1662 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 09:56 GMT
Re: Oh FFS!
"Because it looks like a shitty intel version of the San Francisco, which is half the price, doesn't run its apps in an emulator, doesn't have a washed out camera."
The San Francisco doesn't have that nice a screen does it? Anyway, didn't they ship the first lot of San Franciscos with OLED screens, to get great reviews, then sneakily swap to LCD ones a month later? The San Fran has a 3" ish screen of lower resolution, less memory and a slowish processor. Admittedly it's also half the price.
"I can find a plethora of android based phones at this price point with better features"
Really? I can't think of many Android handsets with 4" screens at £200. There's an Orange branded ZTE (the Monte Carlo I think).
And here we get to it:
"When you want a phone, you don't care about what processor it runs, but you do want it to be compatible with your apps, be performant and not chew power, and on that basis this phone is a dog that the reviewer called a horse."
Do you know this?
Or are you spouting off before the information is in? Which is what I've accused a few other people of doing on this forum. Because it sounds like there's a lot of caring what processor it runs going on here.
I've not seen any reviews of this phone, so I've no opinion either way, but so far all I've seen is people putting the boot into it because it's got an Intel processor.
Putting my cards on the table, I've just been looking for an Android phone at this price point. And decided I didn't like any of them, so bought a Nokia Lumia 710 (£130 and I'm pretty happy with it). Make of that what you will. It certainly doesn't make me an Intel shill. Although you may decide it makes me an idiot...
Re: Oh FFS!
"Hands on with the Intel-powered Orange San Diego - sounds like the title of a review"
It's not a fucking review!
The subheading of FIRST LOOK is your clue here. When they have a subhead of Review, that means it's a... Review. The fact that all their mini-reviews at trade shows and the like always begin 'hands on with', is another clue.
It's called 'house style', and is designed to allow readers to know what kind of article they're reading. This is the same reason lots of their pieces have a heading of 'Opinion' or 'Analysis'.
"FFS of course it's a marketing exercise, unless of course it is a review"
Hmm, limited view of journalism here. Is it possible there could be more kinds of articles than just 2 perhaps?
What's up with you 2? He's said it's a nice enough phone, with a nice enough screen, which seemed to be fast enough. With lots of caveats. Including saying the chip might not work, but he wasn't able to try it yet, until their full review.
How the fuck does that make him a shill?
You're showing that you either don't like Intel, or don't believe they can make a viable mobile phone chip. You may be right, you may be wrong. But the ones pre-judging here are you. Not the reviewer, who's clearly said he's not made a judgement.
It's bad enough all the fanbois/fandroids spouting on about their fave mobile OS's. The last thing we need is bloody processor fanbois joining in.
"What, exactly, is Orlowsky going on about now? I know most independent web rags hate the BBC for its 'unfair' position in the market space, and Mr O is particularly rampant, but Christ on a crutch! 'Propaganda'?"
It's pretty clear really. He's not accusing the BBC of propaganda. He's accusing whoever forwarded the photo to them of doing so for propaganda purposes. i.e. find photo of a different massacre, and forward it on to the Beeb, claiming it's from this one.
The BBC were the victim of said propaganda. Although they have access to plenty of tools to be checking the image, and they're a massively well-funded organisation. Plus they are well aware that it's going on, and not all reports are honest or unbiased. Plus they took it from an anonymous source, which is even worse. So they have no excuse.
Re: More Red Tape alert!
Doesn't matter. That wouldn't have saved the contract.
One of the tenets of the Unfair Contract Terms rules seems to be that you need to be able to negotiate, in order for it to be a fair contract. So whatever permission hoops they make you jump through don't help them.
To be fair, they have to be fair. This means that they can't use really broad terms, without reasonable exceptions. Or lumber you with unlimited liability, while accepting none themselves. If terms are one-sided, then they're likely to be struck down.
Also they have to be willing to negotiate. So all these Ts&Cs that you're given are likely to be unfair, because they're issued as a 'take-it-or-leave-it'. Whereas when you negotiate a contract between companies, both sides get to change what's in there.
Finally you can't get away with burying shit deep in the contract. If you write it in legalese, and the first ten paragraphs are definitions of terms, then you're pretty much guaranteeing that only lawyers will read it. So at that point, anything obvious will probably stand up in law. But if the court thinks that a term you've stuck in there isn't something the consumer would be expecting, then it's likely to get ruled unfair.
I'm no lawyer, but I've read a few reports of these types of cases from people who are.
Re: Contract laws
I think that in general courts can strike out one clause of a contract as invalid, without necessarily killing the whole thing. So I think those clauses are only in there to state the obvious. The court will decide, when it rules, how that will effect the rest of the terms.
I ain't Spartacus, and I also ain't a Lawyer.
Re: @I ain't Spartacus (was @Fibbles: (was: @TeeCee (was: ACs are funny :-))))
Thanks for the tips. As I walked through the office door today, I was accosted and it was demanded that I join them in the pub this evening. Well, who am I to argue... So I shall have a little taste of American beers. I've read somewhere that a lot of US places do IPAs differently, so it'll be interesting to have a taste and see what they mean.
As to your suggestion about asking, I might do. So far in that pub, I've been too busy trying new stuff to get round to asking for anything in particular. I even liked the Swedish cider, something I didn't know the Swedes made. I'm just about to move house, so I'm not buying anything I don't have to at the moment. But once done, I'll see what interesting beers I can get in. Always nice to have a large choice of drinks on hand.
On your recommendation I'll try some Anchor tonight.
"I actually like Stout at my wine cellar's temp (43F), IaS :-)"
Is that an American aversion to 'warm beer'? Something you always seem to accuse the English of perpetrating... I'm not a huge stout and porter fan, but I've noticed when drinking them warmer you get a lot more of the 'coffee' and 'chocolate' flavours. I'll have to try Guinness warm. It may well be nice, but I suspect it wouldn't have the same mass market appeal tasting like that.
Cheers for the Beers! All Hail to the Ale!
"I was replying to jake"
Fair enough. I take back my last post then. However, you have the option to either quote, or name people. Then everyone knows what you're talking about, even when the thread has been somewhat hijacked.
"it's not my fault you lot created half a dozen posts about beer in an unrelated thread."
I think I'm going to have to agree with jake here. How can beer not be on topic? Just as I walked into the office this morning, someone asked me if I was free to come to the pub this evening. Clearly everyone thinks about beer, all the time...
"I disagree with you and instead of accepting that I have a different opinion you tell me I'm incapable of understanding your post?"
Where? I haven't said that anywhere.
I haven't said anything to you. I've not addressed you in this thread.
That's twice now you've posted aggressively on this thread, having a big strop at someone. Both times against the mood of what's been a non-controversial thread. One that was happily descending into thoughts of beer...
I've no idea whether your comments to jake were fair, I haven't read the thread you mention. Perhaps you need to calm down, then read things a second time to see if they say what you think they do. Then post. What I said was:
"If I post on politics, and haven't got some downvotes, then I've probably failed to get my point across clearly."
Which, as happens, you do seem to be incapable of understanding. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt (that you failed to give me), and assume you were posting in a hurry.
I'm on the centre-right politically. Generally a Conservative voter. I don't believe in bashing the bankers (more than necessary), or soaking the rich, I believe globalisation broadly works, and I'm somewhat sceptical of global warming. So when I post on politics, I'm expecting to get downvoted, by people who disagree with me. If they don't, then either I've been so fair-minded and reasonable that everyone loves me (despite disagreeing), or I've failed to convey my meaning. Either because I've gone on too long, not been clear. Or both.
Re: Has anyone applied for
Did you know the word gullible isn't in the Oxford English Dictionary?
A friend of mine told me that the other day. I was most surprised.
Re: @I ain't Spartacus (was @Fibbles: (was: @TeeCee (was: ACs are funny :-))))
It's funny to see Kingfisher on the Mendocino Brewery site. I guess they went for it, as they seem to like the bird naming theme. For me, it's always associated with going for a curry - as that and Cobra are the beers of choice in most Indian restaurants in the UK. It's also definitely not a handcrafted micro-brewery beer either.
Re: @I ain't Spartacus (was @Fibbles: (was: @TeeCee (was: ACs are funny :-))))
"I'll drink water before I drink Heineken ..."
It is quite nasty. I was in Dublin last year, and your choices seemed to be Guinness or Heineken, and I never saw anyone order Heineken. I don't think Guinness is anything special either. It's nice, as long as it's so cold you can't taste it properly. They say that it should be served at 6°C.
Interesting choices of beer. Sadly not available at my local bar. I've got:
and a couple of others to choose from, list here. Any opinions?
Re: Perhaps this was an underling making a sneaky point...
Your post doesn't really give us any information as to why you think that, or even what aspect of the coverage they got wrong.
The BBC tend to be a bit woolly-lefty-Guardiany-liberal (if that makes sense). So you have to take that bias into account. Although my impression of the TV news is that there's a bit less of that than the radio.
The main criticism I've seen of the BBC on breaking stories, is that they're too cautious. While Sky are reporting stuff, the Beeb are still in the studio saying there's no new info. I remember in one general election (2001 or 2005) the Beeb was showing about 100 official results, while ITV were showing something like 250 - and I don't remember any of those getting changed, I think they were just updating quicker.
I'd agree with you about problems with management. They can be very cautious, as I said above. And certain programs have a bit more of a slant. I often notice Today will deliberately misrepresent a political statement/speech, use a very obviously misleading headline, quoting something out of context. Then the rest of the day's headlines on it, report it straight, and drop the bias. They've been consciously 'trying to set the day's news agenda' since at least Rod Liddell was editor, and probably before - but that's when I first noticed it.
But the Beeb do try hard on things like Syria/Egypt/Libya. They've got their monitoring centre, following foreign news reports, Twitter and Facebook. And they try to find some journo who's actually been to a place, to spot obvious flaws in YouTube videos that are increasingly the way the opposition communicate
Re: @I ain't Spartacus (was @Fibbles: (was: @TeeCee (was: ACs are funny :-))))
"BTW: Anyone know why the default beer is Heineken in an ex-British imperial possession on the other side of the world?"
Because it refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach...
Are you living in lovely Belgium then? Or just visiting? I do miss sitting outside a bar in the sunshine, with a paper, an interesting beer and a cigarette. I've since given up... Living in Belgium. Oh, and smoking.
It's nice to see it's not just the Irish that have bars in every city in the world though. Oddly enough, there's a bar in Brussels called the Bok & Dragon. It's South African/Welsh, and shows lots of rugby.
Re: FFS get a grip
To be fair, the people who report these kind of stories are different to the ones who knock together the actual TV output. Things like getting images, are probably the job of the lowest of the low, interns and junior researchers - on the production side.
Whereas it's journalists who come up with the news content. Of course they all work to deadlines, as the news is broadcast at a certain time, just as papers have a deadline, so they make plenty of mistooks. The trick is to give more weight to the journalists who also tell you what they don't know, as they're the ones most likely to be checking stuff.
Sadly a lot of 'news', is now done by the junior researchers. A friend, at NI a few years back, was chatting to The Sun editor, who said that 70% of the paper was now PR led. Which means you get a press release, reword it a bit, keep the best written phrases from it as if they're your own. Then get one quote (by phone) to drop into the piece, thus instantly turning it from advertising to news.
The Times do a lot more of it than they used to, and despite those cost cuts they still lost £50m last year.
Re: @I ain't Spartacus (was @Fibbles: (was: @TeeCee (was: ACs are funny :-))))
Mmm beer. Was drinking very nice stuff from a local brewery at a friend's last night, while upgrading the RAM in his PC, and trying to make iTunes and his iPhone talk to each other.
Perhaps you wouldn't mind making me a recommendation then. Got a nice local pub that do bottles from around the world. I mainly drink the Belgian stuff, nostalgia from when I lived there. But they've got some US ones too, The Bootlegger.
Any steers to the good stuff, and away from the mediocre, would be appreciated.
Re: Perhaps this was an underling making a sneaky point...
What's up with the BBC's coverage of Syria?
BBC TV news use the same journos as the radio, so it should be similar coverage. I prefer radio news to telly, and listen to Radios 4 & 5, plus the World Service. Every report I've heard states how bad its sources are, and how incomplete the information. The Syrian government side is always put, even when it sounds silly. There's often mention of the fact that the regime still has genuine support, and how complicated the situation is.
If the Syrian government wanted more accurate reporting, it would allow BBC journalists in.
So what's the problem?
Re: @Fibbles: (was: @TeeCee (was: ACs are funny :-)))
"And there is another person with the `Jake` handle here on ElReg, who isn't me"
The Bastard! Stealing your 'J'. I should go through all his posts and downvote them, if I were you. ;o)
I'm sure I saw an 'I am Spartacus' handle last week. He's obviously my less cowardly alter ego.
Me, I'd be pointing that nasty Spartacus out to the nice Roman soldiers - and hoping to have a lovely sit down with a jug of wine and some slave-girls as my reward. Although the Romans weren't always terribly forgiving, so there's a decent chance of crucifixions all round. Probably best to hide...
Re: @Fibbles: (was: @TeeCee (was: ACs are funny :-)))
You do have a certain... robustness on the comments sections - if you were a bit fluffier and more mild-mannered you'd get a few less downvotes. But then I get the feeling that you enjoy the occasional light-trollery. And as you say, you don't care.
I'd be interested to know with your comment above about getting 50 odd downvotes in a day, you put xx73 and xx37 - so are you already into the thousands of votes?
I don't really care about the votes either, but I do watch them. If I post on politics, and haven't got some downvotes, then I've probably failed to get my point across clearly. If there's lots of voting on a thread, then its worth going back, as there might be interesting discussion. If not interesting, we can at least shoot for lively.
Finally it's good for jokes. It's nice to see a good gag get some love. And useful for the one joke I withdrew. My 30 downvoters thought it was unkind when I'd just meant to be mildly amusing.
*I typed Jake automatically, perhaps I should have left it in for my own bit of troll-foolery.
Re: UK centric logic
"Let's face it, most UK citizens would love to see the Euro go under."
Bollocks to that! If the Euro fails we're in for a Depression. Which would be depressing...
I don't think it's true anyway. Had Gordon Brown and Tony Blair been able to get their act together, I suspect we'd have joined at the beginning - unlike Germany and France, the UK met the Maastricht criteria without having to fiddle the figures. Thinks: I wonder what gave Greece the idea...
"Try to understand that for people and governments that are not so selfish, economic unions like the Euro are actually a good thing in that they provide safeguards for weaker states or members going through difficult periods."
That would be fucking hilarious, if it wasn't so tragic. You ask the Greeks what they think of that! Or the Irish and Portuguese, who were bailed out at punitive rates, to punish them for erring from the true path of Euro Righteousness.
The reason the Euro is in the mess it's currently in, is precisely because of a lack of solidarity between the members. The reluctance to allow the first bail-outs, the lack of generosity of the, the way Greece has been forced into an economic death spiral (either by incompetence or as punishment), the smallness and lack of credibility of each, late, half-hearted bail-out - all these things tell people that the Eurozone countries do not want to help each other. Therefore, no-one trusts any but the strongest to be able to survive.
You see a lot of Euro bashing, because it was a pie-in-the-sky idea, horrifically badly implemented - that could well lead the whole world into economic meltdown. Just like lots of our fellow EU members smugly criticised us when the US/UK banking systems turned out to be very badly run. As it turns out, that smugness was bollocks, the Eurozone banking system had been equally piss-poorly run, they'd just made their poor bets in different markets.
The Eurozone have 2 choices. Either break the currency up or form a proper transfer union, where the richest countries bail-out the poorest. There are no other options. Well option 3 is to carry on failing to do anything, and watch the currency collapse, taking the world economy with it.
Actually, it's the other way round. To avoid the Yuan appreciating as the Chinese economy strengthened (to help exports) - the Chinese bought lots of dollars, and lots of US T-Bills. This keeps Chinese workers artificially poor, but helps China out-compete other countries.
The only problem is that it means the US owe China about $3 trillion! Now sure, the Chinese could play silly buggers with the US bond market, and currency. But, the US government could use the nuclear option, and default on China's debt. Plus the Chinese are in a bind. For every 10% the dollar devalues, they've just lost $300 billion! That's enough to give anyone pause...
I don't know enough about Greek politics really. It all comes down to where you're looking from anyway. Given how controversial Obama's healthcare reform is in the US, and that the UK Conservatives are almost universally in favour of the NHS, you could argue that David Cameron is a socialist. In it's current mood, the Daily Telegraph might just do that...
Meanwhile, I suspect both PASOK and New Democracy would count as on the left wing of labour, were they involved in UK politics. As would the French UMP. In as much as that comparison has any meaning.
As you say, endemic tax-evasion, incompetence and corruption are huge issues. I don't know how much of Greek government spending is the parties giving their supporters useless government non-jobs for votes, and how much is 'socialism'/overspending.
Re: Anti-EU FUD from a UKIP supporter
If you mean bollocks talked about some thing or product you dislike, then this isn't. Because what he says is true. The Euro is in a mess.
If on the other hand you mean 'Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt' - that's the fault of the by Eurozone governments.
Dismissing an argument merely because you dislike the group that someone belongs to is pathetic and childish. If yoube got one, give us your opinion, and then try to back it up.
Re: Cui Bono
Who exactly stands to gain from the break-up of the Euro anyway?
In my opinion, everyone in the world, and especially the Eurozone currencies. But only if it could be done in an orderly way. No idea how you'd do it.
I think the Euro was a bad idea from the start, although I didn't expect it to be this bad. Unless countries want a proper EU super-state. In which case a common currency makes sense. Other opinions are of course available.
In the short term, no-one gains. The effects on the global economy could be so horrible, that even if you could make a killing on it, the risk of a decade of global depression almost certainly wipes that out.
but many Germans probably think all those exports 'made their economy strong'.
Weird but true. For an exporting country, you'd have thought that they'd want a low currency. But many Germans I know are proud and happy when the Euro goes up in value.
In fact I noticed a weird kind of 'EU-nationalism' when I lived over there. People were grumpy when the Euro currency came in, in 2002, and dropped by 20%-odd. At one point you could get €1.70 to the pound! As an expat, paid in sterling, I wasn't complaining. I was investing the windfall in educating myself in Belgian Beer Studies. Yum.
But when it went down, people complained about the evil currency traders doing them down. Then when the currency went up, later, people crowed about how great the Euro was, and how it was going to kick the dollar's arse. I got this from Belgians, Germans, French, and I've seen it a lot online, since I came back to Blighty. Don't understand it though.
Re: @I ain't Spartacus
"First off, DEVALUING your money is the drastic step, not printing money, which is the usual step, and which never works no matter how often it is tried or how convoluted the scheme to keep the machine in perpetual motion is. If you don't understand this, shut up until you can pass Econ for pre-schoolers."
That sentence doesn't really make sense. What are you accusing me of getting wrong? Printing money is a more drastic step than devaluing your currency against others. I believe that's what I've said above, and I think is a perfectly fair comment. Perhaps you could try being a touch less aggressive, and perhaps, discuss things. It helps you know...
I've passed a bit more economics that the courses aimed at pre-schoolers that you mention (ones I wasn't previously aware existed). I may have made a mistake in posting some thoughts on the internet, if so, please correct me.
As for printing money never working, you're wrong. It can work. Not that it's a great idea. it obviously can't be done perpetually. Given a choice between your banking system collapsing, and your economy grinding to a halt or printing money to keep the machine on the road temporarily, the second is a better optinon. At this point you have to convince people that it's a temporary measure, and you have some sort of plan.
The ECB 3 year loans are a form of temporary money printing. Theoretically so is the Bank of England's Quantitative Easing (they can choose to sell the goverment debt they 'bought' with printed money later and reverse the effect).
"Next up, in a similar fashion you get the Greek situation wrong. They are stuck having to leave the Euro because the worked themselves into an economic death spiral. "
Incorrect. Yes, obviously the Greeks got themselves into this mess. And yes. people shouldn't have lent to them at those interest rates. Though it's pretty unusual for 1st world governments to simply make up their GDP figures. And the Euro was all about everyone having the same interest rates. It's also a bit bloody late for the Eurozone governments to tell everyone now that they never promised to back everyone else's debt, when they took the low interest rates that were offered, and didn't complain at the time. And they took steps to try and get a roughly equal government interest rate.
But if Greece wasn't in the Euro it wouldn't have had low ECB interest rates (designed mostly to suit Germany and France), inflating the bubble. Then when the crisis started to hit, it would have been able to drop its interest rates faster and lower, to cushion the pain. Also as it imported more and more from Germany, its currency would have slowly devalued, which would have made importing harder and exporting easier. Currency fluctuations help to balance the strains of international trade. A lower Drachma means more tourists, less imports and maybe more exports. Lots of its tourists have been going to Turkey of late, as it's cheaper than the Eurozone.
It would also have the emergency option of printing money. As I say, bad, but sometimes better than not. If you can convince the markets and the population that you can save your banks, then you probably won't have to. Because Greece doesn't have access to these tools there's a very real possibiliy that its economy will totally collapse. There's a danger this can become self-fulfilling.
So while Greece would still be in the shit for lying about its growth figures. Were they not in the Euro, they've have defaulted 2 years ago. There would have been a massive currency devaluation, and a big bank rescue. Inflation would have shot up, and the standard of living would have dropped. But there would be a hope of recovery, an increase in tourism (and maybe exports), and they wouldn't be in permanent, no-hope, fucked-up death spiral.
Finally, outside the Eurozone they wouldn't have been given a bailout designed to save French and German banks, that didn't write off any of the unsustainable debt, but slowly moved it to the ESFS and ECB books. Although the Germans finally accepted reality (too late) this year. But even then only allowed a private sector default. And they were given no stimulus, either by devaluation or by direct grants of EU cash. Hence their economy has shrunk by 20%, and is still going. With no hope of a solution, there's no hope of recovery. Apparently the IMF advisors said they shouldn't agree to the bailout until this was fixed. But were overruled by Strauss-Kahn (in between sex-parties presumably). I guess he did it under French pressure. And look how well it's turned out.
Re: I concede
"By your reasoning company can have human rights then?!?"
Nope. Individuals can own intellectual property too, and they have human rights that apply to the property they own.
"The term Intellectual property is (deliberately?) ambiguous but has absolutely nothing to do with real property and should not be treated as such."
Now that's a different argument. Currently the law disagrees with you. So you'll have to get it changed before your statement can be true.
Peronsally I don't care how it's done. And I'm not lawyer enough to have an opinion anyway. I believe that people should have some control over, and right to make money from, stuff they create. Even though it's not physical product. Subject to a time limit. This is partly a matter of fairness, and partly because I want society to be able to benefit from professional creators being able to create more stuff - by doing it full-time. The rest is all details and arguing over a fair share of the cash and the stuff. Which is important, but not something I'm that knowledgable or excited about. Whether you call it intellectual property, or temporary government licensed monopoly or whatever, I don't mind. As with any other market, the rule of law needs to apply, or the market can't operate properly. And if people creating the good stuff don't get paid, we'll get less of it. Which would be a shame.
"Somewhere around this internet, I read that some US cities and states even have gone bust (borrowed more than they could pay, and then just refused to pay). I don't think anyone said that the US dollar was bad because of that, or is not a single currency of the US."
El Bachelero de Bristol,
It's a matter of scale. Everyone who lends to a US city or state knew there would be no bailouts. That's the way they've always worked it. So I'd imagine they don't get the kind of low interest rates that Greece, Italy and Spain have had recently. Also, no bank is going to lend too much to them.
In the case of most countries, if their government defaults, all their banks and pension funds will go bust. This is because most of them hold lots of government debt, as the safest form of capital that isn't cash. Now at that point, you could try some shennanigans like cancelling all your debt, except the stuff to your own country's financial institutions. But you've then got the further troubles of no-one being willing to lend to you. And if, like most governments in the Eurozone, you're also spending more government cash than you raise in taxes, then you need to borrow. At this point,straight after your recent default, that's going to be impossible. Further, no-one will lend money to the banks of a crisis ridden country whose government has just defaulted. As banks are guaranteed by their governments. So you'll have to borrow to bail-out your banks.
Oh, whoops. See above. Now the final way out of this is to print money. But you can't. Because you're in the Euro. Ditto for the other trick, of devaluing your currency and inflating away some of your debts.
Finally, back to the US states. The US have Federal bank guarantee schemes. So if one bank was in total hock to California, and it went bust, they'd get bailed out by the Fed. The only people bailing out Spanish banks, are the Spanish government. And they're doing it with money borrowed from the Spanish banks. Which they're borroing from the ECB secured on Spanish government debt.... There's something delightfully circular about that. Or horrifically dangerous...
"The "form of government" is a parliamentary republic and the president and parliament of the 3rd Republic has been right wing and centre right more often than it has been left wing. You should probably have stuck with your first sentence."
PASOK (the Panhellenic Socialist Movement governed Greece from 1981-89, 1993-2002 and 2009-2012. So that's roughly 20 years of the 38 since the founding of the Third Republic, and civilian government taking over in 1974.
I'm not going to claim expertise on Greek politics, and I may have got a few bits wrong, but it's worth being a bit more careful if you're going to go the pedantic route.
It's also worth pointing out that not all European centre right parties are centre-right in global terms. For example, the German and French CDU and UMP would both be to the left of Tony Blair's New Labour. And probably quite similar to most other UK Labour governemnts. These terms tend to be used relatively.
"Take away the € and you're back to second guessing the future value of a basket of currencies and their potential local interest rate movements. You will also be paying a mix of commissions on exchanging those currencies and you will have to purchase futures options to hedge against those risks."
As opposed to trading outside the Eurozone, where you have to do this anyway. Something that's been an absolute disaster for Germany, leading to it's exports outside the zone to collapse, and the long decline in its manufacturing economy.
Hmmm, no, hang on a minute... That's not right is it? Oh no. The Eurozone as a whole has a positive current account position. It exports more than it imports. So maybe trading in other currencies isn't all that bad?
Sure it's annoying. And loses you a bit of profit. But there's an upside. That exchange-rate flexibility is what allows countries to import your stuff. Greece couldn't devalue, or raise its interest rates. The only way to carry on buying German cars (and weapons) was to borrow the cash. Mostly from German and French banks. Which has turned out well...
Exchange rates move for a reason. That flexibility is vital to allow the world economy to carry on working. One of the major reasons for the current recession is that China won't allow its currency to appreciate. This keeps its own people artificially poor, and stops Western economies from exporting back to them, in order to pay for what they buy.
The Germans, as the world's second largest exporter, are doing exactly the same to the rest of the Eurozone.
Re: Making a drachma out of a crisis
"Someone has a boat load of money bet on the Euros demise. Unless the Eurozone countries want to get all aggressive (and slightly illegal) and start throwing a few trillion at the money markets to crush them this won't end until the Euro does."
This one ain't the banker's fault. Well not directly. They caused the current recession, but the Eurozone created this debt-crisis all by themselves. It just needed a recession to set it off.
This isn't the ERM crisis. There's no way to bet against the Euro, not in the same way that people could bet against the pound.
The problem for the Euro isn't the value of the currency, which hasn't dropped that much anyway.
The problem is that no-one wants to lend to the Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, Irish, Italian, and maybe soon Belgian and French governments. Or not at rates they can afford anyway. This isn't some evil conspiracy by shadowy market figures. It's because they might not be able to pay their debts. Well, Ireland, Portugal and Greece can't, and have needed bail-outs. Italy almost certainly can't either, not in the long term, without leaving the Euro to devalue its currency - or maybe getting a couple of million immigrants to restore the ageing population.
Now, if the Eurozone had cheerfully helped the Greeks, Irish and Portuguese 2 years ago this might not have happened. Everyone believed that the Eurozone governments would stand together. Turns out that isn't the case. They've made it abundantly clear that they don't want to. So now it's every man for himself.
Well having said, "it's all the market's fault for lending to Greece. We never promised to back their government borrowing. They should take their losses and stop whining". The Eurozone is now complaining that no-one wants to lend to Spain and Italy, and claiming it's a market attack! You can't have it both ways. Worse, they even cheated the Greek default, so that legitimate lenders didn't get the insurance payouts they'd been paying for. So they destroyed the market in sovereign debt insurance, just as they were having a sovereign debt crisis! Now that's the very definition of fucking stupid.
No sensible banker would lend to Spain under these circumstances. The only reason they're not bankrupt already is because the already insolvent Spanish banks have been allowed to borrow German backed money from the ECB. Using (otherwise unsaleable) Spanish government debt as collateral. And they're using that cash to buy the new Spanish government debt. It's the bankrupt leading the bankrupt...
It was a great move from the ECB. It bought the Eurozone time. 6 months it turns out. The entire Eurozone banking system would probably have collapsed last December, had this not happened. But it didn't solve the underlying problem. The Eurozone politicians and voters pissed that precious time up the wall, and did fuck-all to save themselves. I suspect that by the end of June Greece will be out of the Euro, and Spain will be on life-support. And if Germany don't agree to back other government's lending in some way, then the Euro will have mostly collapsed by Autumn, and the world will be in for a Depression.
Re: Making a drachma out of a crisis @ stuartc
"So you are saying that the different rates for government bonds are a sign that prudent investors already take account of the strength of the Euro in each country. Doesn't that mean that a mechanism is already in place to balance confidence against chance of Euro default?"
No. Because if a government can't pay its debts, it can devalue its currency. Or in extreme cases print money. This still means lenders lose some money, but it's a risk that can be accounted for. Also, if their economy recovers, their currency might go back up (losing you nothing).
Because Eurozone countries can't use these options, their only choice is catastrophic default. Plus the lack of economic flexibility is dangerous. If Greece wasn't in the Euro it would suffer some economic troubles. But its economy wouldn't have got into the current death-spiral.
Re: Making a drachma out of a crisis
"The greek GDP is about 300 Bn euros a year. Compare that with the eurozone GDP of over 7 Tn - it's less than 5%."
"So what happens if Greece does get the boot? At the very least it will serve as an example to others."
You've got this the wrong way round. You think that the Eurozone's failure to support Greece is a sign to other 'lazy' countries to get off their arses, get working, pull their socks up and sort themselves out. And I suppose it is. But it's also a sign that the Eurozone countries don't stick together. At that point, the Euro is no longer a proper single currency. if any government gets into serious enough trouble, it'll have no choice but to leave. So you have all the disadvantages of being tied to a single interest rate and a fixed exchange rate - but none of the advantages of being a big, mutually supporting group.
Worse, unlike Britain when the ERM went horribly wrong, you can't just devalue. You've got to create a new currency and rip-up and re-write most of the contracts in the country. And your banking system will almost certainly collapse, and your government will probably have to default, so may not be able to borrow for a decade.
Politically this has to change, or the Euro has to break up. Even if it survives this recession, the same thing will happen to some country in the next.
The Spanish government may have to bail its banks out next week. it can only borrow at 6% now, and that's going to go up. Who would lend to the Spanish government? Given that they're in serious economic trouble and the Eurozone don't do bail-outs? Their current options are Euro-exit and default or economic death-spiral (Greek style).
Needless to say, neither of these are attractive, or lead a lender to have any confidence in lending the cash they need to avoid those options.
Re: I concede
Copyright is definitely NOT a human rights issue. Period.
The right to own property, and only have it taken from you by legal due process is a standard part of most, if not all, definitions of human rights.
So if you accept that there can be such a thing as intellectual property. Then IP is a human rights issue. Whether you like it or not.
Personally I get queasy when the words 'human rights' come into a discussion, because things tend to get messy and complicated after that.
But then, this is a messy and complicated topic.
in the third paragraph when talking about those same creative industries: 'whose existence relies on copyright law and enforcement'
And there was me thinking that they should rely on creativity, producing Fantastic content we all want to consume and involve ourselves with.
There's no actual contradiction here. It doesn't matter how superb the content that's created is, if there's no mechanism for people to get paid, then they won't get paid. That mechanism needs to have some kind of legal status, as well as a working market - and a sane business model.
Re: "you need a copyright system. I don't think anyone in the mainstream is really challenging that"
If you don't believe there should be any kind of copyright at all, then you're not in the mainstream. That's not circular thinking, just a definition of where most people are on this issue. Until persuaded otherwise. Which may, or may not, change. i don't see it myself though.
Most people think there should be a mechanism to pay people to create [insert loaded term here] intellectual property. It doesn't mean they agree what it is, how it should be enforced, or when it should be allowed and when not.
Surely they aren't going to sell .web? That's surely generic.
I can see the point of .london and suchlike. Although what's wrong with .london.uk?
The deadline hasn't closed yet. So I'm just off to put a bid in for .fiasco. Although ICANN have probably got exclusive rights to that one already...
I didn't think Dilbert was all that funny. Then I got a job with a US multi-national, in their European head office. Then I realised it wasn't a cartoon, but a training manual.
Now I love Dilbert.
I liked the one you linked to. But I think Dogbert is the closest you'll get to the BOFH, link
Re: slidey rating thing
I rather like your whole Channel Reg makeover. I don't tend to read that side of things normally, so I'd not noticed. I'm not in the industry - I'm just interested in tech stuff generally. Also what IT our company can afford, I usually deal with.
It's a bit disconcerting with you making the main articles list one column wide, instead of 2 on the main Reg. But it does look less cluttered, and I think I like it. I also like the idea of separating out the opinion pieces, over on the right. I know you put "OPINION" in the headline, but it's good to separate it out, the way most papers do. Some people hate op eds, so this gives them less excuse to moan. In my case, it means I can find it quickly, and if I've not got time to scan the whole site, I can just read that.
Your new rating system is nice and clear. I don't think the old one is. As I said before, I suspect you'll get more feedback by showing what's already been given. Whether that's a good thing or not is obviously up to you... I think I prefer it.
Thanks for the info. Sadly having replaced my Wildfire, I didn't get to keep it and therefore have fun rooting it, and mucking about on XDADevelopers. I know someone who'd killed their Wildfire's screen, so I spent a few 'happy' hours trying to get their settings ported, then handed mine over. Unless I'm missing something, Android seems to be awfully light on backup/restore options. It took several hours (to be fair I was missing certain crucial info maybe 30 minute's worth?) - but it's a ten minute job on iOS.
Quoting from your link:
"Here a non-official CyanogenMod 9 ROM will be presented which is more or less working on our wildfire. I, and other testers here, must warn you that this ROM is currently in a beta stage. Altough the most important things work, there are serveral things that don't work and the device is slow - animations, typing: everything goes slow."
So fun to play with, but you've had to overclock the processor, and I assume it's not exactly production quality ICS. I really liked the design of the Wildfire, just not he software, or the slowness.
There's another factor to add here. Apparently while Lester Haines is working his Spanish friends to death on Register Special Projects, their only comfort is beer and cigarettes. I believe he's stated this is as one of the reasons he won't consider hydrogen for LOHAN. They won't go without ciggies.
I suppose he could consider it evolution in action. But if you incinerate the owner, and patrons, of your local bar, not only will there be no-one to drink with, but no-one to serve the drinks either.
If Hydrogen really is God's favourite gas, then I guess you could consider this an example of original sin.
I'm afraid I've rated a couple of your articles as so-so, because I was heading for the comments link, missed a bit, and as soon as your mouse pointer is hovering over that slider/bar thing you've got a rating selected and a click confirms it.
I suggest giving it a little more clearance space from the bottom grey line, with the other options on.
Or merge it into that line, which might be the more logical move, as it's another action to take at end of article.
As I've not started posting about it, I may as well ask another question. Are you happy with the feedback you're getting from it?
You would get more feedback, if you showed how an article has already been scored by others. People are much more likely to do something if there's a cue to show that other people are as well. Plus people who like something are less likely to vote than those who are pissed off. So if an article's getting a bit of a kicking, the ones who like it will be more likely to step up to defend it.
On the other hand, you may only want the ratings of people motivated to do so. So I guess this comes down to how you want to use the feedback, and what kind you want.
"You can run Ice Cream Sandwich on hardware less than 1Ghz/512Mb.
I have a Wildfire running 4.0.4 right now "
I'm surprised by that. I just got rid of my Wildfire. It wasn't very fast, and stuttered quite frequently. Admittedly it was stuck on Android 2.2, and I didn't jailbreak and upgrade it (as it was a work phone). It was perfectly usable as a phone, other than the couple of times the screen seemed to lock up when trying to answer calls.
I thought ICS needed more juice. Are you running a custom ROM with some bits cut out to help performance?
"Are they super cheap?"
I suspect this is your answer.
Hardware requirements were something like 1 GHz processor and 500MB RAM. Which wasn't that far off top-end when WinPho7 came out, but didn't go up with first 2 updates. They've even cut the requirements with the latest update (Tango). I don't think you can run Android 4 on that.
I suppose Apple could compete on price. If they wanted to. The iPhone 3GS is still on sale, and is over 2 years old. But they're still charging £300 for it! Also, I wonder how well it copes with iOS 5. Given that my iPad 1 became a lot less fluid and reliable with the update to that, and has better specs.
Re: @ I ain't Spartacus @ Neoc - Fascinating
"I understand how one knocks up a servant, but how does one knock up a statue?"
If you've not done it in the open air, with a 7 foot tall goddess and pigeons crapping on your shoulders, then you haven't lived!
Surely you don't ever get 'hosed'? You are Mr Loveable, as is proved by your impressive record of 8:1 up:down. I guess that makes you the anti-Shitpeas. I wonder what his down:up ratio is...
I've been quite rude about Android, ever since I got a phone with it. So that, and the move to WinMob has got me a lot of thumbs-down-action. I don't ever seem to find myself fighting the freetards, so it's not a problem I have. The obvious points always seem to get made before I arrive.
The anti-Orlowski brigade do seem to be a motivated bunch. I'm not sure if it's the freetards or the climate-change zealots who hate him most. But I don't tend to get involved in that too much, so it's rare for me to notice someone hiting my posts page, and downvoting the top ones. I think I've only seen that once.
I have noticed that the first vote often brings more. People might not upvote you, even though they agree with you, in a forum bunfight. But once you've had a few downvotes, they hit the up button in solidarity. I tend to only downvote the worst idiocy, upvote anything witty/funny, but I'll only usually bother to upvote opinions I agree with if they've been hit by the thumbs down brigade, or if they're answering someone I wanted to, and make my point for me.
I reckon you could get a nice anthropological study out of the Reg comments boards.
My only problem is I can't get the easy upvotes from being rude about Apple. Since I bought the iPad, Steve is my master... I'm scared they might take it away from me if my thoughts stray from the righteous path. I suppose I'll have to stick to being rude about Facebook. Easy targets and cheap-shots all the way for me...
Although not Google+. It has a small, but fanatical, fanbase. You get certain downvotes, though usually not too many of them... [/bitch]
I've recently entered the world of the downvote. You always get some of course. I'm usually nice and fluffy, but sometimes I take potshots at the trolls. Techies seem to generally be a bit lefty, politically, and I'm more centre-right, so I get the odd one or tow there.
Interesting to see TeeCee is a paragon of niceness, with his shiny 8:1 up-downvote ratio. I was coasting along at a steady 6.5:1 until 2 weeks ago. I've commented on a few Windows Mobile stories recently, having just bought one, and I hit the hundredth downvote today. My ratio is down to 5:1 now.
It's odd, because most of my posts are pretty even-handed. But it seems the techies don't seem to like WinMob. Admittedly I do occasionally blow raspberries at Android, which I think has a couple of glaring problems. That seems to be a source of many of my downvotes.
If I cared, it would be interesting to see what gets me the thumb's down most. Liking the iPad, disliking Android or voting Conservative. Or my newfound liking for WinMob7.
I even got 8 downvotes for being mildly grumpy to Barry Shitpeas! There's got to be something wrong with a universe that allows that...