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Comment Re:Inertia (Score 1) 225

One of the first countries to roll out EMV was the UK, where there were plenty of magstripe cards.

Try again. I'll give you a hint. The real reason is that in the USA Visa is an ordinary company, whereas in the rest of the world it was owned by the banks. In one setup there is incentive to fix things. In the other, not so much.

Comment Re: No problem (Score 2) 189

Hmm. Isn't that two sides of the same coin? Mexican imports were cheaper ... partly because the UAW ensured costs were high, even at the expense of the long term health of the industry?

Sure, unions weren't the only factor in what happened to Detroit, but putting the blame squarely on el Mexicans seems rather Trump-like.

Comment Re:Politifact is full of shit. (Score 1) 663

That "proof" image is kind of ridiculous. Its citations in support of Trump tend to come from single people, frequently republicans themselves. The unemployment rate is a matter of public record but your "proof" chooses to cite some old dude who was Reagen's budget director instead of the statistical agency.

Comment Re:view not shared by all link (Score 1) 361

You mean like how British citizens have to deal with the bureaucracy of visas when they visit America? They don't, and there's no particular reason the UK would have to make it hard for scientists to visit.

The EU is the only protection citizens have against governments forcing through controversial bills

This is the crux of the matter. Some people believe the EU is a better government than their own and want the UK to stay in for that exact reason - so the (relatively right wing) British government constantly loses power in favour of the (relatively left wing) EU.

Or do you think none of the EU legislation is "forced through" or "controversial"?

Comment Re:Incentives (Score 1) 361

There is no way to become a major player in the EU - it's simply impossible. The UK routinely loses virtually all the voting positions it takes in the EU Parliament, so basically, it faces a choice between keeping its current positions and having no influence, or adopting the same positions as most of the other countries and by definition not having any influence.

To think that the UK, which is relatively right wing, can change the basic direction most of the other countries are travelling (relatively left wing), seems to be naive. There are only two futures for the UK - in, and forced to constantly do things against its will until it eventually ends up with an EU government that doesn't represent what the populace thinks (nor care), and out, probably triggering a trade war with the countries whose politicians treat the EU as a religion and therefore must punish heretics.

As you say, the EU would be much more effective if it was more federal.

If you define "effectiveness" as "successfully harmonising laws and regulations" then yes, of course it would, sort of like if you define an "effective government" as one that enforces the rule of law eliminating the rules of evidence would make it more effective.

Most people have wider definitions of effectiveness though, for instance, creating prosperity and protecting various liberties. Measured along these lines, it's not at all clear that the EU would be more effective if it became larger and more powerful. The EU so far as a very mixed track record of creating prosperity, with the Greek fiasco being the number one case of where things went wrong but it's far from the only example. It is instinctively protectionist and has massive problems with the French, in particular, vetoing things that'd make sense for literally everyone but which would upset some French minority ... for instance the protection of the desperately dull French film industry constantly causes issues, the reason the EU Parliament switches between two different places at massive cost and waste is because the French would veto any attempt to stop it, and so on.

I'm undecided which way I'll vote myself, but let's not pretend that the UK is holding the EU back from greatness. It's trying to hold it back from federalism (and mostly failing), but that's not the same thing at all.

Comment Re:Who is still using mag stripes on ATM cards? (Score 1) 184

EMV isn't a European thing, even though that's where deployment first started. EMV is an "everywhere but the USA" thing.

The bizarre insistence of American financial providers on trying everything except just rolling out EMV is really amazing. At some point I start to wonder if it's a subtle form of protectionism.

Comment Re:Control of the Media (Score 3, Informative) 73

He doesn't. Every time I've looked into this claim I wasn't able to find support for it. There are and have been media outlets in Russia that criticise Putin without suffering any obvious state interference. Yes, most don't, but it's impossible to disentangle cause and effect there: the Russian outlets that attack Putin have often come across as generally over the top, and managed to alienate their own readers/viewers without any help from the Kremlin. Generally, constantly attacking figures that are popular isn't good for your circulation in any country, and there's nothing unique about Russia in that regard.

As a comparison, up until the Greece/migration crisis Merkel was genuinely popular in Germany and overt criticism of her in the German media was somewhat rare. Of course it's become a lot more common now. If the Russian economy continues to tank due to low oil prices and sanctions then I'd expect to see Russian politics heat up a bit.

Comment Re:No global deletion (Score 1) 95

Remind me again who is having their free speech silenced by this

Google. And in practice, the people who rely on it to have their content be found (i.e. everyone else).

3. Why does Google have free speech rights that normal companies don't, e.g. credit references can't report things that happened long ago by law, and can't claim free speech allows them to.

Maybe those companies should? The solution to "some idiots excessively weight events that happened 20 years ago" is not censorship of facts, it's to educate people that other people change and that needs to be taken into account.

Comment Re:Subpoenas and the right against self-incriminat (Score 1) 175

It sounds to me like the problem is a flaw in the constitution or the way it's being interpreted, to be honest. The prohibition against incriminating yourself is very obviously there to stop people being tortured until they falsely claim they are guilty. But giving up a password is not a proclamation of guilt or innocence either way. All it can possibly do is yield more evidence, hopefully leading to a more accurate outcome of the case.

I mean, under the same logic, search warrants should be illegal because by letting someone into your house you'd be "self-incriminating". Doesn't work that way.

I think the simplest fix to this problem the FBI has is for courts to stop treating "you must tell us the password" as falling under the self-incrimination clauses. It doesn't make logical sense, would yield a reasonable balance of power (FBI/other agencies cannot do bulk data harvesting from phones, which is the real danger here), puts protection of the device or not under the control of the court, etc. This is the compromise other countries have arrived at and it seems to work OK most of the time.

Comment Re: No problem (Score 1) 675

No it isn't. Absolutely nothing stops ad blockers using heuristics to identify "ad shaped images" or simply having manually written lists of DOM paths to nuke.

I find this whole attitude of "shut up whiners, make your ads EXACTLY meet my unique criteria or else I'll just benefit from your work for free - see if you can stop my nya nya" to be appalling.

Apparently people haven't thought through where this ends. It ends with someone eventually making a non-web content platform that doesn't support ad killers, uses video-game like "anti cheat" techniques and which gets the lions share of the best content because publishers are sick of being ripped off. You know, kind of like how the PC used to be the primary gaming platform in the world and eventually most of the AAA games were coming out on consoles first, and PC maybe or never. Basically, because of piracy and the console makers commitment to fighting it.

Comment Re:Roll-back as in play-back? (Score 2) 73

Banks can roll back transactions for various reasons, e.g. bankruptcy proceedings, mistakes by their own operators or by customers, or ... transactions that are fraudulent. The Metel gang obviously had a sense of irony in exploiting this ability to undo fraudulent transactions to their own benefit.

Comment Re: If it can be played, it can be copied (Score 1) 364

They'll either wait for the crack, sneak through a licensing hole or go without. They aren't going to buy your fucking product, period.

Ah yes. The classic "everyone in the entire industry are morons who enjoy burning money" explanation.

Guess what? The people who buy DRM products, and they virtually all do, are not idiot savants who have the intellectual capability to make an AAA video game but somehow can't do basic maths when it comes to their own sales figures. I've seen one sales graph from an indie game where the sales dropped the day a crack became available, and the moment the exploit was patched, sales went back up again (it was a multiplayer game iirc).

You have to be really naive to think that everyone who pirates software is some sort of hard-core PIRACY OR DEATH ideologue. No, it turns out when the data is sifted that - surprise - 99% of them are lazy cheapskates who could easily afford the game, they'd just rather not - but if their only option is buying it then a significant number will go ahead and do so. That's sort of why companies have consistently developed DRM since, well, since the dawn of video gaming itself.

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