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* Posts by Daren Nestor

122 posts • joined 5 Jun 2007

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Why a Robin Hood tax on filthy rich City types is the very LAST thing needed

Daren Nestor

Even Better!

The prize was split - and the researchers are basically diametrically opposed.

Besides, the efficient markets hypothesis is not very popular in academic circles these days. The "father" of it is the only one who publishes in support and even his research makes it look iffy. It's like the theory of rational markets. Unfortunately the markets are not necessarily either efficient or rational!

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ECHR rejects free speech plea over offensive online comments

Daren Nestor

It can be explained concisely...

The Estonian court applied a penalty for breach of Estonian laws. This was appealed to the ECHR that it was breach of human rights. The Court ruled that the Estonian laws did not breach the European Convention on Human Rights so the fine stood.

The ECHR ruled exactly correctly and any other ruling would have been an unwarranted intrusion in Estonian affairs (and the Daily Mail would have been all over that!)

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Azerbaijani election app announced winner before polls even opened

Daren Nestor

Re: Mogens Jallberg was correct

I always preferred Terry Pratchett's Patrician of Ankh Morpork

"He firmly believed in 'one man, one vote'. He was the man, and he had the vote"

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Firefox takes top marks in browser stability tests

Daren Nestor

Re: Chrome; I am disappoint.

I have noticed the same - Chrome's speed has dropped off and it's not as reliable as it used to be for me, and I don't use any extensions.

For personal use, Firefox has improved back to my no1 personal use browser (Chrome is our official work browser - beats IE 6!).

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Steelie Neelie finds phone calls are cheaper in Latvia than in Luxembourg

Daren Nestor

Not in Ireland either

In Ireland it's €1,19 to €1.27 for a litre of milk depending on where you are.

In Romania, the operator deals just tanked - they're all pretty bad now allegedly due to some government regulation. The operators all offer similar deals and none of them are good.

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Irish deputy PM: You want more tax from Apple? Your problem, not ours

Daren Nestor

Re: Is this the

Actually, your "Bailout" was a loan at punitive interest rates to prevent you having to do the same for your own banks who recklessly lent to Irish banks, who recklessly lent to property developers who recklessly borrowed, and recklessly lent to house buyers who would have trouble paying back what they borrowed at the extremely low interest rates at the time, never mind handling an increase.

You bailed out your own banks, so don't feel resentful (if the Irish banks had defaulted, the banks being propped up would largely be in the UK, Germany and France, and the exposure was hundreds of billions). And, as a bonus, you get all that money back, plus interest. Congratulations, you're a predatory lender.

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Schmidt: Don't like our tiny tax bills? Google this... 'Change the law'

Daren Nestor
WTF?

Re: It's Ireland who get on my tits.

Ha, well, at least our headline rate of 12.5% is more or less what is paid, unlike the rest of Europe where the headline rate can be 30+% and what's actually paid can be around 8%. You don't like it, change your tax laws.

The real problem is the ability to set up companies registered in Ireland tax resident elsewhere, and even that wouldn't be as large a problem without the Dutch, Swiss and Luxembourg rules allowing "sandwich" setup. It's the interaction of a number of different laws, in different jurisdictions.

Anyway, aren't all the tax-havens British Overseas Territories?

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Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

Daren Nestor

Re: anti-miner bullshit

" The government wanted to close ALL the nation's coal mines. That's pretty much happened now. What he did was hurry that process along."

No, the govenment wanted to lay off 20,000 miners (about 12% of the miners) and improve automation and machinery. The year long confrontation destroyed the industry and the government subsequently felt it was safer to close the mines than to have to deal with that again.

Re-read that. The government of Britain decided that it was SAFER FOR THE COUNTRY to import coal than to have to deal with the NUM after Scargil. Says a lot, really.

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Boss of Irish-based R&D hub: Man, this place is the back of beyond

Daren Nestor

Some information

Admittedly there was an "International Airport" that mainly served London. But the most dramatic increase of passengers and routes through Cork started in the 90's. I may be wrong about Micheal Martin's role (and in fairness he was never Minister for Transport) but people involved have told me that they approached him to get government backing for a major expansion. (I know, someone on the internet claims to have inside knowledge)

Even today Shannon has higher passenger numbers and higher freight numbers (and one of the longest runways in Western Europe).

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Daren Nestor

Re: Cork was a political bondoggle

"Of course, if the politics of the situation hadn't "shelved" the Limerick/Cork motorway it would be about an hour from Cork to Shannon."

I meant to say - "if the financial situation hadn't "shelved" the Limerick/Cork motorway it would be about an hour from Cork to Shannon."

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Daren Nestor
Flame

Cork was a political bondoggle

The only reason there's an international Cork airport is because Micheal Martin was the transport minister and pressured the DAA into supporting what was a tiny regional airport a-la Galway into a European stop at the expense of Shannon. The DAA were all for it because it gave them an excuse to get US Immigration and Customs control into Dublin by running Shannon into the ground. It was, and is, a disgrace. (There is more than one case of an airline enquiring about access to Shannon and being told that they could use Dublin or Cork as their hub)

As for transport links - the train to Dublin from Cork is €19.99 and takes about 2 hours. There is a direct motorway the entire way from Cork to Dublin Airport also, so that would take about 2 1/2 hours also, so it's not like it's actually in the middle of nowhere. Of course, if the politics of the situation hadn't "shelved" the Limerick/Cork motorway it would be about an hour from Cork to Shannon.

Well, Shannon is on it's own two feet now, so hopefully it will be able to attract airlines without being sabotaged.

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The universe speaks: 'It's time to get off your rock!'

Daren Nestor

Re: If humans die off ..

Well, that's ass-backwards:

"The idea that humans are the only things here that matter is rooted in the fairy stories of Abrahamic religions."

This should be "Abrahamic religions are rooted in the idea that humans are the only things here, there or anywhere that matter", and there is ample evidence from all around the world that this hubris is part of the human condition.

"our sense of self importance could well be a big reason why the planet is generally in such a poo state at the mo."

I'll give you that, all right :)

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Soot forces temperatures more than thought: AGU

Daren Nestor

Re: @Tom 7 - I'm not sure which London you think you've been visiting

The underground - there's a fine coating of dirt that gets blown around by the trains.

Wipe your nose after a trip on the tube on a white tissue. Not the most pleasant sight.

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2012 was warmest year ever recorded in USA

Daren Nestor

Frustrating irrelevancies

"To date, 2012 has seen 11 disasters that have reached the $1 billion threshold in losses"

So what? That's meaningless - inflation alone means that if the same events had occurred in the 1950's, none of them would have reached $1 billion. Add to that the increase in size of cities on the coast, and in vulnerable areas (looking at you, Florida) and it's amazing that more events don't reach that threshold, not that 11 events did.

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Schmidt 'very proud' of Google's tiny tax bill: 'It's called capitalism'

Daren Nestor

Re: So, about corporate rates

Yes, Ireland the Tax Haven...

Our position is entirely logical - instead of having a massively complex corporation tax code with a headline rate of, say 35%, but loopholes that mean you actually pay 6% (like France, who at one point had this on the front page of their foreign investment agency site), we decided that we would charge 12.5%, with far fewer loopholes, and those would be time limited and aimed at specific sectors that we wanted to encourage investment in. You know what, it worked! Companies found that it was cheaper to deal with the lower tax rate than to work out how to use all the loopholes.

The problem is that we allow the movement of money to other EU countries in line with EU rules without a whole pile of oversight. Including the Netherlands. Who have their own idosyncracy that they allow transfer of money to the Carribean (probably for historical reasons). So you get the situation where by billions ends up in Bermuda.

The building boom fueled by cheap credit suddenly ending so that government income dropped over 20% in one period, going from a surplus to an €18 billion deficit is an entirely different story.

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Firm-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's tax dodge profit shift? Totally legit

Daren Nestor

Re: So can I do that with my wages and pay no tax?

It IS taxed. There's VAT paid on the purchase (and VAT is high) and all employees in the UK pay income tax and whatever social contributions you pay over there.

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Daren Nestor

Re: Nonsense

No, IP is an overarching term that is in common use to describe non-phyisical assets. Trademark, copyright, patents all feed into this.

Because the company based in the UK is a separate entity to the company based in the the lower tax jurisdiction, "parent" company is not appropriate based on current laws. The company based in the UK is paying that other company to use their logos, trade dress, colour schemes, coffee beans and whatever else, but they are not the same company.

The money always ends up somewhere.

Now, I'm Irish and I think our 12.5% corporate tax rate makes sense, what I don't like is the ease of moving money through Ireland.

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Debenhams cafes ban outré terms like 'espresso' and 'cappuccino'

Daren Nestor

But an Americano's not a normal coffee

An Americano is an espresso topped up with hot water so it's not a normal cup of coffee, it's simply an approximation. I like "fancy" coffee at times, but sometimes I just want a coffee. And if you're in Starbucks or basically any café now, you simply cannot have one.

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How Nokia managed to drive its in-house Linux train off the rails

Daren Nestor

Nokia...

Nokia had the markey presence outside the US to have caused people to sit up and take notice. If they had pushed at the right times they would be a realistic competitor. Their window closed a while back, but much later than people think.

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Cambridge boffins: Chip and PIN cards CAN be cloned – here's how

Daren Nestor

Re: The real reason

ahahahahahahahahaha, really?

So two factor authenticion is less secure than one factor? That's what you've said. The reasoning behind chip & pin was to add another factor. It's something you have + something you know, rather than just something you have.

Signatures are massively insecure, because there's no way of verifying them at the point of sale.

In 2010, the United States generated about 27 percent of payment-card purchases yet accounted for 47 percent of global payment-card fraud. In the US alone, fraud accounted for $3.56 billion in 2010. Fraud is lower in countries using Chip and Pin, there are facts and figures there. The only reason that it hasn't happened in the US yet is because the cost of replacing all the ATMs and POS devices was massive. It is being done incrementally instead, and is only now approaching a point where it can be put into general circulation.

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Daren Nestor

Re: No its all secure actually.

Nothing is 100% secure, and the first part of that sentence is absolutely, 100% correct. Card fraud at the point of sale is reduced significantly by EMV.

It sounds like the device manufacturers need a good kick up the arse.

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Flash Player to vanish from Android store on Wednesday

Daren Nestor

Re: Flash..........

AHHHHhhhhhhh.

King of the Impossible.

--

I love the lyrics to this song. It could not be cheezier, but it's awesome nevertheless

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RBS must realise it's just an IT biz with a banking licence

Daren Nestor

Re: "A (retail) bank's business is Risk Management."

Forget about YOU when it comes to the bank because you, personally, are one depositor. A depositor is a class of customer. You are a liability on their balance sheet.

The Bank, itself, needs to make money and it makes it by using your money as security against loans from the money markets, and then lending that out at a higher rate of interest than they paid. Simples. The charges, etc, against your account, barely scratch the surface of the kind of money they need to make the kind of money they want. Mostly they are to offset the costs of running the branch. The more you have on deposit, the more they can borrow, meaning the more they can lend which makes them more money.

But lending is risky. So their job is risk management with a side order of risk assessment. Everything else is trimmings. So when I say a bank's job is risk management, I mean that they have to manage the risk of their customers not paying back. By which I mean YOU not paying back, meaning they cannot honour their debts, and the bank that lent to them cannot honour THEIR debts, and all the way up. See?

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Daren Nestor

Re: what about the money

While what you said kind of makes sense, you're wrong in your judgement of a bank's business. "Making your money grow" is a secondary objective (as is building trust, making massive profits, and having good IT systems!)

A (retail) bank's business is Risk Management. This should be beaten into everyone working at the bank. Everything they do is about risk management. Too many banks have lost sight of this, and no longer assess risk correctly. This either inflates or deflates their view of the risk of any product or proceudre, leading to either laissez-faire or being overly restrictive.

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Why British TV drama is crap – and why this matters to tech firms

Daren Nestor

Re: You may have a point...

Prison break was the classic example of flogging a dead horse. They should have stopped after Season 1.

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Greenpeace targets Apple with 10-foot Pod stunt

Daren Nestor

Did anyone else think that Brandy Palm sounds like a stripper name?

I mean, seriously! Do parents not say the names they want for their kids out loud?

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Killers laugh in face of death penalty threat, say US experts

Daren Nestor

This is the first rational comment

What we currently have in terms of prisons and the removal of gain as a result of crime is as effective a deterrent as we're going to get.

The western justice system is dysfunctional - its purpose is to both punish and rehabilitate. Because of this it does neither very well, but this is a policy decision. The decision needs to be made - is its purpose punishment or rehabilitation? Most would plump for initial rehabilitation, I believe (although I may be wrong) followed by increasingly severe punishment for repeated crimes.

That said, there are those who are clearly a danger to everyone else. At that point the decision needs to be made whether to remove them from society. There are two methods of that since exile is no longer an option - life imprisonment, or death. And at that point it DOES become a cost/benefit analysis. If you're going to put someone away for life, what is the benefit to society of leaving them alive? The determination has already been made through the courts that this person is too dangerous to be allowed free ever again. The rational thing to do is to put an upper time limit on time in prison, to allow for appeals, and after that to kill them.

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Irish national telco gets 100 days to escape €4bn debt hell

Daren Nestor

Re: So far, so Eurozone

Wrong, it also owns the majority of the phone network, so it's not just a service provider. At the time, I was incandescent and made this known. The network should NEVER have been sold off as it is a strategic asset. It was a hoodwink that made some people very,very rich, and let the rest of us carry the can - while removing the countrywide telephone network plant from public ownership.

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Climate change linked to EXTREME weather surge

Daren Nestor

"a) reduction in albedo as ice melts - more sunlight absorbed = warmer"

Melting and re-freezing ice, at least in the short term, increases albedo.

"b) warmer air holds more moisture - increase water vapor in the atmosphere - water vapor is a greenhouse gas = warmer"

This is the dangerous one from a temperature perspective.

I'd like to see more of this kind of research. One of my bugbears is that any claims that extreme weather is more extreme seems to rely on dollar amounts, when the reasons that dollar amounts of damage increase is because we've plonked a load of buildings in really stupid places, or populations have expanded massively. This paper seems to have managed not to fall into this trap.

A fantastic example of this is the size of Miami from 1970-present, and the massive increases in dollar damage even though the events (hurricanes) themselves were generally well below "worst recorded" levels.

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Official: File-sharing is a religion... in Sweden

Daren Nestor

Atheism is a religious position

Theism also fits the observable evidence, in that the universe exists and strange things sometimes happen. Sure, the evidence might squeal a little, but religions have eventually managed to incorporate scientific facts into their spiel and indeed most established religions claim that there's no tension between religion and science. Many (most?) prominent scientists are religious at least nominally, and most of those we consider the greats of the past were deeply religious (Leibnitz, Newton, Einstein, to name a few). In fact, these would claim that the very things they discovered about the universe are a strong indicator of a god's hand, because how else would it happen?

Atheism is a religious position because it takes a definite position on the existence or lack thereof of a God, which is an unprovable theory. There's no way to either prove or disprove it, so either position is valid - it's a matter of faith. You have faith there isn't a god. The Pope has faith there is. Either starting position is valid, scientifically, because you're the same distance from the answer.

The poster above made exactly the right point, which is that agnosticism is the only non-religious position.

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Climategate: A symptom of driving science off a cliff

Daren Nestor

Sea level "rise"

Repeat after me - unless the antartic continental ice-sheet melts, sea level rise is not a problem.

1.1mm / year for the last century.

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UK nuclear: Walking into darkness with eyes screwed shut

Daren Nestor

Chernobyl is a red herring

Chernobyl is a red herring because it was a number of things that simply don't apply today, or to anywhere outside the Soviet Union. It was an inherently unsafe design where they turned off all the safeties and blew themselves sky high. That's not a "nuclear accident", it was deliberate failure. Chernobyl was as bad as it gets but it was done on purpose.

<quote>When was the last time there was a Tsunami hit the UK? Prehistory.</quote>

Pedant cap on. It was 1755 (see: Lisbon Earthquake)

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Think your CV is crap? Your interview skills are worse

Daren Nestor

"Team Player"

This phrase has been bastardized to death and should never be used.

In my last interview I was asked both about working with teams locally and globally, which is a much more reasonable player. Mind you, here we have occasional "who can use the most egregious management bullshit" for the laugh. Some of those phrases are AWFUL

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Apotheker severance outrage: $2.4m 'bonus'

Daren Nestor

But this is exactly what we're shouting about!

The $1 salary is a brilliant way to ensure that a CEO is motivated. If they do badly, they lose - this is exactly what is needed at the banks. Bring them in and give them a shedload of stock and a £1 salary. Bank shares are volatile right now, and probably underpriced in many cases. It's sharp incentive to improve the bank's situation, and the pattern of vesting can encourage long term thinking.

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The curse of Google?: Android licensees fail to cash in

Daren Nestor

Agreed

I agree entirely - it seems Android is bland. It is, really, and the Android Market is a mess which doesn't help.

It makes Nokia look shortsighted for killing the maemo effort though.

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X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown

Daren Nestor

Brilliant game

Fondly remember playing this for many hours, and enjoying playing it again when I got it off steam. The first was a brilliant game, if very difficult. Terror from the Deep was actually fiendishly difficult, some of those aliens (the crab people and the things that implanted eggs in your guys no matter what armour they were wearing) were ridiculously overpowered. The sense of achievement from beating a mission was immense.

Apocalypse is very enjoyable too - I'm playing that again, and UFO:Afterlight (on Mars) is actually a really good game as well. Aftermath is shoddy and we don't mention any of the other UFO titles, they didn't happen.

I'd love to see this for Android.

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CERN 'gags' physicists in cosmic ray climate experiment

Daren Nestor

Any credible scientist

will acknowledge that causation implies correlation and therefore correlation is a good place to start investiagations.

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Hitchhiking snails scoffed, pooped out alive by birds

Daren Nestor

y'know what?

Nature is gross

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Parmo v poutine: The ultimate post-pub nosh deathmatch

Daren Nestor
Pint

In Limerick, Ireland

Here in Limerick there's some sort of delicious post-prandial kebab war occurring. You can get better kebabs here than anywhere in England or Germany I've been and there's enough for two people in one kebab. None of your pita bread nonsense, it's donner meat on naan bread with salad and sauces.

Currently the ranking is something like:

1. Kashmir Kebab house,

2. Noor Kebabs,

3. Remix

4. Chilli kebabish

5. Turknaz

...

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Pissed-off elves bombard Icelandic town with rocks

Daren Nestor

Really?

Every culture has their little foibles and leftover superstitions, asking what century they're living in is rather insulting to a large body of folklore. You mightn't believe in this stuff, but you probably "touch wood" to prevent something bad you've said actually happening (this is fairly common in Europe and America) or others. Here in Ireland, for instance, people are still pretty cagey about digging up faerie circles, lest the little people get pissed off.

It's mostly harmless and the council should have done the fairly minor appeasement required which would have made everyone happy. Then they should have found whoever mucked up the dynamite laying and kicked their arse

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Apple site hacked 'by LulzSec' - report

Daren Nestor

Seriously?

The media are freaking nuts, these people do this stuff for publicity and they're being given it. The headline should read "Website hacked, news at 11", and the body should simply be a list of companies and dates. Perhaps once a week.

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Apple will 'own games industry'

Daren Nestor

Yeah, "if"

"At this trajectory, if you extrapolate the market-share gains that they are making, forward for ten years – if they carry on unrestrained in their growth"

That's a pretty big assumption. There are several restraining factors, not least that the end-to-end delivery is great on Apple hardware, and not-so-good on others. You still need the hardware to play the games. Valve have made a big leap recently by starting to push onto PlayStation, and of course Microsoft already have XBox Live Marketplace. I just don't see unrestrained growth in the gaming world.

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London Ambulance Service downed by upgrade cockup

Daren Nestor

Worse

It's even worse than that - what they're actually saying is that they've no idea if the software is suitable for use in the EOC, or are fit for purpose, or will work with the way we do things. But sure we'll give it a go anyway and see what happens.

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White van men swipe British black bees

Daren Nestor
Stop

Why?

Why on earth is there an "apian black market"? Lazy new beekeepers? Or is it something to do with CCD?

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Calling all commentards: Want some new icons?

Daren Nestor

replace the flame icon

replace the flame icon with a radioactivity one.

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Writers sue Huffington Post for back pay

Daren Nestor

Why?

I wouldn't - it's not like the Huffington Post stole their stuff. They gave it to the Post by *ahem* posting there with no expectation of financial reward. Now that it's been taken over they should try and negotiate terms with the new owners - if their content is valuable a deal can be done.

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Fukushima fearmongers are stealing our Jetsons future

Daren Nestor

well

How much of this is due to, y'know, one of the largest earthquake/tsunami combos on record?

And using the daily mail as a source? Really?

Two power plant sites were shut down due to the aforementioned natural disaster, this has led to power shortages - hence the blackouts. There will be more impact from the evacuation than from the radiation and hysteria means that the cleanup will be immeasureably longer. Body recovery is already slowed, and the levels of radiation deemed unsafe are very low.

It's a serious situation, requiring careful management. It should not be the cause for what is rapidly becoming global hysteria.

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Daren Nestor

Yes but

In a sensible world, we would continue burning that fuel, or reprocess that fuel which is erronously referred to as waste in your post.

Or, we would have moved on and done the research so we weren't using uranium and instead were using something like thorium. The point is that anti-nuclear hysteria as well as the weapons angle has almost completely killed research into nuclear energy, and better and safer ways of doing things.

You've managed to miss the point of the article entirely. The fear generated by the word nuclear is such that the "acceptable limits" for exposure or safety advisories for emissions are absurdly low, and that no other industry has to deal with the same level of scrutiny.

There have been over 2,000 nuclear weapons detonated, nearly half by the US in Nevada, the bulk of the rest by the USSR, with France, China, Britian, India and Pakistan making up the rest, in order of number of weapons detonated.In the 50's and 60's that amounted to hundreds a year yet we're all still here.

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Assange ambushes Australian Prime Minister on live TV

Daren Nestor

Hero?

You mean the fool who committed treason (as well as a horrendous breach of trust) by releasing a whole pile of confidential information without a specific purpose in mind? So much of it was twaddle that it can't have been anything specific that motivated him...

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