* Posts by Charlie Clark

4584 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

UK minister promises science budget won't be messed with after Brexit

Charlie Clark
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I'd suggest we stay in the EU science programs, if they want us. That should be an easy agreement, if negotiations don't go wrong.

See what happened to the Swiss when they voted to limit immigration from the EU. Result: frozen out of EU research programs.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mission Impossible

The UK is the only one holding any real cards.

Just keep telling yourself that, dear…

As for the facts: Article 50 specifies that the other 27 members get together and decide what to offer the UK. Sounds a lot like holding all the cards to me, but you're obviously privy to other information.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ batfastad

You do know Blair was aiming for EU president.

Sounds about right for him: aiming for a position that doesn't exist…

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Charlie Clark
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Too many experts

I thought that we'd already agreed that there are too many of the bastards! Reduce these silly research budgets is what I say! I mean, what is it these so-called "scientists" actually do? Drink coffee, smoke pipes and stroke their beards (especially the lady scientists who are all lesbians by the way) I don't doubt.

This is from my application to join the Daily Mail as Mrs Gove's dogsbody. What do you reckon my chances are?

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How Google's Project Zero made Apple refactor its kernel

Charlie Clark
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Re: Where's all the snark?

Because it is a possible security hole I'm posting AC.

Why would that matter? It's not as if you posting an exploit here.

I also take the time to document bugs and inform the relevant developers. I've recently informed Apple of a bug in their handling of OOXML files but I won't be holding my breath for a response. This is only too often the case with them so kudos for Google for holding back from publishing. I wonder if the naming and shaming of Microsoft earlier in the year helped focus Apple's attention on this?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This isn't an easy bug class to fix

Yeah, but context-switching is so damn slow on x86. Any idea of the performance on ARM?

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Charlie Clark
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Where's all the snark?

Fanbois have in the past been only too happy to pour scorn over Google for this kind of research.

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Hangouts flameout bringing the Google blame out

Charlie Clark
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Another article that would be improved if Twitter wasn't around

More random and banal "tweets" added as filler.

Meanwhile: Google has been de-emphasising Hangouts as a messaging tool for the masses while it has been adding peer-to-peer support for voice calls to make them less dependent upon the server.

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Squeaky bum time for Apple: It hasn’t made enough iPhone 7 Pluses

Charlie Clark
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Thumb Up

“Can’t meet demand” is an ambiguous term. It may mean that demand is genuinely greater than expected. Or it may indicate supply issues

I think you may have nailed it. Whereas Apple has historically pursued a strategy of a limited a bouquet of products – driven by aspiration and tailored to price – the recent move into fashion accessories has encouraged the tyranny of choice. This contains the risks of lower margins due to more complicated inventory management and the attendant supply chain problems. They've historically been amazing at anticipating customer demand. Now if they ramp up production too much they risk sitting on too much inventory at the start of 2017.

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Did Apple leak a photo of its new Macbook Pro in an OS update? Our survey says: Yes

Charlie Clark
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: ..strokes beard and looks incredibly cook

Tim? Peter? Captain?

Peter, of course, as Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling. Fancy some peche à la frog.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh yes

Flat Whites are so 2015… what you want is cold brew coffee.

/me strokes beard and looks incredibly cook. We really need a hipster icon!

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BlackBerry DTEK60: An elegant flagship for grown-ups

Charlie Clark
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Samsung is still a bit slow at pushing out updates but has improved a lot on the S3 days. especially when it comes to the security stuff. But you'll often be holding a network's Samsung which has even more crap installed on it and an even slower update approval process. Fortunately, nearly all of the Samsung devices are supported by CyanogenMod.

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App proves Rowhammer can be exploited to root Android phones – and there's little Google can do to fully kill it

Charlie Clark
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Re: What are the odds...

Yeah, because Google now designs its own memory chips…

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Reports: Twitter chainsaw massacre redux on the cards

Charlie Clark
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The promotion of these commercial services by public service broadcasters is, indeed, the most annoying thing. They do it because a) they're lazy and b) it makes them look "engaged" with the public. But basically it just means they provide free advertising for them.

Twitter is basically just a JSON API that turned into a money pit.

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Is Google using YouTube to put one over on Samsung?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Coincidence ?

I think the implication is more that Google is not actively throwing the shit around, more like sneakily smear some more of it on Samsung when no-one is looking.

Google is too busy selling ads (including to Samsung) and abusing its market position (making certain bits of Android exclusive to its phones) to bother with that.

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Charlie Clark
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Black Helicopters

Re: Coincidence ?

Take your conspiracy theory and do one.

All Samsung's competitors have very good reason not to make fun of the problems with the Note 7: they know how easily something similar could happen to them and how such accidents are bad for the whole sector: just as you have halo effects, you also have the manure effect. They'll be picking up more than enough extra business by doing nothing. Plus, they almost certainly rely on Samsung for some components.

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Charlie Clark
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Well, real question has to be: what is the sky if it isn't blue colour with more or less clouds in it?

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Ageing GSM crypto cracked on commodity graphics rig

Charlie Clark
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Re: So

Only if it's using A5/1. Many companies have already moved off this for their 2G connections, other networks no longer do any kind of 2G.

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Charlie Clark
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So…

The flaws in the encryption have been known about since 2009 and you still need to create some pretty big rainbow tables and have some pretty good equipment to do the hack.

Well, in that case I'm impressed by what the GSMA did come up with back then. It means we're generally pretty safe. Yes, the spooks have probably had the wherewithal to do this for a couple of years for the few cases where they can't get a wiretap order or find a compliant telco, but given all the other attack vectors on modern phones such getting an app installed that can control the mike and use the network, I'm not unduly worried.

Nevertheless, it's an important research project and should expedite the deprecation of this part of the standard.

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Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

Charlie Clark
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Re: Are you saying the mini revamp was a success?

In the 1970s the mini was very much seen as a small family car for running the kids around town (small turning circle, park anywhere tolerable for journeys of less than an hour). They are now almost entirely driven by single women, maybe with their BFF. Meanwhile the family car market has merged with the small van one. So maybe a shift in the demographic was required? But I too pine for something smaller.

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Virgin Media boss warns Brexit could hamstring broadband investment

Charlie Clark
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Re: Can't see banking being retained but goods not.

Turkey is part of the customs union, this means no duties between Turkey and the EU on goods.

Yes, but duties are now considered one of the smallest barriers to trade which is why we hear so much about "non-tariff barriers to trade"

Norway is part of the single market but not part of the customs union (hint this is a bigger deal and much harder to get). There currently seems to be a lot of woolly and wishful thinking about the kind of the deal the UK can expect from the EU. To be clear, Article 50 was set up as a poison pill to make leaving the union as unpalatable as possible. It hands all the cards to the other member states and negotiations are done by the vast army of skilled trade negotiators that the European Commission has at its disposal.

Unless the UK signs up to the single market then passporting for financial services is almost certain to b lost. Although it's extremely capital intensive, it's also much easier to move the offices and workers from London to Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt than it is to move factories from Sunderland and Derby to Wcoclaw or Bratislava. If passporting goes then the City will almost certainly lose other business such as the nascent Yuan market to Hong Kong or Singapore.

EEA membership is unlikely (Norway has indicated that it would veto it) and couldn't be split for Scotland and Northern Ireland. But we won't really know more before Article 50 is actually invoked.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Brexit situation looks like it might be the worst possible.

Can't see banking being retained but goods not. More likely to be the other way round (as in CETA).

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Christmas Time is here!

Frankly the politicians should have already pulled the plug on that but they haven't the balls.

How exactly?

Oh sorry, this question was one of the reasons why the referendum was a Bloody Stupid Idea™. The UK has an armful of international obligations and benefits because of EU membership. It is going to take years to unravel and replace them which is why the government has proposed the "great repeal act" which would enshrine all existing EU legislation on the statute book. Apart from the fact that I think the proposed act would itself be unconstitutional, a quick look at the success of governments in actually repealing legislation should give an idea of how long things might take.

Meanwhile the pound will fall as FDI falls if access to single market is limited. Think petrol prices are high now? You've got another thing coming.

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Just what Europe needs – another bungled exit: Mars lander goes AWOL

Charlie Clark
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Re: Breaking up the party

It is clear there are big issues in how ESA validates its systems

Really? That doesn't seem at all clear to me. In fact having a test vehicle sounds a lot wanting to validate its systems before trashing even more expensive components. The success rate across all Mars missions thus far leaves a lot to be desired but I can't think of many recent ESA specific failings.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Bungled? A tad harsh methinks

I used the term "controlled crash" deliberately because of the thin Martian atmosphere and that landing, at least as we know it on earth, isn't really an option yet.

I think they were testing a new "delivery" method. Success or failure may be determined by the amount of data they get back. Systems could have failed to work properly à la Philae, or everything could have worked well but they just landed in a shit place.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Bungled? A tad harsh methinks

I think it's just stupid clickbait. Schiaparelli is a test for the real probe which isn't due to land until 2020. In any case, like the recent Space X explosion, it just goes to highlight how difficult some of this stuff is, especially when you're doing it for the first time.

So I guess we'll be reading a lot more over the next few days over any telemetry that could be gathered and which, if any systems, survived the controlled crash.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: They don't want us

Btw., years of reading online publications have resulted in me automatically scrolling past Twitter screenshots, and now it's compulsive.

Me, too. It's also indicative of the worst kind of lazy journalism. Somehow I expected better of our antipodean cousins.

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AMD is a rounding error on Intel's spreadsheet and that sucks for us all

Charlie Clark
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These are not the results you are looking for

It's just that Intel is pretty unstoppable at the moment.

Actually, Intel has just issued downward guidance. The PC market is continuing to shrink and growth at data centres is slowing; both Intel and AMD are going nowhere in the mobile space and ARM is looking to move up the value chain. Of course, Intel still sell huge volumes at high margins but I wouldn't be surprised to see those margins fall over the next couple of years.

In a post-x86 world AMD is just collateral damage. Fortunately, it started looking for new markets a couple of years ago when it bought ATI and an ARM design competence so I think Mr Moorhead has a point.

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Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and BT bid for Indian cricket online

Charlie Clark
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Re: ITV

http://guerrillacricket.com is what you want.

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Charlie Clark
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Devil

Twitter's attempts to turn itself into a media concern by bidding for sports rights reminds me of ITV's ill-fated attempt to do the same with football. Let's hope it drives them to bankruptcy as well!

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Who killed Cyanogen?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Dammit I love Cyanogen

The OS isn't going anywhere. Just the company that thought it could turn the OS into a commercial product.

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Charlie Clark
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Holmes

Re: Seems obvious...

And?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: They needed an alternative to Play Store and Play Services

apkpure is pretty good. But, yeah, Google, quite understandably doesn't like people stepping on its toes.

Now the CM eco-system, the stuff the hobbyists are working on, is here to stay. And Google is probably quite happy. It keeps older phones running and using their services. It's just a pity the other manufacturers haven't embraced it more as a two-way street.

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DNS infrastructure sprinting to IPv6 while users lag

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Is El Reg on IPv6 yet?

$ ping6 www.theregister.co.uk

ping6: getaddrinfo -- nodename nor servname provided, or not known

Thought not.

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Apple's car is driving nowhere

Charlie Clark
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there's got to be some reason why I see Ford and Holden V8s mixed in with the 550cc Daihatsus when driving to work

It was known as "big car, small dick" when I was growing up…

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Charlie Clark
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IBM started off making typewriters, HP oscilloscopes and Nokia making wellies… And GE has at some time made pretty much everything.

Apple used to make personal computers, now it makes fashion accessories. No, the big difference and risk for Apple would be switching from an asset-light to an asset-intensive model.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Alister ...

But what happens if Google, in the name of improving the user experience, tracks your trips and sees that you make a lot of late night calls to a couple of different addresses.

Phone monitoring aside, this data is already being collected by newer cars following one of the EU directives. The car companies see it as their data.

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Charlie Clark
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If you want a self-driving car, you need to move the humans out of the way.

This may be easier than you imagine. One of the consequences of all the telemetry that Google is collecting will be that the insurance industry will be able to come up with quotes for autonomous cars. I suspect this will start with HGVs and work its way down to cars but lower insurance premiums for computers and correspondingly higher ones for the accident prone humans could make a big difference.

The more miles the cars travel the more data they collect. Every problem they encounter can almost certainly be recreated at a test track until they get it solved. Indeed, I wonder how long it will be before the first autonomous cars are zooming around in the snow and ice on that test track in Finland? Can computers go snow or polder blind?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I'm still really impressed

What fills me with the collywobbles is that I might be sharing the road with people who only drive very occasionally and are possibly neither confident in what they're doing nor happy to be doing it.

As opposed to the over-confident boy racers? You might care to look at some of the research as to quite how badly suited people are to driving in traffic.

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Charlie Clark
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I'm still really impressed

The Google stuff demonstrates that there are no shortcuts and that they're prepared to spend money clocking up, filming and measuring those kilometres. I don't care if they are making "clown" cars: the detection and analysis stuff on the street is the hard part. Worry about the chassis and bodywork later. I'm also convinced that removing people from the driving is exactly the right thing to do. The idea that a possibly sober human should occasionally intervene fills me, as a very occasional driver, with the collywobbles.

That Apple started such a vanity project is another indication that, since Steve Jobs died, the company has stopped having good new ideas.

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Samsung to fab 10nm FinFET SoCs for next year's exploding phones

Charlie Clark
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Aren't you getting bored of last week's joke yet? Cos I am.

Meanwhile, buried in all the snark, is the report that Samsung will be beat Intel to market with 10nm fabs. This is really big news: thus far Intel has always managed to lead the market when shrinking to new geometries and this lead was one of the reasons for justifying the premiums of x86. If that is no longer the case then Intel will have to drop prices and issue its own profit warnings.

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Yahoo! cancels! earnings! call!, dodges! hacking! questions!

Charlie Clark
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Given the problems with the Yahoo weather app over the last week, I think you may well be right: there is no one left to have a conference call with.

Pity, because I really like the weather app, even if it does come with ads: I've never clicked on any but I understand the need to pay for the service. Any tips for something similarly well-designed?

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Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017

Charlie Clark
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Re: Change because of the change?

Does it allow for propriety

Oh dear, another of the orthographically challenged chimes in… ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: Change because of the change?

Such stories always remind me of that German city counsel…

I suspect you mean Munich but probably not their counsel. So you can get off your hobbyhorse and check a dictionary!

Anyway this is a different situation: this isn't about open source per se but open formats. Technically Office OpenXML is an open format but, as someone who knows it intimately, I'd much rather work with ODF. As might even the engineers at Microsoft. A couple of years ago I preferred working with OpenOffice but I think Microsoft has recently got its arse in gear and dropped some of the stupider UX stuff and Office 2016 is currently the best of the bunch. Especially when it comes to the mobile versions.

However, as I generally produce stuff programatically I'm dependent upon the file format remaining open.

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BT will HATE us for this one weird 5G trick

Charlie Clark
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Re: Money

They'd also have to have some sort of identification

Switzerland, uniquely?, has such a system but the numbers are for insurance purposes only. So it's definitely doable.

Anyway, why stop at cyclists? Why not also make pedestrians pay?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Money

And the problem with that has been the numerous fatal attacks we see from dangerous dogs.

I seem to remember that that issue was raised at the time only for the police to say that the owners of dangerous dogs generally didn't bother with licences: the fines were negligible and rarely enforced.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "£10 a year would be uneconomic. This is why things like dog licences were scrapped."

We now have a huge array of micro-payment platforms…

That may by fine when you've got something to sell but that wouldn't be the case here. The fee has to cover collection and enforcement.

Let's do some maths: the UK has around 60 million people, most of whom don't regularly use a bike but let's assume they all cough up, then that's £600 million in potential revenue. Let's assume people are well behaved and you can collect it all, you're looking at around 30% for handling. Enforcement will be about as much which is going to leave you with, in an absurdly optimistic best case, £240 million. Now compare that to the amount that is spent annually on the roads funded by vehicle and fuel duty. It's a rounding error.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Well come to Norwich then...

Milton Keynes (yes, stop laughing at the back) has excellent cycle lanes

This may be true but it has a fucking awful traffic system so there isn't that much benefit in having good bike lanes. And what about the roundabouts? I actually like roundabouts but Milton Keynes can teach you to hate them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Money

£10 a year would be uneconomic. This is why things like dog licences were scrapped.

The economic arguments for not charging cyclists are that: they are generally healthier and thus require less maintenance for chronic conditions like obesity; they disproportionately reduce traffic, ie. the more of them you have the less you have to spend on roads.

E-bikes have the opportunity to dramatically increase the use of bikes for commuting and they also offer great economic benefits because they're expensive to buy and require regular maintenance, ie. more bike shops with skilled employees. But for this to succeed will require significant investment in road planning and safety. Note that anytime someone starts talking about helmets they're trying to avoid difficult questions about planning for road safety.

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Charlie Clark
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Coat

Or, wait for Google to introduce "autonomous pedestrians".

I'll get my coat even if I suspect there's some sense behind this: pedestrians are definitely the most reckless form of transport. After dogs, that is.

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