3311 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
Re: Good advice
You tell them a story about how a local kid met up with someone they'd only met online before, and were forced to listen to Barry Manilow records, while wearing uncool trainers and eating vegetables. That ought to do the trick...
We probably don't have the patent, but if they start referring to theirs as pea-soupers, then I'm sure we can have them on trademark abuse!
Re: Now pull my other one
The last big smog in London in the fifties killed something like 2,500 people. In a weekend. Although regulation on city factories and power stations was part of it, it was also creating smokeless zones, where people couldn't burn wood, or normal coal. I believe domestic heating was the biggest factor.
at the time, London only had a population of about 7.5 million. With China's cities being bigger, and no state healthcare, the death tolls will probably be bigger, but never reported.
Although my Mum described the London smogs as worse than that video, because she said you couldn't even see the kerb, from the middle of the road.
Killer Aircraft Released Defensively Against Self-Guided High Impact Attack Nukes
Is this going to be the Register Special Project Bureau's response to the coming Rise of the Machines?
Or perhaps an attempt by vulture central to harness its new-found technological lead in autonomous spaceplanery to finally get some answers from Apple's PR department:
Kinetic Aircraft Released Downwards After Satellite Hibernation Infiltrating Apple Nerve-centre?
I think her name is a bit long for backronyming really...
Re: One question...
[chomps on cigar]
The only good bacteria, is a dead bacteria! These so-called "friendly" bacteria, are just pinko, commie turncoats! I wouldn't trust 'em further than I could spit! Napalm is the only language they understand. It's only because of these long-haired hippy types, and gutless politicians, that hospitals don't use napalm!
This is all very well, until the phages reach the new nuclear reactors, and get mutated into giant person-eating super-phages. Just like we all saw in those documentaries, 'The Prisoner' and 'Pac-Man'.
What will we do to fight the killer-phage menace, that we caused in order to fight the killer bacteria menace? I know an old woman, who swallowed a fly...
On a serious note, hooray for research. Although I don't see how we can know they're the most abundant life-form in the universe. I'm sure the emperor Tharg the Magnificent will have a good deal to say about that.
Re: But I really do miss the flip-phone format.
and it's just like original star trek communicators!
Except that bad mannered Catpain Kirk was always using his on speakerphone. What an annoying man to have to share a train carriage with...
I gave away my Sony Ericsson P800, for which I had original box, manuals, charger and 3 spare styluseseses. If I'd kept it, I could now be RICH! After all, it didn't even have GPRS... The friend I gave it to was still using it well after the iPhone came out.
Sadly I also got rid of my Motorola MicroTac years ago. Although I think the 'micro' was a bit cheeky in the name, as a belt clip or bag was the only realistic way to carry it. I miss the days of having to pull up the aerial before making a call, and then flip the phone open. Well OK, maybe not the aerial bit, particularly as there was a point when some of those were fakes and the phones had internal antennae. But I really do miss the flip-phone format. No-one seems to do them any more, which is a real shame.
Re: Not $50
Ouch! Thanks for that. I knew US tariffs were higher than in Blighty, didn't realise it was that bad.
In comparison £34 (ex VAT) per month gets you a 2 year contract, new iPhone or Galaxy 4 for nothing up-front, 1 GB 4G data and unlimited calls and texts. And that's dropping slightly as all the players are now doing 4G.
I believe 3 will give you unlimited calls, texts and bandwidth, including tethering and top-end phone for £35 per month including VAT. And when they go 4G in a month's time, they upgrade all their users for free. You can get 1/2 GB of data, some calls, many texts and a cheap phone for £15 per month (inc VAT) with them.
Do you pay sales tax on the contracts, or only the phone itself?
Re: Want an apple but not the 5c or the 5s
What's the financial value of the apps you've invested in?
You can now get a really nice Android (Nexus 4) or Windows Phone (Nokia 820) for £200-£250. That price difference buys quite a few replacement apps. Although there's a greater likelihood that the apps you want are on Android - but I've heard the Windows Marketplace is much improved.
I think Apple are now over-priced. They weren't that much before, as the top-end phones were a lot better than the budget end, and I thought the iPads were by far the best tablets until about a year ago (and so worth the premium). But the competition has hotted up, and you can often get very good budget models. Also, unlike Apple, last year's top end is now down to £200-£300. My phone is currently what work gives me, my next tablet is unlikely to be an iPad. I've probably only spent around £50 on apps, and can get an equally good tablet for £200 less than the 64GB iPad I had to get, as there's no memory card slot.
It then comes down to OS preference. In a phone, I like simplicity and would go back to Windows. In a tablet, I rather fancy the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.
Given that he appears to have made a success out of both electric sportscars and cheap rockets, I'd be very cautious about using the word wacky about any of this guy's projects. I'm sure he's bound to screw something up, as if you keep trying hard things that's pretty much inevitable.
But he appears to have taken two established industries (rockets and cars), walked in and said, "what's so difficult about this then?" Then urinated upon the incumbent big players from a very large height, in a very short time. It's all rather impressive.
Admittedly he's also put a cheese into orbit, so I guess wacky does apply somewhat...
I'm really disappointed that he didn't put some port into orbit to go with it - major logistical screw-up there. But I hope he invited some friends round for dinner, and then proceeded to produce the world's most amazing cheeseboard. There's one-in-the-eye for your fellow billionaires!
Re: Whatever next
I see you've decided he's a Bruce Wayne / Tony Stark good billionaire.
This is of course a possibility. However given his interest in rockets and monorails (well vacuum tube railways is close enough...) - I beg to suggest that we need to consider the alternative here. I'm afraid it's nominative determinism all over again. If you give someone a supervillain's name, such as Elon Musk, then you really can't be surprised when he goes off the rails and tries to destroy the world.
When the super-mutated-killer bacteria from his 'flying cheese into space' experiment start wiping out humanity, don't say I didn't warn you!
What's that? 5 black Tesla Roadsters have just pulled up outside? OHHHH SHHHHIIIIII......
My nice Bug DAB alarm thingy is brilliant. Sadly now discontinued. You can separately set the brightness for the clock and display when switched on from off, to barely visible, medium and 'Oh God my retinas!'. It also has 2 alarms, so I can have a buzz then a radio, or 2 radios coming on an hour apart. The screen is also on one of those boingy braided steel moveable things, like some lamps - so you can bring it close to your eyes if they fail to open properly in the morning.
It also theoretically plays (and records) to SD cards. But it's so picky about which ones it'll accept, and changeable in this, that it would be an incredibly unreliable way to wake up.
The teasmade on the other hand has a sensor to change the clock back-light depending on ambient light. It varies from as bright as the midday tropical sun to "ve have vays ov making you talk!" spotlight in the face. I have to rest a book against it at night. And I used to sleep with the curtains open and a streetlamp directly outside - which I can't now living in a ground floor flat.
All hail the mighty teasmade!!!
Teasmades aren't a thing from the 70s! How very dare you! They're a thing from now. I have one on my bedside table. A very nice one, bought from Amazon last year for £50. It's wonderful to wake up to a cuppa in the morning.
Now admittedly there are some issues. You have to use teabags, because the chances of me successfully manipulating pot, cup and tea strainer at early o'clock are pretty close to zero. But I have found that fruit teas are very nice. As they take longer to brew, giving valuable extra snoozing time, and they fill your bedroom with a wonderful fruity aroma. That being the upside of the usual fruit tea problem, they smell so much better than they actually taste.
I can also confirm the jet engine issues. Even from the opposite side of the bed, the quick-boil kettle is incredibly loud in a quiet room, after hours of restful slumber. However, in my case this is a good thing, as I'm perfectly capable of turning off the loudest alarm clock, even if it's on the other side of the room - I can sleepwalk over to it, switch off, and be back in bed asleep before conscious thought has had a chance.
I can confirm though that climbing into the shower, with a scalding hot cup of life-giving tea on the windowsill - ready for perfect drinking when you get out 5 minutes later - is a wonderful thing.
Now, if only someone could come up with the baconsarniesmade...
Re: why not try
I was thinking that. Or he could get one of those pillows that has a speaker built in and a headphone cable. Then you just plug into phone or iPod for your own wake-up sound.
As for putting the phone in aeroplane mode, why not just disable the beeps for tweets, linked-ins and emails. Admittedly that doesn't save you from being woken by text, but then I don't tend to get early morning texts.
Nah, I don't think it's the fanbois downvoting, so much as the terminally bored. That's an old, old line now. After all, you felt the need to use the joke alert icon on your post - which is almost as bad as laughing at your own jokes when no-one else is...
Personally I was hoping that the story was going to be Apple had installed the sensor upside down. After all, various rocket makers have, so I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to join the fun.
Re: "“It’s one of these rare weird things you see in Southern California,” Chace said."
Well, most people are rare. Unless you overcook them...
A colleague of mine engaged 'John' from Microsoft in conversation. I did have a longish chat with one or two, established that they weren't just dumb tools of the real scammers, but the first-line people know they're committing fraud, so now I can feel justified in being rude to them from the start.
So my colleague didn't try the Linux gambit this time (kudos to the commentard who went C64 on them!). He started off with sensible questions and worry about the virus. Then asked how they knew his PC was infected. Then got aggressive. "How do you know my PC has a problem? Are you spying on me? You've already lied to me once when you told me your name's John. But you're not calling from Microsoft but from India."
This got our caller surprisingly upset. Which is odd, as he was calling from India, but maybe he really was called John? He told my Home Counties accented colleague to "fuck off you fucking Paki". Weirdly he didn't hang up - but kept going on. I was killing myself laughing at this point. Then they got into the game of 'you hang up, no you hang up', except it was "you fuck off. No you fuck off first."
I've got a few call centre people grumpy before, when they deserved it, but I've never heard anything like that. It took a while to recover from laughing. Our company has an ex-domestic number, so we were getting 2 calls a week from 'Microsoft support' at one point.
Re: If you aint making money
I think so I am?
How do you think the railways got built in the 19th Century? Floats of non profit-making companies. In fact, lots of them didn't have any assets at all, they were using the markets for the original purpose, to tap up investors for cash, to invest in doing something useful. Then they took the money and used it to build nice profitable railways.
Well, apart from the ones who just stole it, or bought all the supplies at inflated prices from their own companies, or built loss-making routes into markets with very few passengers... Sadly the railway boom was very much like the dot.com boom - lots of great companies were created and survived to do useful things, lots of investors lost lots of cash on the others. A few people ended up with lots of other peoples' money or in prison.
Re: What really pisses me off
Sweden is long, thin and bendy, and their football team play in yellow. So they're about the bananariest country you can get...
Re: In other news....
See also Peter Stringfellow...
Well I suppose he's got the whole internet in there with him. So an infinity of cat videos and things to hack should keep him occupied. Perhaps we could break their broadband, and he'd be out like a shot. All MI5 have to do is to persuade the Ecuadorian ambassador to go to TalkTalk - no one would ever suspect...
I'm not sure they can extend the embassy. Property near Harrods ain't cheap. And they might need FCO permission to do so. Which I doubt they'd get.
I guess it all comes down to the psychology of Assange. Is he willing to stay there for ever? He is apparently paranoid, but does he really believe his own propaganda about being shipped off to the US? Or does he know he's guilty, so doesn't fancy doing time in Sweden? Or will he leave the moment he can no longer generate publicity? After all, leaving will get him loads!
Or Ecuador will just get pissed off, and chuck him out. Or the Met let their guard down, and he sneaks out.
So, if someone were to engage in a homosexual act in Cameroon, then skip the country to travel here, you would expect the UK to ship them back to face trial?
Nope. It's not an offence here, and therefore under a normal extradition treaty you can't get shipped out for it.
Things are a bit more muddy under the European Arrest Warrant, which is not really an extradition treaty at all, but a hybrid of that and an arrest warrant. All part of ever-closer-union. But as happens, the Supreme Court ruled that the allegations counted as offences here anyway.
Also, that's why the Home Secretary has the final say on all normal extraditions. Except for that stupid treaty that the Labour idiots signed with the US, and the EAW (which I also think is a bad idea).
Not worth the effort. It costs us money, it's making life difficult for Ecuador. They now want to solve it.
Apparently their last ambassador said to the a junior minister at the FCO something like, how can we resolve this diplomatic issue between us? And got the rather awesome response, "not our stone, not our shoe." Ecuador got themselves into this, it's up to them to get out of it. Not that the Foreign Office can do much anyway. They don't have the legal right to waive the arrest warrant.
Nope. It's rape. That's the accusation, as confirmed by the Supreme Court, it would also be rape here. The condom/no condom offences are less serious. The attempting to force yourself on someone physically definitely goes down on the list as rape. As does waiting til she's asleep and then going for it without condom.
I don't see how any of this can be proved, there were only 2 of them in the room at each time. So even if he doesn't seem terribly trustworthy (and he skipped bail), there's got to be reasonable doubt. But there's no doubt about the law.
Re: What really pisses me off
Okay, he seems to be a mildly unpleasant plonker, but he doesn't seem to present any particular danger to British residents, even if he did a runner.
That's the propaganda anyway... However in reality he's not only accused of not wearing a condom, he's also accused of rape. All the Appeal Court documents are public, where they list the charges and explain how they differ (or don't) from UK offences.
He's accused of trying to physically force himself on one woman, not violently only by superior size and weight, because she said no sex without condom. Eventually he then stopped put one on, but it either split or he split it. So I guess that's an attempted rape plus something less serious. Then having a go when she was asleep, minus condom of course, when he'd only got permission for sex with. Which they said was also rape under UK law, although I'd have thought less serious than the one using force. I don't remember the details of the other woman now, it was a while ago.
Nope. That little bit of land is still Blighty. It's just that we've done a deal. We don't walk into your embassy, and you don't walk into ours. It's called the Vienna Conventions. We could break it at any time, but only in exceptional circumstances, unless we want the same to happen to us.
So when terrorists stormed the Iranian embassy, Iran's government allowed us to send in the SAS. It's an interesting question as to what would have happened, had they refused. When a Libyan diplomat murdered a police woman from inside their embassy, we didn't go in, but chucked him out of the country.
However, after that incident, we did change the law to allow us to revoke diplomatic privilege under certain circumstances. So as I understand it, the threat to Ecuador was that we'd simply declare it 'no longer an embassy', then wander in at our leisure. Presumably having first given them notice. But the law was aimed at situations like the Iranian embassy, or idiot Libyan diplomats shooting out of windows - I doubt this interpretation would have got through the courts.
Also note that asylum in embassies isn't really recognised by us, or the Vienna Conventions. But is commonly accepted in South America.
No I think that was Snowden. Possibly at the suggestion of Assange, the London embassy said he could have asylum. Which Ecuador then went back on I think - or certainly told the ambassador off. He may have been dumped for that, or for failing to get a deal on Assange with the Foreign Office.
Assange was in the embassy for at least a month before Ecuador confirmed they'd give asylum. That was after our ambassador botched things out there, and gave them an excuse to play the injured party. Although it may be that the embassy staff should have kicked him out before it became public. But one suggestion was that Assange had already been to the top for his permission, when he interviewed the President for Russia Today.
All-in-all, not a great advert for diplomacy. Our ambassador shouldn't have left them his written "speaking notes" (often done for clarification), then they'd have had nothing to shout to the press about. But Ecuador took a loud and sanctimonious public position, from which it's very hard to back down. They were hoping we'd do a deal, to get the problem out of our hair, but the FCO don't pay the policing budget, and have no power to just let Assange go, so Ecuador will have to back down (very embarrassing), or put up with him. Maybe buy the next door flat, and extend the embassy?
You've got a point. But, and I think this is a very big but, almost all the goodies in Windows Phone 8 were under-the-bonnet stuff, not shiny user-interface stuff. Now it's also true that the under-the-bonnet stuff allows for shinier hardware, but there wasn't a great deal of extra niceness for the users to play with in the upgrade from 7-8. So yes, they're getting the technical advances in, but I think one of the frustrations at Nokia was just how slow MS were to improve the UI stuff.
The really stupid thing is that some of this stuff was dead easy! I liked the simplicity of Win Phone, and it's the last phone I bought. Now I'm on a work iPhone - but if I buy again it'll be a Nexus device or a mid-price Nokia. But there were really simple tweaks that would only take a few days of programming work to do, that really should have been done. A torch should have been built into the OS, you should have been able to link menu options on the home screen (it allowed some but not others) - or had a shortcut menu that gave access to WiFi/volume/brightness etc, rather than burying them in the settings. All this is really simple stuff that it would take an idiot not to notice. And with all Microsoft's resources it's criminal stupidity that they didn't fix. I suspect that the managers weren't listening to criticism and all use iPhones themselves, hence weren't picking up on the everyday annoyances.
Re: We are all DOOOOOMED!
Don't worry about those condoms love, I've just had a bacon sandwich.
[...as said by Julian Assange... Allegedly...]
Re: Captcha's are bad m'kay?
I guess there's no magic-bullet. You're going to have to have alternative CAPTCHAs. I can't think of anything that's going to help people like me, with serious visual impairments, that won't then screw over people with hearing problems or motor problems. And I guess you've got to spare a thought for people with dyslexia on CAPTCHAs too.
Having tried the hearing ones, they're a total dead loss. I have pretty good hearing, and I'm very good at discriminating sounds, having mixed live music - but I can't make head-nor-tail of them. Some of them are so bad that I'm not even sure what's the background noise and what's the computer generated words.
I can see well enough to complete the text ones, eventually. But the more weird contrasting backgrounds and such that people put in, the worse they get - and any decent modern image edge-detection and OCR software beats my 5% vision any day of the week. But if you can see, but struggle to control a mouse, I guess wordy-CAPTCHAs are probably the best thing for you.
I'd like to take issue with one part of the article though:
Making a bad problem worse, one in four attempts at completing a CAPTCHA fail – a figure that (although we weren't able to independent verify it) sounds about right.
One in four attempts at completing a CAPTCHA succeed...
There, corrected that for you.
So, onto solutions. "If you're so clever why can't you do better style." Boring suggestion, just have multiple alternative types, and pick the one you can do. Second suggestion, a tickbox that says "are you a naughty bot". Well it works on immigration forms... I've promised that I'm not a terrorist and was never a member of the Nazi party, and obviously I wouldn't lie. Third option, which would solve spam, CAPTCHA abuse at a stroke. Digital Vigilantism. There are enough clever techy people online that we can track down the spammers, after all they have to get paid, and some ship out products. So we have online search teams and digital lynch mobs, for those without the technical skills to find the spammers - but a more direct approach to percussive server maintenance...
Re: Less annoying than mangled text?
What's wrong with advertising? Seriously, if it's not intrusive and it's allowing stuff that costs money to be free it's a perfectly good thing. For example, TV ads have in the past been funny, so a short ad break with 2 or 3 20-30 second ads that are funny or have a nice tune without being annoying are perfectly acceptable in exchange for a free TV program that's decent. If the telly's not decent, don't watch it. If the ads are annoying then record the telly and skip them, or use the time to make a cuppa or have a wee.
Online banner ads that behave and don't break the browser aren't annoying, as you aren't forced to look at them. I don't even see them unless I'm looking, or they misbehave. And again, they allow publications such as El Reg to be free - so what's not to like.
In this case, you have to have a CAPTCHA anyway, so if they can come up with something that's better than the current really shit ones, what harm does it do if it's an advert? Are you so weak-willed that you can't see a picture of a bottle of Heinz Salad Cream without having to instantly buy one? Or are you so stuck in some kind of student-politics nirvana that all big business must be evil, therefore it's still evil even if it does something good?
Of course, this new system may also be rubbish. But even then, unless it's more rubbish than the current system, it still doesn't do you any harm. So just relax.
I'm sure I did one a few months ago, that involved putting things in a kitchen in the correct place. So the egg went in the frying pan, the spoon in the saucepan or something. But I don't remember if it was a real one, or just a demo from a company promoting the idea. To be fair, it may even have been this same company...
Re: I was Steve Jobs in a former life
But I was anonymous coward in another life, and so I refute your refutation...
Hooray! My cancer is cured!
The only problem is, I'm reeeaaalllly hungry. Anyone got any crisps?
To cover all their losses. I suspect most of the IPO money will go to existing shareholders, like it did with Facebook. The difference was, Facebook makes profits. Not enough to be worth $100bn, but still plenty. Twitter doesn't. Normally an IPO is supposed to be to fund the continuing development of the company, not just to enrich the current owners. But Facebook didn't need the cash. I suspect with Twitter it's that they don't want to lose control of the gravy-train, so only want to sell 10%. But that's not enough to fund the losses, and pay and headcount rises they're going to spend to chase profits.
Not if you're the current owners of Twitter it isn't...
The point of a transactions tax, is to tax transactions.
The point of a profits tax, is to tax profits.
So you don't pay capital gains tax on the transaction of selling the shares, you only pay if you made a profit, and that profit is over your annual capital gains allowance, and various other considerations. VAT is also different, for the reasons I've stated.
The idea of a transactions tax is to tax every transaction throughout the chain. Usually it's set small enough that it doesn't hurt, or affect the market too much. Sometimes it's done to reduce volatility, others just as a means of gathering relatively painless taxes. One of the downsides is that in long transaction chains, the taxes start to build up to quite high values. Unless that's the reason you're doing it, to reduce the number of transactions, then it can have serious unintended consequences. VAT isn't cumulative. The biggest problems with the FTT would most likely be to bugger up the repo market. That would mean problems for the Southern European government debt markets and for banks trying to raise short-term cash. Killing the repo market was one of the things that caused the financial crash - banks didn't trust each other, so they stopped giving each other short term loans, which is one of the ways they balance the fact that they lend on longer terms than they borrow. Causing another banking crisis or Eurozone debt wouldn't be ideal...
You do realise we already have a stamp duty on shares in the UK?
Capital Gains Tax isn't a transactions tax. You pay it on profits. VAT isn't either, because you don't pay it on all transactions, only the final one (it's reclaimed on the earlier ones).
Stamp Duty is, and applies to both houses and shares in the UK. At different rates obviously.
As an example of the effects of this, the stamp duty on houses in Belgium is 20%. This means people almost never move, once they've bought a house. So it has massive social effects. It's a massive distortion of the housing, rental and jobs markets for example, but certainly does stop speculation.
Re: Yes We Do !
What about the people that bought houses they couldn't afford, and lied about their incomes?
Or the people who ran up £10k credit card debts they couldn't pay for.
I didn't buy a house in the boom, because I couldn't afford it. I might have made a huge profit, and be really happy now, but had the bust come a couple of years earlier, I'd have been doomed. So I had to save a deposit for a few more years until I could make a sensible purchase. I'm now covered if the market drops further, which it probably won't - unlike the people I bought off - who got greedy, bought what they couldn't afford and ended up losing over 30% of their money. Well as it happens, mostly someone else's money, but they lost whatever deposit they had too. And the building society in question deserved it for overvaluing the place so badly.
In fact, what about the voters who kept voting Labour because they were spending loads of money and not raising the same in tax? Are they not also partly responsible for the government deficit? It's not all the politicians' fault if some of them were opposed to it, but people voted for the other lot.
There's lots of blame to go around. The banks, governments and politicians failed, but then so did the voters. Also, seems a bit hard to blame Osborne. He had never been in government when this whole lot hit. Obviously you can blame him for whatever mistakes you think he's made since taking over.
You do realise that a majority of all the income tax paid in this country is by 'the rich'. Things would be even fairer if we ditched National Insurance and merged it back into income tax - and more efficient too. Though that might upset the IR35 brigade, as you can avoid most national insurance by working through a company.
Even VAT isn't as regressive as many people say in the UK. Because it's not charged on food, children's clothes, housing, insurance - and at a reduced rate on energy.
Anyway, the FTT wouldn't be paid by filthy rich City Types. For that you want high top rates of income tax, or bonus taxes of something. The transaction costs are paid by the customers, so it would be pension funds and people holding stocks - and that means ordinary investors and anyone with a pension.
Re: Shiller - quite!
You don't understand VAT. Business don't pay it. I charge VAT on our invoices, and give it to the government. But first I claim back all the VAT on our purchases, and offset it from this, and that's what the government gets. The companies that buy from us do the same. The only people who pay VAT are the consumers - who get 20% added to their bill at the end of the transaction chain. And companies too small to claim it back of course, but they don't charge it, so get to be cheaper than us or keep the difference - and therefore aren't effectively paying it either.
So if we had VAT on the shares in my pension, let's say the company running it for me bought and sold a share every 5 years. That would mean that my first year's contribution made at 20, would by the time I'm 60 have gone through 8 VAT rateable transactions, at 20% each. That's killed pensions as a viable investment, well done...
If such a 'Robin Hood Tax' was created, what would be the benefits in terms of revenue raised, and what would be the costs in terms of economic activity that doesn't happen?
According to the European Commission, and I'm afraid I can't find the figures easily at the moment, the top end estimate of revenue was €35bn per year. But maybe as little as half that. They've changed their estimates a few times, but I think the Commission's last prediction was that the tax would shrink the Eurozone economy overall. i.e. the tax would make the economy a bit smaller each year, than not doing it. Obviously that has compound effects, so the longer you do it, the worse position you'll be in.
When the Swedes tried this during their financial crisis, their stock market fell off a cliff - something like a 90% loss in transactions from memory. And they were forced to reverse it. But the Euro area is bigger, so that drop shouldn't be as severe. Also the European proposal tries to stop institutions from moving their trades abroad by trying to get other governments to levy the tax and hand it over to them. This is probably illegal, but what they heck, it's worth a try! I can't imagine the US agreeing, the EU could try to force Britain to comply, although that might see us leave the EU before the court case was finished - and the last story I saw had the Commission's own legal advice suggesting it wouldn't pass the ECJ.
Oh and putting a transaction tax on trades in government bonds, would probably have a catastrophic effect on the Eurozone crisis, as it would become more expensive to trade in government debt. Hence interest rates would go up. Which also might see international money staying away, risking re-introducing the funding crisis that could still destroy the Euro. Not a good idea. Spain and Italy are too big to bail out, and the current policy that's maintaining confidence that the European Central Bank will save the day is virtually impossible, as it requires a vote in the Bundestag first, and the Germans don't want it to happen.
Apparently the French and Italian stock markets have lost a lot of trade since they brought in a first stage of the FTT. But the London market has a stamp duty on share transactions, and that's one of the biggest markets in the world, so some sort of transaction tax is perfectly possible. Probably just not in this form, and not raising much cash. In the end, you can't just magic tax cash from people you don't like. The money has to come from someone, so there will always be costs.
Re: re. the observing video camera
It's the only sane way to get this kind of footage - no helicopter pilot is ever going to agree to fly that close to an operating rocket!
Well they should just man up! What a bunch of big-girls'-blouses!
There's always the tactic used when they made 'The Battle of Britain'. They had a B17 as their main camera plane, because it was about the same speed as the fighters, and had lots of places to stick cameras.
But obviously too dangerous for shots of fighters coming at the camera head-on, or the really close dog-fighting stuff. So their solution was to get a helicopter, and rig a cradle on a 300 foot wire. Then their looniest cameraman sat in that, with a camera rigged on some kind of gimbal mounting and let planes fly almost straight at him. Balls of steel. Not sure what it says for his brains though...
Re: So they verified the release was real...
It is pretty shocking.
My credit card firm like to phone me up, and pretend to be scammers. Or rather, They like to call with the opening gambit of "what's your address and date of birth for security?"
At least they no longer seem surprised when I tell them off for being stupid, and say I'll call back. But they do still persist in giving me a number to call back on, which would be just as untrustworthy as the original call...
As stand-up comedians now make jokes about this kind of idiocy, you'd have thought the idea would be widespread enough that journos working in market-sensitive stories could use the search tools on their PCs. It's not as if they aren't linked in to all the market data or anything, let alone Google...
Re: Is it just me
I'm sure it's precisely the point. However, he may have some justification on his side. After all, the whole point of the swirly-wirly design was to do away with the bags. Because the bags only work at peak efficiency for the first bit of sucking, until you've actually used them. At which point they start to reduce in efficiency and suction.
So his point is that his should be using a relatively stable amount of energy, whereas theirs will become more energy inefficient as they're used. So testing when brand spanking new does give them an advantage - and isn't really a good test of energy efficiency. Or anything really.
He may even have a point on consumables. In something like a fridge, which is turned on 24/7, energy efficiency is obviously key. However, a hoover is only turned on once a week, for a few minutes. So consumables are a much larger proportion of the energy budget. Also if the unit drops in efficiency for a large portion of its lifecycle, it may end up consuming more power, as it has to be turned on for longer to do the same job.
Being no hoover expert, it may be that he's just getting his complaint in first. But his points seem pretty reasonable to me so far.
His problem is that his rivals all suck. And cooperation just isn't their bag. Also untrustworthy, less than half of them being upright...
Hoovering every couple of days!?!?!? Did you say days?
You didn't mean years did you? My hoover is embarrassingly energy efficient then.
Re: Testing in a representative environment
Why should the EU test in a representative environment - it's not like they do this for anything else...
Aha! Now I understand it. That's why all the Eurozone banks passed the 3 sets of stress-tests they did, including all the Spanish and Cypriot ones. The Spanish ones were only bailed out 6 months after the third lot as well...
But don't worry, they're doing some more at the moment.
BTW, back on topic, how fast does a sheep travel in a vacuum cleaner?
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