesel cars, at least in Europe, failed to sell the point of the diesel car, hence a bunch of eejits deciding that illegally removing the particle filter would be a good idea: Diesel cars are great for long journeys! If you use them to go to the shop, never exceeding 60km/h and with the engine barely reaching the optimum temperature, it'll clog the particle filter on the long run. But no, people still were following the other sheep because "diesel is better" (which is debatable, depending on your usage pattern of a car).

Ok genius, I bought a (VW) diesel some years ago, before dpfs. Here is my usage pattern for the past lifetime of my current car but obviously past returns are no guarantee of future performance etc.

1. initially 1 or 2 200 mile round trips per week, working away, staying away. 20k miles per year approx
2. then changed job. 10 mile urban commute, 5 days a week
3. changed job again. mix of long journeys to work on customer site, sometimes over 1000 miles per week, and sometimes whole months office-based with 10 mile urban commute
4. swap cars with wife for a year, car now doing 5 mile rural commute
5. swap cars again, car is now doing 70-140 miles a day, over 400 miles a week

As I understand it, 1, 5 and sometimes 3 I would want a diesel, while 2 and sometimes 3 and possibly 4 will kill the dpf on a modern diesel.

So, I am _not_ following the sheep, I _am_ considering my usage pattern, what do I buy when this car dies? I just want a new medium sized 5 door that gives as good fuel economy and reliability, i.e. stupid filter isn't going to die) on the usage pattern above as the one I bought over 10yrs ago. I don't think that is too much to ask given 10yrs of technical improvements in fuel economy. Current car gets high 50s mpg real world (tank to tank), getting 60+ at the moment (will go down as it gets colder in winter).

Petrol or diesel, I'm all ears - because I'm ****ed if I can work it out, other than stick with what I've got because all new cars are actually worse than we used to build a decade or so ago. But they do better on the tests of course...

Comment Re:Switching (Score 1) 147

Nope. IME, most _employers_ will take pdf, most _recruitment agencies_ want .doc/.docx.
This is, in fact, so they can edit it. Some of them will even kind of admit it "we need to ensure it goes out with our logo" etc., but in reality there are two reasons:

1) removing your contact details so the agency doesn't get cut out of the loop
2) editing your skills and experience to be buzzword-compliant for the opportunity

Sometimes for extra fun they do (2) without understanding what the technical words mean, leading to a massive waste of everyone's time.

Comment Re:Well, that was quick (Score 1) 181

Retaliation for the whole emissions standard thing.

Not that either is ok: neither should VW have cheated, nor the U.S. automakers ever have been so lax w/r to crash safety.

more likely the VW emissions thing was a pre-emptive strike designed to bury this news - and it mostly worked. There are rumours that various govts knew about the emissions test issues for years...

Either way politics and TTIP are behind it all

Comment Re: Who makes these decisions? (Score 1) 628

Recently built a new gaming desktop for my son, I wasn't expecting vast improvement in boot times from previous machines (with ssd) but with 8.1 cold boot is around 3secs (yes three) and from hibernate is faster. To get into the bios usually takes two goes because you have to work fast and blind, normally by the time the monitor has synced up you are at login screen. Essentially full boot is as fast as restart from sleep on my laptops.


DOJ Vs. Google: How Google Fights On Behalf of Its Users 78

Lauren Weinstein writes: While some companies have long had a "nod and wink" relationship with law enforcement and other parts of government -- willingly turning over user data at mere requests without even attempting to require warrants or subpoenas, it's widely known that Google has long pushed back -- sometimes though multiple layers of courts and legal processes -- against data requests from government that are not accompanied by valid court orders or that Google views as being overly broad, intrusive, or otherwise inappropriate. Over the last few days the public has gained an unusually detailed insight into how hard Google will fight to protect its users against government overreaching, even when this involves only a single user's data. One case reaches back to the beginning of 2011, when the U.S. Department of Justice tried to force Google to turn over more than a year's worth of metadata for a user affiliated with WikiLeaks. While these demands did not include the content of emails, they did include records of this party's email correspondents, and IP addresses he had used to login to his Gmail account. Notably, DOJ didn't even seek a search warrant. They wanted Google to turn over the data based on the lesser "reasonable grounds" standard rather than the "probable cause" standard of a search warrant itself. And most ominously, DOJ wanted a gag order to prevent Google from informing this party that any of this was going on, which would make it impossible for him to muster any kind of legal defense.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long