* Posts by TheOtherHobbes

987 posts • joined 15 Feb 2012

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World’s oldest IT dining society breaks into the House of Lords

TheOtherHobbes
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Will !Lord #Bong be there.

I'm only going if he is.

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How many Androids does it take to change a light bulb?

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Uh-oh

>Does this mean I'm now going to be called upon for more free tech-help from friends/family when they start buying device-controlled lights?

Doubt it. Not expecting these to be strong sellers. Most people are just fine with switches and (maybe...) dimmers.

There's an obvious security application, but I'm not sure current products have worked that out yet.

I suppose eventually you'll have light that follows you around and/or responds to voice commands. But you'll need something a bit cleverer than an app with a couple of buttons and sliders for that.

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I, ROBOT ~ YOU, MORON. How else will automated news work?

TheOtherHobbes
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Or maybe Roomba - picking up trivia, going around in circles, and always giving itself a plug.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

TheOtherHobbes
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Then why not just make the changes in Word and use Scrivener for note keeping and overview?

Honestly, it's not that hard to do a final pass like this.

I know everyone hates Wurd, because it's a pile of donkey crap with a cursor and a ribbon.

Even so. Less drama, eh?

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TheOtherHobbes
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Re: @John Robinson

>They track changes on texts.

Not in the way Word does. Track Changes doesn't mean "find the diffs and blames", it means "show all editorial comments in a different style, show content diffs, and get rid of everything except the final raw copy when editing is done."

You could probably hack together a script to do it, but only insane people try to write a book using a code IDE.

(Actually I believe some tech publishers use a tech workflow and will accept copy in - e.g. - MD, but that won't work for most writers.)

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Don't touch me up there! Photoshop creator appeals for 'ethical' use

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Defending Subsrcriptions

>The current subscription model is the ONLY way i could afford to 'own' all these products.

You mean 'afford to rent', surely?

Adobe could just make a full CS licence and/or individual products much cheaper.

They could also fix the scanning in PS for Mac so it works properly. Currently it doesn't, and hasn't for a while.

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Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: What a load of rubbish...

Let us know how it works out for you, eh?

I'm sure Mr Worsted has every confidence that HMRC will apply the same rules fairly and without bias or prejudice.

The fact that there are various revolving doors between the big accountancy firms who manage this kind of thing for the BigCorps, and the Treasury, and HMRC, is entirely coincidental, and in no way relevant to - hey, derp, look at this shiiiiiiny penny!

As is the fact that HMRC's senior team have been caught lying and red-handed by the HSBC story.

Although I'm sure we all expect that to be a one-off - of course.

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ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Nah, we're safe

>strut around wearing silly antennae making bepp-beep noises

Basic level.

Advanced level is inventing and running social media websites to emotionally scar the natives.

(I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide if that includes El Reg.)

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Bitcoin trade biz MyCoin goes dark, investors fear $387 MEEELLION lost

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: I can see how would work

You can pretty much just skip to that last step.

But it's Risky Bizness. Some of those investors will have resources.

Having a few hundred million is going to help avoid those resources for a while. But it's not going to be a quiet and relaxed rest-of-life, however long it is.

On the upside it's less dangerous than making off with Swiss tax secrets. (Probably.)

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World's mega-rich tax dodge exposed: Meet the HSBC IT bloke at the heart of damning leak

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Missing the big picture.

>Keynesian flim-flam tried to hide the fact that this is a bad thing

You have no idea what you're talking about. Do you even know what Keynesianism is, or how well it worked to dig the Western economies out of the post-war slump, or how it was taken out and shot in the 1970s because banks like HSBC and their oh-so-important clients could no longer stomach paying a decent tax contribution to public schools, public universities, public hospitals, and other public infrastructure?

Do you know who sponsored that nutter Hayek or how he came to be canonised as the saviour of Western capitalism?

>In the past, the West made things

The West still makes things. Often they're made out of code and ideas.

The difference is that the West used to pay people for making things. And people who got paid had money to pay other people.

Now paying people who make things is no longer fashionable, so all the money that could be circulating in the economy and doing Useful Stuff is sitting and rotting in offshore bank accounts.

You're not going to blame Keynes for illegal money laundering and tax evasion too, are you?

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Speed of electrons

Er - actually...

Vacuum Reference Cable

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Google gets my data, I get search and email and that. Help help, I'm being REPRESSED!

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Not so fast

>they just think you are paranoid or misinformed.

This simply proves that the victims aren't giving informed consent. It's not that they don't value what they're losing, it's that they don't understand the value.

That's rather different, isn't it?

Of course, to corporate cheerleaders like Worstall informed consent for the peasants is always a bad thing because it makes tacky mincemeat of his whole argument.

The reality is that transactions without informed consent are no different to robbing an old granny of her savings to pay for a new drive she doesn't need, so the builder can buy himself a BMW. She gets a new drive - hurrah for growth! - but she loses a lot more than she realises. (And the drive is probably crap anyway.)

You could argue 'as a rational economic actor she shoulda known' - but no, really you can't, because not everyone is all about the hustle.

Which is as it should be. And - frankly - sod 'markets' as an excuse for petty larceny anyway.

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Bankruptcy could see RadioShack close doors for good – report

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: High street stores are irrelevant

>High street stores are irrelevant

Resistors are futile.

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Microsoft eyes slice of Raspberry Pi with free Windows 10 sprinkled on top

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Good work MS

I wonder if it's a Trojan horse to sell Office 365 subs.

Win 10 + Office 365 + Pi 2 = super-cheap office 'PC'

You won't be able to do much work with it, but it's going to appeal to manudjment types who think giving everyone a Pi-in-a-box is going to be everso cheaper than buying a few pallets of Dells.

Admin issues for that kind of 'solution' are going to be interesting. But that won't stop it being popular.

Also, undercutting Apple on price. All the punters want a MacBook Air, but when you have a choice between something that costs less than £50 and something that costs £800 to £1000, a lot of people are going to go for Option A.

I suspect Pi + MS have invented a new thing -> the Austerity Computer.

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Synths of the father: Making some noise at NAMM 2015

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Moog Modular

The 901 VCOs are more than a bit crap for tuning. The 921s are a lot better.

For a while I worked in the studio of Someone Famous who had a big Moog on one wall. The tuning would go into orbit around 5pm when everyone started putting the dinner on and the mains voltage dropped a few percent.

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Excitement in boffinry circles as GIGANTIC ALIEN RING BLOTS OUT SUN

TheOtherHobbes
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[wacka wacka wacka parp]

But wait - this is all based on a single light curve measured in 2007. The estimated orbital period is at least ten years, so there will be no more data until later in the decade at the very earliest.

"With simple assumptions on ring geometry and the ring plane orientation, this ring model reproduces many but not all of the nightly photometric light curves. These discrepancies imply either an error in the determined geometry of the ring plane, and/or the rings are not coplanar. Further modeling with additional degrees of freedom for the rings, such as warping and precession may lead to better fits to the photometric data."

So it's debatable if this model is actually stable. Or if maybe something else is happening to affect the light curve.

It's all very interesting.

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Welcome to Spartan, Microsoft's persuasive argument for... Chrome

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: But it's Google...

>"It’s our web. Tell us everything you do".

Most people have no idea how true that is. I know for a fact that Chrome phones home hidden URLs that the main Google spiderbot can't find.

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This could be a case for Mulder and Scully: Fox 'in talks' to bring back The X-Files

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Sequels,Prequels,Resurrections and Remakes

>I'm willing to bet there's an El Reg reader out there who could think of something original

Difficult, what with Hollywood being managed by alien space lizards and populated entirely by clones and replicants.

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You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Linux is possibly not the only platform

Most users don't care about the OS. They care about features that work for them.

So the idea that mobile Linux is going to sell to the hordes because it's Linux is disconnected from reality in every possible way.

At best it's going to sell to a small nerd herd. No one else is going to care, unless it looks amazing or does some supercool things, which - being Linux - it won't, because Linux has never been about doing supercool things for people who don't spend their days hacking web servers.

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What will happen to the oil price? Look to the PC for clues

TheOtherHobbes
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No one who actually knows anything about the economics of fracking can claim that it's not capital intensive. In fact it's the opposite - it requires huge and constant injections of capital, because it's very tough on machinery.

The current crash in oil prices - and I know people who were predicting the crash from at least a year back, and being laughed at by self-styled 'experts' like Worstall - is killing the fracking industry because it's flipped the switch on the profitability of so many projects.

(Also, earthquakes and poisoned ground water. But only comical hairy hippies worry about silly things like that, so we shall move on...)

So I have no idea what this piece is supposed to about. Fracking is like PCs over mainframes? Because the PC industry never needed as much capital as mainframes? (Intel and Microsoft will be surprised to learn that.)

It's just one giant hot mess of flabby counterfactual WTF.

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

TheOtherHobbes
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"We" in this case meaning "No we didn't - we were mugged after the election when that muppet Clegg stitched up everyone who voted for him and revealed he'd been a secret Tory all along."

As for encryption - the gov wants a regulated and monitored Internet. End of.

This is just another excuse along the way to making one.

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Hawking and friends: Artificial Intelligence 'must do what we want it to do'

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Problem we don't have for tech we don't have to be solved by open letter. Conclusion: Arseholes

AI != consciousness

The simplest AI would be a general purpose open-ended inference engine. You feed it experiences, it generalises from them and makes predictions about future data and/or creates further examples of what you've fed it already.

You could do all of this with something that's less sentient than a Roomba. Personality, drives, and motivations are orthogonal processes and have nothing to do with a smart learning/modelling machine.

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Boybanders ONE DIRECTION launch DoS attack on open-source bods

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: I am fed up of their evil schemes

Congratulations on having wiser DNA than most.

May your further breedings be equally successful.

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Broadband isn't broadband unless it's 25Mbps, mulls FCC boss

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: I can't wait for...

>... Ericpicklesband!

Also known as 'Satellite.'

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Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Let this be a lesson to all...

>Unkorked the demons of religious war.

Yeah - all those Crusades and heretic persecutions that happened in the centuries before him - totally Luther's fault.

Incidentally, in future centuries your 'economist' heroes will have the same moral stature as all those religious nutters do today, as a prime source of Stories That Make People Do Stupid Shit.

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Sardine fishing in Kerala: Who benefits from mobile phones?

TheOtherHobbes
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'Efficient markets' are pure pseudoscience. The term is utterly meaningless.

You do realise there is absolutely no, zero, none, FA peer reviewed empirical evidence that markets are informationally efficient. But there are quite a number of papers - some from decades ago - that effectively debunk that nonsensical belief?

See e.g. Rosenberg B, Reid K, Lanstein R. (1985). Persuasive Evidence of Market Inefficiency. Journal of Portfolio Management 13:9–17.

Please stop passing off fishy just-so stories as useful descriptions of how reality works. You clearly know nothing about actual information science and have no business 'educating' anyone here.

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UKIP website TAKES A KIP, but for why?

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: They arent a serious party..

>Or just maybe there is a problem with massive immigration onto a small island with already overstretched resources and thats reflected in the rise of a party that a large proportion of the population feels reflects their views.

And what 'massive immigration' would that be, exactly? Got figures? Got *accurate* figures?

Last time I checked the 'massive immigration' tops out at less than 190k people per year, once you subtract the people who emigrate at the same time.

What kind of moron thinks 190k people make all the difference to an economy of 64 million people?

How about the same kind of moron who thinks a fringe party polling at 14% is getting a 'large proportion' of voter interest?

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I'm sooooo green: The Beginner's Guide to Krautrock

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: have the Tangerine Blondes left?

Both replaced by Hoshiko Yamane and Ulrich Schnauss (who isn't a girl, and is one of the very few TD members to have a successful independent career before joining.)

I never liked what Spa and Camaa added. The music was always nice enough and they're very competent musicians, but it always sounded samey, bland, and Californian (not in a good way).

Maybe they didn't argue with Edgar enough when he was launching into Yet Another Endless Edgar Noodle?

The new Schnauss-ified CD has some lovely moments though, up there with the late Virgin years, IMO.

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Want to have your server pwned? Easy: Run PHP

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Seriously, he actually believed the advertised PHP version on the server?

> That's no more than spray and pray

Most servers are pwned to make spambots, malware distributors, and DDos machines, so spray and pray works just fine.

If your main concern is hackers targeting your everso important site because it's really everso important, those are not (usually) the threats you're looking for.

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Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: What a mess

>"MuuuaaaahhhHrrroOOOOOOOOrrrrr"

So - Nadella's marketing and PR people are trying to write English again?

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Feds finger Norks in Sony hack, Obama asks: HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE KOREA?

TheOtherHobbes
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North Korean hackers are experts on motion picture studio management? Instead of threatening to nuke Sony and America with canned Stalinist bluster - as they usually do - they have the political insight to find and release exactly the right emails to make Sony manudjment look like utter wankers?

That doesn't look very Norkish to me. It looks more like something Team 4Chan would do.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Bland Bland Bland

Excellent!

Quality of the design matches the quality of the op-eds.

Win.

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Sony sued by ex-staff over daft security, leaked privates

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Too early to judge

Then you have to explain it in really simple terms even they can understand.

"Does your house have window locks and a burglar alarm on your house? Or do you leave the front door unlocked when you go out? You don't? Because that would be stupid and asking for trouble, right?"

Doesn't always work - many business types are far beyond all rationality - but occasionally it makes a difference.

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Branson sinks sub dream: Plan to explore Earth's bottom scrapped

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: "We would like to thank you for choosing Virgin Submersibles"

More like:

"On your left it's really dark and there's not much happening. On your right it's really dark and there's not much happening. Oh, and there's James Cameron."

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BT to gobble EE for £12.5bn – BTEE phone home

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: @annihilator

>Yes I do. It took six months to install a line and you had a choice of two phones.

If you live in some parts of the UK it literally takes six years to get broadband working, and you have a choice of two speeds, one of which is regularly zero.

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TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Markets! Competition! Prices driven down! The customer wins!

Are BT buying that too? It would be a good match for their business practices.

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

TheOtherHobbes
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From Barnardos:

There are currently 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. That’s almost a third of all children. 1.6 million of these children live in severe poverty .

In the UK 63% of children living in poverty are in a family where someone works.

Families living in poverty can have as little as £12 per day per person to buy everything they need such as food, heating, toys, clothes, electricity and transport.

1.6 million children are growing up in homes which are too cold.

Infant mortality is 10% higher for infants in the lower social group than the average.

See also interesting numbers about food banks from the Trussel Trust.

So keep up the good fight. The children and working adults of the UK thank you for it.

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The Pirate Bay SUNK: It vanishes after Swedish data center raid

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: "Cream of sum yung guy...:

>"Cream of sum yung guy...:

It's all startups eat.

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A nation of CODERS? Yes, says UK.gov, and have some cash to do it

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Code-As-A-Sport

>They are not stopping maths, algebra, science, English etc.

But they're certainly not prepared to pay a decent rate for high quality teaching of same. And they're even less prepared to retool the UK economy so it's run by people of clue, and not by greedy little posturing posh-boy wankers and their banker chums.

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UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: I'm confused...

>The gov doesnt create jobs

Apart from all those public sector jobs. And the ones created by big infrastructure projects. And the ones spun off from academic research funded with grant money.

> The gov didnt make a low wage economy.

Oh yes it did.

The Tories have been playing the same old two-faced 'Bring in lots of super-cheap immigrant labour while stoking up racism to distract the noobs from what we're doing' game for literally decades now.

I'm sure Cameron is terribly, terribly sorry that he hasn't managed to cut immigration. No really, he is.

This has been going on since at least the Empire Windrush. (Possibly much longer.)

> The certainty is that public services and jobs have to be cut (this is a concept still beyond some people) due to the cost being far beyond the tax collected and that tax must go up.

That's the peculiar thing about useful public investment - it creates multipliers. If you do it right eventually you get out a lot more than you put it in.

Cutting spending in the wrong ways creates multipliers too. If you do it wrong you lose a lot more than you think, because it has a chilling effect across the economy - as Gideon has proved so brilliantly during his exemplary term as fiscal peasant-kicker in chief.

People like you, who seem to think running a country is just a bigger version of running a bank account and it's all simple, in a stands-to-reason-dunnit market trader kind of a way, shouldn't be allowed anywhere near economics, because you don't understand how fiscal policy actually works.

Keynes understood it, and Keynesians have a much better record of correct predictions than the loony monetarists and supply-siders who currently run things - but since the loonies run things for their own benefit and not anyone else's, it's debatable if this is a bug or a feature.

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UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: @Lee D

>I'm staggered that you could believe that government would be a good steward of any asset.

I'm staggered that anyone would believe corporations are better. Enron? Price-fixing banks? BT? The fact that most UK infrastructure is overpriced, undercapitalised, and barely performing?

The answer is probably some completely new legal and commercial entity, which can be kept efficient enough to avoid bullying by civil servants but is independent enough to avoid bullying by the City.

Might take a while to get there.

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By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Origins

Ordered Flappy Bird clockwork edition, got astrology supercomputer.

Item not as described. Would not buy again.

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High Court: You've made our SH*T list – corked pirate torrent sites double in a day

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: What is 'copyright'? Its good to share.

>think starving artists

Starving artists would be delighted to sell direct. Piracy doesn't necessarily help artists, but most artists get screwed far more badly by the music and movie oligopolies.

In an ideal world artists would sell cut out the middle corporation, paying a management/sales team to work for them.

Currently the management/sales team believes it owns the artist's career, which is not a good thing for anyone.

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The gender imbalance in IT is real, ongoing and ridiculous

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Not just IT

>But none are sound engineers at a high level.

That's not entirely true. Women producers and engineers make up around 5% of the industry. So they're rare, but they do exist.

>We need to somehow stop the situation where girls willingly accept help from boys to solve tech problems for them.

Maybe women simply don't find tech very interesting? They certainly don't seem to get myopically obsessed with it in the way males do.

Thing is, to most of the population tech is a dull incomprehensible world full of dull incomprehensible people, and programming is mostly drudgery, punctuated by management abuse.

When women can become doctors, lawyers, or architects relatively easily, why would they want to be engineers?

I'm always baffled that STEM careers are sold as if they offer a promotion from 'just being a girl'.

"Yes we know you have ovaries and like Barbies, but if you learn C++ and GitHub you'll be all better."

The reality, in the UK at least, is that many STEM jobs are relatively low-status. If you're going to get a degree and aspire to be middle class there are better career paths to follow.

Perhaps a lot of women are savvy enough to realise there are better opportunities elsewhere.

Cultures that don't patronise people who get useful things done inexplicably seem to have a better record on equality.

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How to run a big web music biz (Spotify): Grab more cash from fans, sink deeper into the red

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Stakeholders delight - not

Apple have already said they'll be moving into streaming. Google don't seem that bothered, but might try it as an afterthought. Amazon probably will, once Bezos wakes up.

Streaming only works when there's bandwidth to support it. Domestic b/band is fine, mostly. Mobile is a data-capped nightmare in a lot of the world. So unless Spotify is planning to become an MNO, customer appeal is going to remain limited.

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I need a password to BRAKE? What? No! STOP! Aaaargh!

TheOtherHobbes
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>what we’ll end up with is a disparate system of barely compatible and loosely interconnected but eminently “cool” yet murderous, hackable self-driving missiles on tyres.

You say that as if it's a bad thing.

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The Nokia ENIGMA THING and its SECRET, TERRIBLE purpose

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: I no what it is

This is IT. Grammar is for English teachers, and compiler writers. (Sometimes.)

I think it's a WiFi biscuit tin that Tweets a reminder when you're about to run out of chocolate bourbons.

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Now Uber can take EVERYONE for a ride

TheOtherHobbes
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Money

(No, not that one. The other one.)

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Exit the dragon: US govt blows $325m on China-beating 300PFLOPS monster computer

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: For some strange reason the expression "arms race"..........

That's not an arm.

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Jony Ive: Apple isn't here to make money. And students shouldn't use computers so much

TheOtherHobbes
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Re: Those "6 months" are your advantage to make money, eejit.

>"It's not copying, it's theft. They stole our time, time we could have had with our families."

Dieter Rams called. He wants his ideas back.

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