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Comment: Re:F the UK (Score 4, Insightful) 489

by tobe (#48185061) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Sadly there's an element of our society that thinks it's funny and/or acceptable to threaten violence and specifically rape on people for simply expressing their views. A recent case where a woman was bombarded with these kind of threats for simply campaigning to keep a notable female on at least one of our bank notes comes to mind. The general population does not think this is an acceptable price to pay for free speech, hence legislation. I don't think you'll find many dissenting voices.

Comment: Re:They're finishing off Nokia (Score 4, Interesting) 272

by tobe (#47483347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

> Between that an automation it just looks like we're running out of work to do..

You are dead right there.

Drive for a living? Not for much longer.
Fly for a living? Not for much longer.
A broker or agent of some kind? Won't be needing you so much.

Globally huge numbers of traditional blue collar jobs are being made obsolete and they're not being replaced in sufficient numbers with new opportunities. We're going to have to adjust to the reality that within, say, 100 years... unless climate change or war or whatever hasn't significantly affected global demographics.. most of the developed world's population is not going to be economically active within the existing model of trading labour for goods. We're going to have to find cheap ways of keeping them fed and pacified whilst still being able to look at ourselves in the mirror.

Comment: Re:HFT = a cost to society (Score 2) 342

by tobe (#46684817) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

It really is since they're potentially inflating the prices paid for equities.. not only by the individuals but their pensions funds. HFT shops open and close with 0 positions.. they do not hold stock past the close of business. They are simply skimming cents from transactions and that's costing people real money over the lifetimes of their investments. The stock exchange has lost all sight of it's original function to raise capital for growth investment.

Comment: Put the exchanges on discrete clocks. (Score 1) 342

by tobe (#46684711) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

1 Hz should be about right, maybe 10. Bids and Offers arrive and are visible but aren't acted on until the next clock edge at which point the settlements take place and a new trade queue is started.

Should do it.. as long as the frequency is reasonably low this scheme seems to enable real-time price information to be able for all players in the market.

And ban dark pools.

Comment: Re:Like Travelling back in time (Score 1) 731

by tobe (#46218827) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

Yeah.. the debit card thing I find totally bizarre and can't understand for the life of me. Debit cards seem to be the ideal expression of card payments.. direct from your bank account. You either have the funds or you don't.. no middle man creaming interest from you consumer and charging the retailer a processing fee. And yet they're alien in the US.

If someone could explain why debit cards aren't usual in the US I'd appreciate it. Having said that.. my EU debit card seems to work just fine all over the US.

Comment: Re:Umm.. just as Europe moves beyond chip and pin. (Score 1) 731

by tobe (#46218717) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

> This is why you are disarmed,
Nope.. talk to the Swiss.

> have to register your address with the police
Nope.. unless you're a sex offender maybe.

> carry an internal passport
Nope.. especially not in the UK.

> go through extensive background checks to be allowed to open bank accounts
Not particularly.

> register your TV sets,
Nope... although you require a TV licence in the UK. From which we fund the BBC. You're welcome..

> submit to home searches by tax collectors, etc. etc.
Nope. Search warrants and the usual process of law excepted.

Comment: Umm.. just as Europe moves beyond chip and pin... (Score 4, Interesting) 731

by tobe (#46217027) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

In all the time I've spent in America I don't believe I've ever seen anyone really check the signature against the card.. always amazed me how lax and open to fraud that system was. In the UK we switched to chip and pin about 10 years ago.. and we were generally lagging the rest of the EU on that matter.

But why would the US move to chip and pin when it could leapfrog ahead to biometrics.. you're already seeing fingerprint scanners and suchlike appear in mainland Europe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21085738) and surely enough of the initial results are in to guide the decision making there.

Comment: Re:And the torment of her family and loved ones? (Score 1) 289

by tobe (#44315819) Attached to: Gore Site Operator Arrested For Posting Video of Murder

I think you're exactly right here.. others may talk about a slippery road to restriction of free speech but I think societies are right to be more concerned about a slide into the kind of depravity that is typically portrayed as dystopian. I'm very comfortable with throwing the book at this guy and destroying the footage, just as comfortable as I would be if it were child pornography or any other non-consensual act.

I think we all instinctively know what the essence of free speech is and it isn't this. I'm absolutely sure that if the Framers could have envisaged such a situation they would have specifically put it outside the bounds of protected forms of expression.

And.. on a sidenote: You mentioned brutal executions in England. The very term 'cruel and unusual punshment' originates in the English Bill of Rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Bill_of_Rights) passed in 1689. We've only hung people since then (although there was an unfortunate incident involving some Catholics in 1746).

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