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Comment Re:Every intelligent person (Score 1) 517

Parliament rubber stamped the council nomination but where did the public vote for him?

Like in most parliamentary democracies, head of government is formally nominated by president or monarch (or European Council in case of EU), but it is the majority of the parliament who vote for him.

You have obviously forgotten that few in the EU wanted Juncker and if you think European politicians consider Junckers "election" legitimate then consider

Not really. Leading national politicians (e.g. European Council) did not want Juncker as EC president. After 2014 EP election there was conflict between them and newly elected MEPs whether the Council nominate Juncker or some of Council preferred candidate. But leaders of EP party groups expressed that they did not vote for any other candidate that winner of the EP election.

You think the public in Northern Europe would have considered the guy electable?

Well, definitely not worse than last five prime ministers in country me being citizen of.

My reading (and it has been some time) was simply that the commission can overrule parliament and that the council of ministers can overrule the commission.

From Wikipedia:

Article 294 TFEU outlines ordinary legislative procedure in the following manner. The Commission submits a legislative proposal to the Parliament and Council. At the first reading Parliament adopts its position. If the Council approves the Parliament's wording then the act is adopted. If not, it shall adopt its own position and pass it back to Parliament with explanations. The Commission also informs Parliament of its position on the matter. At the second reading, the act is adopted if Parliament approves the Council's text or fails to take a decision. The Parliament may reject the Council's text, leading to a failure of the law, or modify it and pass it back to the Council. The Commission gives its opinion once more. Where the Commission has rejected amendments in its opinion, the Council must act unanimously rather than by majority.

So EP can reject legislation in the second reading.

Rather than a simple majority vote we have an arbitrary 75%

Two-thirds is ~67 %, the usual margin for important decisions.

Well, after experience with unstable governments based on narrow majority of few MEPs, such hysteresis seems like a good idea even for national governments.

Comment Re:Every intelligent person (Score 1) 517

Right then, when was the public vote for Junker?

In 2014 EP election, party groups declared their candidates for Commission Presidents. Juncker was EPP candidate, Martin Schulz was PES candidate and Guy Verhofstadt was ALDE candidate. EPP won the election, so Juncker was nominated by EC and elected by EP.

and they can overrule parliament.

Not in codecision procedure, which is used in most areas since the Lisbon Treaty.

although it can fire the entire commission via unanimous vote.

That is not true. EP can dismiss the commission by two-thirds majority vote of no-confidence. See article 234 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Also note that in the past, EP was able to force resignation of Santer commission even without legal right to for that.

Comment Re:As it's been said... (Score 1) 621

This is effectively the inverse of the European "parliament". The EU commission decides what laws will be proposed, the parliament (the people who the people elected) then get to horse-trade the deal until the parliament and the commission agree, and then all countries must adopt the law. This is a significant reduction in the power of the people.

As a bonus, the commission are basically immunised against any effects of their political machinations, the only way for a member of the EU commission to be removed is if the parliament unanimously votes to remove all members of the commission at the same time. Yeah... Not gonna happen.

It is not really much different from national governments. EU commission has to be elected by EU parliament, president of EU commission (Juncker) is the leader of the winning party group in the last EU parliament elections. Individual commissioners cannot be dismissed by EP, but neither individual ministers in national governments. Whole commission may be dismissed by vote of no-confidence by EP (and there is no unanimous requirement), like national governments. Horse-trading between governement and parliament and pressing parliament to accept government legislation is IMHO worse on national level, because there is a tighter bond between government and MPs based on party lines.

The only significant difference is that EP cannot propose new legislation, but even in national systems, most legislative is proposed by governments and MP-proposed legislation is seldom approved.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 301

When i wrote about encryption, i don't mean just the symmetric cipher, but the whole cryptographic chain. AFAIK, there is a randomly generated 256-bit key stored in some HSM (hardware security module) inside iPhone and user just enters passcode to open it. The limitation of password attempts is likely enforced by HSM, not by iOS (that would be lame). HSMs are supposted to be tamper-proof even from the OS.

If Apple can force OS update and that update could either extract real key from memory or from the HSM, or cripple HSM's ability to protect the key, then it is sham encryption.

Comment Not surprising (Score 1) 301

Either the encryption is done properly and Apple is not able to decrypt it regardless of any court decision, or it is sham encryption, Apple is able to decrypt it (by say hacking the TPM containing the key) Apple knows it and it avoids the court decision as acknowledging ability do decrypt it would mean confessing to deceiving users about security of Iphones.

That is the reason why competitors are silent - either the court decision is irrelevant, or Apple is cheater.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 3, Interesting) 132

And while their may be some truth in that, the British tax-payer will not pay a penny more or less if half Europe watches their shows, since the cost is in creating them, not in distributing.

Well, in IP there is also cost in distributing, esp. when local connectivity (exchanged at local peering point like LINX in London) to users in UK is probably much cheaper than international connectivity to users in rest of Europe.

Comment Also Paul Erdös took amphetamines (Score 2) 407

It is nothing new:

"Paul Erdös (1913-1996), "the man who loved only numbers", was one of the most brilliant and prolific mathematicians of the twentieth century. Erdös spent much of his restless life on psychostimulants. As he once remarked, "A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems."

But Erdös liked stronger medicine too. After his mother's death in 1971, Erdös became quite depressed. His physician prescribed amphetamines. Erdös took Benzedrine or Ritalin almost every day for the last twenty five years of his life. Sometimes he took both. ...

Colleagues worried that Erdös might have become addicted. In 1979, he accepted a $500 bet from his friend Ronald Graham. Graham challenged Erdös to abstain from speed for 30 days. Erdös met the challenge, but his output sank dramatically. Erdös felt the progress of mathematics had been held up by a stupid wager."

http://www.amphetamines.org/paul-erdos.html

Comment Re:the lips acquire stains (Score 4, Informative) 407

Sapho juice was in the original Dune:

"Paul looked at his father, back to Hawat, suddenly conscious of the Mentat's great age, aware that the old man had served three generations of Atreides. Aged. It showed in the rheumy shine of the brown eyes, in the cheeks cracked and burned by exotic weathers, in the rounded curve of the shoulders and the thin set of his lips with the cranberry-colored stain of sapho juice."

"SAPHO: high-energy liquid extracted from barrier roots of Ecaz. Commonly used by Mentats who claim it amplifies mental powers. Users develop deep ruby stains on mouth and lips."

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