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Comment Re:Tripping over themselves... why? (Score 1) 88

Who benefits?

the store owners cut costs associated with staff and make bigger profits BUT you now have a lot of people who used to work now becoming unemployed.

Fair enough a checkout operator is not the best job in the world but it does provide employment for some - in addition to their pay they get social and other benefits which they wouldn't get on the dole.

And when the staff are dismissed, who pays their unemployment benefit and other welfare costs? You & me via our taxes.

At the 'bottom of the pile' benefit scroungers are rightly condemned, but those at the top who are effectively getting us to subsidise their increasing profits and income are lauded.

Comment Re:Broader problem with dishonesty (Score 1) 113

If I had mod points I'd mark this as the most insightful response on the topic -- but then I'd be unable to add to it.

I agree with all that's said but would extend it to include the "filter bubble" effect that Facebook, Google etc seem to amplify: it's likely that each person sees more and more from sources that FB/G's algorithms deem to be "interesting" to them and fewer and fewer views that disagree. This tends to reinforce opinions in a way that 'older' sources could not do.

I know that some newspapers and TV companies had biased agendas (and claimed that they were pure and the problem lay with the others) but even so they were less able to focus content so closely as today's use of tracking and big data allows.

There used to be a joke :

How do you know when a politician's telling lies? their lips move.

Sadly this is no joke all too true in 2016. You can drive round with policy promises on the side of a bus and then the morning after the vote (less than 12 hours after the count) say "it was only an aspiration" and walk away from them with no apparent loss of face (indeed some promotion/reward instead).

And people wonder why cynicism is on the increase.

Comment Re:Sort out their own behaviour first (Score 1) 95

" It wouldn't be possible for Amazon to check every item from every seller. "

Why not? I don't suppose Amazon offer trading spots rent free - some form of vendor checks would be reasonable and covered by the fees charged.

What value is Amazon adding?
Might just as well allow sale of perpetual motion machines and then say "not us - we're just passing trades through - don't expect us to check whether they're real or not".

If I wanted a low price but with the risk of dealing with a shifty and unreliable supplier I could go to the local flea market or car boot sale.

Comment Re:Sort out their own behaviour first (Score 1) 95

The item was advertised and sold as a UK spec phone. The manufacturer then claimed that this was not the case. This is a clear case of misrepresentation by Amazon (who presented the item, showed the description on their site, took payment and acted as middleman).

I am just as annoyed by Huawei as Amazon. Neither has covered themselves in glory and they both stand in stark contrast to other suppliers.

Comment Sort out their own behaviour first (Score 1) 95

"..... as the company tries to get more people comfortable with doing more of their shopping online ...."

Amazon is on my personal "back of the queue list" and I'll not willingly use them in future having been badly let down.

Word of warning to others to stop being burnt.
DO NOT buy through Amazon Marketplace.

If your item develops a fault and the trader refuses to answer you're completely out of luck.

Amazon (despite taking payment and giving an order number) claim that it's nothing to do with them and won't help; the bank won't reverse charges as they say the issue is with the trader but Amazon took payment [and thus there's no clear payment path] and the item supplier won't honour warranty because the item was not bought through a UK approved channel.

If Amazon put as much effort into customer services (and paid what is for them a small amount but a not insignificant amount for me) as they do into tax dodging, I'd be singing their praises. As it is they've lost a long term customer who is dissuading other friends and family members from using them.

Comment Re:Well duh.... (Score 1) 609

Yes - it's an indication

The question was simplistic (and to most nerds one which could only be answered "it depends") as it did not clearly give enough information to base a reasoned judgement.

Consider this: if the vote had been the other way round - would those who were in favour of exit but lost be happy if the government tried to push through "hard remain" (full Schengen agreement, adoption of the euro....) with no parliamentary oversight because "remain means remain - it's the will of the people".

Whatever your views, this was a colossal muddle with a poorly informed electorate voting with no clear idea of what the outcome meant and subjected to lies and propaganda from all sides.

It is not "informed consent" by any stretch of the imagination.

A better approach would be either a fine grained set of questions on key issues (so that Parliament can prioritise negotiating strategies) or a "ranking" type vote on desired outcomes.

Mandatory voting (with a 'Whatever - I can't be bothered" option) would ensure that a comprehensive view was obtained rather than just those who were sufficiently motivated to go out and vote.

Comment Re:Subtle distinctions, British vs. American Engli (Score 2) 609

I'll try to explain (as an ordinary citizen - not a constituional expert).

The UK has a representative democracy which elects members to the House of Commons and a non-elected second chamber (House of Lords) which is supposed to act as a review/checking body. Many people do not like the non-elected part of this, but it is what it is. Both houses notionally advise the monarch who makes the law; these days it is a nicety and she basically rubber stamps everything but she is supposed to be a non-party-political figurehead.

Parliament = House of Commons + House of Lords. In other words all elected members of parliament [in the commons] and all memebers of the lords IRRESPECTIVE OF PARTY

Government = Ruling party (or coalition) - effectively whoever has the most seats in the commons.

The Government proposes laws but they have to be approved by Parliament as a whole; this puts a first level of check in the system unless one party has an overwhelming majority as there has to be appeal not only to the opposition but also moderate members of the ruling party.

For a few, specific cases the Queen can act without parliamentary sanction -- in reality this means that the Prime Minister (leader of the government/ruling party) can act without putting it to a parliamentary vote. After the recent wars in Iraq, Libya ... there is a groundswell of opinion to limit this prerogative.

Now what's happened with Brexit is that there was a referendum. Under UK constitution a referendum is only advisory and there to inform parliament (though in reality it directs action as going against the will of the people is not a good idea). In this case the margin was very close and there have been people calling foul (esp. as one of the campaign promises, widely advertised was reneged upon the day after the count).

David Cameron, the Prime Minister at the time, said he would stand by the result; he's since cut and run. We now have a PM that nobody has voted for (and who is introducing things not in the election manifesto). This is seen as a democratic deficit by many.

Many MPs are remainers, many people are having second thoughts and a lot of people are complaining that the terms of the exit were never spelt out before the vote.

The exit terms are to be negotiated. The current government do not want parliament to have a vote. This has been challenged in court.

One of the big ironies was that a key feature in the debate was to move from "unelected rule and lack of parliamentary sovereignty" -- and now the same people are fighting against these principles in court.

In short - it's a typical British cock-up. We lead the world in muddle and confusion; meanwhile the economy is going down the pan through all of the uncertainty.

âoeThe best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.â â Winston S. Churchill

Comment Re:Stronger passwords won't help (Score 1) 57

Do you know if they're telling the truth?

If approached by a researcher I may thell them *a* password in exchange for chocolate - whether it's a valid one or not would be a matter for my conscience [is my deception greater than theirs? are the consequences of my lie better/worse than their planned action? ...]

Comment Re:I have my own facebook workaround (Score 1) 426

If you're running your own Apache / nginx server on your machine *it* will end up trying to respond to the Facebook redirects. Annoying -- though the log files do give visibility of just how many calls are made !

I replaced the with instead - guaranteed not to route across the Internet.

At the risk of waking up a certain regular "contributor" to Slashdot ... add in doubleclick to the list as well :-)

Comment Re:UI (Score 3, Interesting) 204

I'm not sure what your perspective of the problem is but for me the UI is fine. It's clean, simple and does what is expected; I can live wthout fancy colour schemes, gradients, customised icons...

I'd like to thank the developers for providing and supporting an excellent product (tried others but keep coming back to VLC on all platforms).

The only question I have (and it is trivial I know) is what is the significance of the traffic cone as the icon?

Comment Re:Lol, oh sure (Score 2) 195

I can't find the reference but I do recall the earlier story. I also recall someone trying to get the company to accept his son and his associated student loan debts [plus provide said son with food, shelter...] - the company refused and I believe he threatened to take them to court for not honouring their contractual obligations.

Not sure how it ended up - but if a few highly publicised cases showed how companies weaseled out of their side of a bargain perhaps we could end up with more equitable and sane contract terms.

Perhaps that's too much to ask - maybe just settle for clear, simple expressions

Something like:

You give us money - we graciously let you use (not own) our stuff - we don't guarantee that it will work or that we'll support it - you can't bank on it working in the future (esp. if we decide to break it to force you to buy an upgrade) - if you even dare to think about looking at what you've rented we will bankrupt you - and "all your data are belong to us"

Comment Call me a cynic but... (Score 2) 114

I have search history, location history.... all turned off so I get a 'nothing to see here' level of output.

Does this mean that Google is genuinely not collecting my history? or is it more likely that they are and my opting out merely sets a flag used by the presentation layer to send back an empty set?

I'd be surprised if it were not the latter.

Comment Re:Too small of a parking spot? (Score 1) 180

There are also some national and local laws which govern the size of parking bays (to prevent exploiative charging by painting impossibly small spaces). If these are not observed then there is a technical defence against some charges.

There was a spot on one of the local BBC news recently about two men who were spending their retirement measuring various car parks as some local authorities had repainted the lines to squeeze in a few more places and were then issuing fines for "not parking properly" ie within the marked bays.

Although it's good to see their spirit in challenging authority, it was hard to have too much sympathy with owners of oversized vehicles who could clearly afford to spend seriously large amounts on them (both purchase and low fuel economy) yet were moaning over loss of access to low cost parking spaces.

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