3446 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
Re: New Product
I thought Amonia Flakes sounded more like a breakfast cereal personally...
Re: bad side effect of a generally good thing
Why is it all the politicians' fault? If local people complain every time that new housing (or anything else) is to be built near them - then it's a bit rich to complain about a lack of available housing. Or the cost of infrastructure projects...
I believe this is also a problem in the whole Silicon Valley and Bay Area, erm, area. Lots of nice 'unspoilt' places where people don't want any more houses built near them, but do want people to work for their companies, and serve them coffee.
It's way too easy to blame all society's ills on politicians. Sure they're far from perfect, but then in many cases we've trained them to be. If you vote out all the politicians who say they want to raise taxes, but keep voting for the ones who say they'll spend more, you end up in debt.
I saw a survey last week. 48% thought that the economy would be doing worse now, had Labour won the last election. 41% thought that if Labour had won, they would personally be doing better. Huh?!?! I guess that means they think that government cuts need to be made, but hopefully someone else will pay for them (or just bung it on credit).
Stuff the treaty!
The treaty isn't the reason that they shouldn't be mining diamonds in Antarctic mountains! Neither is the environment! The reason they shouldn't be going there is...
Ai Ai Cthulhu Ph'Tagen...
Re: A sense of proportion.
I'm not part of any elite.
Me, I'm mostly harmless...
Re: Sorry! Won't happen again
I've had this same problem ocasionally. It's not really annoyed me much, and I don't mind the odd accidental ad-click - as it makes you guys look good.
However it is a bit cheeky really. On some campaigns you have a background image that fills the two (currently empty) bars, either side of the site. I guess this is one of the reasons you still use fixed-width pages. It often seems to be used to advertise games, so moodily lit sky backgrounds and hairy people with big weapons. [Stop sniggering at the back!]
Anyway, I've not had many problems with it on the desktop. But I often come to this site on my iPad, and it's quite hard to scroll up and down the page, if part of the page is a link. One incautious prod with your finger, and the iPad interprets that as a click, rather than a touch-and-hold to drag the screen. Then whoosh! You find yourself on the ad's website, wondering what happened.
Best phone ever made -- but a bit tricky to surf with.
Depends how big the waves are, and if you've got small enough feet...
Re: "strict", "moderate" and "light".
I want my internet policy set to strict
I don't care what people say about my web surfing. Sticks and stones may break my bones. But whips and chains excite me...
With this technology, the opportunities are endless.
The problem is they're endless opportunities for smut...
I now have the mental image of someone saying "just swallow!" And Mary Poppins comes into shot, singing, 'a Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down'.
Re: "We're going to inject you will bull semen Mr Smith"
Yes of course I'm a doctor! Now take your clothes off.
Re: A simple suggestion
In comparison no. Damage costs bugger all. The manpower and road disruption required to replace all copper with fibre over the whole country would be horrific. Why do you think the water companies haven't replaced all those leaky mains yet? It's not just the man-hours, it's all the disruption to roads as well.
There are parts of London where so much has been built, bombed, demolished, rebuilt or just plain moved - that before you can think about replacing infrastructure, you have to find the bloody stuff. I did a job a few years ago, where they couldn't find a 2m diameter sewer. They knew it was around somewhere, but were unable to make a new connection to it, because it was hiding...
Have they cleared the space suits to work, after nearly drowning that Italian guy? Or will it only be Russians allowed to go for walkies?
It's either that, or look in the Yellow Dwarf Pages for a plumber... But I hear the call-out fees are horrific.
Re: That Vegetation Model
Good point that man! Especially as the press release then goes on to talk about taking tree ring samples, in order to check the models.
[insert your own joke here about sampling Treebeard's ring - Ed]
Re: Microsoft Dynamics advert
That's not quite true. Flashblock also dealt with the problem, as it was the Flash ads that were the CPU hogs. Thanks to the mighty O2 and their crapness (or the crapness of their ad agency / or both).
Re: Microsoft Dynamics advert
That's better than nothing, but it's not good enough.
Auto-starting videos with sound is simply unacceptable.
Take this situation, I'm browsing at work, phone rings as I'm moving mouse around page, I pick up phone, a few seconds later in comes the music. Over my nice speakers, and into my nice phone. Not so great for the professional image we're trying to project is it? As well as being bloody annoying!
Your site is aimed at people browsing at work. I would strongly suspect that the majority of your comments are posted in working hours. Some people have their speakers turned on, on the work PC. The problem isn't noise in the office, the problem is that happening when I'm dealing with a customer. For other people, it's both.
If an advert wants to run audio, then it must only launch after a button has been pressed to start it. And accept the fact that almost no-one will click on it. If they don't like that, then tough shit. The alternative is Adblock. There are no other options.
Also, there needs to be a 'stop' button as well, which apparently there isn't. Which is pure stupidity, to add to the arrogance and obnoxiousness of using auto-play.
This is a site with a techy (and often grumpy) userbase. Who are easily capable of blocking adversts. I would be utterly amazed if you can find any of them who are willing to put up with autoplay sound. Not on videos related to the articles, and definitely not on adverts. Just because the mouse has hovered over an advert, that does not mean that this advert is receiveing active attention. Which means they shouldn't expand and zoom all over the screen, just because your mouse clipped the corner on the way past. And they definitely, should not play audio!
Make ads this obnoxious, and everyone will opt out of ads, which is now very easy.
Don't do this. It's unpleasant and annoying. But it's also stupid for a company reliant on advertising income, which has a user base who can block all adverts with 2 or 3 button clicks.
Re: Microsoft Dynamics advert
Tee hee. Surely £10 isn't enough though? I'm sure there are many people who would be delighted to pay more than that...
Re: Microsoft Dynamics advert
I know you have to run ads. No problem there. And I know you have to take them from networks, as well as I believe selling some directly yourselves.
But it's clear that the networks can't be trusted. They don't suffer the reputational damage from shit adverts that you do, as all the networks are problematic. Admittedly some more than others... But it's you that your users get grumpy with, and yourusers have the ability to apply Adblock. And many have a low grumpiness threshold.
I suggest you implement a 'report advert' button on your site. You might well call it 'problems with this advert', to be less negative. Then you might be able to deal with crap ones more quickly and easily. You might not need to have this for ads that you've tested yourselves - but it shows willing.
Then you could have a nice page that says, this ad was provided by such-and-such a network, and we're sorry they've buggered up our site. Thanks for reporting it, we're just despatching the advertising complaints team with the baseball bats with nails in now...
Documents handed over as part of the discovery process in a trial are normally not supposed to be revealed. Often the legal firm aren't even allowed to show them to their own clients, let alone random journalists. That's part of the deal that allows you to be allowed to peek through people's internal emails and design and pricing documents.
Whether Snapchat have then broken the rules and made them fair-game for publishing is beyond my legal knowledge. I'd be surprised if that's the case though, as I'd have thought that would be one for the judge to have to rule on.
Re: Money money money ( Abba in the background)
It's in the article. His legal team released stuff from the info given to them as part of the disclosure process of the trial. Normally this is a big no-no. I believe Samsung's lawyers are under investigation in one of their various fights with Apple, because someone on the legal team is alleged to have given some info to someone on the board of Samsung - and that info was for outside lawyers only, and not even to be passed to Samsung's counsel, let alone their executive staff.
The judge will have set the specific rules for the case. Breaking those is therefore directly pissing off the judge, and therefore a really stupid thing to do. Although the lawyers are claiming that Snapchat said nasty things about their client to the press, and therefore made certain documents public property by doing so. That sounds like bollocks to me, the sort of barrack room lawyer stuff you get in comment threads online, but then I'm not a lawyer either, so I've no idea how the rules work.
The NSA spies also infiltrated EVE Online. But they all left several days later, crying...
The problem with legal opinions
The problem is that you can usually get a lawyer to dig up some justification for whatever position you wish to take. So you pay the right lawyer, and you get the legal opinion you want. Of course that doesn't cover you for going to court, so you're best to pay for a good leval opinion, or it could cost you...
But before legislation is passed there's no court to take anything to. So you can get legals to opine as much as you want.
This fun and games is added to by the various competing structures that make up the EU. Which often have different aims, and therefore incentive to come up with different legal opinions. I don't think there's any central mechanism to come up with one decisive one that can apply to everyone. At least before legislation is passsed, and therefore before it hits the European Court of Justice.
Hence we have the odd situation at the moment, where the European Commission says that the proposed Financial Transactions Tax (Tobin Tax) is legal, but the Council of Ministers' legal opinion currently is that it breaches the treaties on enhanced cooperation by affecting countries that didn't sign up. They also quote the norms of international tax law, which is even more fun as there's no court to sit in judgement on that, so I guess you can stick to whatever legal opinion you like - and it can never lose.
I don't care how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but I'd love to get a grant to study how many lawyers can
be impaled dance on the end of a red hot, razor-sharp spike.
Re: A Canteen?
I should hope it contains more than one.
No. That's how they save on the costs of gym equipment. Going to get lunch (and then back to your desk) should burn more calories than you actually receive from consuming the food...
If they can reach anywhere, their logo shouldn't be an octopus, it should be Mr Tickle.
My favourite Mister Man, due to the fact that in the book he wakes up, and immediately after yawning and stretching a bit, he reaches his enormous arm to the kitchen cupboard, and gets biscuits to eat in bed. This was the best thing imaginable when I was 4. I guess now that I'm an adult, I could just take the biscuit tin to bed with me - but for some strange reason I never do. Even though there's a teasmade on my bedside table, and what could be more perfect than tea and biccies?
Ah yes. Fab. That was it, thanks. They weren't particularly fab in my opinion, more tasteless. But they were rocket shpaed, and surely that's all that matters.
I thought the zoom had the layer of yoghurt-y stuff on the outside, with the hundreds-and-thousands. Must have been a different rocket shaped one.
Or possibly proof that they were just figments of our collective imaginations...
Bah! Yourself. Mr Softee "Zoom" ice lollies are also fakes, created using suggestion and LSD in the water supply. Who'd ever be stupid enough to fall for the idea that milk and water can be served on a stick...
Re: Come on Nokia
Nowhere near good enough! I want to take pictures of Jupiter like that, from where I'm standing now. On my phone. I expect perfection, naturally.
I don't see why that's any more ludicrous than the people videoing The Rolling Stones on their phone, from the back of the stadium...
Re: The only real fulfilment is self-fulfilment
There's one massive flaw with that idea.
When you buy your new drone from Amazon, how will they deliver it to you...?
Re: Beep! 404! Delivery address not found...
Well that blank-smile-of-death Amazon logo on the front reminds me of many robots I've seen which are about to turn rogue and start slaughtering their fleshy overlords. So you could well be right.
Re: When I "floated" this as a use of technology...
I'd imagine they'd go down the route of equipping their drones with missiles. Then just blast the front door out of the way, and carelessly toss the package in the vague direction of the still smouldering wreckage.
At which point you'd be incentivised to tick the 'please deliver next-door' box...
I can't wait for next week's article: "Why you can't satisfy your wife and I can".
I wonder how the CV section of that particular article would read...
Re: Excellent timing
You tell her that Greedo bid first...
Use your nose.
It's not properly understood, until he can print me a sausage. That contains bits of all conceivable body parts - so should be a challenge for the nice little stem cells.
Re: Browser toolbars?
I cleaned about 10 various toolbars, and a few more 'download helpers' off my sister-in-law's PC last night. When I turned it on, there were 86 processes running, after I'd run Malwarebytes, there were 60 left.
I can't remember the last time I looked at a friend's PC for them and didn't find some toolbar they knew nothing about and never used. Even though most of the time it's just the Google one. The Google Toolbar and Chrome load themselves onto people's computers just like malware. Although at least Chrome has some use - I've no idea what the Google toolbar is for.
Apple stopped bunging Safari out this way, so I guess there's still hope for Google.
Re: They've sent a Jade Rabbit to the moon?
No. But apparently Mrs Spoon is a right goer!
Re: Easy to not pay!
I think El Reg's point about that was that every customer of the operators will be paying extra on their contracts - in order for them to claw back some of the cash they're handing over to Apple. So by using a mobile, your price is being affected by Apple because they're driving the costs of all the operators up. Whether that's true or not, who knows.
I know how to save the Earth
All this money being poured into finding Near Earth Objects, so we know if any are on a collision course can be drastically cut. All we need to do is spot them with at least a month or two to go before they hit.
Then just tell the press that it's going to be the comet of the century, with big light shows in the sky...* Once it's been announced that something will be naked eye visible it is impossible that this can ever happen - the laws of journo-astronomy forbid it. Thus it's impossible for anything to hit the Earth.
* Well OK, tell them to expect pretty lights, and the journalists will write 'comet of the century' headlines whatever you do.
Re: It's a pyramid scheme
Now if it was a proper pyramid scheme, then they souldn't shove all the cats in a boring old shipping container, but construct a nice blue glowing pyramid to hold them all. That would look far more snazzy and modern. I'd buy one for $1.5m any day!
Re: I'm quite interested in these kind of hoaxes
I came across an engineer about 10 years ago, through work - the company had dealt with him for 15-20 years.. He's a mechanical engineer, so obviously not chemistry or physics trained, but capable of reasonably complex calculations and you'd exepect to have at least some kind of scientific leanings.
Anyway he was chucking it all in, and taking early retirement. But would we fancy one last meeting before he did? Oh and I'm retiring in order to sell magnetic healing bracelets and magnetic gubbins that you put in your petrol tank, which improve fuel efficiency by 10%.
Although I suppose the water industry that I work in does have some fun with magnets. We have magnetic and electro-magnetic water conditioners. Some of which have been tested and appear to work, although no-one has a convincing theory as to why... And some of which are just some wire wrapped round a piece of pipe (or that you wrap round it yourself) and are sold to consumers at £200 a pop.
Re: Re. device
Nah! I know the secret and it's not that. He just reverses the polarity of the neutron flux, and job's-a-good'un.
Re: "Doubtless cynical readers will claim this discovery is purely coincidental"
The Portuguese Man o' War is a much more likely candidate.
Hey man! That was some really vicious punch at the party last night. My head is killing me...
Re: Misleading title
What about the Diana one? Is it worse than that? I haven't seen either.
Oh but I did see a trailer for Ben Stiller's latest last night. Mitty. A special ten minute mega-trailer inviting me to a preview screening. Where he talked for almost five minutes, telling me how pleased he was with it. And almost bored me as much as the next 5, with the alleged best bits from it. Maybe I'm being unfair, as I've not seen it, but I think I'd rather watch Assange for 2 hours.
Re: Wait, Koh again?
Oh dear. Did I need to use a joke alert icon on that post? Or have I upset the Wikipedia or Android fans?
Re: I must be doing my bugs wrong
Whilst Gopplesoft is nice, and I congratulate you for it, I think I prefer Micrapogle. Because it's ovbious that they like to ogle my crap all the time...
I found your post came over rather on the arrogant side for my tastes. Ironically given the way you chose to say it, I also think it showed quite a serious lack of understanding of the issues involved too.
All fiat currency is destined to be worthless. Originally $20 USD bought an ounce of gold. It now buys about 0.016 oz. Long term, that number is not going up. At less than 2% of its original value, the USD is already essentially worthless relative to its original value.
I think you might want to re-assess your choice of comparison there. Not that I'm arguing their hasn't been inflation, but the measure of inflation used is a basket of goods that people buy, not an extremely volatile asset class such as gold, for a good reason. So the dollar is worth less, but not as catastrophically as you say - partly because you've measured at a time when gold is just off the top of a rather big bubble.
You example of Zimbabwe is even sillier. They collapsed the economy. Inflation was both cause and symptom. Had Zimbabwe been using Bitcoins, so that Zanu-PF weren't able to print them, the economy would probably still have collapsed becuase they'd have simply seized the assets they were buying with printed money instead. A massively corrupt and disfunctional government was the problem there. Bitcoin won't save you from a goverment that could always torture you for the password to your wallet, and if you don't hand it over they can just shoot you, so no-one gets it.
A well-run economy can deal with some inflation, if it's predictable. At low levels, it even has some good side-effects. It makes hoarding cash cost, thus incentivising people to invest it. At varying degrees of risk. That means others can borrow it. If you can't borrow, you will struggle to build capital goods, without that investment your economy will stagnate. But with deflation, borrowing is madness, becuase the amount you have to pay back is more than the amount you borrowed, even before you've accounted for interest. Extreme Example Time:
In January I borrowed 1,000 bitcoins for a year to buy a 3d printer. Planning to sell 1,000 3d printed gubbins at 2 BTC each for Christmas and pay back the loan with 10% interest. Plus yummy profit for me.
Now Bitcoins aren't worth the same $100-odd of January, they're up to $1,000. So Bitcoins are worth 10 times as much as before. My printer can now be bought for BTC100, and I can only sell my gubbins at 0.2 BTC each. Thus even if I sell the full thousand, I end the year with assets of 120 Bitcoin, and a debt of 1,000 Bitcoin. Oops! Bankruptcy ahoy!
This is obviously ridiculous, but only because no-one seriously uses Bitcoin for everything - and it represents a tiny economy. It shows the problem of the debt denominator effect in deflation though. Debt becomes a crushing millstone, if asset values fall in money terms. Now I've heard some people say this is a good thing, because debt is bad. But debt isn't bad. It's just a thing. It can be either good, bad or indifferent. It can allow growth, investment, social mobility and improvemtent. If handled sensibly, obviously. It's logical for me to buy my flat. I've got to spend £800 a month to live in it anyway, so I may as well borrow the cash to buy it and make sure that money goes to me (plus profits to the bank of course). This is a perfectly prudent use of debt, even though I now owe the bank loadsamoney. If I was borrowing because I couldn't afford to pay for my dinner (or holiday), that would be a different matter.
Because our currencies are backed by something. Partly it's just inertia. 60-odd million other people are using the Pound too, and there's safety in the herd. If they all suddenly don't trust it, then you can get problems. But the problems in the Euro show just how powerful that inertia is. Even though it's almost a certainty that Italy, for example, will have to leave the Euro or partially default (debt at 135% of GDP and rising, an ageing and falling population, and an average economic growth rate of under 1% for the last 15 years) - still no-one believes it will happen and so the markets are stable and nobody's panicking.
But those currenvcies go with the states, and are backed by them. So that's 63 million people, the UK government, one of the world's top 5 economies and a few nukes that say that the Pound will probably still be worth something tomorrow. All of whom have to pay their taxes in it (apart from the nukes), so will almost certainly accept it for transactions.
What's backing Bitcoin? Maybe a few thousand (tens of thousands) of people, most to of them dabbling in it for fun, and a very large chunk of them waiting for it to go up in value some more because it's so exciting. So they might be willing to sell them to you for the right price, but how many are confident enough to take them from you in exchange for real things of value to them? How many businesses near you will sell you stuff for Bitcoin? How many people are brave enough to take their salary in it? It's a chicken and egg situation.
Also there's compulsion. No-one will ever force you to use Bitcoin. David Cameron can send scary men round to take my house away if I refuse to give him a certain amount of sterling each year. Or lock me up, or both. He can also tell shops that they have to accept sterling from me, in exchange for goods. If there's a crisis of confidence, the government can do various things to try to help. No-one is in charge of Bitcoin. This means you can't be compelled, but it also means you can't be bailed out. Both options are available to governments.
Re: Oompa Loompa Dollars!
How many people are buying them though?
Say that 20 Mt Gox are only processing 1,000 transactions per day from currencies to BTC. That might theoretically mean that my stock of 1,000 Bitcoin would now be worth 1 million. But if I tried to sell them all at once - that would double the daily transactions from Mt Gox. It's rather unlikely that the price would remain the same if I chose to sell. That would probably collapse it for a few days.
Valuing illiquid assets is always harder than liquid ones. Just because liquid ones trade more frequently so it's both easier to find someone to buy them, and the market is more stable becuase people are less likey to be in a desperate hurry to either buy or sell - and so willing to pay/take silly prices.
I spent £10,000 on an only slightly nicer flat last year because of this. One was in a popular estate with relatively steady prices and regular sales. The other in a small development mostly owned by corporate property investors. None had been sold since building in 2005 - so there was no possible way to know the reasonable price - and if one company decided to sell 4 at once just as you needed to sell yours, you'd have to take a big loss or give up on moving.
This is the risk you take with Bitcoin. If you were to take your salary in it, and rely on it for all your needs then at the moment you'd be a very happy bunny. Something (possibly that malware that ransoms people's data?) has caused a spike in value. So you're quids in. But if there's a halving in value, as happened overnight a couple of months ago, you've still got to eat, pay your rent/mortgage and bills each month. So you're going to have to make your exchange at crap rates, or starve.
As someone who worked in Europe during the conversion to the Euro, but was paid in sterling, I can tell you about this. My salary dropped by 18% over about 3 months, as the Euro appreciated against the Pound. I was expecting it, but it still didn't stop me from feeling sad - and put a severe dent in my beer and restaurant funds.
Re: will nobody think of the skimmers...?
You do realise that Bitcoins are also a cartel, by the very design of the system. You get given Bitcoins for 'mining', which is the computation of building the blockchain that holds all the Bitcoin transactions.
I'm not quite sure how it's supposed to work after all the coins are mined though, as surely there's no further incentive for processing all the transactions? Plus the number of people doing it will presumably continue to get smaller, as the computational difficulty increases.
Anyway, there will always be someone skimming off the top. Do you think that the enormous credit card infrastructure should be free? Because it can't be. If government does it, we'll get taxed. If it's done privately, then we'll get skimmed. The alternative is to use cash. But that also costs shops (as they have real security risks) and us - as taking £1,000 out in your wallet is a bigger risk than a card with an unknown PIN. And of course minting coins and printing notes isn't free either, that comes out of our tax too.
And then what will you do when certain members of your leadership are caught not surfing porn?
Trying to argue that, "honest I was surfing porn on my iPad while spending three days researching holiday cottages in Devon", isn't going to cut any ice when The Daily Mail comes a-callin'...
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