1154 posts • joined Friday 1st June 2012 10:28 GMT
Re: PFI - Epic fail
"We import nuclear power and export wind power."
Yes. So German consumers pay to subsidies "must run" wind power, then sold internationally at low wholesale prices to neighbouring countries. None of my business if Germans wish to subsidise French, Swiss and Austrian electricity users. And Poland have just installed limiters on the power connectors with Germany, because German wind exports have been destabilising their grid. Hardly looking like a success to me (and I work for a German power company).
"2012 the installed and operational wind turbines in germany produced more power than our ancient and unreliable nuclear reactors."
Not much use at peak load times. Take RWE's figures for 8 February 2012. German demand was running at a touch around 90GW. Due to generous subsidies there's 150GW of capacity... unfortunately on still winter days the circa 50GW of wind and solar are outputting virtually nothing. One or two thermal plants were offline, but were offset by the 5GW of balancing capacity of the TSOs, and net export balance was a lowly 2GW. Reserve capacity was down to 2GW (say a single large CCGT station).
That's not a success, that was complete bloody madness, risking systemic failure of the power supply for huge areas of the largest economy in Europe, and potentially cascading into other countries. And all because some German knobs are obsessed with renewables. if that's how you lot wish to run a power grid, feel free, it's unlikely to impact me. But I can't see that you'll be any more popular in the rest of Europe if you plunge your neighbours into darkness because of incompetent planning.
Re: Who knew?
Minister made madness.
No. Dismal, dim, ineffectual, cowardly, dishonest, and traitorous our ministers may be, but they didn't make this policy. The policy was originated by DECC under the last government, and has continued under the present government, as has the shambolic mess of energy policy at large.
Some fools think we live in a democracy. But we don't. Many think we live in a plutocracy where a ruling elite run the game purely for their own benefit. But we don't. Huge swathes of financial, energy, transport, and legal infrastructure are ruled unchallenged by the unaccounable numpties of the civil service.
You live in a numptocracy, and there is no escape.
Re: Let the madness begin!!!@Phil O'Sophical
"It's another instance of some naïve bright spark thinking up a cunning plan to get private investors to finance infrastructure, without having the wit to realise that the more complex you make the scheme, the easier it will be for the not-so-naïve investors to find loopholes. This sort of scheme wil only ever attract subsidy farmers."
Not quite. The article isn't absolutely clear, but this isn't PFI, because the government never intended to own the asset, directly or indirectly (other than for their dead flesh, control freak approach to the electricity industry as a whole).
The origins of this mess are that OFGEM (plus DECC & govt) decided in their wisdom that when building offshore wind, the land connection was an expense that could usefully be shared, and in the civil servant's mind this scheme was to reduce the overall cost, and encourage sharing of the land connections by wind farm constructors. To ensure that there was no dog in the manger attitudes, the wind farm operators are specifcially NOT allowed to build and own their own grid connection to shore. So OFGEM and DECC came up with the bizarre concept of offshore transmission system operators, complete with their own micro-regulatory environment, and as a result it has sucked in scumbucket City investment firms who know a laughably profitable deal when they see one. Your suggestion of "let a private company build and lease it to the wind farm operator" is essentially how the scheme now operates, and that's exactly what doesn't work, because there's neither effective competition, nor the wind farm operator's interest in seeing the job done in house at the lowest cost.
OFGEM could have made it work better in one of two simple ways: One, make National Grid responsible for all the offshore transmission connections, as they are on land. Or two, make the wind farm builders pay for, construct and own the transmission link as far as the shore.
But then again, when did either DECC or OFGEM do anything well, or simply? You're right that these schemes aren't viable, full stop. The only way wind farms can operate is a whole range of subsidies, both direct financial ones, tax ones, "carbon" ones, and in particular "must run" status in the merit order.
Re: Yup, and in other news, water is wet
"2 off shore farms in Denmark, at Horns Rev and Nysted work out at €1.68m per MW, with all costs"
Woohoo, bargain for tree huggers. The rest of us might balk at paying €1.68m/MW (£1.4m) when a state of the art gas CCGT works out at £0.27m per MW. And that figure you've quoted isn't with all costs included. That's for power generated about 30% of the time, and on the coldest 100 days of the year the load factor will typically be even lower at around 6%.
So your "all costs included" needs some form of continuously available standby that you haven't factored in, unless you're proposing "African dictatorship" reliability from the power grid. DECC have followed your thinking for the past ten years, but are now on the cusp of annoucing "electricity market reforms" that will further increase electricity costs, because their idiot-inspired wind farms are wrecking the long established system marginal pricing model. So now we'll need to subsidise CCGT and coal plants in order that they remain on line, in addition to the ludicrous subsidies being paid for crappy, ineffectual renewables.
Re: 22 Languages?
" the solution is to require *vendors* in India to include a brochure with each purchase?"
That depends on what the problem you want to solve is. If the problem is that insufficient regulatory claptrap paperwork is being printed, shipped, and thrown away unread, then you've got a viable solution.
If the problem the Indian government want to solve is user IT security, then they'll have to come up with a better approach. And there's some easy things they could do, like mandate in law that manufacturers have a responsibility for fixing security problems, and that (as shipped) all products must have automatic updating which is fully enabled. Mandate sensible rules for password setting for consumer facing businesses, minimum standards (eg 2FA) for on line banking. Mandate ISPs and phone companies to promote best practice (not really expecting them to do much, but enabling the government to punish the real security stragglers as an incentive to the rest). Mandate routine ISP blocking of malware destination sites, and automatically disconnect devices that are showing signs of malware activity (on the basis that if your average PC user's device is part of a botnet, then their ISP is far more likely to know than the user).
And make service providers of all kinds (from ISPs, phone companies, Facebook, banks) responsible from making users aware of security threats, particularly those that don't have a major tech aspect (eg social engineering attacks).
Re: Mens watches are jewelery
"Would anyone who agrees with the statement that the watch "epitomizes prestige and is seen as an extension of the user’s personality and lifestyle/fashion sophistication" kindly step into the nearest meat grinder? "
Quality, sir, quality!
Re: Mens watches are jewelery@<jbc>
"A proper watch is a symbol of ..."
..vanity, bad taste, affectation, and excessive disposable income. Or so I've come to learn from the adverts in publications like the FT's revolting "How to spend it" magazine.
Look at all those w@nky watches sold for the price of a small car, promoted through adverts featuring handsome smiling pilots, or jet fighters doing aerobatics. Or "diving" watches sold to people who wouldn't even know which way to unscrew a SCUBA valve. Total s***, as are most of the people wearing 'em.
Fair enough to those people with proper, real mechanical watches from a company with pedigree that don't have all that bling. I'd quite like a Piaget myself, but as a pauper I have to settle for a Seiko 5 (at least it ticks and doesn't have a battery).
Re: The right evidence?@Wzrd1
"But then, if it weren't for a few friends on your island, I'd not care if the bloody thing sank into the ocean."
Why bother hanging round a UK web site if that's how you feel? Likewise, I've got friends in the US, but don't see the US as a friendly nation, or a trustworthy one. But I don't use US-centric web sites mouthing off with those rather unhelpful views.
Re: The right evidence?@Wzrd1
"An interesting comment, as I've rode within said "not airworthy" aircraft in Afghanistan"
I wasn't making that claim - if you're going to comment here, then do try and make sure that you are aware of the background:
And from that report's summary:: "We examined the procurement of these eight helicopters in our report on Battlefield Helicopters and considered it to be one of the worst examples of equipment procurement that we had ever seen"
Re: The right evidence?@Matt Bryant
" FAIL! The MoD has never launched any wars,"
Shorthand, my simple-witted son, shorthand. The MoD are consulted by the pols, and had they declared that they couldn't fight the war, and that they'd go public about the kit if one were launched, then the pols would have had to have slunk off and found something different to do. I do apologise to other readers for having to spell out the fucking obvious for Matt.
For anybody that stands up in that way, it will cost them their job, but that's the price of doing the right thing. Knob ends like you won't understand that concept. But instead all the well paid senior military and snivel servants at the MoD pretend publicly that all is well, privately counsel that the kit is "sub optimal" and keep accruing the pension. Who pays the price? Only the grunts who die for lack of helicopters, or in the laughably inappropriate snatch landrovers. Or aboard the MR2 that went down over 'stan.
And, as usual you're spouting shit about what you think I believe or I do with your silly, childish little comment "voted for by numpties like you", since I haven't voted for any politician in a national election for a decade now, because that offers legitimacy to the twerps.
But instead of your usual whiney sniping from the sidelines, why not give us the benefit of your deep expertise and wisdom in this field?
Re: The right evidence?
" there may be some gaps in capability"
Some gaps? The MoD are the same people that launched two separate wars of choice without sufficient equipment (helos, surveillance, fast air, personal protection, armoured ground mobiles), and even had stuff they'd specified, paid for and had delivery of, but they had then certified as not airworthy (the Chinook mk3). There's the whole sorry saga of MoD incompetence over Nimrod (AEW3, refuelling on MR2s, and MRA4), they failed to order a proper attack jet to replace the ageing Tornado, so that they're now sellotaping bombs onto aircraft designed as fighter jets (but they don't have enough trained crews fotr them anyway....
I could go on, and on, and on, but the point is MoD are grossly and persistently incompetent. They wouldn't have a clue about cybersecurity.
Re: Does having an Intel CPU lower the total cost?
Battery is cheap enough, and all the phone and chip makers know that SoC is better than discrete components. The Orange San Diego is a very passable first stab, using the Atom (Medfield) and relatively speaking low end graphics.
The main difference between Intel and ARM is simply that ARM sell the IP, and let others design onto and around that, and ARM also expect others to manufacture those designs. WIth Intel they want to go the whole hog of design and build, so you're paying for their fab, you're playing on their rules, and if you want anything different you can go swing. Potentially the Intel solution can be as cheap as ARM, and cheaper still if they don't make different versions for every phone.
If you were a second rank smartphone maker (or lower) making thin pickings from your own ARM based phones, then it might be worth taking Intel's shilling, sacking your ARM-skilled design team and accepting that you're going forward as a commodity phone maker on low margins. (HTC? Nokia?). The leaders will probably continue to want to use ARM because they can innovate, at least for the next few years.
Longer term, about 2017-2020 we're looking at 10nm processes that will put the power of a current desktop into a mobile phone, and then I think the game might start to shift in Intel's favour, as people start to want their phone to do the things that we currently expect of a full sized computer. But even then, the excitement may not be on the CPU, but on the GPU, in which case we're looking at Nvidia and Imagination. AMD's purchase of ATI may prove to have been an inspired move, but executed a decade too early.
Re: SUCH a first world "problem"
Don't be too complacent. We may be exporting jobs to the developing world, but that's not all we're exporting:
Can we claim IP rights on over-eating, and charge India royalties? Maybe £2 per morbidly obeast per year, which would mean an extra £130m a year. The Yanks should pay as well, 'cos they're just a bunch of rebellious colonials, but being wealthier I think $200 per obeast would be fair, and that would earn about £10 billion quid year. And it would be prior art to invalidate Apple's "rounded corners" patent. I'll show you rounded corners!
Re: Give people another reason to eat even more
Composting of the slurry is all very well. What if they open the valve and draw gas, not oil?
Would you recommend flaring, in order to reduce the GHG impact of the methane? Would the HSE recommend personal flaring? And would there be any shame for pie munchers in being seen with a ten foot high, bright orange flame coming from between their shirt buttons? Pubs and workplaces might have to ask people to go outside with the smokers to flare off.
An alternative would be to have a low pressure container for waste gas, enabling the user to bottle the magic, and release it conveniently and on demand. There might even be a market to sell it to pranksters and those who aren't keen on complying with GASP (generally accepted social practice).
Re: Web fads and video games@Some Beggar
"The "Digital, Creative & Information Services" sector generated 4.5% of GVA in 2012 "
But of that, I doubt that more than 0.1% was games and frippery. Most of it will have been bog standard IT work - Northgate IS, HP's UK services, Crapita, etc.
And the problem is that our shallow, inept government are pushing that (guessed) 0.1%, not even the remaining 4.4%. There's a governmental obsession with pushing "higher value" jobs, which invariably ignores the need for a balanced economy. The millions of people currently unemployed, generally speaking, aren't looking for jobs in Shoreditch as top games designers, or technical architecture directors. Instead, they want mid market white or blue collar jobs, or they are after basic clerical or manual roles, and other than the job creation scheme of the Civil Service and local government, there's nothing done for these people.
Re: I've already got an A tube@miknik
"It might not be hip and modern but it works"
It only works as an A tube if you've got it bypassing your intestines. Arguably for the porkers, having a tap on the front of one's beer gut lacks a certain amount of practicality, so a more elegant solution would be the A tube installed internally as an intestinal bypass, with user control by wifi and an iPhone app ('cos what other form of control is there?).
"Ooops. Shouldn't have eaten that fourth pie and chips. I know, I'll just dial in a 30% bypass, and whilst that gets to work I'll hurry along and find myself a trap". An added efficiency benefit is that the phone isn't just the control gear, it enables employees to be contactable whilst entrapped, and if there's no work emergency it can be the reading material so essential to a satisfactory dump. What's not to like?
S***ing an undigested chocolate gateaux or a curry may take some getting used to, and maybe that's not to like.
Re: Overheard conversation@Silverburn
"Oh the hypocracy"
Go on then, I'm interested: What's a hypocracy?
Re: Broadband = New British Rail?
"I'd love to see who is making (or could make) massive profits from broadband."
As a general rule, nobody makes vast profits from infrastructure unless there are no alternatives and an abusive monopoly exists. So the majority of the UK rail network was privately built by companies that in aggregate never covered their cost of capital on the assets they built. Even as a nationalised industry British Rail (or subsequently privatised) the market can't support the costs of rail and a credible return, requiring continuous state subsidies. The same thing happened with infrastructure like the Channel Tunnel. Electricity and water both started out likewise as private investments that didn't often pay, but were deemed sufficiently useful that the state acquired/copied the early investments and built the network out.
A key problem with most infrastructure is simply that the annual benefits have a modest annual value, the asset life is very long, but at prevailing interest rates the investment doesn't make financial sense. In theory, a sensible government would be able to take a long term view and choose to prioritise and subsidse those infrastructure projects that do have value, unfortunately the idea of the government making sensible choices is so laughable that it isn't worth imagining.
So, as somebody else has suggested, there's apparently £20 billion available for the wholly unnecessary HS2, to shave fifteen minutes off the journey time between London and Birmingham, and continue to move corpulent businessmen and civil servants for face to face meetings, when a wholesale upgrade of the infrastructure could encourage people to use non-travel solutions. Neither will generate a conventional economic return, but I think I'd rather have the comms upgrades than ruin a bit more countryside which then delivers nothing for me, and will additionally require operating subsidies for the remainder of of its life.
Re: Emerging markets
It is true that most people will have little money to spend on phones, but let me offer two observations:
1) Average figures are of no use in analysing these markets: India alone has around 1.3 billion people. If you focus only on the upper 20% then you've still got a market not far off the size of the US.
2) In the developing world marginally more people have mobile phones than have access to safe drinking water (although that's not currently full on mobile internet or smartphones). The people of these countries are already demonstrating that they want or need these devices, whether we approve or not.
I think Intel recognise that the value of the basic candy bar handset are gone (Goodbye, Nokia!) and that even for the poor there's significant utility from a basic smartphone. Education, the economy, democratcy, public services - all things which can be improved by better data and telecomms, and which are well provided by smartphones in the absence of Western luxuries of fixed lines, dependable power, and cheap desktop computing.
Intel is probably going to do far more for the developing world by trying to make money than the UK government will by giving away £50 billion quid over the life of this government.
Re: I wonder how much helium they waste
Probably not as much after seeing that story about a girl in Northern Ireland who asphyxiated after trying this.
Certainly made me a lot more cautious about grabbing the balloon and inhaling, which I'd previously regarded as being harmless fun..
Re: How can this be viable@Mr Fuzzy
" imagine jabbing a knitting needle through a roll of bubble wrap"
Not many AA missiles depend on impact fuses, because you can't be sure of a direct hit - much easier to get within the warhead's destructive radius and detonate (in principle, think of the altitude fuses on anti-aircraft shells in war films (or reality, for that matter).
As a cargo carrier it certainly doesn't look that useful.
But rather more interesting as a development project if (rather than for cargo) is actually towards unmanned weapons or surveillance platforms, capable of staying on station for weeks at a time.
Against a capable adversary with modern air power they would be very vulnerable, but in the wars of choice that are typically fought these days they could be very useful, and for example in cold war monitoring of naval traffic. Potentially they could be used for AWACS, being hardly much more vulnerable than a lumbering 707 airframe, where you need several aircraft (multiple AWACS plus tankers) to give continuous cover.
Re: Printed copies of photos are pointless...
"decent silver prints, properly made on archival papers, will last in excess of 160 years"
Well, that's 0.01% of all photo prints safe then. The other 99.99% were printed on commodity grade commercial paper by low cost processors, and are busy going dark and developing strange colour casts even in unopened albums.
Re: And next to Polaroid@ratfox
"Heh. It is not so often in these forums that the cloud is touted as the safest alternative."
You are Yoda's more loquacious brother, and I claim my five pounds.
Re: Hmmm. Android!
Build in tablets? Nope, slave touch displays. Almost half the cost of a tablet is full capability baseband processor, memory, batter & power management and the transmission capability. Looking at Nexus 7 tear down estimates, you could have a slave touchscreen for around $100, say one in front, two in the back, $300 total, around the £200 you suggest. Use the mobe as the network connection (and possibly the GPS chip), and you've no need for a new contract, you;ve got phone, contacts, music all to hand, and back seat passengers can stream media, or use the web for difficult questions like "are we there yet?"
Of course, the cost and the tech aren't the problem. The problem is the dinosaurs of the motor industry, still trying to charge £1000 for a built in satnav. If this is built in as standard it could work, but as an option the asking price would be about £4k because of the industry approach to options.
Re: How would this work?
Well, drivers could perhaps engage common sense?
If my phone satnav directs me somewhere I don't think it wise to go, then I ignore it. Rerouting usually sorts things out, but failing that I'm no worse off than I was in the days before satnav, having to buy a map, follow signs, ask directions, or in the absence of all the aforementioned trust my own judgement. Even if you've got a good hard copy map, in remote areas there's a modest degree of skill in using it well.
And failing all that, if somebody is daft enough to drive off a cliff then they should be encouraged to do so.
Re: @Ledswinger@AC 13:18
You think that the UK spends £12 bn a year on food, medicine and shelter? Are you a cretin?
Over the years UK "aid" money has kept despots in power, paid for useless infrastructure projects, and even been boondoggled as "defence assistance" to buy British made weapons. The tiny fraction that might go on genuine assistance to individuals is a pitiful 8.3% (less anything expropriated locally), and even that includes paying for things in places like Zimbabwe, thus encouraging kelptocrats like Mugabe. So that's 92% spent on other shit, like "budgetary support", money frittered through "multilateral agencies" (ie paying for the IMF to bailout Greece). Some might filter through to NGO's, but I don't see why my government should wish to hand out my money to charities, rather than leaving the decison to me. And there's no compelling evidence that foreign aid begets lasting improvements in anything.
A good example of this is the UK spending around a (combined) billion quid a year on projects in India, for example to improve Indian education. Great - a country that actively competes to export UK jobs is being subsidised by my government. Meanwhile, the Indian government demonstrate that they have rather different priorities - like building aircraft carriers, a nuclear deterrent, and a space programme. Then there's the criminal waste with which the UK government spend the money - such as £500m a year of the budget spent on consultants. Indeed, the fuckwits of government are spending my money on shit like arts projects in Russia, aid to Argentina, and even on aid to relatively wealthy countries like Iceland. Through our contribution to EU aid programmes we fund Turkey to the tune of about £100m a year - despite the fact that it is growing at a singificant rate compared to the recessionary squalor of the southern EU, or even the UK.
So I'm all in favour of NGO's to which people like you and David Cameron can contribute as much as you like. But the UK gets no benefit of any worth from its aid programme, and delivers relatively little for the amount it spends. If Westminster and DFID can't spend the money wisely and effectively then they shouldn't spend it at all.
"I bet that pay as you go SIM either have a secret method of identification or they will soon disappear."
The default triangulation tracking of an anonymous sim will do all that is needed to identify users in most situations. You might be OK if you never keep it switched on except when making calls, and don't use it in any public location where other records can be cross referenced (any CCTV footage, use at private or work addresses, membership clubs, ATM records, purchase records at same time and location, etc).
All seems a bit extreme unless you've got a beard and are hiding in a cave.
"Still it is a drop in the Ocean so to speak when you consider how much money is wasted and the amount of expenses our MP's claim."
Or in the twelve billion quid that pea-brain Cameron gives away as "foreign aid" each year.
Re: "It was not immediately clear, however...
"Only then will throwaway "nuke 'em" remarks cease to enter the mind of the led."
Hey! I never thought that at all!
Re: What's that sound
"My problem is that I don't quite know who to root for. The new monopolist or the old one? The old one was at least not invading everyone's privacy, just "merely" stopping innovation dead in its tracks."
There's also a further fundamental difference, that the old one expected you to pay cold hard cash and plenty of it, whereas the currency that Google want is your privacy. I'm not sure either company really count as monopolists, because you can easily avoid both company's offerings - the difficulty is with those who seem to think they have some right to use the products, but don't like the price being asked.
I'll declare my hand - I'm rooting for Google now, and I'm prepared to trade some privacy for the service. MS can go swing precisely because they have not innovated, and have sought to stop others, and they are expensive (and a host of other failings). But in a few years time, chances are that Google will be the entrenched dinosaur, and I'll back the new kid on the block if their offering is good enough.
"It's a bit of a leap...to HP sell PSG", the problem has been that PSG has been going down hill for a few years now, and there's doesn't seem to be a way out for a loss making division that is part of a corporate dinosaur. Even Dell haven't managed to resurrect decent profits in their original core business of PC assembly, I suspect because the barriers to entry in the PC assembly market are too low, and the value added too low. Nothing HP can do to change that. There's no business equivalent to high margin niches like Alienware (they could try it: "New from HP: Allenware, for Allens in accounting everywhere").
It seems defeatist to say that HP have to exit personal systems, but there's lots of other sectors that are either dominated by small businesses (eg plumbing), or where big players do exist but struggle to get good sustainable margins because of low barriers to entry (distribution logistics). Assembling computers appears to be comparable to the latter, with a continuous slow churn of growing boutique PC builders who eventually grow to size they can't sustain, and disappear, replaced by a new fast growing maker. I suppose the problem is that the market wants pre-assembled and fully warranted systems, but it is unwilling to pay a sustainable price (true for most retail and business buyers). If Meg can turn PSG round I'll take my hat off to her, but she'll be achieving something very rare indeed if she does.
"Personally, if I was guessing where the axe might swing, the likeliest victims would be the hp tablet/phone team inside PSG, if any of them are left"
But again, Meg's said that these are new products that HP will need to develop. Whilst I don't think that's a good idea, Meg's dilemma is now one of her own making, whether she goes ahead with doomed "me too" mobile computing devices, or whether she tells the markets something different to that which she told them last September. Admittedly she backtracked and said it wouldn't be any time in 2013, but even so, it's a problem.
Meg on toast
Can't see it going down very well with the shareholders if she does a u turn, and tries to flog PSG. Not only will that likely crystallise another large write-down, but it becomes evidence that HP have another luckless CEO who simply can't control the behemoth.
Nobody before her has made PSG sing, so her choices appear to be to keep it, continue taking the salary whilst letting PSG destroy corporate worth, or to flog it at a loss and find herself in what will undoubtedly be a very well upholstered lifeboat.
How about a merger between Dell and HP's similarly under-performing PC making businesses? US managers are firm believers that two losers make one winner, and the obvious new name would reflect the customer service that both have latterly provided.
Re: Just a thought
Sadly the prices that the shops charge reflects the considerable overheads of running a retailer, and most of those costs aren't readily controllable by the retailer, being set by government or the market, such as business rates, rent, staff wages, which collectively represent around three quarters of the costs of retail distribution. As a rough guide, a big high street games vendor would have a gross margin of about 28-30% on each game they sell, so they "make" £8.40 on each £30 game they sell, of which about £7.50 would be consumed in shop operating costs (ie before your corporate costs). Running an average game store would cost you £300k a year, split four ways between wages, rent, rates, and "other" - where would you find (say) a fiver per game of exciseable cost? Rent isn't under your control, neither are rates or other. Wages are set by the market or government (neither at a very high level), and you're beholden to be open whenever shoppers might expect it (about 3,100 hours a year).
In my view cutting the prices probably still won't bring Amazon buyers back into the stores, so they'd only cut their own throats even faster.
Re: Suing and winning@JohnG
I concede your correction! But the settlement your link refers to wasn't a contested amount scrutinised by the court, as the article points out. If you can settle out of court (as in that case) you're OK, but had it gone to court and been contested, then the damages would probably have been nil or thereabouts, because the demonstrable losses would have been next to nothing.
There's some other issues, that the linked case was specifically about a company who hadn't any commercial relationship with the claimant. In context of this thread, we're mostly talking about spam from companies with whom you do have a relationship, and the ICO states (with my emphasis) "The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 cover the sending of email marketing. This legislation says that organisations must only send marketing emails to individuals if you have agreed to receive them, except where there is a clearly defined customer relationship"
Even where there is a case to answer, simply reading the article you've highlighted would give the companies whom you might sue the simple answer : Admit liability, but argue that the claimant has actually incurred no worthwhile losses.
"This Christmas I made a donation to the Guardian's appeal "
What, you mean you bought a copy?
For most people and companies the costs of dealing with spam would be classed as consequential losses. These are not normally admissable as part of small claims procedings, so you'd need to take them to full country court, where you've still got a good chance of the case being dismissed or lost, and then you'd be liable for the other side's legal costs.
And if you've already deleted the spam (and thus incurred costs) then where's your evidence? If you haven't deleted them, where's the processing cost? That could be a bit of a bind.
I've never heard of a claim for potential consequential losses, so you could make legal history if you win, and if you do then I'd like you to turn your attention to perpetual motion.
Too right. And of those that have the option, a good half IME just ignore it. I tick the "don't send me anything" options with religious fervour. I read the text carefully "Tick box a if you don't want our email promotions. Tick box b if you do want our partner's promotions" and select accordingly.
But the vermin still send the rubbish, and this includes major retailers. To be fair the unsubscribe requests are usually, but not always respected, but the thrust of the article still applies: Why do the pea-brains in marketing think for a single moment that anybody would want weekly or even monthly news and offers clagging up their inbox?
Re: Obvious Solution Missed
Worked well in Iraq and Afghanistan, you say?
Re: We could try making some stuff ourselves@Thad
"And we could try paying the price for that in the shops."
No problem. We print the money to fund our trade deficits with China as it is, and pay the former production workers to sit around idle (or in pretend jobs/education). If buying from home at a higher cost then you simply print more money (or put an extra zero on the banknotes each year).
As things are, China's effective exchange rate is undervalued by 30%. When they have to correct that, then they export a huge inflation shock to the rest of the world (a bit like the Arabs did in 1974).
It'll all end in tears, I'm sure.
Re: "who reserve the option of denying GPS service, though this has never actually happened."
"It was pretty obvious to the US than the Iraqis hadn't yet developed their own invisible, 45min to London, GPS guided, WMD carrying, cruise missiles."
It was pretty obvious before the second Gulf War too, unless your name was George Bush or Tony Blair.
Re: Whoah, cool the commentardery.
"It's exactly what the RC's are supposed to be doing, and aren't you glad at least someone is?"
Well, the RC's don't have a very good name in the fringes of the scientific community that I associate with. And for a bunch of rocket scientists, the RC seem to fail on the basics, like their bungled shared services programme. That failed because the executive leadership of the individual RC's failed to back the programme, Fujitsu (as usual) were associated with the failure, and they got 50% more than Osborne's alleged graphene investment before their contract was terminated, but that £30 odd million was a drop in the ocean of the failure to deliver almost £400m of hoped for savings.
So the RC's failure to organise their own administrative affairs will have cost UK science around £350m in foregone funding in the period 2006-2016. So I'd argue that we are also shit at investing efficiently in unproven ideas.
Can we have a "steaming turd" icon, please?
"see super sonic flight for further details"
Or LCD's, from which (as far as I can see) the UK makes not a penny in royalties, despite some very good claims to have invented the thing, and the blasted things being in almost every form of computing device now created.
And that's my beef with this (alleged) investment in graphene. We'll pay for the science, but the chances are that the UK will not reap the benefits. Even if and when it reaches production, it'll be in the Far East, and it won't create the important middle and lower layer jobs that this country really needs, and we won't make a return on the "investment".
"obviously a homage to Thunderbirds"
I think paying homage involves respect. There's been a lot of Gerry Andersen ideas that have resurfaced in a number of Hollywood movies of late, invariably handled poorly.
Re: Spectrum is NOT green.
Looking on the bright side, the Legend will live on for many years yet. I can't think of many people of his contemporaries who have left that sort of deeply loved legacy.
Like many others I shall raise a glass to his memory.
"A large part of that is interest on acquired debt."
About £45 billion a year, out of total public spending of around £680 billion. So not actually that large, but certainly a problem, and half of the national debt is entirely down to that idiot Smiling Gordon Brown. The man should be tried as a traitor and then hung drawn and quartered.
And it is a problem that will get worse because the current government won't stop spending more than they get in... never mind, our kids can pick up the tab for that. To nit pick, wind turbines are funded by a tax, but it's through mandated aspects of your electricity bill. So that isn't officially part of public spending or tax (although it is actually both), it doesn't appear in the governments books, and it isn't counted as part of the public spending deficit.
Your comments about government administration are broadly speaking correct - but back office accounts for only about 5-6% of government spending. You could halve it if government were as efficient as a large well run company, but that still only gets you £20bn. Corporate tax avoidance is worth perhaps £5bn all told, although it's not clear government now have the freedom to plug the loopholes they created. That combined £25bn is worth having, but it doesn't make a difference in the grand scheme of things until you address the public spending deficit of around £120bn a year. And if you want to pay less interest, then you also need to start to pay down the existing national debt of over half a trillion quid - where's that money going to come from?
To read the pathetic whining and hand wringing in the Graun, you'd think somebody had actually done something, but at the moment we remain firmly set on the disaster course charted by New Labour. Taxes need to rise considerably, or spending needs to be slashed. Given the poor standard of public "services" I'm firmly in favour of slashing spending, but for those who wish to differ, then if they want to undo the "cuts" made so far, and continue to have the "services" they are so enthusisastic about, then we need to raise aggregate taxes by of the order of 30% - and that won't be achieved by wringing out Starbucks, I'm afraid.
"so the economy disappearing up its own arse is all down to Maynard Keynes?"
Nobody suggested that, do try and keep up. And why "Maynard Keynes"? He didn't have a double barrelled surname.
"lol"? Do you think this is Twitter?
"I think Google are a deeply evil company"
And I think Google are just out to make money.
Nobody presumably thinks that other major OS and browser vendors are not deeply committed to mining the data of their users? MS invested billions in aQuantive (an interesting fuck-up-and-write-off precedent for HP/Autonomy) to do this sort of user data mining and ad-placement, and Apple, well they wouldn't do anything like this, would they?
Arguably you might have a free (or rather private) lunch if you run a selected and well set up Linux install, using selected open source applications, but that's hardly mainstream. My elderly parents couldn't run that sort of set up, and trading a bit of on-line privacy for an otherwise fairly secure browser, a decent search engine, "free" email and so forth is a good deal for them. And it's interesting that MS and Apple want you to pay for your products and pillage your data. How evil is that?
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