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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4722 posts • joined 31 May 2010

HP sticks thumb in Microsoft's eye, extends Windows 7 option for new machines

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Microsoft and movie sequels

Empire.

Blasphemy!

Empire had the better ending! I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is, a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets.

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FCC net neutrality blueprint TRASHED by US appeals court

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?

Well, if that was indeed you and you were intending to communicate something different than I interpreted, I do apologize for that. I also recommend that you take remedial English as you suck at communicating. Regardless of your intent you really did come off as an anti-natural-person right-wing libertarian, at least to me. If it makes you all angsty that I have zero respect for individuals with that ethos, too bad.

Also: please go to Somalia simply on account of you being a huge douche, regardless of your personal belief systems. There now, can we haz be friends nao? Cheers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?

It is always possible I misread something. The forum gives the fellow the ability to come in and correct me if I misread him. Rereading what he wrote, I still stand by my original interpretation of "status quo good, pro-citizen regulation bad." If that wasn't the view he intended to communicate then I have to say he sucks at communicating.

Subsequently there were no comments by the OP attempting to say "hey, you've misinterpreted me, I actually think regulations that prevent corporations from screwing over an entire nation are probably a good idea." Instead there was a truckload of right-libertarian crazy careening around drunkenly with it's brakes cut.

If I did misinterpret the OP, well shucks, sir, I'm sorry. I'd be interested to know what you intended to write in a better communicated and more detailed post. If, however, my assessment of the OP as defending the status quo is correct, then I don't apologize in the least and I hope he's the first to have his bill raised and his access restricted when ISPs realize they have carte blanche to wreck the market.

Wibble wobble wubble.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: These corporate executives take everything if they are not stopped

"We've already got an open accessible internet and we don't have net neutrality regulations."

No, we don't. we have a highly regionalised internet. One in which data from different sources is treated differently, where telcos can - and do - pick winners and losers, where artificial scarcity drives up prices - and barriers to entry - and where both private businesses and nation states snoop on traffic and even censor access to information.

That's not an "open accessible internet" at all. We had an open, accessible internet. It hasn't been such for some time now.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?

No, it went more like this:

OP: "Net neutrality is completely unnecessary regulation, as the existing non-"open internet" regulations (which basically gives telcos carte blanche regarding data services) are just fine."

Me: "You are advocating getting rid of - and preventing in the future - regulations that are good for the overwhelming majority of people so that Telcos can erect barriers to entry, create artificial scarcity, drive down quality and reduce innovation...all in the name of profit. That's pretty goddamned shortsighted of you. You should really look at Somalia - a nation with no government regulation - to see how well that sort of idiocy works out."

Several libertarians: "regulation is the devil! It is what causes all of the world's problems!"

Me: "Incorrect. Here's why. Here is what you need to do in order to prove me wrong."

The OP did not call for stronger business regulation at all. The OP called for significantly less business regulation and a maintenance of the status quo...a status quo that is emphatically not favourable to the average punter.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?

@Anonymous Coward

You espouse belief in magic: that a lack of government regulation will somehow make everything better...yet you offer no proof...while those who argue that regulation is necessary can offer centuries of economic evidence.

Given this, I fail to see why you wouldn't want to go to Somalia. It is a country that is currently experimenting with your philosophy on a grand scale. There's nothing "moronic" about it; it is currently the best example of a country without government regulation.

If someone told me that they want a nation where religion what predominant and that doctrine superseded science as the basis of decision-making I would tell them that Iran is a great example of where this occurs today. Similarly, there are several other countries in the Middle East they could visit to see how that works out.

Meanwhile, as someone who believes in secular, evidence-based legislation in a society whose goals are based on the tennets of social democracy, I too have exemplar nations. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia and several others.

I then judge economic and cultural philosophies by looking at nations that are the purest examples of those philosophies as currently applied. The current purest example of the libertarian anarchist ideal is Somalia. I hold that up to the current "purest" example of a social democracy (Denmark) and choose social democracy.

You are free to believe in what you wish, though I fail to understand why you believe turning a nation towards Somalia rather than Denmark is somehow appealing.

Nor, for that matter, have you answered any of my questions or challenges to even begin to prove that your libertarian anarchist ideology would not result in Somalia when applied to a nation. You simply call people names and continue to assert that your belief system is true. That's religion, no matter how you dress it up. Faith, not fact.

And since you seem insistent on turning to faith in order to combat fact, then I must declare your faith null and void, as the One True Faith is that of His Noodly Self. I suggest you familiarize yourself with it.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?

"it seems obvious that giving every human being on the planet a good quality of life is the most important goal"

The problem is that libertarians don't share this goal. For all too many the goal is to enhance their personal quality of life above that of others, even if - sometimes all the better if - that leads to enslavement, torture, maiming, rape and/or death of those other individuals.

There are people who seek to create a rising tide that lifts all boats and then there are people who seek dominance. Never the twain shall meet.

Given that I've not got a yen for subservience, I think that I'll resist those who desire dominance. No matter what it costs.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?

"trev, you don't know what a monopoly is do you? its regulation in favour of a firm or a number of firms,"

No, a monopoly is when one firm has control of an entire market. A cartel is when a small number of firms work together to divvy up a market amongst themselves and act in a concerted fashion to control it. Both monopolies and cartels artificially inflate margins, viciously oppose change and erect massive barriers to entry.

Monopolies can be created by regulation. Monopolies and cartels are far more often created by market forces, as they are the inevitable end result of unfettered capitalism.

"social democracy is merely 50%+1 might is right."

Incorrect. Social democracy observes protection mechanisms to ensure that "the tyranny of the majority" does not oppress the minority. It also attempts to employ mechanisms to ensure that "the tragedy of the commons" is avoided; something libertarian capitalists are adamantly against.

"[Social democracy] can't because it hates heresy or choices."

Social democracies are typically secular, so heresy means nothing to them. (Versus several capitalist nations which are either official or de facto theocracies.) As for choice: social democracy embraces choice in a way that capitalism never can, because it regulates against monopolies and cartels and works to lower barriers to entry into markets.

"How does it drive margins down?"

Social democracies drive down margins by lower barriers to entry into markets and preventing abuse of market dominance via regulating against anti-competitive practices. Social democracies are strongly against cartels; they do not allow companies to carve up a market and act in a concerted fashion to artificially inflate margins or create artificial scarcity.

Social democracies drive down margins by ensuring competition. They work en see that "any kid in his garage with a good idea" can enter a market and disrupt it, even if there is only one real incumbent who has functional market dominance. This is achieved by limiting the anti-competitive measures they can enact as well as government funding of research, small businesses, education and more. Even centralized funding of health care is a massive boon to entrepreneurs as they then do not have to bear that burden themselves.

"Globalization, zero regulation by the state are postive boon IMHO and the last is problem caused by the state's monopoly over money and the financiers utilizing that monopoly to their own advantage."

Then you're an idiot. Globalisation never benefits the proles. Wages go down to the lowest common denominator while prices end up regionalised. Globalisation is all about ensuring multinationals can obtain labour at the lowest rates and materials from countries without ecological regulation (i.e. they have no regulations to prevent tragedy of the commons.)

Nowhere does it bring benefits to the regular punter. That new iPhone made with slave labour and by poisoning a province of China is not cheaper because it was made with that slave labour or because the tragedy of the commons was ignored. No, siree....you pay extra deluxe margin because you live in a "first world" nation (I use that term very loosely when referring to the USA.)

Zero regulation is something we can see the effect of by looking at a real world practical example. The nation is called Somalia. That is a country with no government, thus no possible government interference. It is hardly a juggernaut of economic might.

So I am going to have to conclude that you simply don't know what you are talking about. I am going to leave you with two goals you must meet in order to prove to me that your point of view is anything other than abject lunacy:

1) Prove to me that "tickle down economics" works. This is a fundement of unfettered libertarianism capitalism as the philosophies of zero regulation and globalisation do not allow for a means of addressing the wealth gap other than "trickle down economics." Prove that it works. Not fairly fairly dreams, wishes and beliefs. Cite at least three real world examples that involve populations of at least 15 million individuals.

2) Prove to me that deregulation increases competition in the long term. CIte at least 5 real world examples of industries that achieved commoditisation and then did not undergo natural collapse into a monopoly or cartel. Explain how these industries managed to keep the barriers to entry low and competition was maintained despite increasingly thin margins. History for those markets should cover at least 50 years to ensure that we have a long enough economic sample size to judge to the trends related to commoditisation.

Cheers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?

"I look at this this way. Capitalism is "Winner Economics": Economic Darwinism, in a sense."

I don't disagree. I simply don't believe this is a good way to run a society.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?

"Massive competition leads ineluctably to monopoly"

Capitalism is unfettered competition without regulation. Monopoly and cartels become the norm. Capitalism has led to massive amounts of human misery in the form of globalisation; slavery by another name, but wrapped in comforting words like "profit" that make libertarians feel good with themselves.

Social democracy is competition with regulation. It restrains monopoly and encourages competition. It causes producers to drive margins down and down and down...until they reach the lowest sustainable margins possible. That is good for society as a whole.

Things that are bad for society as a whole:

1) Globalisation

2) Zero regulation

3) Massive and increasing wealth gap

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the you. No matter how important you think you are.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?

"without regulation unfettered competition screws the consumer."

Bullshit.

Unfettered competition benefits the consumer by driving down the margins of the providers and commoditising their wares. It is only when those providers are allowed to consolidate into a monopoly or to engage in anti-competitive practices that the consumer is screwed. Massive competition benefits consumers. Regulations need to ensure competition and restrict viciously the ability of any company to restrain competition.

"The FTC and regulators should take their duties seriously and when I last looked they were happy with the massive concentration of power in the telco sector."

At least we can agree on something. The FTC are a bunch of weak-kneed chumps with no political will and even less backbone.

"Now, given that the internet has grown for 20 years with no explicit “Open Internet Orders”

Woah, woah, woah. Stop right there. "New nodes have been added to the network" does not mean that the internet's direction has been good in any way. The internet used to be neutral: all packets were the same, no discrimination against any service, individual, region, etc. There was healthy competition at one point...not "Google turns off and internet traffic drops by 40%."

We used to be looking at expanding last mile infrastructure, with companies bringing fibre to the premesis and an overall understanding amongst consumers and providers that everyone would eventually be wired up, no different than the POTS requirements.

Instead, we have a series of emerging monopolies. We can carriers that are fighting tooth and nail to avoid putting in last-mile infrastructure, demanding instead to be allowed to provide third-rate connectivity via wireless. We have the data providers merging with content creation companies and massive legal battles being fought to prevent independent content providers from emerging.

We have artificial scarcity in the form of data caps and we have had continued attempts to play favourites by either making carrier-owned content provisioning immune to data caps or to outright prevent third party companies from providing service. We've also had shenanigans where your last mile providers have tried to play silly-nilly with CDNs in order to thwart independant content providers because they felt they were somehow "entitled" to double dip on carriage charges.

"and bearing in mind the law of unintended consequences every new regulation must be justified."

The internet used to be a network of openness and equality. There are more people on it now, and more services, but that equality has been dramatically eroded in the name of "capitalism." The reason it has been eroded is that your pathetic regulators have allowed companies to engage in anti-competitive practices.

Competition is good for consumers. Repeat that three times. Got it? Good. Now do it again, because you don't seem to be capable of understanding that.

That you feel unfettered capitalism is a good thing while pooh-poohing unfettered competition (capitalism in practice is about the creation of monopolies and consortiums...something antithetical to competition) is why I bring up Somalia. That's where you'll find your unfettered capitalism. No regulations. No government.

I far prefer competition, as competition is good for the people. Oddly enough, I tend to side with the 99%, as you - or anyone else - seem completely unable to prove that bullshit like "tickle down economics" actually works. Allowing megacorporations to run roughshod over the people is never the answer. Competition - good for the people - is.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Seems reasonable to me

If you want a country with no government regulation whatsoever and the pure, unbridled capitalism of an unhindered free market please go to Somalia. That is the land where greed unfettered has been deified, codified and enacted en masse.

The civilized world, on the other hand, prefers fewer monopolists, warlords, bullies and charlatans. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the you, even if the you happens to be a multi-billion dollar corporation. Net neutrality is about the freedoms of the people at large supplanting the freedoms of the plutarchy.

I fail to see a damned thing wrong with that.

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Your squirty insecticides make bumblebees SHRINK, warn boffins

Trevor_Pott
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A significant chunk of the world's ecosystems will collapse without bees. That means not just a loss of things plants we eat, but a loss of plants that our prey eats. Worse, the ecosystem change may well be large enough to drive climatic shifts (via changing of hydrology due to alteration in ground cover) which could result in massive changes in "what is arable land."

Short version: humans may survive without bees...but if so, there will be a hell of a lot fewer of us, and I doubt our civilization would make it through the bottleneck. Long version: it would precipitate a mass-extinction event. An even bigger one than we as a species are already responsible for.

So here's a thought: let's just avoid running the experiment, and keep the bees, eh?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Hmm...

"What is in no doubt is that with no bees, we are fucked and with no means to control pests we are as fucked anyway..."

Bullshit. Without bees we are royally, completely, hopelessly, eternally fucked. Without a means to control pests our crop yields will be lower and we will be less profitable.

Do not conflate the two, they are not remotely equivalent.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: OY You lot, over here.

That's because the idea of cell phones harming bees is utter bollocks. There is no scientific evidence for it. There isn't even a theoretical mechanism of action! Every hypothesis I've read on the subject is facile and easily debunked.

That's a ridiculous as "cell phones give you brain cancer." And frankly, if you believe cell phones give you brain cancer you know so little about science that I demand you isolate yourself on a lonely island north of Ireland and never interact with humanity again. The ignorance of such an individual is a far greater risk to our species than non-ionising radiation emissions ever will be.

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Hey, G20. Please knock it off with the whole tax loophole thing - we're good guys, really

Trevor_Pott
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Re: "Taxes need to be levied where the money is"

"You can also wait and tax inheritances." Which can be gotten around in a dozen different ways. Even I can think of methods to dodge inheritance taxes. I'm pretty sure a bunch of on-the-ball tax lawyers would know that one cold.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Well of course they are

"Given this would you prefer that corporations were not legal people?"

Yes. Corporations can't go to jail. They only very rarely see the corporate veil pierced and see directors or executives go to jail. Corporations have a long, rich history of committing crime after crime and getting away with it, or getting hit with little more than a slap on the wrist.

When I compare that nonsense to the damage they have been able to do to the US (and frankly, Canadian) political, social and economic landscape through unchecked (and uncapped!) political donations I find that the greatest good for the greatest number is in taking the powers and privileges of personhood away from corporations as it has been demonstrated repeatedly and disastrously that they absolutely cannot use them responsibly. (And now corporations are allowed to have a religion?!? The fuck, what?)

Corporations should not be legal persons. If they break the law beyond what would be considered a minor breach of protocol/paperwork or a very minor misdemeanor (I.E. things that are understandable to have screwed up because our legal system is incomprehensibly complex) then the corporation should simply be dissolved.

Those who run and own the company are to act with honour and the best of intentions or they lose the privilege of running a corporation. Period.

As part and parcel of this, corporations lose their ability to bribe politicians and quangos outright. Any attempt to donate goods or services to a political campaign by a corporation should result in the immediate dissolution of the corporation and locking away the brass hats that run the thing for a very long time.

One vote per natural person. Period. None among us should be allowed to purchase influence with money.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: an example....

"corporation tax is unfit for purpose and should be replaced"

Replaced with what? Seems to me the proletariat can't afford more of a tax burden than they suffer now, and there's no way on this earth you'll a G20 country is going to raise capital gains by a meaningful amount.

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Trevor_Pott
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Tax the proletariat, you mean. After all, it's only fair, right? Goods and services taxes are fair, no? Progressive taxation is bad. Evil! Why should we tax the rich more than the poor? That's discrimination!

Then you can get into the fallacy that the rich will pay more tax in a GST scenario. Though they rarely do. After all, the rich only eat so much, only have so many cars, only need so many clock-radios, etc. And the tax shortfall that occurs when you move to regressive taxation? Just up the rates! After all, it's fair, isn't it?

That person making $20,000 a year should be paying out a good 30% of that - at least! - in goods and services taxes. That person making $2,000,000 a year should only pay out a good 0.3% of that in goods and services taxes. It's only fair!

Businesses are where the money is concentrated. Unless you are willing to dramatically reform capital gains taxes as well as move to a proper progressive system, then saying "no business taxation" is the same as saying "tax the poor, not the rich."

Taxes need to be levied where the money is. No matter how hard you try you just can't tax the destitute enough to keep your roads and sewers and private-terminal-equipped airports running.

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Ancient carving of 'first human-built holy place' = Primitive Vulture Central

Trevor_Pott
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Scorpion

The explanation of the scorpion is here.

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Smog-hit Beijing shows sunsets on a giant TV to remind people what the sun looks like

Trevor_Pott
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Environmental protections are for hippies. If you're rich enough you can afford a great excursion suit for those rare times you have to leave your hermetically sealed vehicle, office or house. The markets do solve the problem: you just don't like the solution.

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Google cleared to land in private terminal at Silicon Valley airport

Trevor_Pott
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That's a long bus ride for San Jose airport to the Googleplex. I hate that drive. I guess it's more palatable if someone else is doing the driving...

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China in MASSIVE rare earths industry consolidation

Trevor_Pott
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Re: A monopoly is all we need

"Which sounds like an excellent idea really. There's a limited amount of capital in the world, profit is the measure of how much value is being added by deploying that capital. Thus we *want* people to be deploying their capital where it makes the largest profits."

No. That's what sociopaths who only care about profits want.

Human beings capable of emotions like sympathy, compassion, curiosity and wonder want investment to be made where it makes the greatest benefit for the greatest number. Profit generation does not meant he greatest benefit for the greatest number. Profit generation usually means finding regulatory loopholes and dumping externalities onto citizens.

The tantalum mine thing is a great example. The fact that a tantalum mine exists which could extract tantalum doesn't make it equal to the next. There are all sorts of considerations beyond the mere availability of ore. What's in that ore? How does that affect the cost of refining it? Where are you getting your labour (both for extraction and refining) from? What is the environmental impact of extracting and refining the ore? What is the stability of the country, the labour force, the regulatory environment, etc?

These are all factors that have effects on both profit and the ethics of making that profit. Both things - profits and ethics - are very important to those of our species that aren't sociopaths.

Of interest to me also are the two mines you mentioned. Tanco and Sons of Gwalia.

Sons of Gwalia was both a gold mine and a Tantalum mine. The company operating it mad a bunch of really stupid hedges and stock market moves and gold volatility subsequently tanked the property. Demand for tantalum had nothing to do with it: greed and ineptness ensured the downfall of that property independent of any other considerations.

Currently, there are a lot of people trying to get the red tape resolved ASAP and willing to sink a fair amount of money into that mine to get it back up and running. The demand is there for the tantalum it produces. The dog and pony surrounding getting it back up is another story.

Tanco is a completely other issue. The tantalum that comes out of there isn't exactly top quality, nor is the mine set up to be a tantalum mine. Tantalum is an afterthought: the real goal is cesium. The tantalum there has a lot of radioactives and refining it is a bitch and a half. Every gram of refined tantalum coming out of that mine would end up costing about double what the blue river mine would be producing it for.

Tanco is still an operational concern. They just don't feel that hauling tantalite out of the ground at scale and then refining it is worthwhile, given the costs of doing so from that source. Which is - quite frankly - more than fair enough. As mines go, it's an expensive, messy proposition to mine that ore in a safe and environmentally acceptable fashion. To say nothing of the cost of refining. Put bluntly: Canada has a lot better properties for getting Tantalum.

If all we were concerned about was profits then we should just be raping and murdering our way across Africa and using Tantalum from there. It's cheaper than anything any western or eastern mine could produce. For that matter, why don't we just go back to slavery? It's economically efficient. We should jettison environmental regulations and consumer protections...the list goes on.

There's more to it than "the greatest profit." There's obtaining an ethical profit. Ensuring the long term stability of your revenue stream. There are environmental considerations. Labour considerations.

You say "get the most profit possible for your investment." I say "get profit from a stable source that does the least possible amount of damage, even if it isn't the highest profit you could obtain."

Now, admittedly, I'm not a billionaire industrialist so it's easy to argue that my opinion is completely invalid in the context of making money. On the other hand, I'm also not someone running mining/drilling/venture companies into the ground with stock market (or materials market) manipulation schemes...something that seems to be standard operating procedure for the overwhelming majority of companies in the mining industry, including the owners of one of the mines you mentioned. (Sure as as hell stock market scams and manipulations are a very prevalent part of the Canadian minerals scene.)

Thus I come back to my original statement: there's a perfectly good mining property here that could produce all the tantalum anyone could want. It can do it cheaper than any other except the African rape-and-murder mines. It would do far less environmental damage and occurs in a place where the regulatory and labour environment are stable. It just wouldn't produce enough profit, and so it isn't of interest to the very same people screaming loudly that "there isn't enough rare earths availability."

In other words: the greedy sons of bitches screaming about rare earths availability can shut the fuck up. They can have all the rare earths they want as soon as they decide to obtain them. They can even have them at decent prices. Their whinging isn't about availability or even source. It is about their constant desire to increase profits, no matter the human, economic or environmental costs.

I hold those people - and anyone who defends their way of thinking or behaving - in nothing but the absolutely highest of contempt.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Odd asymmetry

Two reasons:

1) The replacements for rare earths don't work as efficiently as rare earths.

2) Rare earths aren't all that rare, nor are they particularly expensive to produce, so there's no rational reason to move to a less efficient process.

Oil will run out in short order. Rare earths will go for thousands of years yet.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: A monopoly is all we need

The problem with your analysis, Tim, is that all your understanding is based on rare earths deposits where there are a great many "undesirable" materials that have to be filtered out and disposed of. (Usually Thorium, Uranium, Mercury, etc.) The particular deposits I am aware of in Canada simply don't have these issues. It's actually quite odd; vast quantities of Tantalum available without much in the way of refining issues? Even China doesn't have that.

Yes, you can pull certain rare earths out from the tailings of other mining operations...but they are tailings for a reason; processing them further produces diminishing returns and increasingly purified Bad Things. That leaves you with ever more expensive leftovers that become increasingly complicated to dispose of.

So while I'm sure your analysis holds for many situations, I promise you it doesn't hold here. In this situation a new hold in the ground would allow you to pull out tantalum and sell it at a profit even if the price of tantalum goes down a fair bit. The only reason it doesn't attract investors is because there is a greater profit to be made elsewhere. But the properties in question here could indeed be exploited profitably, assuming anyone cared enough to do so.

Of course, for you to understand that you would have to actually do some investigation and research regarding the properties in question and not assume that what holds true for one source is true of all. Each hole produces rocks with different chemistry...and that chemistry makes a big difference in how profitable (or not) pulling rocks out will be.

Rare earths extraction simply can be done cheaper here than it can be done elsewhere, except for a few places where murder, torture, maiming rape and slavery are commonplace profit-enhancement methods for getting the goods. Of course, that's just not a big enough deal to anyone to bother with. They're just brown people, who cares, eh?

There are plenty of sources on earth that can produce a reliable source of the metals with a low environmental impact. Australia, California, many of the other Canadian mines, and a few in Europe (that I know of off the top of my head...I'm sure there are more.) Where these specific Canadian properties stand out is that they could produce the materials cheaper than any of the other first-world sources, though not quite as cheaply as blood mineral sources.

To put it bluntly: companies that use rare earths would rather put the same capital to use inventing new ways to not have to use rare earths than invest in new and better ways to get at metals that will only ever have a low number of sources.

If they do so, they can patent the technologies they develop and seek rent on them. They can also use materials that have a far wider number of suppliers around the world than rare earths ever will. It doesn't matter of the replacement technologies are quite as good at the job as rare earths. It doesn't matter if rare earths aren't all that rare and production can be done in a profitable and sustainable way.

What matters is that there are long-term strategic concerns surrounding thwarting others that take precedence. Because Capitalism. Let's all cheer loudly, now. We're making the world a better place!

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FCC boss: I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never gonna keep net neutrality down

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Doesn't it depend what you mean *by* "net neutrality" ?

@Steve Knox A slippery slope is not always a logical fallacy. It is only a logical fallacy if the individual using the argument can demonstrate a clear means by which one could "tumble down the slope." I think the means - and the motives - are clear in this case, making the slippery slope argument valid.

Also: if you prioritize one packet then by definition you are deprioritizing all others. Inspecting the content in order to prioritize a packet A) is a massive privacy violation and B) doesn't remove the original dilemma that by prioritizing "the chosen 1%" you are forcing "the other 99%" to make do with fewer resources.

More to the point, the current trend is to encrypt everything (and that's a fantastic thing.) No method by which you can snoop on content. (Unless you're the NSA and have compromised everything.)

That means you can only reliably prioritize based on source/destination. Pray tell, why not prioritize packets from white neighbourhoods above those of black neighbourhoods? Or from political campaign contributors above those of political opponents.

Oh, you find that suggestion illogical? I feel the same way about saying we should prioritize packets from those with more money over those with less. That's what this all boils down to, at the end of it.

Are we to build an equal society - digitally as well as in the real world - or not? I believe we should. You don't seem to. Never the twain shall meet.

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'Toothless' environment protections in secretive global trade pact TPP leaked all over the web

Trevor_Pott
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Re: U.S. Citizens

My own country's economy would be severely shaken by this effort. The world would have to scramble to cope with any such major change.

It's a sacrifice worth making.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: U.S. Citizens

War is unnecessary. I do, however, advocate global abandonment of all free-trade treaties with the US and a series of economic blockades be established until they get their shit sorted. Plutocracy is no better than theocracy.

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Trevor_Pott
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The USA is supposed to put the interests of it's citizens above that of it's plutocrats. That means things like pushing for strong economic protections, sane copyright laws and trade agreements that promote global harmony.

Trade deals like this need to enhance all party nations so that long-term relations are maintained and that the citizens can derive benefit for generations. They emphatically must not elevate the corporate interest of a small group of plutocrats above the interests of regular citizens or harmonious cooperation. That isn't good for the citizens of the USA...and the citizens are the ones who are supposed to be benefiting from all activities their elected representatives - or the appointed staffs they oversee - engage in.

The TPP does not benefit the citizens of any member nation. It benefits only the plutocrats. Why should the citizens - or governments - of any nation support it?

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NDP, card carrying for 15 years...but next vote is for Trudeau. I don't care about the "dynasty" nonsense. He's the halfwit I think will do the least amount of damage.

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30% of Canadians will vote Tory until the day they die. When confronted with the actual policies enacted by the Tory government, however, over half of those individuals regularly decry them.

The other 70% of Canadians are vehemently opposed to the Tory government and it's policies. Opposition to the TPP treaty is strong in and organized here...but since the Tories managed to gerrymander enough ridings to get a majority, they have carte blanche and we're screwed.

Steven Harper and his government do not represent anything close to the majority of Canadians. We are forced to obey because men with guns make us, not because the majority asked for him to lead us.

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The TPP is a bad treaty for everyone but the plutarchy. Which is, of course, why the US and the desert-island-filled-with-monsters US wannabe are all for it.

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NSA: It's TRUE, we grab 200 MILLION of your text messages A DAY globally

Trevor_Pott
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Pint

If you have nothing to hide you probably don't have enough beer. :)

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Boffins hampered by the ampere hanker for a quantum answer

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Nail that Electron

Reroute the EPS flow through secondary relays and cycle the pattern through the cargo pad buffers. Once there, you should be able to get a lock on the pattern in the cargo pad buffers by using a second annular confinement beam.

Just make sure you track both beams and re-integrate them, otherwise you'll clone whatever's in the buffer.

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Top patent troll sues US regulators for interfering with its business

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Venue

The court evolution to process patents faster came after the patent cases moved there en masse. It really started with the jury pool. From there, screwing the average guy became a big money industry.

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Re: Venue

The downvotes are because you are wrong. People choose East Texas because it contains a bunch of highly pro-business hicks. These people are easily bamboozled by the patent lawyers and there is an entire industry built up around understanding the local cultural moores to better appeal to them and get them to "vote" your way.

East Texas is chosen because of the "quality" of it's jury pool. Nothing more.

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Chuh! 'Grossly inadequate': Time Warner Cable rejects $62bn hostile takeover bid

Trevor_Pott
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Re: There is always a bit I get confused by ...

Because your analogy sucks, good sir?

This is more akin to a property being owned by an elderly out-of-country couple and managed locally by a hired property management firm. A property developer comes along looking to buy up all the houses in a given subdivision so they can raze the whole lot and rebuild.

The developer submit an offer to the property management firm in question and ask them to pass that information up the stack to the property owners. The property management firm for whatever reason says "get stuffed". The developer says "I don't think so," then goes and pulls the property records from the local city hall and sends the offer via certified mail to the elderly out-of-country-couple, bypassing the property management firm.

That is a far more accurate analogy for this situation.

Offer made to the elderly couple - in this case, the offer presented to the shareholders directly at a shareholder's meeting - the "owners" then have their chance to say "get stuffed" or accept. The opinions and desires of the management company - in this case, the board of directors - are completely irrelevant; they are hired only the manage the asset. Their feelings about who can or can't own it simply don't matter.

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Re: Fiber Internet

You're funny. That would be good for the customer. ISPs don't ever do anything that might potentially benefit a customer.

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Basho throws life raft to organizations pummelled by unruly Riak DBs

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Sysadmins in "not getting funding for 5 nodes when it is technically possible to make the bugger work on one node" shocker.

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I found an asteroid! yells revived probe NEOWISE. Boffins nod politely

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Re: Did they call the AA out?

The telescope only needed be cooled down so far in order to see dim ultra-dim objects; think brown dwarfs. Running at a hotter temperature doesn't allow it to see these objects, but would allow it to see brighter ones.

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Dell staffers react to news of 1-in-3 axe dangling overhead

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Re: Fatboy Dell

No, that requires a good set of SEs. The salesman is just the monkey pushing the knobs to make the invoices occur. :)

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Re: Fatboy Dell

"Good argument as long as you accept your initial premise which requires a company to have ethics and care about the customer instead of only the next quarter's bonuses which is becoming rarer and rarer."

...which is purportedly why Michael Dell took the company private, no? To be free of the Wall Street pressures that make this myopic "only this quarter's numbers matter" view such a necessity? I believe that the theory is "Wall Street's demands make it impossible to treat the customer properly, ultimately leading to customer exodus, thus Dell will go private in order to free itself from Wall Street's demands enabling customer acquisition and retention by not being douchenozzles."

Here's hoping they succeed, because I'd love to see Wall Street's chronic economic myopia disproven in spectacular fashion.

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Re: Fatboy Dell

No, it doesn't have anything to do with upselling...at least not if it's done honestly and properly. A good example is something as simple as "power over Ethernet."

Way back in the day, I had some PoE equipment installed that fried a bunch of badly designed older hardware as soon as the cable was plugged in. This was in the early days of PoE stuff and a lot of widgetry was not constructed to be able to cope with it. I have been wary of PoE ever since.

Today, virtually all equipment you could find should coexist just fine with PoE, and modern PoE stuff should be able to detect if there's a non-PoE device on the other end and simply not send voltage. A really bad salesman came to visit one day and tried to sell me things involving PoE. It might well have been a decent solution, however, I certainly had an irrational fear of PoE given my previous negative experience. (Which was about ten years prior to said salesman's visit.)

Had the salesman had a decent sales engineer with him, they could have explained the advances in PoE equipment, worked with me to identify all devices on teh network and determine if they'd insta-fry and otherwise put the "myths" that I had accumulated surrounding the technology firmly to bed.

That is the job of the sales engineer. It isn't to sell, and certainly it isn't to upsell. (That's what Mr. Charisma is for.) The job of the sales engineer is to answer the technical questions and get to the truth of the matter.

I hate pushy salespeople as much as the next guy...but I have nothing but shitloads of respect for proper sales engineers. IT weenies are inherently conservative people: change is anathema and they need to understand and control every last element. The sales engineer is the dude that explains the minute details so that the nerd brigade has the appropriate amount of warm fuzzies and will sign off on it.

Good sales engineers are the difference between getting the right solution into an enterprise and getting a bunch of upsold shite that is unfit for purpose...or piles of unnecessary shite that doesn't meet business requirements, but are bought because the nerds want toys.

Now, if you could convince a Dell or an HP to fire Mr Charisma Closer Guy and just run the joint on SEs, that would be awesome. I can dream...

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@Ledswinger HP doesn't make money off Enterprise services for two reasons

A) They skimp on the sales staff and support staff training, pay and incentives, leading to poorly trained, lower-quality people

B) They don't invest in R&D or sensible acquisitions, leading to having technology a generation and a half (or more) behind.

Dell thinks they can do well in enterprise, MSP, CSP and government services because they believe that without the pressures of Wall Street forcing them to behave in very proscribed ways they can offer superior quality and service resulting in a slow, but steady building of reputation for being "the best." Ultimately, they hope this will lead those with money to choose them over companies like HP that never will be "the best".

Will that work? Nobody knows. However, that is the great experiment currently underway.

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Re: Fatboy Dell

Actually, "sales engineers" are often required for a few reasons.

A) Dispelling myths about technologies held by sysadmins whose knowledge hasn't kept up with the evolving technology

B) Helping design solutions that meet the needs of a given business

C) Helping craft transitions between extant product sets and the new stuff

We have reached a point where no human brain can contain all knowledge required to know every single feature, option, configuration and artifact of VMware, let alone the whole of our industry. A properly designed sales team is a charismatic fellow (the closer) who can talk dollars and cents backed up by a small fleet of domain experts (the sales engineers) who can talk shop and know their tech inside and out.

This is how you design and build a proper IT sales team, especially for enterprise.

If you, personally, know enough to know exactly what you need...great. A lot of folks don't, even if they are great sysadmins or engineers. There's just too much out there to know the quirks of it all, it's all evolving...and everyone is evolving in different directions at the same time.

Dell needs to be more than "NewEgg for Enterprises." I think Dell (the man) recognized that. That's what this corporate bloodbath is all about.

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Meta search engines may infringe database rights: EU Court of Justice

Trevor_Pott
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Uh...did they just say DuckDuckGo was illegal?

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Microsoft Twitter accounts, blog hijacked by SEA

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LastPass Enterprise. FFS, Microsoft, the solution is COTS!

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Workers, guards clash in hours-long Samsung factory RIOT in Vietnam

Trevor_Pott
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Oh, aye, because ANY of the major manufacturers are better. Apple makes some token efforts - after someone discovers issues, not proactively - but pretty much every other manufacturer in the fortune 1000 seems to have no moral qualms whatsoever about abusing or even murdering sentient, sapient beings for their own profit. To say nothing of their utter disregard for the environment.

I too echo the calls for import tarrifs equal to the wage delta + the cost of externality nullification they enjoy by ruining the planet. No business should be allowed to externalise costs onto society; not local ones, nor foreign ones.

We only get one planet, and each of us has but one set of days. It is wildly unethical to ruin either; for ourselves, but especially for others.

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Tizen: We have ignition! Smartmobes will come to fruition in spring - reports

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Why?@Dan 55

@Ledswinger Venture capitalism is the Patronage of captialism. I know several VCs and they are as much (or more) about ego and vanity than they are about "making money." In fact, in my conversations with them they seem to view funding projects as a simple act of maths. In one variant or another I've had litterally dozens of VCs say the following to me:

"Roughly one in ten will make it big. two in ten will make you back your investment. You just have to see it through and accept there will more losers than winners. Pick projects and people you like, technologies that interest you; ultimately, you'll want to get involved. Maybe you'll mentor. Maybe you'll help with contacts. Maybe it will be to bring in other funders, but being a venture capitalist is more about supporting projects you enjoy than making money. The money will get made; concentrate on the product."

"You could be right, on the other hand you don't know what my background is. My guess is you are more wrong than right on that, but the simple ad hominem is not becoming of you, IMHO."

Saying to you "Ledswinger, I think you're biased against open source and that your personal bias is clouding your judgment as regards your ability to understand how open source coders make money" is not an ad hom. It's saying "nevertheless, it exists" and pointing out that your belief or understanding is unnecessary. It is not the universe's job to reveal itself to you, but your job to understand the universe.

Regardless of your comprehension or approval, open source devs still feed their families the world over.

Use of open source software does not indicate you aren't deeply biased against the ideological and economic policies that underlie open source. A ruthless capitalist who sneers at any concept remotely approaching collectivism or putting the needs of others before themselves would jump at the chance to get something for free, or to use the existence of a free offering as leverage against a non-free vendor.

That said, I do firmly believe that your comments have demonstrated a personal bias against the economic and ideological underpinnings of open source such that you are not allowing yourself to understand the funding models that exist for sailfish and that work for many other projects.

Put simply, I believe you don't like those models you cast about for an alternate explanation - any alternate explanation - that feels more comfortable and familiar.

Imagine a scenario in which someone could invest $5M into Project A, expecting an ROI of 80%. Alternately he could invest into project B, expecting an ROI of 50%.

If he were just a purely hard-nosed capitalist then he would chose Project A. If, however, he were an ideologically - or vanity - motivated capitalist then he might well chose Project B because project B did something he felt was worth doing. That's patronage, even if it comes with a profit motive hanging off of it.

Lots of people - even people with money - do things for reasons that aren't black and white. They may seek to gain personally in some way, but choose to achieve thier capitalistic ends by helping others along the way. As far as I'm concerned, that's a form of patronage...or as close as capitalism gets, anyways.

Whether you accept it or not, these projects still get funded. Developers still feed their families.

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Re: Why?@Dan 55

@ Ledswinger patrons who think that Sailfish is something that will ultimately take off and make everyone a lot of money. Jolla - the main group behind the OS - just got 20M+ in VC funding a while ago. That's the modern patronage system at work. Many other developers for to Sailfish are paid for by various companies who feel they'll benefit from the OS (or the core technologies developed as part of it) and together, all the developers form the Sailfish community.

Just like Linux. Just like Mozilla. Just like Apache.

As for your "fairly average piles of code" comment, I think it's pretty clear that

A) You don't understand what people like Torvalds actually do in relation to the projects they run and

B) You're actually rather biased against these efforts.

Mozilla and the Linux kernel team are both responsible for some of the most complex - and miserably difficult - code mankind has ever written. The genius lies in tying so many moving parts together and keeping them working. The modern browser alone is more complex than entire operating systems were in the early 90s, and the Linux kernel is quite the feat of engineering; especially for something that isn't run by a dedicated team of the world's top highest-paid specialists...yet seems to compete with the best that the world's highest-paid specialists can create.

You seem unable to understand how open source works, and how so many projects continue to make money. Project after project, distribution after distribution continues to tick along. The Weyland/Weston team - formerly X.org, formerly X11 - have been doing their thing for 30 years. Red Hat begat both RHEL and Fedora, each of which spawn several derivative distros, and they don't seem to be going anywhere.

Mozilla has sugar daddies, as does Apache, the Linux Foundation, and so forth. Even the equivalent of "open source" musicians make money in today's world: look at John Coulton.

You seem to view code as nothing more than a means to a commercial end and thus seem unable to understand why anyone would pay for anything they could otherwise just get for free and run off with. You completely miss the point, and in doing so fail to understand the model upon which open source thrives.

Open source is far closer to art than commerce. Code as artistic endeavour is the mindset you need if you're to understand how funding occurs in this world. It's miserable. It's a lot of chasing sponsors and a lot of trying to build up a community of people who like your work and convincing them to pay you so you can keep making more. Often, you need a patron...sometimes in the form of a single rich donor, sometimes in the form of a corporation, sometimes in the form of organized community efforts.

I would pay good money for Sailfish. Once a phone is on the streets and in my hands, I will. I'll cut a cheque to Jolla and make sure that the relevant open source foundation for Sailfish is added to my company's yearly list of donation targets.

If I don't support the projects that make the stuff I like then those projects won't be there. I'm even trying to get enough money together to support a full time body to work on open source projects. First Weston/Weyland and FreeRDP Server integration/development, then ReactOS. That's "patronge"...or at least the modern form of it.

It's also how a lot fo open source devs gets paid.

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