Re: Couldn't get some with a pocket full of 50s in a cat house
RadioShack is still one of the strongest brands on the planet
Which planet? Doesn't seem to be this one:
3665 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012
RadioShack is still one of the strongest brands on the planet
Which planet? Doesn't seem to be this one:
"..if I hadn't had a profit since 2011, I wouldn't of left it 4 years before closing the unprofitable stores."
Ahh, but you've not put yourself in the seat of the managers and directors of Radio Shack, have you? Firstly, this bankruptcy tells us that the majority of the stores were not viable as part of a large company selling yesterday's products. So they were onto a loser already. But by eeking it out for another four years, they've had another four years of fat executive salaries (and bonuses), whilst the company has stayed afloat most likely by leeching off the shareholder's equity.
If the directors had been fully aligned with shareholder's interests, they'd have closed the lossmaking stores many years back, and either taken a (probably doomed) gamble on a new image and new product range, or settled for a progressive and controlled shut down of the business so that the shareholders could have got some cash back.
The best that might be said of the board is that they perhaps hoped that "something would turn up" to revive the company's fortunes. The worst is that they perhaps knew that the current model would end in bankruptcy and the loss of most employees jobs, but simply kept the plates spinning because they were earning plenty of money. So last year, the CEO trousered $2.4m in cash, and share options (now worthless unless he sold them) of $6.3m. In 2014 the board agreed that to retain this man's stellar talent, he should be paid a "retention bonus" of a further half a million dollars if he stayed until 1 March 2015.
Looks to me like Radio Shack is a beautiful example of agency theory in action.
"Hard drives must surely be one of the biggest costs for a company like Twitter, but how do they write off their value?"
Think how you'd do it. You'd capitalise the up front costs of a new DC, or a large expansion of racks including the HDDs, but then the replacement ones you'd treat as a revenue expense because individually they'd be below the de minimus for capitalisation in most companies, because they're only one component of the value creating asset (even at blade server level the HDD is a small value, replaceable part. And because once you're up and running for more than a few months, the HDD replacements will settle down to a steadyish renewal cost (assuming no bad batches of HDD).
But, having said that, HDD's will be a tiny part of the costs of web services. The biggest bill is the capital data centre build (including land, civils, electricals, racks, servers, UPS, accomodation, security etc etc), and the biggest operating cost is the energy bill (servers, facilities, air con to dump the server heat), and possibly (depending on the business model) the data and comms connection charges.
"Openreach made 711million euros profit off of 5.2billion euros revenue in 2013, which is a pretty decent ratio"
It's a bloody marvellous ratio for a de facto monopoly.
"Wait, didn't there used to be a legal process somewhere in there before the 21st century?"
Exactly: So last century.
But I'll give the lying clown full credit for his sense of humour in claiming that this will "confer no new powers". Are Australian parliamentarians sufficiently weak, servile, dishonest and stupid enough to vote for this nonsense?
"It's not working by itself, no need to repeal."
Au contraire, it's working a treat at creating even more of a European style welfare & entitlement culture, and a Democrat spending counterbalance to the Republican's military-industrial complex.
So the healthcare and insurers will lobby with hundreds of millions of dollars for their interests, the military industrial likewise, and Wall Street as ever will be corruptly hoovering up the remaining third of the economy. Curiously this leaves the US economy with three pillars of welfare, defence and corruption. You'll notice that this excludes the real economy of employing productive workers to make or grow things, but it's been tried a number of times the world over (for example the Soviet Union), and it works just dandy for the 1%, just not for the masses. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 1% of that society got richer rather than poorer.
"There's bound to be some of the richest excuses we have ever heard about this one"
You, sir, are an optimist. They've made all their excuses and apologies already. The CIO and a flunky "responsible" for IT security will eventually be hung out to dry (though the CIO might get lucky and be paid off handsomely, because that's what happens to incompetent executives).
The rest of the board will sit there like the three wise monkeys, wringing their hands. But given the now rather long history of data breaches at major corporations (as far back as 2006 for a major US healthcare body, IIRC) the whole board are accountable. The audit committee for failing to audit the financial risk of data breach, for failing to audit the systems security. The nominations committee for failing to appoint competent officers or directors. The whole board for failure to adequately question, challenge, test, and resource the IT function.
All the directors and officers (1) of Anthem should be dismissed with prejudice, every worthless, lard arsed, over-paid, irresponsible one of them.
(1) For UK readers, in the US "directors" means what we normally refer to as "non-executive directors", and "officers" means what we refer to as "executive directors". I wasn't suggesting that all of Anthem's employees were given the boot.
I'd agree. But I'd have liked it if the Reg article had actually done more to explain how they've done it, in terms that the IT-savvy layman can understand.
Bollocks to 4G. I'll pay exactly the sort of price Samsung would like people to pay (£550 or so) if they add one new feature: One week battery life.
All the rest of the stuff that masquerades as progress, like faster processors, pixel upgrades on cameras, 4k screens, customer skins, smart fridge interfaces, 3D holography..... all that shit I don't give a tinker's cuss about. But what I want is a nice smartphone that can't go more than a few hours from a mains connection.
FFS, is it THAT difficult?
"FWIW the proletariat rarely seems to care as long as there is food and drink on the table and "Dschungelcamp" on the telly."
Fair enough. Perhaps I was alone in labouring under the misapprehension that Germans were paranoid about surveillance due to the history.
Two options, TRT:
1) Tear along the perforations (you never know, the innovation might catch on)
2) Use two sheets where the holes don't coincide (the "grater" could be a far more efficient means of scraping off clag, saving entire rain forests from being sawn down, pulped, and used for bottom wiping).
"The argument is flawed."
No, your argument is though. Google is not essential. Maybe some people can't comprehend a world pre-Google, but I can assure everybody that the world still turned, important things like "fire" and "water" still worked, famine was neither more nor less common, and people happily went to their graves without knowing or caring about a US advertising placement company with a silly name.
There were adequate search engines before Google, there are adequate alternatives now, and there will be new ones when Google have made themselves obsolete. Google declare their T&Cs, if people don't care enough to read them then that's no different to what most people do when they sign credit card or mobile phone agreements - they choose not to read the small print.
As far as I can see all of this concern arises because most people don't read tech company T&C. But this is called "free will". Is it the responsibility of any supplier to tattoo the contract or T&C on the back of each customer's hand? Or is it something that as responsible adults, customers have to accept that they either read the T&C and act accordingly, or they take the service and endure whatever conditions the supplier chooses?
"Allowing the likes of Facebook to change the terms of a deal after it has been made is surely a market failure."
Why? The original agreement didn't oblige you to take the service in perpetuity, nor Facebook to provide the service on the same basis in perpetuity. Credit card and insurance companies (as but two examples) routinely change their T&C, and send me a dull leaflet by donkey post. If I want I can read the leaflet (few do), and if I don't like the changes I can take my business elsewhere, and the same applies for tech company notifying users that the T&C have changed.
There's great enthusiasm amongst regulators to identify and "fix" market failures. In reality the situation is usually that the market is working just fine, but the regulators (or their political masters) don't like the market outcome. A classic case is fuel poverty and cold homes. That's the market working just dandy, in that demand is the desire for a good backed by the ability to pay, and price elasticity of demand is where demand decreases in some ratio as price increases. So pensioners living in cold homes is the energy market working as it should, and the problem that needs fixing is a failed welfare state. But its always easier to scream "market failure", blame the wicked capitalists, and come up with some poorly designed cludge to address the symptom.
"my data would be used for the public good only, and not for private profit."
How would that happen? Some companies can handle big data to generate insights, but there's no evidence that any private sector body does that. Moreover, in terms of new health treatments, those are almost exclusively privately developed on a commercial basis - if only the NHS and selected university researchers have this data, then there may be some early stage discoveries, but nothing new will come to market.
What is actually needed is exactly what you say you are opposed to - private access to this data, but it needs to be accompanied by (1) profit sharing with the owners of the data (in the UK, effectively an additional discount to the NHS, perhaps), (2) proper governance and oversight of access and use (which is data protection, not some limp wristed BMA medical ethics oversight), and (3) severe personal and corporate punishments for mis-use or lack of care in handling the data.
"I want the government to have access to the data they legitimately need to defend me against terrorism. "
And what access would that be? They didn't defend anybody on 9/11, 7/7, at the Boston Marathon, at Glasgow Airport, they didn't stop Charlie Hebdo, they didn't protect Lee Rigby, they didn't stop the famed underpant bomber, they didn't stop shootings in Canada, they didn't stop the Madrid bombings etc etc. In the UK, off duty police officers and military personnel (including junior cadet forces) are advised not to wear uniform off duty because our government have evidently already ceded the streets to extremists.
So how exactly do you think that government will use your or my data to protect everybody from "terrorism"? They seem to think that terrorists send emails saying "Dear Abdul, hope you're well and family are good. Had good time on recent holiday to Syria, Mulla Omar sends his best. Please conduct suicide bomb and gun attack against Downing Street, on Jan 14th 2015, best regards, Abu Hamza."
I'd accept there's people they do want to track. But they already have all the powers they need by simply making the case to a magistrate. Instead they simply want to have access to everything on everybody because they are lazy and incompetent. The best way government can reduce the risk of terrorism here is to stop the endless dabbling in the politics, feuds and wars of Middle East sh*tholes, not by being able to read my email, and creating an archive in perpetuity of my grumble-browsing.
"Maybe O2 just sold the data?"
Or swapped it for some reciprocal access with a third party ("you spam our customers, we'll spam yours"). Or they've used some tosspot third party emailer marketeer, that outfit have lost or sold the data, but haven't 'fessed up to O2.
O2's greatest crime so far is their high handed denial in the face of apparently overwhelming evidence that there is a problem.
"Maplin is doing very nicely actually. In the black and making a profit."
Depends which Maplin you mean. Maplin Electronics Ltd has seen profit before tax steadily decrease from £55m a year five years ago to £21m last year. But I'll give you that's still a profit. But what's going on with the rampant expansion into large stores and low footfall locations? And £21m on capital employed of around £273m is adequate rather than impressive is it not?
A more problematic aspect is that Maplin Electronics Group Holdings Ltd (that owns Maplin Electronics Ltd) hasn't made a profit in five years, the losses before tax have ballooned from £40m to a frankly impressive £282m loss. A cynic could conclude that either there's some world class chicanery in the accounting or that Maplin as a business isn't really making money. The demise of Radio Shack doesn't bode well, and neither does the tumbleweed strewn aisles of my local Maplin store,rather prophetically located in the building that one played host to Blockbuster.
"So what are Radio Shack's leaseholds worth?"
Presumably around $535m + 50% so far as Standard General are concerned. But I wonder who will be fighting to take up those leases? Like Europe, the US is desperately over-supplied with retail sites, and possibly SG have made a very bad bet.
"After a few hours fruitlessly and painfully trying to reach the bed, the toilet or the feeding hatch, the victims always confess."
This is why Jordan use BS1363 fittings (plus the fact that US and European plugs are sh*te).
"Make a clean break, Adobe; stop playing with that thing, and just kill it."
Why would they do that, when they make money from it? Having failed to invest in a secure solution thus far, they won't be doing so now, as HTML5 slowly eats their customer base. And the result is the lingering death that we continue to see. I think that will continue for several years yet, unless the exploits become corporate. A few unlucky grumble chasers getting their PC's owned won't persuade the world to move on. If a couple more Target-style data breaches occur that were linked to Flash, or a Sony Pictures style intrusion, then the corporates will start uninstalling Flash. When they're not paying then Adobe will have no revenues, "support" will end, and Flash can be put where it belongs, in a shallow grave.
" If she doesn't already have one, the 14th of February might give you an excuse to buy her a tablet."
My long experience of buying distaff side gifts tells me that an infinitesimal proportion of the female population would welcome a tech gift on that date. As an "out-of-the-blue" gift on a non-special day she'll be surprised and appreciative, but for birthdays and Valentines you may only be earning two weeks of bad tempered glaring and door banging. Stick to romantic meals, surprise weekends away, carefully chosen clothing, chocs and flowers. And just give her the tablet for the sake of it.
"That's a little harsh. What about everyone else who lives in San Jose?"
In this case I'd say they were an unfortunate but acceptable degree of collateral damage. Just like NATO and the Taliban both think of Afghan wedding parties.
"Cant see how Carphone Warehouse would be able to crack into that equipment supply chain though."
They are assuming that there will be an aftermarket in IoT sims. Obviously the equipment makers will be looking to do deals with the networks for the OEM supplied sim, but CPW must be reasoning that the sims will be user-swappable, and that the market will be the same sort of model as that applying to contract phones (the contract handset model, rather than the contract sim-only model, I suspect).
As with other posters, I can't see the value for consumers of most of the IoT, nor that the contract model will match contract mobiles, but CPW's logic will be driven by the myth of large numbers. So their strategists will be saying "by 2025 each of the UK's 23m homes will have an average of four IoT devices that could be mobile network connected. If we can get 7% market share then we will be selling over 6m additional contracts, and over a two year contract life that's 3m per year, which is about three times what we sell at the moment".
"it always amazes me that the US folks still use sq/foot."
As does the UK property and retail sectors, who routinely quote property sizes in square feet, and talk about sales per 000 square feet. Even in Ireland, where they went metric with far more gusto, the retail sector still talk in sales per square foot.
"Book2park CEO Anna Infante said it recently had security experts remove a malicious file."
Let's remember that this is a parking company, whose business model is employing minimum wage oiks to wander round car parks doing nothing, other than sticking the occasional penalty notice on some criminal who's overstayed. And the private equity firms and infrastructure investors who buy parking companies, they don't give a sh*t about customers either - it's just a business model that amounts to legalised extortion due to limited opportunities for new entrants.
This isn't a business model that commands respect, or that employs many white collar professionals, and I'd guess that the IT department is one man and his dog (and no matter how skilled and committed he might want to be, he's not going to get the resource to do a proper job).
The ideal solution is to use cash when you park, so that the cretinous companies who run car parks don't have your card details in the first place, but that's a problem with airport parking, where you have to book in advance. And that's why the crims targeted these specific companies, because airport parking customers have to use their cards, which makes the data breach even more damning.
"Is Bosch a charity-charity or an IKEA-charity ?"
It's not a fake charity for the purposes of tax dodging. 8% of the shares are held by (again, IIRC) the descendants of Robert Bosch, and I'll daresay that makes them stinking rich, but overall the structure and purpose of the whole Bosch group and foundation make the Co-op and John Lewis look like wicked capitalist pig dogs:
Uber may claim to be "not for profit", but I doubt its founders are working for the fun of it. On the other hand, if my memory serves me correctly, 92% of the Bosch group is owned by the Robert Bosch Foundation, which is a charitable foundation set up to promote and encourage manufacturing and engineering. Whilst true to its German roots, it now takes a more European perspective, which is why Bosch power tools tend to be made either in Germany, or in the nearer realms of Eastern Europe, rather than outsourced to the cheapest OEM in Asia. And Bosch haven't forgotten the UK, with Worcester boilers now under the Bosch umbrella, lawnmowers manufactured in Suffolk, and a range of other activities going on for the Bosch Rexroth automation business.
Personally I'd rather other companies tried to be more like Bosch, rather than Bosch wanting to be more like other companies.
"Pay it straight to the debt"
A pointless sticking-plaster exercise until governments start living within their means and are regularly running a balanced budget. Whilst conceptually simple, there is the unresolved problem that governments and their civil administrations everywhere are formed of the dishonest and the retarded, meaning that running a balanced budget has a probability similar to that of hell freezing over.
"Given IBM's divestiture in all things profitable, why any investment firm or stock speculator would voluntarily invest with IBM now is completely beyond me."
When your central bank is lending to Wall Street at 0%, has socialised all past losses, why wouldn't an investment firm invest in a loss making blue chip? If the losses are small but not business destroying, then you stuff it to the pension funds and retail investors who you're supposedly investing for. If the losses threaten to wipe you out, you go and cry to the government, and they wipe away your tears, and stick the public for your losses.
This has been such a success for the taxpayers on Main Street that the UK's central bank did the same thing, and Europe are just starting on the same route. That Japan ended up in perma-recession after doing this in the early 1990's has eluded the architects of these stupid policies.
"Tell you what, Ledswinger, lets start appointing CEOs based on looks"
Why not? That's been tried with the white causcasian male contingent by many US corporations, and it turned out that the ugly and the handsome had equal quotients that were utterly incompetent, so we might as well settle for the less painful to look upon (let's enjoy that form of discrimination until it too is banned). Wouldn't you rather we had a few Chippendales in Parliament? Lets face it, they couldn't be any more more inept than the grizzled, ugly old farts in there at the moment? And judging by the Labour party, they are positively discriminating against nice looking women. Is that what you're in favour of?
"Also, Dorian Gray was famed for being eternally youthful. You may not be saying what you're trying to say."
You have a point, but equally you knew what I meant. And it would have been rather long winded to have said "looks like Dorian Gray's sister's portrait, if he'd had one and she'd had one, respectively.
But anyway, I've decided it's Zelda.
Board executive feast on caviar whilst former employees starve? Where's the news in that?
Of more importance is that picture. Either Ginny is Dorian Gray's sister, or she's an alter ego of Zelda out of Terrahawks.
" 'bought it already' button.....Now THAT feature would be worth millions."
That would depend on the pricing model. John Wanamaker's famous quote about not knowing which half of his advertising budget was wasted applies here. If Google et al charge per eyeball, then they don't care that you've already bought, and such a button would cost them millions, and that's the last thing they want. If they charged for click through and purchase that would be another thing, but since they can't link "online discovery/enquiry followed by offline purchase" scenarios, I can't see that ever coming to be.
Downvoted for "paradigm shift". This isn't Harvard Business Review, mate.
"Got a feeling that somehow we, in Blighty, are going to be picking up the tab for this."
As a general rule not. I've had recall work done on two cars outside of the warranty period for safety related defects, all at the maker's expense. One of those cars was even an EU import, and still swept up in the UK recall programme.
Airbages etc: " only expected to last 10 years anyway? have things changed, do i miss-remember?"
Originally this was all the makers would commit to, and the handbook says to have checked or replaced at that time. I believe that in the light of experience it is now considered that the pyrotechnic components are safe for fifteen to twenty years, with makers changing their recommendations accordingly. Volvo reportedly have bought back second hand cars specifically to test these components, and it seems that the current view is that these bits should last the normal life of the car. That has been an average of 13.5 years in the UK, with very few vehicles over about sixteen years.
"Anybody have any suggestions for getting rich quick or grabbing one of these on the sly?"
Say that you've got no money, and apply for sub-prime auto finance:
"Improving acceleration at that level without touching the hardware? "
But I wonder what Santa Pod launches do for the maximum range? Or for that matter for the battery life & performance. I'd guess there's a shed load of current being sucked through the system to launch a two tonne car to 60 in roughly 3 seconds, and that's going to warm the battery pack up a treat.
"The announcement puts Tesla on course for full UK coverage by the end of 2015."
For rich people that is. What's more your running costs will be free of road tax, fuel duty, paying at best 5% VAT on electricity, with waivers for company car tax and for congestion charges. If you're a corporate fat cat looking for a £50-80,000 status symbol, this is for you.
The rest of us mere mortals will have to continue to pay to use the roads, and indeed to maintain them for Tesla drivers.
"'IF' the official did everything correct and they're encrypted then there's no problem is there?"
Lets, think..... YES. FFS YYYEEESSSSSSS THERE IS SOMETHING FUCKING WRONG!
If the individual has followed an approved protocol, they may be in the clear. But for the MoJ, pointing to the post office and saying "they lost it" is no excuse. They had the fucking data, they've lost it. Doesn't matter if they gave it to a tramp, to a motorbike courier, a postman, or a passing tinker, the wankers of the MoJ have pissed confidential data into the ether. I wouldn't trust donkey post for confidential material, why should the clowns at MoJ?
What's wrong with encryption and electronic transmission? The whole idea of taking digital data, burning to optical, and sticking in a post box is imbecilic for any organisational data, but there's a further implication about data security here, and that is that flunkies at the MoJ have the facility to export large volumes of data (which shouldn't be possible) and evidently without any effective audit and control (which is unforgivable).
Head should roll, and they shouyld be at the very least the head of IT for the MoJ, the head of IT security at MoJ, and whoever authorised the sending of this data by post. Of course, that won;t happen, and they'll continue to accrue an over-generous pension despite their incompetence.
"so these 3rd party suppliers of screening programs etc are private companies..."
A bit like most GP practices, then.
It's always a joy to hear the hypocrites of the Labour party spouting off about the virtues of the "public sector" NHS, when first line contact is about 95% through private contractors, who in addition to enjoying the wildly generous "loadsamoney for not much work" GP contract that Blair's administration signed, also normally charge their own premises back to the NHS, and earn fat bonuses for letting actual NHS staff use the surgery for other health service delivery.
Just as well for the Labour party that the vast majority of the UK population have as their religion "NHS", but actually know jack shit about how the system is organised, delivered or funded.
"I do feel we need to bring in more, numpty's, pillocks and twonks."
And scrotes. Plenty of scrotes in anything to do with the public sector and IT.
"Does it not want people to figure out what its true "Cloud" revenue really is or be able to track it like most Cloud providers do?"
Speaking as somebody who has managed teams to analyse and track listed companies by their newsflow and public disclosures, I can assure you that the OP is correct. Most large US tech corporation go out of their way to obfuscate their divisional business performance right up the absolute limits required by SEC segmental reporting requirements.
Anybody who thinks that they can really get useful information from a 10-k usually doesn't understand much about the underlying operations, nor the range of information that you'd need to meaningfully analyse the specific operations. And that is both because the officers and directors wish to be able to hide bad news from shareholders, and because they don't wish to give away information to competitors.
"Perhaps it is out of the goodness of IBM's managers' hearts,"
More likely they are smart enough to have long ago recognised that your biggest security threat is always your own people. Whilst the vast forces of the NSA, FBI and CIA may claim that the Norks hacked Sony Pictures, the damage would appear to be sufficiently thorough that an aggrieved (current or former) insider seems far more likely.
Getting rid of people is often bad for both sides, but if both sides at least agree that the split was handled as well as it might have been (eg by a bag of cash for employees being shown the door), then they generally don't seek to cause further harm afterwards.
"Except for that whole public-sector union thing."
Actually, in the case of the tribal leaders that head each department, it's not a union as such, it's the First Division Association (a title both laughable and arrogant in equal measure). And it's not so much a union as a club for the most useless Oxbridge and public school alumni to scratch each others back. They wouldn't want their most incompetent club members sacked, because, Lord forbid!, that might set a most unpleasant precedent of getting rid of people who were jointly devoid of either fault or use.
"Phuket? Oh, the Ph=P, the u=oo and the k=g, and the t=d. Get it?"
Yes, but it smacks of carelessness. Since they are writing a Thai name in the Latin alphabet, why translate Poog-ed into the wrong letters? Unforgivable, unless it was simply done to confuse the foreigners.
"Sunset industry....I've worked for both mobile operators and equipment vendors. I want out"
Why? If you've got skills and experience you should be in demand, even if not in demand by the established oligopolists. I too work in an industry (energy) where old business models are under continuous assault, where new entrants enjoy a tilted playing field, and where former incumbents believe they are under attack. Factor in (currently) falling energy demand, government regulation, and it too looks like a sunset industry. But that's rubbish - its never been such a vibrant and exciting industry - huge technological change, misguided political meddling, unsustainable "eco" policies that will have to change, new competitors, vast investment left right and centre, significant multi-billion pound problems still to be addressed, new energy products coming to market all the time. There's the impending change to electrified transport that'll reshape demand curves, and possibly the widespread introduction of heat pumps which will change demand further, electricity storage, local micro generation, etc etc.
Coming back to your sector, until somebody demonstrates telepathy, the situation is similar. The need for telecoms is going to grow and grow, and even if prices are falling, that means new, more competitive business models are needed, new approaches to technology, new ways of merging fixed line and wireless in ways that benefit both (and customers). There's all the changes that IoT will bring, in both demand for connectivity, and in new uses, there's the need for faster delivery of LTE, every prospect of OFGEM's new boss deciding to do things differently. And in both energy and telecoms, the companies driving change are doing so to make money - and if they're making money, you could be part of that.
If you're thinking that Tesco's shelves are beckoning, take a day out (chuck a sicky if need be), and write down all that's happening in the industry. What are the long term trends and what do they mean in terms of both threat, but more importantly opportunity? Who's eating who's cake? Who's growing? Who's been in the news, and could that mean job opps for you? What skills do you have that are important in this big picture? Who's got problems that YOU could help solve? Who would you LIKE to work for? Can you spot the organisations that maybe haven't yet made a move in the telecoms sector, but have positioned themselves to do so? Are there new entrants with an unstoppable proposition, and how can you climb on board their bandwagon? Where have your former colleagues go on to better things, and can they help you directly, or offer wise counsel on what you need to do?
Your glass really ought to be at least half full.
"Dropping Windows 10 support for them will help push them out of the ecosystem and raise the baseline."
It might do, but since the growth in emerging markets is where Microsoft need to succeed, I'd have thought that W10 will have to run on cheap hardware, unless they want the locals to buy cheap Nokiasofts only because they have to, but to aspire to own just about any other brand when they have the money.
And that's because although I'm sure WP8 is a competent phone OS, if Microsoft have a reputation for offering developing markets last year's products, then they will earn themselves a reputation for cultural imperialism that won't do them any good.
"You can have unbreakable encryption, Internet anonymity and the like. But you can't have that with tracking down Internet crooks. Something has to give."
You, sir, have missed the point. Most of us don't object to state surveillance. We object to state surveillance without oversight, and without a judge's warrant.
"They do have the originating IP, so they could try and track that back."
The IP could have been easily spoofed, but even if not the chances are they'd point to some sucker's domestic PC recruited as part of a botnet, which in turn communicates with a C&C server in another country which may or may not be host to the vermin behind this. I've plenty of sympathy for the DS quoted, because he's technically outgunned, and unsupported by the people who could and should provide him with the resources to track down the perpetrators.