3180 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
One of the companies in my industry have 3 Mr Tickles. They were founded by a Mr Tickle, and two of his sons have since joined the business.
There was a Mr Himmler in the accounts department of my last company. I was always surprised he hadn't changed it, given he was in the Hamburg office.
Re: You Couldn't Make it Up
It is also nice to get birthday wishes every month.,
I've picked one new birthday, so I can actually remember my fake d.o.b. Rather than just picking randomly as I did before.
Except for restaurant mailing list sign-ups. Those have to be carefully picked, so you get nice vouchers, spread around when they're useful. So a couple of them are near my actual birthday. Though sadly the last one to regularly remember my birthday have closed down their branch here. So no more birthday tapas for me.
Re: Password huh...
I'd like ANYONE to tell me why you'd ever store customers personal info in an unencrypted form like eBay did (and a lot of others probably do).
Oh I can do that. It's cheaper.
Just like it's amazing the number of companies where helpdesk/tech support can see your password on their screen when you phone up. Because basic security is just too much effort.
Re: Password huh...
That's a bit like BT's pisspoor excuse for a security announcement about the hack of btinternet.com.
We have a very old company email addy on there, that's still used. When it's not drowning in spam from other btinternet addresses. They forced a password reset. Didn't email us to say they were doing it, just invalidated the password on their pop server, and waited for us to guess.
Nothing on the service status on bt.com either. That service is always up, they only occasionally post a problem when it covers one exchange and after it's solved.
Great. I reset the password. But remember something I'd seen on El Reg. It was of course the bloody password reset database that had been hacked.
Surprise! Surprise! We had to reset the password the next day. Again no error message, or warning email / letter. This time I changed the security details.
At least this vindicates my policy of always lying on security questions! This email was set up ten years before I joined the company.
Re: Website policy stupidity
Verified by VISA is truly craptastic.
Although, to be fair to it, there is one mildly useful security feature. It shows me a password, that supposedly only VISA know. So I know that the vendor have connected to VISA's servers. However, given the piss-poorety of the design of that, I'm sure that's probably printed in large flashing letters on top of their building, along with my credit card number and d.o.b. whenever I use the 'serivce'.
That's a nice mobile phone scam you've got there
I've not heard of that mobile scam before. I wonder how they allow their tills to ship out phones on credit like that? It's just asking for trouble.
Reminds me of my temping days in the mobile industry.
I was working for an insurance company, doing mobilie insurance at £5-15 a month, for a chain of shops. Bronze, silver and gold. I'd bene there a mere week, when they sacked the person who processed credit card transactions. So I got that job. As a temp. With private access to the credit card terminal and about 10,000 files with people's card numbers and addresses on. Nothing I did was ever checked. Plus tens of thousands of other files with the direct debits and all the banking info.
After two weeks I noticed that they'd fucked up, and were only renewing the Direct debit after a year on Gold subscriptions. Even though the contracts were for at least 2 years. They rewarded me for this act of genius on my £6 an hour temp heaven by saying thanks, and sacking me 2 weeks later. I think at that time there payment processing team entirely staffed by temps was down from 6 to 2. So I dread to think what state it was in. We saw our manager about twice a day.
However, we were so well run that we had the trust of the banks. We were allowed to process Direct Debits without presenting any evidence to the bank. We maintained our signed copy of the Direct Debit mandate, the bank never checked them. And obviously we had nothing to check the signature against, even though it was often in a different coloured pen (for some reason). I used to get a call from the banks' call centres every couple of hours, with a customer querying a payment on their other line. Sometimes just because we weren't called the same as the mobile company, but mostly because the salesman had filled out the insurance agreement after the customer had left, to meet his bonus targets.
Then I got one of the funniest documents I've seen in my working career. Internal audit had audited one of the stores. And posted it to the separate company who ran their insurance, rather than their own head office. Top work there chaps! The shop hadn't counted their Pay&Go top up cards (back when they were scratch card things in cellophane). Or done a stock take of any kind. In over 2 years. Apparently the staff would take a handful of them whenever they went down the pub, and sell them cheap for beer money. Probably a few handsets as well.
There were several signed, but un-processed, customer direct debit mandates for contracts and insurance. Some from months ago. With all the good details on. Some were on the side by the till, in the actual shop, on open display. Others were in the kitchen and break room. Some had made it as far as the office. The kitchen hadn't been cleaned in ages. There was rotting food in the fridge and on the work surfaces.
The report conclusion: Above average. 75%!
After being dumped, at 4 o'clock on a Friday afternoon, thanks for helping the temp get a post for next week old chaps, I think I only did one more temp job before getting something permanent, and none since. So I have just over a month of experience in the mobile phone industry (from the late 90s), and it doesn't seem that much has changed.
Re: Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas
Sorry, non left. I used my last piece of fairy cake to annoy my wife.
Re: "It can't happen to me!"
True. But of course, everything goes in cycles. Sony roundly kicked the arse of many a Western company. To become consumer electronics top-banana. The cash rolled in, their designs were great, they lead in technology, reliability and quality. Now they appear to be a sad basket case. Though I'm sure a turn-around is possible.
Or to take another great example, the much praised German Mittelstand. That great cohort of globally competitive, family owned / family run, long-term financed engineering companies. They're still powering away, pushing the German economy to ever higher export surpluses. This being the way Britain used to do things, and the way we're urged to go back to.
But, will it continue? We work for one of the well known ones. 100 years of family owned engineering excellence. And they've become smug, arrogant and inflexible. Germany has no minimum wage, and since the Hartz IV labour reforms last decade, has quite a lot of people on incredibly low wages subsidised by government payments. Which is not a sustainable way to run a company. The families are several generations in now, and some are falling out (as British counterparts did 40 and 50 years ago), or just counting their money and employing external managers - so salaries are rising. Maybe they'll sort it out, or maybe they'll go through a cycle of things not being so great for a bit. Wealth inequality in Germany has been rising faster than most of Europe, their banking system is probably in a dodgier state than ours, and has similar political interference problems to the Spanish - and like China the Germans export too much, and are having to take payment in debt, from customers who can't all afford to pay. Look up Target 2 and the ECB - which is basically money printing to ease the critical imbalances in the Eurozone.
In summary, things change.
Re: They aren't all like Huawei
No, but there are plenty of basket case state owned or state controlled companies. That are as much cash cows for the Communist Party bosses, as they are companies. However they get to borrow immense amounts of cash from local banks backed and controlled by local government. Which are also controlled by the Party.
That model of local banks with political and social leaders on the boards providing long-term cash worked great for Germany, but horribly for Spain. And there's quite a lot of evidence that it's not been working for Germany for a while either, and that the Landesbanks bought into the madness last decade rather too much.
It's a mixed bag. The economic figures from China are almost certainly not reliable and there's uncertain rule of law. There are some amazing companies, some good companies and some basket cases. And if some of the stories are to be believed vast amounts of thefts from government coffers.
One of the things that's allowed China to do so well, is artificially holding down their exchange rate in order to subsidise their exports. This has had many unfortunate effects: Firstly it helped to create the global financial imbalances that caused the last enormous crash. Secondly it meant China didn't get paid, they got credit. Those $4 trillion in reserves - so if the West inflates away some of its government debt, we're basically taking that money back. Thridly it lead to Chinese workers not making as much profits from their own industrial success. That's meant the Chinese economy is too unbalanced and reliant on exports. The mirror image of what the US and UK are accused of. And both are true. Both are also un-sustainable. Thus China can't rebalance its economy to internal demand without hideous inflation. Thus fourthly it's been forced to keep the growth going by massive over-investment into capital. This has meant it's exporting deflation to Japan and the West, and again destabilising the economies of its own major trading partners. But it also means that capital is being hideously mis-allocated (and thus wasted). And builds up a huge wodge of un-payable internal debt. Chinese banks must hold 20% capital reserves, and even this may not be enough to cover hidden losses. And that's not to mention the capital that's gone intot he huge (un-regulated) shadow banking system.
Basically there's much to admire in what China has done. But also much to worry about. And I'd like to see a bit more realism about how good the UK economy actually is too. It has many weaknesses, but also many strengths. And it's childish to dismiss those strengths in pursuit of some self-loathing praise of every other economic model.
Re: "eucalyptus trees"
Easy solution. Don't know why nobody else has thought of it. But seeing as it's for humanity (even Aussies count), I suppose I'll donate the idea for free.
40m high eucalyptus canopies are your problem. Hard to separate the fire from the oils for long enough. So what we need is another solution:
40m high, mutant, fireproof koalas. Genetic engineering to the rescue! Or just drop some nukes on a koala sanctuary, and wait for Koalazilla.
They simply eat the leaves. Problem solved. Although we may have to train them not to burp near the flame front.
Glad to be of service...
As you say, targeting of advertising is still really awful. I do have a FB profile, on an unused email address, with very little data, but linked to my real family and a few friends who're miles away and I no longer see much of.
With that info Facebook manage to serve me completely useless ads. It's mostly dodgy looking dating sites, even more dodgy looking chances to score 'free' iPads and diet stuff. There's barely a non-obvious-scam advert in the lot. Seeing that, if I were a legitimate advertiser, I'd run a mile from Facebook - as it's scam by association. Maybe they do better with the people who're filling them up with data. I'll have to look at the ads on some friends' accounts and see.
Google's targeted ads are no better. I suppose they don't care when they list ads on a search. As they're already getting paid. But many times you're searching for something specific - and yet some intermediary is paying for the top billing in order to place themselves between you and the thing you're actually searching for to get a commission. It's really hard to find a specific hotel you know now, as they get knocked further down the ranking by the crappy booking sites.
I think they took away the ads in gmail a while ago. But they were always crap when they had them. They seemed to pick a random word in the email, and stick something based on that.
Amazon deluged me with emails. It got so silly that I turned their email marketing off, when I once got 2 or 3 in a day. I'm happy to give companies I buy from a chance to send me one a week. I did click on the odd Amazon one, but mostly they seemed to advertise whatever the promotion was on their front page. They have virtually my whole CD buying history for 5 years, and about 70% of my book buying, plus the odd tech shiny - so it's amazing how rubbish they are.
Even Sainsbury's suck at it. I've got a Nectar card, and do most of my shopping there. Most of their emails are general offers, like 20% of homeware this weekend. Well that's OK. Not targetted though. When they do offer specific products, it's always staples like fruit juice and butter - which I already buy! And they know this, as they have my whole purchase history. So they also know that I sometimes like a cake. But not every shop. So why not offers on those - or even just reminders, so I think of them before I start to shop?
My conclusion is that this is just too hard. It would need an individual person to look at what I buy - and then extrapolate what I might like at the moment. And that's obviously ludicrously impractical. Maybe some magic with AI will solve the problem, but so far the application of lots of computer doesn't seem to be helping.
Go to the back of the queue. My medal's bigger than yours! And if there's any free drinking and feasting to do, then I plan to be first in line.
Admittedly I run the IT for a 5 employee company, and we outsource it on grounds of my incomptence. But that's no reason not to dwell on the pearls of wisdom that fall from my lips, along with the spilled lager and bacon-crumbs.
Re: Kahhhnnnttt Cut It
I liked his first Star Trek too. I thought it was lots of fun, had lots of shiny special effects and lots of good gags. Admittedly it also had many flaws, but they were far outweighed by the good bits.
I thought his second one was weak. Although probably better than 90% of the original Star Trek films. So I guess I should take a back seat in the discussion. I didn't think the original Star Trek or the Next Generation of spin-offs was all that good to start with.
I've not seen much of his other stuff. I liked the first 'Almost Human', but haven't got round to watching any other episodes yet. So no idea if it deserved to get cancelled.
The temptation is to go and see stuff in hope. After the Phantom Morass, I now feel slightly guilty for paying to see the other two. As it just encourages crap-sequel-itis. As Mark Kermode says, if you pay to go and see this rubbish, then it's your fault it gets made.
But then it's hard to know if it'll be crap at all. I actually quite enjoyed the second prequel at the cinema. It was way too long, and had some horrifically crap dialogue, but there were two huge set-piece fights that made it fun to watch once. Whereas Phantom Menace and the 3rd one were rubbish. Equally Jackson's Lord of the Rings films were way too long, baggy and pleased with their special effects stuff. Also the dialogue they wrote themselves was far worse than the Tolkein original, when they bothered to re-use it. And yet I chose to watch The Hobbit. The first one was OK, but the second one was truly crap. And now I'm left having seen two thirds, wanting to complete the set, but not wanting to give the bastards the money, after they made me sit through so many hours of crap. Bollocks did that need to be a trilogy of 3 hour films!
Re: Amongst the worst...
What could be worse? Hmm... That gives me an idea for the plot:
Sick of being marginalised, ignored and despised - but equally disgusted with democracy and the Jedi, for failing to save the Republic - he turns to the Dark Side. In training during the period of the Rebellion, when Vader and the Emperor were in power, he missed most of the defeat. But he emerges now, to revitalise the Sith, and provie a counterbalance to the new government, who have become arrogant and corrupt - as so many revolutions do. Who is this?
Cower in fear before: Darth Jar-Jar!
Possibly with his new army of Ewok storm troopers, for extra comedy value.
Re: Cart before the horse?
If pie in the sky science is so damned good, then how come there isn't currently a pie in the sky? I'm hungry!
Make it a steak and ale please...
Re: NUH! LAND!
Destroy all Monsters,
That's funny. I thought it was Putin who was smirking and awarding medals to his special forces troops who'd just conquered and annexed Crimea. Or did I imagine that?
Loss of trust in the Russian government.
Whose trust? Their citizens apparently love the bare-chesting
The citizens of Russia don't trust their government. That might not mean they can get rid of it, but it does mean they like to keep their money in other countries. Which cripples the Russian economy. It's one of the reasons they keep needing foreign investment to exploit their mineral reserves. And the more of these international joint ventures that get stolen, or the more scary it looks to operate there, the less investment will happen. And the weaker the economy. In the end, be it military, diplomatic, strategic or political affairs - it's the economy stoopid.
According to the Russian Central bank, $60 billion of foreign capital fled the Russian economy in the first 3 months of this year. According to the ECB that's now up to $220 billion (as of last week! No economy can survive that.
Putin became popular because he sorted the economy out. He may be staying popular because he's making Russia look strong. But if the economy collapses, he''ll lose popular support, and have no money for military adventurism.
Re: "... could cripple ongoing research efforts..."
If you're working purely on money, it's a very interesting question if Apollo was actually worth it. Sure we developed a lot of tech - but some of that tech would have come anyway from missiles and other military work. From memory Apollo cost around $24 billion 1960s dollars! That's pre-70s inflation money. You have to look at the opportunity cost of all that moolah.
After all, spy, GPS, weather, mapping, and communications satellites were going to happen anyway. Which would have got us some of the tech, and are the parts of the space program that have 'paid their way'. The manned space program hasn't given us a direct pay-back at all. Obviously medical sensors and such are great, but then all those billions could have been invested in medical research instead - and we'd have got the same thing.
Again what has un-manned deep-space research got us? The earth sciences satellites and the solar-activiity stuff is important, but all the planetary fly-bys are just for fun and the advancement of science. I suppose we may have got better at geology because of it, and that does have practical applications. Obviously basic research is a public good, and you never know what you'll get.
As you say, the shuttle was a dead-end. Although I'm not sure if that was obvious at the time - and I wonder if we were to have fewer military compromises we could now do a better job, with modern materials science. But I suspect not. I think Musk has some of the answer, with re-useable rockets and capsules. I don't know if it's worth re-using the 2nd stage or not. And there's hope for the SABRE engine too.
But the ISS has actually achieved some practical benefits already. It's paid back some of its investment. Admittedly it's boring old political / diplomatic. But it was part of binding Russia into a post Cold War world (even though that might now be falling apart). Also it was explicitly about keeping the old Soviet ICBM infrastructure working, when the Russian economy was collapsing. That's no small thing, given that in that time period North Korea, Pakistan Iraq and Iran have all been doing heavy nuclear weapons and missile research. As well as trading both technologies amongst themselves and to others. Without the ISS, North Korea might have a working IRBM (even ICBM) to go with its barely working nukes.
I was listening to a Radio 4 program about the disappointment about the research conducted on the ISS. I believe there's more going on now, as the thing's built. A lot of the early stages were spent putting it together. These damned Ikea flat-pack space stations take forever!
But a lot of that stuff is still going to be basic research that has no immediate/obvious pay-off. There's the alpha dark matter detector, and aren't they about to try one of these electric plasma engines on ISS too?
So yes, lots of ISS stuff is basically practical research into manned spaceflight. And if you think that's pointless, I guess the ISS is a waste of cash. Although the ISS has given the US the impetus to fund SpaceX, which is going to make satellites much cheaper. And that's a definite plus point in its favour.
I'm no chemist, but I always understood that there was hope of super new medicines / useful chemicals that could only be made in micro-gravity. I don't know if that's still believed to be the case. But obviously that's going to require decent numbers of humans living in orbit. And no way is that going to happen without government pork getting laid out in vast amounts first, to learn the technology. Also asteroid mining ought to be perfectly feasible - and give us extra resources that don't kill the environment. Once you get a space economy going, it's going to be somewhat self-sustaining, as power would be incredibly cheap, once you could make solar panels in space.
Also there's the topic of space defences. Chelyabinsk nearly took a hit last year. If the Tunguska impactor hit London or New York, you'd be talking hundreds of billions of damage to the global economy. Of course there's only a few targets that would do damage worth the investment to build counter-measures, and we don't know how frequent actually dangerous impacts are. Plus there's much ocean to act as a decoy target. But the knowledge to do this is going to be applicable to moving asteroids around, so there's a huge potential economic gain. And a Tunguska level hit in a major city could have killed several million people. Money would likely be forthcoming after an event like that. It would be so nice if we could manage it beforehand...
So in conclusion, apologies for the mega-post, I'd say the ISS may almost have been worth it for the diplomatic-political advantages alone. It's helped to give us SpaceX, and is doing basic research into whether we can have space-based industries. Which will hopefully start to pay off this century. If it's possible, and actually worth doing.
It's also done some basic research, and is now doing more. But that alone is almost certainly not worth the money. Anything to add? Disagree with?
Re: "... could cripple ongoing research efforts..."
The ISS is an experiment. Into international space cooperation (mostly a success so far), oh and it was also designed to funnel US taxpayers' money into keeping ex-USSR rockets scientists in Russia - Iran had a $1m a year salary on offer to anyone who could help them build an ICBM in the 90s (at least according to The Economist at the time).
It's also an experiment into large scale construction in space. Something which is bloody hard. Along with just living in space - also very hard. Yes the Soviets then Russians did manage to keep someone up there for over a year, but at one point their space station got punctured by a flight carrying the dinner, lost computers and therefore stability and power, then nearly caught fire from the oxygen generators. They very nearly died in some very interesting (and different) ways, several times over. And were nearly forced to abandon ship at several points.
We've still not spent very long up there, and there's lots to do and learn. Plus there are many experiments into life sciences, crystalography, dark matter, environmental studies of the Earth. Admittedly with only 3 or 6 people up there, they spend a disproportianate amount of time just staying alive, rather than experimenting. But if we want to do space manufacture, we need to learn this stuff. And it's expensive and dangerous.
I think we need to get into space for the resources and the science. Maybe even living space, eventually. Plus possible micro-gravity manufacture. The only pracitcal way to do that, is to start building stuff up there - rather than lobbing it expensively through the atmosphere. Which means permanent habitation. We've now got a water recycling space toilet. But still no space farm to do food and oxygen. So much work to do.
Re: "the irreplaceable orbital station"
How will we get the funding out of government when ISS 4 just randomly disappears though?
The problem with this bluff is that people only have to half-believe it, for it to backfire.
After Russia cut off gas to Ukraine last time, partly over re-negotiating the lease on the Crimean bases they just annexed, Europe spent quite a lot of cash on upgrading its gas interconnectors. It's still reliant on Russian gas, but can at least push the stuff the other way down the pipes now, so if Russia chooses to supply only Germany, theoretically the Germans could share. It also pursuaded others to invest large chunks of change in LNG - so lost Russia customers.
Threatening to do this again in a few days is likely to mean Europe has to move to other gas suppliers, and therefore has less reason/excuse to avoid sanctions over Ukraine.
Equally just the threat of removing access to those rocket engines means that the US government will have no choice but to find another US source. Which there wasn't at the time. Once they've done that, why pay defence dollars outside the US, when there's pork to be dished out funding a factory in someone's constituency?
Result, loss of income to the Russian economy. Loss of trust in the Russian government. These ex KGB guys seem to be excellent at the diplomatic/tactical/military stuff, but not so good at the economics and strategy. Still, I guess you don't need to know economics if you can just nick your cash off someone else.
Re: Debate worthy of a playground
no matter what Cameron says about not resigning after any Yes vote the PM and cabinet that reside over the breakup of the United Kingdom are finished.
Not sure about that. Just like the results of Scottish independence, or the whole lot of us leaving the EU, 'tis impossible to predict.
I do think the Nats are a bunch of shysters, without the courage of their own convictions though. There are some big risks to independence, which they keep either glossing over, or outright lying about. I don't think there's any way to predict the outcome, but Scotland has a well-educated population and a modern economy. I'm sure they'll cope. And the SNP should say just that. If it's about policitical independence anyway. I'd say this equally on the EU debate. There are economic risks to coming out, but also opportunities. Staying in has some serious costs, and a challenge to democratic legitimacy.
Therefore, in my book at least, both are as much emotional issues as practical ones. Personally I feel British. Englishness to me is sporting identity. And it would be less fun being rude about the Scottish rugby/football team if were were separate countries. So I'd be sad to see Scotland go, but I don't think there's anything the government could, or should, do to stop it.
I'd say the feeling I encounter amongst most of the people I talk to (in the South East) is a mild exasperation. Some have taken up the nationalist Scots welfare scroungers position, but that's quite recent and relatively rare. I think it's more a reaction against the rise in overt Scottish nationalism. For example, up until 20 years ago, most English people would have supported a Scottish sporting team unthinkingly - until the anything but England stuff became so common. And of course a natural reaction to devolution, with no tuition fees etc. But I'd say the most common reaction is "whatever". If that's what people want, good luck to them. It would be a shame.
Course, after a YES vote, that could turn into a backlash. We loved you, now we hate the bastards that pushed you away. But my strong suspicion is that it'll turn a bit uglier. It'll be "we loved you, and you rejected us you bastards", from a significant number of people. Which is why I can see the government gaining popularity from being tough in the negotiations. Hence I'm certain it's not a bluff that Scotland won't be allowed a formal currency sharing deal with rUK. And discussion on the subject will often turn unpleasant for a few years. Rejection being a powerful emotion.
I think a fudge will be found that allows Scotland to stay in the EU (probably), and if Salmond can show some diplomatic sure-footedness. He comes across too smug and demanding at the moment. But Scotland will have to lie through its teeth about promisiing to join the Euro. Well it's worked for Sweden... And it will probably cost Scotland their budget rebate and opt-outs.
Meanwhile no pound-zone. And lots of fights over national debt, assets, oil zones and the like. Can't see the government going then. But I wonder if the rest of the Union will last the long term.
Not being able to print any more of it is probably the stupidest feature of Bitcoin. Unless it was deliberately designed as a pyramid scheme/scam, so that the early adopters could make loads-a-money selling off their easily mined hoards of coin.
To keep an economy stable, you need to be able to print enough money to grow the money supply at about the same speed as the economy. Even with the gold standard, there was mining. And every time you read about historical economics you come up against long-term depressions/inflations caused by fluctuations in supply of precious metals.
Admittedly continual printing leads to hyper-inflation. But QE looks to have worked far better than was expected, the upside of saving the economy was worth the downside of the current asset bubble. And remember QE isn't actually printing, it's reversible.
As an example, look at those paragons of virtue at the Bundesbank. Oh sorry, I meant the ECB, silly mistake... They've loudly lectured us Anglo-Saxons about how they'd never touch that smelly QE. As they've presided over the virtual collapse of some of the economies they were supposedly managing. Into debt-spirals and now deflation. Bitcoin fans, look at what's happening to the economy of Italy. That is what deflation does. I've been saying for 2 years that Italy would be the country that destroyed, or forced genuinely workable reform in the Eurozone. So far nothing that's been proposed that might actually work has been acceptable to Germany. Anyway, there's no excuse for not understanding the evils of deflation, when there's the example of Japan's economy to look at. Or the 1930s.
So Central Banks would be right to laugh at the idea of using crypto currency. The nerds were needed to come up with the technical jiggery-pokery, but they really needed to consider some basic economics, the reality of human nature and common sense, if they wanted bitcoin to work.
Oh and a fundamental tenet of being a Central Bank is the ability to print money by the way. Not as in QE or hyperinflation. But as in being 'a lender of last resort'. If you're not one of those, you're not a proper central bank. Even the ECB did that. They avoided QE, but they did print €1 trillion in order to fund the LTRO (2 year loans to various banks). But even before that, when the Euro was days from collapse the time before last, they had something like €500m on short-term loan to various banks to stop them from collapsing when the repo market broke down. That's what Central Banks are for, and it wasn't inflationary because the loans have mostly been paid back already.
The last time the Euro was days from collapse (9 months later), they only threatened to print money, and it saved the day. Draghi promised to "do whatever it takes", and that's been enough so far.
Although the countries that did the evil money printing to finance government debt, US, UK and Japan came out of recession. Whereas the Eurozone allowed 25% unemployment in Latvia, Spain and Greece, and not much less in Ireland, Portugal and Italy. Sometimes printing is the lesser of two evils. This time being a damned good example. The Italian economy is now at the same level it was in 1995 - fuck knows what they've done to the Greeks.
Re: UK Chancellor George Osborne doesn't want iScotland to use the pound
So are you saying it was the SNP who hacked Mt Gox and stole all the goodies? In preparation for a referendum win, and adoption of the bitcoin?
What is a more technological solution to a Scottish currency?
How you arrange things, for example going cashless and all Scots having smartcards, is utterly irrelevant to what currency Scotland chooses to use. That's all fine and dandy, but it's a mere detail.
The question is whether Scotland would be better off with the Euro, Sterling-in-monetary-union-with-the-UK, sterling without union, or a new Scottish currency. They all have various advantages and disadvantages of course. But those factors are about who Scotland trades with, interest rate risk on its share of UK national debt, who'll be back-stopping Scotland's huge financial services industry, credit ratings and the huge risks of currency union without political union. None of those factors are technology related. They're mostly about confidence and the allocation of risk.
The Bitcoin economy is tiny. Were Scotland to adopt it, in some bizarre fantasy world, Scotland would take control of it, and marginalise all other users. Were Scotland to create the ScotCoin, then it wouldn't be valued as some bitcoin wannabe, it would be treated as a national currency and traded as such.
Due to having to carry 2 pairs of glasses + sunglasses around, I carry a bag. Hence my tablet goes with me 90% of the time.
My ideal device would be something like an old Motorola RAZR V3. Slim and comfortable to hold. With a mouthpiece that reaches your mouth, and a speaker that reaches your ear. Plus it folds, so you can't accidentally press buttons, and don't need an inconvenient screen-lock. Looked nice too. With ecent ergonomics.
The keypad is fine for most navigating / texting, though I'd want a touchscreen too. But I dial a lot of calls from the keypad, as I talk to a lot of new people at work.
If should do GPS, and internet. Then either share its connection via WiFi or throw the screen to a tablet, it would be wonderful for mobile web browsing (which I don't enjoy on anything less than a 5" screen anyway.
Then I could do quick email or browsing from the small screen, or get the tablet out for anything longer. And still only have a very small, practical phone with me at the pub.
Should something like Google Glass ever take off, it would be perfectly equipped to throw email and GPS to that as well.
I'm a little worried. Why are the sheep to the East of the map, vertical. But all the others horizontal. Is there something untoward underway?
I believe what you meant to say was, I'm sorry, I haven't a clue what you're on about...
Re: To be honest, here...
Exactly. Who wants flashy? What could be more amazing than flying into space? Bling just makes you look like an arse.
Of course, I can dream that in my lifetime going into space will become boring and routine. "Where are you taking your holidays this year Sandra?"
"Well, I was thinking of goin' Magaluf and getting in some serious clubbing. But me 'n Wayne have decided that we're goin' to the Moon instead. It's only a bit more expensive to get a Bacardi Breezer up there, and it's dead cultural innit. We get to see Buzz Armstrong and that Neil Whatsisname's feet an' everythin'...
Aha! Rumbled! ISS = International Space Shed
That explains why they're always taking seeds up there and propogating them. Who's in charge of the Algerian sherry? Or have they got a still up there?
At least the passengers will get a good view of the captain tight-pants...
Yes. Those will be the solid rocket boosters...
That's why they're only developing the capsule. Flight testing of the boosters is already underway.
The outfit is “in the process of identifying the extent of the attack and potential impact on user's funds."
That's OK then. No big story. If there's only one user, there's probably not that big a loss.
I guess it's the pedant icon for me...
Re: Are You Sure You Want to Unlike This Friend?
You bastard! You introduced me to your friend Amy, and she absolutely refused to sleep with me! I'm suing your ass for every penny you've got!
Re: I heard it too! Have an upvote.
It's not like the accusations about Zuckerberg weren't already commonly known. So if you did a verbal-only deal with him after all that, then I have absolutely zero sympathy. Particularly given the dodgy way Facebook is run.
Plus the usual reason for a verbal agreement is trust, or inability/disinclination to pay lawyers. But in this case there were already lawyers in the meeting to set out the property deal. So it's clearly total and utter bullshit.
This sounds to me like a shakedown. Find rich celeb. Threaten building overlooking their house, hope they pay you to bugger off. If not, you can still make something on a building project in that kind of area. Even better if you can persuade them to tell you where all their friends live, you can buy up property near them too
and threaten the same thing I mean offer them the same generous deal...
Re: Pono Player
I like the jokes, but then I also like Toblerone. And bright yellow things.
There might be a whiff of audiophile woo about the Pono - and a silly name. Perhaps he should have gone for the PwnO?
But it looks like you can get a good quality equivalent of the iPod Classic for about the same price (maybe a touch cheaper). With a better UI, although that might just be becuase I hate the crappy clickwheel thingies. And it's got solid state memory. I've not seen a dedicated mp3 player with flash memory with more than 8GB. Dunno why. Many phones can manage that. I think it's 32GB + as many 32GB SD cards as you want. So better than the iPod, as no hard disk.
Another killer feature is that you won't need iTunes. Does happy dance.
There's also stuff about how it's got better quality DACs and is all lovely and engineered for perfect sound. I'm not qualified to comment on that. The sound from my iPod when bunged through decent speakers is pretty good. And that's only using high bitrate mp3. I've mixed live music, I've got pretty good ears, but I'm not sure I'd back myself to tell the difference in a blind test.
Oh and the triangle shape is quite practical. It'll probably be comfortable in the hand (and pocket). As well as standing up nicely when you plug it into a set of speakers - and will sit on the desk at an angle so you can read the screen. I believe there's a black model for those who find that lovely yellow a bit too conspicuous.
So even with all the downsides. If I can get a Pone when my iPod finally snuffs it, I'll look at it. I buy CDs anyway, then rip the music. So I'm not going to be paying double-price for super-bitrate FLAC downloads. And with Amazon I get my CDs at a reasonable price, and when they lost one in the post last week it didn't matter. Because Amazon Cloud Player meant I could have played it within 30 seconds of having hit buy, til it turned up twice today.
Sadly for Neil Young, I can probably get a Moto G or cheap Nokia Lumia for £100 - and put a 128GB SD card in that. Then I've got both a spare phone and a replacement for the iPod. Sadly the current work iPhone is only 8GB.
...a malaria vaccine that's made by taking parasites from the glands of mosquitos, irradiating them so that they grow to enormous size and kill everybody in the lab, which then has to be bombed by the air-force in order to destroy the mutant monster.
[I guess I ought to have emailed this to the corrections@elreg, but I've done it now.]
Re: To aid science
You can have mine. My body is a temple.
A temple of Dionysus...
Well red wine and choccy are still good for me. Check.
But they're not sure which component of them it is.
Conclusion: The same compound in red wine and dark choccy that makes you live longer, is also present in belgian buns and bacon.
No one can disprove me! So I've got at least ten years excuse to get noshing on that lot, before the killjoys can tell me it's bad for me.
Would it be pushing the point to try and claim the same health benefits for M&S Percy Pigs?
I still put my money in a bank, rather than keep it all under the mattress. YMMV of course :)
Banks have this thing called a deposit guarantee. The first £100k of your money is safe. Unless the government goes down at the same time as the bank of course. But then your economy is collapsing anyway.
Apparently someone's run off with the tulips. We're now waiting to find out whether they've taken the field as well...
Dogecoin seems appropriate. If you pronounce the 'e', you get dodgycoin. Or close enough...
Re: Over their heads...
Well to be fair, if flights over LAX are in danger of crashing into the ISS, or worse the Moon, then I think LA has bigger problems to worry about than just a few delayed flights...
Where's the Space 1999 silver jumpsuit logo when you want it?
Re: Pair of twits?
Have you ever seen them and Jedward in the same room? Aha!
I say old chaps. I'm awfully sorry, I'm afraid I didn't catch a word of that. Would you mind repeating it in the Queen's own? Top-hole what!
For some unaccountable reason, El Reg doesn't have a twiddling moustache icon! Well I mean, dash it all! What a total shower!
Re: I can't say I blame them
You do realise you've got that backwards, don't you?
China has spent the last decade selling stuff to the West and not buying as much of our stuff in exchange. To balance the books they've bought debt instead. This doesn't mean they get to take over though. As it's 'credit card debt', not 'mortgage'. It's un-secured. And there ain't no bailiffs.
Therefore they're likely not to get it all back.
Some inflation, a bit of QE, an inevitable Italian default...
Re: Sony like Samsung?
I can't comment on Sony's software, having not played with any of their kit in a while. But I can comment on Samsung.
My friend has a Galaxy Note II, on my advice. A brilliant piece of kit... but...
Oh the software, oh the horror, the pain, the duplication... erk!
I believe I saw on a review that there were 247 options to choose from. The menu is huge. And has many sub-menus. It took me 3 hours to set the thing up (there's no way my mate could have done it). I admit it's my first 'Droid in a couple of years, but all I was doing was syching to the cloud Exchange server and downloading his photos. And going through page, after page, of menus. With crap defaults. Wonderful geek toy though.
Anyway, my real complaint is that not only have Samsung duplicated all of Google's software, but they're no duplicating their own! In their last update, they took away his program for making sketches on photos (the reason I recoommended the damn thing to him). Bastards! I hate updates that remove software. So I was called in to try and fix it.
It's OK though. They took away the software that allows photos to be exported to the sketch app. But they have 2 other apps, that do similar things. It's just it takes about 5 clicks to get into one, and 7 or 8 for the other!
Kudos to them for bringing back the stylus though. Shame their idea of innovation seems to be to ship every feature currently in R&D - then hope for the best.
Re: I was in Carphone Warehouse, during lunch,
Yeah. I've talked to Carphone Warehouse staff who knew what they were talking about - and could answer complex technical questions. When I was away a friend went in for help with his Galaxy Note II, and the guy zoomed through a bunch of settings and showed them some of what was up, and suggested a possible fix. Rather than trying to sell them a Note III, or going um.
Last time I was in PC World (with the same friend) they couldn't even tell me the spec of the laptop they were holding in their hand. All I wanted was what graphics chip it had, it was for custom CAD. It wasn't on their website either, so I had to look it up on my phone, from their small business advisor's desk.
The guy I'd asked a question of 5 minutes before simply looked down and started reading off the price/product details card a foot in front of me. Cheers! I never thought of that. Fortunately that one was turned on, so I could just ask it to tell me what goodies it had inside.
The only time I've been there and 4 of them have approached me and asked if I wanted help. Rather than the usual of having to lasso the buggers, as they run away.
There's too many elements to make anything out of the name. Other than maybe a poem? Haiku anyone...
Re: New IP?
I've got an original game idea that will save them! You have a road, with lots of cars and lorries whizzing by on it. And you have to get a
frog *ahem!* I mean toad across the road to safety. It could be called toady-roady-crush...
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- Review Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?