83 posts • joined 23 Jan 2010
Re: Watch this space
Actually, mercantalism ended because everyone realised that it doesn't work. It was founded on the belief that trade was a zero-sum game: in order for me to win, someone else has to lose because there's a fixed amount of trade to go round. A little thought experiment will tell you that this is nonsense. If one country grabbing more of world trade makes it richer then one city grabbing all that (fixed amount of) trade should make that city very rich. Then one street in the city grabs all that trade and because fabulously rich. Then one house in that street etc.
It's not a zero-sum game. 2 people trading makes both of them better off - that's why we do it. Mercantalism is not a stage in a country's development. It's always a bad idea.
I've got a brilliant idea
I've got an idea for a new kind of payment method. You only need to carry around a small plastic card - hopefully wallet makers will make wallets with special pockets to carry them. The cards are cheap to produce and can be given to customers for free They're small and flat, and a little bit flexible so they're easy to carry and pocket. They're waterproof and don't require charging or batteries. They've got great security features - they're worth nothing in themselves, and quickly be cancelled if they're lost. You can put a chip in them so they'll do NFC just like a phone. As they'll have your name on them, you could even use them for non-photo ID. You don't need to faff around with an app any more - you can quickly whip one of these out and pay for anything.
I think I'm going to be a billionaire.
Re: The BBC told me it was fixed?
I think you made that up.
Re: Expecting perfection? You're going to be disappointed.
Were they 'destructive to society'? How easily you can forget the years of economic growth before the crash. Crashes are part of the economic cycle. They've always happened, and they always will. Anyone telling you otherwise is trying to sell you a book. Economics can reasonably be judged a success if the progress between crashes is greater than the crash - and that's been the case for a very long time.
But yes, I agree that our economic goals - or should I say our demands on economists - are both unattainable and mutually exclusive - which is exactly my point that choices have to be made, instead of naively believing that you can have everything.
Expecting perfection? You're going to be disappointed.
Everyone wants a system which delivers wealth, equality etc. There are some people in the world, let's call them pragmatists, who understand that there are trade offs and you can't have everything. The perfect economic system doesn't exist, as perfect things tend not to (apart from Sherlock, obviously). That's not to say that we shouldn't aim to improve things, just that it's sensible to start any discussion by deciding what your priorities are, going for those, and realising that you're going to have to lose other things in order to achieve those priorities.
Blaming 'the system', 'corporations' big this, big that etc. is all terrific fun, but can you seriously believe its that simple? What miracles do you actually expect from economists? They can't deliver what you're expecting: and neither can you or anyone else.
Andrew, Andrew, Andrew...
...you really need to go back and learn some GCSE economics. A market doesn't simply die when there's no profit to be made. What happens is that loss-making producers leave the market, reducing supply so that prices increase to the point where the remaining suppliers start to make sufficient profits to stay in the business ('normal' profits in economics speak).
It is possible that the high end Android market will come down to just one surviving business which still won't be able to charge enough to make a profit - but I sincerely doubt that will happen - there's simply no precedent for that.
Something doesn't add up here
The membrane coating that wears away bit doesn't seem to add up. Since the vessel is using it to steer, what happens when it wears away? This sounds like a one-shot device like, say, a torpedo, not a submarine.
Re: Bang bang!
America has 97 guns per person?! It's worse than I thought.
Re: This is news?
You sound like you've met someone who's been shot and says 'yes but my arm's bruised, and that could turn out to be just as bad'. The UK's not perfect, but where is? The comment you just made could now have you arrested in Russia. I'll bet you any amount of money that you don't get arrested in the UK, and never will do. Will you take the bet?
Comments like this trivialise important issues, and sound a lot like self pity.
The Isle of Dogs has service. Although there are a lot of valid arguments in these comments, the Isle of Dogs has awful ADSL, so this must be a genuine improvement to some people around here.
It always amazes me that no one's taken up the obvious business opportunity of a wealthy part of London with high density housing and awful broadband, by providing some sort of wireless service. Hyperoptic are slowly fibring up the big blocks but that's a slow process given interminable negotiations with building freeholders. More to the point, it amazes me how many swish new blocks are built with just copper wires.
Re: I'm just stoked...
You mean wrong?
Re: Takes a special kind of bastard
Are you suggesting that having children should make you immune from going to prison? It's a serious question - I don't understand the logic of what you're saying. In what context would it be admissible for someone who has broken the law to be locked up if they have children?
As far as I know, every American President (and every leader of every other country in history) has sent to prison people who have children.
Re: Where did the word "Corruption" and "Treason" went?
It's been "silently censored". By whom, I'm curious to know? (Although they seem to be oddly incompetent, seeing as it's available on Amazon, YouTube etc).
"...the only countries to continue showing it are actualy [sic] Russians and Eastern Europe."
Any evidence for this comment? But your belief is a curious one. Russia, my dear friend, is not famous for its open society and welcoming attitude to free speech.
Re: And that's why an open market requires an open society
"It has forced everyone else to remove national interest protection from their merger and acquisition law."
Any evidence for this statement?
National interest protection law has never been particularly successful anyway. Although France's yoghurt industry has continued to thrive.
Re: job losses
The 600,000 jobs claim was made in 2012:
(19 minutes in)
It was a dodgy claim at the time, but since then there's been a considerable net increase in employment. Obviously time passes quickly at your workplace!
Come to think of it, that's right - because of the plague pits. But I think the use of the cross lateral is suspect even in the National variant.
Surely only if the run of play is with the codpiece holder?
Clever move. I go for Tooting Broadway.
'So it...' ('it' meaning what precisely?) '...would suggest that the real reasoning behind a fatal solution rather than one that allows a device to still be used but then tracked is a financial rather than a practical one.'
-Brilliant logic, except for the fact that the industry has consistently opposed this measure. Obviously they don't know when they're well off.
I think whatever solution was proposed to reduce phone theft, the comments page here would be full of silly conspiracy theories. I really should just accept it and get back to work.
You know, having had a bottle broken over my head and two fingers broken to get hold of my mobile, and having discovered that IMEI numbers can be reflashed in a matter of seconds, I'm all in favour of mandatory kill switches.
This comments page reads like the Daily Express with a Diana story. It's just a good idea from a law-enforcement point of view. Occam would have you leave it at that.
Sometimes the real world takes time to catch up with (superb) satire:
I think I can summarise what you've said as 'they're all just as bad as each other - to hell with them'. Forgive me if I've misunderstood.
Well, don't end on the negative. How would you make the world better? What ideals would you stand up for? How would you stand up for them? Do you condemn the people who break those ideals on both sides, or do you follow the (two wrongs make a right) 'we're just as bad' attitude?
It's easy to be against things. It avoids all the contradictions and difficulties of real world dilemmas. It makes you feel nice and pure. Real world choices are often not between one obviously 'right' and one obviously 'wrong' option. But is standing on the sidelines booing really going to make the world a better place?
Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy
@ Voland's Right Hand
Transdnestr is only around 30% Russian
Transdnestr is part of Moldova not 'in Western Ukraine'.
Transdnestr has a large Russian garrison and is widely considered to be under de facto Russian control
The evidence of direct Russian interference in Western Ukraine is clear - coordinated , clearly trained and heavily armed troops carrying Russian weapons and Russian uniforms (without badges) - oh, and Putin has now admitted the Crimean 'insurgents' were his soldiers. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/04/putin-says-no-russian-troops-east-ukraine-2014417132436806530.html
Do you have the slightest bit of evidence about your Transdnestr theory?
I'll add that to my extremely short list of 'reasons why I should continue supporting Spurs'.
Bitcoin - the new Second Life
Just like Second Life, there's a lot of noise about it, businesses will get terribly excited, it'll make money for some people...and then it'll more or less go away because in all the excitement everyone seems to have forgotten the Normal Human Being.
Here's one paragraph from the Wiki:
"Bitcoin uses public-key cryptography, peer-to-peer networking, and proof-of-work to process and verify payments. Bitcoins are sent (or signed over) from one address to another with each user potentially having many, many addresses. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network and included in the blockchain so that the included bitcoins cannot be spent twice. After an hour or two, each transaction is locked in time by the massive amount of processing power that continues to extend the blockchain."
Now explain that to your granny. And then explain why she needs it. We've already got money, which we call 'money'.
Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)
I was just reading the story about the phone manufacturers' squeezing ever more pixels into their screens, and I was thinking about what things you want but the industry never seems to give you. Here's my list:
Phones that compromise their thinness to give you more battery life (OK, Motorola have tried this)
Higher resolution laptop screens at affordable prices
A new Psion 5 - pocketable, instant on, great keyboard, long battery life, well-designed software.
Yes, but they're still built in the UK, which rather refutes this statement:
"No, Britain does not manufacture nuclear reactors."
...and yet there still seems to be little interest from manufacturers in increasing resolutions on laptops (even as an option), where an increased pixel count would be genuinely useful. Still, there's no point in expecting the world to be logical, I suppose.
Just upvoted the last three comments to counteract the person who downvoted all of them for what? Suggesting that there are alternatives to Office that are good enough for those people?
Re: Lost all faith...
Don't be silly. Your comment sounds like someone who's met an amputee and says 'yes, but I've scratched my knee'. A voluntary code largely aimed at protecting children or blocking websites carrying out illegal activity is not comparable to religious oppression and political censorship. Comments like this trivialise serious issues and sound awfully like self pity.
Should say 'currency reserves'.
The government reserves referred to here are actually currency reserves. Holding another country's currency is effectively giving the country a free loan - if you want to hold $1 billion dollars of reserves, you have to sell the US 1 billion dollars' worth of stuff, and then just sit on the money that's paid to you. They've got stuff, and you've got $1 billion not earning any interest. In other words, there is a cost involved in holding foreign currency. So, the rational thing is to hold the minimum necessary reserves. The US and the UK don't need large reserves, because they have stable currencies which are themselves held as reserves by other countries (a particularly nice situation for the US as it's getting lovely free loans from all over the world). Their reserves are small not because they're in some dire economic situation, but because they don't need them.
The fact is that online spying works exactly like offline spying: it's a game played by all nations. Part of the way the game works is that if you discover another country's spies you quick up a royal stink and act indignant. It's the way it's always been. The Americans will carry on and the Chinese will carry out, both kicking up the occasional fuss. It's a bit silly to get all anti-Western about it.
Microsoft constantly gets obsessed with ideas that the consumer doesn't want, and then can't work out what went wrong - take Windows 8 as exhibit A. In this case, this app will be a marketing dud because of Microsoft's obsession with software as a service. In fact, I'll hazard a guess that it will be almost entirely used by people who already have an Office 365 subscription, and will do very little to encourage people to buy one, whilst irritating and alienating those people who would just like to buy the app.
Well, once more Microsoft's permanently extended middle digit towards its customers will be completely reciprocated.
I had an electron. Loved it. I was more into programming than playing games (although I played Eclipse *a lot*). It helped me with my computer science GCSE (I was in the first year of GCSE's, so it still meant being able to program a computer back then, in lovely BBC BASIC). It's still got the best keyboard I've ever used. In fact, I've still got it. Just waiting for it to become a valuable antique now.
Re: Where we have equipment is unimportant.
Egos? I don't see any egos here. This just seems to be normal academic debate with two competing theories.
I smell a dodgy study here.
So up votes tend to attract more up votes, and down votes tend to attract more...up votes! You would get the same result if it were simply the case that votes tend to attract more votes, and the majority of votes tend to be positive. It's not unlikely that votes attract more votes: I for one tend to scan comments and read only the ones that have more votes (up or down): I assume the low-voted ones aren't interesting. No evidence of herd mentality there.
Nothing to see here. Move on.
"we were not just anti-Macmillan; we were anti-industry, anti-capitalism, anti-advertising, anti-selling, anti-profit, anti-patriotism, anti-monarchy, anti-Empire, anti-police, anti-armed forces, anti-bomb, anti-authority. Almost anything that made the world a freer, safer and more prosperous place, you name it, we were anti it."
-Antony Jay talking about his time at the BBC
Now find me an equivalent quote from a BBC insider about right wing bias.
Unbiased = Impossible
What the comments on here show already is that it's impossible to be unbiased - even if every story is told in a 'balanced' way, there are questions of whether 'balance' itself introduces biases. News also necessarily has to simplify complex issues, if only for time reasons. How do you do that without introducing bias? Then there is the biggest problem - the simple selection of which stories to tell, and which to ignore; which to put first and which to put last. The second any human judgement is involved you introduce bias. It's a fantasy to think that you can be unbiased.
This begs for a plurality of sources, and makes the BBC's dominance unhealthy. The strength of the BBC (and state sponsored sources like Al Jazeerah and Russia Today) makes it difficult for commercial organisations to compete. The web has changed things as well - before that at least printed news was not from the BBC, helping plurality. Now the BBC competes against newspapers as well, and it's an unequal struggle.
Re: The news we need
No. Without the BBC you'd be looking at the Moscow Times, Al Jazeerah and the Indie - exactly as you are now.
From the not-particularly-wide-and-likely-to-all-agree-with-each-other range of sources that you look at, it's quite easy to infer your world view. That's probably why you regard the BBC as unbiased - it just happens to agree with you.
"Stop attack my country. Don't touch my country Bangladesh. Fuck BD Gay Hay UR lamer. A little dog Murkho Manob was using message slander. Bitch dog really. YOUR MOTHER FUCKER!
...your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries...
Re: Perhaps it's just me
I think the advantage is that each typewriter is unique, and so documents can be traced back to the machine they were written on, with no way to fake it.
The amazingly predictable 'yes, but we're just as guilty' answer. Otherwise known as 'two wrongs make a right'. If you think what they're (allegedly) doing is wrong, then backdooring is wrong, full stop. Ergo, Lenovo's (alleged) behaviour is wrong.
In fact, the story is a practical, not a moral one. The security services won't use their equipment because they think they're risky. That's their prerogative. They're not claiming the moral high ground. The Chinese are equally at liberty not to use Western stuff. You can put your moral outrage away now.
"Microsoft has largely run out of things to add to their productivity apps"
This is simply not true. The problem is that they only bother with changes that are in Microsoft's interests. There are lots of functions that haven't changed in generations. An example is mail merge, where I would love to have the ability to merge to separate automatically named documents, or create emails with body *and* attachment text.* They could also fix things that have been dodgy for generations, like the way that numbering occasionally seems to have a mind of its own.
*I never bothered with 2013, but I don't think these things have changed.
Re: Blaming the interwebs for society's ills and spills
In Turkey, politicians didn't like the truth coming out, and so called it "lies". During the riots, social networks were demonstrably being used to encourage and organise riots. The politicians simply said so. What else were they supposed to say? Not the same thing.
Ranty simplistic student politics might not sound so clever if your home had been invaded or your business destroyed.
I'm not calling for censorship or closing down networks - things are never so simple - and those same networks helped in the tidy-up. I'm just saying that what happened in Turkey and what happened in the UK are not the same thing, and try to imagine what it would be like reading your cheap point scoring if you were a victim.
Re: On some monuments
As you note, the graffiti goes up to the second world war, which ended over 60 years ago. These monuments now have significantly more visitors than the past, and could be rapidly destroyed if not protected. As a relative statement, I can't be sure what you mean by 'so bad' but, yes, it's pretty bad.
Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher @ andrueC
From the report you quote (www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/wp014.pdf) on page 22: notice the period when manufacturing output is falling (late 70's) and when it starts to rise again (around 1981 onwards, and solidly throughout the 80s). Now who was in power in those periods? Myth busted, as they say.
Americans, why do you have to keep pointlessly inventing new words, when there's an old word, understood by everybody, that means exactly the same thing? Metric? You mean 'measure' - MEASURE!
Honestly, it really doesn't make you sound more clever.
Oh Lord, another costly and doomed attempt to push 'technology' into the classroom, as if that'll somehow transform education (yes, I get the cynical bribe bit as well). If a technology is useful for education, it'll just get adopted. The most important technology for teachers and the one that transformed teaching is practically invisible (like all truly successful technologies): the photocopier.
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