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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK Re:This is clearly futile... (181 comments)

(I mean geolocation is something they have always done, not flouting the law. Google haven't made a half arsed attempt at implementing the law, they've implemented a half arsed "law" (if you can call it a law...) as well as it ever can be implemented and far better than it deserved.)

yesterday
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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK Re:This is clearly futile... (181 comments)

Something they have always done and for which there are many legitimate uses.

And I would be very interested to know when Google (or anyone else) has demonstrated robust, reliable, uncircumventable IP based geolocation because I've never encountered. As I said further up the comments what Google now do (and Amazon and most other large websites) is geolocate you for customer services reasons but you still have the option to view a different page of they get it wrong if you want to for some reason (as someone who's currently an ex-pat I often want to switch between my home country and my country of residence on many websites). The system isn't, and never has been, designed to force people to see a certain page.

yesterday
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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK Re:This is clearly futile... (181 comments)

google are returning irrelevant/out of date information

That's not subjective at all. I mean if I'm hiring a new CFO I probably think the guys ten year old bankruptcy case is highly relevant. (S)He probably because it's a long time ago and things are different now and he's very liquid and has learnt how to handle his finances. Go on, which one of us is right?

yesterday
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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK Re:This is clearly futile... (181 comments)

Except Google are already doing that (as you say in your first sentence, before contradicting yourself in your second paragraph). I visit in the UK, it goes to Google.co.uk, Google.co.uk is filtered.

The Amazon analogy is very poor because that's simply a customer service option that can be overridden (by design) when it's wrong/a customer wants to view a different localisation for some reason (afaik any actually restrictions that are applied based on billing address, shipping address or Kindle registration info (the latter of which can be easily changed on the device)). Clearly a solution in that situation is going to apply effectively in the Amazon case will be ineffective in the Google case and vice versa. To achieve what the EU wants to achieve (hiding these results in its jurisdiction) can only be achieved through global censorship.

Of course I think that any company's LOCAL operations (officially registered companies in any given country; offices, servers physically located in any given country; payment processing etc. that uses banks in any given country) should comply with local laws in that jurisdiction. Beyond that the local law of any given country clearly doesn't apply. If the EU start messing these business around too much they will simply leave. Then the EU will have no leverage at all, and it will serve them right.

yesterday
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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK This is clearly futile... (181 comments)

What's going through the EU's mind right now? "This is clearly futile, not working and doesn't stand a chance in hell of working... ...so let's do more!"?

I mean, seriously, what will they be doing next? Asking all proxies, VPNs, and TOR to filter "right to be forgotten" search results. All airlines and airports offering international flights will require memory wipers to remove any "right to be forgotten knowledge" from your brain. All libraries, archives, repositories and public records offices will be required to go through old paper copies of documents with tipex...

(Fun fact: "Right to be forgotten" censoring was basically Winston Smith's day job in 1984...)

yesterday
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UK Announces Hybrid Work/Study Undergraduate Program To Fill Digital Gap

GoddersUK Re:Why the subsidy? (107 comments)

1) Why not subsidise normal CS degrees then? Or if degrees aren't really dishing out the skills required why not a completely different form of training such as apprenticeships?

2) I agree with most of what you've diagnosed, but I don't think this will solve it. This is too little too late to address the shortage of workers. In my year in A-Levels only one of my friends went on to do CS, the rest of us went in to other fields (despite some of my friends being very talented in, and enjoying that kind of thing). Why? Because mostly people assumed it would be more of the crap we did in school IT. Maybe if I'd had the opportunity to experience some fun (this is probably subjective, but I enjoy the very limited coding my chemistry degree has led me to do), problem solving coding I might have chosen differently (or maybe I wouldn't have; but I suspect a lot of the brightest and most capable students that might consider CS are lost to other fields because school IT is such a joke). (For reference, I went thought the secondary education system 5-10 years ago)

2 days ago
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UK Announces Hybrid Work/Study Undergraduate Program To Fill Digital Gap

GoddersUK Re:Why the subsidy? (107 comments)

Ignoring the fact that all school age kids already know how to use Windows and Office at least as well as their teachers let's not pretend that being able to use Open Office and Linux would be much use outside the IT world (and, depending on your job, they may not be much use inside it either). Windows and Office is what you needed then to become a generic office drone and it's what you need now. It would make sense to teach it if the kids didn't know it. When I was at school (proper) typing was probably the most valuable IT skill we were never taught - although I think most kids these days can type fairly efficiently. I think IT would be better to teach some form of basic programming (easy stuff... analysing datasets, automating common tasks... that would be of use in a wide range of jobs) and more conceptual digital literacy required to function well in the modern world (especially when we consider that (some of) these kids will be future politicians, ceos etc.) so they understand how the internet works and don't grow up to become the next Theresa May or Claire Perry.

2 days ago
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UK Announces Hybrid Work/Study Undergraduate Program To Fill Digital Gap

GoddersUK Why the subsidy? (107 comments)

I'm struggling to understand why this particular group of students should have such a heavily government subsidised education when they claim they can't afford it for the rest of us. Presumably this scheme, in its current form, will never be funded enough to accommodate a substantial proportion of the UK's students.

Don't get me wrong - I fully understand why this scheme may be good from an educational perspective and I think encouraging employers to invest in the education of the next generation of their staff is a good thing, but I don't understand why this apparently needs the remainder funded by government rather than by the student loans system? Surely it would be better to encourage companies to contribute to the education of any students in relevant fields rather than just this special group? Especially as this would have the effect of reducing pressure on the student loans system (which, for many loans, the tax payer will end up coughing up for when the student finds their degree in tourism from the University of Dudley is actually completely worthless). Not only would it be beneficial for employers, students and the taxpayer it would hopefully help weed out all the non-courses, non-universities and students that probably should be following a career path other than university, that are currently subsidised at taxpayers' expense by the SLC, because no company would pay towards the costs of such a student taking such a course at such a university.

2 days ago
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We Are Running Out of Sand

GoddersUK Re:Did Hugh Pickens RTFA? (264 comments)

Oh, and Dubai isn't in Saudi either... but at least the concrete is going to Dubai, so he got one thing half right!

about three weeks ago
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We Are Running Out of Sand

GoddersUK Did Hugh Pickens RTFA? (264 comments)

TFS said

As a result, the desert state of Dubai brings sand for its beaches all the way from Australia.

But then I RTFAed (I know, it's /., no one RTFAs) and

Perth's GMA Garnet will this month send a shipment of heavy mineral sand to Saudi Arabia for sandblasting... ...the special alluvial sand is suited for sandblasting because it is free of silica, which creates dust that can cause lung cancer and silicosis in workers

Nope, no beaches. But wait, there's more:

Another firm selling a sand-based product to the desert region is NT Prestressing, which has a type of concrete that can be laid quickly, speeding up building

Still no beaches though. Guess I won't be going to Saudi for my beach holiday, I'll have to stick with Aus - and we all know what they think of us Brits...

about three weeks ago
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The Most Highly Cited Scientific Papers of All Time

GoddersUK On the shoulders of giants (81 comments)

This is what Newton meant when he talked about standing on the shoulders of giants. These methods, algorithms, computer programmes, techniques etc. enable all the research you hear of. The structure of DNA would never have been solved without all the preceding work on x-ray crystallography, for instance. This is truly a case of credit where credit's due and not something surprising...

about a month ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

GoddersUK Re:Computer Missues Act 1990 (572 comments)

So now, all the people with PIDs of 0, and know about this fiasco, are breaking the law by continuing to use their fake device? (IANAL)

Only if you intend to fool someone into thinking it's real (say you hire them out). Otherwise it's fine. (also IANAL)

about a month ago
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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

GoddersUK It's taken them this long to realise? (213 comments)

British IT education is a joke. An absolute lack of specialist teachers and courses that you'd expect them to be teaching to OAPs at the library being taught to school leavers is the norm. We "learnt" Word, Excel, Powerpoint and, if "lucky", Access. Products that we all (except the teachers) could already use because we were using them for every other subject that we studied. In year 7 (the first year of UK secondary education) we only had IT one in every three weeks and we didn't have it at all in years 8 and 9. For our GNVQ (a form of school leavers (age 16) exam) our teacher admitted he was just there to babysit us (he was a PE teacher) and we followed an online step by step guide to complete the coursework (literally Assignment: Make a Business Card, Step 1: Open Publisher, Step 2: Go to menu x and change the paper size...).

The only friend I know who did a CS degree did not take A-Level (pre-university) IT and my friends that were most talented at IT all did physics degrees. We do loose out massively as a result - I've done a chemistry degree and having been taught programming skill in school would have made many aspects of that course vastly easier and more rewarding, indeed they have to teach programming (C++ in the modules I took) in some of the computational chemistry modules before they can get onto the chemistry.

Programming and other CS skill aren't just useful for those who want to take a CS degree or work in IT they're widely helpful in every day life and close to becoming essential in many fields (science, maths, stats); just about anyone who does an office job would benefit from having these skills. The UK is loosing out, and will continue to loose out, because for a whole generation IT was viewed as an unimportant part of the curriculum and, even now, is mostly taught and organised by people who don't know what they're talking about and think that teaching 16 year olds to use Dreamweaver is the same as teaching them programming.

It's a sad state of affairs for the country that produced the BBC Micro; even the Raspbery Pi, which was supposed to be a modern equivalent of the BBC Micro, is used more by hobbyists than for education. (Yes, I'm bitter because I missed out on learning an important and useful skill during my schooling simply because the school were too lazy to teach it properly.)

about a month and a half ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

GoddersUK Re:Eurozone... (314 comments)

Where I am (Ishikawa pref.) the only places I can use my western credit/debit cards are atms in post offices and atms in 7-11 stores. The majority of shops won't even take Japanese cards; although perhaps my expectations are skewed since back home (London) we're encouraged even to put our bus fairs on credit/debit cards. That plum wine is SO SO good!

about a month and a half ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

GoddersUK Re:Eurozone... (314 comments)

They still have fiat value. If they found themselves unable to use them for their criminal activities they could just cross the border, take them to the nearest bureau de change and swap them for USD or whatever - which makes the proposed move seem rather pointless.

Also I'd say "currencies operate on trust" is an oversimplification - although technically true for government backed fiat currencies. If the majority of the criminal fraternity accept that something has value then it can become a de facto currency - so long as it isn't easily forgeable and exists in only limited supply - no additional trust needed. (Gold is an excellent example of this - outside the electronics and chemistry industries it has little inherent value beyond its rarity yet it is widely used to exchange/store value with no guarantee that anyone else will honour that value, but you know they will.)

about a month and a half ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

GoddersUK Eurozone... (314 comments)

Erm... I'm not sure a member country of a currency union can unilaterally withdraw/ban/remove one denomination in its territories; the entire concept is based on a, you know, union of currency between many different states.

Ignoring that obstacle I still don't see how this would work - they could end their status as legal tender but beyond that? How can they stop to individuals that have agreed to use these notes doing business with them? Will they try and make bartering illegal next?

(Writing this I'm currently in Japan where trying to use any form of payment that's not cash (notes/coins) is next to impossible outside the largest shops in the large cities.)

about a month and a half ago
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FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

GoddersUK The 4th, 5th... (354 comments)

"What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law."

Yeah, how dear people use the fourth and fifth amendments, what do they think it's there for?

Seriously, though, how can he stand there and say there's something wrong with companies responding to a market demand for technology that enables people to protect their rights. Encryption is not a crime, you are innocent until proven guilty, you have the right to remain silent, the government has no right to force you to unlock your door (or decrypt your phone) or to know what's inside unless they're able to show probable cause.

It's probably incredibly naive of me to believe in such quaint ideas though... All hail our benevolent overlords, all hail!

about 2 months ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

GoddersUK Re:Everyone loses (474 comments)

Promises that, I would point out, were made by people without the authority to make them. The only body with the authority to make those bodies was parliament and the only body that can honour them is parliament - and it could equally refuse. Tory backbenchers have already indicated they don't approve of the status quo (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/11098825/David-Cameron-faces-Tory-bloodbath-over-unfair-cash-for-Scotland.html). Those promises were never more than (and never could be more than) "this will now be lib/lab/con official policy".

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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GCHQ destruction of Guardian computers raises questions

GoddersUK GoddersUK writes  |  about 6 months ago

GoddersUK (1262110) writes "Remember when, in an exercise in pointlessness, men in black from GCHQ oversaw destruction of computer equipment that the Guardian had been using to report the Snowden disclosures? Well Privacy International are reporting that the Guardian let them take a look at the destroyed computers and they were surprised by what they found. Under the direction of GCHQ technicians the Guardian staff seemingly intentionally and specifically targeted apparently mundane components of the computers in question, including chips on the keyboard and trackpad controllers and the LCD inverter. This raises two disturbing possibilities: Either GCHQ's technicians are incompetent or they know something about computer hardware that we don't. Especially given that GCHQ knew the distruction was all a charade so there was no reason to be paranoid in performing it."
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The US vs. Europe: Freedom of Expression vs. Privacy

GoddersUK GoddersUK writes  |  about 6 months ago

GoddersUK (1262110) writes "Rory Cellan-Jones writes about the recent European Court judgement on the right to be forgotten in terms of US/EU cultural differences (and perhaps a bit of bitterness on the EU side at US influence online):

He tells me... ..."In the past if you were in Germany you were never worried that some encyclopedia website based in the United States was going to name you as a murderer after you got out of jail because that was inconceivable. Today that can happen, so the cultural gap that was always there about the regulation of speech is becoming more visible."... ...Europeans who have been told that the internet is basically ungovernable — and if it does have guiding principles then they come from the land of the free — are expressing some satisfaction that court has refused to believe that.

(And, certainly, it seems, here in the UK, that even MEPs keen on the principle don't really know how this ruling will work in practice or what the wider consequences will be. Video here."

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