* Posts by Ledswinger

4761 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

Ledswinger
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Re: itunes

having a monopoly is not illegal. Using a monopoly to stifle competition is.

Actually, you don't need a monopoly to exploit market power, nor even a cartel (itself usually a virtual monopoly). Maybe the Commission might like to look into the UK mobile market then, where the incumbent (vertically integrated) players all own substantial but captive challenger brands pretending to be MVNOs. And in some cases there's a compelling appearance of stifling competiton through predatory pricing through selected resellers, even though the same deal on the captive MVNO's own website is precisely twice the price the reseller offers.

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HSBC swinging axe on UK IT department, 840 heads to roll

Ledswinger
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Re: And of course

Oh colour me surprised, thought not

Or should that be "colour you brown" mate? It's good to see the verminous management of HSBC decide that (after their vitriolic little paddy about domicile) they want the advantages of a London headquarters, all the protection of the English courts, all the joys of London banking bonuses, the implicit taxpayer backing should they ever screw the pooch on any of their casino banking bets. But when it comes to low end and even mid range white collar jobs in the UK, HSBC's scumbag board just can't wait to issue the P45s.

Those on the receiving end can perhaps pause and think gratefully that their noble (if involuntary) sacrifice means that a few more bankers can go and quaff a six or seven figure bonus at whatever champagne and oyster bar the idle, value destroying f***ers infest these days.

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UK needs comp sci grads, so why isn't it hiring them?

Ledswinger
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From my experience as a Comp Sci Student and having given the subject quite some thought in the past....:

Perhaps the solution is for college based degrees in Comp Sci to end, and have only degree level apprenticeships? The employers provide hands on experience in a real work environment, and steer the academic input, the colleges provide that academic rigour and content (stopping the employers simply using apprentices as cheap labour). And the students get a degree debt free, and graduate with real employment experience. As the students are essentially chosen by the employers, this might also eliminate many of the dossers who commentards appear to believe are a good chunk of Comp Sci students at the moment.

Clearly the employers WILL be using the apprentices as cheap labour, and that's part of the Faustian pact, but if prospective apprentices don't like that idea, there's always the prospect of accruing £40k of debt and a full time Comp Sci degree from the University of Derby.

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A cracked window on the International Space Station? That's not good

Ledswinger
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A box of glitter would probably be more effective.

You've got a point there. But rather than a box of glitter from Claire's Accessories, what about alternative missiles. Condoms, or ladies's sanitary products would be amusing, but perhaps too bulky. But what about frozen peas, or a few boxes of dry catfood?

Imagine Obama's face: "The Norks have knocked out our satellites with WHAT?

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Ledswinger
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If anyone wants to make a real space weapon then they can just launch a bag of nails in the opposite direction...

Not very targeted. And you'd need a bloody big bag of nails to have any chance of hitting anything.

Mind you, lets put ourselves in the position of evil fatboy Kim Jong Un. No mates, no real satellites, and desperate to garner some publicity. Nothing to lose by polluting LEO space, and a modest amount to gain. So would somebody care to do some fagpacket maths on how many nails Porky Kim will need to scatter to stand a modest chance of destroying say 4 satellites within six months? One or two lost satellites the owners could hush up, but after there's been four taken out, it becomes a bit more difficult to deny there's a problem.

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Ledswinger
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Trollface

Re: Transparent ALUMINUM?

Aluminium. If you please.

'Tis a sad problem caused by the revolting colonials, is it not?

But not to worry, as they'll soon all be speaking Spanish, and the problem of Merkins mangling the Queen's English will simply fade away.

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Aussie wedges spam javelin in ring spanner

Ledswinger
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How impressive?

What size spanner did he manage to get it trapped in? I'm only going to be impressed if it was eye wateringly small, or something at the other end of the spectrum, like the spanner I use on the car water pump.

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EU commish: We smacked down O2/Three but we didn't take it 'lightly'

Ledswinger
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There were a greater number of mobile network operators in the market.

Is four some magic number that protects consumers then?

There is a lack of competition in the mobile market, but that's because you have an oligopoly of (depending on your view) three to five vertically integrated incumbents. Their retail offer is not seeking to rock the boat and deliver better deals for customers. Of course, what about MVNOs? Pity that three of the biggest MVNOs are wholly owned captives of the vertically integrated incumbents and if nothing's changed one of the other largest MVNOs is half owned by an incumbent.

You could of course set up your own MVNO. But you'll have to go cap in hand to one of the MNO, hope they'll cut you a fair deal (Ha! Good luck with that!), and that they then won't use their captive MVNO to rip the rug from under you by predatory pricing - often offered cheap only through third party distributors, so that it crops up on Uswitch, but the incumbent can say "not us, guvn'r".

If that's what you call competition, you're welcome to it.

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Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Ledswinger
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Re: Hurrah!

the House of Lords, our last bastion of defense (sic)

I don't think you've been paying attention. The House of Lords has been uniquely ineffective as an upper chamber since, well, anytime in the past two centuries. When it was full of sleepy old codgers in ermine, who never interfered, it was fine. A tourist attraction and nod our history.

Of late, it has become a place of shitty patronage for smug, halfwit prime ministers to offer lifetime membership of one of the world's most exclusive clubs. At the moment, thanks to that grinning war criminal Blair, the place is stuffed with a majority of Labour peers - numpties like both Kinnocks, talent like Joan Bakewell, Peter Mandelson. The Tory peers are of no better calibre, but at least there's not as many.

So we have an entirely unelected chamber that has now taken it upon itself to interfere in the lawmaking of the elected government. Now, I might be considered a Tory, but I hold Cameron and his chumocracy in deeper distain than any Graun reader, so I'm not in favour of the current government. But if you think these people are doing ANYTHING in your interests, you really haven't thought it all through.

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Russia faces Ukraine and Georgia in Eurovision deathmatch

Ledswinger
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Discrimination!

What's wrong with 9 and 11 then, you Eurof***ers?

Presumably some advanced mathematical modelling established that including those numbers in the allowable points would somehow stop all the crappy little countries doing their usual tribal voting?

But then again, why should we care? Eurovision met its Waterloo in 1974, and it's all been downhill since then. This year would appear to be its Kursk.

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Ledswinger
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Re: Snake Oil @ The Indomitable Gall

Germany rode out the big recession pretty damned well compared to the rest of the continent, so I don't know why we're all still modelling the French approach rather than the German one.

Germany rode out the great recession so well because (as a result of the Euro project's flaws), they joined the Euro with an undervalued entry currency. That kept their manufacturing exports relatively cheap and highly competitive. The corollary of the deutschmark being undervalued was that in Southern Europe (and to an extent France) they joined with over valued currencies (largely for vanity reasons), and that made their exports uncompetitive, and is a major contributor to their moribund economies and appalling youth unemployment rates. And the catastrophe in Southern Europe helped avoid the Euro skyrocketing on FX markets, and that locked in the German export advantage when dealing with non Euro markets.

This had precisely diddly squat to do with the layout of their rail networks, and everything to do with the fact that nobody in their right mind would pay the (UK) £25k starting list price for a weird and frangible Citroen C5 when that's the same starting list price for a BMW 3 series.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Snake Oil

"...for example a line between Scotland and Norway..."

That's a bit harsh on Norway. Couldn't we just use a cannon and fire them westward into the Atlantic?

Fantastic idea. Aim for Rockall with the beggars. It'd be like throwing tomatoes at a wall.

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Google, Honeywell put away Nest patent knives

Ledswinger
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Re: Honeywell

Nest: Hipster clueless startup

Actually, a company looking to solve the problem that the existing domestic HVAC control gear companies were oblivious too: That their products were either utterly rudimentary, or had more capabilities that were well hidden by the user interface from hell.

Yes, you could do what I did over twenty years ago, and buy a non-smart programmeable thermostat. The exact same design is still churned out today, and it works just fine - but it takes a whole lot of effort to set up, and when the household routine changes you have to go back to the sluggish, counter-intuitive user interface and reset everything.

I've not got a Nest, and I'm not going to have any web-connected smart 'stat anyday soon. But to dismiss Nest as clueless hipsters rather ignores the fact that people are buying them, liking them, and recommending them, because it works, and works rather well.

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Gobble away! Charter-Time Warner Cable merger OK'd by FCC

Ledswinger
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I'm guessing my rates (Charter) are now going to go up so they can pay for this without affecting profit and exec bonuses.

They most certainly are. Deal premium, costs and fiddles for preferred shareholders are at least $8bn. Over the combined company's customers they need to extract about $350 extra from each customer (plus interest) to make it work. And that's before the over-valued nature of the stock in the first place. Net book assets are about $16bn, so the $55bn paid means a goodwill figure for the merged company of around $40bn. That's $1,700 per customer, to be recovered by hook or by crook over the next few years.

I'm not sure why regulators ignore the simple reality that mergers deliver poor outcomes for consumers. Are they corrupt, or just incompetent?

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Microsoft half-bricks Asus Windows 7 PCs with UEFI boot glitch

Ledswinger
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Re: A deal with the devil

Alright, I give up. Where'd you get that icon?

If you look at the source it's a Reg icon, but not one that us plebs can see when using the "select an icon" interface. If you were keen enough you could try copying the HTML into a post and see if it works, but my guess is that it won't for you and I. Worth noting that the AC also has an icon, again something blocked for the masses.

Could it be the Reg staff, using comments to say things or use language they can't in the article....

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Sayonara, Brits! The Irish tech sector could benefit from Brexit

Ledswinger
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Re: Disruption but not as we know it?

It doesn't mean that Google/MSFT/Amazon etc can treat it as an open border for tax reasons

Why not? If the twerps of Westminster had any balls they could have enforced existing rules on transfer pricing, and even failing that obvious check, could have imposed a withholding tax. But successive UK governments haven't because they're quite happy to accommodate tax dodging US corporations.

If the tossers won't act now, why would anything vary in future?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Respected economist David McWilliams

while our tech and financial sectors should benefit from the collapse of the UK as an EU trade centre.

Could I just say you're welcome to all the businesses of the City of London?

If you want your economy (again?) distorted by bonus-obsessed, corrupt financial services mega-corporations, and the leeches of the legal, accountancy and consultancy sector you're welcome to the lot. Yes there's several billion in tax income you'll benefit from, but soon the entire Irish economy will be run for the benefit of those people, and the ordinary masses will be backstopping the risks whilst being laughed at by the 1%'ers.

Whilst successive UK governments cosseted the big corporations of the City, they've let UK manufacturing rot, pushed up the cost of doing real business with real jobs for normal people, and presided over a vastly distorted economy.

Ireland's welcome to all of that.

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Brits who live in 'smart cities' don't really know or care

Ledswinger
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Re: Too many marketroids

I hope Edinburgh hasn't spent money on becoming a "Smart City"

I think they spent the money on a circa £1bn tram line, and some schools that are in danger of falling down.

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'Apple ate my music!' Streaming jukebox wipes 122GB – including muso's original tracks

Ledswinger
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Re: CDs, how modern.

Oh how my friends laugh at me for still buying BVDs

Well they would, wouldn't they? Like I do.

Crinkly crackley, bendy warpy scratchy junk, And dragging a small rock through a scratch in a slice of liquorice and fluff amalgam.....WTF are you thinking?

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ICO fines NHS trust £185K for publicly airing personnel files

Ledswinger
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Re: Im sorry

And no taxpayer funded body should EVER be fined, no matter what they do. It should always be someone either losing their job, or going to prison.

In which case, they should get in somebody like you, sunshine. Somebody who's never pressed the return key and thought "oh fuck...". Somebody who doesn't work with insufficient resources, insufficient management support. Somebody so perfect they're never going to make a mistake.

This breach is bad. Somebody should be for the high jump. But proving who is actually at fault is going to be very difficult, so the chances are that a peon like you or me will be the one taking the heat, not the managers who wouldn't pay for it, took a wrong IT management decision, or simply outsourced it to their spivvy mate.

Given that actually murdering somebody only gets you six years chokey these days, how long do you think losing a bit of data is going to merit?

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Who you callin' stoopid? No excuses for biz intelligence's poor stats

Ledswinger
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Re: Inspector Nectar

Lo and behold, I got an offer of 40 Nectar points the next time I bought a copy of the 'I'.

The same with Amazon and most on-line retailers. Particularly for Amazon, given the amount of data they have, and the vast processng power at their command, I marvel at the stupidity of their "recommendations".

If the junk offers from loyalty cards, and recommendations of on-line tat retailers are the height of "Business Intelligence", then I think that we can safely conclude that big data is in fact a big fat blind alley.

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Are state-sponsored attackers poisoning the statistical well?

Ledswinger
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Re: Database Checksums

If financial decisions are going to be made on the data, data integrity is paramount.

In some other universe, yes. But look at how all of Europe is beggaring itself with unaffordable energy policies on the basis of climate "science" based on ropey data (and often intentionally and selectively changed by the high priests of climate change) and even more ropey modelling and projections.

On this basis, the UK is currently on course to build the single most expensive construction on earth, ever (Hinkley Point, for those who've been asleep for a hundred years). The threat of remotely tampered data would appear to be quite modest compared to what the loons have managed simply be changing it by hand.

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Intel loses its ARM wrestling match, kicks out Atom mobe chips

Ledswinger
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"The best thing that financial regulation could do would be to forbid the publication of quarterly results,."

That'll never happen

Already has in London. Listing rules used to require a minimum of half yearly financials, and at least a trading update every quarter, the quarterly updates are now entirely optional. Some companies choose to do this, but there's no requirement, and a company can be compliant with two sets of results a year.

AC is correct that this reduces visibility, and some companies (including one I worked for) can go from boom to bust in less than six months. But quarterly reporting didn't make that any more obvious. If management are clear and communicate well, I don't think anybody will sell out just because there's no quarterly results. If they aren't clear and don't communicate well, would you then trust their more frequent updates?

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Daft draft anti-car-hack law could put innocent drivers away for life

Ledswinger
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Re: Car lobby?

A quick trip to the junk yard and I can buy the missing components for a pittance....

For a car using yesterday's technology yes. But modern cars increasingly use Canbus electrical systems. This controls how things work, and it does stop retrofit of certain parts. So I can buy the car new with LED lights as an expensive option, or Xenon headlights, but if I retrofit the parts (junkyard or brand new from the dealer) the system will as a minimum persistently nag me that I have a failed bulb, or simply refuse to operate the "unknown" piece of kit.

To be fair, there's some considerable upside in the overall package of the best modern cars (safer, faster, more economical, more reliable, more comfortable, less maintenance), but the price of that does appear to be that the owner has less opportunity to tinker. And coming back to the original point, you pay for something, but there's an extra charge to use it.

Another example is the ECU mapping. More than a few vehicles use ECU mapping to offer different performance from the same engine. The buyer of the cheap variants aren't allowed to access the higher performance. On older models you could have the car "chipped" to remap the ECU, but now that's far more difficult as the electronics are more complex and more integrated. You might say that chipping was a bad thing (insurance, emissions, safety) but that's not the issue - I'm just pointing up another example where you pay for something, but you only get to use it if you've paid extra for it to be configured as "on".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Car lobby?

let's cripple the scope for creativity & innovation in the automotive software sector ....

The driver for this is (as you'd expect) money. Even now, there's optional extras that are enabled through software (such as those rather pointless "steering" foglights. My VW group car has foglights, all the necessary sensors and switching, but because I didn't pay for that option, the configuration file has something along the lines of "steeringfoglighten=nicht". Some enthusiasts have hacked the software and it can be made to turn on this facility, and other things that VW want people to pay for. My favourite absurdity is that the rear foglights are in the clusters on eacdh side. But even though the wiring is there, the reflector is there, even a bulb is fitted, the nearside foglight is disabled through software on the cheaper variants.

And the car makers are worried that in future more and more capability will be standard on the car (to reduce component count and production complexity) and enabled or disabled through software configuration. But even though the buyers will have paid for all the parts, if they haven't "paid" for the right to have the capability turned on, the makers want to make sure they can't enable it.

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Google AI gains access to 1.2m confidential NHS patient records

Ledswinger
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Re: The spotting of another iceberg tip

Work makes one free.

You are Ken Livingstone, and I claim my £5.

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Ledswinger
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Re: The spotting of another iceberg tip

Hey! Gnufrontier! Looks like you've caught Amanfrommars1itis. I'll bet the Royal Free can't cure that.

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It's 2016 and now your internet-connected bathroom scales can be hacked

Ledswinger
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Re: I have just realised I now love the IOT despite its pointlessness.

this broken branch of technological evolution

If only it were, mate! The Internet of tat is going to be shoved down our throats with a rough and shitty stick. Sooner of later most domestic routers will be configured to allow IoT devices unauthenticated access (in the name of "ease of use"), and everything we buy will be "cloud enabled".

For the technically literate there will be solutions to this dystopian future, but for the masses.....

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Ledswinger
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Re: only another....

Ah, a waffle man.

No, he's here

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Ledswinger
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Re: What's the worst that could happen?

What's the worst that could happen?

That is the most dangerous phrase in the English language. I'd guess it was probably what the inventors of the atomic bomb said before the first test, when they thought they'd just get a modestly big bang and a crater 100 feet across.

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Ledswinger
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"we just wanted scales to weigh the kids"

Do you have too many to count?

I doubt it. At 45 minutes plus 20 minutes per pound he'll need to know their weight.

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UK's GDS to hire 300 folk. Silver lining: They'll be evicted from Holborn

Ledswinger
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Re: "last year it won £450m to deliver savings of £3.4bn during this Parliament"

Wow!! With that kind of return....

Out of boredom, a few months back I tried to round up all of the "<insert problem here> costs the British economy X billion pounds a year and if we invested Y we could solve that problem" statements I could find. All the usual stuff - government incompetence, environmental harms, congestion & transport, energy, health, housing etc.

I gave up the exercise when a relatively brief set of problems gave a supposed avoidable cost to the UK totalling about half of GDP.

But it doesn't matter. The civil service conjure up business cases on made up numbers, ministers make sweeping decisions to waste billions on daft projects (HS2, smart meters, Hinkley Point C, etc), and the National Audit Office weep and beat their brow.

Talking of which, I hold NAO in quite high regard, but imagine what a Sisyphian task it is! Time after time after time the poor blighters of NAO dissect yet another misbegotten, wasteful, inefficient, bungled idea, pointing out the failure, the waste, the flaws, and the lessons that should be learned. But they never are. I would guess that NAO is a living hell for accountants and analysts, who see their good work ignored time and again. If the Buddhists are right, then the explanation must be that every NAO employee was a prison camp guard or torturer in a former life.

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Ledswinger
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Might have less time to comment on El Reg though.

Why? The incremental "work" of your GDS post surely isn't going to be more than a few minutes a day.

Altogether now:

We're busy doing nothing, working the whole day through,

trying to find lots of things not to do....etc

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Revealed: The revolving door between Google and the US govt – in pictures

Ledswinger
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Oh go on then!

Let's be evil, because that's where the money is.

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E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians

Ledswinger
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Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

This is all very very new so ....

...somebody should have to walk in front of vaping pedestrians with a red flag. And pedestrians using phones. Or thinking..that's particularly dangerous - who knows what they might invent? And what about electric cars? The only long term evidence base is milk floats, so we'd better restrict Teslas (again, walking pace, man with red flag). Ebola drugs! They've not been tested, we'd better have twenty long term randomised large scale tests.....

Lusty, man, GET A GRIP!

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise: Wanna walk the plank voluntarily? You got it

Ledswinger
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Your comment has what to do with this story?

If I might answer for the original poster, everything.

HPE leach jobs and skills from the public (and corporate) sector. For HPE to make money they have to operate at lower cost, so the usual "value" lever is to get rid of TUPE victims and heap their work on the increasingly small band that remain. Ultimately that's never enough, so the jobs get sent to crappy third world locations that provide poorer service and productivity, but do so cheaply per arse-on-seat.

The government's role in this is their idiotic role over decades of signing free trade deals without "balance of trade" clauses. So when DoH outsource payroll jobs to Steria, or DWP outsource IT to HPE, who then move them to South Africa, India or wherever, the UK jobs disappear, the demand for the administrative, systems and mangement skills reduces, and the exchequer lose employee and and employer payroll taxes.

When government, or a company use an offshore provider, they import the labour. When you import things, you have two options - export an equivalent amount of work, assets or services. Or just borrow and hope that the problem goes away, or rather that you'll have retired on a fat public sector pension before it all goes badly wrong. Guess which successive governments have done?

So that's why offshoring is mostly evil, and why government has a central role. At the very least, they should apply the same payroll taxes to imported labour as they foist on UK employers. If HPE were paying employer's NI, and obligated to pay a decent pension to offshore workers, and employ them under UK conditions, I suspect the financial case for offshoring would disappear.

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Google Loon balloon crash lands in Chile

Ledswinger
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Re: Thornton's Special Toffee

The cat then spins and you have no need for a balloon.

What about the 1,400 Jack Russells? Ghastly little vermin. And their owners.

And there's another flaw in the be-staticed cat plan. From the sort of altitude they'd be falling, temperatures would be minus 20 or so. And the forces that would neutralise the cat-static are associated with a convection cell, so we're talking about cat-hail. A sodden cut will be about, what?, 4kg? It'd be like a rain of frozen chickens.

That's going to fuck a whole of stuff. And you'd need more than an umbrella if you're out.

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Ledswinger
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Re: tie thier tails together

Less reliance on assumption and more on the behaviour of one's balls when excited by the Van Der Graaf Generator would stand every young lad in good stead.

When I was taught physics (a real, old fashioned O level, none of your GCSE piffle) I recall the esteemed teacher, Mr Astwood standing class twerp (Lusher) in a plastic dustbin, with a hand on the VdGG. Lusher had long hair, which obliging stood out in perpendicular lengths from his heat, making him look a proper freak. After this successful demonstration of static to the class's immense joy, Mr Astwood gained further credibility by demonstrating lightning, by instructing the other class twerp (Wardle) to give Lusher a hand climbing out of the bin. All with his traditional caustic commentary.

You don't get lessons like that these days.

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Ledswinger
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Re: tie thier tails together

The correct method is to rub each cat's fur vigorously with an ebonite rod

The ascending balloon will encounter charged particles that will eventually counteract the be-staticed cats, causing them to lose charge and fall off. For reasons of balance you'd be obliged to use a mix of dogs as well, because everybody's heard of it raining cats and dogs, but nobody has ever heard of it JUST raining cats.

But, if you're no good knotting cat tails, rather than complicated electrical ideas that also need you to procure an additional 1,400 Jack Russells, the best solution is surely silicone mastic? With a shear strength in excess of 6kg/cm^2 for 0.24mm thickness on a good substrate, one tube carefully applied would hold all 1,400 cats (subject to the substrate's own strength). And that's 3M premium marine grade sealant, so it'd still be within spec at temperatures down to -40C, so you'd probably be OK up to 10km of altitude. And it'll be waterproof, so if it rains the only worry is the greater weight of cats.

And if that doesn't work, you could try Thornton's Special Toffee, which has world class shear strength and adhesion, proven by its ability to rip out fillings and pull teeth from sockets. But it might become a bit brittle at altitude, or be weakened by rain.

What on earth are they teaching in schools today?

Creative problem solving?

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Ledswinger
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and I'm sure there would be some structure needed to actually hold all those cats.

Errr, no? Just tie their tails together, and the uppermost cat can hold onto the balloon with its claws. And that's probably why the gas came out of this one and it came down.

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What do you call an old, unpatched and easily hacked PC? An ATM

Ledswinger
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You don't f***ing say?

criminals can potentially install a specially programmed microcomputer (a so-called black box),

Without wishing to be too accusatory, this is The Reg. And you've published an article containing this gem. Do you think our average knowledge and intellect is somewhere around that of the average Daily Mail/Mirror reader?

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IBM says no, non, nein to Brexit

Ledswinger
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Re: £1 in every 10 to the local economy

If, as a country, we don't care about closing the loopholes, then it's about time we stopped whining about them.

I think you'll find that "we" the population at large do care. Its successive idiots in government (of all colours) and in HMRC who have cut sweetheart deals, failed to enforce existing rules on transfer pricing, and failed to simplify the tax code to prevent abuse.

I'm doing my bit - I haven't voted for a party that has won a national election for about thirty years.

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Ledswinger
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£1 in every 10 to the local economy

Proposed translation: Tech companies like IBM suck 90% of the value out of the local economy, before funneling that 90% through complex tax avoidance schemes to the benefit of their US shareholders and avoid paying corporation tax on the grounds that compliance with the spirit of the law is only optional for big wealthy multinationals

Although if your dad was a wealthy, tax dodging City barrow boy, then tax is also optional for your inheritance, to judge by the fine example Cameron has set.

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US intercepts Bermuda Triangle bubble podule

Ledswinger
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Re: This definitely does sound inherently unsafe.

They should have used a chopper's downdraught to blow him back to shore. He'd have had a ride like being inside a washing machine, and after half an hour being tumbled in a mix of salt water and vomit he might have started to realise there's a downside to being a knob end.

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Remain in the EU and help me snoop on the world, says Theresa May

Ledswinger
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Re: What does it say about a country that wants to leave EHCR?

I'm sure it is not 'ideal' but to actually have the aim of removing that protection from your own citizens?

I must say that we seemed to have one of the world's best justice systems and top tier civil liberties long before EHCR. The way some people are prattling on, I could conclude they think that the European courts are the only thing between them and breaking rocks in a Scottish gulag.

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What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

Ledswinger
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Re: But just how much of the fines has actually been collected?

But just how much of the fines has actually been collected?

We did this a while back. The answer is about 70%. Problem is that the people who do pay up are usually those who didn't intend to breach the law, and those who intentionally flout the law are the fly-by-nights who the ICO is unsuccessful in collecting from.

Closing down a company to avoid a debt or fine would count as fraud. It isn't the ICO's skill set or duty to chase non-payers, but what they should do, but apparently don't is report the non-paying "shut-downs" to the Insolvency Service and the police, as it is their job to address these situations.

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El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse spared chickpea ordeal

Ledswinger
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I'm here for a good time, then i'll die.

And commenting round here counts as a good time in your planned Life of Selfish Indulgence?

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Ledswinger
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Still, I've lost half a stone. That will help with my diesel usage.

If you're living on pulses, perhaps you could capture your own methane, and drive on that. Of course, it won't help until you put in a proper engine. You know, a spark ignition one.

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Jaron Lanier: Big Tech is worse than Big Oil

Ledswinger
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Re: Employment: well, yes and no.

I think some people have the idea that industrial automation means no people are needed.

I doubt many people thought that. Most, I would posit, believe that automation means far, far fewer people are needed. Orders of magnitude fewer. And they're right. Nissan recently declared that they had beaten the level of 100 cars per employee per year at their Sunderland plant. That's not because car's are simpler to build or have fewer parts, it's down to automation (and automation of the process engineering). The same applies to everything from food processing to sewage treatment, with processes that can operate automatically and be monitored by machines. Places that formally buzzed with employees can now operate without the lights on.

You're right that when maintenance is needed or things go wrong, the machines have to call a meatsack. But looking at the trends, for how much longer?

Western countries foolishly outsourced their industry to China is a bid to save money and pretend they didn't pollute. The outcome has been fewer jobs, and vast volumes of debt (where these Western countries consume more than they create, and have to borrow the difference). Now, the same idiot governments are looking to "embrace automation", and get rid of even more jobs without thinking whether this is a good thing. A balanced level of automation is a really, really good thing. But who, for one moment thinks we'll see balance?

I work for a company that operates a lot of call centres. These are expensive and customer satisfaction is low. The solution all call centre operators have is on-line self service - automate the process, get the customer to do it themselves. That's process automation. But what of the one million UK call centre employees, and the quarter of a million that support them? They won't be writing SCADA code, or maintaining machines. What will they do for a job?

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What the world needs now is... not disk drives

Ledswinger
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Re: SSD outrageous premium

Unless significant performance increases come in the near future

For what purpose? Admittedly in the "enterprise" market where corporate IT procurement buy whatever low performing shit is cheap there's a need for more performance to counteract their cheap spec and corporate bloatware. But in the personal user space I've not seen the ghastly spinning circle for years.

Any corporate IT types reading this may care to reflect on the contempt their users have for them. But if you want to pay me to watch a crap graphic of a spinning circle to save a trivial amount on your low spec IT hardware, you feel free.

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