740 posts • joined Monday 19th November 2007 23:11 GMT
"However - there's still the problem that if you're going to spend £x bn (x being a much larger number than is currently being discussed, in practice) you'd likely get more of a multiplier by rolling out fast fiber to as much of the UK as possible, including the rural areas, and perhaps providing extra seed funding for useful (i.e. non-Bong-ish) startups and research."
Realistically, no. Having fast broadband in rural areas is actually not worth it from an economic point of view. You will pay a lot of money, with £10bn being a decent order-of-magnitude estimate, and the economic benefit will be what, exactly? What actually will a lot of people in the countryside do with this superfast broadband that they weren't going to just move to a city and do? Note economic beenfit, not being able to watch Youtube better.
The only "benefit" appears to be that it will stop the depopulation of the countryside, but as we've seen time and time again tele-working for most jobs doesn't beat talking to someone face to face.
Personally I would probably do both HS2 and rural broadband, but not for the economic case. Almost every infrastructure project is dead money, and many companies that do so go bankrupt (Eurotunnel, the Canal and Railway Manias, the national cable buildout, etc.). But unlike the dotcom bubble, infrastructure bubbles actually build something useful to society.
Do. Not. Want.
As I am completely stupid, I decided there was nothing better than to waste electricity and gas. After all, I have plenty of money and would like to have less of it.
Oh no, wait, I don't. And I already don't waste electricity. How does telling me I'm using electricity to have a cup of tea help?
"That is just a fear of the uninformed. Dont listen to them."
Luckily I live in the UK, where almost nobody has a gun, so I don't need to worry about getting my head blown off by one of you people who are all obviously experts with these guns you carry round and would never miss your intended target and hit somebody else.
"It depends. Just how much safety gear was involved?"
Full boiler suit, safety goggles, face mask and gloves. I didn't need a miner's lamp though as there was a strip light already there. Enough, or should I load up with more when I'm putting the floorboards on top? I must admit that I didn't do a proper risk assessment...
I put some plasterboard up and laid some loft insulation last week. Can I have an article too?
"But in the case of accidents, that is stupidity so darwin is winning.. Keep the gun locked in a gun safe"
Then how can you use it to defend yourself?
It's an obvious dilemma: if you need your gun at short notice to "defend yourself" then it cannot be securely locked away. And if it's securely locked away and unloaded, do you have a spare five minutes to go, get the key, unlock the safe, get the bullets, load the gun, then turn round and say "right intruder, ready now".
The only logical conclusion is that guns kept securely are useless, and guns kept insecurely are dangerous.
Re: lost almost all respect for consumer reports
"whereas gas is just Ethane and is one of the cleanest burning fuels that there is"
You mean octane? Most of it isn't even octane, it's some more complicated molecules, for example (2,3)-dimethylhexane. But anyway, no need to let facts get in the way of a good bullshit.
"Firearms are a great equaliser for people defending themselves and their families, criminals already have weapons, why should your wife/daughter/son or grandparents not use a 100 year old tool to allow them to fend off or defend their property, livelyhood and life against scumbags? I'm not an American, I do believe not every person on earth should be allowed to carry or own a firearm -- but in my mind, I want my loved ones to have the ability to stand on even footing with the criminal that might threaten them."
Still convinced that owning a gun makes you more safe?
Re: Pear shaped matter?
"I hitched a lift with a quantum mechanic once. We got pulled over by the Old Bill. This officer asked him "Do you know how fast you were going?"
"No," he said, "but I know exactly where I was!""
If he got sent to jail, how did they know if he passed Go or not?
Re: "Of course if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."
""Of course if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."
I can't believe you just said that."
Where did those El Reg sarcasm colours go? Ah, found it:
It should have been burgundy.
Re: Standard Model DOES predict asymmetry
In a basic sense, the weak nuclear force should obviously distinguish, because it distinguishes between handedness of particles, so that's OK. I think the problem is that the CP violation that the weak nuclear force gives isn't enough to explain the size of the matter-antimatter imbalance. But I could be wrong.
Re: Pear shaped matter?
"I studied to be a quantum mechanic. I had to give it up. I never knew whether the tool I needed would be in the toolbox until I opened the box. It was very difficult to grasp a quantum part."
I took the exam to be a quantum mechanic and everything: when I asked if I'd passed, they said "yes and no".
I must admit I'm not an expert in this area, but how exactly does an ISP determine which of my encrypted communication with Google is my e-mail, and which is me filling in a webform, for example to comment on this? And this doesn't sound difficult to circumvent by transmitting encrypted communications to a server outside the UK, which then sends the e-mail for you.
Of course if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But criminals do have something to hide, so they will simply use, for example, a shared GMail account saving drafts only (idea courtesy of the film Traitor). And they will have nothing to fear.
"Government has always been the biggest murderer and torturer of it's citizens. Only privately empowered people can hold off a predatory government, and this is just another technology of freedom."
I'll go with cancer being a bigger murderer and torturer or UK citizens. And heart attacks. And many other things, before you get to the UK government. Grow up.
Re: It's their political agenda we should be worried about
"Just because you like being a victim, doesn't mean you should inflict your narrow minded view on others...
Let people choose whether nor not they want to be protected or not."
Name one other country in the world where guns are lauded as a positive in society, and not considered either a necessary or unnecessary evil. No? Turns out the US is wrong.
Xbox Aleph_1? Xbox 2^aleph_0? Xbox continuum sounds, well, I'm not sure how it sounds.
Re: What about all the large UK tech companies?
"What about all the large UK tech companies? "
Name some. (That will benefit from this law change.)
"Not surprisingly, Apple ranked highest among tablet makers – as it has done in previous JD Power surveys – with an 836 satisfaction score, categorizing it as "among the best."
The next three runners-up – Amazon, Samsung, and Asus – were only rated "about average," with satisfaction scores of 829, 822, and 818, respectively. Lumped among "the rest" was Acer, with a comparatively unsatisfying score of 784."
Let me get this straight: 836/1000 is "the best", 829/1000 is "about average". That's 0.7 percentage points difference. And another 1.1 percentage points separates the "average" three. So what we are saying is that the difference between the best and average is less than the difference between average and average.
A more honest reading of these statistics is: "Apple, Amazon, Samsung and Asus tablets are all similarly satisfying to customers, with differences that are not statistically significant. Acer is crappier, but not by much."
Re: Relativity --the non existent theory.
Nurse! He's out of bed again!
Re: Not so fast
There is a salient point here, which is:
If two national courts order a company to do opposite things, what should the company do? In this case, disobeying the American court (which hasn't ruled yet that supporting Wikileaks is illegal, although soon would if necessary, courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood Congressman) would have far more serious consequences than disobeying the Icelandic court, which is a fine of about a million dollars a year, chump change.
Re: TIme to alter the tax law?
"Of course, the ignorant would proclaim a cut in corporation tax to 0% as pay rise for "those wealthy fat cats". It would surely lose votes."
Better yet, have no taxes on anyone or anything! Then we shall all be free of oppressive government, like defence, police, schools, hospitals, etc.
Lower number than in the article
"The number of Welsh speakers has fallen from 582,000 in 2001 to 562,000, according to the last census."
Since this is about books, we should take the number of Welsh readers, which is lower, at 431,000 (and this is self reporting, so almost certainly an overestimate). Generously, let's suppose that half of these people have a desire to read in Welsh, so much so that they would pick a Welsh title over the *many* competing titles in English, which they can also read. The best-selling book in the UK in 2012 was Fifty Shades, but that it an outlier. The next best selling is about 2m, so let's say that a given book is likely to be bought by 1 in 30. (This is an obvious wild overestimate.) We get to about 5000 copies, which is important for the author, but so irrelevant that it isn't worth Amazon employing someone to add the extra lines of code in their database.
As for minority languages like Galician, Basque and Catalan being supported, those are spoken languages, in the sense that they are the first language in their respective regions. Welsh, despite millions of funding, just isn't. You cannot compare it.
As I'm not Welsh, I couldn't care less if the language dies. Welsh speakers can jump up and down and shout at the government and private companies, but the fact of the matter is that Welsh, like may small languages, is dying in a more globalized world. Huge subsidies might delay the process but that is all.
Re: Fractional Reserve Bollocks
"DavCrav, here's a video that might clear up your confusion:
Hi there. I don't need to watch a Youtube video because I had an actual economics education with books and stuff. But thanks for the link.
I guess whether your wanted for a parking violation or murder might alter the way in which they approach you though.
Re: Fractional Reserve Bollocks
"How is it that when a bank lends you money for a mortgage, 90% of the loan value is conjured out of thin air and created as 'new money' that the bank never had in the first place, but will expect to be paid back by the mortgagee. This is called the Fractional Reserve System, which is ubiquitous in modern banking.
Under such circumstances, how the hell could a bank lose money? That's quite an achievement. If I lent 10 of my mates down the pub £100 each I would need to have £1000 in my pocket to start with. The banks, in collusion with the government, would only need £100. The rest is just made up!"
Really? This again? This is as bad as the BBC Have Your Say. OK, let's go through how FRB works.
1) The bank has £1m. It lends out £900k in loans, and keeps 10% in various other things to shore up their balance sheet. It gives out less than it has at this stage.
2) People use the £900k to buy things like houses.Most of that money finds its way back into the banking system again, where say £800k is deposited.
3) The bank now has another £800k, so lends out 90% of that, so about £720k.
Now yes, at the end there's about £2m of bank accounts about about £1.8m of loans, so money has doubled. But banks have deposits to cover *all* of those loans. At no point did they do what you try on.
"The generation currently retiring might have"
I wouldn't be so sure about that. My father recently retired, and I went through the calculation with him, and it turns out (using current rates for simplicity, which are fairly similar for basic rate taxpayers) that if all the income tax and NI he paid over his entire life were put in a pension scheme, it would just about pay for his pension. Of course, it doesn't pay for his use of the health system or education, so the government will make a loss on him, even ignoring all the things like working-age benefits, defence, etc.
My father was a normal manual worker, not rich but not grindingly poor, so my guess is that most (i.e., >60%) pensioners, even if they have worked since age 16, didn't pay for their pension.
"Those companies may now have to provide a backdoor if legislation does go ahead, and that's going to make their products a lot less appealing if the US government has full access."
Oh, if only there were other countries in the world that someone could live in and write computer programs that would not be subject to this law.
Joke icon because obviously that wouldn't stop the US.
Re: it's simple
"It's simple. He offered to return to Sweden and answer all their questions if they provided an absolute written signed guaranty they wouldn't just then extradite or render him to America.
It's a simple request. They refused to provide such guarantees.
Tell you all you need to know."
Another point is why should they? They are dealing with a suspected criminal, whom they want to put in prison. The UK government is dealing with an actual criminal (breaking bail conditions, probably perverting the course of justice), who should end up in prison for those crimes. Why should they give him written assurances of anything in order for him to follow their laws?
The Michael Crichton novel was slightly less badly penned...
Re: The good news is Google will out last the European Commission
"Google should just up camp to out of the EU and then ignore their money wasting dictacts [sic]."
I think they make too much money for them to do that...
Re: Unity, or...
I think it's more like: the various countries implemented EU rules. Google (allegedly) breaks those rules. Therefore Google is (allegedly) committing an offence in every country of the EU.
Re: The mystery of the mysterious operatives
"Theft was clearly not a motive, because they didn't have a big enough boat to carry much away."
Are you saying that they're gonna need a bigger boat?
"In the wake of the tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz, there have been many calls to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act used to prosecute him."
I think that's a typo: you meant 'persecute'.
"Good analysis and many good points in this article, but the alternate scenario it assumes is that "We can go on forever generating cheap electricity in a way that trashes the environment". We can't.
Sustainable energy sources cost more initially, and may well do so for a long time (though the true cost of unsustainable energy will eventually emerge, at which point it may not appear quite so cheap after all).
We will have to get used to this, so the only way to contain or reduce household energy payments will be to reduce consumption by more careful use and energy efficiency measures."
What I take away from this is the following: it's already a heavy burden to get to 1% of our energy needs from the current crop of renewables, implemented in the current way. To, say, 5% will be crippling, and 100% impossible. Therefore forget completely the current renewables targets, and get back round the drawing board to come up with something that *is* possible. (*cough* nuclear.) Because there's no point crippling yourself if it still won't work in the end.
Re: "It's illegal, but...
"So it's ok to be a "Freetard" if you're a big company...?"
No, it's ok to be a <insert criminal occupation here> if you're a big company.
Re: Concentration @ Chris Miller
"You missed the bit I was told - "homicidal maniac with a grudge against you..." "
Oh, so he'd been playing Real Racing 3 as well?
I used that (unscientifically) last night to test driving while drunk, and this morning for driving while hungover. I crashed into more things than usual, so I can recommend not driving with a bottle of wine in you.
Re: Only the toffs should go to University
Right, OK, let's put both the Reg and you straight on what these tuition fee things do.
1) Tuition fees and living costs are being given out as a loan with real interest rates, at about £13000/year.
2) You repay it for 30 years at 9% for everything over £21000/year.
3) After 30 years the debt is CANCELLED.
What this means is that for almost everyone they will never actually pay off their student loan until it is cancelled age (normally) 51, so it becomes a graduate tax of 9% on earnings above £21k. Just think of it as an income tax increase. Currently I am paying 9% on my income over £15k on the old system to pay off my tuition fees, and that bill is hardly coming down even then, so actually I'd be *better* off under the new system than the old system!
Re: @DavCrav: Wow!
"...Except that under the current circumstances, the group that acted as a defence team for AS are now prosecuting the individual who prosecuted (and, according to many, persecuted) AS. So now the defence are the prosecution, and the prosecution is the defence."
That reminded me of the Daily Mash headline "Outrage over reaction to Clarkson reaction reactions".
Re: @DavCrav: Wow!
@Turtle: Well, all the defence team are saying is that it looks considerably like a witch hunt. Since that's been pretty obvious for quite a while, even before Swartz's suicide, they aren't saying anything new, just repeating well-established facts (facts in the sense of things that are true, like the fact that the policeman that killed Ian Tomlinson is guilty as sin, not what occurs in court).
Edit: the fact that 97% of US cases are plea bargained -- read defendants/victims browbeaten into submission by prosecutors -- should be a pretty good statistic. See, for example,
This particular problem in the US "justice" system is well known and shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
"Even after the guy is dead his legal vultures are still looking to make a dime off someone! Anyway, didn't Swarz admit his guilt already?"
Go fuck yourself.
Maybe read some facts before engaging brain. Or is obvious troll obvious? Not so sure.
Re: But How
"But how will a driverless delivery truck knock on your door to tell you the delivery has arrived?"
Text message? Phone call? Or just drive through the window, if it's using Apple maps.
Re: Good to know all that aid money is not being wasted, eh?
"Very noble - but instead let's reduce the amount of tax filched from our pockets, look after our own elderly, look after our own servicemen and about a zillion other things which the mealy mouthed parasites of Westminster & Whitehall should be doing but which don't fit in with either their egotistical self-aggrandisement or their inveterate nest-feathering..."
Or even just not borrow it in the first place. Either way. But I think it's pretty clear that Indian aid should go.
Did he think "I quite like prison and fancy hanging round a bit longer"?
"Reread your posts and substitute Guns for Alcohol and you will see your hypocrisy."
Hmm, OK, let's try that:
1) If the price goes up too much, we'll just make our own guns.
2) If the price goes up too much, we can go to France to buy guns.
3) My using guns doesn't harm anyone else.
So far it isn't going well for you.
"Exactly, at first I thought what a terrible idea, and this is going to punish everyone who can control themselves/drink modestly. But 50p per unit is going to do nothing to the majority of the country who enjoy a 2/3 unit pint which already costs at least £3.50+"
That's because you haven't thought it through. Let's take wine as an example. Currently there are, broadly speaking, three types of wine in supermarkets: cheap crap; OK stuff; expensive stuff. The price of the cheap crap is currently about £3.50/bottle. OK stuff is a few pounds more, expensive stuff is a few pounds more than that. This price differential will still exist even if the bottom stuff is £4.50, so everyone pays £1/bottle more.
The exact same thing will happen to all other forms of alcohol. It's clear.
"Personally a business should not care if you are married, single, gay, straight, bi or whatever. They should also not ask about your age, your religion or anything else. If you want to tell people then that's another matter."
Seriously? Did you miss the point of their argument by that much? What they said was: if a company is in a state that bans gay marriage, a gay person is less likely to come work for that company, thus harming their business. They want the best people, regardless of whether they are gay or not, and so would like these obstacles to free movement to be removed.
Re: Defending Google?
"If this comes to pass, let's hope Google pastes the complaints to ChillingEffects..."
If these privacy notices are produced by courts, expect a Google paste to ChillingEffects to not be looked highly upon by a judge. See, for example, Apple's close call with contempt of court regarding the Samsung judgement.
Re: The law is an attempt to return to a bygone age
"The internet does exist. Bandwidth and storage space permitting, you, me or, for example, Google could archive the publicly accessible portion of the internet as frequently as our heart's desire. No amount of laws from Spain or the EU will change that.
I like legislators who think that creating laws in defiance of reality will somehow change it. And if they are going to descend into insanity, at least let it be for a good purpose. Bring on the EU law that forbids rain on Fridays - 'cause nobody likes getting wet on the way to the pub."
That is an argument against any law. E.g., post-invention of gun: "manufacturing capacity permitting, anyone could produce guns. No amount of laws can change that." The implication being that we shouldn't legislate against gun ownership, but we do. (Note, this is an EU debate. If you are American, pick a different example, like abortion.)
Just because technology allows somebody to do something, doesn't mean that we should automatically let them.
And @lglethal: there is no public interest defence for, when searching for a guy's name, you find out he was convicted of speeding in 1997. It certainly wouldn't override any subsequent law on privacy. If they guy is a murderer or kiddie-fiddler possibly, but even then: Jon Venables.
The law is an attempt to return to a bygone age
The point is, if I commit (say) a driving offence, and it gets reported in the paper, I get convicted, and then the conviction becomes spent years later, the following happens:
1) Pre-Internet, this information was available by searching through microfiches in libraries, or looking up court records, but you had to be committed.
2) Post-Internet, a quick search of a newspaper website or Google finds that Mr Smith of Example Road was convicted of speeding.
This is the difference between "available" and "readily available". Long-past events in ones' history, for example being arrested -- but never even charged -- for an offence maybe shouldn't be easily accessible for anyone who wants to look for it with a few presses of the button.
At any rate, this is a debate for the EU and its citizens, and Google can fuck off. We will inform them of any decision that we have taken, and they can then obey the law or, again, fuck off.
"shift a load of us off this rock altogether."
That would require just as much energy as keeping us here...