* Posts by DougS

4029 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Apple chief Cook cooks up rumours after BMW car talks, factory tour

DougS
Silver badge

Re: BMW was careful not to show off too much

Why would Apple want to tear apart an i3? Do you think they bought a Blackberry and tore it apart before they built the iPhone? They don't want to build something like existing cars, but without the expertise of a car company to help them redesign the things they want to change (or tell them why something they want to change shouldn't be changed) let alone manufacture it they won't get far. Pretty sure they wouldn't be considering Foxconn to assemble these cars. They also need a dealer network, as Apple Stores will have to get a whole lot bigger if they wanted to sell cars out of them, and the Genius Bar will need to become a full fledged service center. They will need to rely on BMW's (or some other car company's) dealer/service network.

BMW would make a good partner for Apple, but they aren't the only potential partner. Likewise, BMW may want to partner with someone who has more expertise in software and human factors engineering than they do, but Apple is not the only potential partner for them.

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

Re: BMW was careful not to show off too much

It goes both ways. If Cook talked too much about Apple's plans and gave BMW ideas that hadn't occurred to them, Apple could end up losing out. When companies are talking on this level about a future market that doesn't exist today but will be worth trillions in a couple decades they're going to be careful about revealing too much in their area of expertise. On the other hand they have to reveal enough that they are seen as a viable partner.

If Apple chooses to pursue the self driving car market, they aren't going to want to design every part in the whole car. Just like they don't design the cellular radio chip in the iPhone but leave that to the experts at Qualcomm. They could hire a bunch of smart people and design their own, but there is no advantage for them doing so. Their "value add" for a car will be in the software and the way the car is controlled by the "driver". Obviously they'll want to put their own spin on the design (it would be interesting to see what Jony Ive thinks a car should look like) but they don't want to design all the parts, only specify what they want and leave it up the experts who know how to design windshields, seats, air conditioners and whatever.

Trying to do everything yourself from the ground up takes a long time - just ask Elon Musk, Tesla was founded in 2003 and has yet to sell its quarter millionth car despite hefty government incentives in the US. They will need a partner to be successful - as will Google and any other Silicon Valley (or Redmond) company that tries its hand at this market. Though maybe Google will follow the Android model and design self driving software and give it away free to all the automakers, with the requirement it has a cellular connection and GPS so it can blast ads at the passengers as they approach businesses. "Perkins is just ahead, tell your car to stop at Perkins now and we'll give you a Grand Slam breakfast for all four passengers for the price of two!"

2
1
DougS
Silver badge

Re: BMW & Apple

Designing the hardware and software is harder work that mass producing someone else's design. Why do you think engineers make more than people who work on an assembly line?

2
0

Stop forcing benefits down my throat and give me hard cash, dammit

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Thus spoke the contractor

Who says the contract has to give the contractor complete freedom to decide when to show up for work? The contract may require certain conditions, like working a set schedule unless you have previously notified the company you want that day off. If everyone is a contractor, the contracts don't have to be written in a way that "avoids making them look like an employee". In fact, some contracts would probably look very much like what they had as an employee - no reason the contract couldn't provide set hours, set holidays, the same number of paid days off, etc. If enough employees wanted that, the company would probably offer it as one option from a menu that ranged from that, to more flexible contracting arrangements.

If too many people want the same day off so there aren't enough people to fill the need, the contract could say days off are first come first served, so you don't get it off if too many others have asked for it. Or it could increase the pay for those days until enough people decide they don't need that day off after all.

In fact, the contract could be written with variable pay, so everyone bids on the times they want to work (maybe they bid for September in mid-August) by specifying which days they'll work and the minimum pay they'll accept. On days when everyone is willing to work, pay is lower. On days when everyone wants to take the day off, pay is higher and those willing to work are compensated for that. You already see this to some extent with shift pay, holiday pay, etc. but this makes that more flexible. Maybe you need to only pay employees 20% more to work on a weekend during the winter, because they weren't going to be doing anything anyway, but they want 80% more in the summer? That's better than setting an arbitrary amount like 40% that applies year round.

0
0

Sun? In Blighty? Nah, just build that rooftop data centre, it’ll be fine

DougS
Silver badge

Redundant AC units

How is this usually handled? You have N+1 power, multiple levels of redundancy, but spec the AC at max load and assume it won't break. You laugh, but I know of a Fortune 100 company's main datacenter for which this was true. Maybe having two units, one of which is idle, is a bit much, but having 5 units, only 4 of which are needed... That would also solve the problem of variable loads, as one or more could be cycled off as the load changes. That way you can avoid the more expensive ones with multistage compressors - the savings might actually pay for that fifth unit.

Hopefully the design is smart enough that it isn't always the same units running and the same unit sitting idle, as we all know what will happen when the long-idle one is needed...

0
0

Uber holds out hand, hails another $1bn – mostly from Microsoft

DougS
Silver badge

Re: actually

It is only lucrative if there are barriers to entry. Uber has been trying to knock down the barriers to entry into the "taxi" market all over the world. Where they succeed, they've delineated the exact boundaries in which they - and all other competitors - may operate.

If Uber makes a lot of money as a middleman, there is plenty of room for competitors to set up shop and accept a smaller cut, with the savings used to pay drivers more and charge riders less. It will be a race to the bottom, and Uber won't be worth a tenth of what they are today, though I think eventually they'll just go under completely as they'll stubbornly refuse to lower their cut even as drivers and riders abandon them in great numbers.

There may even be room for competition that takes ZERO cut, and relies on sponsorships to support the infrastructure. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are an obvious candidate there. The drivers would be the only ones making profit, which is fair as they're the ones doing the work.

2
0

Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

DougS
Silver badge

Re: It's all about the developers

Except Microsoft's Astoria project plans to allow Windows phones to run Android binaries. What's the incentive for developers to create a Windows phone specific app when they'll already have the Android version Windows phone users can download.

Those developing PC apps aren't going to worry about making them run on Windows phones - does anyone think that Intuit is going to worry about making Quickbooks run well on a phone, or that anyone would want to use it on a phone?

3
2

Gay emojis? GAY EMOJIS?! Not here in Russia, comrade

DougS
Silver badge

Re: $(name) Youth group

Maybe a good thing Putin doesn't have a son, or he'd try to set him up as another "president for life" when he's gone. Maybe he'll do that for a son-in-law, but more likely it will end up as a military coup. No way back into having proper elections when you're a dictatorship.

0
0

No, Microsoft: Your one-billion Windows 10 goal is just sad ... really sad

DougS
Silver badge

What's the total number of Windows devices now?

Windows 7 is on over half of them, and that's probably about the ceiling Windows 10 can reach, unless a lot of Windows 7 owners are nagged into taking the free upgrade to 10.

3
0

How much of ONE YEAR's Californian energy use would WIPE OUT the DROUGHT?

DougS
Silver badge

Re: DeSal

Who is the "we've" who have been working to get a desal plant in San Diego? Is it a question of money, is it being held up by the state, by the feds, by environmentalists, or what?

1
0
DougS
Silver badge

No new power infrastructure is needed...this really isn't that complicated

This isn't like turning on a light or the AC, where you need to have power available at that time. You can operate the desalination plants with off-peak energy, as well as buffer the variable demands (and supplies) during peak energy usage.

Given that this is a problem that has built up for years, and California is draining its aquifers even when they aren't experiencing a drought, you'd want to build the desalination plants so that they would be operated regularly (not continuously, we're using off-peak energy remember?)

Lewis' suggestion of adding 2% to California's energy usage to fix the problem over six years seems like a good initial target for the level of desalinization infrastructure you'd want to build. Enough to get "back to normal" in six years, and pumping the water into the aquifers to make up for those losses down the road. You can always add more plants down the road if the drought continues or worsens, or operate them less often if California starts setting yearly rainfall records.

OK, what about the environmental impact? California wants to reduce its CO2 impact, not permanently increase it by 2%! So how about wind or solar? The state I live in generates a quarter of its electricity from wind power. California's population is 13x larger, so if they added as much generation capacity as my state has, that would be their 2%. Though the desert may point to solar being a simpler alternative there - I merely pointed out the comparison with my state to forestall those who will claim "do you know how much energy California uses, there is no way renewable energy can produce that much".

The desalination plants wouldn't be directly powered by solar or wind, that would be added into the grid, and the desalination plants would act as buffers by using power that the rest of the grid doesn't need at the moment during peaks, and running on a more continuous basis during off-peak hours.

In this way renewable energy could solve California's water problems - and the water bills of California residents would pay for it. Using renewable energy may cost more today than just adding another gas fired plant or two, but getting new fossil fuel power plants built in California is not easy. Wind & solar is (at least comparatively speaking)

13
0

ATTACK of the ZOMBIE SATELLITE: Run radio hams, run!

DougS
Silver badge

Re: can we use it for target practice?

The limited amount of harm this satellite is causing is not worth generating a bunch of orbital debris that will cause problems for years.

Maybe NASA should offer a $10 million prize to anyone who can send up a rocket to snag it and drag it into the atmosphere to burn up and/or into the ocean? Get Branson, Musk and Carmack thinking about how to do it.

They probably wouldn't though, because not just the US, but the Chinese and the Russians would be pretty freaked out by a private company able to perform this type of snag and drag (pretty sure all three countries could do this without much difficulty, though they aren't likely to advertise the fact)

6
0

Uber unleashes $1bn war chest to crack Indian market

DougS
Silver badge

It will go towards bribes

Bribes of any officials that stand in their way, or can stand in the way of their competition, and more importantly bribes in the form of temporarily paying more to drivers to switch to Uber rather than stick with the local alternatives. Once so many drivers have switched the local alternatives go under, then Uber can shut off the flood of cash and the drivers will probably end up worse off as will the Indian economy. Guess they figure it will take about a billion dollars until they've choked the life out of their local competition.

In its short life Uber has demonstrated quite clearly that it is a very unethical company run by very unethical people.

2
0

What can't sell Galaxy S6s and keeps going down on you? Samsung and its profits

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Taking off features to act like Apple lite didn't help them at all

Wait, so due to the removal of features from the S6 you bought the more expensive Note 4? It seems like Samsung got more money/profit from you, so how did it "not help them at all?" If everyone reacted like you, they'd be seeing record profits!

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

Re: Stick a fork in Samsung, they're done.

The problem for Samsung was that the Chinese companies copied them and are not selling the phones at premium prices like Samsung.

2
0
DougS
Silver badge

@Charlie Clark - dollar/euro exchange rate

How does the dollar/euro exchange rate hurt Samsung, as they are not a US company? If the won/euro exchange rate was dropping it might be a problem for them, and perhaps that is happening, but the dollar rising or falling isn't going to affect the won/euro exchange rate.

0
0

Wanted: beta testers for El Reg’s Android app

DougS
Silver badge

Re: It's a start but....

Given that Microsoft is apparently going to support running Android apps on Windows phones, why should the Reg or indeed anyone write actual Windows apps for the phone any longer? Its the OS/2 story in reverse...

0
0

Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Fair share?

Allowing a company to loan people money and consider the amount loaned as an "expense" against taxes was the loophole. If it was truly a loan, at arms length and therefore intended to be paid back, then it was a loophole that may have had a purpose. Allowing a "loan" that was not arms length and not truly a loan since there was never any intention whatsoever to ever pay it back was not "using a loophole" it was a tax evasion scam, nothing more.

You are trying to change the issue by complaining "what is a fair share"? A fair share is what you would have owed if you used this loophole as intended, and actually paid back the loan at some point. Given that you did not, your fair share is what you would have owed if this loophole did not exist at all.

2
1
DougS
Silver badge

Look up tax law in the US

The IRS can go back an unlimited number of years for tax evasion. They can only go back seven years for mistakes/corrections or whatever, but if you aren't paying your taxes or are doing something illegal to reduce the amount of taxes you owe, they could go back 50 years if they wish.

An interest free "loan" that you never had any intention of paying is so utterly clearly a scam I can't believe the author of this article was defending it.

2
0
DougS
Silver badge

Re: 99% of you are missing the point

No, they're not missing the point. You're missing the fact that this scam involved an interest-free "loan" that they NEVER had any intention of paying back. I'm utterly shocked anything like this was ever allowed in the first place, but I can say with certainty had it been allowed in the US and someone I knew was using this dodge the first question I'd ask would be "so what happens when you retire, and you owe your offshore scam company several million dollars?" Forgiven debt is taxable income, so I guess the goal was to die still owing the money and arranging things so that their heirs somehow weren't liable for the debt?

2
0

Don't want pranksters 'bricking' your Android? Just stop using the internet, duh – Google

DougS
Silver badge

Degooglized Android

I'm sure this is one of Google's biggest fears - what if Microsoft decides to go all-in with Android, and builds a version that replaces Google Search with Bing, GMail with Outlook 365, and so forth? If Windows 10 Mobile flops, and Microsoft gives up on Windows on phones, they might go this route.

Microsoft would probably not care if they made any money on this, as it would hurt one of their biggest competitors. Might also hurt Apple as far as getting iOS in the enterprise, since this Microsoft Android OS would likely work better with Windows services and have better enterprise manageability.

This isn't going to fix the problem with Android updates (which really isn't Google's fault, no one but Apple and maybe Samsung has enough clout with carriers to keep full software control) but a major security incident on Google Android could really hurt its image and help Microsoft's version.

0
0

Google turns cookie monster on AdSense, DoubleClick clients

DougS
Silver badge

They wouldn't have a buck to pass

If they support DNT, given that some browsers make it the default, they'd lose a lot of revenue being unable to identify users. They will never support DNT. The most they'll do is support something that requires a lot of work for users to enable, and can't be done via default, so few will do it.

0
0

Peering closer at 3D XPoint memory: What are Intel, Micron up to?

DougS
Silver badge

Missed one mystery

Is it bit/word addressable like DRAM or block addressable like NAND?

0
0

A third of workers admit they'd leak sensitive biz data for peanuts

DougS
Silver badge

How do they poll people for something like this?

If I had a random survey person call me up and ask me this question (I actually don't answer unknown numbers, and if I did and heard the word "survey" or "poll" I'd hang up immediately, but let's say I didn't) I would never answer this honestly.

How do these people know the "pollster" isn't a third party hired by their employer to see who the untrustworthy employees are? The fact people are so willing to answer questions like this leads me to believe at least some companies have done exactly this, and use the employee's stated answers as justification for firing them. Heck, just make a list of employees you want to fire but don't have grounds to fire without paying unemployment, and "poll" them. If they admit they'd break strict company privacy/security policy for a day's pay, that sounds like a firing offense to me.

To be clear: the "list of employees" I'm talking about isn't necessarily about discrimination - though it could be used like that. I'm thinking more in terms of employers who wish to cull the herd. If you need to lay off some people but want to minimize your costs, find reasons to fire some first. Or maybe you believe in decimation, and want to try to get rid of the 10% lowest performing employees every year.

1
0

Sue us for Safari ad tracking? You'll be lucky, peons, cackles Google

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Money

Are you saying things were not all about money in the 1950s? I wasn't around then, but I think you need to defend such an extreme position with some evidence.

0
0

Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

DougS
Silver badge

Linux desktop uptake

The "gratuitous breakage" for drivers with kernel updates is irrelevant to Linux's desktop success, because vendors like Redhat hide that detail from you. A typical user is not going to download a new kernel from kernel.org and compile it and run into this. They'll get updates from Redhat, which maintain the same APIs within a major version precisely to avoid this problem.

Linux hasn't been successful on the desktop because it doesn't run Windows programs, which is important when Windows is starting with desktop monopoly of 95% (now down closer to 90% due to OS X growing share) Where Linux is seeing some slight uptake on the desktop (Chrome laptops) is where the customer base has no legacy Windows programs they want to run. The typical Chrome customer uses it like a tablet with a keyboard - it is used for content consumption, not content creation.

9
0
DougS
Silver badge

Let's sum it up

Thusly: If you're on Windows 7, unless you need one of the few new things added to Windows 10 like DirectX 12 or somewhat improved but still not working HiDPI support, you should stick with Windows 7. If you're on Windows 8, you should upgrade tomorrow because anything is better than Windows 8.

8
0

MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

DougS
Silver badge

Re: @OliverJ -- 512 apps ought to be enough for anybody...!

People who don't understand irony or sarcasm are the leading cause of internet discussion derailment.

OK, second leading, after people who can't spell and/or have poor grammar and those who feel a unquenchable need to correct those people.

7
0

Oh, Obama's responded to the petition to pardon Snowden. What'll it be?

DougS
Silver badge

Trump, bombing and front runner

Trump may be a nutcase, but I haven't ever heard him say anything that makes him sound like a warmonger. I'd be more worried about some of the other republicans in that respect.

While Trump leads in polling in a field of 16, he is far and away the leader in negatives - over half of republicans polled say they definitely would not support him. It doesn't matter what he does, he can't win the nomination, but he can sure stir things up and distract the republicans into talking about him instead of talking about Obama and Clinton as they'd prefer.

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

@cyke1 "Forgot to tell Obama"

Ignoring your political rant, if anything republicans would take an even harder line on Snowden. Who knows, might even try to send a rendition team into Moscow and spark an international incident.

There are only two guys running for President who would may not pursue charges against Snowden: Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders. Even then they'd probably have to pardon him as I'm sure a successor could come up with charges for which there is no statute of limitations.

8
1

Just ONE THOUSAND times BETTER than FLASH! Intel, Micron's amazing claim

DougS
Silver badge

@Steve Knox - using it to replace DRAM

It will only work as a replacement for DRAM if it is addressable in a similar manner. We'll have to learn more about it to see if it is bit addressable. If it is block addressable like flash the block size must be no larger than your L3 cache line size or it can't replace DRAM.

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

@Lamb0

Why would this be embedded in phones? Phones aren't limited by flash's speed or lifetime, so there is no reason to add something more expensive to get better performance on either metric.

Until it can be produced in large enough quantities to allow its price to drop to where it replaces flash entirely, I think its usefulness will mainly to be to replace flash in applications where flash is either too slow or its lifetime is too short - basically meaning enterprise SSDs will be replaced by these. Consumer laptops don't need this, nor do phones, nor wireless routers, nor USB sticks, nor the BIOS on your PC's motherboard or many other places where flash is currently used.

Those products won't switch from flash until this Micron thing is cheaper - which may not take that long since flash is running into some limitations for density increase this technology won't face. They've worked around it with "3D" NAND but the ability to add layers in that fashion is quite limited so it won't help for long.

4
2

SDN hits rock bottom and FCoE is obsolete, say Gartner mages

DougS
Silver badge

2.5/5 Gb ethernet?

Never heard of it. What's the point, with 10 Gb ethernet so affordable, especially 10 GbaseT?

0
1

Bug hunter reveals Apple iTunes, Mac app store receipt deceit

DougS
Silver badge

Huh?

If you can get physical access to someone's iPhone and change the device name, there are plenty of bad things you could do. This seems like a pretty roundabout way of doing something that would no doubt be simpler if you did it directly when you had access.

1
1

Record-breaking $502m in sales, BIG LOSSES – OF COURSE IT'S TWITTER

DougS
Silver badge

Twitter is the next Amazon

No profit, but a ridiculous share price that continues to defy gravity because the revenue keeps growing.

0
0

Are smart safes secure? Not after we've USB'd them, say infosec bods

DougS
Silver badge

A safe with a USB port?

What could possibly go wrong? What moron thought up this idea!

1
0

Intel tests definition of insanity with (leaked) typoslab Skylake CPUs

DougS
Silver badge

They aren't sell these for tablets

They'll selling them for Surface Pro. You can call that a tablet if you want, but it is really a laptop with a really poor keyboard since I've never seen one used in any other way.

I doubt Intel will continue with their giveaways of these chips trying to get them into the Android tablet market, especially as the Android tablet market is shrinking.

3
0

Hole in (Number) Two: MYSTERY golf-course pooper strikes again

DougS
Silver badge

Whatever the case, he's determined

Climbed a tree to disable the lights? I guess he probably tried to visit one night, was surprised by the lights when they came on, and then stopped by the next day during daylight hours to check out the surroundings and come up with a plan to evade it.

They'll need to catch him in the act, so to speak, to stop him I'll bet. I hope El Reg follows up on this, I'd hate to be left dangling!

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

Fill out an application for a survellience camera?

WTF weird laws do they have there that a private business can't put up a security camera on its own property?

0
1

Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Yay!

That's a bug with your phone or the cell tower you are connected to. I'm with AT&T and get MMS messages on my iPhone all the time, never had a problem like that except in a handful of times when I was at a football game or concert where the local cell towers were completely overloaded.

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

How long before the first malware that infects a billion people?

Maybe it doesn't happen this time, depends on how easy this bug is to find. At any rate there are surely plenty of other bugs lurking in Android that can be remotely triggered in a similar manner. Find one and have it text a random assortment of the infected phone's contacts, and it would spread across the world in a matter of hours. What is done with a billion phone botnet, who knows, but it probably won't be good.

You don't even need Android's famously crappy updating for this. It would spread so fast that if you found a zero day that infected iOS 7 & 8 in a similar manner you'd own 95% of all iPhones in the world even if Apple turned around a patch in 24 hours.

Someday we're going to wake up and know what the Morris Worm would have been like if it had infected five orders of magnitude more devices.

Microsoft ought to immediately start a black project researching for bugs like this in both Android and iOS. Brick a billion phones and a lot of people won't buy the same kind they had before - this may be Microsoft's only hope to get any market share in the mobile market :)

5
0

Blighty tablet sales plunge 31 per cent in saturated market

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Suggests

Not user replaceable at least. My girlfriend has a four year old iPad that is still going strong. It had such ridiculously long battery life when new that it is still going strong even though the battery has surely lost some pep in middle age (haven't we all) Someday it will reach a state battery life is a problem for her, and at that point it might be worth getting a new one. Probably about the same 6-7 year replacement cycle as a typical consumer laptop, in other words.

0
0

Don't suit up: Microsoft drops dress code for Android visitors

DougS
Silver badge

With Blackberry following this path also

The market really will be Android vs iOS, with that pesky 3% 'other' now willingly surrendered to Google.

4
0

Bloke who tried to get journo killed by SWAT cops coughs to conspiracy charge

DougS
Silver badge

Re: A complete and utter failure of the 911 Caller ID technology

Pretty sure 911 uses ANI rather than ordinary caller ID, which can't be forged so easily.

The problem is the proliferation of cell and IP phones, making it a lot harder to verify the location of the caller. Sign up for a Google Phone or Skype number, and call claiming to be next door to OJ's house while he's murdering his wife. Your number could have any sort of area code or even country code, and ANI is useless. Maybe it is suspicious if someone with a Skype number registered to London calls claiming to be next door to a murder in the US, but they can't ignore the call or there will be hell to pay if the call was legit.

After the fact they can subpeona Google or Microsoft and find out the IP address you connected from, but if you were in a Starbucks parking lot connected to their wifi how are they going to find you? And it would be too late, as after the fact your target may be dead if he was holding an offensive weapon in his hand, like a remote control or a burrito, when the cops busted down the door.

16
0

Secretive trade pact the TTIP: Death of the web – or a brave new horizon?

DougS
Silver badge

"That means you can ignore anything in the paper you don't personally agree with"

Thank you for giving me a reason to do so Kieran, but it was unnecessary. This is the internet, we ignore anything we don't agree with and don't need a good reason for it!

3
0

NSA: We'll move your metadata into /dev/null when you stop suing us

DougS
Silver badge

Since they have the power to keep some lawsuits secret

Even if all the lawsuits were dropped they'd probably claim there are still some out there, so they don't have to delete that data. They never will, regardless of what Congress orders them to do, because they think they're above the law.

4
0

Ahem, FCC, who do you think you are? The FTC?

DougS
Silver badge

It was Dish, not Directv

Who used shill bidders in the form of small companies to save $3 billion. It looks like the FCC has told them they can't do that, so Dish will have to pay the extra $3 billion after all.

0
0

So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Rescue the banks or the bankers

If you were illiquid in the fall of 2008 you were bankrupt, because if you needed cash and tried to sell assets back then you'd be lucky to get more than a few pennies on the pound for anything connected with mortgages! Any judge with an ounce of financial and economic knowledge would know that and throw the case out of court on its ear. The government was the "investor" of last resort, the only one willing and able to buy up such assets for a price that didn't doom the seller to bankruptcy court.

Well, other than a few crafty guys like Warren Buffett who have been around long enough to know that you make the best deals when fear is running rampant, and earned Berkshire Hathaway a few billion more dollars.

2
0
DougS
Silver badge

Re: https://projects.propublica.org/bailout/

What you're talkijng about with "save it until there's a recession" is what the US called "stimulus", with money going to the "shovel ready projects". Basically projects that states had been wanting to do but didn't have the money for.

Like you say, that's great during a recession, it is enforcing the other end of it during a boom that's hard. That's where there must be some sort of automatic mechanism to tamp down the economy, using statistics that can't be gamed by politicians and even more importantly where politicians have no say. Either automatic tax increases, automatic interest rate increases, automatic spending cuts, something. Yes, the data we get is in arrears, and it is not always accurate, but it is "close enough" for us to know the difference between bust, boom, and sort of blundering along in between. And that's really the only three conditions we need worry about - meaning policies for stimulate, discourage or neutral.

We just have to be under no illusion that we will eliminate the business cycle. All we want to do is reduce the damage from a bust, and take advantage of a boom to make up for the additional costs we incur during a bust. In an ideal world you'd run deficits during a bust, a surplus during a boom, and generally break even when the economy is muddling along. The US had reached that point in the late 90s, until the politicians stuck their noses in it and messed up the careful balance we'd achieved by complete and utter accident.

2
0

Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Ballmer Worst CEO Ever

Ron Johnson had the ultimate halo effect. He was in charge of Apple's stores, so of course he must be a mega genius. The thing is, they were opened only in really rich areas, selling products that were in high demand. He had little or nothing to do with that success, it is like being the realtor who answers the phone when a Russian billionaire calls looking to buy the most expensive apartment in Manhattan for his daughter. You're going to make a multi million dollar commission, but for being in the right place at the right time, not because you are amazing at your job.

2
0

Forums