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Comment Re:Good lord.... (Score 3, Informative) 164

Now I'm usually one to jump on bad stats given that I took a further degree in stats, but the first line of TFA answers your question:

"The study entitled State of Mobile Device Performance and Health focuses on the second quarter of 2016"

58% of all iOS devices sounds way too high for sure, until you recognise their broad definition of failure which can include failing to connect to WiFi, app crashes and so on.

So effectively the study is saying that in Q2 2016 58% of iOS devices suffered some sort of fault, but that fault might not actually be a big deal.

Beyond that I didn't read the report because I couldn't be bothered to sign up even with my junk details, so I can't really comment on how accurate their methodology might be, and hence how accurate their results might be, but if you're interested it's here:

I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that 58% of iOS devices suffered some kind of glitch in that period - all it would take is one buggy release of a popular app such as Facebook and the number is bound to shoot right up without it ever really being Apple's fault (beyond arguably not better vetting the quality of updates of apps perhaps).

When I Googled the report though, the first result was actually the 2016 Q1 report, where the results are the exact opposite:

I suspect therefore one of two things, either it is as I say and one broken major software release on a device or set of devices can greatly sway the stats in a quarter due to their broad definition of "fault" or they're just making these numbers up as a clickbait to try and get you to sign up to build up their userbase for monetisation purposes through ad revenue or similar.

I'm swaying towards the second, not that I'm a cynic or anything :)

Comment Re:How to delete your phone number from facebook (Score 1) 102

I had a friend on MSN messenger who I knew in real life, we'd never connected on the internet in any other way whatsoever so the only way to link us was via MSN.

I was on LinkedIn but only with 10 or so contacts, all of whom were recruiters and had no common links between me and my friend on MSN.

One day when I logged into LinkedIn it suggested my friend from MSN as a contact, given that the only way to link us was via MSN it was clear that long before MS bought LinkedIn it was engaging in illegal data sales/transfers with LinkedIn and LinkedIn was willing to buy/accept illegal data too, and use it to try and grow it's business.

It seems that pretty much all big tech companies violate data protection laws. The law just seems to not get enforced against them.

Comment Re:How to delete your phone number from facebook (Score 2) 102

Facebook already does this, they're in flagrant violation of European data protection laws, but for some reason no one is touching them, it's frustrating.

For example, I installed the Facebook app on my phone and have never given Facebook my phone number. Next time I logged in on my PC it prompted me to add my phone number with a textbox and an add button, except the phone number was pre-populated with my phone number, they were effectively asking me to confirm it by asking me to add it, because they'd very clearly already taken it, illegaly, from my phone, to pre-populate their add textbox (I don't use any kind of auto-fill, it was Facebook's actual website populating it).

This is a complete farce, because they're taking and storing data they have no right to have and then asking you to click a button to make it legal - the fact they even ask you to add it with this pre-populated box means they're completely aware they're breaking the law because it is simply asking you to click the button so that they're compliant. This isn't accidental violation, this is wilful violation, so they should be getting fined the maximum amount by all Data Protection agencies across Europe already.

Apparently you can opt-out of this new WhatsApp data transfer when it comes along, but what's the bet if you opt-out the data still gets sent regardless?

Comment Re:Much rejoicing... (Score 1) 155

Actually I completely agree that there are some arguments for US single country stewardship and you're right, removing that risk scenario is absolutely one of them, my argument was simply that freedom of speech isn't an argument for US stewardship because it already enforces worse censorship on the net than any other country because US censorship is applied to all 7.4 billion people in the world, whereas even Chinese censorship only hits their 1.3 billion own citizens.

Though as I say I personally don't really think that argument wins over even though I agree it's not entirely unreasonable. The reason I think this is because if the US was willing to sacrifice it's veto in a multi-country stewardship environment, what's to stop it doing so now? Can we really guarantee the US wont agree to arrest, deport, and take down the domains of Chinese dissidents in return for, say, China agreeing to actually enforce copyright laws? If we can't trust them to do it in a multi-country stewardship environment, then why would we trust them to do it outside of that? The point being that in a multi-country environment where the whole world is involved you have to convince each and every single country in the world of each and every measure, that in my view, is far less risky than just having to convince one country.

Comment Re:Much rejoicing... (Score 1) 155

To be clear I wasn't referring to the entire continents - only a handful of European countries engage in holocaust denial censorship for example (the UK doesn't, but it does engage in US style copyright censorship).

My point was simply that there is censorship coming from every corner of the globe, and the number of trustworthy stewards on any continent is small. You're absolutely right, Brasil wouldn't be a bad steward, I was thinking more of nations like Venezuela for what it's worth.

Comment Re:Much rejoicing... (Score 3, Insightful) 155

"Like I said, America isn't perfect, but on this issue I trust the US a hell of a lot more than I do any other country."

But this in itself is just nationalist patriotism, the US has a long history of censorship on the internet via things like ICE domain seizures, which unlike, say, China's censorship, enforce censorship globally to every country, not just the country engaging in censorship (the US).

If you believe in single country stewardship if that country would offer better protections than any other then it's nonsensical to favour the US over many others. If you're going for single country stewardship then why not go for a country that has a much better track record on political neutrality, political transparency, and freedom, such as Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand or similar?

Personally I think single country stewardship is a bad idea though regardless, in Asia there is censorship over blasphemy, Europe it's holocaust denial, in South America it's criticising government, and in North America it's defying the copyright cartels. All-country stewardship where changes can only occur based on 100% consensus is the only way to really protect free speech on the internet because that way you get all the benefits of the US veto you have currently but with the added advantage of countries like Russia and China being willing to block US copyright censorship.

Long story short though, there is no rational reason to prefer US single country stewardship if you believe in freedom and openness of the internet, and if you do so then it's because you're letting nationalism take priority over the things you're professing to want to protect. That is, when you say you trust the US more, what you're saying is "I want our guys to retain control, even if that means a bit of censorship" - you're arguing in favour of US control and NOT freedom from censorship, because the US already engages in that in a manner that effects everyone across the globe, not just those inside it's borders.

Really, if the US were a good steward of internet freedom then rather than engaging in global censorship via domain seizures it would set up it's own Chinese style great firewall and just block it's own citizens from accessing those sites it finds offensive such that it's politics remains only a problem for it's own people, and not censorship for every single person on the planet, including the 7billion+ that live outside of it's borders.

Comment Re:Not just the Chinese (Score 1) 170

Oh god, I give up, I've answered all your questions and you still don't get it, it turns out you sadly really are just not intelligent enough for this discussion. I've explained the way international law works on issues like this and you still don't get it posing once again, a question already answered.

Argentina didn't become a 3rd world nation because it still adhered to international law in restructuring it's debts, and settling the others in court. What you're talking about is working outside the established precedent of using the UN's ICJ as arbitrater because you're arguing that Scotland should ignore precedent and rulings from the ICJ.

You really have no fucking clue, no matter what currency Scotland would take upon independence it gets saddled with it's population proportional share of national debt (and national assets), that's really all there is to it but that's reality, those are the facts, you can disagree all you want but you're still completely and utterly wrong at the end of the day. If you want to keep being a fuckwit about it then fine, that's entirely your choice, it will never make you right however, you'll still be wrong because you just have no idea what you're talking about as you keep proving, yet you harp on with incorrect drivel regardless.

FWIW, this is the industry I work in, I'm an actual professional on this issue, I understand all this, you clearly are not, and clearly do not. Get over yourself and stop pretending you have any clue about something you blatantly don't have a clue about.

Comment Re:Not just the Chinese (Score 1) 170

"Do you even understand the basics of how government is structured in the UK? It's not at all based on the the "UK government" owning everything, it's based on powers granted by Acts to create and control institutions."

And which can be revoked, and return control to central government, which is the ultimate controlling authority.

Yes, congratulations, you're beginning to get it now.

"No, that's just an argument that was used in a specific case relating to other countries in differing situations. Please state precisely which law would require Scotland to accept this debt. Is it somewhere in the Acts enabling devolution, for example?"

It doesn't matter if it chooses to accept it or not, the fact is it'll be assigned to it, and if it doesn't pay it then it defaults. It doesn't matter what a difficult independent Scotland would choose to do, if it wants to become an international pariah and ignore international norms it can, but it'll still be held against the proportion of debt assigned to it and still be held in default if it doesn't pay. You seem to think it's all Scotland's choice, but it's not, there are two parties to an independence agreement which is precisely why Salmond's fantasy ideas about being able to unilaterally refuse debt were always complete nonsense. Scotland isn't about to just shun the world just so it can get away with it's debts, leaving itself entirely unable to trade and entirely unable to get credit ever again as a result. It wouldn't be that difficult because the cost would outweigh the cost of accepting it's apportioned share of debt by several orders of magnitude. No one leading an independent Scotland would ever do anything so stupid as you're suggesting as to become a isolation 3rd world international pariah just to dodge it's debt obligations.

"Courts don't just make decisions based on what they feel is fair, they interpret and apply the law. If there is no written law covering Scotland that says they get a proportion of the debt, they don't get it, simple as that."

Actually yes, some of them do, you're probably one of those people that think that criminal courts are the only type of court in existence and that all law mirrors and models that. It doesn't. The whole point in courts of arbitration for example are to determine fair outcomes without any written law. Your argument falls flat regardless, because there's similarly no law stating that the UK has to retain all the debt either, what the fuck do you think happens to it then? It doesn't just disappear just because there's no written law saying explicitly who gets what in the case of a split between the specific case between Scotland and rUK.

You're still in this mindset that Scotland is somehow special and unique, it isn't, it's just one part of the UK breaking away from another, just like when the Czech Republic and Slovakia stopped being Czechoslovakia, and when South Sudan and Sudan stopped being just Sudan. The fact Scotland has a distinct name simply does not matter, it's still just a part of the UK splitting away from another part of the UK and you can't pretend that only one part gets lumbered with the debt (but not the assets).

But it's clear you're determined not to get this and to keep playing stupid just because you like to stick it to rUK even though you're doing nothing but harming the cause of Scottish independence in the process by persisting discredited myth about what could happen post independence. If people like you keep spouting drivel then there's no hope for Scottish independence because the people of Scotland will continued to be put off by wishful thinking rather than pragmatic fact.

Comment Re:Not just the Chinese (Score 1) 170

You're still talking completely fantastical drivel, and you're backing it up with outright fabrications and ignorance of the answers I've already given you.

The Isle of Man has a completely different relationship with the UK, it's a crown depedency, Scotland isn't, it's part of the UK proper and still is funded entirely from the UK treasury regardless of what agreements have been raised as to how much Scotland gets from the treasury.

"True but totally irrelevant. You can't pass debt to your dependants without their agreement. Scotland will simply start its own account at zero and rise its own revenue, rather than writing the rUK a cheque and beginning in the red."

Scotland isn't a dependency, it's a part of sovereign UK territory. Your argument is still completely based on fantasy. You still don't even understand Scotland's relationship with the UK which means you're not even remotely in a position to be arguing this. You say there's no legal basis, except there is - every split of a sovereign state in two in modern history. It even works the opposite way - when East and West Germany unified they couldn't say "Hah, our debts no longer exist, because East and West Germany have gone and they've gone with it!", Germany just inherited both states assets and debts. Czechoslovakia, former Yugoslavian states, Sudan, it's always the same. You're just outright denying reality by pretending there is no precedent backed by the ICJ. Your arguments about French ex-dependencies is equally similarly ignorant in that they were depedencies and not part of France proper as Scotland is the UK. It's an inconvenient reality for you that Scotland is a proper part of the UK, not a mere crown depedency, not that that even realistically helps this particular argument anyway - even a crown depedency would have to pay back anything owed to the UK if it chose to no longer be a dependency, but crown dependency are already typically independent enough that they do not share the UK's treasury.

"Scotland, by the laws passed to enact devolution, has control over some spending. However, you are right, technically many assets in Scotland do belong to the UK. When independence happens some of them will be moved back to the UK, like the nuclear submarines stationed up there. You can't really move buildings though, so they will have to be abandoned by the rUK. Again, the rUK can't force Scotland to pay for them, there is no legal basis for that, but it can't remove them either."

This is again a completely nonsensical argument. Your view is effectively that Scotland can negotiate away it's debt share by giving up all the assets, but because some assets can't be moved out of Scotland then Scotland gets to keep them even though it's refusing the debts that paid for them - that will never fly, and never has flown at the ICJ. Scotland either lets rUK keep them and pays whatever rent the UK wants to impose on them, or it takes them and accepts a respective share of debt to pay for them.

"Look at how local government works in the UK. Councils are given money to spend my central government. The things they buy belong to them. It's similar to how if you give your girlfriend money to buy clothes you can't just demand them back when you break up. The law recognises that once you give money away in good faith, that's it. It doesn't become a debt or leverage."

Really? So explain how the UK government seized Rotherham council when it started to fail? What about the numerous council purchased schools over the years that were doing such a bad job that central government seized control of them to sort them out.

"The things they buy belong to them. It's similar to how if you give your girlfriend money to buy clothes you can't just demand them back when you break up."

This is also fundamentally wrong, you're getting your understanding of credit wrong not just at a sovereign debt level, but at an organisational and personal level too. You've really not thought this through, in the not uncommon scenario that a couple with a long term relationship or marriage split up and one person moves out of the family home, the person that moves out doesn't just lose all responsibility on the mortgage - they're granted an equal responsibility share of the asset even if they don't live there, AND an equal responsibility share of the mortgage - i.e. the debt. You don't get a scenario where one person gets the house and the other just gets saddled with the mortgage - you typically get a 50/50 split of assets and debt, with adjustments made beyond that in court if for example one member of the couple was bringing in disproportionately more income and the other wasn't contributing.

"You have to cite some specific laws or legal principals for your position."

Which, once again, I've obviously done, by pointing to the agreements overseen by the ICJ governing splits since the creation of the ICJ, but you seem to think if you ignore those that that means I've not provided any examples, it doesn't of course, it just means you've ignored them, which isn't the same thing.

Comment Re:Not just the Chinese (Score 1) 170

"You are going to have to cite the law that says this is the case. Please also explain how this "share" is calculated."

I suggest you look at the international standards for past splits - Czechoslovakia for example.

I don't understand why you're asking again how the share is calculated? I can't tell if you're really as dumb as you're sounding at this point as you've been told multiple times already. Population proportional share. Can you not read this or something? do you have some kind of browser plugin that filters inconvenient facts? you're asking a question three times that's been answered three times, I'm astounded that you're entirely incapable of taking this simple aspect in for some reason.

"Sorry, I wasn't clear enough for you. I meant that the assets belonging to the former masters were written off, they didn't try to put a monetary value on them and then use them to proportion debt to the former colonies."

Again, you're using the term written off, you have to explain why you think Scotland would be justified in achieving a debt write off from it's creditors if you think that's a wait it could evade paying it's proportion of UK national debt.

I don't think you really understand how international law, particularly pertaining to the ICJ works. There isn't a global law book that references these things, there are international treaties and national laws which the ICJ can rule on. The UK (and other countries that have split) have combined treasuries, that is, there is effectively one national bank account in simplistic terms. All revenue is collected by HMRC into that pot, even in Scotland, and Scotland then receives a share of that pot to spend how it sees fit based on national law (e.g. the Barnett formula), but that pot isn't big enough to cover all spending (i.e. the bailout of banks like RBS) based on income alone, and has been buffered up with credit (that obviously creates debt), thus a percentage of the income Scotland receives has been that credit (and hence that debt). There is no separation in that account such that the debt has only been added to rUK's pile because there is no separation of piles at the point debt is obtained. Scotland cannot say therefore that it has not benefited from the debt, because there's no way it can prove it (and besides, it has).

Your argument appears to be that because Scotland isn't in charge of this pool of money, that it shouldn't be saddled with the debt, but that inherently means that the converse is true, that it also cannot accept anything purchased from that fund either, which means every publicly purchased thing in Scotland from Holyrood to the roads, to the oil transport infrastructure are owned by rUK also. You cannot take the assets, but not take the debt, debt is merely a negative value asset and hence is treated exactly like any other asset.

If anything, as the Barnett formula disproportionately benefits Scotland any court might in fact rule that Scotland should in fact take a higher than population proportional share of debt if it went to court, because Scotland has historically taken a larger share of the pot than is population proportional (because under Barnett population proportion was miscalculated) and hence Scotland must also have taken a larger than population proportional share of debt based finance too. I suspect in practice the rUK government wouldn't feel it was worth the time pushing that and would stick to a population proportional share however.

If Scotland had been neglected by the rest of the country, for example say it had been left to rot with literally no national income then it might have a case, but it gains a slightly higher than proportional share, so it simply would have no leg to stand on in arguing it should take no debt upon independence.

You're really out of your depth here and you keep talking complete nonsense and asking questions that have been answered three times already. I think it's probably time you let it go and accept that you commented on something you simply don't understand and conflated what you would like to happen (Scotland becoming independent with no debt obligations) with what would actually happen. What you would like to happen isn't always necessarily what will happen. I don't want Brexit to happen, but that doesn't mean it wont and no amount of nonsensical theories I can make up could stop it. I wish I could just make things up and that would change reality, but it's not how the world works.

For what it's worth I'd wager this, above all else, is why Salmond lost the independence referendum - not because independence was an inherently bad idea, but because Salmond did exactly what you were doing - he based his independence plan on wishful thinking that showed a complete ignorance of reality. Instead of repeatedly insisting the UK would magically allow Scotland to use the pound regardless he should've been arguing "We will fight tooth and nail to keep the pound as our currency, but if we really cannot come to an agreement then this is our plan B". Instead of pretending Scotland could take all the assets, except the negative ones (i.e. debt) he should've produced a plan to deal with the debt. Instead of insisting he'd inherit EU access, he should've said "We hope to negotiate inherited EU access, but if we cannot, here's our accession plan".

Had he done those sorts of things he'd very possibly have won, but he didn't and people saw right through the fact that he had no plan and was selling a fantasy. If you want to support Scottish independence and don't want to listen to me then at least learn from his mistakes rather than parroting them after they've long since already been discredited.

Comment Re:Not just the Chinese (Score 1) 170

"Of course it does, that's just a bizarre statement... Do you also think that local councils can't have debts, "because they are not independent countries"? I'll try telling my bank I don't have any debts because I'm not an "independent country"."

I don't know why you're even engaging in a discussion like this if you don't know the difference between national debt, organisational debt, and personal debt. I don't believe you're really that stupid though are you? You're just arguing because you want to try and pretend Scotland could somehow lump rUK with all it's debt including the share accumulated on Scottish spending, even though that's completely nonsensical fantasy.

"If the UK government borrows money, that debt belongs to the UK government"

Yes, and Scotland is funded by... guess what, the UK government, because, well, it's part of the UK. Scotland doesn't have it's own version of HMRC so doesn't even collect income generated in Scotland - it's all still pulled from the UK central pot.

"When Soctland becomes independent, only the Scottish government's debt will have to go with it, everything else is a matter of negotiation."

No, automatically Scotland's population proportional share of the UK's national debt goes with it, along with Scotland's population proportional share of UK assets. THAT is the baseline, everything from there is the matter of negotiation. If Scotland wants independence with no debt, it has to figure out how the hell it's going to negotiate it. I suppose theoretically it could if for example it was willing to allow rUK to retain sovereignty over North Sea oil field territories or similar perhaps, but I doubt that's likely given that was the entire basis of Salmond's economic plan.

"but the UK government isn't going to just say "those debts are Scotland's now" and default on them."

It's not the UK that would say that, it's the ICJ whose ruling will be that adhered to by every single international creditor from whom Scotland may wish to borrow money.

"All those African ex-colonies that "benefited" from European military protection, infrastructure investment and the like. When they became independent most of it was just written off by their former masters, and the former colonists didn't take on a proportion of the debt."

Right, but you've explicitly pointed out you're talking about situations of written off debt. Why would anyone write off Scotland's population proportional percentage of debt? It's not the sympathy case that many African countries were when they obtained a write off. Furthermore, Scotland's share of debt wouldn't be owed to rUK, it would be owed to the creditors of the debt themselves, so it wouldn't even be rUK's decision anyway. Argentina couldn't even get certain US creditors to write off it's debt after actual bankruptcy and more than a decade later.

"Think about what you are saying for a moment. How would the percentage of debt given to Scotland be calculated? By the rUK government? What if they calculated 99%?"

Erm, I've said this already a few times - it's done based on population proportional percentage. That is the baseline for independence negotiations, it works the exact same way for assets.

Comment Re:Not just the Chinese (Score 2) 170

Don't disagree with the rest of what you say, but the link you're making between sterling and debt is complete drivel. It was something Salmond plastered together when he started getting desperate and is as incorrect as Farage and co's £350mill claims. It was broadly debunked at the time, so I'm amazed anyone would still parrot it.

The fact is that debt and currency are two separate things, a debt is expressed in a currency, but is not in any way linked to that currency. The international norm for national splits is that each departing element of a nation gets a population based proportion of both a nations assets and it's debts. It doesn't matter what Scotland would choose as it's new currency, it still has to take a population share of the UK's debt. This can change but it's based on mutual agreement, and typically involves one country giving up some assets to the other in return for an equivalent reduction in debt burden, so for example, Scotland might decide it doesn't need 24 Eurofighters or whatever, and so decides to let rUK keep 12 of them in return for an equivalent reduction in debt equal to the cost of those 12 Eurofighters. There isn't however enough assets that Scotland could realistically give up to even remotely approach a complete mitigation of it's proportional debt allocation as you're suggesting.

The problem with your argument is this line:

"If Scotland leaves Sterling, it will only have to retain its own debts."

It doesn't actually make any sense, Scotland doesn't have any independent debts because it's not an independent country. Whilst it has devolution, that's ultimately just giving it control of a proportion of the UK's pot, but it's still ultimately the same pot as the UK as a whole. Scotland's debts ARE the UK's debts because Scotland is part of the UK, hence, why, if there was a split, Scotland's share would need to be calculated, and that would be done on the international norm of population proportion.

It would make absolutely no sense if a country could say, get a parent country to blow billions on defence of it, getting into debt in the process, and then declare independence, but refusing to accept that it benefitted from that debt. No international court would ever back that viewpoint because it just doesn't make any kind of sense for a splitting country to completely offload it's costs onto the other half. Scotland cannot for example argue that it did not benefit from the bank bailouts which contributed to national debt when one of the biggest bailouts at £202bn was RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland).

I actually think it would make sense for Scotland to become independent at this point and as someone that was against it in 2014, I'm wholly for it now. Scotland is too different to the rest of the UK and I can fully understand why it wouldn't want to be associated with the ignorant, bigoted, isolationist, little Englander view that has now consumed England, but that doesn't change the fact that if they do get independence that they'd have to accept their fair share of debt, no amount of nonsense talk like pretending Scottish debt is somehow separate to British debt (it isn't) or economically illiterately suggesting there is some kind of link between currency and debt (there isn't).

If nothing else, were Scotland to refuse to service their share of British debt upon independence then the rUK would refuse to acknowledge it also (as it would not be assigned to them anyway), such that the credit ratings firms would class Scotland to have defaulted. That's really not a good position to be in as a newly independent nation that needs to borrow to build up the necessary state institutions to thrive independently.

No matter what wishful thinking Salmond peddled when he got desperate, it does not change the reality of international economics. I agree though, I don't think it would matter, who would want Sterling no anyway? The Euro will far and away be a better bet over the next few decades now as Europe sorts it's problems out whilst the UK hasn't even begun with it's self-inflicted harm.

Comment Re:Not just the Chinese (Score 2) 170

"Meanwhile, having annoyed the Chinese, Theresa May is now apparently trying to improve relations with Russia which, while it definitely needs to happen in its own right, doesn't exactly scan well in connection with alienating the Chinese the week prior."

Are you surprised? As leaders, both Putin and May are basically unelected dictators whatever shame of a democracy they profess to be legitamised by. No one voted in a democratic election of the populace for May to be PM. If she wants legitimacy she'll have to call elections, otherwise anything she does should frankly be deemed illegitimate if we wish to continue to profess to be a democracy. It's bad enough that FPTP allows parties to obtain 100% of power with only 38% of popular support, but the fact that internal party politics can lead to a completely different PM, with completely different political goals, ideas, and priorities than that which was elected is unacceptable.

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