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Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 537

The author also doesn't seem to know that there are dozens of regional currencies in Europe that apart from being deemed 'legal' by the state have nothing to do with the state at all. Have a look for the Brixton Pound, as one example. It's doing just fine, it has an electronic version as well as paper too. I understand that there are some regional currencies in Germany that aren't 'sanctioned', but serve to transfer wealth from person to person because they don't like the Euro.

Comment Re:wait a second! (Score 3, Interesting) 137

What's to say they didn't really cut the undersea cable? How about they cut it on nice-and-cosy dry land, but told you it was actually an undersea problem?

Or... how about they wanted to cut the cable on dry land, but couldn't because it would disrupt everyone using it. Instead, they called up their pals in the Navy and asked them to rent a ship and drop anchor on the cable. At the same time, they cut the cable on dry land, added in their splitters and then let the cable company repair the under-sea problem. When the cable company lit the cable up again, they recalibrated it for the repair to the undersea cut, and the split cut, but never knew about the split cut.

Or... how about they just got into the cable companies ahead of time and tapped it right there, and actually the anchor drops were real accidents?

Either way, the cables got tapped, and we got screwed over.

Comment Re:Oh, dear. (Score 1) 143

Maybe the deal required them to work for their new overlords for 2 years, or relocate the company to Elbonia, or whetever else. It may have been that they got offered the majority of the money as shares in their new overlord, which they thought might tank once the truth of their own organisation became public. Who knows?

There is also something about believing your own hype. That is, is you started snapchat, you presumably think it's a good idea. Whilst the market may have other ideas, you may not have shifted your position, and so believe that your present worth is much less than your future worth. You may also over-estimate your own abilities to get to that future worth.

Comment Re:Uhh (Score 1) 332

Right - and so if you wanted to make a resistant organisation, you'd need to break it up into numerous pieces. Let's take an email provider as an example. You could break your whole organisation into countries (even if you're entirely based in one country). People signing up pick a country, and get hosted as part of that country. If you get a secret court order for a country, you shut it down, but continue to operate the others.

The problem with this approach is that it makes it really hard to run a business. You now have to run "n" businesses, and they can't have an umbrella group holding company to syphon money through. Also, what if your accountant is in the company you need to shut down - now you have to move him to another organisation. Not exactly hard, but it's a whole lot of overhead you could probably live without.

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 114

As a Londoner, I'm proud to know that some poor sap had to use a black marker pen to cover over the manufacturer's (tiny) logo on every one of the 70,000 'pixels' they put in the seating in the main stadium. I'm proud that no visitor to the Olympics was tarnished by seeing the name of a company who wasn't a sponsor, even though there was no "official pixel provider" at the games.

Comment Pointless survey (Score 1) 449

We asked 1000 people, "if you had the option of buying a non-existent product, of unspecified quality, that you will hand responsibility for your life to, in return for cheaper car insurance, would you do it?" If said auto-car was made by JML, then I'd have to say 'no'. If it was made by Google, then I might say yes, after seeing it perform - and then, perhaps only if there were enough others on the road to have something of a 'critical mass'.

Comment Re:I read this on Techdirt: (Score 1) 510

It's a whole lot simpler than that. MI5, MI6 and GCHQ are getting questioned by MPs ( This means The People get to see the questions and answers a whole lot more than they used to when said MPs would meet the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ in normal (secret) circumstances.

Before we the people start saying things like "oh my, surveillance really is a bad thing, isn't it!?", the MPs want to make sure they can call us all paedo-lovers for daring to have such an opinion. The "senior whitehall official" cited needs his balls cutting off for this. We have to stop letting them get away with this stuff.

First up - any idea who the "official" was?

Comment Re:Geo-fencing, nothing more. (Score 1) 188

No - not true. The merchant bears most of the risk. It's entirely wrong, and I'm amazed it's even legal, but that's how it is.

If you set up an online shop, you'll find that you are asked to take on the risk of fraud, yet you don't get the card number or card address from the purchaser. That means you have no reasonable way to verify if the purchaser is fraudulent - even if you had a list of all the stolen cards or whatever, you still couldn't make that judgement. Instead, the card company does that fraud check for you, and tell you the card is good to go. You'll then ship product, after which they come back to you to say "sorry, that card was stolen". They then take their money back off you, and you're left without product and without money.

I wonder if this sort of thing is even legal in the UK any more. Financial companies now have to treat customers fairly (under FSA/FCA rules), and I'm left wondering if this would hold up as "fair" if it was challenged. However, until such a time, the merchant is almost entirely liable for any card fraud.

Comment Re:Are you an actual moron? (Score 1) 188

I'm sorry, I have to pick you up on this.

I use Tor for shopping, banking whatever. The reasons I do this are many and varied, but I don't see why the retailer needs to know my IP address and therefore current location for me to order something. Sure, they know where to send it, and they know where I live, but they have no business knowing that I'm at the dog track, or visiting my mistress or goofing off at work, or out of town for a few days on vacation or anything else.

And so, yes, there are very good reasons to hide your IP address, even if you're subsequently giving away personal details.

Comment Re:Help us Google Fiber! You're our only hope. (Score 1) 568

Here in the UK, BT (nee the GPO) had the monopoly. The regulator now forces them to rent their cables, telegraph poles and cabinets to their competitors. It's a long way from a perfect system, but it's how I, who live in the South of the England can use Plusnet, a Yorkshire based company in the North of England's services. Plusnet are able to put equipment in my local (BT) telephone exchange, and if BT ever get off their arse and dig some fibre, Plusnet will be able to use that too.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman