* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

2682 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Arrgh Beeb

PS, as i do not need a license to pick up radio, will the iplayer radio site be covered in this little facade as well???

You could have found the answer to that by looking at the site linked-to:

"There will be just two exceptions – watching S4C TV on demand and listening to radio. "

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Gartner's hype cycle turned upside down to assess Brexit

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Stages of grief

French farmers LOVE to haggle

If you consider going on strike, and blockading roads with manure or burning tyres "haggling", that is.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Y2K

Y2K wasn't a "false fire drill", it was a very real one which only passed without major incident because of all the hard work done during the years running up to it.

But this is Gartner, of course.

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Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: To think that...

systemd does do one thing, and does it well -- Manage services.

If it did it well, with some suggestion of valid documentation (other than the source code), it might indeed be useful. As it is, systemd does what it does very badly indeed.

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Tesla's Model S autonomous mode may have saved a life

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: PR stunt

Good thing it was a pedestrian. What if it had been a dog that the 'autopilot' had misidentified as another vehicle and slammed on the brakes, resulting it being rear-ended by a too-close car behind causing injuries to all concerned? In those circumstances the right thing to do would be to hit the dog, then stop & sort out the mess. In this case the driver clearly wasn't driving within his abilities given the conditions. He was just lucky that his gadget didn't make the situation worse.

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An anniversary to remember: The world's only air-to-air nuke was fired on 19 July, 1957

Phil O'Sophical
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Very weird time back in the '50's and '60's. There were even places in Nevada that offered "resort weekends" or something like that to tourists to come and watch the nuke tests

Wasn't there even an Abbot and Costello film where they were in one of the dummy towns and got irradiated, so that every time they passed a slot machine in Vegas it paid out? Weird times indeed.

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Kepler's K2 mission confirms 104 Earth-like planets

Phil O'Sophical
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Birthdays would get expensive quickly.

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Happy 50th birthday, optical fibres for telecoms

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Institution of Electrical Engineers

(And a lot easier to join, from what I hear)

Sort-of. The membership grades don't align, IEEE Member grade just needs a cheque and a photocopy of a degree certificate, a bit like IET Associate Member. The IET Member grade is equivalent to IEEE Senior Member, with a requirement for experience and responsibility. MIET shouldn't be considered as equal to MIEEE.

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Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

Phil O'Sophical
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I had the opportunity to work on a project with the European Space Agency, as part of a project involving Germany and Italy. Are you suggesting that leaving the EU will free up enough funding for the UK to start a space programme?

The ESA is not an EU institution, and funding is separate from the EU, the UK contributes to ESA. The UK has a space programme, worth around £6 billion per year at present, with a strategy in place to considerably increase that (6-fold) by 2035.

One of my friends was involved in work with the Large Hadron Collider - are you proposing we set up our own particle accelerator somewhere under Birmingham?

The LHC is in CERN, which is under Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland is not a member of the EU. It's a much nicer place than Birmingham so I suggest we continue to work with CERN, Brexit or not.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "EU rules still apply until we've actually left."

But if you don't like the way it is then vote to change it.

Anyone who's ever sat in meetings knows that there's a critical number or participants, somewhere around 10, where the law of decreasing returns bites and you get progressively less done because you never get agreement.

With 28 member countries, all with their own concerns, the EU is way past that point. Members can vote all they like, the chances of ever getting agreement on anything but broad, vague, direction is nil. Which is just the way the commission likes it, it's "Yes, MEP" on a grand scale.

Don't just vote to run away. That's what cowards do.

No, it's what pragmatists do. Cowards would just hide in the corner and keep their heads down. Anyone who thinks that taking a decision like Brexit requires cowardice is very confused indeed.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Boo fucking hoo

And I agree with Richard Branson that you need a second referendum based on facts not lies, now.

How very EU-cratic. "You voted wrong, go away and do it again until you get it right."

And people wonder why we voted to leave.

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London's contactless ticket payment system for sale in £15m deal

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: A good thing

not one per 'tap'.

True, but if you only make one or two journeys, that $2 fee still stings. For a regular visitor it's as easy to keep an Oyster card in my "sterling wallet".

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Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Phil O'Sophical
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Tupperware is an anagram of "A pure twerp", just like that lawyer.

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Newly spotted distant dwarf planet orbits the Sun every 700 years

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: A name

Planet BREXIT would be more politically charged.

They could call it Corbyn. It pops in for a brief flypast, then zooms off into the wilderness again.

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Revolutionary Brit-made SABRE hybrid rocket engine to burn in 2020

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: More Eu funding to be renegotiated

From the European Space Agency, which was created in 1975 and is unrelated to the EU.

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Next big thing after containers? Amazon CTO talks up serverless computing

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: So exactly like mainframe computing 30 years ago...

OK, you had to put your code on a tape and send it by post, but "run this code with this much memory and this much disk space" is old stuff.

Do the results come back in a PDF with 14⅞" x 11" pages, alternating green & white stripes? That would be even more cool...

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4-day Fasthosts outage: Customers' sites go TITSUP

Phil O'Sophical
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That was my first thought, followed by "what penalties does the SLA have?". The answer, I suspect, will be "what's an SLA?"

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Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Phil O'Sophical
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Internet of Ships

“In principle, anybody skilful and capable to attain access into the ICT system could take control of the ship and change its operation according to hackers’ objectives,”

Just don't let D-Link tender for the control systems.

Physically the ships could be very secure, no need for windows, decks etc. Just a big square box, covered in barbed wire and anti-climb paint.

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New DNA 'hard drive' could keep files intact for millions of years

Phil O'Sophical
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invaluable for future archeologists

Pity the poor ET, millions of years into the future, who lovingly recreates a sample of life from long-dead Sol 3, only to find that (s)he's cloned Facebook.

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Behold the ROBOT RECTUM... medics' relief

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Very dissapointed

that's the kind of robot rectum I can get behind.

What can I say...?

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Huawei: Our fake phone camera pic shame

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: There oughta be a law!

@AC actually the rebate is applied *before* we pay the EU.

Not, it isn't. £55m per day before the rebate, which is £385m/week. With a rebate of £5bn/year, or around £100m/week the net after the rebate is £280-£250m/week.

There are, of course, other ways that money is returned to the UK via grants, so overall the UK gets back about 2/3 of what it pays in. Those are figures from pro-remain sources.

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Paper wasps that lie to their mates get a right kicking, research finds

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Cock...

I think you'd need to ask a chicken-wasp to get an answer to that.

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A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Dimensions

Yes, that would do, the UK is at right angles to reality

That's normal.

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Microsoft names Cindy Rose as first first lady of UK ops

Phil O'Sophical
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Cindy Rose?

Hmm, a likely name. Doesn't she run a webcam service?

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Man killed in gruesome Tesla autopilot crash was saved by his car's software weeks earlier

Phil O'Sophical
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will happily burst forward to reach its set-speed if it resumes from after manual braking

Any cruise control I've had required me to push a resume button after brake-operated disengagement. Are you saying that yours doesn't? That does sound dodgy, but I don't have a problem with a manually re-engaged one, since I'd be expecting the accelerator response.

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This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

Phil O'Sophical
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Or a cheap part [accidentally] ordered via expensive courier.

Or 20 expensive parts ordered from RS Components. Only on delivery was it noticed that they shipped in bags of 10, of which purchasing had ordered 20...

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What Brexit means for you as a motorist

Phil O'Sophical
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It is a nasty protectionist measure to ensure that you cannot get an out-of-Eu hire contract car for use in Eu.

It looks much more like some over-zealous lawyers misinterpreting some carelessly-drafted regulations.

The document covers import/export of goods, and it's probably article 215 that's causing the confusion. The document seems to refer to EU residents (not citizens) who use a non-EU registered vehicle to import stuff, and then plan to leave without the said stuff, i.e. delivery drivers. It suggests that such people have no need to declare and pay import duty on the vehicle itself at the border, as long as it leaves within a defined reasonable time.

Applying it to hire cars seems plain daft, and no doubt the hire companies will challenge it.

It wouldn't affect UK people post-Brexit since they wouldn't be residents of the Union.

-

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Speculation

That iconic symbol of Indian motoring technolgy.

Indian motoring money.

British motoring technology.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Passport, driving licence validity

it will have to be printed in French.

I'll get mine printed in one of the official languages of another EU country, Ireland. That would be, let's see, English.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Trucks

All the new ones are required to be fitted with a 56mph speed-limiter.

Wouldn't be surprising. The EU limit is 90 km/h, which is 56MPH, so probably easier to limit all international lorries to 90 km/h.

The real nuisance is that these are only accurate to 2% or so, due to tolerances and tyre wear, so you get the situation where lazy drivers just push their foot to the floor and let the limiter hold the speed. One lorry ends up doing 88 and the other 90, and the faster one tries to overtake, on a two-lane motorway. It surely wouldn't have been impossible to permit brief overtaking bursts of 100km/h?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Also, there is a new rule in regards to non-EU cars driving in the EU. Lots of people renting cars in Switzerland and driving in to France etc are getting slapped with massive fines.

Goit a source for that ludicrous claim? Switzerland is in Schengen, and in the EEA.

Are you sure you're not confusing it with cars rented in France being driven on Swiss autoroutes without paying for the little Swiss toll sticker? That will net you a hefty fine.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Speculation

Nobody’s really sure what the future holds for the UK or for its economy

here’s a quick rundown of how leaving the European Union will affect you

Don't you mean might affect you?

British drivers may need to have their passports stamped at border crossings

Oh noes, not just inspected but actually stamped as well? There are no border crossings within the Schengen area (well, except for all those where EU countries have just re-imposed them due to the migrant crisis) so this will only apply at the entry points like Dover & Calais, where passports are already inspected. Just as they currently may be at the French/Swiss border, the French/Belgian border, etc.

As for finance, British motorists get a pretty good deal already, you'll never find a 0% interest deal in France, for example, because it's not legal under French law, so it clearly isn't EU law driving that. If Germany wants to keep it's biggest European market happy it might even offer better deals to UK drivers over time.

There may also be some positive outcomes. The plan to exchange info on speeding tickets will probably fall, so if you're flashed by a camera on a French autoroute you'll not find yourself getting points on your UK licence.

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VW finds US$15 BEEELION under the couch to pay off US regulators

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Profit motive.

Mitsibushi falsified the fuel economy data, not emissions.

It amounts to the same thing, CO₂ emissions figures depend on fuel consumption. VW's problem was that they falsified NOx emissions, which is a health issue, not just a tax one.

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Magnetic, heat scanners to catch Tour de France electric motor cheats

Phil O'Sophical
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Thumb Up

Re: Tech

Colin Furze pulse jet bikes

I had to google that. The guys is mad, but I want one!

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Osborne on Leave limbo: Travel and trade stay unchanged

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Growing Sense of bereavement..

There is absolutely no way I would accept that the politicians or career civil servants running any government or bureaucracy are an elite..

They think they are, that's the problem.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Growing Sense of bereavement..

Or we could grow up,

Yes Daddy. I'm sure you know what's best for us stupid little children.

look at the realities, decide that economic suicide isn't a good plan and ignore the referendum result. You know, like the Greek referendum on the bailout. Or the Irish referendum on the Nice Treaty. And the Lisbon Treaty.

Yes, and while we' re at it we could forget those "election" things, we obviously don't know enough to make the right decisions about who will rule us. Let's just name Vati Juncker "King of Europe" and go back to minding our sheep.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Even here at the bottom end it's a mess

A shrinking economy to the tune of 2 trillion USD in a couple of days is not a problem?

Two days isn't long enough to decide if the economy is shrinking at all, and a twitchy stock market doesn't define a 'shrinking economy" anyway, so no, I don't think there's a problem yet. The markets are still in passably healthy shape over the year so far. We see the same twitchiness after general elections, give it a few months and then review the situation when heads have cooled.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Project FUD is alive and well

Interesting. I've got 7 downvotes already just for asking a question, and the only attempt at an answer starts "Not got the figures to hand, but I suspect..."

Anyone who has the figures to hand want to take a stab at an answer?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Growing Sense of bereavement..

Remainers have to do nothing. YOU fix it!

Fine, if the remainers will agree not to keep kicking more holes while saying "we're sinking, told you so"

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Growing Sense of bereavement..

the pound would fall, unemployment would go up, there'd be a recession, we wouldn't be able to get access to the common market without following all the rules anyway, hell, even that the price of holidays would go up. Y'know, all the stuff that's actually happened over the last few days.

No, almost none of it has happened.

The pound has dropped. A little. Three months ago it was $1.43, now it's $1.37. Not surprising with all the uncertainty, it's only been two working days since the result. It's way too soon to speak of unemployment (which was the lowest in Europe anyway) or a recession, or holidays, or access to the common market.

Just about the only thing that hasn't happened is Osborne's Brexit Budget

That was just Remainer FUD.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Growing Sense of bereavement..

I do think that some of them were duped possibly even conned by the Leave campaign with promises that are patently impossible even after several years of nogotiations;

You could say exactly the same about the Remain campaign, where promises about more control and more independence were just so much hot air.

The vote was Leave, now we have to make it work. Regretting it, or hoping it was just a bad dream, won't change anything, and trying to make leaving more difficult will only make things worse for everyone.

We have a once in a generation opportunity that we didn't have a week ago. Sad days perhaps, for those who want an easy life. Happy days for those willing to take that opportunity.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Even here at the bottom end it's a mess

@ Phil O'Sophical A devalued Pound is only beneficial if none of your purchases are in another currency.

Indeed so, but as the original poster clearly said, his company buys parts from Belgium, and sells finished goods to Germany. He wil lose one one, but gain on the other. The sky is not falling.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Even here at the bottom end it's a mess

Also we've now got the fun situation of having to fix a £/€ exchange rate, to be able to quote people in £ for new machines to be ordered in a month or more, to be paid for in €.

So talk to your accountant about currency hedging, there's nothing new or Brexit-specific about that.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Even here at the bottom end it's a mess

our biggest single customer is German and some huge proportion of our business trickles down from [unnamed motor manufacturer

our major suppliers due to exchange rates became 6% more expensive

So, your exports just got 6% cheaper as well, or to put it another way every EU sale now gets you 6% more income. Swings & roundabouts.

I've never seen such a bunch of glass-half-empty pessimsists :)

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Phil O'Sophical
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Project FUD is alive and well

more than one-third would continue to hire at the same pace.

a quarter planned to freeze recruitment, with five per cent expecting to fire staff.

One in five are considering moving some of their operations outside of the UK

one per cent will bring operations back.

So what are the figures for any other July? is this any different from "business as usual?

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Botnet-powered ballot stuffing suspected in 2nd referendum petition

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The debate

Interest rates maybe dropping to 0% - savings get less interest.

Like Germany you mean, where interest rates are negative? You actually have to pay the government to take your savings.

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Time to re-file your patents and trademarks, Britain

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: MD a Trade? WTF?

The odd-jobbing domestic electrician (and plumber I suspect) is under pressure and the only people who can afford to do it are those who are willing to work at the lowest rates, cash-in-hand and perhaps bend the rules slightly.

If there's a need for the services, then there will always be people who can provide them. To a certain degree the situation with plumbers is mirroring that with TV & radio repairs. When TVs were expensive and broke down a lot, there were lots of repair shops. As they became more reliable, and largely disposable, the need for repairs pretty much vanished. Repairs that do happen are now plug-in modules that get sent back to a central factory, there's little demand for workshop-level component diagnosis and replacement.

Years ago many plumbing calls were to replace washers, unblock drains, etc. Modern ceramic taps have a much greater washer-free life, and as you say modern plastic piping removes the need for brazing/soldering skills, and DIY is possible for many things (not gas-related, of course). For bigger problems like leaks I think most people today would start by calling their insurance company, and the insurers would have deals with larger plumbing companies to handle such problems.

Other changes to modern life have also had an impact. You don't need a jobbing plumber or electrician in your village who can pop round on his bike, because they all have vans and can come from a larger business in a nearby town. They have cellphones, websites & answering machines. It changes the whole business model.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Moody's actual statement

These are the reasons that Moody's has already set the outlook for the UK to negative.

Not exactly true.

Their statement said "Moody's expects a negative impact on the economy unless the UK government manages to negotiate a trade deal that largely replicates its current access to the Single Market." (my italics)

and they confirmed that "Britain would remain on an AA+ rating, three years after it cut it from AAA"

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Never was so much lost by so many due to one stupid decision"

I really thought that the British public had a few more brain cells than they obviously have. Stupid, selfish and short sighted.

Way to go. Insult 17 million people just because they don't agree with your point of view. I think that really only demonstrates that it is you who are "selfish and short sighted".

The people I feel sorry for are the young ones. They will have to suffer the consequences of this appalling mistake.

On the contrary, they will be the first people in a generation to have the opportunity to fix the mess their parents created. Whether they will actually fix it only time will tell, but at least they have that chance now. Let's hope they don't screw it up.

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