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* Posts by Squander Two

652 posts • joined 26 Mar 2012

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Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich

Squander Two
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Re: @ airbrush

> what she allowed was a kind of unilateral disarmament of our industry.

No matter how many times people repeat this, it is still the case that the UK's industrial output increased under Thatcher and has continued to increase (with a couple of blips during recessions) since. The ONS are now online, so don't take my word for it.

I actually have no axe to grind here, believe it or not. I don't subscribe to the popular myth that manufacturing is somehow "proper" or "real" economic activity whilst services aren't, so I don't feel any need to claim that UK manufacturing is thriving in order to prove that our economy isn't screwed or whatever. If British manufacturing were dead, I wouldn't particularly mind. But the fact is that it's not.

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Re: @ Don Jefe

> It's nice to know you don't understand your own point. That must make life fun for you. You said that machines were responsible for reducing employment in the British manufacturing sector. That's correct, but not complete.

Well, of course it's not complete. You're right: I didn't list every single factor that has had any impact on either increasing or decreasing British manufacturing output over the last forty years. So fucking what? Since I was responding to someone who was repeating the popular myth that we no longer manufacture anything at all in Britain, I hardly think I needed to.

However, I don't think you're making the right comparison. You're comparing the number of people required to operate a modern manufacturing process in various countries today, but, when people talk about the decline in British manufacturing, they're comparing today to the Seventies and earlier. And whilst some developed nations may well be using more manufacturing labour than the UK today, they are still using less than they did in those days. Because of machines.

But I appreciate that you really wanted to just find a way of working the conversation around to yet again telling us all how many squillions of dollars you have. Oh, I see you have done so now. Well done.

As for your anecdotes....

> The paper was on research I had done with Titanium alloys in He cooling systems. Afterward she asked some prepared questions and I'm still 100% certain that dumb bitch had no idea what my paper was about

What's your point here? Does anyone seriously expect any world leader to understand the specialist area of every person they meet? I'm sure it would be trivially easy to list a dozen sciences that Obama doesn't understand. It's trivially easy to list a dozen sciences that most scientists don't understand. And?

> The second time was at a dinner and her protocol droids had obviously informed her we had met in the past. I denied ever meeting her

You know why politicians mention previous meetings? It's to try and be polite. Yes, they are often using records instead of actually remembering, because they meet thousands of people. But they are at least trying to be nice. And, in response, you lied! In order to embarrass! How clever! It's interesting that you think that reflects well on you, but then you appear to also think turning every argument on El Reg into an excuse to mention your fabulous riches reflects well on you, so hey.

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Re: @ rm -rf /

> Thatcher just hammered the nails in the coffin by withdrawing subsidies ... Keynes ... trade unions ... outdated working practices ... [blah blah blah]

Sorry, are you saying that Britain now has a manufacturing sector or that it doesn't?

> if you knew the slightest about economics you would know coal mining is not manufacturing

And if you knew the slightest about basic reading comprehension, you'd have noticed that I was replying to this:

> the bitch _decimated_ British industry- not just manufacturing, anything with a broadly left wing working class workforce

I did it make it easy to spot by explicitly quoting it, but hey.

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Re: @ Naughtyhorse

> the bitch _decimated_ British industry- not just manufacturing, anything with a broadly left wing working class workforce. where do you think the millions on the dole through her reign came from?

Sorry, are we talking about manufacturing or employment? They're not the same thing. The point I was responding to, from Mr rm -rf /, was that we no longer manufacture anything in the UK, not that we don't employ as many people in manufacturing as we used to.

Incidentally, more coal mines were shut under Wilson's governments than Thatcher's, but don't let facts get in your way.

> i'd say 78% is as close to purely as you are going to find in the real world

Then you are hideously abusing the word "purely".

> this is in fact correct, thanks to the incredibly low baseline set by thatcher

What low baseline? UK manufacturing output increased under Thatcher. Yes, I realise a lot of people have shouted very very loudly that the opposite is true, but their volume doesn't make them correct. I'm sure you don't believe me, so try looking it up.

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Re: They Actually Make Things In Germany @ rm -rf /

If you're posting links, might I respond with this?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/timworstall/100016398/the-insanity-of-subsidising-manufacturing/

I'm sure you'll object to the author's opinions, but ignore the piece and just look at the graphs, especially the first one.

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Squander Two
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@ Don Jefe

> You're partially correct, but too far off to the side and you're conflating two different issues.

Really? Because, as far as I can see, you're replying to some point made by someone in your imagination, not to what I actually wrote.

Did Thatcher destroy British manufacturing? No. Do we still have active industrial machinery in Britain? Yes, and lots of it. Is our economy based purely on borrowing money? No, the economic output of the manufacturing sector has steadily increased. Quite why you think the fact that you bought something from France once contradicts any of this is beyond me.

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Re: They Actually Make Things In Germany

British manufacturing output has steadily increased for decades. What has decreased is the number of people employed in manufacturing. This is because of these new things we have: machines.

Obviously the unions want everyone to believe that if an industry employs fewer people it can only be in terminal decline, but one would hope that IT types might appreciate that automation and destruction are not the same thing.

And why do people only believe this myth about manufacturing? No-one complains that British farming no longer produces anything because we no longer send the whole village out with scythes to harvest the wheat, or that British accountancy has died because one guy can now do with Excel what used to take a roomful of clerks with dip-pens and inkwells.

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Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

Squander Two
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Re: @T.F.M.Reader

Yup, a weekend with a bank holiday Monday might do it. Which would explain why only a batch of loans were affected rather than all of them. My money's on Easter, though.

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

Squander Two
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> We have low immigration caps and ridiculous barriers to entry directly into the province. This prevents us from growing our workforce and it is the brakes on our economy.

Those things don't prevent you from growing your workforce; they prevent you from growing it very cheaply in significantly less than twenty years. To actually prevent it, you'd need forced contraception too.

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"Why am I not dependent on government handouts or whims?" @ Don Jefe

Fascinating, Don Jefe. And are we to believe that, in the course of running your preposterously successful company, you have never once given any thought about where to run your operation from? It doesn't matter at all, right? You could put your factories in Texas or Albania or Tajikistan or the Central African Republic or Cuba or Vanuatu and it would make no difference at all to your costs or efficency, because all those completely different sets of local conditions and legislation and red tape are completely immaterial, because you are doing something useful and taking risks on your own dime.

What utter, utter bollocks.

The problem France faces is that operating there is just too damn difficult and expensive. They're part of the EU, a single market, so, unless you want to make a foodstuff with an appellation controllee, there is no strategic advantage to basing your operations in France rather than Belgium or Italy or Germany or the UK or Poland. The day-to-day costs are higher, the unexpected costs are higher and more likely, and a whole bunch of countries whose laws won't cripple your firm (at least to anything approaching the same extent) are a few miles away. And your claim is that anyone looking at that situation and doing a quite reasonable cost/benefit analysis and choosing to build their factory in the Netherlands instead of Normandy is actually demanding a government handout to compensate them for their failure. Two questions, then: What handout? And what failure?

Your technical staff who get $1M bonuses: they have never, even once, worked more than 35 hours a week; and they have never, even once, answered a phone call or an email after 5pm. That is what you're saying, right? Because otherwise, what on Earth could your point be?

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Re: 9 to 5

> But you don't mention whether the company as a whole actually repay you for being this type of manager.

Er, yes I did, actually: I specifically mentioned pay.

> My guess is, you would be just as successful within the organisation regardless of whether you did this or not.

So you didn't read the bit about contract renewals either, then.

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Squander Two
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Fair enough.

> Other rules stipulate a minimum number of consecutive hours an employee must be away from work per day and per week before being required to return, and so on.

We have that law in the UK too. 11 hours between shifts. I don't think it's fair to include such a law as an example of France's draconian labour laws. Nothing draconian about letting people get a bit of sleep.

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Re: 9 to 5

My attitude is that it depends on salary and responsibility and reciprocity. I've done jobs where there was no way I'd answer the phone to work outside hours, as the pay didn't justify it. I've also done jobs where I've told my team they can call me on holiday if there are problems, because it was my job to help them, because I was responsible not only for their day-to-day work but also for the overall performance of the team and therefore the likelihood of our contracts being extended or of our getting mroe staff, because I knew they wouldn't abuse it, because I knew they'd do the same for me, and because I was getting the sort of money where being a jobsworth would frankly be unreasonable. In short, I'm fine with a bit of give and take. It's all give no take that's a problem.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle... @ Don Jefe

Don Jefe,

What you don't understand is that the French's productivity-killing employment rules are not a result of large-scale union membership. Instead, some idealistic fuckwit decided to constitutionally guarantee trade union power in the government. In the UK, there may be a bit of back-and-forth about how much power the unions wield (Labour's Clause 4), but ultimately their power is always based, to some extent, on how many members they have. The French actually have very low union membership -- of course they do: when the unions have power guaranteed regardless, why would they waste their time on recruitment drives? These French laws are not generally brought in due to pressure from workers. And, in fact, there have been plenty of cases of French workers fighting the unions, because they don't want their employers' companies to fail. In one case, factory workers got around the restriction on working hours by drawing up an agreement with their employer to work unpaid overtime -- had the overtime been paid, it would have been illegal.

So, whilst your point about choosing work/life balance is all very well, the problem in France is precisely that no-one is free to do so.

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Top ten biz software vendors reveal Heartbleed exposure

Squander Two
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Midnight oil?

Thank fuck none of these firms are based in France.

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Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release

Squander Two
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Re: 1980-2010 was warmer than 1970-2000 @ NomNomNom

> It has.

Which doesn't make your metric a good one.

You do get how science works, right? Because you're basing your measurement on your conclusion.

Out of interest, would you regard it as statistically meaningful to compare the averages for the periods 1800-2000 and 1805-2005?

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Re: 1980-2010 was warmer than 1970-2000 @ NomNomNom

> It shows the world has warmed.

No, it could show various different things, especially including rock-steady temperature with a brief upward glitch during 2000-2010, or with a brief downward glitch during 1970-1980. If you want to demonstrate that the Earth has warmed -- or that it's cooled -- you should use a metric which will give markedly different results for changing temperature and for roughly steady temperature.

And, to be fair, climatologists do. It's you who didn't. Pointing that out is not an attack on climatology or science.

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Re: 1980-2010 was warmer than 1970-2000 @ SumDood

> Perhaps if you also mention it when CAGW antagonists do it the haranguing might diminish?

If I see bad statistics or crappy reasoning, I do indeed tend to point it out no matter who it's coming from, including if it comes from people whose conclusions I broadly agree with. I also spoil my friends' fun by responding to half their Facebook stories with links to Snopes.

> Perhaps if you acknowledged that the majority of scientists concur with AGW the haranguing might diminish as people saw that you were aligned with prevailing scientific opinion and not putting yourself up as the True Scientist in opposition to actual scientists who who do actual science as their profession?

See, this is the problem with you guys. It's actually a very simple point I made, that comparing the average temperatures of the periods 1970-2000 and 1980-2010 gives an essentially meaningless result and is therefore a crap metric, and I gave a nice clear example of why that is. And you have responded not with a single comment about the actual mathematics, but by complaining that (you imagine) I've never made a criticism of anyone on the other side, that anyone who disagrees with you is in a minority, by pointing out that (you hope) I don't do science for a living (as if one needs to be a professional scientist to comprehend a mathematical point as basic as the one I made), and by accusing me of paranoid delusions of grandeur. And yet you claim that it's those who disagree with you who refuse to address actual science.

So, simple question. Is comparing average temperatures of three-decade periods with two-decade overlaps a good metric? Since I've already given a clear example of why I believe No is the correct answer, please, if answering Yes, either give a good example of your own or explain what was wrong with mine.

And do bear in mind that what started this part of the argument in the first place was the fact that, if anyone points out the lack of warming since 1998, the response from climatologists is that that's too small a period to be significant in their field. That's not my argument; it's theirs. So fine: if fifteen years is too small to count, fifteen years is too small to count. You are now accusing me of setting myself up as some sort of lone authority figure standing against the tide of climatology because I repeated a point made by climatologists. Which rather backs up my original point that, in this debate, apparently the rules of science and mathematics change depending on which side of the political debate you're on. Can you see how that might undermine people's faith in your science just a tad?

For the record, I don't believe climatologists, terrible though some of their statistics is, are stupid enough to use that metric. And this is your other problem: the insistence on defending to the hilt not only the claims of CAGW climatologists but also any claims of any passer-by who happens to think that they're right.

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Squander Two
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CAGW @ Thought About IT

> references to "CAGW" are generally made by those in denial of the basic physics of AGW.

Bollocks. References to "CAGW" are made by people who can't be arsed typing out "Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming" more than once a day. There, that was my quota.

Out of interest, which bit of the name do you object to? Are you saying it's not warming, it's not global, it's not caused by man, or it will actually not be that bad? If none, then surely the description is simply accurate and concise.

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Squander Two
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Re: 1980-2010 was warmer than 1970-2000

> I regard this stuff as very basic physics. What about you, Squander Two?

Since I didn't argue with or object to any of that, what's your point?

I should add, though, that climatology is most certainly not very basic physics. It is quite complicated.

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1980-2010 was warmer than 1970-2000

This is an egregious misuse of statistics. If the temperature had been absolutely constant for 1000 years apart from being just 1 degree warmer for 1 month in 2002, then 1980-2010 would be warmer than 1970-2000. Not saying the temperature was constant; I'm saying that's a shitty metric.

Look, forget about Global Warming and the associated politics for a sec. Assuming you have some scientific or mathematical background, would you ever consider using such a vague, misleading, essentially meaningless, and downright crappy statistic for anything else? I regard this stuff as very basic maths -- I was taught about simple misleading through stats at GCSE -- yet I get harangued for being "anti-science" if I mention it when CAGW proponents do it. As they do all the time.

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Re: The fat lady has sung @ SumDood

> This corner of the webosphere just happens to be one of the hidey holes where they come to play.

A site with a large number of readers well versed in technology and science and statistics is one of the places where we see more scepticism of claims made by CAGW proponents? Gosh.

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Squander Two
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Macro versus micro

> the global average from 2000 through 2009 was higher than the average for 1990 through 1999, which was warmer than 1980 through 1989.

Sorry, aren't all those timescales too small to be significant in climatology? Or are they only too small when some inconvenient data threatens to give people the wrong impression?

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The gift of Grace: COBOL's odyssey from Vietnam to the Square Mile

Squander Two
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It's just plain useful.

I worked for a successful software firm from 2004 to 2007, making a niche application for the wholesale and logistics industry. It does stock-keeping and rather complicated pricing and label-printing and warehouse management and loads of other things that various customers have demanded be added over the years, like managing fleets of lorries. The whole thing is built entirely in Cobol, and not even because it's old legacy code; most of it's pretty new.

We were using Acucobol, which doesn't bother with any of that crazy indentation stuff the mainframes insist on, and provides a nice VB-like programming environment. It even automatically generates full stops and puts them on their own separate line, which is really the only sensible way to deal with the bastards.

The major use of Cobol to the firm was, I think, that they could bring in new programmers, even with no Cobol experience, and get them up to speed pretty damn quickly, precisely because the code is so readable. Try that with Java.

Since the company is one of the major players in wholesaler's software in the UK and Ireland, I can guarantee that a young(ish) company who have chosen to use Cobol have enabled you to buy stuff in the shops. Which is nice.

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Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data

Squander Two
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The loophole

> The interception agencies do not engage in indiscriminate random mass intrusion by misusing their powers under RIPA 2000 Part I. It would be comprehensively unlawful if they did.

Yes, indeed it would. However, if the NSA gathered that same data, it would then be completely legal for GCHQ to receive a copy from them. Which is in fact what has been happening.

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Reg slips claws across Nokia's sexy sixties handsets, fondles flagship too

Squander Two
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Re: App gap

There is one serious app gap where Apple just trounce the competition, and that's music-making. For better or worse, iOS is the platform of choice for serious music devs. If you're a musician, then iOS is simply streets ahead of both WP and Android. That's a fairly small niche market, though. And, honestly, for such things interface size matters, so it makes much more sense to get an iPad for your music-making than to use your phone. And so this is one area where Microsoft are competing: allowing any Windows app to be installed on a Surface makes it a very serious music machine without their having to spend time persuading devs to recode all their stuff for a new OS. That being said, if they could get Ableton or Steinberg or someone to build a version of their DAW or even just a decent VST plugin host that runs on RT, that would be a game-changer.

The other gap is a decent cloud music player. Amazon have supposedly been working on their Cloud Player for WP for two years now, but still no sign of it. You'd think someone would have built a decent music player for playing stuff off your Onedrive by now, but nope. Style Jukebox (terrible name) is the best I've found, but it's not great. If someone has their entire music collection in Amazon's cloud (or any cloud), I can see why that might be a good reason not to buy WP, for now. Mind you, I do, and I still reckon WP's pros outweight the cons.

There is also an extremely good carb-counting app for diabetics on iOS. Again, a smallish niche market. There are some pretty good ones on WP as well, but the best (sorry, I forget its name) is on iOS. That being said, my diabetic wife got an iPhone just for that app and hated the damn thing so switched to WP. She keeps the iPhone around just for that one app but didn't think it was worth putting up with the shitty interface in every other aspect of her phone use.

That pisses me off, actually. The "We have an app for your iPhone!" craze is all very well, but, if you're a healthcare company, surely it's your job to make your product as available as possible, not to choose a single platform and ask users to accommodate you. The very idea of providing a useful healthcare app for iOS users only is pretty disgusting, in my opinion.

Those things aside, yes, most of the complaints seem to boil down not to people wanting an app that does a particular thing, but to wanting a particular app no matter how many alternatives there might be that do the same thing. Creatures of habit.

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Squander Two
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Fickle journalists

> Once you have a couple of charging plates, you don’t really look back. However, even Nokia seemed ambivalent about it. The omission of built-in wireless charging mandated the use of a clip-on sled or plate (in the 1020, 925 and 720) ...

Yes, but one of the reasons for this is surely that so many reviews of the 920 complained about the size and weight. So they introduced the 925 to keep such people happy, and the same reviewers asked what had happened to the lovely wireless charging. I think Nokia got the message that you can't please all of the people all of the time and so made wireless charging optional by using the plates.

> ... which meant users had to dispense with a protective case.

The wireless sleds do actually provide rather good protection by being slightly wider and taller than the phone and covering its corners. That aside, surely cases are made by third parties who could, if they wished, make cases that fit the phone with a charging plate. Hardly Nokia's fault that they're not seeing that that market exists.

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Technology is murdering customer service - legally

Squander Two
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No, the problem is not the customer.

The problem is the stinking attitude of people in the customer service part of the IT industry. "These fuckwits aren't experts in the same field as me! How dare they waste my time asking me questions I know the answer to and they don't!"

> What is needed is a bit more "customer education" so that the callers will have an idea what is going on.

If you work in customer service, that customer eduction is in fact part of your fucking job. You are supposed to do it, not complain that some hypothetical entity hasn't already done it for you.

Other industries have managed to avoid this obnoxiousness. "I work for a railway company. Can you believe some stupid moron rang up the other day to ask why all the trains had been cancelled and THEY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHETHER THEY USED OVERHEAD LINES OR DIESEL ENGINES?"

People are ringing you for your help. How about you stop talking about how "dumb" they are, take some pride in the fact that you're an expert, and get some job satisfaction by imparting knowledge? I have dealt with literally insane people on the phone, and, although some of them did make for a good anecdote, I still helped them and I don't resent it.

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Squander Two
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Two words.

First Direct.

They started out as by far the best bank at customer service, and have stayed that way. One of the ways they achieved this is that they have a no-IVR policy: they only ever put you through to a human. And their humans are good. And they are consistently the most recommended bank in the UK and have one of the best corporate reputations on Earth, so it is apparently a profitable thing to do.

I second the comments about Amazon and Ebay and Paypal. Also Ebuyer.

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Nokia: ALL our Windows Phone 8 Lumias will get a cool 8.1 boost

Squander Two
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As predicted....

I did indeed just get a 1020, and Jesus Christ, the camera is amazing beyond words.

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Squander Two
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Re: 41MP?

The 1020 uses a 41MP sensor then some rather clever algorithms to choose the "best" pixels to put into the final image. So it uses a 41MP sensor not to create a 41MP image but to improve the quality of an I forget-how-much smaller image. Best way to judge whether that's effective or a silly gimmick is to look up some users' photos online. I've seen some truly beautiful ones that you simply wouldn't believe were done with a phone.

Also, yes, lossless zooming.

My wife has the 925, which has the optical image stabilisation, so I've seen that in action. It is astounding: turns a wobbly hand into a tripod.

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Squander Two
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between 4.5million and 5million people

Oo, sorry, no. Market share is how many phones they're selling, not how many phones are in existence, so your figures are wrong. If we assume that most people get a new phone at the end of their contract, there should be about a two-year lag and a bit of a drop between market share and total phone population share.

That being said, all the manufacturers really care about is market share; they don't give a damn whether someone's still got a five-year-old phone, so over 10% is still a good figure from MS's point of view.

Your broader point is right, though: there are a lot more WP users than the detractors realise. Which is hardly surprising if you've used it: it's superb.

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Typical.

I'm going to upgrade to a 1020 just before they launch a new version of the 1020, aren't I?

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Windows Phone 8.1: Like WinPho 8, but BETTER

Squander Two
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more than 10Mb over the mobile network

> Allowing you to download more than 10Mb over the mobile network? You can stream any amount you like and it will create a huge buffer much greater than 10Mb, but you can't download it until you get a WiFi signal.

Use the 'Save & Play' app. I just downloaded a 15Mb file to test it for you.

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Folders

> The designers resisted adding another context level - such as Tile folders.

Since Nokia provide a free app folder app (not quite a tile folder, but close), is it not simply that the designers resisted wasting their time on something that's already been done?

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Squander Two
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The burning platform

When Elop burnt the platform, I didn't subscribe to the conspiracy theories, but I did think he was guilty of laziness and lack of imagination. "I come from Microsoft, I need an OS.... I know! Windows!" Feh. But then I got a Lumia and changed my mind. I now think it was simply that he'd seen the WP prototypes while in MS and knew just how bloody good it was going to be. After Windows Mobile, I don't think anyone was expecting MS to make a mobile platform this good.

It's worth noting that most of the criticisms, even here, are more "I use this and like it and find these few little niggles annoying so please fix them" than "This is utter unusable shite."

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Re: smart dialling

I absolutely loved smart dialling -- single best thing about Symbian, I thought. There are a few third-party WP apps available that emulate it (you know, in that app store that everyone keeps telling me is practically empty). I use Rapdialer, and happily recommend it.

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Re: Free?

> I and many other Nokia share holders like me own Nokia.

Exactly. And who is now Nokia's majority shareholder?

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

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Re: @Tim Worstal @ BlueGreen @Squander Two

I take it you're just providing links to look confident, hoping no-one will actually click on them. I have no idea why so many arguments about what people actually said end up happening on Web messageboards where everyone can actually read it so memory isn't an issue. Curious. And tedious. Anyway,

> Here is that quote in context

Well, not all its context: you appear to have missed out the quote you were replying to, in the same post, unequivocally:

> Second flavour: the banks themselves misreporting Libor in the depths of the crisis. [...] No one's actually going to come out and say it publicly (well, me, but I mean anyone important) but everyone's damn glad that the banks were lying through their teeth that couple of weeks.

Libor fixing. Hey, you chose to quote that bit of the article and then write stuff immediately after it. Don't blame me if people might have thought you were referring to it.

> You're working hard to defend the banks & their greed, ineptitude and the danger that came from this.

What, you mean like when I said that I was against the bail-outs and that I believe failing banks should be allowed to fail, which would cause more bankers to lose their jobs when they screw up? Yeah, they could probably do without defenders like me.

Like I said, Web arguments about "I really didn't say that thing that you can read if you scroll up!" are one of the most tedious things imaginable, so I'll stop now.

Bye.

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Re: @Tim Worstal @ BlueGreen @Squander Two

> OK, my original use of 'they' was referring to banks as corporate entities in their entirety. The 2nd use was libor fixers as a few individuals. I was unclear. My mistake.

But you weren't unclear. You were in fact very clear: every time I or anyone else has suggested that "banks in their entirety" and "some people who work for certain parts of banks" be treated as not exactly the same, that's exactly when you've flown off the handle. What started this whole conversation was your fury with Tim for suggesting that it was a good thing that the Libor fixers did what they did, because, you said,

> Yes, they had to lie because they fucked up because those wankers couldn't see what was coming even though it was their fucking job?

If you now acknowledge that the "they" and "they" in the above refer to different theys, how does it even make any sense?

> Don't misrepresent me.

Yes, it does seem a bit pointless when you're doing such a great job of it yourself.

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Re: @ unitron

> is pretty much the definition of insider trading. The insiders have information unavailable to the general public (the company is in bad shape financially and is lying about it to the public) and they are financially benefiting from that knowledge.

Agreed. However, interestingly, this is the legal type of insider trading, which is where the problem arises with defining it -- which is the other reason there's a reasonable debate about whether it should be illegal.

If you have insider information, it is illegal for you to make a trade based on that information. However, another way for you to use insider information is to not make a trade that you otherwise would have made, which is perfectly legal, because obviously it's impossible to criminalise a non-action. But both types of use of insider information can be equally profitable.

If you want to shore up a worthless company's share price, the last thing you want to do is to sell stock, as selling large amounts of it would signal to the market that it's worth less than believed. So, in such a situation, the legal non-active type of insider trading -- insider non-trading, if you like -- is the dishonest immoral thing, whilst the illegal type of insider trading is what would help thwart the immorality. That perverse incentive is why some quite serious experts want insider trading legalised.

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Re: crash was caused primarily by bad mortgages. @ Tom 13

> We've played around the edges trying to shore up the banking system. But the fundamental problem still hasn't been repealed: The US Congress still requires banks to make loans to people who can't afford them or face being charged with racial discrimination.

Well said, sir. You are going to get so many downvotes.

That aside, though the US was the source of the major part of the crash, I believe the British retail banks did a certain amount of bad lending too, for different reasons. The funny thing about all this is that the problems are rooted in what politicians and regulators made retail banks do, and as a result the public are demanding more legislation and regulation, and the politicians and media are calling for the "safe" retail banks to be separated from the investment banks which "caused" the crash. Funny old world.

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Re: bit of insider trading would tip off the market

> Where is the incentive for *ANYONE* to "alert the public" ... You *don't* alert anyone

When you trade based on information, you place the pricing elements of that information into the market, by definition. The market may not know the rest of the information, but then it doesn't need to.

Apart from that, I don't need to defend insider trading, as I didn't say I supported it. I was just pointing out that there's a reasonable debate about its legality and morality, and that therefore saying that it may or may not be important is hardly as rabid a thing to say as whoever-it-was-up-there screeched.

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Re: @Tim Worstal @ BlueGreen @Squander Two

> First quote is *They* should be given 'credit' for lying to cover up the continent sized turd *they* created?.

Yes, and tracing back up the conversation for context, the first "They" refers to the guys who fixed Libor and the second "they" refers to the people who created the banking crash, which you acknowledge weren't the same people.

Have you never worked somewhere where some people fix or alleviate the errors of others? Quite a normal line of work, in my experience. Doesn't deserve a medal, but doesn't deserve demonisation either.

> And you've avoided my questions

No, I just saw that you don't even understand what you yourself are writing and decided that the chances of you understanding what anyone else is writing are even lower, so decided not to bother. But OK, then.

> how badly does one have to fuck up before one is judged unfit for a post?

Are you suggesting that no-one in banking lost their jobs over the '08 crash? Since I personally opposed the bail-outs and have said so many times, I simply have no case to defend here: had I had my way, far more bankers would have lost their jobs, being judged unfit for their posts by the market itself, as they should be. (My preference, if anyone cares, would have been to let failing banks fail but then, if necessary, to bail out the non-failing banks affected by the knock-on effects.) For the record, banks are still restructuring now as a result of the crash, which includes job reductions, while the economy as a whole is apparently now picking up and unemployment beginning to fall. This isn't a sob story, just a counterexample to your claim that no-one has been judged unfit: entire departments have been judged unfit for purpose and are being got rid of.

> Do you detect a pattern? (viz. of large scale incompetence and/or deceit)

No, I think there was some incompetence and some deceit, with large-scale effects. Large-scale deceit sounds nice to conspiracy theorists, but the truth is more mundane: banks are comprised of humans, with all the good and bad that entails. Which, really, was all I was saying, in response to your insistence that every single employee of every single bank is directly guilty of causing the crash.

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Re: @Tim Worstal @ BlueGreen

The first quote is you doing exactly what you claim in the second quote you're not doing.

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Re: @Tim Worstal @ BlueGreen

> *They* should be given 'credit' for lying to cover up the continent sized turd *they* created?

> I did not suggest that the libor guys necessarily had anything to do with the mortgage guys.

Are you even reading what you're writing?

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Squander Two
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Re: Read the 1-star reviews on Amazon.com

Thanks for that. Those reviews are brilliant. Well informed stuff from knowledgeable experts. Worth reading.

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Re: Feedback

> I think what he meant was that valuable economic activity takes place outwith the realm of milliseconds, not that slowness is inherently good.

OK, so we have an interesting academic point for Allan George Dyer to answer here. If doing the same thing faster than it used to be done makes it more economically valuable but doing things in milliseconds is inherently economically unvaluable, there must be some cut-off time under which economic activity ceases. What is that time, please?

This being an IT site, I shoud also ask about microchippery. The entire IT revolution is built on being able to do in tiny fractions of a second things that used to take at least seconds, mostly minutes, sometimes hours. Do computers decrease the value of economic activity because their speeds fall under the cut-off time (whatever it be)?

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Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest

Squander Two
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Obviously.

> He cited a study from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand last year, which found that the number of happy faces on Lego minifigs was decreasing while the number of angry faces was increasing.

Since all Lego figures used to have a smile, well, duh.

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