* Posts by Zolko

150 posts • joined 10 Nov 2010

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Thirty Meter Telescope needs to revisit earthly fine print

Zolko

Re: Time to move to La Palma

I used to work there also (on the WHT), it's a great place with sometimes superb conditions, but usable only 1/2 of the year. The other half (winter) the weather conditions are too bad to observe, and that would be unacceptable for a new BBT (Bloody Big Telescope).

The two 15 meter telescopes (the MAGICs) are Cherenkov-types, not for astronomy. But it still hosts the largest telescope on Earth: the GranTeCan, a copy of the Kecks, but 10cm larger (with the Gemini's dome)

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Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet!

Zolko

Re: How old?

"punch cards" ? Hah, luxury, WE had to save data in memory by setting the transistor gates through jumpers on the motherboard !

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TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Zolko

Intellectual Property

"That said, if you do want to dig in, we would point you to the sections on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property."

so I did, to find that:

"Keeping Generic Terms Available For U.S. Producers: The chapter helps address the potential for inappropriately “overprotecting” geographical indications in ways that shut out U.S. agricultural and food producers"

so for example Hungary would not be able to protect "Tokai" wine - from the region of Tokai - because some US wine producer deams that too geographical overprotection, or France to protect "Champagne" or "Camambert" because they're generic terms for sparkling wine and smelly cheese. This paragraph is especially ridiculous wen thinking about "Windows" for a windowing system. Or rounded corners for a phone.

And you want the pitch-forks to be put away ? This treaty is as bad as people have thought it would be.

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Zolko

Simplifying ?

"The deal is long and complex: it stretches to 2,000 pages and is written in largely technical and legal language, making quick analysis difficult."

directly contradicts:

"It's about simplifying trade rules between countries."

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Zolko

Re: Source code

"The term basically means that you as a (powerful, e.g. state) customer cannot demand to see the source code for an executable as a precondition of importing/purchasing the product."

No, the term basically means that if an administration or company asks for a global offering for an office suite or operating system, they cannot put in as precondition that the software must be open-source. For example, if the UK government wants to replace all MS-Office installs in all offices with something new, they cannot require open-source products. Or schools.

This is specifically an anti-Linux or anti-OpenOffice or anti-MySQL term.

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Microsoft Windows 7 Pro: Halloween Horror for PC makers next year

Zolko
Linux

geeeeeze, I didn't even know people were still using Windows

... apart in a VM, when necessary.

My only Windows machine (7 pro) is not connected to the Internet, and the latest install I did at work (on another machine) was WinXP, because of old driver issues.

Apart from that, people around here only use Linux or Mac. And Android or iOS. The discussions turn more around Debian -vs- Ubuntu -vs- SuSE -vs- others.

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What is money? A rabid free marketeer puts his foot in lots of notes

Zolko

you forgot to mention interests

Mr Worstal, nice article overall, thank-you.

But you forgot to mention that when money is created when taking a credit, the corresponding debt is actually higher that the amount of money created in the process, because of the interests: the assets are the principal of the credit, but the debt is the principal plus the interests, meaning that there is more debt than assets in the world, and this difference is increasing because of the interest on the interests.

As long as the economy expanded, the expanding amount of money was not a problem, even a feature, but now that the economy is stabilizing – because of limited resources and a stabilizing demography – the pyramid scheme implodes.

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FOUR STUNNING NEW FEATURES Cook should put in the iPHONE 7

Zolko

Safety device ?

a) Most people only ever have one battery and never swap?

I did that on many phones (and laptops)

b) Most people never upgrade their storage?

Upgrade, I don't know, but I have often removed the SD card of my Android(s) and placed directly into the laptop; this allows to rapidly upload/backup/restore stuff, like photos or music.

c) ...an important safety device

Safety device ? WTF, it's a bloody gadget with farting apps !

d) Software developers should be paid, and paid well?

And for that, Apple takes 30% of the Apps price ? Where they already charge insulting amount on the price of the phone itself ?

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SPACED OUT: NASA's manned Orion podule pushed back to 2023

Zolko

Moon

Earth orbit is the only sensible starting point for a Mars mission

Moon is actually much much better: you have proper gravity, but still no atmosphere. You can start building the mega-spaceship and spend 10 years doing it, interrupting when funds are low, without having to worry what will happen to it in the mean time.

The Moon, definitively.

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British killer robot takes out two Britons in Syria strike

Zolko

where is the proof ?

they're ISIS

yeah, exactly here lies the problem: what is the proof for that ?

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Xiaomi aims to knock Apple off its branch with move into computers

Zolko

Drivers ?

so in the end, for me, the user experience wasn't that different from buying a machine with windows pre-installed.

except that you were sure all hardware had proper Linux drivers, which is not certain if another OS is pre-installed (looking at Apple)

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Better crypto, white-box switch support in Linux 4.2

Zolko

uname -r: 4.2.0-z2

yup, had to use this one, cause only this version supports completely the Macbook Pro 13 retina. Only worked on second try though, on Linux Mint 17.2. Uptime 2 hours, let's see how stable it is.

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2015 Fiat 500 fashionista, complete with facelift

Zolko

units

Can anyone explain why the unit "litres per 100 km" was chosen

not sure, but one explanation could be that this is the info that you're interested in: "If I have 300km to drive, how much fuel do I need/use ?"

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May the fourth be with you: Torvalds names next Linux v 4.0

Zolko

Re: don't break compatibility since forever

That is because the ABI compatibility that Linux it talking about is *userland* ie programs.

not to mention that people have asked userspace drivers for ages. Now claiming that the kernel is compatible with userland when they refuse to let drivers in userland is a bit rich.

The problem being: userland ie programs. No, userland is whatever is not kernel space, and in Linux userland is programs, but that doesn't have to be. There was a thesis by a German guy who made changes to the FreeBSD kernel to allow userspace drivers, seamlessly.

This could happen with Linux if the even&odd naming scheme had been preserved, instead of the current lazyness à-la Windows: "Hey, let's put everything in the kernel, it's sooooooooo much easier". If a user can plug and unplug a device, that's userland: what is there not to understand about that ? A USB stick driver, a USB joystick driver, a video screen driver, must logically be in userspace: they are industry standards, FFS ! Of course that scheduler and memory management must run in kernel space.

If I had time, I would dump Linux and switch over to FreeBSD. The systemd debacle might actually provide the necessary incentive. Yeah, monolithic kernel my arse.

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South Korea mandates spyware installation on teenagers' smartphones

Zolko

Re: One way or another

X has had a pregnancy, suicide from a bully terrorist

you're missing the words Al Quaeda, Ben Laden, bomb, drugs. I suggest:

"Ben Laden has committed suicide with a bomber terrorist from Al Quaeda because of a pregnant bully on drugs."

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Zolko

Re: re: the minute it became obvious you had the capacity to spy

If I'm paying for the network use and the device then it's reasonable for me to...

I'm paying for the house, including his room, the toilets and the bathroom, therefore it's reasonable for me to install spy cameras to see what he's up-to. Sounds creepier, doesn't it ? But it's exactly the same. Leave the kids alone, we did look at porn magazines when we were 15, even though it was also forbidden.

The positive side-effect could be that the kids learn computing (in order to bypass the spyware).

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Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

Zolko

Re: What a scary (looking) man.

Baron Harkonnen was so fat he needed - actually, he will need, it's SciFi - suspensors to move around. While this man looks quite skinny. More like Nefud then, but that one was - will be, ouch, confusing - younger.

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FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for

Zolko

Re: I've had enough

@ AC: with what are you planning to replace you Macbook with?

No need to replace the machine, it's the OS that sucks. The machine (assuming it's a unibody) is awesome. As for the OS, Debian stable (Wheezy) is a good choice, I also know people using Ubuntu or Mint. Guess that Slackware or LinuxFromScratch would be overkill.

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Zolko

Re: I've had enough

Install Debian. Works like a charm. Haven't booted MacOS-X since ... well, ever, used it only to partition the drive and install rEffit.

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UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

Zolko

Re: the "fun" part about systemd

"PCs and laptops do get booted, because they are turned off"

my uptime currently is 46 days, with Debian stable on a MacBook Pro, launching heavy-dute 3D CAD in Windows virtual machine, external monitor sometimes, kids playing Minecraft or Dofus, put to sleep each evening.

Self-compiled kernel, goes without saying.

No, really, booting is for sissies. But even then, with an SSD, boot-time is less than 10 seconds, KDE takes more time to load than the boot process. And in the boot process, rEffit and GRUB take up most of the time. So what is the gain of 2-3 seconds boot ?

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Jony Ive: Flattered by rivals' designs? Nah, its 'theft'

Zolko

Re: "Flat" design

"Everything was flat, until the CPU/GPU power existed to give a UI a faux 3D look"

no, it all begun with MacOS System 8, when the window borders and UI buttons took that 3D shape. Before that, with System 7, it was all flat. And there where no GPUs then, hey, some CPUs didn't even have the math coprocessor. You're confusing with 3D CAD, but on UIs it's only pixmaps, no GPUs needed. I even remember having installed a System 7 "extension" giving my System 7 a System 8-ish look.

it was 1995 (or 1997 ?)

Or go back to windows 3.1, where there was a distinctive 3D effect on buttons when pressed.

This "flatness" thing was (re)invented by Microsoft and the Metro interface. It's just the new rage, until the next trend comes (diagonals ? you heard it first here)

What GPUs allow is transparency, alpha-blending, translucent menus.

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Is Apple incubating a Macbook, iPad bastard child?

Zolko

Re: This sounds like Windows 8 territory

I use KDE with 1 click (to open files and folders), and I also configured my Win7 workstation to function like that. To drag, rename ... you click and hold, and it knows that you're not opening. Also, make good use of right-click, and now I feel that double-clicking is soooooo old-school.

Much less clicking overall.

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THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models

Zolko

Re: Corporations paying zero tax, a solution?

"Let's call it a £1M transaction to keep the numbers small and easy. You tax that at 1%."

ok, lets. Why would I tax it to 1% ? If this money goes to a "friendly" place, I might indeed tax it at 1%, or even 0.1%, but if it's going to a place where I know you're going to leverage 100:1 and do HFT that destroys my economy, you can bet I won't let you get away that cheap. Let's rather talk about a 30% tax here.

"If I repatriate a small slice of the profit, you might get to tax that.... then again, you might not. I'd just buy the Rolex abroad and wear it home.

sure. Then I'll see you travelling, and my custom agents might ask you to open your bag. And how are you going to transport that Porsche, that Bose home-cinema, those boxes of fine Champagne, that private jet ... that you want to buy with your hard earned money ? Because they are manufactured by people living here and thanks to good infrastructure and education, all paid-for by taxes.

"All you've really achieved is to drive the vast bulk of financial transactions offshore"

no, I have effectively made them unprofitable, but not only here, in many places. Because even if the financial world pretends to have its own life, at some point there is collateral, and a financial transaction tax is effective when you need that collateral, so it will, in effect, starve the financial world of real-world collateral. Especially as most collateral is government bonds, which are geographically bound.

offshored a lot of bank workers job

good riddance. But it's also funny in a historic perspective.

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Zolko

Re: Corporations paying zero tax, a solution?

"once that money has left the UK, it will never return. Why would it?"

you're talking about a different problem: multinational corporations can avoid paying taxes on real and legitimate businesses by artificially locating the profits in tax heavens. What's happening is that in the real place real people are paid with real money doing real stuff, that stuff is sold at 0 profit to a sister corporation located in a tax heaven, which resells said stuff to the real place with a huge margin, and that stuff is then sold to real people in the real world for real money with 0 profit: all the profit is made in the tax heaven, but absolutely no real work is done there.

But since the real business is still done in real places, the real money is still needed in the real place. So the money would return to the UK to pay people doing the job and to buy stuff. And as soon as the money leaves the tax-heaven to be used for something (like buying a Porsche or a Rolex) it's taxed.

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Zolko

Re: Corporations paying zero tax, a solution?

"Track down these imports (not really), and slap an Import Duty on them (really!)"

it's actually very easy: a tax on financial transactions. Make this tax tiny when the transaction is with a "friendly" partner, make it HUGE when dealing with a tax heaven.

The problem you're mentioning is not technical, it's political: the overlords (= banks) don't want this, therefore the politicians and journalists (= the mercenaries) don't do it, only talk and talk and talk about it.

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Zolko

necessity of growth

"If there is another fundamental requirement for growth, I don’t know what it is."

let me help: in our current "western" world, money is created by debt. Thus, all money in circulation has an equivalent in a credit. It's called the fractional reserve system.

BUT: with each credit also comes its interest, therefore you owe a bank MORE than the credit they gave you. The credit the bank gave you when you took on the debt is money (created out of nothing), but the debt you owe to the bank is made up of the credit and the interest. In other words, there is more debt in the world than money in circulation. The amount of money for the interest needs to be created also, therefore it's also some sort of a new credit.

Which means that the monetary supply needs to be ever increasing. Which means that the economy also needs to grow for the ratio debt/economy to remain stable.

Else .... bubbles, inflation, default, war.

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Would Apple godhead Steve Jobs have HATED the Watch?

Zolko

Re: Extra, Extra, The Daily Sermon from Rev Jasper is here

"if Steve (the devil incarnate) Jobs would like the offerings from Motorola"

the Moto 360 certainly. Actually, I thought that Apple would present a round and slim iWatch, and incarnate the next Swatch. THAT would have shaken the market, but a Casio clone from 20 years ago...

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X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

Zolko

Re: re: simply a ruse

- Symbian

- Meego

- WIndows Phone 7

- S40

- X

soooooo ... there are no more non-US smartphone OS-es out there, because M$ bought and killed the only and last non-US company able to do it on a large scale. Of course, any coincidence with the NSA spying on everybody is, well, coincidence. And Samsung getting sued over-and-over the other US company - and delaying Tizen - is also coincidence.

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Kardashian's bottom plumps down on Instagram throne

Zolko

Re: And yet . . .

"listening to Iron Maiden - it's a simple, if slightly guilty, pleasure"

why do you feel guilty listening to The Band ? Shouldn't you rather turn towards London and praise Lord that he has created them ? It's for comments like this, entirely expected in their unexpectedness, that I read articles and then comments about KK's arse.

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Four-pronged ARM-based Mac rumor channels Rasputin

Zolko

Transformer

If you add a keyboard to an iPad, you get the best of both worlds. But of course, Asus has done that before, therefore Apple would be hard pressed to pretend to innovate.

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LulzSec turncoat Sabu avoids jail time thanks to co-operating with Feds

Zolko

! RobinHood

Isn't this Sabu the guy from LulzSec who used the credit cards that where stolen through raids - against politically motivated targets like Sony or others - to pay for his bills because he had no proper job, and that's how he got caught ? While the others didn't use those credit cards for any purpose other than to "punish" Sony (and for the Lulz of it) this Sabu guy actually stole the money of the people ? And now, he is free and his fellows are in jail !!!

In other times, he would be called a traitor.

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Apple tips Shiraz down all its techies' throats (that's the rumoured name for OS X 10.10)

Zolko

Re: Ugh...

For Linux, that's just a theme. For OSX, it's a revolution. You're new here, aren't you ?

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Google forges a Silver bullet for Android, aims it at Samsung's heart

Zolko

The time for Tizen has come, then.

Samsung has been preparing for that, as have Nokia (with the X series) and Amazon (for the Kindle). Come in Sailfish, Tizen, CyanogenMod, FirefoxOS, and fight. The premium over Google ? less spying.

Google has already lost, thanks to Snowden and NSA.

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Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run

Zolko

Re: Helium is *very* hard to seal systems against

If you bond the hydrogen to carbon atoms, it's much easier to handle - and much denser too.

those are called hydro-carbons, like alcohol or .... petrol. Next time you'll invent cars with wheels ?

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Gnome Foundation runs out of cash

Zolko

Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

I were to move away from Kubuntu, it would probably be to Debian Testing.

Good choice. I'm running Debian stable with KDE from testing (4.11), because "stable" uses an old KMail, not the 4.8 branch which introduced some very interesting features.

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Hey, Michael Lewis: Stop DEMONISING Wall Street’s SUPERHUMAN high-speed trading

Zolko

Re: Feedback

"unfiltered Bloomberg news feed - new headlines there appear so fast, the old ones are scrolled off the screen"

you should try to live a real life. You might be pleasantly surprised, it's actually fun. And nothing happens at the millisecond time-scale.

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Zolko

Re: Tobin Tax

in other words:

- can I, from at home, trade on the markets ? yes, but I need a financial intermediary who will execute my orders.

- can the intermediary trade on the markets ? yes, directly, at any speed, in my name or for his own profit.

- can I, from at home, do HFT ? no. because the delay between the time I place an order and said order is executed is several seconds/minutes. And during this time the intermediary knows what I'm going to sell/buy, and he can contra-buy/sell to outmanoeuvre me. If I make a smart move, he even can do it before me, even if I thought about it first.

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Zolko

Tobin Tax

HFT trading was already known by the very capitalist and free-market economist James Tobin, and he said that HFT trading actually screws real investors, by making profits on tiny margins in the noise of all the transactions. That's why he propose his famous Tobin Tax on all financial transactions, so only real investors make money and not the parasites doing HFT.

As for, technically, how HFT is bad: very simple ! Who can actually DO trading at the highest speed ? Those with direct access to the market's computers, in other words the financial intermediaries ... but if those intermediaries do also trading in their own name, they have an insider advantage by knowing in advance what their clients are trading and can front-run them by making decisions based on information they have only because they are the intermediaries.

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'iPhone 6' with '4.7-inch' display 'coming soon', but '5.5-incher' 'delayed'

Zolko

Re: for those of us of an age with changeing eyesight

It's not only the reading bit that's difficult on small screens, but also the typing part : it's soooooooo much easier to type on a 5 incher !!! I don't have the same finger-size as a lady or a kid, FFS.

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Schoolkids given WORLD'S CHEAPEST TABLETS: Is it really that hard to swallow?

Zolko

Re: A few simple tests of usefulness

"Can it offset costs in other materials such as regular books?"

exactly my thought. I'd also add the weight to carry all those books, as seeing from my kids' backpacks: 5 kg could be replaced by a 300g tablet. Considering that this tablet could also do other stuff - like displaying animations - and whose content could be updated regularly - as opposed to every 5 years - it would actually be cheaper and better than all those schoolbooks. And save some trees.

Only make sure it doesn't use Android or iOS, or any other commercial OS. Some pure Debian probably the best.

But one thing not to replace: regular paper for writing.

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Apple Mac Pro: It's a death star, not a nappy bin, OK?

Zolko

they copied my workstation

I wanted a Windows workstation for 3D CAD, but I wanted it silent. So I got a Silverstone Fortress FT03 housing, with passive PSU (actually, hybrid but the fan never switches on), and an AMD FirePro v5800 with passive heatsink, all of this cooled via a large vertical fan at the bottom that increases the convective vertical flux of the case. The mini-ATX motherboard is turned 90°, the PCI ports facing upwards.

It's so silent that I can hear the neons and the halogen lamps in my office.

OK, it's not as powerful as this MacPro, but Apple could have gone the same way and build a traditional case but turned vertically, allowing easy upgrading and commercial parts. A real Pro machine, not this toy that will go into history's trashcan like the Cube did.

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Zolko

Re: A vote for the HP 15C

did you try the Android emulator of it on your phone ? With a 5'' screen, it's nearly the correct size.

Or the PC emulator for your desktop.

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Zolko

Re: My smartphone emulates my beloved HP41

I prefer the HP-15c, and it has it's Android andro11c emulator also (the HP-11C actually, but they're nearly identical)

Then there is also the HP-15C emulator for computers.

These have put my real HP-15C to rest, even though it still works perfectly (aaahh, those keys were a pleasure to type on)

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Carl Icahn broadcasts his $150bn Apple shakedown effort to world+dog

Zolko

Re: Using your cash to buy back your shares already sends a bad signal to the investors

Errr ... you do know that Apple has $145bn in cash in tax-heavens, don't you ? Therefore, taking a credit of $150bn to buy back it's own shares leaves Apple naked, without any disposable money anymore. There was an article here yesterday about what Apple should do for it's future, and some argued that there is nothing to worry for a company having $145bn in cash, but this is a sure way of blowing it all up at once, and leave absolutely nothing in return.

Apart for those "investors" who profited from the buyback.

That money in tax-heavens is not really available, if Apple now repatriated this money and paid taxes on it and paid dividend with part of the remaining, and invested the rest in new developments, that would be a bold move.

This iCahn looks to be for Apple what Elop was for Nokia.

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It's the '90s all over again: Apple repeats mistakes as low-cost tablets pile up

Zolko

Re: Now @zolko

@AC: right, the sentence is bad english : Samsung makes the Galaxy Note with a pen, and because of the lawsuit where Apple accuses Samsung to only copy and not innovate, Apple can't now make an iNote with a pen because that would invalidate the Samsung-are-copying-us argument (imagine how silly they would look in the court). Even though Apple did the Newton 15 years ago, and even though many people would buy it.

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Zolko

Re: Now

"Develop a plethora of barely indistinguishable products? That didn't help them either."

it did with the iPod: from the Nano to the Shuffle, the Touch, the Classic ... why wouldn't that work for tablets ? Especially as a 5 inch iNote with a pen would be very popular with business-men, and would go pack to the original Newton. Except that Samsung did it first, and they couldn't paint themselves as "innovators" with that.

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Zolko

Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive? @Lusty

"if I am somewhere that doesn't have wireless coverage"

"But seriously, how often do you actually visit the 80s?

in my building, there is no WiFi because some people are concerned about the electromagnetic waves. Also, for security reasons, we're encouraged by the admins to use wired ethernet. Those people with MacBook Airs need the extra USB<=>ETH dongle, that they regularly forget.

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

Zolko

Re: Asymetric Speculation

"FTT assumes that *all* trading is speculative and therefore punishable."

no, quite the opposite: FTT says that long-term investments won't feel the pain of a 0.1% tax, as they are in the business for at least 10% or 20% return, but high-frequency short-term speculations which are in for every fraction of % will loose if their margin is less than that. An FTT wants to limit transactions with tiny margins, that's all.

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Zolko

Re: I have a related question

What are the costs and benefits of putting sand into the engine oil as a way of slowing a car down?

Actually, that's exactly the reason Mr Tobin has proposed this tax: to create friction, to slow down speculation, which has a tendency to overshoot in corrections (because of the sheep-like behaviour of speculators).

Such a tax has the same effect as oil in the dampers: to take away some energy from a system, to allow it to be closer to it's equilibrium at all times, instead of oscillating all the time : boom and bust.

So can you please answer now the following question: what are the cost and benefits of dampers in a car ?

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Facebook RIPS away your veil of privacy, declares NO MORE HIDING

Zolko
Happy

Re: And so it begins

The Blerch: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

that's bloody freakin genius, thank-you

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