* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

5072 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

You want SaaS? Don't bother, darling, your kind can't afford it

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: It doesn't make sense

Just done that test. None of the BCC recepients were revealed. Is there some specific condition that has to occur for this to happen, or is it a bug that's now been fixed?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: It doesn't make sense

No, Cloud for small business makes no sense except for a website or ecommerce online. Subscriptions are a rip off.

That is a ludicrously absolute statement.

We're a small business. We use MS Office 365. Why? Because it's cheap. £12 a month per user. For which we no longer have to buy copies of office, or deal with upgrades and everyone having different versions. In the past it was new office with new computer. We also get an Exchange server with mobile access run by someone competent. I can't run a server, well I'm sure I could I just never have. I don't have the time, and I'd run it vaguely OK, not well. Anyway our office has crap connectivity - so if we put a server in it and the internet goes down, we're screwed. Now we can just go and work from home - or use a backup 3G router. We've also got backups on each computer. As well as MS doing it.

If we had particularly sensitive email, then we'd have to do it in-house. But the balance of risks tells me that MS are less likely to screw-up than us, and we've got ways to recover from screw-ups anyway.

We also use remote CRM, which I'm less happy about the robustness of. It would cost us more time, money and effort to recover from a disaster to or the loss of that supplier. But again, the costs are less than running it ourselves, and because only one of us is 100% office based - we'd need to locate a server somewhere not here. And then run it. And running your own infrastructure is not risk free either.

So on balance Cloud is cheaper and better than what we can do for ourselves. Short of spending half the profits on IT - which is probably more in one year than it would cost us to recover from both MS and our CRM supplier going titsup simultaneously.

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BOFH: The Hypochondriac Boss and the non-random sample

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Yes, MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solanum tuberosum Expert

But people aren't comfortable with latin, so they changed it.

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Microsoft’s ‘Home Hub’ probably isn’t even hardware at all

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Happy

Re: Cortana

Hikers have dropped an estimated 1 tonne of LSD while walking on mount Fuji. So the answer is, very fucking high...

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Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

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Re: You're doing it wrong

The Germans lost a submarine in WWII because the toilet technician had a heart attack, and somone trying to do his job pressed all the wrong buttons and flooded it.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: A question for connoisseurs...

The toilet should have an air-gap between its cistern and the incoming water supply, to protect the rest of your house's outlets from cross-contamination. This is often a problem with the shower hoses that are fitted next to toilets - and because they're on a common water system, often on the floor above the kitchen sink, they're a serious backflow risk. Back-siphonage if dropped in the toilet bowl. You hope that the installer at least spends £5 on a double check valve, which is illegal but mostly effective. There's at least one WC sold in the UK that complies with the water regulations - I seem to recall they're about £6,000 though.

The nozzles are then recessed under the seat/rim, so that you don't pee on them or if you're really trying manage to balance a flying poo on them.

When you're finished they then pop out and wash your front and/or back - and then pop back away again, and have a self-cleaning thing. Don't know if they only clean with water, or have a bleach tank though. Plus optional air-dryers.

We designed a unit to retrofit for hoses for a large hotel, and comply with the regs. Got to have warm water on your bum too, so it's quite big with all the stuff you have to cram in the cabinet. But nobody wants a cold bum, however clean...

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Here's how the missile-free Royal Navy can sink enemy ships after 2018

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Re: lack of stealth ?!

The carrier version was called the Sea Hornet I think.

Eric "Winkle" Brown was the first idiot to try using one off a carrier. I seem to remember that your approach speed had to be lower than the stall speed and that taking off was even more hairy. To save money (and production difficulties) we didn't equip our wartime multi engine planes with different handed engines. The downside of this is that the torque from the props rotating the same way pulls the plane off to the side on takeoff. I think he and his engineering team worked out that he'd have a couple of feet to spare before falling off the side of the carrier, so he tried it.

Then again, this is also the guy who tested the German rocket planes - often with incomplete manuals. And also landed the Gloster Meteor version without undercarriage on a carrier. The idea being take away the undercarriage, save weight, deal with horrible fuel consumption. So the plane took off using a sled, and landed by stalling onto a giant rubber trampoline thing.

Phew what a looney!

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Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

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I could Google that, but then I'm equally likely to come up against some dodgy fake news site / conspiracy theory as anything real. Hence my question, so as I've got a clue what I'm looking for. After all CNN have been going for over 20 years. They might have been caught lying lots.

Well I did your search, in quotation marks, and after the first ten links not leading to a news organisation that I recognised, and an awful lot of exclamation marks!, I gave up.

I'm not a particular supporter of any side in the US election, but for Trump supporters to complain about anyone else lying takes some fucking cheek. The man talks more bollocks than a cheap sausage.

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I ain't Spartacus
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What lies did CNN tell? That's a story I completely missed. Though as a non-American that would be no surprise.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: This.

The Guardian is going all "post truth" itself now.

I'm actually struggling to find a decent news provider. May have to try out the Times again (after many years) or go back to the Economist. The Torygraph has sacked most of the good people so they can keep making the same profits, as ciruclation slowly drops. The BBC does some good stuff, but doesn't cover all the stuff I'm interested in.

So anyway I've read about 3 or 4 articles since Brexit. They've all been press conferences or speeches by European politicians. Obviously UK news is covering Brexit comments. In each case this person has said basically nothing. They've said no single market access without free movement, no special treatment for the UK, we're going to negotiate with the UK and try to come to a reasonable agreeement. So they've basically said nothing new, and stuck to the script. No new info. The Telegraph headline has been surprise intervention from xxx who says EU will come to a reasonable agreement with the UK hooray for Brexit remoaners awful.

Then I see the Guardian story which was so-and-so says no special treatment for UK we're all doomed Brexshit disaster etc.

Both articles are bollocks. In fact I'd go further, both are lies. Partially quoting in an opinion piece to back up your point is dishonest, but understandable and opinion doesn't have to be unbiased. They're using it as evidence to "prove" what they already believe, it's opinion, it's fine.

In a news piece, it's a deliberate lie. A proper news piece should say what they said, then if it's significant. In these cases, basically nothing was said but the already agreed line from their government.

You can't call out Trump for the liar he is, if you're also a liar. At least not with credibility.

Also you can't call for politics to be more civilised (and I'm looking at you specifially here Guardian) if your own merchandising department sell a T-Shirt saying "Tories - lower than vermin." I actually saw an advert for that (keywords oops!) on a Guardian opinion piece after the last election saying how we should try to understand why people vote Conservative, rather than demonise them.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Sure Trump is a lying scumbag. But how many people believed the lies? Given he was so artless about telling them, and changed them so often.

One thing I blame is the corrosive habit of people saying that all politicians are liars. It's mostly not true, but it requires some fact-checking and effort. And most people aren't interested enough in politics to investigate.

When you've convinced yourself, and everyone else, that all politicians are evil liars who are only in it for themselves - then why not vote for Trump? He's just another one of them. Whereas I'd argue he's in a completely different league, even though Clinton hasn't exactly got a stellar record.

Its worse in the US - where there is a lot more corruption in politics. Just look at the money. At a UK General election all the major parties between them spend about £50m. The figure for the last US Presidential year, including all the other elections was over $3 billion.

Labour have just raised about £5m by getting loads of people to join and have a leadership election. Unusual, but shows that UK politics just doensn't get involved in those kinds of insane sums of cash. Some races for a single senate seat spend more than an entire UK general election.

I also blame the media for helping to build the perception that all politics is lies, but not helping much to stop it. I take on example from Gordon Brown - who was much more of a direct liar than most politicians of his generation. There was an embarrassing by-election in Scotland. Labour were going to lose. He (or his spokesman I don't remember) said in a press conference that he wouldn't be campaigning as there was a precedent in British politics that sitting Prime Ministers don't campaign in by-elections. This is a straight lie. For childish reasons of PR they didn't want to appear in a losing cause, or admit they were avoiding it. Rather than just say nothing, or waffle, they outright lied. I don't remember a single journalist calling them on it. I remember hearing a few reports of it in quizzical tones, but I don't remember one news reporter just straight saying, this is not true.

It's much harder to correct people when they play with statistics, but if you let normal politicians get away with lying, and it works for them, they'll do it more. It's always happened of course, and always will, but journalists allowed spin doctors to bully them out of challenging lies - then we got more lies because they worked, then people decided it was easier to play the cynic and assume everyone lied, rather than realising it was unusual behaviour, checking and punishing those who did it. So that they'd stop.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Does democracy work if people based their vote on lies^Wpost-facts?

Dan 55,

Your comment on the UK court decision on Brexit actually illustrates both points. Sure there was a lot of rage out there, and some pretty unpleasant comments on the judges.

On the other hand, there's a context to that.

Quite a few people in the media, and even a few politicians who ought to know better, had spent the preceeding months saying how the people who voted to leave the EU were too stupid to make that decision - and so Parliament should override the referendum result. So obviously a ruling (on a completely contestable constitutional point) to give power to Parliament under those circumstances got a few people over-excited. I guess this is a symptom of a breakdown of trust.

We are in a bit of a constitutional tizzy. Most MPs supporter remain. Our constitutional position is clear that referenda are advisory, Parliament is sovereign - and no future Parliament can be bound by the decisions of a previous one. The government has the legal right to negotiate treaties, but only Parliament can legislate. So at the moment we're having lots of fun trying to work out who does what,when. All interacting with the fact that the electorate are almost split down the middle, and whatever we decide isn't entirely in our own hands anyway, as the rest of the EU get a large say on our future relationship.

My solution is that everyone calm down, and get a sense of proportion. The elite who lost realise that a lot of this is the result of their own actions, and maybe they ought to listen a bit more, and not just talk to each other. It would also really help if they stop calling everyone who disagrees with them stupid. But on the other hand, the insurgents could also do with calming the fuck down. Stop calling everyone who opposes them traitors (or evil or whatever) and perhaps have a nice cup of tea and a piece of cake.

Perhaps though it's just because I've just completed my post lunch cuppa and piece of cake that I'm feeling so generous. Maybe the rage will kick in again, once I've talked to a few more customers this afternoon...

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AI gives porn peddlers a helping hand

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Devil

Re: No use to me

I love that one where the plumber rings the doorbell, then actually fixes the fucking boiler and goes away again...

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British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

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Re: HTML5

I like my Win phone, and the previous one too. Cheap, fast, reliable, good phone software. Also when I've showed it to people, they've liked it too.

But it's shit for apps, and there's been little improvement. I had an iPhone 5 in between my two work Lumia 7xx phones. Our company's batch of 7 iPhones all went wrong within 2 years, 2 failed within 6 months - and one of the replacements for those only just lasted a year.

Came back to Win Phone 8, there were still almost no apps - despite reading that the app store had hit over 100k.

I searched for a torch app, as they'd still failed to build such a standard function into the OS. There were loads of them, but all but 2 or 3 of the 10 I looked at demanded access to the address book in permissions. Hmmm... I admit I didn't try the paid for ones, but I'm sorry a torch app isn't something I'm willing to hand cash over for. I'd grudgingly happily pay 50p, if I'd set up a card with MS's app store, but that wasn't going to happen, due to the lack of apps.

Now there's no development and no future. So I guess I'll be off to Android. Which is a shame.

Personally I don't care too much about apps, I do that on my tablet. The phone is a communications tool for me. With a minor side order of mapping. Which MS have also bollocksed up by dropping support for Nokia's sat nav, while not updating their own mapping tool to cover it. So the phone has lost turn-by-turn instructions.

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Adult FriendFinder users get their privates exposed... again – reports

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I walked into the sitting room yesterday to see the end of an advert on TV. For Ashley Maddison. Co-incidence or conspiracy... It always looked more like the name of a law firm to me, rather than a dating/shagging site.

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Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

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Happy

Re: Ah Education

My apple and bacon crumble is vegetarian, yes.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Re: Ah the memories...

A friend of mine turned up to the pub on crutches with his ankle in plaster. He's a strapping lad from the grim frozen North (well Lancashire, it's ooop North to me). Works out, hard-drinking, no-nonsense type of chap.

So how did you get injured?

Turns out he was fleeing in terror from a 4'10" Kiwi nurse with amorous intentions - who'd taken a fancy to him at previous visits to the pub.

I have to admit we may have been less than sympathetic to his plight. I think I'd describe her as scarily determined...

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Silicon Valley VCs: We're gonna make California great again – on its own

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Re: Might want to learn a little geology, Doctor Syntax.

Isn't California slowly swapping places with Japan?

And by slowly, I mean slowly in geological terms.

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Ireland to fight against billing Apple for back-taxes

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Re: Why was that "rubbing salt in the wound"?

DougS,

Sorry, I misunderstood you then. I've actually covered that point in another post. Cook announced that Apple would repatriate about $40bn, four days after the Commission announcement. A cynic might suggest it was to get the US government onside, and slavering over the huge wodge of tax they'd be losing.

He implied this was unrelated, but it's only six months since he said they had no plans to repatriate any cash.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Pointless

Europe still gets its pound of flesh though, as this is a past liability.

Also Ireland have half the corporation tax of Germany or France, so for the EU single market, it still makes sense to book all the profits from Europe in Ireland. That is assuming Trump sets the rate at 10% for foreign profits but keeps the domestic one at 35%. If he sets everything at 10%, then they're better off operating entirely from the US.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Why was that "rubbing salt in the wound"?

DougS,

Well no. Irish Corporation tax is still 12%, compared to the US 35% - so there's still a good reason to shelter the cash abroad. Even the UK's 20% rate is still a lot nicer than 35%.

Also, they can't get out of paying this - it's a past liability - but it makes no difference to their deferred tax liability to the US, as it can be offset.

This problem is entirely of the US government's own making. They allow deferral of corp tax payments on foreign profits, they demand payment on foreign earnings (to be fair with offset against tax paid abroad in most cases), and they have both high corporation tax and high dividend tax - so it costs something like 70% in tax on dividends. They've created a system of eye-wateringly high tax that can be trivially avoided indefinitely - what the hell did they expect.

To make it worse Bush, and I think Clinton, both had foreign profits amnesties, where they could be repatriated at lower tax rates. So there was another incentive for large corporations to sit on the cash and wait. Now Trump's in - they may get a lower rate - assuming he can avoid falling out with the rest of the Republicans.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Political theatre only

Well a €13 billion windfall isn't such a bad thing to be blamed for...

But as you say, they may feel they've got to be seen to object. And also partly for domestic politics. If they admit they were in the wrong, they're admitting to their taxpayers (after years of huge austerity and a more than 10% drop in the size of the economy), that they could have had €15 billion of extra. And that's serious money in a country with a small population.

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I ain't Spartacus
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The judgement is against the Irish government. The EU has no jurisdiction on Irish corporation tax, that's a local matter. But they do have jurisdiction on illegal state aid. Which is the case that Ireland lost.

Some people have accused the Commission of cheating or mission creep. Of ruling on an area that's the sole competence of governments - but I don't think that's fair - because they've ruled on a specific deal, where Apple were allowed to create a company to hold profits that on paper had no geographical location, and so paid no corporation tax to anyone.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Politicos covering their backs...

Apple were paying Irish corporation tax on their Irish profits. But were allowed to book a huge chunk of their global profits to an "Irish" company that didn't have a link to any state - and therefore didn't owe any tax. Weee! Nice wheeze. This was changed last year, and was one of the causes of a startling rise in Irish GNP - along with presumably other companies coming off the deal.

Now Apple would still have paid that tax to the US - had they ever chosen to repatriate profits. Because the US charge tax on global income (though you can usually offset the corp tax you pay abroad against this). But that's why Apple were borrowing money in the US (and so paying interest on it) to pay their dividends, so as not to repatriate any money and pay US corporation tax.

Many other EU countries have been trying to persuade / force Ireland to up it's Corp tax level to more like everyone else's 20% (ish) for years - because they see it as unfair that Ireland poaches corporate HQs off them. But that's how the single market works. What's really annoyed other governments is that not only were Ireland "stealing" their corp tax take - but worse they were then giving it away for free. And that's what the ruling stops.

I can't see Ireland winning on appeal, for two reasons. Firstly because they've already changed their tax system, which sort of admits they knew they were going to lose. Secondly the European Court is unlikely to overrule the Commission on something like this, because it's not a proper independent court - it tends to support the same political aims.

Apple rubbed salt into the wound by announcing they were going to repatriate a bunch of money to the US under a week after the decision. That being just enough cash that the US corporation tax would be offset against the EU bill. If they do win on appeal, who wants to bet they'll suddenly find a reason not to repatriate that $40bn?

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The Reg seeks online community manager

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Coat

Re: A bridge too far

How very dare you! I'm not a misanthrope. I'm MrAnthrope.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: A bridge too far

True. But then I dislike doing the VAT return. But as I'm paid to do it, and HMRC will come and get all grumpy with us if I don't, it gets done.

I would use Facebook. If you paid me.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: two tribes

Nah. These forums are gentle and fluffy. I wouldn't characterise them as full of monsters at all.

The warning should be more like: Here be grumpies - get off their lawns!

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I ain't Spartacus
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I don't have a twitter account, I log into Facebook about once a month (my Mum has more "friends" than me). I did once download the Flipboard app, but deleted it a week later. And I hate Linkedin and don't use it - although come to think of it I hate Facebook more, but the family forced me to be on there.

On the plus side, I had a Google+ account for a bit, I have a proven track record of talking bollocks on these here forums, I once drank a lot of El Reg's whisky and stayed both upright and coherent until almost everyone else had left. Finally I can eat crisps at the highest level of competition, from Monster Munch to Kettle Chips, from Paprika to Hedgehog flavours, I've got the lot covered.

By rights, the job should be mine!

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: I wouldn't be recruiting today

wolfetone,

I really don't think so. I suspect you'll find Hillary won't be sending any more emails for a while. Snail mail or carrier pigeon only for her from now on. She tried sending emails, but it didn't work out so well...

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'Extra-supermoon' to appear next week

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Happy

Re: The person who coined 'supermoon'

What about the Super Furry Animals?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Why the fuss?

We'll all notice when the Moon hears of this, and starts wearing its red pants and blue spandex suit with the big S on the front.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Mushroom

Re: How about "Hypermoon"

It's only a small step from hypermoon to small explosion on Moonbase Alpha - and look what happened then.

Some people in silver jumpsuits got very lost, but nobody worries about what happens to everyone left on Earth.

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European F-35 avionics to be overhauled at Sealand, says UK.gov

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Re: Interesting contract ...

Well, that's £2bn over the lifetime of the contract (22 years from 2018-2040). So even ignoring inflation and crudely dividing it by 20 years - you get £100m per year. Of course in the first few years, with only a few tens, then low hundreds of planes in Europe there'll be much less work. Eventually ramping up to I'd guess a thousand or so, assuming the F35 gets cheaper and starts to replace older F16s that have been in services since the 80s.

It's also not a private company.

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Tesco Bank limits online transactions after fraud hits thousands

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Happy

Re: Id say...

As all good Tesco executives know, horses don't belong in the stable - door bolted or otherwise. Horses go in the lasagne.

It's horses for courses don't-you-know. Main courses.

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World's shortest international flight: now just 21km in 7 minutes

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Re: Island hopping

Couldn't they just get a big catapult?

I believe they're sold by the Acme Corporation, as ably demonstrated by Wyle E Coyote...

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Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

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Re: Parliament must vote

There's no dispute that Parliament should get a vote. Just that it should get to trigger A50. Negotiating whatever deal is down to government.

The sad thing here, is there's no space for democracy. Once article 50 is triggered, we're on a 2 year deadline, then we leave. Unless all 27 other members, and the European Parliament agree unanimously. Unlikely.

Hence whatever the government negotiate, we're stuck with. Parliament can vote it down, or we can have a referendum on it, but unless the rest of the EU agree - we don't get it. It's a case of competing democracies.

That's the sad thing for the remainers. The very organisation they want to stay in, is what makes it impossible for us to remaing. They don't seem to want to make that possible.

So the only way to avoid leaving, is to avoid triggering Article 50. Which would be a horrendous offence against democracy - and I don't think the public would be forgiving.

It's sad, as there could be a good compromise deal out there. But circumstances make it almost impossible.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Media and entertainment

Yes, it sets precedent - and it's worth noting here that the precedent would be one which granted the government a lot of power to overrule parliament in the future. A very dangerous precedent, in other words.

I disagree.

It doesn't really set a precedent, because this is a unique situation.

So unique in fact that the High Court are already creating precedent, by trying to invent law where there is none - because the law in question was badly drafted.

Basically Article 50 says we leave automatically in 2 years if no deal is unanimously agreed to extend it (or make it quicker). It also says that it's invoked by the government in question, in accordance with their own rules.

But when this was put into UK law as part of the Lisbon Treaty (European Constitution MkII), I don't think Parliament bothered to specify what those rules are, as they didn't expect to be leaving.

So the court had to make up the law, as there wasn't any. It's clear that government gets to negotiate treaties, and so negotiating our leaving deal is down to royal perogative. Parliament can advise, and be kept informed, but get no say until there's a final deal done, to put into UK law.

But the court asked, is A50 irrevocable? The government said yes. Once triggered we're automatically out of the EU after 2 years. I'm sure it could be fudged, but only if all other 27 members agree - and probably the European Parliament too. That's unlikely, so we'd be out in 2 years.

Well in that case, the court said, Aricle 50 is effectively repealing the European Communities Act because it inevitably leads to that, once we trigger it. Hence Parliament has to have its say first, as that effectively will be repealing legislation and removing rights from citizens, which must be done with Parliament's assent.

On the letter of the law, the judgement is dubious - A50 isn't changing UK law at all. It's a use of an exisiting treaty power, already created by Parliament, involving treaty negotiation which is a perogative power. However once the court asked if it was inevitable they went with the logical ruling, that it's effectively changing the law. After all, Parliament could refuse to repeal the act taking us into the EU, but what's the point of that if triggering A50 means they've kicked us out?

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Coding will win you the election, narcissistic techies boasted to Hillary

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Sheesh! These guys are so unhip, it's a wonder their bums don't fall off...

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Hell desk thought PC fire report was a first-day-on-the-job prank

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Re: @I ain't Spartacus

I'd forgotten that. I remember John Lewis had shiny chrome ones, to match the decor. As you say they're supposed to bloody stand out. That's the whole point.

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Re: @I ain't Spartacus

I believe it's a (really stupid) EU directive, so come Brexit we can have our fire extinguishers back in black, blue, cream and red - as God intended.

Not sure what colour whatever less ozone-unfriendly chemical passes for Halon these days should be tbough.

My area only has some PCs and lots of paper files, so we've got the right stuff. I believe we have to have 3 because we don't have a fire escape on this floor, so we've got to be able to get down the stairs to the one below.

Which incidentally leads into the stockroom of the rather expensive HiFi shop next door. I'm tempted to stage a small fire, and see if I can't liberate me some tasty speakers while "escaping".

I know someone who's a retired skipper for Saudi Aramco. Or one of their more boat-y subsidiaries. Strangely enough when you captain a 200,000 supertanker, you get quite a lot of firefighting training. His rule is that the law can go hang - any extinguisher on his boat will be painted the proper colour - so it can be identified at a glance.

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Re: Tossing water at electric fire

I remember having to point out to someone that CO2 was fine for a small enclosed kitchen, but that Halon was definitely a bad idea.

The estates management people in our current office came around and re-did our extinguishers this year. There are only 2 rooms on the top floor, and I've now got 2 water and a CO2 extinguisher to play with. Which snazzy glow-in-the-dark tops on.

Which would be great if they weren't all now stupidly painted red - so you can't tell them apart without looking closer. If they wanted to do that for visibility, they should have mandated a band of colour at the top - so you could easily tell the type.

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Cynical Apple gouges UK with 20 per cent price hike

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Shouldn't the Scots demand them a few quid cheaper then?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: All according to plan

I've got some news for you. There's no such thing as a free lunch. If you save your money with a bank, you are lending it, at risk. The risk being the bank going pop, and you losing your money.

Interest rates on bank loans are lower, because the risk is very low. But there's still a risk there. Had QE not happened, those with savings would have lost everything. So don't complain too much about QE - it did it's job.

BTW QE is not money printing, in the normally accepted meaning of that phrase. The difference is technical, but real. Basically because it's a temporary effect tied to the short-term purchase of an asset from the market, that will later be sold back into the market and the central-bank created money is then destroyed. The job is not to create money but to create liquidity - and stop the economy seizing up. It worked.

The 2nd job of QE is to force interest rates down, so that those holding lower risk assets are forced to either take more risks, or accept small losses.

However complaining about the shocking inflation of 0.5% (expected to rise to 1.5% next year) is pretty bloody laughable.

One of the major causes of the recession was over-saving. Not by UK households, we borrowed too much, but by the world's main exporters (basically OPEC, Russia, East Asia and Germany). They poured cash into the money markets rather than spend it themselves, or let their currencies appreciate sucking in imports - and this caused a huge global imbalance. This was one major cause of the borrowing/banking boom - and subsequent bust. QE was trying to force unproductive assets to be moved into investment in the real economy - to try and force economic growth. This is the bit of QE that hasn't worked as well, it's led to more of an asset boom than an investment boom.

But as QE saved the banking system, and so the economy, and kept deflation away - it was a great idea.

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See that red spot on the chart? Sail over it and you'll find a Russian sub

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Re: Target search != target detection

Facebook tracking is great for working out what Russian units are in Ukraine at any given time - it's amazing they don't confiscate their soldiers' phones.

Not so hot on a submarine - unless it's permanently on the surface, or has an antanna up, so the sailors can get an internet connection. Perhaps that's why Facebook are trying to put up their own satellites? Is it time for a new conspiracy theory? It was Russia that took out the last SpaceX launch, and not ULA as everyone had assumed...

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EU announces common corporate tax plan

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Re: finally a brexit benefit (for EU)

I think that's a bit unfair on Italy. Clearly totally true about Greece...

The Italians joined the Euro partly in order to try and impose some discipline on themselves - and avoid the inflation and periodic devaluations they've used to run their economy since WWII. And to quite a large extend they did that successfully. Italy has not splurged massive amounts of government spending since the Euro came in, their households hold large assets (admittedly often in Swiss accounts safe from the tax man) and only their corporate sector had a bit of an issue with debt. But not a serious one. The Italian banking system was a damn site better run than the UK, German or French one (actually so was the Greek) - their problems have been caused by the stupidity of the ECB refusing to act as a lender of last resort (the main point of a central bank), and the fact that their economies are so screwed that they've got lots of bad debts, and with low growth and negative inflation the debts actually get bigger, not smaller. Also Italy didn't bail out it's banks, like Germany did in 2008 - when the Eurozone rules allowed sensible bail-ins, and the Eurozone's new banking regs were written by fuckwits - who hadn't worked out that Italian and Spanish customers by junior bank debt as a retail investment product - so bailing in junior debt makes bank recapitalisation politically impossible and economically suicidal.

Basically the Euro is shit, and Italy was in at too high a rate. Made much worse by Germany's treaty-breaking Hartz IV reforms which reduced wages (effectively an internal devaluation) to competitively advangate German exports against the rest of the Eurozone. In a proper economy, exchange rates would take the shock.

Remember two other things. Italy may have had some dodgy official figures (Greece much more so) but they don't control the foreign exchange markets, most of that is in London. So the current account position can be independently calculated - plus the stock of government debt is known. This is why Greece's figures were suspect in the market before it all came out, it's just nobody cared to do anything about it. Secondly Italy grew to be the 6th largest economy in the world by the 1990s - so even with their policy of over-spending, generating inflation and being forced to regularly devalue they were still running their economy OK, or at least growing it.

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Re: Benefit for both?

Well part of the corporation tax problem is the single market. Also the VAT problem. The point of the single market is that a company in one country should be able to trade in another, but using its normal domestic legal regime.

So that encouraged countries to game the tax rates in order to attract more corporate HQs.

In principle, Brexit (assuming we also leave the single market) would fix that problem. However, corporation tax avoidance is also something large corporations, with large profits to pay lawyers and accountants, are always going to do.

I don't think corporation tax stealing works so well for large economies. By lowering the rates to attract a few more HQs in, you lose money from your exisiting companies. But if you're a small market like Ireland, with foreign trade making up a huge proportion of your economy, it's worth doing.

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Re: finally a brexit benefit (for EU)

Must be working through the pile of things uk blocked right now.

I bet you it wasn't just the UK that blocked this one last time. So it still might get blocked.

But there are certainly a bunch of things we didn't want where the EU went ahead without us. The two biggest being Schengen and the Euro. How are they turning out?

Well, Schengen is currently in the process of breaking down - the Commission just had to decide not to sanction a bunch of countries for using "temporary emergency" border controls for over a year so far for example.

And the Euro has turned out to have been one of the greatest fuck-ups in modern economic history. Italy's economy is smaller than it was when the Euro began - their manufacturing sector is now smaller than it was in 1992. Greece has suffered a longer and deeper recession than either Germany or the US did in the Great Depression - and Greek unemployment is predicted by the IMF to finally drop below 10% by 2040! The whole Euro area is flirting with deflation, unable to politically resolve these difficulties, the economy is still smaller than when the recession hit in 2008 and the banking system is in a horrible mess, and there's no political solution in sight.

Perhaps they should have listened to us a bit more...

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Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think

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Re: 'Fintech' makes me think of red staplers

fintech companies are those concerned with the process of creating cybernetic sea creatures. Which is why so many are based in the port cities of London and New York.

At the moment this means upgrading crustacea - hence websites such as prawnhub.

Eventually of course we should attain the final goal of the Selachimorpha with dorsally attached collimated beam apparatus.

That's shark with frikkin laser beam to the rest of us...

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Re: Courriel

On the other hand, le ferry-boat is an abomination.

But there's nothing wrong with le sandwich, le weekend etc.

I was a bit doubtful of cliquez (as in "cliquez ici" for click here) - it's a bit ugly. But then tirez (shoot) isn't much better.

Packaging in Belgium was even more fun, as it was often double-sided French/Flemish, sometimes with extra German, Italian, English. But then you got random yellow bits on the packaging saying "New Improved" or "50% extra" and it was random as to what language they'd pick for that as well.

And their supermarkets often had TVs by each checkout showing techno and europop. Which is just evil.

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New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

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Re: Strip or screen...

I have a small confession to make. I'd been reading El Reg and the papers on my iPad at home. Finished and picked up a book - and at one point I'd got near the bottom of a page, and rather than move the book up to a more comfortable height, I put my finger on the page and slid it trying to scroll up instead...

D'oh!

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