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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2732 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Help us out here: What's the POINT of Microsoft Office 2013?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Only one thing I use Office for

I, too, have always liked the outline view in Word and I do miss it in OpenOffice which only has page layout and web views. OpenOffice's performance on Mac OS is still a bit meh, but it suffices for most things.

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Microsoft's Dell billions have Windows 8 strings attached

Charlie Clark
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I agree with dogged

The article really is poorly written with: speculation on speculation; innuendo ("go private to restructure and avoid pressure from the market") - which market; false dichotomies (PCs are either low-margin commodity products or high-end Apple) - Lenovo has been doing pretty well with the high-end Thinkpads; and inevitably poor conclusions.

Dell seems to be getting out of the consumer market and moving to servers and services. A tie-up with Microsoft would allow for the kind of horizontal and vertical integration that is currently popular: IBM, Oracle, HP are all doing something similar.

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Apple confirms 128GB iPad. A hundred bucks for an extra 64GB

Charlie Clark
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Re: Otherwise the specs for the 9.7-inch tablet and its Retina screen remain the same

@JDX - yes, undoubtedly some other stuff will have been updated to make room for the memory if nothing else.

It's still an eye-watering price, presumably to wave in the face of Windows Surface Pro waverers, in which case it's a good ploy: get the real thing.

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Why did your outsourced IT fall over? Cos you weren't on Twitter

Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh. My. Fucking Gawd/ess.

You do know they get paid lots of money for this kind of shit? Although I think that they may have a bit of trouble charging for this particular kind of bollocks.

Anyway, The Economist reckons that outsourcing is, er, on the way out. Well, not entirely, it's more nuanced than that but worth more of a glance than Gartner's turd.

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Charlie Clark
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Gold plated bullshit

Aren't there awards for this kind of thing?

What I like is this inversion of the original social media paradigm where bosses were supposed to make themselves appear more human by writing blogs, etc. Now they are supposed to keep in touch with the drones using it.

I predict harder times for Gartner.

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Apple users: Only Apple can track us! Not Google

Charlie Clark
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Devil

Re: We moved our hosts outside the UK

That is the dumbest reply to a post I have ever seen on ElReg

Well, while it's pretty stupid it's nowhere near as dumb as some of the stuff we get. Some of our commentards are, er, really gifted when it comes to getting the wrong end of the stick.You obviously don't read enough. Don't worry, stick around long enough and you'll soon lose the will to live and any hope you might have left for humanity!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: We moved our hosts outside the UK

Two things: firstly, you obviously don't seem to know much about jurisdiction in the EU; secondly, the UK law is only the national version of EU-wide legislation. But, please do carry on with your feckless approach to stuff. You might even want to start a Facebook group about it.

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Cameron's speech puts UK adoption of EU data directive in doubt

Charlie Clark
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It’s a bit scary that I trust EU than I do the Tories.

I think that might have something to do with the high standards set by the European Commission' admission process. To be a Tory MP you only need to have to go to right school.

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Charlie Clark
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"Biz types have Tories' ear", oh really?

Apparently others beg to differ. Andrew Palmer of The Economist on Twitter:

"Asked roomful of over 100 CFOs yesterday whether they thought a British referendum on the EU was a good idea. Not one hand went up." (

source

The CBI has for years been begging successive governments to stop antagonising everyone else and try and change policies from the inside.

Cameron's speech was a thinly veiled sop to the Tory party's loony fringe and of little further political importance, apart from pissing off much of the rest of the EU.

UKIP can probably still expect to pick up plenty of seats at next year's European elections so that fucker Farage and his obscene chum can complain about the EU gravy train from the comfort of the EU gravy train.

Odds on Cameron not being Tory leader at the time of the next general election.

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Microsoftie's tell-all on 'rival-flinging' Ballmer: The politics of disbelief

Charlie Clark
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Re: "If Elop was not a Trojan horse, then he would have kept Symbian and Meego alive"

Personally, I can't wait until Eadon starts distilling his wisdom in published form. CEOs around the world are probably already thinking "now, what would Eadon do?".

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Microsoft blasts PC makers: It's YOUR fault Windows 8 crash landed

Charlie Clark
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State capitalism

the PCs it deemed the best were to be promoted under two labels: Hero PCs and Featured PCs

Trying to pick winners is exactly why state capitalism so routinely fails (unless you effectively control the market). Whoever came up with that idea at Microsoft should be shown the door. MS and Intel have in the past been so successful at blanket ingredient marketing - spunking billions on marketing campaigns just as long at the right version of Windows was prominently promoted. Cash-strapped manufacturers in an infamously low-margin business are not keen on funding their own expensive ad campaigns.

The ambitious hardware specs have, like other markets, left manufacturers little room for differentiation and forced them to take a bet that the market would love the high-end gear. However, few of them have the cash to take bets like that. Oh, and knowing that MS is picking winners and favouring the competition is hardly likely to go down well either.

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Intel to leave desktop motherboard market

Charlie Clark
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SoCs are the future

The announcement is for those who've been away for the last couple of years also the end of the desktop computer in its various ISA forms.

Notebooks and similar designs (Raspberry Pis, I-Macs and MacMins, etc.) with even higher degrees of integration is what the market wants. I don't know about the rest of you but I can't remember when I last opened a desktop to change the chip or one of the cards. For additional components we now have fast enough buses (SATA, Thunderbolt, etc.). Desktops will still be around but expect to see them disappearing off websites and from shop shelves.

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Sorry, Apple-haters, but Cupertinian doom not on the horizon

Charlie Clark
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CEO 101

we thought it useful to point out that Apple's sales would have been higher had Cook & Co. better managed that task

Rik, that is exactly why Apple is considered to have underperformed in that quarter. It was what the board is paid for to get right. Personally, I don't buy the constrained supply argument too much; the flat profits look like a shift to the slightly lower margin products. This is fine except it does beg the question: when is the next high-margin device coming?

The rise in reserves is also not that impressive: companies with large cash piles are generally considered to be inefficient as returns on that cash are much lower than on products. This explains the current trend for cash-rich companies to buy shares back. There are likely to be calls for Apple to do something with that cash - either a share buy-back or a big acquisition.

Apple's business is still extremely healthy and anyone who doesn't envy it obviously isn't interested in money. However, it will be interesting to compare sales and profits growth with Samsung when they become available. Part of Samsung is now competing more or less directly with Apple but better able both to meet demand and sell higher-margin devices.

Finally, share price movements alone should be taken with a pinch of salt. You need to know the volumes and, if possible, the buyers and sellers. On and around numbers days the market is distorted by those making a quick buck.

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UK 4G auction kicks off in total silence

Charlie Clark
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Re: Evidence please

@Ed - I'm talking about PAYG top-up not contract. Technically, € 15 gets you "unlimited" here except you're throttled to GPRS once you exceed the agreed amount.

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Charlie Clark
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Evidence please

the cost of data will have to increase (Americans already pay a good deal more than Brits, as does most of the world)

Evidence for "the rest of the world" paying more for data than Britain. When I was last over in the UK I got 3 GB for £15 from Three on PAYG. Here in Germany I get 3 GB for € 15 which is about £13 so about 20 % cheaper or even cheaper on a PPP comparison.

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Microsoft's Intel-powered Surface Pro to launch in February

Charlie Clark
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Re: Too fookin' heavy

@JDX, I know what the integrated graphics are capable of. I'm just querying the wisdom of the HD 4000 in this product over another integrated solution except fatter margins for Intel.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Too fookin' heavy

@Dave, thanks for the info. I wasn't really bitching about the HD4000, just about the copy which could be read to put Intel's graphic unit up against Nvidia. The combination of i5 and the HD4000 is certainly significantly more powerful than a Tegra 3 but that is down to the i5. Be interesting to see real world comparisons of the HD4000 against the Nvidia in tablet space, including power draw, of course.

I do have one question - WTF are people going to have 4k chips in their tablets for? Unless I've missed something they don't have the outputs that can drive the screens. That means paying for more silicon to sit there and draw power while doing nothing. I suppose that allows manufacturers to do the usual castration and sell two lines - one over-specc'd and over-priced and another, under-specc'd and still over-priced.

C'mon Google, quit farting around with Chrome OS and come up with a notebook flavour of Android!

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Charlie Clark
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Too fookin' heavy

0.91kg - not a chance. Get better significantly better specc'd megabooks (or whatever the term for them nowadays) that weigh only slightly more for less. And here's me waiting to spunk € 1000 on something to replace the 2.5 kg Thinkpad I have to lug around too often.

@El Reg - the copy seems to suggest that the Intel graphics is better than Nvidia's Tegra. While the Intel Core i5 certainly is beefier than the Tegra, the least said about Intel's graphic chips, the better.

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Google's Native Client browser tech now works on ARM

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this for real?

On Android I don't know if the security is really much more of an issue than using the AppStore and I suspect this is sketch of how apps might distributed in the future. Yes, it's sort of ActiveX all over again but then what else is new in the software world?

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Big Data about to bottom out, says Gartner

Charlie Clark
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Re: Big Data

Please register here for the next Bullshit & Bollocks Quarterly Technobabble Report. Annual subscriptions cost only € 10000 - can you afford to miss out on the next big thing?

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iPhone hangs on in US, Japan, but EVERYONE ELSE bought an Android

Charlie Clark
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Stop

@ Darryl - the world has shores? What, you mean apart from Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Huron? Are those Canucks up to something again? Next thing you'll be telling me is that the world is round and millions of years old!

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: OI! Random Fanboi!

@jai - you might actually want to try using and Android before spouting such shit. I'm not sure if it's quite as comfortable as you suggest I-Phone's are but calendar, pictures and software are pretty painlessly synced. Oh, and there is a file system which stops stuff being deleted because "someone" doesn't think we should have it.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Maybe

If I dare be contrary, the iPhone was judged as revolutionary because it was the first consumer device with a direct manipulation interface metaphor

Nah, UIQ let you do that years earlier. Okay, resistive screens don't do pinch-to-zoom but who actually uses that a lot? Opera mobile resizes intelligently with a double-tap which is far easier for this Neanderthal. Nevertheless the high-power (I mean power draw) I-Phone experience was beguiling because it was so immersive.

The sweetheart deals nearly cost Apple the game: all you can eat on AT&T's EDGE network was not exactly expensive for AT&T; not having 3G in Germany meant sales were about 10 % of what was expected.

To their credit, Apple worked damned hard to rectify the flaws in the I-Phone (native SDK and 3G support). Sort of exactly what MS hasn't done with moving from Windows Phone 7 to Windows 8.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Apple reducing their price - burberry error

@Eadon - please tell us who owns the Omega brand?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: ... and tomorrow we will get the REAL numbers

Well, maybe. These numbers certainly sound like a load of fuck to me. ComScore relies on UA detection in browsers to identify markets and routinely comes up with a load of poo as a result. Apple will announce fantastic results - and however many gadgets they sold the results will be fantastic because of those very fat margins - but the full story will probably take a while to come through.

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This week's BBC MELTDOWN: Savile puppet haunts kids' TV

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: BBC lefites

Oh fuck off, Eadon! Seeing as you're constantly spouting (ill-informed) evangelism of Free Software what do you think it makes you?

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Charlie Clark
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Is this related to Panorama?

Caught something of it yesterday on BBC News. Seemed to be an investigation into the owners of The Telegraph which led to some fairly strongarm responses.

Time was when The Telegraph was serious if right-leaning paper: obviously against foreigners but appreciative of them especially if they could play cricket with excellent sports coverage. It now seems to have a bigger agenda than any of Murdoch's rags.

Who else is on the BBC's blacklist? Presumably any of the sherbet dippers and dope fiends: Frank Bough, Craig Charles, etc. (I'm afraid I'm not that familiar with the subject); adulterers (Brucey, well the list is probably endless…); petty criminals (Stephen Fry); wife-beaters (Geoffrey Boycott); blokes who have had sex with possibly underage women (all the bands since The Stones and most of the DJs of the 60s and 70s). We'll soon be back to the 1950s with the Light Programme featuring the charts from Chile and Percy Edwards bird impressions (I shit you not this was what was on offer in 1953, i.e. pre-satellite).

We need a catchy new slogan like: "do yourself a favour, stab a Tory today". Just waiting for that nice Mr Worstall to explain to us how this is not hysteria and all in our best interests.

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Opera sings WebKit's tune for new mobile browser

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not great

People always have written for implementations and not standards viz. the recent decisions by Opera and Firefox to support the webkit-prefixes in CSS. Browsers can be developed for standards but websites always have to be tested in browsers.

The real problem with a monoculture is, as we saw with IE 6, that it stifles innovation. Even if Webkit would, in theory, mean that vendor lock-in could be avoided there are still huge problems about security: what are the incentives to continue development without any competition?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: so???

On IOS WebKit is the only engine allowed. Opera Mini currently avoids this restriction by rendering on the server and sending bytecode to thr browser. Opera Mobile and Desktop have a similar mode when running in Turbo, This is great for performance as it dramatically reduces both the number of connections and the volume of data transferred. However, it also imposes restrictions on client-side javascript which leads to more calls to Opera's proxy servers. So, as more and more websites become dependent on client-side javascriipt it's probably the only option for Opera to stay on IOS.

There's been no announcement so far so it will be interesting to hear the details as and when.

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Germany's RTL pulls free-to-air channels off terrestrial TV

Charlie Clark
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It's not over until the fat lady sings

Here in Germany TV is extremely political. The private companies have always moaned about how much they have to pay to be received on anything but satellite but in the end they have gone along with all the requirements. Licences are awarded on a per state basis, so in order to be able to broadcast in Bavaria, RTL had to set up the headquarters of one of its channels in Munich. If it looks like the costs for DVB-T are going to be borne by the public channels I can see the commercials being forced to pay whether they're on board or not - there is a similar argument going on about cable at the moment. Not that the commercial channels will be much of a loss anyway as they are really crap. German TV is, in general dire, with the most common refrain of my demographic being "oh, there's usually something good on ARTE…". Think of Channel 5 on a bad day and then roll it in shit and leave it to fester for a couple of years. The private channels here are suffering long term from being spectacularly uninventive and largely indistinguishable.

If they do get dropped from DVB-T it might leave room for some more interesting channels such as the Dutch and Belgian public broadcasters - even public access would be better than the commercial channels! Or HD. I've no idea why there are so few channels here on DVB-T and none in HD.

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Wireless performance will collapse, prices rise: Deloitte

Charlie Clark
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Re: Full of crap

Yes, the report does smell like the usual industry-funded piece of crap designed to justify either price hikes or cuts in the quality of service or, most likely, both.

LTE has never really been about more bandwidth for users but more efficiency for operators who can drop the pesky need to provided expensive connection-based services for voice. However, if UMTS has taught them anything it should be that the market will accept only a certain degree of gouging before looking for alternatives.

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Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA

Charlie Clark
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Re: Too high priced?

And the Nexus 10 costs even less and offers arguably even more…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Interesting view

The anecdotal trap: just because it works for you doesn't mean that the criticisms of the article aren't wrong. It sounds like you have bought an expensive remote control for your desktop.

Sales of 1 million in a quarter including Christmas are just plain dismal: the market has rejected Microsoft's value proposition and this despite huge advertising and marketing campaigns. Apple already has the walled garden and through the volume of its sales has convinced by developers and corporates to let it into their space. For the masses cheap Android tablets are proving increasingly attractive media consumption devices that are extremely portable, significantly more so than the Surface and the reason why Apple has developed the I-Pad mini. Where is the Surface mini? And why has Samsung so noisily abandoned the market?

You are right to point out that more and more apps will be developed for Metro, though how many will be compiled for ARM remains to be seen. Windows RT might just be a stop gap for Microsoft while Intel and manufacturers work on Surface Pro tablets which might well prove popular, albeit by cannibalising notebook sales but only in significant volumes if they are cheap enough.

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Why no one wants to Joyn GSMA's Skype-killing expedition

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Move along, please. Nothing to see

Software vendor complains of poor sales to industry. In other news: earth still orbiting the sun.

Where is all this OTT revenue that the article talks about? How do Skype's worldwide profits stack up against world mobile telephone profits? Or even just against the pre-VoIP calling-card business of least-cost-call-back routing?

Operators have a terrible record of implementing compatible services. They have to do telephony because it's in the licence but it took third parties to discover the potential of SMS. Industry-led MMS has been a debacle. Not that the solution are vertically integrated silos: FaceTime, GoogleTalk, Skype. No, internet-based, ie. truly cross-platform and cross-networks tools are the only solutions.

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Google's JavaScript assassin: Web languages are harder than VMs

Charlie Clark
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Twice as fast?

Speed obviously isn't the selling point for this: twice as fast means about one generation of mobile phones and that in a small part of user experience. Offloading stuff to hardware via, say WebGL or CSS, brings a lot more. It's far from perfect but the slow and steady development and adoption of HTML 5 (including CSS and JS) is gradually moving things along.

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What ereader decline? Kobo pumps up the volumes despite grim forecasts

Charlie Clark
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Re: I'm one of that 12mil

Can't comment on the Android App but I think the article is mainly about the Kobo hardware. I think it's only exists to demonstrate that you can use the books you buy on any of your devices which is an important factor for many. On my Samsung Tab I have Aldiko for books and have not had any problems with it.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Just a consumer.

@ Joe

I understand where you're coming from with reference to large PDFs. The Sony's do a damn good job at reflowing PDFs to fit but at the end of the day there are times when you need the format which is why I was prepared to sell a kidney when PlasticLogic announced the Que. Unfortunately, they never delivered but they have demonstrated the potential of this kind of display technology.

Now, back to books. One of the reasons for me to have an e-reader and/or tablet is access to technical documentation when on the road. Fortunately, an increasing number of my stuff exists as Epub as, Sphinx be thanked, pretty usable on whichever device. When it comes to books, I've never read a Mills & Boon but I guess they're no worse that what I do like to read, and having a degree in the subject I like to fancy that I know what I'm talking about.

It doesn't really matter what you read. What does matter is how you read and the Kobo's are remarkably good - I used to have a Sony and I know a few people with Kindles so I can compare. All the new devices are remarkably similar when it comes to the hardware: hi-res, hi-contrast e-ink pearl screens, diffused lighting, size and weight. The new screens are very crisp, not that 800 x 600 was ever bad really but I now get approximately equivalent line lengths as you find in Penguin paperbacks. The lighting makes a huge difference even indoors as just switching it on a bit increases contrast and legibility. Page refreshing is now pleasantly fast. I was used to the hardware buttons for page for and back on the Sony and thought I'd miss them on the Kobo but as you just need to nudge the screen it's not proving to be a problem and means little or now smudging, or as in the case of swiping, scratching.

But the software also matters. Sony is the dogs bollocks when it comes to PDFs, no arguments there. But Kobo lets you adjust line height which is very important when it comes to readability. The built-in shops all feel a bit weird and constraining but the Kobo shop is not geographically restricted - important to me as an ex-pat as I know a few Jormans who've had to register with US addresses just so they could buy books and keep them on their devices. With the Kobo you just change languages and get more books offered in that language. Sync seems to work okay though side-loading books seems to need a one-time authorisation by Adobe. The Glo is pretty light and will fit in a jacket pocket, which is good in summer when I'm feeling a bit Bohemian as Proust and Joyce certainly don't fit!

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Wanna really insult someone? Log off and yell it in the street - gov

Charlie Clark
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Re: the tin foil hat wearer in me is deeply troubled

@Mike Browne

Think of the benefits that the revolutionairies you mentioned would have found from having facebook.

I suggest you look up "samizdat".

Of course, one interesting conclusion that could be drawn from your suggestion is that revolutions are more likely now that the Nathan Barley's of the world have access to such great technologies. Should we all now flock to the Sugar Ape banner? What are our demands? Smoked salmon lattes? Geek pie hair cuts for all? Easy to see the powers that be tremble before massed ranks of people playing muff, cock, bumhole!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: the tin foil hat wearer in me is deeply troubled

Its much harder to organise a revelotion (sic) when forced to use word of mouth

You reckon? Robespierre, Washington, Lenin et al. wouldn't have succeeded without Twitter and Facebook?

Effective revolutions always need their own independent channels of communication.

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Charlie Clark
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Though I like what you did there, the proposed change seems perfectly reasonable to me. I assume the offence of "common abuse" still exists but there is still a huge difference between calling someone a huge dickwad in a moment of high emotion and publishing it in whatever form.

I've no time for the Tories but Mrs May was one of the first to put her finger in the wound of the "nasty party" only to have her speech as party chairman oveshadowed in press reports by the shoes she was wearing. This change okay, some of the other stuff her department is cooking up certainly isn't.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It leaves the definition of "grossly offensive" up to police officers (and judges)

Yes, that sentence is a load of bollocks, isn't it? Fortunately, the police do not have the power to interpret the law but judges quite sensibly do.

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Top Brit Penguins spurn London Stock Exchange for NYSE

Charlie Clark
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Holmes

Re: Penguins?

@Miek, yes we know that. We just don't see the connection with Alfresco's CMS. Is it, for example, a Linux distro?

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Lynch mob of bankers say they'll stump up cash to take Dell private

Charlie Clark
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Re: What about QE??

Spot on! This, and similar schemes, are a direct consequence of the cheap money policies pursued by central banks over the last couple of years. It's supposed to lead to more responsible lending except that it isn't: small companies are being frozen out by the banks. Given that Dell has around $ 2 bn in cash there's a 10 % instant return just begging to be had.

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Live blog: Facebook's 'screw you' to Google revealed at last

Charlie Clark
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Holmes

Re: Unlike...

It is all a bit surreal, isn't it. Kind of hard to remember that this not in Zuck's dad's garage but in the offices of a company that went public for $ 100 bn. And, as I know that both your banks and mine sunk money into that IPO I'm not feeling particularly superior.

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Charlie Clark
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Red or blue ones?

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Sheffield ISP: You don't need a whole IPv4 address to yourself, right?

Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: I dont really understand

Is yours the donkey jacket? Close the door on the way out, ta.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Volunteering for the unknown

Makes you wonder doesn't it? Here my ISP already takes care of the IPv4 / IPv6 handling and servers are also increasingly ambidextrous:

$ host h-online.com

h-online.com has address 193.99.144.80

h-online.com has IPv6 address 2a02:2e0:3fe:100::8

h-online.com mail is handled by 10 relay.heise.de

Meanwhile in steam-powered old England:

$ host theregister.co.uk

theregister.co.uk has address 92.52.96.89

theregister.co.uk mail is handled by 10 aspmx2.googlemail.com.

theregister.co.uk mail is handled by 10 aspmx4.googlemail.com.

theregister.co.uk mail is handled by 1 aspmx.l.google.com.

theregister.co.uk mail is handled by 10 aspmx5.googlemail.com.

theregister.co.uk mail is handled by 5 alt2.aspmx.l.google.com.

theregister.co.uk mail is handled by 10 aspmx3.googlemail.com.

theregister.co.uk mail is handled by 5 alt1.aspmx.l.google.com.

Given the apparent cluelessness of ISPs and technical publications is it time we thought of jumping ship?

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Hooking offshore wind farms into UK grid will HIKE bills, MPs warn

Charlie Clark
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Re: Let the madness begin!!!

FWIW, while I agree with the sentiment, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Infrastructure has infamously long payback times which is why it is traditionally built and paid for by the state with all the attendant risks and problems that brings with it (Berlin's airport is the current poster child cockup). So, to encourage investment in long term projects governments have hit upon guaranteeing rates of return. There is likely to be more of this for two reasons: the state can't afford to pay for new projects directly; fiscal repression and money printing have driven down returns on government bonds so much that investors, particularly insurance and pension companies, are looking for alternative long-term investments with similarly guaranteed yields. Handled properly such schemes can work out quite well: pension funds are keener on stable cashflow in the future than unrealistic yields; the surcharge of involving the private sector can be offset against the cost of funding to the taxpayer.

That's the theory. Financing energy, especially renewables, in the UK remains extremely badly thought out which is deterring the necessary investment and likely to lead to ever more hair-brained schemes to get the private sector involved the prospect of a real shortfall of generating capacity gets closer.

Here in Germany we've got similar pressures. Leccy is up to € 0.25 / kWh which is quite a bit more than the UK, I believe. The price is increasingly driven by the surcharge for funding the ever-expanding renewables - this is politically driven but also popular, unfortunately exacerbated by exemptions awarded to industry. The power companies have also successfully lobbied for the costs of connecting the offshore parks to the grid to be underwritten by the state. This, only a couple of years after signing contracts to do same without guarantees. This is somewhat understandable as some of the costs are unknown unknowns - it's never been done before. Still, it is never good for governments to guarantee the absolute profits on such endeavours.

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Satnav blunder sends Belgian granny 1,450km to Croatia

Charlie Clark
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Obligatory slight of Belgium

Driving tests weren't made compulsory until some point in the 1970s so it's quite likely the driver never had to take one to get her licence.

Also, having been to Brussel Noord I can understand her desire to avoid it. Not at bad as Brussel Zuid but certainly up there on the list of "100 Train Stations You Don't Want to Visit"!

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Microsoft flings out emergency patch for Iatest gaping IE hole

Charlie Clark
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Re: Neatly attacks the corporate/government assets

To be fair I think that most corporates have already migrated or are in the process of migrating to Windows 7 but depending on when they got the system images this still means IE 8 in many cases. Moving to IE 9 is as much trouble as installing Firefox LTS which is why an increasing number of corporates are doing the latter. Individuals seem to be going for Chrome.

I'd be interested to know how your 24 % breaks down. My 30 % is about evenly split between IE 8 and IE 9 with IE 7, 6 and 10 fighting it out for the wooden spoon. As IE 10 is still Windows 8 only this is hardly surprising but yet another obstacle that MS has unnecessarily put in its path.

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