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Comment science fiction, fantasy, etc (Score 1) 150

...science fiction I read when I was young ... violates laws of physics big-time.

Then you were reading (very likely mislabeled) fantasy. The whole point of science fiction is to embed a story within the context of plausible science. Nothing wrong with fantasy, but it isn't, and never has been, science fiction.

Between the "speculative fiction" rendering down of that specific distinction, and the marketing-driven labeling of fantasy as science fiction, and the tendency of bookstores for decades to lump fantasy and science fiction together, your experience is the rule, rather than the exception.

But there's still science fiction being written. The trick is finding it.

Comment Re:What Authority ... (Score 1) 482

Article 50 cannot be used to boot a member nation out of the EU, and nor does it have any link to the Euro, whereas Greeces only problem was with the Euro (it had no control over its currency, and thus had issues with its budget) - there is no corresponding Article 50 for the agreements that make up the Eurozone. Yes, while EU rules say member nations (with a few exceptions) must join the Euro, its an entirely separate set of treaties and bodies and there is no current way enshrined in treaties to leave.

Removing Article 50 will require unanimous consent of member nations - its not being dropped any time soon.

Comment Re:I hate Apple, but no (Score 1) 482

Yes... Ireland took in just under 7 Billion Euros in corporation tax in 2014-2015. The UK took in just over 55 Billion Euros in corporation tax in the same period.

Being the largest payer when you are paying in pennies means fuck all in the grand scheme of things.

Ireland got a shit deal. The UK still got the jobs.

Comment Re:I hate Apple, but no (Score 2) 482

I'm afraid that, semantics aside, your point is invalid because the EU, as formalised in 1993 by the Maastricht Treaty, is merely a continuation and expansion of the EEC, formed in 1958, so Apple didn't exist in Europe prior to the rules that the EU are referring to, and the EU has the right to enforce rules as laid out by the EEC and continued under the EU.

Comment Re:I hate Apple, but no (Score 5, Informative) 482

Whether or not the tax breaks were illegal, Apple simply paid what the Irish government told them to pay, so as far I am concerned the EU can pound sand.

Apple didn't simply "pay what the Irish government told them to pay", there was a huge amount of negotiation between the two parties, leading to an agreement.

That agreement does not transcend EU rules, so it was illegal at the time and I'm sure you will understand that illegal agreements are not worth the paper they are written on.

I believe Apple has replied "You can have your back taxes or you can have our jobs - but not both."

Good for them.

Wow. 6,000 jobs. When Apple already employ more than that in the UK, where they have no tax deal. What a wonderful deal the Irish got...

Comment Re:Government Networks (Score 1) 382

I worked at DEC back when cdrom was just coming out (DEC had a server called 'infoserver' that would be a bank of cdrom drives you could mount and get data from; back in late 80's, early 90's).

we had requests from customers to OMIT the vol control and front TRS jack so that music could not easily be played using those drives. the customers were 'afraid' their worker bees might be enjoying their work-time too much by endulging in some music while they work. DEC saw dollar signs and said 'sure! we'll let you treat your workers like shit. no problem!'. sigh.

wonder who those customers were? we (engineering) were not told, just that it had to be removed from the product for 'some customers'.

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 94

And why not? Facebook exists to make money.

you and many others may think so. maybe you are right.

but maybe, just maybe, its all a scam and totally owned by the government as a way to get around *direct* spying on citizens.

google, MS and even apple included. to be a big player in the US, you have to follow some rules, especially the ones you will never read about or be able to point to in print.

we're in a post-snowden understanding of things; and yet there is still so much more that we don't know about the reality of our world. power brokers run up and down at all levels and to believe that this is a 'happy, shiney world' is just so last-century.

hardware vendors (intel, amd, etc) also have to play along. intel's ME crap is yet another spying tech that regular people are not allowed to know much about.

we do live in a mixed world. lots of good people who have good intentions. but equally, lots of people much like the ones who 'like to see the world burn' and that includes bad guys on 'both sides' of some imaginary line.

I don't believe for a second that the huge players have not bent over and done whatever the US government wanted, in order to have an 'easier way' to continue to make their billions and live essentially tax-free and with full protection and support of the government. such a cozy relationship. but you and I don't get to play; its only for the big corps and those in the elite groups.

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