It's perfectly legal to provide additional incentives for head-hunters to try and get more of whichever group to apply for jobs. Discrimination only occurs when handing out the contracts.
3942 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007
meet their quotas
What quotas? Quotas would be illegal.
Anyway, when you see the sums in relation to turnover, it's obvious that these are PR exercises. Want more female black latino engineers? Get them to study engineering at university: Intel could fund some endowments. You can only employ what the market provides.
Or looked at another way: how much of the USD 1 bn that Microsoft is reportedly stumping up for a crumb of Uber is going towards increasing diversity there and how much is being trousered according to some clever post-JOBS act accounting?
Re: Temp difference also matters
Below 20°C is going to be too cold for office work for most people. It's the typical kind of arrangement where the needs of the equipment are considered more important than those operating them.
25°C (77°F) verses 22°C(spelling of versus is the author's)
I doubt very much that there is a three degree differential for similarly clothed people. 25°C is almost certainly uncomfortably warm for both men and women at work. Women do tend to feel the cold more, partly down to what they're wearing – bare ankles will make you feel the cold faster – and partly down to physiological factors such as muscle mass and the way subcutaneous fat is distributed. The amount you move makes a big difference. Walk around for 5 minutes every hour and you'll probably be able to knock 1°C off the thermostat.
One solution that has been touted is mini IR heaters for individuals: http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21615065-one-way-keep-warm-heat-people-rather-expending-energy-heating
Re: What about other manufacturers?
It's unlikely that they will be shut out of licensing the data as that could annoy the competition authorities a lot. They will presumably still be able to license the service. It's not a huge differentiator for car-makers, otherwise hard to imagine them clubbing together to buy it, more of a defensive purchase to keep something that might otherwise end up in Silicon Valley's hands (my enemy's enemy is my friend).
Detroit is also finally waking up to the threat.
Re: "Microsoft ... left HERE behind as it already had its own Bing Maps."
Considering how much Ballmer was allowed to throw at Nokia: "have some more money" I suspect it may simply have been the conviction that such a service was only "months away" in Bing so why bothering buying it? Or maybe they realised quite how much work is involved in keeping maps up to date?
Re: Swarm intelligence ?
Is it even possible to respect one's privacy when basically broadcasting one's position continuously ?
Good question but a car is far more anonymous than the various bits of electronic kit that we all carry around with us that do much the same.
The data collection will be subject to the reasonably strict German data protection laws and we can also assume that the competition authorities will also keep an eye on the purchase. Nothing to stop the three offering sweeteners to be able to collect less anonymous data but they won't do it as a matter of course.
Re: Massive write down?
Write-down is less than you think. El Reg's lazy/incompetent, let's be charitable and call them lazy, failed to convert the purchase price into Euros based on the exchange rate at the time. At the time of the purchase (November 2007) the exchange rate was about 1.45 Dollars to the Euro which puts the purchase price at about € 5.6 bn. This puts the write-down at less than € 3 bn.
The division has always been in profit and we can assume some of the money that Nokia got from Microsoft including long-term licensing for Here for the phones. So, all-in-all probably not such a bad deal considering that many considered the purchase price too high at the time.
It was the terminal equivalent of the iPhone upgrade experience.
Have another one of these, you deserve it!
The data protection watchdog has no formal role in the so-called trialogue negotiations (three-way talks between the EU Commish, Parl and Council)
It's sad to see El Reg turn into a kind of step-sister of the Daily Mail. You can't have trialogue negotiations. You could at a pinch call a conversation between three parties a "trialogue" but where's the value (apart from the neologism)? Much simple to say "tripartite negotiations" or "three-party negotiations".
As for "Commish" and "Parl", I guess it might be slightly amusing after a couple of drinks. But then why not go the whole hog and refer to the European Council as "Cunny"? No, it isn't really very funny is it.
The real story is how poorly funded and resourced the various data protection offices are especially in comparison to the multiple secret police that governments seem so keen on. Spying on the public is obviously the best way of protecting it.
Re: Google should stop passing the buck, and support Do Not Track
Do Not Track Does Not Work.
Re: Cookies now non negotiable...
The law already makes a clear distinction between cookies that are necessary, because they provide state and for which consent isn't required, and ones that aren't necessary, such as ads, which do. Any web developer worth their salt knows the difference.
Re: In other news...
Have an upvote
I've had four Samsung phones and they've all been solid: three of those were AMOLED. My Galaxy Tab 8.9 from 2011 is still going strong.
Support for a lot of companies is shitty because it's off-loaded to third-parties often on fixed contacts. Better customer service is one of the things you can expect when you pay the Apple premium.
They thought people would like the phone but more would buy the cheaper model. Turns out that the Edge appeals to more people than they expected so they've sold more of the higher margin version. Total sales may be down a bit but a profit is a profit. I know a couple with the Edge and they love it.
At the moment, however, profits for any company with large sales in Europe around 15% down to to the Dollar/Euro exchange rate.
Below cost? I don't believe a word of it. For the last few months now I've been avoiding Amazon and finding other places to buy stuff ... and reputable, long standing small companies are coming in cheaper than Amazon.
The appeal of Amazon appears to be convenience and laziness. You've always been able to find cheaper/better products elsewhere but, like a supermarket, Amazon appears to offer everything in one place. Doesn't work for me but obviously does for many others and this, along with questionable employment and accounting practices, is slowly driving the competition out of business.
Re: Twitter is the next Amazon
Just imagine if the two got together? A marriage made in heaven!
Actually, that's a bit unfair on Amazon. Bezos has always been clear about spending any money the company makes on new stuff. Shareholders have so far been content to accept an increasing share price instead of dividends and Amazon does have things to show: AWS, Kindle, etc. I fully expect the shop and warehouse business to be split off at some point.
And, perhaps more worringly, too whom? Hands up anyone with a company who's spent money advertising on Twitter?
And there is OpenSolaris in its various guises. Wonder if Linux was ever really popular on SPARC.
Carriers monkey with the OS/apps, then the carriers should fix them. It is high time that the law treats this sort of thing as a fault to be fixed for, say, 5 years after last sale. For everyone, so no supplier can wriggle out and not have to pony up to fix the damn software.
Five years is excessive. I'm not sure if the length of the warranty is really the problem. As you point out there are a lot of parties involved in any rollout. The law should be used to streamline the distribution of security patches. The threat of legal action backed up with stiff penalties can work wonders.
This might be good in getting the carriers out of the mix, to which they add so little. Manufacturers might also be forced to pool resources for development or otherwise face a levy to a statutory body.
Some thought would be need to given to older hardware which is no longer able to support the latest version of an OS. Backporting will only work so for so long. Might have to introduce official restrictions on older hardware. It's not really that different to phasing out things like analogue mobile phones. Carriers should be able to enforce this.
Just some ideas.
With them you're getting updates for a 4 year old device, but in world of premium android you seem to get a "gentleman's agreement" on 2 years, and then you're on your own.
That's the legal requirement in the EU. Some of this stuff simply needs challenging in the courts.
Things are often complicated by carriers running their own shit on top of the manufacturers' shit making which makes development and test take a lot longer. But some court rulings could really help in establishing the various degrees of liability.
Apple's support is great as far as it goes. Anecdotally, however, I've been told that after about 3 years performance on the latest IOS seems to be so poor that new hardware is best solution. And app devs on IOS seem to march in lockstep with the IOS versions, meaning that OS upgrades are often required if you want to use the latest version of an app.
There's less variance in phone hardware than there is on your average PC
That simply isn't true. The lack of an ISA (industry standard architecture) has led to a raft of proprietary SoC's that all do things differently.
How much, in your opinion, should they have paid? Should we really be encouraging a market for the reporting of bugs?
It is very important for companies like Google to reward such contributions appropriately. But the incentives need to be correctly aligned.
Re: Why's this a story?
To the "let's all go nucular!" folks: How many years ago did France buy much electricity from Grumpenland (Solar, in winter!) because their reactors had to stop as the rivers were frozen?
To be fair France tends to buy more from Germany in hot, dry summers as the rivers get hotter and are less effective at cooling the nuclear plants. It generally exports to Germany in Winter when it is colder and darker.
Nuclear is a _transitional_ technology, as remarked by A. Merkel (btw. she is a physicist IIRC).
She also infamously compared it to baking once…
The knee-jerk response post-Fukushima was as politically astute as it was economically inept. It came hard on the heels of extensions to nuclear plant lifetimes with attendant contracts that are now being used in the courts to assess compensation. That volte-face may turn out to have saved her career as six months previously she had ignored Röttgen's advice not to go back to nuclear.
Of course, since then she's had her foot firmly on the brake when it comes to lower vehicle emissions.
Re: your forgot a bit
Well, I hear the Saudis are pumping like crazy to keep the price down (for not entirely clear reasons.
They're pumping to keep market share. The basic logic is to try and force American shale oil out of the business. Hasn't worked so far.
I am slightly worried about what they might do to prevent sanctions against Iran from being lifted as everything now points to fat pipelines from Iran to Europe, China and India.
Re: dealing with waste from nuclear power
New reactor designs are slated to totally eliminate waste storage by milking existing nuclear waste for all it's got.
1980 called and wants its headline back.
Nuclear has been over-promising and under-delivering from the start. In the process it's hoovered up more subsidies than the renewable lobby will ever do. Is that Finnish plant online yet? Did the UK government really have to promise a fixed profit level for its next plant?
Renewables are doing just fine. The problem is a lack of storage that can be replace backup generation capacity.
Re: The 1930s
I await your detailed takedown so I can assess it.
I kind of walked into that one. Well, I won't give you one mainly because this is mainly a tech site, but I also don't have time for the details.
Suffice it to say that economics is far more politics than it is science, and a "dismal science" at that. My politics are profoundly different to Mr Worstall's: I'm a proud European and he's an insular (ex-pat, I believe). So we are bound to start from different positions and come to different conclusions. I can live with a difference of opinion but do get annoyed by the populist oversimplifications.
Germany didn't bail out its banks more than Britain. You can see the scale of the UK bailout in the public deficit after the financial crisis. Any comparison of the economies should have a baseline in 2008. From 2008 to 2012 Britain managed to shrink its economy and keep inflation above target, leading to a decline in the real standard of living. It's okay though, because nominal asset values were maintained.
When it comes to bullying other economies. Well, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. The UK applied enormous pressure to Ireland to bailout its banks and thus avoid British banks taken the hit of the bad loans. It then applied anti-terrorist legislation to seize Icelandic assets from banks that had been correctly licensed in the UK. The hawkish head of the FCA has just been told that his contract won't be renewed so it looks like a return to "light-touch", risk-on regulation. Given that the finance sector was contributing around 25% of GDP before the crash, you can see where the incentive to do this might be coming from.
Germany was one of the fastest countries to be fiscally expansive with the stupid-but-popular cash-for-clunkers scheme. State-subsidised shorter working hours were also hugely popular and are again with Opel recently applying for them now that the Russian market has collapsed. German banks were certainly complicit in stoking Greece's insolvency and the arms manufacturers certainly did a roaring trade, but no more so than any other country.
Translating "Ordnungspolitik" with ordoliberalism is fashionable but wrong. The German post-War political order was largely imposed by the allies so any thoughts of peculiar German traits are misplaced. It is the government's job to create the relevant institutions to manage the various sectors. Afterwards the government is legally prevented from meddling. This is one of the reasons why the Bundesbank is more independent than the Federal Reserve, the other being that the Federal Reserve is as beholden to the commercial banks as it is to the US government.
The hyperinflation of the 1920s is not etched in some kind of collective memory but it did illustrate the futility of getting the central bank to monetise government debt by printing money. This is why there is little desire or understanding in Germany for money printing as a solution. Whether QE has been a success or not can only properly be assessed once the central banks have managed to shrink their balance sheets. Little evidence of that at the moment.
Austerity is much misused word. In the early 2000s Germany certainly engaged in restraint across government and business in order to regain competitive advantage lost by the 1:1 exchange rate of unification. The labour market was significantly liberalised and wage restraint was exercised with annual pay increases well below the rate of inflation the norm for about 10 years. Similar adjustments were, of course, practised by the Baltic countries after-2008 as they strove to join the Euro.
Some of the consequences of this were the nearly disastrous falls in productivity in other Eurozone countries and the export of German savings into high-risk, high-return investments such as American CDOs and Greek bonds. Other consequences such as underfunding of healthcare and pensions will take time to show.
All the historical comparisons with the Great Depression, Hitler's rise to power, etc. can be illuminating but are necessarily simplistic. The 1930s were extremely unstable across Europe which is why Ramsay MacDonald imposed a state of emergency in 1931. This is quite simply not the case today. Not that there isn't considerable hardship throughout Europe but the scale is very different.
Where I do agree is that the Euro is unfinished business. Since its introduction the member states largely turned inwards and tried to ignore the consequences of pooling sovereignty. France is the elephant in the room here with successive governments simply failing to start the same kind of dialogue with the population that Germany did in 2001. It simply is not enough to look covetously at the situation "outre-rhin" and expect some kind of a miracle.
Re: Germany really doesn't believe the last 60 years
But ten years ago, while the French and Luxembourg shops all accepted Visa and Mastercard, German shops held steadfastly on to cash only.
It might interest you to know that the number of credit cards in Germany peaked about 10 years ago and has been decreasing since. Why? Because the transaction charges of around 4% are not negligible. Where credit card are accepted, it's not unusual to ask for or be offered a discount if you pay cash or use your EC card. Try it the next time you go shopping in Germany.
Credit cards are common in the travel industry but even then you may see surcharges for credit cards (increasingly common when booking flights).
Re: The 1930s
Is it just me or are Tim's articles getting really good these days? I've gone from being a bit dismissive to being very appreciative.
It's you. There's a bit more history in this one but it's still full of the usual strawmen and incomplete arguments.
ODF is the death knell of Microsoft. If Microsoft cannot hold its customers to Office format, then any office suite will do - and Libre Office is free and Open Source.
Bollocks to that. FWIW Office OpenXML is just as open as ODF. It may be shit but it is open.
Re: Don't be scared to fail
This is something that the US seems to accept much more easily than in the UK
The bankruptcy laws have a lot to do with that. In the US if you fail bad there's little to stop you walking away from the debt and starting all over again. There are attendant tax-breaks for those lending the money so venture capital is far less risky than it might appear.
Re: In fairness to Ballmer
All good except for this:
Linux also brought a threat to the client end with a competent desktop which just needs an ecosystem.
It still ain't happening for Linux outside Android.
My guess is that Windows 8 itself probably didn't cost a great deal of revenue directly. In the consumer space the move towards handhelds was already underway. Enterprise customers had already generally said: no thanks, we're still busy with Windows 7. Yes, it was a PR fuckup, but if you look at the EBITDA since then it's been steady.
In much the same way that the Vista fiasco led to a concentration of minds and a thoroughly reasonable Windows 7, Windows 8 is leading towards Windows 10. The OS available on release date is probably less important than many of us imagine. More important is the general shift at Microsoft towards services and also acknowledging that "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" with Office and Cortana for Android and IOS. Windows 10 may just end up being one way of getting those services into people's hands.
Re: To paraphrase Reagan...
Yeah, they're still sitting on the goodwill. Wonder when their "corrections" are coming. MS was bidding against itself for Skype!
Re: How is this protection against patent trolls?
Microsoft isn't a patent troll, not by the true definition
What is the true definition? I'd define a patent troll as anyone attempting to use patents to prevent innovation, which is the opposite of what they're supposed to be for. Unisys' waving of the LZW patent falls into this category along with Microsoft's always out-of-court settlements about FAT and Apple's "rubber band" patent.
Revenues of $500,000 would imply a workforce of less than 10 people. That seems a reasonable definition of a startup to me.
Re: How is this protection against patent trolls?
The protection against trolls works in two ways: firstly, the pool will be able to act for any member that is challenged (think of Microsoft's dubious cases about FAT); secondly, over time the patents of companies that join will not become available to trolls for future abuse because they're already cross-licensed.
Re: uber experiences....
They reviewed my previous trip and gave a refund so the later trip was the same cost as the former
Which is virtually admission of the charge of employment…
Uber seems to do well in America where local taxi services seem disorganised and rarely run in the interests of passengers. The solution there is to beat Uber at its own game and provide more convenience, capacity and flexibility. But it is wrong to assume that this is the case the world over.
Re: What's not to like?
At the risk of coming over all Tim Worstall
Oh, I think you'll find he's got all the arguments in favour of discretional pricing and how it maximises value.
The fact is that Hollywood has for years been dumping content on poorer countries (and tolerating piracy) to get people used to their superior (well, it generally is) product so that they can raise prices in the future. For some content owners, I'm thinking of channels like HBO, however, this could be a boon as it could allow them to cut out the middlemen: sell to the whole of Europe via a single subsidiary in, say, Luxembourg or Ireland.
Network connections being kept open to serve ads and track users mean that the phone's radios have to be kept on.
Still, it's a novel approach to website performance.
The term "paleoamerican" has been used for a while to distinguish some inhabitants of the Americas from what we now call "native Americans. See http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21602193-new-fossil-helps-understanding-about-how-americas-were-colonised-history for an example.
The more fossils and ancient DNA we find the more complex migration turns out to have been. But the size of the oceans, particularly the Pacific, did put limits on many journeys. With the right wind and currents a raft might conceivably make it but there was no way people could carry enough fresh water with them.
What it comes down to is largely politics on interpreting migration patterns. Do the Celts have any more right to the British Isles than the Anglo Saxons and Vikings? Not that this is any kind of apologist justification for past crimes: the treatment of the indigenous population by European settlers has routinely be dreadful.
Split the company
Sell-off the moving of physical product and concentrate on the digital services and AWS.
Re: Congratulations on repeating exploits before they can be fixed
Do you have evidence of that or are you just trying to adopt vox populi here?
Yes. Microsoft and Adobe come in for a lot of criticism including from me but they have both responded to recent 0-day attacks in less than a week. Oracle has also vastly improved its patch release speed. Apple has previously taken months to release upstream security fixes (to Java in the past, more recently to openssl) especially to Safari and then there this is clusterfuck of their very own making.
Re: Congratulations on repeating exploits before they can be fixed
Len, time will tell; Apple didn’t fix CVE-2015-1130
Apple's record on fixing bugs is worse than Microsoft's, Adobe's, Google's and Oracle's. I guess it doesn't seem to matter if you can convince your customers to buy new hardware rather than sue you for negligence.
Re: Congratulations on repeating exploits before they can be fixed
Congratulations on repeating exploits in detail before they can be fixed by anyone…
Someone pass me the clue hammer. Or maybe it's a troll trying to go for the record number of downvotes?
Well, next time I'm bored in the shopping centre I can have some fun in the apple store.
Why bother there? Proper malware gets installed onto boot images at the factory…
The existing CEO is leaving because he's had a better offer and so now they need to find someone else? This is not usually the sound of success.
MariaDB has been stealing business from MySQL – among them Google – as companies fret about Oracle's control over the project and product.
Postgres has been stealing more and more valuable business. Oracle is doing a reasonable job of cleaning up some of the weirder shit in MySQL.
And with Postgres you can have mission critical, ie. must not get lost or corrupted data, with an optimised binary JSON store for the transient shit that fuels the interwebs.
Re: Why do these primitive databases excite people so?
MongoDB has no relationship (pun intended!) to MongoDB
er, perhaps you think one of those Mongos should be a Maria? ;-)