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Comment Re:Time to be pedantic (Score 1) 163

My argument is simple. A meter measures, nothing else (ignoring quantum physics). A device that controls the power in a house is not a meter. If such a device is called a meter is is incorrectly named, probably the handy work of a marketing department. Yes, I am being pedantic, but where I come from (New Zealand), smart meters are immune to the risk of property damage because they are meters and only meters.

Comment Time to be pedantic (Score 1) 163

Time to put my pedantic hat on. A smart meter can not cause any damage as a meter is a device to measure, not modify or control. A quick Internet search suggests the word comes from the Greek word métron, to measure.

The devices being argued about are not smart meters, they are controllers. If you have a smart energy controller then I guess you may be at risk, but if like me, you have a smart meter then you can write code until the cows come home and still have zero effect on my power.

Submission + - Barnes & Noble's latest tablet is running spyware from Shanghai (

emil writes: ADUPS was recently responsible for data theft on BLU phones, and an unsafe version of the ADUPS agent is pre-loaded on the Barnes & Noble BNTV450 ADUPS' press releases claim that Version 5.5 of their agent is safe, but the BNTV450 is running 5.2. The agent is capable of extracting contacts, listing installed apps, and installing new apps with elevated privilege. Azzedine Benameur, director of research at Kryptowire, claims that "owners can expect zero privacy or control while using it."

Comment VPN sounds like overkill (Score 1) 112

A simple proxy server should be enough in this case.

This tactic may work where legal alternatives are available, work and are reasonably priced. However given the amount of content that is unavailable or grossly more expensive than in the USA, purely for commercial reasons, I suspect cost/hassle of VPNs and proxies will not stop people using them.

Australia has been on a slippery slope for while so this comes as no surprise, they can expect a lot more of this tampering. I guess they are just trying to keep up with the UK.

Comment Re:Living there is a mixed bag (Score 3, Informative) 219

Don't drink the local milk (it made me sick more than once), buy imported milk from the supermarkets that have imports, such as Metro. Be aware that frozen goods are not shipped in refrigerated trucks so have often thawed and refrozen, even with places like Metro. As a result ice cream was often found to be inedible. Bread, in the region I was in, is often sweetened and tastes terrible as a result, but normal bread can be found in speciality shops. Don't judge a restaurant by how fancy it looks, note which ones are popular with the locals. If dinning out with suppliers don't show interest in something you won't eat, they mistake you horror as desire and you will find it ordered for you. Likewise you will likely be offered the menu to make choices, it is a sign of respect but you only need to order a couple of things and leave the rest to them, just got for the safe choices you recognise and you can wing it for the rest of the meal.

Comment Living there is a mixed bag (Score 3, Informative) 219

I lived in China for 2 years and there is a lot to both like and hate.

The good:
- The people are generally nice, easy to get on with.
- It is generally safe, I was never worried about where I went or when, within reason.
- The food is good, once you learn the gotchas.
- The electronics markets are the best in the world.

The bad:
- The Internet is truly horrible. I spent half my spare time curating VPNs to try and stay online. It is genuinely holding back China's tech sector. I was so glad when I returned home where the Internet just worked.
- Bureaucracy is a pain, everything is way more complicated than it needs to be. It took me a full day to change the ownership of my car when I sold it and I mean a full day, not just a few hours. Back home this take less than 5 minutes.
- Driving on China's roads is very stressful because of the lack of rule enforcement. I will never complain about drivers back home again.
- Pollution can make you feel unwell, much like having a cold. This was only a problem in the big cities, in small cities it is low enough to not affect you directly.

It has been a couple of years now since I lived there and from what I hear the Internet and pollution have both got worst since then.

Comment Am I the only one that sees the root cause? (Score 1) 207

Not really an issue for me as this one of the reasons I use an ad blocker. The part I found mind boggling is "a large number of advertising networks allow advertisers to deliver JavaScript code with their ads". That is just plain wrong. How can any website sell advertising with a clear conscious if they are going to allow effectively unknown people to run code on their visitor's PCs?

Comment Are they going to shaft business like the Chinese? (Score 4, Informative) 251

The articles I have seen don't mention the legality of VPNs? That would be the first thing I would do on principle. If normal VPNs get blocked then I would move to tunnelling via SSH to a proxy on a server in a free country. That is what I used to do in China. So if VPNs are blocked are they going to block SSH to? To my mind it is impossible for them to truly block users from private Internet activity unless they are prepare to do it at the expense of legal businesses, like they do in China.

Having managed a development team in China for a couple if years I know first hand how big the disadvantage Chinese developers are at because their access to decent sources of information are block. The way the Internet is broken there seriously impacts productivity there. If Britain really wants to know what everyone is doing then the technical steps they will need to take will impact the productivity of British businesses.

It gets tiring watching law makers passing laws with no real understanding of how technology actually works.

Comment Re:Good for Australia (Score 1) 600

In the case of US and New Zealand trade I believe much of it is tariff free. However we can not export many of our primary products tariff free to the USA as their farmers can not compete evenly with ours. On the other hand I an not aware of any imports from the USA we put tariffs on to to protect NZ industries. Currently the restrictions are all one way in favor of the USA. During the negotiations I assumed that we were going to get better access, but as I understand it we got zero improvement in our ability to export our primary industry products and in return for that we agreed to impact our high tech sector by agreeing to US IP restrictions.

I agree with other posters, remove the USA IP rubbish from TPP and sign it with the other parties, excluding the USA. We can always negotiate with the USA, one on one, for a future deal that is actually fair to both parties.

Comment Re:Simple option (Score 1) 400

Yes, a valid point about location/role pay variance, but a minimum must help to some extent. Much simpler here as we really only have two locations rates, Auckland and not in Auckland, because Auckland is more expensive to live in.

I completely agree where people are replacing existing workers, that is clearly a cost not shortage issue, and should not be allowed. I have never heard of such abuses here. When I read that people are expected to train their replacements that comes across as the ultimate case of kicking someone when they are down. Such behaviour in is inconceivable here for several reasons.

Comment Simple option (Score 1) 400

Putting the Trump factor to one side for a minute there is a simple option that we use here in New Zealand, minimum pay.

To be eligible to work in NZ as a skilled worker your pay must be typical for a person in the industry, or you work visa will no be renewed. It stops employers importing staff for economic reasons. It is not easy to get a work visa for NZ, so employers only go down that path when there is a genuine shortage of local candidates. While it may be possible to game the system I doubt it happening here because it is such a small market.

I travel to the US quite often for work and I have thought it would be nice to do a couple of years OE there, but can't see me wanting to live there long term. If I was to work in the USA I would expect to be paid the same as a local with the same skills, I'm not cheap labor and I am not looking to displace an existing employee. If Trump wants a simple fix then set the minimum pay for an HB1 worker to say $100K. Given the size of the HB1 market there I suspect you would need to back that up with an audit system so people don't claim they are paying more that the really are via bonded employment or mandatory fees etc. I guess you could back that up with a blacklist blocking the HB1 system for an employer or employment agency caught trying to game the system.

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