* Posts by Slx

400 posts • joined 5 Jun 2010

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USB-C is now wired for sound, just like Sir Cliff Richard

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Just as long as they don't have all the "fail-dangerous" electrical mismatches with the current USB-C cables and devices!

I don't want my ears blown off because some manufacturing error misidentifies the USB-C headphone jack as a USB-C tumble dryer power supply or something like that.

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Apple moving to scrubbed up London's Battersea Power Station

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That move was planned long before Brexit. They're just consolidating a load of offices scattered around London as it makes a lot more sense to have everyone in one place for a whole load of logistical reasons.

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Shopkeeper installs forecourt khazi to counter mystery Dublin dung dumper

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Re: Will the wee fecker...

Meh! Sure half of you lot pronounce "th" as "f"

As in "Arfur is having a barf"

People in glass houses ...

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We certainly do except it's called CrimeCall... Same concept almost exactly though.

Any similarity is mere coincidence!!

http://www.rte.ie/tv/crimecall/

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British unis mull offshore EU campuses in post-Brexit vote panic

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Over here Ireland we have kilometres and Euros but we also have pints of beer and enormous 3-pin fused plugs. The sacred plumbing tradition of these islands has also been preserved - usually keeping the hot and cold water carefully separated for absolutely no logical reason!

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iPhone 7's Qualcomm, Intel soap opera dumps a carrier lock-out on us

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Dual-SIM phones are fairly unusual in Europe too but I think it's largely because (with a couple of exceptions) in the vast majority of countries you'd typically buy a network subsidised phone. So, naturally enough they're usually SIM locked to their original network until you pay down a minimum term contract.

EU voice and text roaming is increasingly just included in your typical "bill pay" plan but, data is still a bit stingy and expensive.

For example I'm using Meteor (Eir) in Ireland:

€35 / month : 30GB 4G data (as well as absolutely unlimited data to Facebook, Instagram and Pokémon Go... Which is a bit pointless), unlimited calls, unlimited texts, 50 minutes of international calls to most destinations (including mobile) and unlimited EU voice/ text roaming but only a stingy 1GB of EU data... So, when I roam I usually bring an unlocked android phone to use as a mobile WiFi hotspot with a local SIM.

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It is dying because the telcos can't get access to the same range of network equipment that their competitors using open GSM / 3GPP standards can and they've all sorts of hassle getting first shout at handsets and other gear.

Also CDMA One (IS-95)/ CDMA 2000 (IS-2000) should be confused with the generic cover of CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) which was around as a concept before either Qualcomm system for example it is used by GPS satellites and is also uses in 3GPP standards like UMTS (also known as W-CDMA).

Where the GSM family is standards absolutely won out is that they are an open, totally modular system where you can easily implement multivendor platforms using all sorts of equipment from loads of different companies without that much difficulty.

The other system is far more proprietary at least at the radio interface level. (Switching and data centre stuff is more or less the same for any telco network).

ALL of the CDMA One / CDMA 2000 systems will cut over to pure LTE eventually with VoLTE for voice. That finishes their dependency on proprietary gear.

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CDMA isn't really used at all in Europe other than a small Nepal on the Czech Republic. CDMA2000 on 450MHz was used for data only in a few countries where analogue NMT-450 was used but, it's largely been replaced by much faster LTE.

Also, a few places use it for machine to machine stuff; mostly almost closed networks owned by utilities to read meters.

But, in general European spec handsets don't have any reason to support CDMA, so given its a huge market, I'm guessing we'll be seeing more Intel radio chips sets here than you'll see in the USA.

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Apple's tax bill: Big in Japan. Like, $120m big

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Not really, I just think that it's very easy to go after consumer product companies while absolutely ignoring the 400 ton home-grown elephants in quite a lot of rooms around the world.

The fact that these companies get away with not paying tax in the first place is political. The fact that certain companies are selected to pay tax all of a sudden is political.

What would be non-political would be uniform and proper enforcement and proper international taxation arrangements.

The Apple and Ireland ruling still has to show that it can prove that the taxation regime Apple received is selective. If the ruling was available to any company / broad category of companies, it won't be a competition case at all. So, there's still quite a way to go with this in terms of appeals before it's over.

If you want to resolve tax planning though, you need international treaties and some degree of harmonisation to stop companies from just sailing between jurisdictions, which is effectively what Apple was doing, between the US and Ireland.

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I'm just hoping all the various tax authorities and EU competition authorities go after the massive Wall Street and London based, as well as Frankfurt and Paris based banks, the oil companies, the major telcos and the other extremely well connected or even formerly state owned companies that seem to be paying a pittance, with the same vigour that they're going after Apple and some other 'sexy brands'.

I am annoyed that Apple seem to be 'innovating' to avoid tax, but at the same time I think they are right to a degree in calling this 'political' as the target has been very selective: an iconic US brand and a small country that can't just tell the EU to go away (as the bigger countries have done on things like fiscal deficit rules).

There's huge "aggressive avoidance" going on all over the place. It's not limited to Apple and it's certainly not limited to Ireland. These companies effectively set their own rules by having such enormous persuasion power either using lobbying tactics in the Washington DC and elsewhere or, somewhere like Ireland (and lots of other countries and EU regions and US states that find themselves in similar positions) holding the carrot of job creation out and threatening economic armagheddon away if there's any innovation on tax collection policies.

I just think we need general improvement of enforcement across the board, but I think it'll be a cold day in hell before we see major action taken against the financial services sector in particular, but also big energy or other 'pet industries'.

At the end of the day, it isn't the IT sector that due to pathetically poor regulation nearly drove the global economy off a cliff. It was the financial services sector, who are still largely treated as some kind of gods of capitalism, despite everything!

So, obviously the most important thing at the moment is to go after the IT sector and coffee companies.

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Swedish appeals court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

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I still think It's odd one as you wouldn't really rank Sweden's judiciary as highly corruptible or politically influenced. One would assume it's likely to be a model of jurisprudence?

I mean, there's a long list of countries that I would consider far more likely to have a risk of political interference in court cases. In general though, most of the small, fairly neutral, Northern European countries tend to be the most likely to actually give someone a fair trail.

Surely his biggest risk is actually being in London, particularly during a period when it is leaving the EU and all the European Conventions on Human Rights and courts as well as the UK's own Human Rights Act etc may be irrelevant very soon and the place is being run by Big Sister.

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Users fear yet another hack as TalkTalk services go down

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TalkTalk is a good name for them ... All Talk!

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You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack

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I wonder about this kind of approach.

Spending money on retrofitting homes with modern levels of insulation, heat recovery ventilation, high insulation windows and sensible levels of insulation in plumbing systems would make more sense.

The insulation levels found in a lot of buildings in the UK and in Ireland is often really primitive.

Even something simple like getting rid of "immersion" tanks would make sense. I am not aware of anywhere else in the world that heats water by storing it in a bare copper cylinder, often insolated by a badly fitted fibreglass "jacket" held on with tie strings.

Elsewhere in the world water heaters are usually highly insulated tanks that suffer from very very little heat loss. There's actually no reason for things like electric showers and instantaneous high wattage water heaters if this stuff is done right. You should be getting your hot water from solar and whatever fuel you are using to heat your radiators and storing it in a super efficiently insulated tank.

Classic systems in these islands basically blast heat into an "airing cupboard".

Britian and Ireland need to address the obvious before going to solutions like smart metering.

A major programme of retrofitting homes would be a less PR-sexy but far more impactful measure.

We've some degree of this going on in Ireland with grant aid and tax incentives to upgrade things but it really should be scaled up.

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What's up, Zuck? FTC to probe Facebook for WhatsApp phone number mega-slurp

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Re: Facebook's creepiness knows no bounds

It's a vile mix of spewing and barfing simultaneously.

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Hello, Star Trek? 25th Century here: It's time to move on

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Re: There's a simple reason for all this...

The budgets and time frames for production aren't what they were when the big networks dominated the whole market.

People may end up paying for subscription models or they may not, but TV is extremely expensive to produce (at least with any quality) and as we get more and more 'content' to fill space, a lot of it is just garbage and recycled old ideas.

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Re: I have a speech...

Picard talked the aliens to death, Kirk was more likely to date them!

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Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree

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I think I might stick with driving around with a tank of highly explosive liquid under the back seat instead. I mean, when's the last time a petrol car ever blew up in a blazing inferno? I'm sure that's absolutely never happened.

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You're guilty but broke, judge tells Wash.io – the 'Uber of laundry'

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Re: Tech washing!

Yeah, well that's another extreme again and a nice euphemistic term like "off shoring" or "outsourcing" gets used ... It's more the replacement for "slavery" than "piecework".

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Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

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It's a classic high end product marketing tactic. They're creating an allure of exclusivity, exactly like a high end department store, a night club you can't get into very easily, a fashion event at Paris Fashion Week, that kind of thing.

You're writing articles about how hard it is to get into their 'exclusive' press conference, giving them tons of free publicity about how exclusive their product is.

The reality is it's an expensive (yet affordable) high-end smartphone that is absolutely mass market and basically as common as muck. A lot of mid-end consumer product brands do this - mostly in fashion, cosmetics, automotive etc.. It's just a bit unusual in the IT sector as we are still getting used to the concept of marketing IT products as "affordable luxury" consumer goods.

What Apple has done in a way that most IT companies have never really achieved is turn an IT device into a highly sought after consumer good. They are still very much IT products, but they cross the line into areas of design and marketing that would have usually been reserved for high end audio-visual devices that are 'fashion statements'.

It's *very* clever marketing. You really do have to hand it to them!

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Spinning that Brexit wheel: Regulation lotto for tech startups

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Re: The uncertainty is the key issue

I think in all likelihood the EU and the Euro will simply plod along and keep going without much in the way of major meltdowns. It tends to just continuously fumble its way out of crisis and keep going somehow.

There are fundamental questions about what the future of the EU and whether there is even a shared vision of where it's headed. The idea that you can just have "ever closer union" doesn't really add up as there isn't really the willingness to even discuss making it a federal democracy or even use the word "federal" without having half the room start fainting in horror.

So, without being a federal democracy the concept of any process of "ever closer union" is really a bit of a non-starter.

So, I think ultimately it just has to stay as some kind of halfway house between federation and intergovernmental organisation and probably jettisoning members who don't want to be in either.

I still think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

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Re: The uncertainty is the key issue

The major problem we're having in ireland is a lack of housing and office space.

There's a hangover in the cities due to the property bust which kind of saw the banks go from one extreme to the other - lending to absolutely any daft scheme in the middle of nowhere to refusing to lend to anyone on a remotely sensible basis. The construction sector is only starting to catch up again in the last year or so, but it probably can scale up very quickly if necessary - probably based on plenty of flexible immigration from Eastern Europe and by calling some of the ex-pats who are in Australia and so on home.

As far as I can see here, most people are quite comfortable with Eastern European immigration. We know it works both ways and most of us have been on the other side of that story ourselves / our families in the past. The influx of people from countries like Poland, the Czech Republic has actually opened up huge business opportunities. We networked the feck out of the situation and it has genuinely opened up huge business and cultural links.

There are some major projects underway in Dublin and Cork in particular, and I'm pretty sure we can probably accommodate any influx of Brexit escapees.

I don't think though any city anywhere in Europe would be able to instantly accommodate a huge influx without a few bumps, but we'll get there! It's not like any functioning property market has supply vastly exceeding demand, at least not where anyone actually wants to live anyway.

But, don't worry we'll save all your IT companies, banks and anything else you care to send this way from the whims of the Tories and UKIP, and it seems we also allow cloud-based tax residency. Or, at least that's what the European Commission is alledging and we're about to defend to the hilt... So, more or less the same shinangans that you're used to in the City of London, just with a different accent and more craic.

Also, passports! If you have an Irish granny, or if you think you might have one, or if you're resident there for a period of time for any legal purpose, or you're particularly good at football (in which case we will find you an Irish granny ...) you can take up citizenship.

It's not that we wish don't wish the UK well. It's just that we have to take every opportunity to protect against the knock-on effects of Brexit and we're not likely to be shy about rolling out the red carpet.

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BA check-in system checks out: Staff flung back to cruel '90s world of paper

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I seem to remember in the 2000s a lot of airlines still had big multi-layer carbon paper based high tech ticketing and computers that looked like something out of a 1970s sci-fi movie.

Ah, the good old days! I remember when you had physical tickets and airlines didn't assume that everyone's a potential terrorist.

Also, Aer Lingus used to try and usually succeed in serving a full fried breakfast on a 40 internal Irish flight and to think, that was all for the price of an iPhone 7 or a small car. I'm sure it was totally worth it.

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Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablets recalled immediately

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This is why I charge my phone overnight in a heavy glass bowl positioned away from my bedding or anything papery and have a smoke detector in the bedroom and the study...

I don't fully trust lithium ion batteries on charge.

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Cooky crumbles: Apple mulls yanking profits out of Europe and into US

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Re: SpaceX

They've already got a head office located in the iCloud.

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Tim Cook: EU lied about Apple taxes. Watch out Ireland, this is a coup!

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Re: Well, bears in the woods etc.

They were actually high interest LOANS not grant aid. Not a cent was written down. The bail out is a whole other kettle of corporate fish. The Irish were effectively forced to borrow vast amounts of money under the "no banker left behind" policy.

Don't worry, other EU tax payers got or are getting that back, with hefty interest and avoided their banks going bang as a result.

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AT&T trash talks Google over Fiber fiasco: Leave ISP stuff to the experts

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Some telcos will use terms like "fiber" to describe anything ... 28.8 modem over a POTS line is technically "fiber powered" once it gets past the local central office.

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Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

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Simple really..

Simple really : They'll launch the iPhone 7, everyone will coo over it for weeks and forget this sorry incident ever happened.

It's the Mom Corp school of Public Relations.

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You'd kind of wonder why a company that is hugely profitable is still so obsessed with tax avoidance. It's hardly like they're living by the pin of their collar. I know they were in the 1990s but, at this stage it's a bit nuts.

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Ankers away! USB-C cables recalled over freakin' fried phone fears

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USB C is too bloody complicated!

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EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

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All I know is that I'd better pack the bags!

Well, it looks like I made a colossal mistake settling down in Ireland again after the recession.

If those MNCs pull out, that's 200,000+ jobs gone and absolute economic ruin.

Couple it with likely trade barriers due to Brexit, falling £ Sterling values and Irish SME's being massively exposed to the UK market, you could be looking at Ireland going back to being broke in the medium term.

I suppose I'd better have my exit strategy planned, just in case, as this looks like a potential mess!

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Re: Re:at the end of the day...

Still remains to be seen if the legal ones are clear.

I've a feeling this one will drag for months, if not years.

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At the end of the day, all of these companies basically play places that are desperate for jobs and investment off each other and extract maximum subsidies.

I remember seeing a documentary about Amazon in the UK and their Welsh warehouse had received subsidies to setup in terms of laying out a red carpet of facilities and infrastructure to support it. The same company was basically wiping out large sections of the retail economy in the UK, none of which was receiving supports.

You've car plants in cities that desperately needed investment that were incentivised by tax breaks, free facilities, you name it.... red carpet rolled out. These are super wealthy companies in many cases that do not need state aid.

Budget airlines approach small cities' airports and basically get those cities and regions to help market their products.

Add in all the European "national champions" who were state aided and subsides for no reason other than national pride was being injured or there were threats to loss of employment.

Then throw in the banking industry which was basically state aided to the tune of hundreds of billions, if not trillions when you add it all up. The banks just pretty much put a gun to the head of every state with a threat of financial armageddon if they weren't bailed out and they were 'too big to fail' and so on.

The list is endless and it happens all over the world.

The same business lobbyists tend to bemoan social welfare and public expenditure yet they're all in receipt of huge handouts, often to the determent of other businesses that play entirely by the visible rules and don't have the lobbying power or scale to come up with these complicated structures.

As states and regions and cities, we're being played. It's as simple as that.

One could even argue the City of London is being played as banks mould it to suit their needs, not its citizens'. New York is being played, the US government is being played.

All of these companies have us by the short and curlies and states simply aren't as powerful as they used to be. The balance has tipped towards corporates and it is getting worse and worse as time goes on and more power is consolidated in richer, and richer companies.

Ireland's not the bad guy here, it's a country that had a dire need for investment to create jobs. So, did "whatever it takes" to get those and that clearly included ensuring that this company paid ludicrously low tax.

We're all competing to try and lour investors and and are being rewarded with the right to work there and earn money, which generates tax and economic activity. The profits however are simply not being taxed.

The effective tax rates across Europe will tell you a completely different story to the headline corporate tax rates. Everyone's talking out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to this topic. Even high tax countries like France have effective rates of corporation tax that are really surprisingly low.

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Re: I wonder how much Dell is liable for

Dell pulled a load of facility out of Ireland in 2009 in Limerick causing about 1,200 job losses and something like 9,500 indirect job losses to suppliers and service companies.

They moved to Poland and that plant was then sold to Foxconn.

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Re: RE: tax competency

The issue remains to be seen if this will cause job losses though.

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Well, considering that Irish voters were promised time and time again that the EU did not have tax competency and it has now acquired it by function creep, I can see this resulting in no other EU referendum in Ireland ever passing again.

BTW: We may need to have a referendum on approving the Brexit deal if it in any way impacts our constitution, so there could be a massive political sticking point ahead.

What this will come down to in Ireland is jobs. If there are job losses in Apple or other MNCs that impact the economic recovery here, there will be a major political problem to deal with.

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SETI Institute damps down 'wow!' signal report from Russia

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Apparently the Russians picked this up last year and kind of went "Damn alien signals messing up our readings!" and didn't tell anyone, assuming it wasn't all that big a deal.

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Europe to order Apple to cough up 'one beeellion Euros in back taxes'

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Re: Irish logic

Not really, the risk to Ireland is that this could spook the horses and cause a massive economic crisis if MNCs up and leave.

Ireland's general plan is to not rock the boat too much and maybe have some kind of smooth transition period to just flat, low corporate tax.

The one thing that worries me though is that this may end up being a witch hunt by some of the larger countries against the smaller ones. One would wonder what level of state subsidies various national champions in France, or Germany have benefitted from over the years. Or how much state aided marketing through things like overseas investment loans etc were used to prop up infrastructural companies and so on were used by various states.

It's relatively easy to go after US multinationals in a small country that's somewhat beholden to the EU due to the recent fiscal crisis that it's just about over. But, lets see how easy it would be to probe some of the large German or French companies.

The Irish have always been extremely conservative about ceding tax competencies to Brussels and it was one of the sticking points in every EU referendum there. If there's any major issue that impacts the Irish economy negatively, I could see Ireland becoming a lot more Eurosceptic very quickly.

Simple reality in Cork is that this is ~6000 direct, mostly fairly well-paid jobs in a city of about 200,000 people.

Morals aside, if Irish politicians don't work to protect those, they'll be out on their backsides and they know it. It's a proportional representation system with a very fine balance of power too, so there is no such thing as a 'safe seat'.

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Re: Ultimately though

Some of this goes way back to 1991 when Apple was a high-risk "beleaguered" company and far from the massive entity it is now.

For years Apple was very much only holding on by the skin of it teeth. It's only really in the post iPod era that it went through the roof in about 2003-4 and onwards.

They were still a bit of a weird underdog, quirky maker of an alternative OS and strange looking computers until the iPad and then iPhone launched in 2007 and we got what is now the megacorp.

The Irish Government would have seen it as 'taking a chance' on a dodgy IT company at one stage. It's hard to believe now, given how huge it is. But, Apple arrived in Ireland in 1980, only employing 19 people at Hollyhill in Cork. This was pre-Mac, never mind iPhone. It was actually in Cork before the first Apple IPO share offering in 1980....

LONG time resident.

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The EU isn't levying the tax. It will attempt to force the Irish Revenue Commissioners to collect it and put it into the Irish exchequer.

The argument is that because Apple allegedly got a special deal that wasn't available to any other company it was a distortion of competition and illegal state aid.

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Ireland looks like it's outpacing Britain in the superfast broadband rollout stakes

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Re: Cu?

Not to mention that for the time being BT, like OpenEir is still required to maintain copper access for voice and certain legacy services. The line cards and network equipment may be located in a street cabinet rather than a big exchange, but it'll be a long time (if at all) before they start as actually pulling copper out of the ground, if the ever do.

I could see a situation where they won't take new copper orders if fibre is in place though.

We've already got a situation in Ireland where every VDSL2 modem / router rolled out for FTTC has a VoIP ATA built in. Notably, only Sky don't do this. The standard modem/router access gateway as from Eir, Vodafone, Digiweb etc all have two PSTN sockets and a built in ATA. The network manages the QoS for VoIP back to the soft switches so, it's more like cable telephony rather than over the top public internet VoIP.

Vodafone (fixed line) began to default port voice service over to a managed VoIP platform and off the OpenEir POTS network, which is clearly more expensive. Digiweb seems to have offered VoIP as their primary PSTN product from the start of FTTC.

To me, it looks like the Irish general plan would seem to be to radically shrink the legacy PSTN network over the next few yesrs, pushing as many lines over to SIP based VoIP as possible and then replacing dial-tone service with smaller VoIP based MSANs for the lines that remain in service. It's shrinking anyway due to migration to mobile and businesses moving SIP trunks, hosted PBX service etc etc ... But, I think they'll be giving it an extra push so it'll get to the stage that the only PSTN and ISDN still in service will be either very long, rural lines that don't support adequate VDSL, a few specials circumstances and absolute hold outs who don't have broadband.

Cutting the whole PSTN over to VoIP cabinets

Also copper multicore longer runs aren't generally replaced here anymore and haven't been for a long time. New housing developments, business parks and areas where multicore cables have had problems are usually served by a fibre-linked remote unit. You'll see a little group of cabinets containing an Alcatel or Ericsson voice / ISDN exchange, a cabinet with DSLAMs for ADSL /VDSL and then remote FTTC cabinets scattered around.

Realistically though, I think copper is going to still be in active use for decades to come. It'll just fizzle out over time and more and more fibre will be deployed.

The only logic I could see in removing old copper lines might be to free up duct space for more extensive fibre.

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Re: Why FTTP?

Wireless is fine in rural areas where you've tons of spectrum available due to low density. If you threw everyone in a city, or even medium sized town onto a wireless network for all of their broadband needs you would completely run out of radio spectrum and the whole thing would collapse in a heap.

Mobile reception in cities essentially uses smaller and smaller cells to attempt to support more users simultaneously but it has its limits.

Ideally we should be putting as much data into fixed line networks as possible and keeping radio spectrum for genuinely mobile service and rural services.

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I'm sitting in on the edge of Cork City with 360 Mbit/s

You can get 1Gbit/s in some of Cork's suburban areas from Eir and from Siro in at least a couple of county towns.

It's very hard to generalise about Irish broadband. It's very good if you're in a cabled area or on a phone line that's less than 1km from a street cabinet and basically every line is on one of those.

You'll always get exceptionally broadband in some odd locations. It happens me in rural France and rural Massachusetts too.

If you're on a rural long line, you shouldn't be using Eir at all. Check out fixed-wireless options like Imagine LTE.

The issues are about density of housing and one-off-homes in the countryside.

It's actually very easy to provide solid broadband in a small village. Throw in a couple or VDSL2 cabinets with vectoring enabled and link it back to the core network with fibre - everyone in the village has 100Gbit/s.

Its exceptionally difficult when you scatter 100 homes across 20 square miles and connect them back with kms of copper to a tiny village exchange somewhere.

You either have to replace copper with fibre or LTE radio signals to get any kind of solid services.

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Re: Cu?

I don't know about the UK, but in Ireland very, very little of the Irish phone network or the power network was 'direct buried' (i.e. just stuffed into the concrete / soil with armoured cables). The vast majority of it is in ducts, or where it's not in ducts, overhead. So, laying fibre in most cases is just a matter of pushing micro ducts through and then blowing the fibre down those to the end users.

That's precisely what was done with the FTTC cabinet rollout, where the only major civil works involved in most cases were about getting 230V AC power to the cabinets from the nearest 'mini pillar' (ESB Networks connection point) and it's how they're extending that to full FTTH.

Eir actually set out some pretty strict requirements for how phone lines would access homes quite a long time ago. It's always been ducted, but it's evolved over time so that maybe about 20 years ago they added an ECU (External Connection Unit) which is like a mini version of an electricity meter cabinet and ducting going back to the nearest vault or telephone pole with inspection access at the bends. This was specifically done to future-proof for fibre. It's completely overkill for a POTS line but it's very useful for fibre.

Eir had a plan to either roll fibre, coax or just extra copper lines at some stage in the future, so they had a plan for this a long time ago, as they obviously knew this was around the corner eventually.

The state-owned power utility ESB Networks also has some very strict requirements for provision of ducting and inspection points which has allowed for very easy rollout in areas that aren't absolutely ancient.

ESB uses a very structured setup where you've a substation feeding 'mini-pillars', each of which feeds several homes. It's possible to quite easily push fibre through this and site splitters underground in the vaults.

SIRO is their joint venture with Vodafone for FTTH. That's running fibre over ESB infrastructure to get into homes via the ducts, overhead wires and ultimately coming out at the meter cabinet on the side of the house and into an ONT.

SIRO is also fully wholesale / open. So, it's got multiple ISPs using it. So far, just Vodafone and Digiweb but apparently Sky and several others may jump onboard too.

If infrastructure in the UK is mostly direct buried, it could explain why it's proving more difficult to upgrade.

--- How an Irish POTS line is installed --- :

http://www.reci.ie/Portals/0/Documents/eircominterface.pdf

---- How to connect an Irish electricity customer ---:

House:

https://esbnetworks.ie/docs/default-source/publications/your-meter-cabinet.pdf?sfvrsn=6

Full guidelines for a development:

https://esbnetworks.ie/docs/default-source/publications/electrical-services-guidebook-for-housing-schemes.pdf?sfvrsn=4

OpenEir also gives you a huge amount of information about their network and how it all works, what's available where, what they're planning and so on :

http://www.openeir.ie/Our_Network/

(Geeky I know, but this is a geeky site and I have no idea how this compares with the UK or elsewhere)

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Bear in mind though Ireland has very scattered rural development patterns compared to the UK, certainly England anyway. The result is very, very low densities in rural areas rather than clustered into villages. That's always been massively problematic to serve with DSL.

It's FAR, FAR more scattered than rural France or anywhere on the continent.

The "Irish Dream" tends to be a sprawling bungalow on a huge site several KM away from any village, yet there's an expectation that it should be able to connect like central Dublin or Cork. You've also a history of ribbon development which is extremely hard to serve with technology that's designed for radial networks.

I know Eir has always used very distributed equipment. For example even the voice network in rural areas going right back to the early 1980s was largely built around Alcatel 1000-E10 switches (and some Ericsson AXE). Recent iterations have allowed tiny remote units housed in street cabinets. Even moving the ADSL DSLAMs to those isn't much use if you're on a 4km copper line. Some of those units only have less than 100 active lines, yet are still classified as an "exchange".

So you can see why parts of rural Ireland were challenging to connect to broadband using DSL technologies. That's why they're so keen to replace copper with FTTH and very heavily fibre backed LTE.

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Virgin (UPC) pass 50.8% of Irish homes and provide 240Mbit/s as standard and 360Mbit/s as an add on. Their business connections are 400Mbit/s.

Remember, Virgin Media in Ireland was Liberty Global (UPC) to begin with so deployed different infrastructure to Virgin Media in the UK and the cities have always had huge cable penetration going back to the 1960s. The rebrand was weird as Virgin Media UK.waa acquired by Liberty who then adopted the same branding in Ireland. So the networks are still quite technically different.

The network widely supports 500Mbit/s they're just not rolling it out as Eir and Siro (fibre delivered via publicly owned electricity company ducts and/or clipped to overhead 230V/400V distribution wires) FTTH isn't eating into their cake just yet.

Eir rolled out very extensive FTTC and sufficient spare fibre to every cabinet to rapidly deploy GPON FTTH.

Eir (the main landline company) and anyone using OpenEir can provide "up to 100Mbit/s" vectored VDSL from every street cabinet right across the country.

Imagine Communications are also doing an initial 70Mbit/s using fibre-to-the-tower TDD LTE Advanced in rural areas using 3500MHz recovered MMDS television spectrum and fixed roof antennae.

Obviously you'll get the odd anomaly anywhere (I couldn't get anything other than bad quality ADSL2 in a street in North London) but in general the broadband situation in Ireland has vastly improved beyond recognition for most people

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Notting Hill Carnival spycams: Met Police rolls out real-time live face-spotting tech

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Everyone will just have to add Theresa on Facebook and Twitter by law.

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Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

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It's going to take a lot more than one company to change this.

There's a need to counter the slip back to the Victorian era in terms of workers' rights.

That change needs to be driven politically. Companies are all only driven by their last quarter's results.

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The issue is Apple is used as a whipping boy because it claims to be ethical and because it's a trendy, expensive brand. However, most of our consumer electronics are made in or their cheaper components are made in these kinds of conditions.

Even products that are made in the USA, Ireland, UK, Germany etc etc all contain components and subcomponents that are likely sourced from plants elsewhere in the world that have poor labour laws.

If you look at clothing manufacture, we think we're sophisticated in the West but a huge % of what we wear is made in sweatshops, out of sight and out of mind.

I was browsing for kitchen appliances yesterday and ended up buying an expensive German washing machine but there were machines available for €219 ... How do you even buy the raw materials for a washing machine for that little money, do the design and pay someone to make it? These machines were very expensive once in 15 year purchases that were often put on HP payment plans in the 1980s, 80s and 90s now they're being bought for the price of a large supermarket grocery shopping trip and they're lasting barely a few years.

The jobs that put money on the tables of families in places like Italy and parts of the USA making white goods on reasonable wages that supported reasonable lifestyles are gone and unrealistically cheap machines made with what amounts to slave labour have largely replaced them at the mass market side of the industry.

The electrical and electronic waste cycle and abuse is absolutely out of control.

Do consumers care?

Nope! They snap up that vacuum cleaner for €59.95 knowing that it will be replaced with another one in a year if it breaks.

I think to be quite honest Apple is just the company that people like to bash because of the brand image.

It's the whole manufacturing sector that's doing this.

Do you think Apple would have a business if they made iPhone in Cupertino or Cork and they cost $2000? When they made Macs in places like that they were EXPENSIVE machines if you work out the inflation to get a modern day price.

We are expecting complex electronics and other goods made at totally unrealistic costs. It's a zero sum game and someone is losing and it's not the manufacturers' shareholders or the customers.

Watch now as China becomes too expensive and the cheap sweatshops move on to their next "Efficient" destination?

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EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

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Welcome to BT!

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Corbyn lied, Virgin Trains lied, Harambe died

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Meanwhile, an unopposed Tory Government is running the country off the rails entirely.

Labour needs to get this leadership contest over and done with. If it's Corbyn, they need to get behind him and actually challenge what's going on.

All I see is naval gazing.

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