* Posts by P. Lee

3558 posts • joined 4 Dec 2007

Strong ARM scoops up Sansa to boost IoT security

P. Lee
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IoT's problem

Doing things badly is very simple and very cheap.

Doing things properly massively increases the resource requirements, management, complexity and chance that something will go wrong. It is also expensive. All these things destroy the market.

IT security is hard, boring and expensive.

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Microsoft Edge web browser: A well-presented mea culpa

P. Lee
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Meh

So I could upgrade to the latest and greatest

and spend my time disabling all the privacy-invading features I don't want and hope no-one turns them on again by default.

Or I could stick with what I have, using FF's "Search" box when I want to search the web and my local OS' "search" box when I want to search locally.

For a long time I've thought IE just looks like a dog. It is just too ugly for words. Forget the security flaws, quirky rendering, hated unified url/search box etc, I just thought it was kind of ugly and wasted desktop space. I felt as though some horrendous GUI-design errors were made but I just couldn't put my finger on them. Chrome slurps data too, but it was just a bit prettier.

I feel the same way about W10 (and W8). I don't feel the need for the extra features and oh my word how I hate the flat interface. In the interest of balance I dislike IOS' appearance more than I did too. I think we've got to the point where any OS will do the tasks required of it. Perhaps I'm a dinosaur, but I don't feel the need for social media integration, I think application-level and GUI-level file-storage integration is stupid (hello dropbox, hello KDE/SMB) and with a five mb/s net connection and a local server, the cloud holds little or no attraction for me.

So that leaves me with file-storage on a file server and a split-tunnel VPN, imap email (remember when email had its own protocol?) and sshfs. I feel slightly sorry for MS - I'm not sure that there is anything that would tempt me back. KDE is pretty, Steam and MythTV are entertaining, NFS may not be the most secure protocol, but its fast and its just my home network, MariaDB may not be the world's best database, but I've used it for years and never once had a problem. Netatalk provides OSX backups, SAMBA does Windowsy-type stuff, though I usually NFS-share and run Windows in a VM. I don't feel as though I'm missing anything except the odd game, but seeing as I haven't even played all my linux ones, I'm not too fussed. I do feel that if I went with Windows I might get a little more polish on some apps, but I'm likely to lose a lot of features. Its the same with OSX. Still no iscsi initiator, Apple? Work out what is actually important. Live simply, live cheaply.

Its not me, its you. You act as though we're married but we aren't. You're ugly to look at and your character has changed, its no longer my personal computer, you seem to think that just I allowed you to install some software on my hardware, you can take what you like and give it to your boss. Your data-slurping is uncouth. Just because all the other kids are doing doesn't mean you should too. Now, to quote Raymond Stevens, "Get your tongue outta my mouth, cos I'm kissing you goodbye."

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Download Fest goers were human guinea pigs in spy tech experiment, admit police

P. Lee
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Re: Depressingly...

>I fear we will see a gradual but steady increase in this type of intrusive pish over the coming years.

I doubt it. I hope the organisers did well out of the last Download festival. This is bridge-burning at its very best.

Someone's going to make a fortune taking a picture of a security guard's face and printing it on sweat-shirt hoods.

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Facebook geeks build 10Gbps ray-gun internet drone wider than a 737

P. Lee
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I so torn

Yay!

but

Oh No!

--

Anyone know how good a laser is going to be through clouds?

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What can't sell Galaxy S6s and keeps going down on you? Samsung and its profits

P. Lee
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Re: wow. apparently there are a few pissed off ex sammy owners here

It appears that Samsung have internal brand confusion and too many beancounters. You don't get nitpicky with customers over support when they've paid a lot for the phone. Last year's flagship maybe cheap now, but the customer still remembers what they paid for it. Apple have it a bit easier, they don't do cheap, so a good-service culture is easier to fund.

Premium brands need premium support - it should be "fix it with no questions asked." Actually all support should be like that. Let's face it, these phones cost very little to make. A few annoyed customers do enormous damage but happy customers really help you because people like to be able to brag about how they made the right purchasing decision.

I wonder when someone will realise that helping the customer is a good thing? Give them an SD card slot and replaceable batteries. Document that chipset and help the CM and vanilla Android chaps to get their software working well on it. You may not sell a replacement so quickly but you'll build brand loyalty and that's a lucrative thing. If people wanted an idiot-phone they would have already bought, er, something else.

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Bloke cuffed for blasting low-flying drone with shotgun

P. Lee
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Linux

Re: Let the arms race begin...

> finders-keepers, losers

Hmm, down Amazon's drone, see if its carrying anything you want and send it back up again.

Better yet, train a falcon (or a penguin) to pick off the payload.

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P. Lee
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Terminator

Re: It's time

LOIC should work nicely. If it auto-lands you get yourself a nice new drone.

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P. Lee
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Trollface

Re: 40mm Glock

Its the automated down-voting troll-fairy

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SPUD – The IETF protocol Snowden loves but will never be used

P. Lee
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Re: Added value?

You might want VoIP traffic to have higher-priority down your internet link than torrents.

Then you can happily run both simultaneously and have crystal clear calls and max speed torrents.

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

P. Lee
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>Am I the only person who sees this as desperation?

Nope, you're not the only one.

They've messed up and ended up without the monoculture they so badly need. Not only is the world not all Windows, but not even Windows users are all running a platform which is easily targetable by devs. They broke stuff between versions to force application upgrades, without contemplating what would happen if their strong-arm tactics were ignored. Now they have ended up with multiple incompatible Windows operating systems because they didn't actually give their users a particularly good reason to upgrade except "to stay current."

NT4->XP and XP->W7 were reasonably compelling. A better GUI and better memory capabilities. Do you really need a new OS to implement powershell? Do you really need a new OS to implement an additional GUI which is optional? Don't even get the linux chaps involved here. I run SuSE 32bit in 1.5G RAM and SuSE 64bit with 32G RAM. MythTV, VLC, Mozilla and the OS all work without a problem. No application breakages there.

I know MS wants to earn money, but powershell should really be a base item and a new GUI should not be a cost option. Why? W10 is licensed per device. Change your device, you buy new license. All those non-touchscreen business installs out there don't need it. All the new W10 tablets/phones (stop laughing) will have it pre-licensed. Unless you're a desktop user who bought a stand-alone touchscreen (anyone?) you don't need it. MS admit as such by making W8 (touchscreen OS) upgrades to W10 free. The upshot is, there's still not a great deal which MS can argue makes it worthwhile *for the user* to upgrade from W7->W10. Its great for MS, nice for Devs, but for the user - not so much.

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Turnbull's transformers plan business access to YOUR GOV ID DATA

P. Lee
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One ID to rule them all, and in the Darkenss bind them

Because that's worked so well in the past.

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Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8

P. Lee
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> That XBone streaming thing is amazingly useful - now I can stream 720p 30fps content to my 1440p 60fps PC!

Now, with added lag!

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P. Lee
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> "Windows as a service"

Odd idea, considering it's tied to a device.

"Windows as an appliance"?

def: appliance: (in IT) something you pay for ostensibly yours but with a lifespan determined by a third-party, which is never actually yours or designed to work for you. (See, "Vendor thoughts: oh @#$%^ they've bought a license and are never going to buy another one in the next two years", also, "Why don't IT departments want to do any technical IT work anymore?")

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P. Lee
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Go

Re: Why call it Windows?

Is "Trap-doors" taken?

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P. Lee
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Re: Multiple desktops

>Why on earth would you want to *pay* for an OS ... when you can get a perfectly good one for FREE?

Few people care about the OS. What you are really paying for is access to Windows-only apps.

MS use the OS-upgrade to drive application upgrades on a OS-Server-Client treadmill, but if you want the applications, you have to go with the whole ecosystem.

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P. Lee
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Re: Just one thing left to make it good

> Since the brain doesn't apparently work like that, I don't want to be filling it up with ever more clutter when the computer can remember for me.

The brain works like a muscle. If you don't use it, it "prunes" that capability. If you play dumb, you become dumber.

Is it just me who uses keystrokes with menus? That rather requires fixed menus, not some search system which may reorganise the menu because someone has saved another document with a similar name. Really chaps, I know you'd love Bing to be successful, but can't I use alt-s for the W7-style start menu (with search box) and ctrl-alt-s for your new-fangled search?

I've also been shaped on my internet connection after busting my download limit this month. Would my desktop PC now become a bit rubbish at finding local data because its taking ages to reach bing? How do the search results come back? First-found at the top? alphabetical? Docs/Apps/Web? Does these re-order as more results come in? Hands up who wants to tell Bing about their local pr0n collection every time they try to find something, even if its just a mis-type? Does MS feel any sense of irony in desperately trying to get rid of the "personal" part of the PC?

Sorry MS, must try harder.

12% extra for DX12 might be cool, but I see many games moving away from MS-only which means open-gl. I look for speed bumps every 5 years or so, when I upgrade the hardware. Nice though it is, Indie games rarely need raw power anyway.

As pretty much the last remaining OS I can pay for, I expect to be protected from privacy-invaders. If you can run cortana on my local PC and upload relevant (voice recognition etc) data to my local PC rather than taking it off my PC then great. Otherwise, I'm not interested. Yeah, I'm one of those weird people who does naughty things like download youtube videos locally because I hate people prying on my activities over time.

Give me a new OS design. Its time that we stopped pretending there are only users, not programs on the system. Give applications a security manifest not just a user to execute as. As a user I may want to execute a screen-saver or "run-as" to elevate my privileges. I may also want to run Flash videos from the web. (I know, I'm perverse). Both systems need to run as me. However, how often do I need Flash to be able to write anything to disk or access *any* executable outside of its own directory? How about if *at installation time* there is installed a *read-only* list of libraries it can access. Likewise with screen-savers. Is there any requirement for a screen-saver to ever have a child-process running as a different user, or indeed, be able to spawn cmd.ex? Can't we get the OS to control what software can access based on install-time manifests rather than mere user-rights? No Flash, you may not spawn any child processes, access anything other than your approved list of dlls, nor write to disk. I don't care what the executable is trying to do, I've told the OS to step in and prevent access to those resources. Word doesn't need to access the web, why let it just have all the user's privileges?

So Windows has more flexible access-control than unix. Well done. We have some sort of hybrid of Unix and Netware. Can we not move a little further forward than that? Can we not have some sort of BSD Jail / inbound-outbound proxy firewall running at an application level? Have it as a "high-security execution mode" option. Would it be slower? Yes. Would it sell? I think so.

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Chat about Safe Harbour all you like, the NSA's still the stumbling block

P. Lee
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Re: NSA is the problem

>My company mandates that we don't take confidential information to the US

This is the only way to keep data safe - don't take it somewhere unsafe.

For you young 'uns, the internet is not a safe place.

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Secretive trade pact the TTIP: Death of the web – or a brave new horizon?

P. Lee
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re: rade agreements favour the party in the strongest position.

Therein lies the the problem. The lack of government oversight in the US has allowed corporates to build up massive cash piles. This has implications for Europe and Australasia. Bluntly put, the playing field is not level. Even if it were made level in competition terms, US Corps massive cash pile would allow it to run operations at a loss or at a very low profit level. Once the European companies are out of business or devalued, the US companies can buy them or let them die, eliminating the competition and allowing price rises. Short of having companies of equal financial clout, there can be no level playing field, regardless of the competition policy.

So, is "protectionism" dirty? Well it might be, but most of the regulation US companies hate applies to European companies too. What's "unfair" is that the American companies aren't set up to deal with and want to make money without adhering to it. Well boo-hoo - such are the trials of being a multi-national. You're going to have to hire some Frenchies who understand French culture and you won't be able to roll out US-like policies... because France isn't America. I know Americans have little grasp of that concept, but its true.

Different cultures have different values. That's a good thing. Some people want sun-ripened tomatos, not some GMO monster which is red even when its unripe ("because red is what consumers want") and balloons up to five times the size of a normal tomato by absorbing water, becoming tasteless, because, "Hey, customers pay by the kilo."

I do not want "regulatory convergence." Just play by our rules in our country or you are free to stay at home.

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BONK! BONK! Windows 10 whack-a-mole – Microsoft still fixing bugs

P. Lee
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Meh

Meh!

I'm used to new Linux installs wanting to download patches.

This is no different. In fact, it's so un-different I'm not going to bother with it for the foreseeable future.

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Software spec slip denies Westpac chance at a MILLION A DAY

P. Lee
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Mushroom

Why should they charge different rates?

The nonsense of it becomes clear if I release the equity in my own house to fund the rental property and then borrow for my own house.

It turns out, Apple is "missing out" on charging extra for phones that will be used to make business calls, and Telstra is "missing out" because they don't charge you extra for calling businesses.

Because of all this lack of profit, government is missing out on gst which would be charged on the higher prices.

Therefore, picking a low-priced deal basically means you're against the government and anti-Australia as a whole. Love it or leave it, but we can't allow terrorists to stay here.

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Game over, Ouya, the Android gaming console

P. Lee
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Lost cause?

Wouldn't you rather spend the extra cash on a better phone and connect the display to the TV?

Is there a problem with Android Gaming? Are touchscreens are pretty rubbish? Is it just me who feels AngryBirds seemed to add a randomness factor to trajectories and got away with it because no-one could tell if they were being accurate with a finger?

They could go after the Wii market. More accurate gaming will require new controllers which means new game code and at that point, you're probably better off going with Steam.

Do we need a hardware card for games? Something to handle multiple bluetooth joysticks/paddles/gamepads/music? Are we better off using wifi for that?

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

P. Lee
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>Your theory is as daft as asserting that the people who made your wallet are liable if you get mugged and the mugger steals the cash out of it.

Not really.

There is an inherent defect in the product. I don't think anyone would suggest that the bug is included under the banner of "works as expected."

The main issue is the complicity in customers accepting two years as an acceptable life span. I'd be pretty upset if HP gave me a two year life for a laptop, server or switch and expected me to buy new hardware because they couldn't be bothered to work with MS and the Linux chaps to make sure their kit kept working. Apple's billions seem to be leading the phone industry into an entitlement to profits mentality.

Is it time to pull the plug on proprietary phones? I know everyone wants to be Apple-successful, but most companies are not Apple, probably couldn't be Apple even if given the chance, and their customers are reasonably ok with that. We need a base-Android OS on top of which applications are added. The whole point software layering is so we don't have to worry about the lower layers. We don't seem to have that any more with everyone (Apple, Google, MS, Samsung) wanting to own the entire stack - the OS and all the apps.

Perhaps Google need to man-up and provide leadership. They need to tell licensees to get their act together and support customised versions of Android for longer or stop shipping them. They should ship stock Android and add custom applications on top.

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Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

P. Lee
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In fairness to Ballmer

Both the Google thing and the Apple thing are understandable as defensive plays. The objective was not to be good at it, but to stop Google and Apple from being good at it.

Google maybe King of Search, but GMail is very visible and appears to be the precursor to moving computing to the web. Its an end-run around the Windows OS which is key to MS' success. MS might survive as an enterprise server OS company, but that would be a totally different beast from Gates/Ballmer era. The double-whammy is the cloud where compute is centralised into a few mega-corps none of which have a desire to pay OS licensing fees and all of which have the resources to not need MS.

Likewise with Apple. MS' problem was (and still is) that Apple created an alternative compute platform. First it made Windows look a bit rubbish and non-Windows cool with the e-/i-Mac. Then it seduced users away from Windows and the PC as its primary compute interface/platform with its phones and tablets. All the work in building up an impregnable ecosystem was undermined by tiny, weak, battery-powered devices. Linux added more cool to non-Windows bringing pain to the server end. Linux also brought a threat to the client end with a competent desktop which just needs an ecosystem.

Sadly MS' execution has been awful in their non-core areas. Interestingly, even their core areas of OS/GUI design have looked awful too. I wonder how much fail has been generated by them never really needing to compete since Novell collapsed. Suddenly, they are hit with competition and potential competition at both the server and client ends and they are... struggling.

It certainly isn't the end of MS. They have a competent if uninspiring core OS with a GUI which can be fixed. They have a couple of killer apps which provide OS lock-in in the enterprise market.

Personally, I'd like to see more secure desktop OS design, more fine-grained control of applications. I wonder if they will risk meddling with what they have or be imaginative enough to launch new products which might cannibalise the old.

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Australia deflates Valve with Steam sueball

P. Lee
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>We get special regional pricing though - some things are up top 5 times the USA price.

I understand that isn't Valve, that's the game publisher. Yes Bethesda, I'm looking at you, but I'm not buying from you.

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P. Lee
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>A better question is how Australian law can be applied to a business that isn't in Australia?

I suspect there are steam caches in Oz. The government can hit company anyone doing business them.

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If Microsoft made laptops, it'd make this: HP Spectre x360

P. Lee
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So close!

Come on HP!

The days of processor upgrades may be over with intel creating new "generations" every two years, but I'd like to be able to swap the disk and add memory - up to 16G (not 8G, Apple)

And I want a matte screen.

And it should come in at around MBA prices. If you can arrange it so that it happens to run OSX, you get brownie points, but these days, I actually prefer a Linux GUI.

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New study into lack of women in Tech: It's NOT the men's fault

P. Lee
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Thumb Up

>who wants to go into a profession dominated by the opposite sex?

ME!

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Optus tells Department of Comms to sit down and shut up

P. Lee
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Kill them with kindness

Do the meta data thing and give customers a nice easy to use interface for it. Tell your customers that the government thinks it is important that they are able to access this information, for X years. Click here to send an email to the AG to tell him what you think of the plan.

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Australia to tax ALL international online purchases

P. Lee
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I went into Safeway in Melbourne and found "Jordans Crunchy" - a favourite from my youth. "Reduced to clear" and still 25% more expensive than Tescos. It appears that granola is liable to VAT, so the Tesco's price includes 22% tax rather than the paltry 10% gst in Australia.

Australians companies are used to having an effective geographical monopoly due to their distance from the rest of the world. With the rest of the world in trouble, they've noticed the massive margins to be made in Oz and, well, times are a-changin'.

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Invisible app ads slug smartmobes with 2GB of daily downloads

P. Lee
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20 ads a minute

and AV isn't smart enough to realise that's not normal?

Seems that for the good of the advertisers, a hostfile should redirect those domains to localhost....

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Sydney adopts 'world's first' e-ink parking signs

P. Lee
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Fantastic!

And how, pray tell, will the signs be updated? Will there be an open network port listening for a connection?

I look forward to the free parking.

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So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

P. Lee
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Re: Money supply

I'm not sure I agree with your definition of deflation. It is inflation which reduces internal debt, as long as the inflation is greater than interest rates because you have new, numerically more, but value-wise less units of currency paying off old, numerically smaller but value-wise larger units of debt. External currency debt is of course more difficult to repay as your currency devalues.

Apart from that, your point is correct - leaving the gold standard made money a fiction and it inevitably collapses when there is a lack of faith and it is widespread credit which creates the illusion of wealth and the inevitable crash. Is my house really gone up in value five hundred percent in a few years? Of course not - its closer to collapsing than it was. However, the increased credit availability drives a bidding war for limited resources, which is financed by committing more and more of my income (life) to paying the bank to lend me the money. With the way interest works, borrowing more has a proportionally greater cost than the additional value borrowed. The banks make more money, but that is just a concentration of wealth. They have more, everyone else has less. It kind of makes sense as long as everyone keeps doing it, but it is essentially a pyramid scheme and it collapses when the prices get so high that there's no one wealthy enough to at the bottom to get on the property ladder. Investors with existing wealth can keep things going for a short time, until the realise that renters can't afford to cover the mortgage.

Some politicians then think its a good idea to then deregulate the market and "relax credit restrictions" to "help first time buyers." Let's all welcome them to bonded slavery, shall we?

The basic problem is that money is divorced from the value of the thing it is supposed to represent. That provides an immediate incentive to fiddle the books and banks and government have been only too happy to oblige. Worstall is incorrect and slightly disingenuous. "The economy" and "economic (monetary/fiscal) policy" are not the same thing. An economy is not there so you can "get more of what you want." An economy is the generation and exchange of value. If you give people more "money" without more work being accomplished, you've either stolen or lied. As long as the lies are very small, people can adjust - inflation increases the numerical amount in their bank-accounts while simultaneously reducing the real value of that money. When the lies get very large (such as the sub-prime market or hyper-inflation) the results can be devastating. Hitler's policy of just nicking value from defeated countries wasn't that moral either, but the effect is pretty much the same. People are poorer, though stuff being taken away or inflation/devaluation. At least taking the spoils of war limits the damage to what exists at the time. WW2 and the economic recovery from it lasted, hmmm.... half the time of a typical mortgage these days?

We're still hiding from the truth. We see tech companies putting their prices up. No doubt, that will result in another "record year" despite all the layoffs meaning more people are poorer from lack of income and revenue is just being diverted to tech from elsewhere, because its too difficult to cut in the short term.

Could QE fix the Eurozone problem? It could probably paper over the cracks for a bit but it doesn't fix the underlying problem of money divorced from value which leads to corruption of the system. It doesn't help that Europe isn't a country. Many of the people there really hate at least one other community, and I mean hate with shells and mortars. Political union is the pipe-dream of a few, kept alive only by the fact that no-one dares approach the reality of it for fear of the whole thing falling apart. Without political union and common purse-strings, a common currency will be increasingly hard to maintain, resulting in further creative accounting. Like QE and sub-prime, the more you allow it, the harder the bump will be at the end.

Does inflation create Nazis? Let's widen the question: does economic hardship create people with nothing to lose? Does it hamstring governments so that they are seen to be weak and ineffective - creating a desire for someone to come and take firm action to rescue the country? We've seen how a couple of plane-crashes changed US policy. What happens if people are personally affected by something?

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Boffins go to FUNGI town: Riddle of 100-year-old HAIRY, ICY dead wood finally cracked

P. Lee
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> suspect I never shall understand the mentality that adding to our understanding of the world somehow subtracts from its beauty.

I'm not sure that was the meaning. I understood it to merely mean that the textual description and scientific understanding of the phenomenon brings comparatively little joy and wonder when compared with its observation.

I suspect a personality difference. For me, I'm glad the scientific discovery prompted the publication of the visuals.

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The Wilson Doctrine isn't legally binding, MPs CAN be spied on, says QC

P. Lee
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Facepalm

Welcome to the National Security State

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/National_Security_State

Now that God has been removed from society as an entity to which politicians and the State are answerable, the State has placed itself and its laws in the position of being the entity requiring the highest possible allegiance.

Ever since Christianity merged with the State, it corrupted both itself and the claim of the State to hold ultimate moral authority. In the pre-Christian pagan world, the State's power was (portrayed as) a reflection the ruling god's power and therefore validation in itself of its right to rule. Christianity interfered with that and held that the State's right to rule was contingent on its adherence to (its interpretation of) Godly principles. The State has always sought to re-assert itself as the ultimate authority. With only the ghost of Christianity left in Society, we are left with the State's "the will to power" and pretty much zero philosophical basis for any moral controls on State activity. The State has no respect for the populace, why would it respect the their representatives?

Welcome back to pagan government.

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Cyber poltergeist threat discovered in Internet of Stuff hubs

P. Lee
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Coat

re: On the Internet nobody knows you're a fridge.

But you can still be a Hotpoint.

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P. Lee
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Big Brother

Re: An often underestimated threat

>So that is why the toilet has been talking to me at night, oh thank goodness I thought I was going mad.

You aren't mad, but you should be paranoid.

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Universal Pictures finds pirated Jurassic World on own localhost, fires off a DMCA takedown

P. Lee
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Joke

Re: Overheard at Universal IT staff meeting

"Pirated objects are mirrored closer than you think."

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Cheaper broadband will slow NBN adoption, says Turnbull

P. Lee
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Re: Give the NBN to people that actually want it

>Turnbull is correct that politically, telling people that the government has spent a fortune providing them with something that they do not really want and will cost them more is not going to go down too well.

If that was what's happening then I'd agree, but it isn't. There are large parts of Melbourne where you can't get fixed-line internet, its all rubbish wireless in dense suburbs with tin roofs. More internet is required and it makes no sense to add copper.

Fibre prevents market segmentation (its all fast) which I presume is why Telstra is so against it. It allows Netflix rather than forcing Foxtel, which will be another black mark as far as Telstra is concerned. And it would require them to get off their backsides and actually do something. People could actually run their own servers rather than being forced to co-lo. Oh the Horror!

It seems Turnbull is just spouting what's being whispered in his ear.

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Greece? Zzzz. EU bank says TWEETING can move the stock market

P. Lee
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Re: So, these "Masters of the Universe"

...aren't really involved. Its all (well, 95% I understand) speculation by computers. Only 5% are "real" trades.

The actual stock prices are irrelevant, the movement is where the money is. If I ruled the world, I'd just limit the trading frequency - i.e. stock purchased may not be sold for 1 hour/day/whatever.

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Windows 10 on Mobile under the scope: Flaws, confusion, and going nowhere fast

P. Lee
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Re: a phone running something like real Windows

>what does the market need for that to happen that the market hasn't already got today?

big.LITTLE for x86?

Put that in a tablet/laptop convertible. Business can buy the laptop, users get a (for now) limited tablet for free, but the market is seeded.

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P. Lee
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Re: A Unified Experience

>Trying to create a unified experience, having the same apps run on diverse platforms used in very different ways, was always going to be a challenge and a struggle getting there.

It reminds me of... html. Interestingly, mobile web sites work reasonably well in most layouts, whereas "for desktop" html which tries to enforce screen layout fails horribly. Is "fabulous" the enemy of "good enough?"

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P. Lee
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Re: "Why remove the charm and usability from Windows, in the mad chase for apps?"

>What would really be wrong with a desktop OS, a decent tablet adaption and a phone that works?

MS has no USP for phones and tablets. The only USP they can think of is "it runs Windows - we have a lot of windows developers."

What they should have done is make a better platform, not come up with the answer "Windows" before they knew what the problem was. Sadly for MS, the applications used on phones and tablets are not the same as those on the desktop so they needed to be written from scratch. That's been done, on IOS and Android - no-one wants to do it yet again on Windows. Who needs another email or video app for Windows desktop? There's just very little synergy between the phone/tablet and desktop platforms. MS' best hope is that Intel improve their power management so that desktop windows with touch can run on a (presumably large) tablet.

If I were MS, I'd take a Macbook Air 11" or one of the new Macbooks. Give it a touch screen and a hinge to fold the keyboard around the back and see what happens. For good measure, I'd make the disk and ram upgradeable. Rather than spend money making a new phone/tablet ecosystem, spend that money making honing Windows desktop to make it more mobile.

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'Apple lures labels from free streams – and why is no one doing anything about it' shrieks group

P. Lee
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Don't Worry, Be Happy

Anyone who channel surfs on radio can't help noticing that you'll find the same advert on different channels at the same time every day. You'll also notice that your hear the same track on multiple channels at the same time, every day.

Coincidence? Not really. Its the same marketing principle that MS tried to use with the W8 TIFKAM interface: if you make something familiar, people will like it and they will buy it (or at least ring up and ask to have it played, which is also a sale, especially if airtime is used to calculate royalty distributions).

Of course you have to have some vaguely likeable raw material to start with (MS didn't, pretty young things in skimpy clothes simulating or implying sex are likely to meet that rather low bar), but its the blanket marketing which keeps out the mindshare competition which is what makes it effective. The artists (and I use the term loosely) are the iron ore, the marketing is the manufacturing which turns it into shiny trinkets which people want. Free music is the advertising which gets people to buy it, so that when the marketing ends, they can still hear it.

So (pop) music will always be available for free. If it wasn't, people wouldn't buy it. The industry wants you to have the music for free and then feel loss when its taken away. The first hit is free.

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Beaten blokes HATE the women who frag them in online games

P. Lee
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Re: Shock findings

>Isn't that simply the playground antics that we have all known?

Its been a while since I was in the playground, but I seem to remember boys would annoy girls in a misguided attempt to get their attention, rather than because they actually disliked them.

Also interesting would be the girls' response to being beaten. Was it PC or 50 Shades?

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Dough! Dominos didn't register dominos.pizza – and now it's pizz'd off

P. Lee
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Re: the dominoes effect

If I were them I'd just let the domain rot. Go after the owner if (s)he tries to pass off as Dominos pizza, but I wouldn't play the registrar's or the squatter's game. Browsers cache domain names so once you've entered the name you don't need to again. With combined search/location bars its all pretty moot anyway.

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Microsoft has RECORD quarter, in a BAD way - Sad Nad slashes phone biz

P. Lee
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Re: Can't blame Sad Nad for this...

>Once the worst events have played out, and Nad has copped the flack, they'll rinse him and replace

But it will still be too late for Windows mobile. The market has matured and left them behind. Whether they can survive as an add-on library to Android remains to be seen. I hope they can - I have little love for MS, but Google need a kick up the backside.

The big test for Nad will be whether MS' OS X will arrive ok. Its looking awfully rushed at the moment and still hasn't shaken off the awful touch interface. If you have a UI which can auto reconfigure for touch/tablet/phone why doesn't it detect the lack of a touch screen and turn off the W8 elements no-one wants?

I suspect W10 will be a short-term failure. The timing is all wrong. W7 went EOS before W10 existed. I've never seen W8 mass deployed. Companies will spin out the W7 installations to the end of support, just like they did with XP. Why would they do anything else? Touch interface? MS Store? I don't think so. Despite their protestations, I reckon MS will have another version of Windows out before the end of 2020 when the security updates get turned off. The only way around it will be to (as they have in the past) tie server software (which needs to be in support) to client software to client OS or to convince bankers etc that cloud is fine for them. Haha!

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IT as a profit centre: Could we? Should we?

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Re: Not a bad idea on the surface but reality stinks.

It probably depends on what your company does. If it acquires lots of other companies, you probably do want an tenancy-capable system to aid progressive integration.

Interestingly the arguments proposed against over-spec'ing are the same as those faced by cloud providers. Do they have massive spare-capacity? Who's paying for that? For smaller companies its a relatively smaller issue. Only using 20% of a dual xeon box is probably neither here nor there because hardware at the low-end is very cheap indeed. Pull one CPU and halve your MS/VMWare costs. Using 20% of your superdome or twelve-rack blade farm is a larger problem. Did you buy an extra 2x1Gb NIC? No problem. Did you buy an extra 2x40G NIC? That's a much larger problem.

The art in IT is to get the balance right between custom, efficient technical solutions and standardised managerially-efficient solutions. In-house IT generally allows the former, whereas the cloud sides with the latter. It isn't just "cloud" which gives you generalised IT. Outsourced IT will generally give you a generic framework which may have been deployed to your competitors IT systems too. If you rely on IT for competitive advantage you'll need to retain IT expertise in order to direct your outsourcer... in which case, you need to be very clear on why you are outsourcing and how it helps.

Much is made of "elasticity" in the cloud, but most IT requirements in companies are fairly stable on a trend. "Elastic" maybe helpful on a trial, but compute is cheap. If deployment is too slow or expensive, you probably need to rethink your infrastructure and/or procedures. Yes, you need to over-provision, but tin is cheap. Watch your support costs and licensing costs.

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P. Lee
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Re: In the right business

HR is an odd split of strategic and tactical. Many companies have outsourced payroll which often works well, especially in smaller organisations. Mostly they are there for management support, not employee support.

What HR should be doing is stuff like resource continuity and succession planning, coordinating legally and company mandated training / compliance programmes, educating managers on how to handle various situations (and coordinating with legal support on personnel issues), designing/implementing performance review systems. I wouldn't expect too many HR-employee direct interactions. You'd be surprised how many managers give employees good reviews so they don't feel bad, but then try to fire them for incompetence. HR is there to stop that kind of thing because it (a) isn't fair (b) is illegal in most places and (c) is probably going to cost the company in a lawsuit.

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Dead device walking: Apple iPod Touch 6th generation

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Re: Tempting for devs?

>allows you to keep your old phone which is very likely to be a hell of a lot cheaper than an iphone contract.

You know you don't need to buy a contract for iphones right?

If you're looking for a teenager, why not get the (old model?) iphone and they can pick up a sim card later when they have a job to pay for it?

16G? Yeah right, what's the point of that? Ignoring my music collection which is larger than that, these things are going to be filled with selfie stills and videos in no time at all.

Most powerful? I haven't investigated it, but I find that... unlikely.

I'm all for a good comparison review, but unnecessary embiggening is unbecoming.

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Are you a Tory-voting IT contractor? Congrats! Osborne is hiking your taxes

P. Lee
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>it does fulfill its main purpose of stopping big companies renaming there employees contractors

You mean like Uber?

It would be fairly easy to put a lower limit on employee figures to which this may apply, but that would rather negate all that lobbying by the big boys, wouldn't it?

The the flip side, taxing corporations is basically a pragmatic measure. Going after the big boys is likely to fail but going after the little man will work every time. Also, the country is broke, so the pain is going to arrive sooner or later and we owe a lot more than the Greeks.

Would it be easier just to tax dividends and income at the same rate and ditch IR35?

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