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Comment Re:The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 1) 1140

Hmm... let's say there's an overproduction of apples right now. In an ideal world, we'd all receive an apple or two for free each week until the surplus was gone.

However, it's hard to electronically transfer apples, so we use money instead. It means that apple-addicts can buy extra apples, and fruit-haters can buy nuts instead. Thus, people have a choice, the trade-off being that it doesn't guarantee the redistribution of apples (and so is inefficient).

I'm okay with saying I have no imagination though, so I'm sure there are better ideas that apparently the politicians haven't been told about yet.

Comment Re:And we criticise China? (Score 1) 167

I think the primary issue with this service is that you can't control (to any useful degree) what is, or is not blocked. I'm not a Sky customer, but I seriously doubt you'd be able to phone them up and say "I'd like your filter, but please allow *.playboy.com" (I'd be interested to hear if you can do such a thing, and what hoops you have to jump through to do it though).

Herein lies the problem - if you turn the filter on, you're letting $provider decide what you can/can't see. If you turn it off, you're (potentially) seen as being a paedo/perv/bad parent because "the only reason anyone turns the filter off is because they're up to no good". More conflation, but $provider's view of what's "bad" doesn't necessarily match up with yours, and whilst you and they might agree that goatse is "bad" you might not agree about some of the 'greyer areas'. And you can bet that sometime soon the government *will* ask at least one ISP who's turned off the filter.

Now if an ISP did have (and imposed) a 'cloud' hosted filter that you can control yourself (down to per-site/per-page), then it could be considerably less controversial (although probably a support headache for them). However, you can bet that the Daily Mail (et al) would leap upon the first case of a kid looking at playboy.com because the account holder turned it off 3 years ago and forgot to turn it back on again.

Comment Re:3 months is the rule here... (Score 1) 765

We have something similar in the UK, except the more usual term is 1 month (although 3 for "senior" positions, or for long-standing employees is pretty common now too). I think we have three ways to get out of a company, rather than just two (in practice) across most of America.

1) You resign. You normally work 4 weeks more, but employer may let you go early, or may just pay you while you sit at home. Either way, you get paid 4 weeks money, and are bound by your contract (so not available to work elsewhere) for that time.

2) You're "let go". The company sits you down and tells you they no longer want you. You get paid 4 weeks (or more, if the employer want to, or has precedence of doing so in the recent past), but usually are released from your contract, so free to work elsewhere immediately. Quite often, the terms of your severance pay are secret (by contract). You'll often be told to leave the building immediately, but in theory it's amicable, so unlikely you'll see security (although see next point).

3) You're fired. You did something so wrong that they can prove it (in most cases, it's got to be illegal, but not always). You're out immediately, no money beyond the end of the day, no bounds of contract. You're likely to be told to leave the office immediately, although it's not often you get marched out by security (except in american, or american-wannabe companies).

The third option is actually pretty rare. Even if your a complete baffoon, they'll probably just use option 2 because there's no need to prove anything, and its cheaper to pay someone off than have the law suits.

It's rare, but it happens that someone resigns (option 1), and just doesn't show up for work from then on. This is technically breach of contract, and so technically they could come after you legally (for loss of earnings/reputation or whatever). However, I've never heard it go that far - they just don't pay you the 4 weeks and that's about it. Don't expect your former cow-orkers to meet up for a beer though, as you've probably pissed them off.

References are a funny thing here though. You're not allowed to say anything bad about someone (I don't think you're even allowed to say you fired them for gross misconduct or something). So lots of HR departments only send out "he worked here between X date and Y date as a sysadmin in the production ops department". Literally nothing else. 99% pointless, so some recruiters/employers will look for linkedin contacts or whatever that might say more. They also ask for 'voluntary' references, in which case the candidate can nominate a specific person who'll reply from the company email, or on a company letter head or whatever.

Lastly, we have contractors - usually contractors can be hired and fired with just the rest of the day as notice period (sometimes not even that much). It's in the contract, it's what you both agree to before starting work (if you don't like it, become a permanent employee). I was once on a contract that has a 1 month notice period, but that quickly got changed next time they renewed because they'd hired someone who wasn't legally allowed to work in the UK, and still had to pay the notice period to get them out (yeah, that was a government supplier - not the brightest). Many contractors won't even leave their own pen on the desk when they go home in case they get 'let go' overnight and not allowed in next day (although actually, not many employers would deny you access to your stuff, it could easily be a whole world of hassle to get it back).

So far, I'm pleased to say I've only ever used option 1 or 2. Option 2 was used on me when the company closed down so I was made redundant. Even the shittiest place I ever worked got me until they said it was okay to leave (before my notice period was fully complete). I figure there's got to be something really, really bad that puts you in some sort of jeopardy before you should welch out on your notice period. If you've stuck it out for a year or whatever up until then, what's a few more weeks gonna do? Besides, working out your notice period can be quite cathartic. You get pass work on to others, so your stress level goes down, you help out your co-workers who suddenly realise what massive piles of crap you used to have to deal with, and you get to chat to all the people you know from around the office that you ordinarily don't keep up with very much.

Comment Re:Poisoning the well with 1980's IPR policy (Score 1) 254

+1

No amount of home-made youtube (even expensively made) is going to stop a fan wanting to see actual, official films (so long as said films are half way decent). One could argue that parodies and even fan fiction actually increase the pool of potential film watchers, but, if that's too tenuous for the suits, then just make good films and the fans will go see them.

Keep making crap films with thin plot, too much CGI and that look very similar to the other films in the series or genre, and well, maybe they won't sell quite so well. Again, no amount of fan-fiction (or lack thereof) is going to change that. It's not like we all have a quota of hours of Trek we must see each year and just "fill up" on youtube and so decide not to bother with the official stuff.

Comment Re:"Much" (Score 1) 35

I was wondering how these "millions" might be made. I had to RTFA to find out that every time a lyric is displayed, someone gets paid.

So it seems simply typing something like "streets have no name" into Google will mean some twat who wears sunglasses indoors when it's not sunny gets paid some money. I guess it starts with LyricFinder, who collect a small amount from Google. They take their cut and pass on a small amount to , who takes their cut and passes on a small amount to . So it goes on, several dozen times until some "poor and starving" artist gets their money. What we know for sure is that only the rich artists will get anything - the actually poor and starving ones won't have the commercial links to actually get paid, and so the middlemen will just soak up that payment "on their behalf".

I'm wondering what Google's revenue stream is here. They tend to get paid per-click, so aren't getting paid for the views that they have to pay to serve. Hmm...

Comment Re:How sad... (Score 1) 110

> Isn't it sad that such a poor (and polluted) country like the USA devotes money to put garbage into space?

FTFY

The USA has the largest economy, but still has people living on the streets, lots of mental health issues, many people so overweight as to be dangerous, more people incarcerated per capita than Durkadurkastan, has horrendous crime stats, lots of unemployment, etc etc. Should the US have fixed all those things before going into space?

Comment Re: Omar Saddiqui Mateen? (Score 1) 1718

And yet you've had successive governments that arguably don't represent The People, and are bought and paid for by corporations. Those governments have meant you've fought legally dubious wars, tortured people and have a drone programme that is highly dubious morally and legally. Yet no one is trying to overthrow said governments, and the threat of violence doesn't seem to be dissuading proper nut jobs from applying for the position of President.

So... are your rights actually working as you seem to think they should be? I suspect either you need to pull out your guns on a lot more occasions or accept that you need to put them away more permanently.

Comment Re:Here is a very simple suggestion... (Score 1) 1144

I'm sure I too will get a lot of "no, more guns is the solution!" for this, but how about a 'happy medium' that's vaguely possible without having to disarm a heavily armed, and incredibly partisan nation?

One such proposition (off the top of my head) is to make it illegal to have any sort of firearm anywhere in public. Thus, you can keep one at home, and shoot a burglar (if he doesn't find it and shoot you first, as I believe is the statistic). Any suggestion you happen to have a gun in your clothes, or the back of your car means a cop can check and immediately arrest you if he finds one.

I appreciate that if you're a nut, you could simply load up your car with guns and drive to your intended target in the hope you won't get stopped (as you probably won't), but if you're seen by your neighbours, or by people seeing you unload then you're (again) clearly breaking the law and (in theory at least) can be reported and dealt with by the cops. I realise that in practice there's a good chance none of this will happen, but it 'ups the ante' a bit, and means you need to think about concealment at least a little bit. In some sense, this puts guns into a similar bracket as bombs - if you saw someone with something that looked like a bomb, you'd probably call the cops, and they'd (almost certainly) arrest them (or shoot then, again, as I'm told it goes more often than not).

Going further (presumably while these laws settle in), the doorman at the club (and/or) the barman, the owner, whomever, can apply for suitable licenses to have guns on the premises and be allowed to use them (presumably in certain circumstances). Note, these guns don't leave the premises, and the doorman can't go for a walk around the block while carrying. Licenses obviously only granted to people who pass psych tests or whatever, and a licensed premises needs to say so with a sign on the door (or whatever). If someone pulls a gun inside the club, then again, it's pretty obvious who's the bad guy and who's not.

I'm happy to concede this isn't perfect and won't stop everyone/everything. Ultimately, nothing will guarantee 100% safety, but by making a 'stigma' for having guns in public (even concealed) at least means there's a lot more chances to spot the nut on his way to a shooting. If you happen to be off to overthrow the government, then encountering the police on the way is probably already something you've thought of, so your 2nd amendment rights are (approximately) preserved.

This all seems like the 'common sense' gun control. I'm sure there are a thousand reasons why it won't work, but it doesn't seem to me like such a terrible hardship for the ordinary people to leave their guns at home when they go to the shops, and if it helps even a little bit, it seems like it's probably worth it.

My two pence. Right, let the shitstorm begin...

Comment Re:Patently False (Score 1) 208

I heard they need developer resource to fully realise their strategic aims in this field. A statement reads:

...to connect consumers with specialised, tailored content delivered via a customised, multi-channel, multi-platform solution that will enable greater engagement and consumption, and open additional revenue channels which can be leveraged to further strengthen our position in our chosen markets.

Comment I'm really glad because... (Score 3, Funny) 94

My VirnetX phone has literally been useless since Apple put Facetime on their phones. I haven't had a single video call since that day. I was gonna switch to an Apple or maybe an Android, but now I'm sure VirnetX will re-start development of an upgrade phone and I'll be back on easy streets once again.

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