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* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

3446 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Yahoo!... Our Alibaba stake's worth BILLIONS. Oh – our shares are in the toilet

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: You've got to look at the share price...

Didn't Microsoft's share price go up by 5% almost instantly after Steve Ballmer had announced he was leaving? Which was effectively the collected masses of Wall Street turning up to his leaving do, in order to blow an enormous raspberry in his face.

That could be a great new way to set CEO's bonus levels. It's a very hard thing to do, as you want to reward sustainable success, not just quick-fixes like appears to have happened at Tesco. As my friend used to say, "if you set me a stupid target, I'll find a stupid way to meet it."

Instead, release a story that the CEO is leaving. Watch the share-price that day. If it goes up, they get a pay cut (or just cut out the middle-mand and sack the buggers). If it goes down, then apologise to the markets for the mistake, and announce that you're giving them a fat retention bonus.

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Re: More of a hostile takeover target

That's true. But the share price would rise during the take-over process. Particularly if the reason the market is valuing the company so low is that they think the management suck. If new management look to be coming in, the price will rise.

This is particularly so when the assets are obvious. If a take-over is done becasue management think there are two complementary bits of the two businesses, that'll become a lot stronger when working together, then it's harder to convince people of the value. When the shares are worth less than the total cash on hand, it's a lot easier.

Although perhaps now is the time for Microsoft to make another offer? I can't remember if we decided on here last time. Was it going to be YaSoft!, or Microhoo!? Given the piratical nature of take-overs, I think Yarrrsoft! might be better...

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London slaps down Salesforce's bid to rename Heron Tower

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Opportunity missed

I'm so disappointed at the missed opportunity, when there's a far better name on offer. The rather more modest Dan Wagner, CEO of Powa Technologies on the 34th and 35th floors opposed this attempt, but didn't try to rename the building himself. When we could have had:

The Tower of Powa

OK, OK, I'm getting my coat...

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Ban? What ban? Lyft buys carpool app maker Hitch

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They've forgotten one of the three important steps in their naming.

Hitch + Lift + get murdered and slung in the boot...

When will they be merging with that badly spelled company?

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Range Rover to fit trendy new SUV with FRIKKIN' LASER HUDs

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Re: Transformers!

Just a small correction to your post sir:

Next it will be that every Evoque comes with a free passenger to yell "You bloody peasants, get out of the way!"

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Move over, Apple Pay: Tesco trials PayQwiq phone-flash pay app

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Re: Qwiq?

Hmmm. I was thinking: FuqU

Or perhaps a new course for modern marketing people: Lern2Spel

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Re: I've got a brilliant idea

Ah, but what are you going to call them?

I suggest: CRDT QARD

When you're a billionaire, I expect my 20% cut for the vital job of marketing.

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Why does it take 8 hours for my posts to be approved?

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Re: I ain't Spartacus

diodesign,

I like the forums here and think they're nicely balanced between allowing free expression without descending into Lord of the Flies territory. I was rather impressed by what turned into a debate on Scottish indepence, given the appalling quality, and unpleasantness, of almost all the other debate on saw on the issue. Including some of the supposedly professionally moderated TV stuff.

I've been listening to a podcast on Civil War history recently. And I notice that the Scottish Presbytarians don't do bishops. They have a Moderator. So as you're down South, and don't have anyone officially in charge of the forums, perhaps El Reg should have forum bishops? It might lend a nicely Pythonesque air to things...

On the other hand, in true tabloid style:

"Pretty much anything goes" Roars Register Reprobate in Rumble over Raunchy Regtard Ruminations

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I'd forgotten. No timestamps. Anyway that post appeared as soon as I hit submit. So no sweary-filters.

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As far as I understand it - El Reg don't do keyword scanning. Certainly I occasionally deploy a swearword or two. It's currently 16:42 and I'm hitting post - so let's fucking test the bastards...

Most Andrew Orlowski articles go on pre-mod. Which means all comments get put in the queue until they get round to it. That's going to be a long time at weekends. When they're mostly in the pub. Even if they've got a Weekend Register, they're probably still publishing the articles from the pub...

They're also likely to put anything legal on pre-mod. If they bother to open comments at all.

However, having been a moderator on the forums of an online game with a million users, I'd like to make a couple of observations. For context El Reg I think has 5-10m readers. We had about 150 volunteer mods to keep the forums in order. Admittedly that was because of the game being global with 30-40 languages. But moderation is expensive and time-consuming. The Register have said they don't have mods, but their subbies and whichever hacks have a minute spare go on the forums to try to keep order. That means the pre-moderation queues will also be longer.

Secondly that also means you're not likely to get an explanation as to why your post was nuked. They'll just go on gut feeling as to allow/kill, and move on to the next thing.

Thirdly this is a pretty damned lenient forum. You can get away with swearing and quite a bit of off-topicness. As well as general silliness and a bit of good-natured abuse.

They've got their house-rules at the top of the comment box. Have a read of them. I don't know what your offending post said, but if you were having a good old go at the hack what wrote an article, what did you expect? It's their website, and their forums. Try arguing the points, and not the man. Start calling authors shils or idiots, and you're liable to get modded. If it's not that, were you losing it a bit with other commentards? What do you mean by "the odd angry post"?

My advice from my moderating days was, go away and read another piece after you've written that angry post. Then come back after a minute or two and re-read it before hitting submit. Or edit/delete if it's OTT. You have to work at it to get modded on here.

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Tripadvisor site coughs to card data breach for a potential 800k users

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I've decided to have my email address, passwords and credit card number printed on my t-shirt. It means I never forget them, and it cuts out the middle-man, and saves the companies I used valuable time and trouble, passing on my details to hackers...

Everyone wins.

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Swiss cops BAN MASKS at meeting of rebellious United Nations IP staff

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Re: Cardinal Burns...

If there's a law against masks, there'll be a law against superhero costumes too.

However the police can't tell a false beard from a real one, and I doubt there's a law against sunglasses. Or if shades aren't an option because it's indoors or not sunny, and you don't want to look an arse like Bono, get one of those disguise kits with false nose, moustache and glasses. Job done.

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MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...

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Re: good phone

I'd say that's true of all the high-end phones now.

My friend has a Motorola G, and it's really rather nice. Another has a Galaxy Note 2, and that's also excellent. Can't you pick them up for under £250 now?

If I was paying, my next phone would probably be a mid range Lumia. 725, or whatever they're up to now. But if you don't like that UI, then there's plenty of great 'Droids to choose from at sensible prices. And I just think all the top-end phones over £400 are now a rip-off. One that only works because people aren't actually seeing the phone prices in their contracts, and can avoid noticing they're paying for an expensive hire-purchase with their data contract.

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Re: Stats are meaningless

Cyanogenmod is great. But for ordinary users having root access to the device isn't exactly a perfect idea. Although it has its good points as well.

Also from my experience of Cyanogen, now very out of date I admit, it's not always easy. If the manufacturer have cooperated then it's just a download and go. But if they've locked the phone's bootloader you need to jump through all sorts of hoops, that no ordinary user is going to touch with a 20 foot bargepole.

Cyanogenmod is a minority interest for techies. And a very good one. But what matters is everyday users. And for them you get updates on Apple, and are much more likely not to on Android. Due to manufacturers and/or networks, and Google's decision to let them get away with it.

It would also be interesting if Apple users were losing faith in their updates. But this data isn't enough to draw any conclusion like that from.

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Re: Strange

Stupid is unfair.

A combination of ingorant and uninterested is more accurate. I know people who really don't want to care about how pooters work. They just want to get on and do stuff. They're intelligent enough to understand them, but just don't want to. I don't really understand that, given how dependent we are on the damned things. But on the other hand, not everyone can understand every area of modern life or technology. There just isn't sufficient time. And people have things to get on with doing.

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Re: 46% of how many users?

D@v3,

I've had an iPad hang halfway through the update and have to be hard reset. Can't remember which OS, or even which iPad. I had the 1 and now the 3. So I've tended to do my iPads via iTunes since. It wasn't a problem, I know these things can happen, and I'd backed it up, so it just needed to be done and plugged into Mr Pooter for a recovery. But people are likely to squawk a lot louder if they've just expected everything to work, and not backed up immediately.

Apple can't really complain about that, as they do sell on the 'it just works' idea. So it's then hard to complain when their users don't do basic stuff like backups. Hence having Cloud do it for them.

On the other hand I've got a work iPhone 5, and that's always updated flawlessly over the air. And I never back it up, because all it has is links to the work Exchange server and a few useful apps. It's never been plugged into my computer.

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Re: Stats are meaningless

The stats aren't meaningless because they're compared to similar stats from when iOS7 was brought in last year. If I recall correctly that worked on exactly the same devices, the update to 8 is rolling out to the same kit, i.e back to the iPad 2 and iPhone 4.

So what the story is telling us is that Apple stuff is getting updated a bit slower than it used to be. Which is slower than it used to be before the somewhat negative reaction to iOS7. But still much faster than Android.

That change may be random, or down to changing percetptions of Apple's quality control, or just the size of the update and effort required. Or it might even be down to the conspiracy theory I've sometimes heard that they slow older kit down with updates to get you to buy new ones. I don't buy it as it did happen to my iPad 1, but not to my iPad 3, or work iPhone 5.

If you're not interested in that, then don't click on the article. But this is supposed to be a site for techies. I am interested, because at some point I'm going to hit the button on my iOS devices.

I doubt Apple are any buggier than anyone else's new releases. It's just that they seem to often have WiFi and battery bugs on their updates. And have less excuse, given they totally control their hardware and exercise more control than most on the software.

But they usually fix stuff reasonably quickly as well. So iOS 8.01 will probably be out in the next couple of weeks...

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Microsoft vs the long arm of US law: Straight outta Dublin

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Re: Failed Business/IT model

I'd imagine the next work-around is the Blackberry route. User-controlled encryption on all hosted servers, with the users controlling the encryption key and no central control of it. Then MS can't hand over the data, job done.

Of course that does mean that users can lose their passwords/keys and permanently encrypt their own data forever... Oops. But I'd guess you'd have it as an option for those concerned about security.

As a small business who've just chucked our emails on Office 365, I'm not worried. We don't have the resources or knowledge to manage our data any better than this. And I'm more worried by us not being able to access data at all, than the NSA also getting a look. Not that they'd be interested in us. Though I could imagine them trolling through every email they could reach search engine crawler style, to build up a huge database of email addresses, contacts, etc.

The downside for us of going this route is that we've moved from a small hosted server that was easier to crack and had less redundency, to a better run one that's a more attractive target. So I'm betting that security by obscurity isn't the way to go.

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Re: Will the German government be sensible?

Is that state rather than federal law?

It also depends on the legal jurisdiction of the original contract. I would expect it to be under Irish law, if the contract is with MS Ireland for example. So that wouldn't apply. Also the companies in question are subject to European Data Protection regulations whatever happens, and can't get out of it. So even if they cock up and agree to a contract under a foreign legal jurisdiction, they can't get out from under their own legal obligations.

Certainly when I worked for a US multi-national we were legally barred from exporting our German payroll data outside the EU. In fact, I think it might have even have been outside Germany.

A law that even European level management were quite pissed off with, and seriously discussed breaking.

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SpaceX breaks ground on first commercial spaceport in Texas

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Re: I suspect

Wasn't disrupting the rocket's tracking and so toppling them the plot in a different Bond film?

Are you sure Texas doesn't have any inactive volcanoes?

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I sold 10 MILLION iPhone 6es at the weekend, says Tim Cook. What did you do?

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Re: Man who predicts death of Apple does the honourable thing

Numb4rFive,

For 2 people objected read 28 +2. And as you've only just posted I'm sure that was the number then too. Unless you wanted those 28 downvoters to post pointless "+1s" or "I agrees", rather than use the mechanism provided so thoughtfully by our hosts.

Not sure that's a reason for a cancelling your subscription hissy-fit. Especially as you don't have a subscription.

I'm surprised the mods edited it though. They normally just delete stuff, rather than wasting valuable drinking time.

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Man, its smartphones are SQUARE. But will BlackBerry make a comeback with them?

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Oh my dear God. Does anyone want to buy a big square phone/pad thing?

It's a bloody phone - and comms device. Can it make phone calls? Can it text and email? Can I see my contacts and diary, and get online a bit?

Next question, is it nice to use. What it looks like, I couldn't really give a damn. Although I admit that in a work phone I insist on black or some dull grey/silver thing, because I think primary colours look a tad unprofessional. But if there's no choice, I'll take the best handset. Which means that I have had a metallic purple (aubergine possibly?) Motorola RAZR V3i - possibly the best phone I ever had.

Personally I never liked the Blackberry buttons. Too small for my fat fingers. And I was quicker texting on an old dumbphone. Though some people were incredibly quick at typing with their berries. However I've come to hate trying to type on touchscreen keyboards. It doesn't help that Apple's keyboard, auto-correct and text handling is now crap compared to Win Phone and Android. I'm thinking my next work phone will be a Lumia. Or a Galaxy Note, then I'd get a yummy stylus for text input.

But this thing might be good. Bigger phone, bigger buttons. Some tactile feedback instead of horrible onscreen peck-and-miss. Not as good if you want the whole screen to be able to use the internet a lot. But I use my mobile as a phone. Calendar, email and large numbers of contacts are secondary, and the browser and apps come in a definite third place. If your usage is different, then please move along. It's all about having the right tool for the job. If the tool is also pretty, so much the better. If it's not, who cares.

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SpaceX blasts a mischief of mice, a 3D printer and a cuddly toy* into SPAAAACE

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Devil

Re: 3D Printers in SPAAAAAAACE...

Sales of 3D Printed in Spaaaace vacuum tubes to discerning audiophiles are expected to reach $3.2 Billion, nearly six such tubes, by October.

JeffyPoooh,

You may mock, but there's a huge difference. The vacuum in space is analogue, whereas the artificial vacuums created in machines on earth are inferior digital. Space-vacuum sounds much warmer with infintely better sonic spacing (if you'll pardon the pun).

Just because you can't hear the difference, that doesn't mean that those of us with properly trained ears and set up systems can't.

I'd also imagine that space is the ideal place to manufacture oxygen free cables.

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Who.is does the Harlem Shake

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Re: What an awesome way to demonstrate a vunerability

I believe that you'll find everything is only awesome when you're part of a team. Otherwise I presume everything is, "OK if you like that sort of thing I suppose".

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Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

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Re: Why don't they just…

Even better. Eventually someone will hack NASA and find all the naked selfies the astronauts took on the moon, and that'll remove all doubts.

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Re: models

MacroRodent,

Now you're really pushing it. There's still room for debate about whether all the moon landings were genuine or not. But there's certainly no further discussion possible about that so-called documentary Space 1999. We know that was faked, to try and fool the families into still believing there was hope. There's no way those silver mini-skirts would have worked in the moon's low-gravity for a start...

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Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp

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Re: Have lots of ideas, try them out

But this is a case of "Have a supremely bad idea, try it, fail, then RAM IT DOWN USERS' THROATS".

Well that worked brilliantly for Microsoft with Metro, so why shouldn't Google try? In the end, the users came around to their point of view, sales sky-rocketed, and so they made Sinofsky CEO. Then everybody lived happily ever after...

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Oh God the RUBBER on my SHAFT has gone wrong and is STICKING to things

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Devil

Re: Texture

How exactly did you think his hand got stuck to his shaft...

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Re: My favorite has been mentioned!

Oh, is it a funnel? I always thought that filter icon was a pair of old style underpants...

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Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize

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Devil

Sorry, that's no defence. Saying that you only buried them in a shallow grave, and what's all the fuss about you didn't actually eat them, is not going to cut any ice with the jury at your trial.

On the other hand, if you'd eaten the evidence like a good boy, you wouldn't have this problem. Didn't your old Mum bring you up proper? You can't have a new victim, until you've finished eating the old one!

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Re: Well deserving of an Ig Nobel prize!

Surely if you shove a whole tomato up someone's nose, there'll be no more room in there for any blood to come out? Then you throw the lettuce in the bin, and eat the bacon sarnie. Job done.

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Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM

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Re: Shock result

Forget the US. Norway are closer. Perhaps they want to have the rest of the North Sea oil. You know, to complete the collection. And it's not as if they haven't done it before...

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Re: No law against asking somone a question is there?

I think part of the reason for exit polling is to give the pollsters more information for when it comes to their next 4 years of polls. So they're trying to track what they've missed out, and this is their best chance to get at a large sample of actual voters, who they actually know have turned up. Who're also less likely to lie or forget who they voted for.

Referenda tend to be far apart, erratic, and all different. So refining their polling models would be pointless.

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Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE

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Re: Driving is very difficult

Well what did you expect when your bobble hat was falling over your eyes?

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JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!

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I don't think it'll affect haggis supply. Post-independence Scotland are going to want all the foreign exchange they can get. On the other hand, if things get nasty, I'm sure we can smuggle a few breeding pairs across the border and release them on to some moorland down here. Then we could hunt them on horseback with packs of hounds, and kill two birds with one stone. Also, our haggis-hunt would involve absolutely no bagpipes whatsoever. Win-Win.

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Re: Vote Yes

I'm no fan of Laphroaig either. Although I had the 20 year old many years ago, and that was rather delcious. You get more of a 'hint of tar', rather than being whacked in the face by a sack of it.

The one I really dislike is Caol Ila. Which makes Laphroaig taste like water.

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Re: Curiosities

Scotland has its own legal system already. They never got rid of it after the union. Education was also always different. They don't even have thee same exams as the rest of the country.

Unlike most countries, we never sat down and designed our system. It just sort of happened. And bits got changed as and when we got round to it.

Bit like redecorating really... So for example the last government ripped all the wallpaper off the House of Lords, and took the curtains to the dump. The carpets went to a shallow hole dug in the woods, with the odd hereditary peer bundled inside, BOfH style. Then they fell to squabbling about what colour to repaint it. Hint of democracy, or bright will of the people. Ten years later it's still in the same mess, with all the constitutional suitcases piled up in the corner - and no-one's worked out what to do.

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Devil

Re: YES !

Unless our press have been covering up several major royal hospital visits, I think you'll find that Scotland suffers under a Queen's jackboot!

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Re: Vote Yes

BlartVersenwaldIII,

I believe the word you are groping for is 'expressions'.

My current tipple of choice is the Balvenie. But I've still not tried them all, and am working my way through. It's proving to be a long job...

I believe you can get one of the Japanese whiskies in Sainsbury's, and I was going to try it, but it was £45 for a ten year old. And for that money I can get a 15 year old. I'll get round to it sometime. There's also an English Whisky Company who're selling a 10 y.o. in Morrisons.

Haven't tried a Glenfarclas yet.

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Re: If it's a Yes vote....

Yes - imagine if they have their own currency. No one will accept it south of the border. Oh wait - it's like that already with Scottish 'Pound Notes'...

A 'friend' who'd just been to the Edinburgh festival paid me back with a Scottish fiver the other day. I was worried I'd never get rid of the bugger. But the first place I asked took it, with no trouble. So that's not entirely true.

It was a Greggs. Don't judge me... I was buying a bacon roll and a belgian bun. And they were both delicious.

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Re: Bad Science

Bing may be unscientific. And a stopped watch is right twice a day, but if you look at the average of the current polls, it's something like 48.?% yes - 51.?% no. That's ignoring don't knows.

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Re: Margin of error

Cristoph,

Craig Murray is far too much of a conspiracy nutter for my tastes.

But to answer his specific point, why would you go up to a 'No Change' stall to ask for a leaflet? Why would you be as enthusisastic about voting to keep things the way they are than voting to change them? Plus the world is full of politicians who when they're asked why the polls look so bad say, "well the people I'm talking to don't say that". Then the polls usually turn out to be broadly correct.

Polls are a snapshot of feelings at the time, but tend to be pretty accurate around election time. Although with a margin of error for these type of around +/-2%.

Have a look on UK Polling Report. I won't link to a specific post, because the current top 3 are all relevant. He gives the results of recent polling, and in the third post down (it may move down if you look later), talks about how the polls could be wrong, and what pollsters do to avoid it.

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Re: If i had a vote

bill 36,

I'm not sure about the joining the Euro bit... There's still a very large chance that it's going to collapse or otherwise break-up in the next few years.

There are still ways to save it (QE or Eurobonds), and in the end they'll probably do one of them, because the alternative will be going into a weekend-long crisis summit, coming out without a proper answer, and a total Eurozone banking-collapse on the Monday morning. Followed by break-up and global depression.

Anyway, whatever Scotland does, they can't promise to join the Euro, because they can't guarantee whether they'll be allowed to join the EU. So there has to be an interim currency first. One of the reasons the rUK politicians don't want them to keep the Pound is that there'll be uncertainty for the next decade as to whether they'd leave and join the Euro, which could be very destabilising.

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Amazon rekindles e-readers and Fire OS without weeks of whack-a-leak fun

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That's what I thought. It's certainly brave of them. But looks pretty foolish to me. Kids can destroy anything.

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The 6" one looks good as an iPod replacement. Ideally I like to keep the phone battery for use as a phone, and the iPod often gets plugged into the stereo, so it's better that it be a separate device anyway.

Has anyone got any opinions of the Amazon software? I'm a bit dubious to be honest. But I don't care about apps, with a phone already, so it would only need a decent podcast app a decent music player and enough memory for at least 25GB of music, plus podcasts.

All advice/opinions appreciated.

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Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please

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Well I think he's pushing against an open door

The Germans got the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society role in the new European Commission. Subject to the Parliament not vetoing it anyway (which is unlikely). Apparently the first interview he gave after getting the gig was to say that "Google's market power could be limited". Reuters linky-linky.

I predicted this a couple of months ago (got quite a few downvotes for it too). When Merkel changed her mind on Juncker getting the EU Commissioner gig, after agreeing it with Cameron. One of the reasons was massive, sudden pressure from the German media. Led by Axel Springer (Bilt and De Welt). Who just happen to have a long-running dispute with Google (rather like Murdoch I suspect), and just happened to have met with Juncker's team beforehand. Now Juncker's new team have set out their opposition to Google, before even being appointed. I suspect there'll be a few changes in direction with EC regulation of t'interwebs, as the Germans are a good deal more concerned about privacy than most other countries, and it's been a live political issue there for years. linky to an EU thinktank

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Badges for Commentards

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Re: Where's my vulture?

Yep, it's 100 posts over the preceeding year. So what El Reg giveth, El Reg taketh away. I seem to recall they said they were just going to award the badges and not take them away again, but I'd guess it's way down the priorities list, and so hasn't happened.

Perhaps if you all sued for mental distress?

As one of the privileged elite, I don't think this affects me. Certainly when I got my 1,000th upvote, I was expecting my badge to be de-goldified and ensilvered. But it didn't - so maybe I'm safe from the indignity of demotion, should I stop posting for a bit.

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Will Apple give Chinese iPhone workers cancer? THE TRUTH

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Re: About time...

It's a question of context, but that doesn't get the headlines.

Lost all faith...,

As Tim Harford says on 'More or Less' all the time, the thing to consider is whether this is actually a big number. I was under the impression that the Foxconn factory employed a lot of people. If it's 300k (as I've seen in this thread), then 13 cases of leukaemia over 5 years is only an incidence of 1 in 100,000. Which makes it sound like a much smaller number. It's a rare disease, but even so.

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Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich

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Happy

That's fine, but the only jet you're likely to encounter in there is the Vomitstrream...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Not conspicuous enough! --> fail

Put it another way, spending $9000 on a social media membership that the hoi polloi cannot see is just not visible, it is not conspicuous consumption. And in these cases, conspicuous consumption is the whole point, with the emphasis on 'conspicuous'.

Depends who you're talking about. Some people buy the fast cars and hide them in a garage. It's about the pleasure they get from owning them. Some people don't give a damn what others think about them. Some like to show off. Trying to lump any one group of people into one category is silly.

Also you've made a logical error of your own. There are 3 lots of people that any status-conscious person is trying to impress. Those below who must be dazzled by the bling, those of the same status who must be seen to be kept up with, and those above who must be fooled into thinking you've caught up (or are about to). So you can't impress the hoi polloi by joining an invisible group. But you can impress the other people in the group, by the fact that you had the $6k joining fee to blow, and didn't mind the annual membership.

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