* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

4840 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: derisory renegotiations

The 54% is for National Parliaments. Sadly it's basically a non-event - though it gives legal force to an exisiting system, where if enough parliaments get together they can forced the Commisison to reconsider a measure they don't like.

In normal Qualified Majority Voting - which is what happens in the Council of Ministers (when they're not doing it by unanimity) the blocking minority is something like 35%. Both voting systems are done by population, So Germany, Britain and Poland together are a blocking minority in QMV.

For the Parliamentary red card, I think that means if the British, German, French and Italian Parliaments were to get together, they could block any Commission regulation. Of course that would mean Parliaments defying their governments, so it's sadly a good idea watered down to be mostly ineffective.

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Re: refused work visas .. And why would they do that?

The euro is steadily increasing in value against the pound.

Temporary fluctuations in foreign exchange rates are not a substitute for economic analysis.

That smart money is betting on the euro having a better future.

Smart? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Wheeze! If smart money always knew what it was doing, please explain the recent global crash?

The Euro, in it's current form, is doomed. That doesn't mean it'll collapse, just that it'll have to change, or some countries will have to leave.

Ireland's GDP is predicted to grow at 8% next year. Greece will be minus something, France and Italy will stagnate, Germany is predicted to get about 1.2% growth. Riddle me this: How is the ECB supposed to set the correct interest rate?

What do you think caused the last Eurocris? In the last boom, Germany was barely growing, as they'd decided to fuck over their fellow currency users by cutting wages for export companies (Hartz IV). This increased their exports, but at the cost of domestic demand - and with the hang-over from the unification with East Germany it left the economy very sluggish. It was also a breach of the Growth and Stability Pact, which was supposed to stop governments over-spending (France and Germany first broke that in 2003), and also to keep intra-Euro trade surpluses down and stop competitve devaluation.

Meanwhile Ireland and Spain (for 2 examples) were growing much faster. France was also growing slowly, as it has consistently done since joining the ERM (precursor to the Euro).

The ECB set interest rates quite low, to help France and Germany. Spain and Ireland were therefore saddled with interest rates lower than their inflation rate! During a boom. Thus making borrowing money effectively free. Can you see how this might go wrong, and lead to a huge speculative housing bubble? Well, guess what happened...

Germany, and the other trade surplus states, had a surplus of cash. The reason the rules on stability were there. BTW Germany's intra-Euro trade surplus has been over the 6% limit for the last 6 years. The European Commission haven't even written them the mandatory letter to tell them off, let alone taken the actions to start punishing them for their breach of the Eurozone rules. Funny how they're so great at preaching about budget deficits though...

Anyway a country with a trade surplus by definition isn't spending enough internally. So they're not buying exports from their target markets, and have cash left over. But with insufficient demand in their economy (else they'd have balanced trade), they will have excess savings. Excess savings won't find anywhere to be invested internally due to low demand, so get invested abroad. This funds the trade deficit of the other countries). Hence German banks lent loads of money (very badly) to Greece, Spain, Ireland etc. - which pumped up their booms even higher, and then made the inevitable crash far more devastating.

This is called an asymetric shock. And is what was predicted by the economists before the Euro came into being. Policy cannot be coordinated, because now Germany is growing, but Italy's economy is smaller than it was when it joined the Euro.

The correct policies for different bits of the Eurozone bugger up the other bits. This is also true of any single currency area, though the US and UK have more convergent economies than the Eurozone does. But also we have fiscal transfers. Hence we spend more on Scotland than it raises in tax, and this makes up for the oil shock. And saves Scottish workers from all having to take pay cuts (like Greece) or move South. The US Federal government also sends more cash to those states with greater needs. I quote from Tim Worstall, formerly of this parish, for the graph at the top - though I'm sure the article is also good: Torygraph linky.

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Re: Brits who live in other parts of the EU...

Net migration to the UK from the EU has been something like 2-3 million, over the last ten years. I seem to recall it's averaged something like 500k in to 200k out. So yes, there's plenty of Brits in the EU - but then there's plenty of EU citizens living here. That's a good incentive to do a deal - which looks mostly like what we've got now, but probably with less benefits on both sides. It also might make it more attractive to seek citizenship, if you're throwing your lot in with another country in the long term.

But this is politics. You have your concerns. And I believe you get a vote too. Others have their concerns. And we get to find out what the majority of people are most worried about. Other peoples' interests are harmed by the EU, and where's your concern about them?

This is what the political process is about. Resolving disputes between competing interests.

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Re: Freedom of movement.

Leaving hurts us more than 'them'.

That depends on how you slice it. Ireland would suffer massively if the EU chose the nuclear option. It would be so bad for their economy that they'd have an appalling choice of quite the Euro and leave with us and suffer a huge recession, or stay in and suffer a possibly huger recession for longer.

We have now overtaken France as Germany's number two export destination (after the US). While we export a lot less to Germany. We have a trade suprlus on our non EU trade, and trade surplus on our services industry (the second biggest in the world after the US), but a trade deficit with the EU because they sell their goods to us but keep the trade barriers up against our more competitive services. Also because the Euro is still in depression due to pisspoor policymaking, and so their imports of goods have collapsed, while they try to export their way out of trouble.

Before the crash 60% or our exports were to the EU. Now it's down to something like 42%. Imagine how much faster our recovery would have been, had the rest of the EU tried a vaguely competent economic policy... Osborne made spending cuts (well actually lowered the rate of increase), partially offset by QE and low interest rates. The Eurozone made much deeper cuts (27% in Greece!!!!!!!), and the ECB actually raised interest rates in 2009! And didn't start QE until last year.

As for the argument that they'll punish us if we leave, there is certainly a risk of that. But I'd argue that with friends like that, who needs enemies. Either they're our allies or they're not. Germany in recent years have shown a distressing tendency to fuck over their supposed allies for short-term gain. Such as opposing the Southstream gas pipeline to Russia, on the legitimate grounds that it was a way to screw over Ukraine and divide the EU attempts at a commone energy market. Then secretly did a deal behind the rest of the EU's back to expand Nordstream (a competing pipeline that just so happens to screw over both Ukraine and Poland). Not to mention Germany's treatment of Greece, Cyprus and to a lesser exrtent Spain and Ireland. And Germany's continuing flouting of Eurozone rules by running a 7% trade surplus, while preaching loudly to everyone else about sticking to the fiscal rules. Not to mention the continuing attempt to make a unilateral German Syrian refugee policy for the whole of the EU.

I expect tough negotiations in peoples' own national interests. That means we'll lose things as well as winning some. And it'll be unpredictable. If they try to fuck us over - they risk a recession that will finally destroy the Eurozone, and possibly the EU. And an attempt to destroy say our car industry, does as much damage to their own, given how integrated it all is. Same with aerospace, pharmaceuticals, even to some extent banking and insurance.

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Re: refused work visas .. And why would they do that?

Jess,

One of the problems is that the outcome of staying in is also totally unknown.

The Eurozone is utterly doomed, unless something radical is done. Italy, Portugal, Greece and Finland can't survive in it, as currently constituted, and France, Ireland, Spain and Belgium (also possibly the Netherlands) can stay in, but at the cost of every boom being too big and inflation-y or bust being deeper than need-be. Or both.

Either there needs to be a solution involving pooling more sovereignty and some tax, spending and government debt - or a managed break-up losing some countries. Or it'll collapse - causing a hideous global recession, and possibly taking the whole EU with it.

The public are becoming more anti-EU in almost every country.

Cameron tried to get the EU to agree to take ever closer union out of the treaties. No one cares about it anymore. There are very few Federalists left in power. Almost no-one is working towards an EU superstate, the public no longer believe in it, and that generation of politicians have mostly retired or died. Germany are one of the most pro-Federalist countries, and certainly the only big country left with that opinion being mainstream. The polls still show this. Even though lots of them are unhappy with the Euro. Yet the whole tone of the debate about bailing-out Greece, or even Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland was bitter and very unpleasant. And showed that neither the people or the governments really believe they're part of the same group.

And yet they wouldn't give it to him, because that would imply a 2-speed Europe. Which we've already got of course. Us and the Danes aren't joining the Euro, we have opt-outs. Sweden promised to, but keeps losing the referendum and the Poles aren't even pretending to join anymore. Schengen is collapsing, and the core countries can only save it by kicking out the peripheral ones.

And yet apparently Cameron couldn't get a simple, basically non-controversial change through that would have made winning the referendum quite a bit easier. And that suggests that we'll again be faced with a bunch of new regulations to save bits of the EU that are currently in crisis - and told if you don't sign up we're screwing them all over. And forced into an unwilling choice to torpedo neccesary reform, or sign up to stuff we don't want.

Not that Brexit isn't also a large risk. But with the EU in it's current state, I'd argue there are no safe choices. And no ideal ones either. It's messy compromise all the way. At which point, I'm tempted by the messy compromise that involves more democracy, where if politicians screw up we can kick them out and get new ones who'll reverse it. The EU is good at new regulations, but quite bad at fixing broken old ones.

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Re: Referendum

You could of course ignore the campaigns, and do a bit of reading about it yourself. And form your own conclusions.

The problem with taking the attitude that if you ignore politics it'll go away, is that it doesn't go away. There's decisions to be made between competing interests in society, that means politics. You can ignore it, but it assuredly won't ignore you.

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Re: Freedom of movement.

I'm tending towards supporting Brexit, but haven't decided. My anger over the appalling treatment of Greece and Cyprus, and belief in democracy are currently trumping the desire for an easy life. I still believe we'll vote to stay in, so hope it's a close vote or we might suffer political revenge for staying - which is a minor threat also if we leave. There are some things that annoy me about the EU, some that are good, and bits in between. But I'd say it's almost a nailed on certainty that little will change in the short-term, whichever way we vote. Unless common sense does break down, and everyone decides to start a trade war. There was a perfectly acceptable compromise deal to do on Greece (and particularly Cyprus), and yet Merkel's government, and others, chose to posture and grandstand and totally fuck over their economies, to no purpose.

I'd love us to have a free trade deal, with limited freedom of movement much more under our own control. And the EU to complete the single market in services (France, Germany and Italy in particular were much more eager to nail down free trade in goods, where we have a trade deficit with the EU, and have continually blocked/slowed freedom for services exports back to them from us). I'd also like to have seen some sort of associate membership for Turkey to tie them in as a democratic ally (looks too late for that now), and an end to the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies. Plus the EU to either get serious about a common security/diplomatic policy, or leave it to NATO. Sadly a bunch of those are mutually exclusive, and not all available if we leave, or if we stay.

Even if the rest of the EU were willing to grant us our fantasy, perfect deal, it'll take years. I read a piece on this that said the EU takes 4-10 years to negotiate a trade deal, the more complex the longer. And we're wanting something incredibly complex in a part of the EU that is still mostly done by unanimous voting - so if you don't get everyone on board, it gets vetoed. And there's going to be some natural resentment that we've buggered off, and that we're forcing hard negotiations on governments that they didn't want.

Additionally, the civil service have been more europhile than the politicians in every government except early Blair and Heath. And they're doing the negotiating.

So our choice is leave the EU without much of a trade deal, and suffer tariffs and discocation of trade while we slowly grind through sorting it out. Or do a deal where we do a quick and dirty shift from EU members to EFTA or EEA (there are technical differences which always confuse the hell out of me) - with the intent to slowly negotiate a few changes. Presumably once out of the EU we can discriminate on benefits against EU citizens, even though they get access to the country to work, which is a better balance than we have now. But while the Eurozone is so utterly fucked, we're going to get skilled migration from the EU, as well as unskilled, and short of deploying the army to the coasts and introducing ID cards, that's unstoppable anyway.

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A typo stopped hackers siphoning nearly $1bn out of Bangladesh

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Re: Bah

Destroy All MOnsters,

You don't appear to understand QE, or inflation (which there isn't much of at the moment), or the devastating economic effect of deflation in highly indebted economies. Given that many peoples' pensions and investments are held in government debt instruments, the alternative to QE (almost certainly deflation and massive government defaults) is too horrible to think about.

QE isn't a money injection, or money printing, as it's a reversible process designed to force down market interest rates.

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German lodges todger in 13 steel rings

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Happy

Re: Points for the image

The preciousssssss

3 rings for the Elven Kings, under the sky,

7 for the Dwarf lords, in their halls of stone,

13 for mortal Men, doomed to die,

One for the Dark Lord, on his Dark Throne, in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.

One Ring to rule them all,

One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all,

Except for those 13, which are all icky, and I don't want stinking up my beautiful Barad Dur! Thankyou!

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NASA preps stadium-size sandwich bag launch

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Re: SPB

No! No! NO!

Don't sue. Simply use the SPB logo prominently in your FAA application, but reapply with your own NASA logo as well, and try to imply that you are part of NASA. After all, turnabout is fair play. And it should certainly improve the speediness of your dealings with the FAA.

Now we just need to get working on the backronym...

Nonsensical Aeronautical Silliness Agency

Non Alcoholic (Sometimes) Aeronautics

Sorry, not having much luck with cudgelling answers from the old brain this arvo.

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Californian tycoons stole my sharing economy, says Lily Cole

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Re: Not sure about the tomato

You are Wile E. Coyote, and I claim my £5.

Meep! Meep!

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El avión de papel del proyecto PARIS aterriza en un libro de texto

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Re: Que?

La plume de ma tante, est dans le jardin...

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Alien studs on dwarf's erection baffle boffins

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Happy

Re: Oblong vs round craters

Is a frost heave what happens after your 17th bowl of chocolate ice cream?

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Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

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Re: The real reason Peeple is back:

Don't be rude about her, or she'll stab you to death with her insanely pointy chin!

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: "That means that the answer lies in completely ignoring Peeple altogether."

El Reg have done a bad thing though:

We downloaded and logged into the app and couldn't find a single other person either through our phone's contacts or Facebook friends. So long as it stays that way, then this monstrosity of an idea will stay where it ought to be: in a grave.

So now Peeple have got an entire addressbook of El Reg's contacts to furtle.

Hence providing a vector for this internet zombie plague to spread.

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Devil

Re: At least they're restricting it to residents of Canada

eh?

Excuse me! Are you laughing aboot Canadian pronunciation?

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Alice, Bob and Verity, too. Yeah, everybody's got a story, pal

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Happy

Re: Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue, Deborah, Annabel too...

I wouldn't put scumble in thimbles if I were you!

It eats through the metal ones, and what it does to the glazes of ceramic ones (swiftly followed by your insides) is best not thought about.

Stick to swigging it neat out of the bottle. Much healthier.

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PARIS paper plane lands in Spanish school textbook

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Devil

Re: Bravo!

When will there be a textbook on the much more important Post Pub Deathmatch?

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Pint

With the SPB, when are drinks not in order?

I guess having their HQ in a bar ought to be a clue...

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Live Below the Line Challenge 2016

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Re: Live Below the Line Challenge 2016

I'm normally prepared to spend the extra 30-40p required to get tinned ones, when I'm not on such a strict budget.. Though the real answer is that it put me off the humble chickpea, which was never an ingredient I cooked with much anyway. So I've not had them since. I'll find an alternative, probably lentils.

Someone likes the things though. Or so I deduce from the downvotes I've received, possibly from the chickpea liberation front?

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Re: Live Below the Line Challenge 2016

When they've been soaked in food factories and the skins taken off by nice machines, chickpeas are OK. I wouldn't say yummy, given they don't taste of much - so the flavour is down to how nice your sauce is. Also why roasted red pepper humus is the food of the gods, and plain humus is a bit dull.

But I soaked them for longer than the 8 hours the packet said (I think I gave them 12), and then they were cooked in a stew that got 2 hours, and they were still hard so I had to cook the stew for another hour the next day. Whereas the tinned ones soften up nicely. The problem was that it was more expensive to buy a tin, than a much larger packet of dried ones - and I was straining my budget by trying to have as much variety in my meals as possible.

Looking at my spreadsheet, I spent more on chickpeas than I did on rice (44p as opposed to 42p). Weirdly, my biggest expense was £1.05 on tinned tomatoes, next 94p on frozen mixed veg, and 73p on 11 eggs. I think the chickpeas might have been better replaced with some cheese, more eggs, or another loaf of homemade bread (32p) and more marmalade. Lidl's 49p thick cut marmalade is surprisingly nice, though only had 2 or three actual pieces of (admittedly thick cut) peel in the whole jar...

On checking my spreadsheet I went 10p over budget. Which I'm quite pleased with, given I did it in my head and calculated the budget at the end of the week, by working out what I'd used and comparing to the reciepts. If I do it again, I really want to try and get some meat in there, just to see if I can still make it add up.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Live Below the Line Challenge 2016

Dear Lester and El Reg,

I've just had an email saying that they're not doing the Live Below the Line challenge this year. Apparently they've got some new ideas, which forces them to take a year off or something. Even though the users do most of the organising...

Anyway, was wondering if you were going to run something El Reg-tastic again, in which case people might like a bit of notice to prepare, or whether you'd also give it a miss until next year?

I think I'd probably be up for joining in again in early April. And this year, no bloody chickpeas!

I don't think I had time to get you my report, with the tasty pictures of all my stuff, but I've still got the left over dry chickpeas in the cupboard. They're quite nice in tins, but as my aunt advised me (and I didn't listen) they're horrible from dry.

Otherwise I didn't really struggle too badly. My Italian (with added chick pea ickyness) stew was so nice that I kept eating it, rather than turning it into curry for the last couple of days as planned. But when I finally got round to totting it all up afterwards, I think I spent £5.09. Shame! And on the Friday night I was at a friend's house, one mate brought doughnuts that were left over from a meeting at work, they had roast chicken (while I ate my stew and rice) and finished with apple pie and custard. Then Steve decided to be really cruel, and cooked a sponge cake. My own fault for going I suppose...

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Standing desks have no effect on productivity, boffins find

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Happy

Re: Damn I knew I was doing something wrong

If you haven't seen those Paperclip porn videos, you haven't lived!

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My devil-possessed smartphone tried to emasculate me

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You can't actually transfer calls between people on deskphones. It's a myth. Anytime this actually happens, you'll notice you're put on hold first, then they just shout over to the person, who's sitting on the desk next to them, and hand them the phone. Or reception have several handsets with very long cables, and simply walk to the appropriate office with them.

At least this is the conclusion I've come to after trying to use the phone systems in various offices over the years. We currently have some Panasonic units that are totally programmable... and totally unuseable.

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Re: There's no problem, only solutions

The problem with that, is you can then shove so much stuff into your many pockets, that you can no longer walk. Or find which pocket any of it is now in...

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Re: As for the RAZR..

I now hate you both! Say after me: "The RAZR was the best phone ever!" Now write that down 100 times!

It's forever implanted in my memory as my favourite ever phone. Because ergonomically it was perfect. I don't ever remember having problems with the shiny keyboard - partly I suspect because it was a proper keyboard with big keys for my big fat fingers, so I didn't need to look at it. Even though it had that weird, flat, interleaved metal design, you still got positive feedback from pressing them. Unlike the occasional frustration of tapping on unresponsive glass smartphones. I had the original, in silver, and don't recall it being too shiny, followed by the the V3i in (ahem!) metalic aubergine - it came with an Orange contract, so I suppose I should be grateful it wasn't metalic orange.

The flip was brilliant. Made it small, and thin in the pocket - because they'd made the phone so wide. This made it very nice to hold in your hands - and meant the microphone reached your mouth. Also the flip and your face together act as a wind-break - so your listeners don't think you're standing in a hurricane when talking to them on the street. And they could use a more directional microphone too, hence the call quality was better. And you couldn't accidentally press buttons in your pocket. Even my smartphone has managed to unlock itself in my pocket before. Finally, you could end a call by flipping the phone shut, one handed, with a very satisfying snap.

The software on the other hand. Oh dear. Aaarrgggh! Now you've reminded me, and spoiled my happy nostalgia. What a mess. And on the V3i - the hardwired WAP button, that couldn't be reassigned. The one that they put, right next to the on/off/end-call/cancel button. Aargh! I think it was about 2p just to open the Orange WAP portal, that it defaulted to.

I wonder if it's some kind of law? The better a phone is ergonomically, the worse the software? Certainly borne out by my favourite smartphone case design, the HTC Wildfire.

I dug an old Samsung slider out of a drawer for Mum, when her phone broke. It was my second favourite dumbphone, bought after flip phones stopped being sold, and the RAZR had died. I had fond memories, until I tried to show her how to use it. That Samsung UI was even worse.

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My esteemed colleague has got WiFi calling turned on permanently. As it doesn't appear to have a setting of use the phone network that actual works when it's available, and only default to WiFi when that isn't working.

So, wonderful, he can make Dalek style calls on Tube platforms. But it then uses Dalek mode WiFi when he's in the office and he ends up coming and standing virtually on my desk (which is next to the WiFi router) in the vain hope of getting some reception. I've pointed out that it's our office broadband connection that's flakey and the WiFi not only reaches into his office perfectly well, but also the next door pub garden...

The other constant conversation I overhear is, "just a minute. Let me call you back. I'm about to leave the office and it'll cut the call off when I do".

Sadly he's still ignoring my suggestion of just turning the damned thing off - though he's also still complaining about it.

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Re: Welcome to the wonderful otder of Luddites

utter bollocks will always make its way onto the Internet. It is the way of things.

This is Dabbsy's problem. He's worked out the reason for everything, but failed to make the vital final connection.

No, his phone isn't trying to slice off his bollocks. It's trying to bite them off. Once achieved it can then upload them to the internet. Where they belong.

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Barking spider prompts Spanish clan shoot-out

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Re: Close but no cigar

That was Indiana Jones. Shooting someone, rather than having a sword fight. Where the appropriate rhyme is that:

The one who follows through, gets covered in poo.

In the Star Wars Cantina scene I'd imagine it's far more likely that the Wookie farted first.

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Happy

So we can add to our stock of fart knowledge then. We already know that:

The one who smelt it, dealt it.

And also: The one who made the rhyme, committed the crime.

Now we know that: The one who opened fire unleashed the arse choir

This explains why George Lucas had to change it so that Greedo fired first...

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Lonely bloke in chem suit fuels Mars orbiter

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Re: Oy!

Easy on the Croydon slurs, people.

Surely it's only a slur if it's not true.

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Mushroom

Surely there's a simple solution to this. Rocket fuel is dangerous. It's messy, and expensive to deal with. And some of them even eat their way through the fuel tanks.

Surely the only possible answer can be Project Orion. Totally safe. If we use only the finest neutron bombs that money can buy and launch from somewhere like Croydon, who could object? The bonus being that we could have a space hotel by simply cutting the foundations of a local Travelodge, bunging a big old metal plate underneath, and whoosh!

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Child tracker outfit uKnowKids admits breach, kicks off row with security researcher

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Happy

Re: Pedobear seal of approval

I keep my children locked in the drawers of a filing cabinet. My kids are safe, are yours?

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Re: no financial information or unencrypted password credentials were vulnerable.

Also, rather worryingly, their statement sort of suggests that they regard their customers' data as part of the company's IP.

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Re: Nearly there

Perhaps it makes them look petty, because they are petty? So useful PR.

For example, whenever I see the "only a limited number of our customers have been affected" statement, I know that a) management don't give a shit, and; b) lessons will not be learned. Particularly given that "limited number" doesn't mean small, and is technically correct so long as all but one customer have been affected...

Of course when I see "lessons have been learned" I also know that no they bloody well haven't been.

Whereas our cloudy accounts are with a company who had an incident where their datacentre had a problem, which killed some hard drives, the fail-over didn't work and they lost a few hours of data. This was about a year before we signed up. After the event they published a decent discussion of what had happened, within a day or so to explain the problems to the customers. They then had about 10 further articles, over the following 3 months, giving a breakdown of what went wrong, what mistakes they'd made, what they'd learned and what they were doing to fix it, as they did it. Plus set up a system where you could have a backup sent to you each week, for peace of mind. They screwed up, but I've a lot more confidence they're doing things better now.

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Re: Leaving Aside The Obvious.

Also, I guess it's quite useful if/when some of the data turns up in nefarious hands. As then you can say, "look! It was that hacker what done it! And in no way was it our pisspoor security. Oh no! No Indeedy. Look! Over there! A squirrel!"

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Android users installed 2 BILLION data-stealing, backdooring apps

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Re: Sloppy

That's not breaches against numbers of phones, but breaches against numbers of phones running security software capable of detecting them - and/or where somone's downloaded a ransomware removal tool. Which is a much smaller subset.

I'm still surprised by how few though. Given Google's awful update policy, I've been expecting a big outbreak for a while now. But I guess phones aren't networked in the same way as office PCs - so wide transmission is more difficult - and everyone learned something from the outbreaks of things like Melissa and I Love You back at the beginning of the last decade.

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Reminder: How to get a grip on your files, data that Windows 10 phones home to Microsoft

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Re: Evil Corp

Everyone's shown perfectly willing to accept this on phones and tablets. And even TVs and internet of insecure stuff... stuff. So I guess it's just the future.

To be fair to MS, they're also being expected to provide similar reliability to tablets where the hardware and software are much more controlled - so I guess it's no surprise they've tried this on.

I wonder what the diagnostic info is like on Macs nowadays? Given that Apple have total control of iPads and iPhones to collect to their hearts' content.

Also, given normal consumers appalling attitude to security, I'm sort of tempted to say that this improves the privacy for them. In that sure it opens them more to MS, but it protects them more as a herd too, against security threats that might hit them later - as MS are now much more likely to catch and patch them.

I'm amazed they've allowed themselves permission to operate tools (even the limited subset of OS tools they say). I can't see how that's legal, given that they've sought absolutely no permissions whatsoever. And no, the ticked by default request for diagnostic info definitely doesn't count as permission to actively run a piece of software on the computer. Particularly given how sensitive everyone's been when they've been trying to take down botnets, and I don't believe anyone has yet tried to clean up the affected PCs remotely.

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Re: Remote control?

I can confirm Full is the recommended default on Home, as I've just had a shufti at the settings. Which live with Windows Update and Defender - I'm sure that menu wasn't there when I first installed Windows 10, but I could be wrong. I upgraded pretty early, as the PC was on Windows 8. Being a small company we tend to only buy about one PC/laptop a year, so get whatever OS it comes with.

Anyway I'd been through the non-automatic installation, and unticked almost all the telemetery stuff, although I may have left the security/virus reporting stuff on.

MS had interpreted that decision as "Enhanced" in this new (if it is new) menu. And I was given a choice of basic, enhanced or full (recommended).

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Mañana: Nokia’s in no hurry to go back to phones

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Re: Just buy Jolla

I don't think Nokia want a toe in the water. Cheap or otherwise. I suspect they want to sell (well rent) their name and reputation for a bit of easy cash.

After all, they only just sold the whole phone division to Microsoft.

Getting a toe in the water is pointless. Blackberry are nearly dead, Palm/WebOS/HP fell by the wayside, as did all the versions of Symbian and from the amount of effort Microsoft are making, who knows if they aren't about to go the same way? Samsung barely even bothered to release Tizen. And you can tell it's Tizen, when your eyes are shut!

If' you've not got volume, nobody will write apps for you. If you've not got apps, you won't get customers.

This is nothing new either. I had the excellent Sony Ericsson P800, back in 2003. In some utterly insane dispute with Nokia, they ended up using a different version of Symbian. An incompatible one. Doh! So although I got a Symbian phone, it wouldn't actually run any Symbian apps. Every time I read a review, or found an interesting app, it was always for S60, and not UIQ. Then Sony Ericsson gave up.

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Ukraine has a Eurovision pop at Russia

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Devil

Re: Bah!

Also, I've got plans for a song about the Hundred Years War. Can't yet decide whether to go for a cricketing metaphor (bound to attract votes across Europe!) and call it 'Black Death Stopped Play'. Or just go for simplicity and call it, 'That's Why I Hate the French'.

'Toasting Our Marshmallows On St Joan' perhaps?

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Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

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Re: Some other perp!

Ah well, that explains it. If it was Suffolk. Then obviously all the terrorists would need to bring their wives and mothers. That's one woman per terrorist...

Actually, being Suffolk, there's bound to be several per woman, so that's why all the calcs come out with 6 coaches worth of armed nutters. The other 3 coaches are for their womenfolk.

Now we just have to work out how to apportion the number of fingers to a coach...

Plus, shouldn't it be number of tractor loads of terrorists anyway?

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Happy

Re: 20-50 Preppers ?

So do you use the small bullets as bait to catch the squirrels, then the squirells as bait to catch the mooses?

Or have I got confused...

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UK carrier Three in network-wide ad-block shock

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3 might not save much in the way of internet data, but the important commodity to them is mobile bandwidth. Which is limited by radio spectrum and how many transmitters they wish to build. So that's a real financial saving. Especially as in the cenre of big cities, so may customers are using data that they often struggle to maintain performance. The only other solution to which is smaller cells, and more towers. That costs lots more than a few chunky servers.

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The paperless office? Don’t talk sheet

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Re: Killing paper may well happen, but not quickly

Until all tablets have a stylus - paper wins out for taking notes and doodling. Plus annotating, editing and of course, proofreading.

I have a paper file for important stuff at work. Yes I have the datasheets and relevant regulations on the PC, but the important stuff gets printed. Firstly, it's easier to find when you're on the phone, and flipping through pages is easier than scrolling too.

Secondly I can scribble notes and annotate graphs and such.

Thirdly I often only want one or two relevant pages of a piece of legislation or standard. So it's easier to just print those out and keep them handy.

I do find reading on a tablet screen is more comfortable than a desktop, and especially a laptop. But ebooks are still not as nice to read as real books. Although I'd admit eInk screens almost are (if a bit greyish) - I remember borrowing my brother's Sony e-reader and liking it. But you can't write on those either.

Even though we've got the technology to go paperless, it's still a massive pain in the arse a lot of the time. I'm sure that'll improve slowly. But I'm sure paper will never totally die.

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Re: Getting there slowly

You can't tuck a mobile between your shoulder and cheek, while typing. Modern smartphones are like bars of bloody soap. I wish I could have something ergonomic like my old Motorola RAZR. It's also easier to tap numbers into a real phone keypad, without having to look - and you can transfer incoming calls to other people as well.

Not that I don't use the mobile as well.

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Re: paper paper paper

Leave finance alone. I do (most of) our company accounts, and nothing beats a year's receipts all collected into a big lever arch file. You can hand it to the accountant to randomly audit a few, and make sure you're not mucking things up. And you can find the receipt for the printer that's died under warranty - when heaven knows what's happened to it. And you have some nice records to show the tax man, should you be unlucky enough to get audited.

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the number of men who will hold open a door for an attractive woman with what looks like a pass of the correct colour round her neck while she 'juggles' a mountain of paperwork, even though her pass has a snowball's chance in hell of opening the door

My friend had to meet a client in one of the secure defence bits of Marconi back in the day. Having been there before, he couldn't be arsed to waste the half an hour that security took. Not being an attractive young lady doesn't help him though...

So he removed his suit jacket and took his lunchbox from the back of his van and lo-and-behold the lunchbox was as good as a pass to get back into the building. So long as you look like you belong.

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Helpdesk? I have a software problem. And a GRIZZLY BEAR problem

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Happy

Does this mean that standard procedure, after it's eaten your leg, is to offer it a quiche. So that it doesn't eat the other one?

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