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Comment Re:Oh yeah? Then what are you gonna do about it? (Score 1) 410

The purchasing of stolen goods was just an example of an activity conducted in good faith (possibly by both parties - recall the containers of goods that washed up on a Scottish beach not long ago - the people who found them didn't always realise they were stealing when they looted them), which is nevertheless not legal, and whose illegality may not be discovered until some time later.

It seems Apple and Ireland entered into an agreement which the EU has ruled was illegal according to the laws of the time. Apple and/or Ireland may contest the interpretation of their deal as state aid, but the EU has identified it as such, and state aid was illegal at the time of the deal.

Comment Re:Oh yeah? Then what are you gonna do about it? (Score 1) 410

If I buy stolen goods from you in good faith (i.e. lawfully on my part), and it is discovered, should I be allowed to keep the goods?

Or, should I be required to surrender them to the rightful owner, in what I would regard to be a blatant retrospective change to the deal?

Comment Re: An easier sollution (Score 1) 1144

I've often (genuinely) wondered where gun advocates draw the line. Fully automatic? Grenades? RPGs? SAMs?

Presumably the basis for any line-drawing is destructive capability? Or perhaps more accurately, first-strike destructive capability, on the assumption that in a world where everyone is similarly armed, anyone who is undeterred will only get off one shot?

Comment Re:The UK, Providing Dystopian Visions Everywhere (Score 2) 70

I wonder if this is one of the costs of imperialism/multiculturalism. You import all manner of grievances, festering in segregated communities with which you have no informal ties through which you might do information gathering. All of a sudden, rather than dealing with the customary crimes you're dealing with invisible, existential threats from within your borders. You don't know how to build intelligence networks in the ghettos -- you don't know their customs, their tongues, their codes, and so whom you can trust -- and so instead you begin to watch everyone.

I could imagine that in monocultures, problems are identified much sooner and dealt with more subtly. Those with a history of repression will of course have their political police, but does Iceland (say) have a paranoid secret service?

Comment Re:I wish them luck, but... (Score 2) 273

There is such a thing as the quality of a debate, whereby people are expected to make their points with civility. If that's what's meant by a "safe" version of reddit, then I can see the merit. For example, I no longer look to Slashdot for tech discussion, because the comments appear to be dominated by uninformed and vitriolic opinion. (Next time there's a linux-related story, compare the discussion on slashdot with, for example, lwn.net.) Browsing the comments on stories like this is more of a guilty pleasure; it's kind of interesting to see just how one-sided the /. community appears to have become. Stick comment filtering on 2 and count the number of comments that are just variations of a sneering rant about SJWs and censorship.

Comment Re:This right here... (Score 1) 120

Now they want me to put seatbelts in my car?? Fuck that. Fuck that big time. If a customer doesn't like it, they can fuck off and buy some other car.

The cookie directive is about making users aware of surveillance. The EU (that is, the representatives of the member nations of the EU, collectively) have decided that surveillance by websites is potentially not in the consumer's interest, and the consumer should at least be aware of it.

As I understand it, now they're going a step further and saying, if you want to sell to EU customers, you must make your website work to some extent if the user opts out of the surveillance, rather than just telling them to fuck off. Just as, in other contexts (but also websites) you have to comply with regulations about disabled access, you can't just tell disabled people to go fuck themselves.

I understand that cookies are also used for legitimate reasons (session tracking by the website itself), but it's not impossible to write a website that doesn't break without cookies. (You should probably be making sure this is the case anyway, if you build websites.)

It mystifies me why anyone would object to regulation that benefits consumers. Aren't we all consumers? Isn't the power imbalance between us and business such that we should have someone regulating like this? And isn't it a good thing that it's done EU-wide rather than have a nightmarish piecemeal regulartory patchwork?

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