* Posts by Ledswinger

4578 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

US Marine Corps to fly F-35s from HMS Queen Lizzie as UK won't have enough jets

Ledswinger
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we only go to war these days when the US tells us to

Don't worry, Hilary's itching to rain death on Syria, 'cos that's what US presidents do.

And wouldn't it be great if she could have somebody else's carrier at risk rather than USN assets, yet retain full operational control of the military asset?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Sad state of affairs

With the increased threat from Russia

You believe the official line on that then? I did my bit in the Cold War working on military systems, I don't believe for one moment that the Ruskies now pose any real military threat to Europe. The pantomime wars in Georgia and Ukraine are unimportant, but in any event largely a Russian response to US meddling in those countries' politics and ambitions to expand NATO as far east as possible,

Out of curiosity, why this reliance on the US for defence anyway? If Europe really thinks the Russian threat is real, it should pay up and arm up. It has roughly similar GDP to the US, and a larger population to draw on for soldiery. And in fact, Europe's defence budget is about three times that of Russia (€300bn versus €70bn), and has twice the number of active serving personnel. If I were an American tax payer I'd be asking why the US was expecting to keep sorting out wars in Europe.

The only fly in the ointment is the supposed strength of Russia's reserve ground forces, but a large fleet of rusting and out of date tanks doesn't seem to me to alter any of the arguments above, particularly given the state of the art in anti-tank munitions.

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Ledswinger
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The USN had more aircraft over Afghanistan than the RAF

I wouldn't dispute that. But its a bit of a niche case, isn't it? How often do we expect to be attacking impoverished land-locked countries with no functioning government, no modern defences, no international allies, but who are surrounded for hundreds of miles by nations hostile to both them and the West? And unlike 2001, there are now far better ways of loitering, surveying and dispensing death than running vastly expensive combat flights from carriers almost five hundred miles away.

The Yanks didn't dare risk carriers near Libya, they'd be unwise to do so off the coast of Iran if having a another hobby war, and I suspect they'd be pretty circumspect about using them anywhere near Syria. And that's just two third world, failed states, and a country that's been under sanctions for three and a half decades. There's certainly a handful of other occasions when carriers might see use, but in all cases where they might be a viable strike asset, you certainly don't need something as complicated as the F35. If you need the capabilities of the F35, then your adversary certainly has the capabilities to wipe out your carriers rather effectively.

Of course, if the 'Strines (making assumptions from your handle) would like to join the carrier club, I'd invite them to put in a bid for one or both of the QE class carriers. You're planning on buying F35s anyway, why not add to your military bling?

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Ledswinger
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the plane isn't fit for purpose, too expensive, and should've been euthanised long ago

The same is true of the carriers in all honesty. Even the most tin pot of regimes can muster a few medium range anti-ship missiles, which makes carriers vulnerable. Not that much more vulnerable than any comparably sized ship, but if they are the core of your strike force, losing the one is a bit of a problem. Go up against even people like the Iranians or Norks, and they've got patrol boats capable of sneaking around and launching medium or even long range missiles, so that extends the at-risk range (before we consider drones, mines, mini-subs and other cheap solutions. Before you know it you find that air to air refuelling and flying out from a nominally friendly territory is your best option (as with the Libya debacle).

Admittedly a strike force has defensive capabilities. But you'd have to be pretty confident in 100% success to rely on those, given that countries like Argentina and Iraq successfully used near supersonic sea skimming technology against British and American ships three decades ago.

The idea of flying complicated, heavy manned aircraft off of a huge, complex, vulnerable floating platform was great before radar and guided missiles. These days carriers are like battleships in the second world war - hugely impressive, but not really of very much use.

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UK's EE scores network reliability clean sweep, rival dwarves fume

Ledswinger
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Gimp

"one giant toying with three dwarves"

You've seen that vid clip as well?

Can we have an icon for "Aarrghh! I can't unsee that!"

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Universal Credit: 'One dole to rule 'em all' on verge of recovery – report

Ledswinger
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Re: "IT-enabled business changes "

The implementation the usual clusterf**k of no clear idea from the client

But have you noticed the trend:

Defence procurement: Clusterf**k; Rail franchising: Clusterf**k; Transport planning: Clusterf**k; Energy policy: Clusterf**k; Housing policy: Clusterf**k; Hand out of framing grants: Clusterf**k; Health service management: Clusterf**k; Foreign aid: Clusterf**k; HS2: Clusterf**k to be.....etc

What this seems to me to be is evidence that government is essentially incompetent in everything it touches. When I started this post I was hypothesising that this was because government couldn't deal with commercial companies, but when you look at the epic policy fails on energy, transport planning, NHS or foreign aid, there's not that much private sector involvement, it's largely insourced and world class clusterf**kery.

Not that government's incompetence should give private contractors the right to shaft the tax payer, but the solution here is for better project management, where a project can't start without a definitive and final specification, that those specs may not be changed for the sort of trivial reasons that current projects usually do. Write all of this in law, with jail sentences for breach of these rules. And then staff up the procurement team with people who are paid as much as the vendor bid teams, and who have the resource to fully understand the bidder's value model and planned margin, so that we don't have the nonsense of accepting lowest bids that cannot ever be profitable without variation. Indeed, in many respects it is EU Public Procurement rules that encourage this nonsense, by failing to understand that the lowest compliant bid is not always, usually, sometimes the best value. This could be a big opportunity of Brexit, but I very much doubt that British politicians and civil servants will see and seize the opportunity to do something directionally similar, but better. After all, it's not their money they waste.

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Japan's Brexit warning casts shadow over Softbank ARM promises

Ledswinger
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Re: SoftBank vs. Brexit

Every time I hear of these promises all I can picture is Neville Chamberlain stepping out of an aeroplane waving a piece of paper.

If Neville Chamberlain hadn't bought 11 months peace by knowingly accepting The Austrian's false assurances, then Britain would have started the war without the means to defend itself. The limited and unsuccessful BEF mission would have been yet smaller and Germany would have strolled up the French coast even quicker. With no meaningful air power the RAF could not have stopped the Luftwaffe, and Britain would have had to sue for peace in months, on German terms.

It should also not be forgotten that the Labour party vigorously opposed rearmament. Good to see that Corbyn follows his party's mould.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not really comparable

After all the UK just became a backwater.

Well, maybe the Japs should join the EU themselves, if they think its such a stellar deal. Given Japan's dismal growth over the past two and a half decades, and government debt levels that make Britain look solvent, I'd suggest they will fit right in with the remaining EU.

And after Germany has been forced to bail out Greece, then Italy, then the rest of Southern Europe, they could start paying off Japan's debt. Or maybe the German's won't. But how will the Euro and the EU cope with the insolvency of most of its southern half?

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We want GCHQ-style spy powers to hack cybercrims, say police

Ledswinger
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Re: We want GCHQ-style spy powers to hack cybercrims, say police, also..

isn't it usually because the Foreign Office prefers to see Britons being crime victims than do anything that might slightly irritate that jurisdiction even a teeny-weeny bit.

There's not much the FO can do. The crap-hole countries that are mainly in the frame aren't usually big beneficiaries of foreign aid (and even then, that job of wholesale waste of billions rests with DFID), and the FO don't have anything much in the way of weaponry to back threats. The whole point of the FO is that they do tea and biscuit diplomacy, and they do that very well within its limits. But do you think Putin is going to respond to tea and biscuits?

You might think you'd be quite happy to see, for example, Russia completely isolated from international telecoms and financial networks whilst it permits its citizens to do this sort of stuff, but Western governments can't and won't do that because that stops all trade. With most of Western Europe dependent upon Russian gas that'd be a tad inconvenient. And the whole developed world might find something of a problem over oil, as Russia is the second largest exporter. Stopping Russian oil exports would remove 11% of world oil exports, and probably immediately push prices to $200 a barrel, trigger an instant depression in all trade economies. It'd also make Russia insolvent, and I'd suggest bankrupting a thug with nuclear weapons and a large army has additional downsides. More targeted sanctions (eg over Ukraine, noting that as another criminal crap hole host to all manner of cyber crooks) appear to have made their government more, not less belligerent.

So, I agree it would be nice to do something about foreign cybercrooks, but that something isn't going to involve their governments extraditing them.

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When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

Ledswinger
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Taxation is unjust, in and of itself

Whilst correct, it is also essential to any standard of living deemed acceptable in any developed country.

Meanwhile, Apple and the Irish government have risen significantly in terms of nobility.

In your eyes maybe. All the European citizens who have seem Apple willfully dodge paying the prevailing rate of local taxes by what amounts to a barely legal fraud, aided and abetted by the Irish government may think that the arrangements that Apple set up were squalid, dishonest and ignoble.

You may recall that Apple wanted access to (as one example of many across Europe, I daresay) the UK high court in one of its disputes with Samsung. So the funny thing is that in that case, Apple wanted access to the British justice system. Its just that they don't want to pay their share for the rule of law, provision of courts, access to justice and maintenance of IP rights in the UK. My humble opinion on the basis of that and other information is that Apple are socially irresponsible hypocrites, and richly deserve what's coming their way.

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Beautiful, efficient, data-sucking Smart Cities: Why do you give us the creeps?

Ledswinger
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A street light that dims when nobody is around needs a dumb heat/motion sensor, and that's about it. At worst, it might want to know about the nearest few street lights and their motion sensing too, but it doesn't need to know about me, you or anyone else individually, and it doesn't really need to be networked with street lights some miles away.

Actually, from the lighting O&M people's perspective, you wouldn't automate or upgrade highways lighting without networking - local timer or sensor control ALWAYS goes wrong eventually, damaged or defective lights can report themselves, and you can play tricks to save more energy at certain times, as well as responding to any changing needs. Look on a lot of recently upgraded streetlights and you'll see they have what look like a router on them. And that's broadly speaking what it is, using the streetlighting to create a mesh network. You can (if you like the IoT and Smart City ideas) then use that mesh network for a lot of other things.

So if you are doing that smart city thing, by default of course you'd network the lighting. But personally I think this whole smart city thing is dystopian nightmare, dreamed up by those who do indeed think that you can never collect too much data on people.

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London's Francis Crick Institute will house 1,250 cancer-fighting boffins

Ledswinger
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Re: Salford

I suggest that with the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation moving back to its Guardianista roots, you've had your share of pork.

But the point is very valid, that they've spent a truly vast amount on a swanky building in the most expensive, congested sh**holes they could find, although the staff won't be getting the salaries that other London employers could find. And if proximity to the universities is the limiting factor, then move them as well. I'm sure Exeter could have done it cheaper, and 99% of people would have been better off and happier than living in a rabbit hutch and still commuting long distances at high cost in London's smog. Or Norwich. Or Worcester.

Anywhere but the costly squalor of The Smoke.

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Baa NooBaa black sheep, have you any storage?

Ledswinger
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Storage article

< > tumbleweed </>

Sorry. Just saying it how it is.

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Watch SpaceX's rocket dramatically detonate, destroying a $200m Facebook satellite

Ledswinger
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Re: BBC has completed root cause analysis

very little chance of Zuckerberg ogling your arse crack from above.

As you get older you care less about these things, particularly if you're male and smelly. If the Zuckwit wants to film my arse, I really can't get excited about the matter.

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Ledswinger
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QOTW, sir.

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Ledswinger
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Impressive!

THAT is what I call a firework. Hey! You Chinese, with yer gunpowder rockets! See how it is really done.

Elon Musk: The man who knows how to put on a show.

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Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief

Ledswinger
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Re: Dead wrong

Even a series of cockups that might doom a plane may not kill anyone in a car accident.

In the case of engine failure usually not. But the key question is how good self driving cars are at situational awareness, hazard recognition, and how good their choices are. With aircraft you usually find that good design, good operators, and multiple redundancy mean you need a chain of events to cause a fatal accident. With a car, a single erroneous judgement can be enough to cause a death, automated or not.

Automation on the ground is much easier if you have constraints on movements (like rails). My guess is that the future of automated cars lies more in stopping the driver doing certain things, rather than doing everything for him. If you can create urban trackways (Minority Report style) withour pedestrians, with common speeds et al, then you could automate that fairly easily, but I don't see that happening anytime soon for simple reasons of cost.

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Drama in orbit: Brazen UFO attacks Earth's Sentinel-1A satellite

Ledswinger
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Re: Is Sandra Bullock OK?

Being the selfless individual that I am, I volunteer to check her out.

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Tim Cook: EU lied about Apple taxes. Watch out Ireland, this is a coup!

Ledswinger
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Re: Can someone just fill in the blanks for me?

So assuming that's right, what have they been paying British tax payers in terms of corp tax? If Facebook paid less than I did in 2014, wtf did Apple pay?

According to the FT in the past ten years Apple have paid £85m in corporation tax in the UK. ICBA to go back and work out what UK sales have been over the past decade, but I'd hazard a guess that we're talking about something of the order of £20bn. With net margins of around 22% that's say £4.4bn in profit. So at the UK 20% rate, one might surmise they should have paid over £880m in UK taxes.

That's a rough as a bear's bottom, but in order of magnitude terms it will do, and indicates that they paid less than a tenth of what a UK-based company would find itself paying. However, in amongst the finger wagging at the Irish government, it should be noted that this isn't just the Irish government who are complicit - the UK tax authorities have known all along that Apple make far more money here than they pay tax on, but have turned a blind eye to the extremely dodgy transfer pricing, just as they have with Google, Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon and others.

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TalkTalk's appeal against paltry ICO data breach fine thrown out

Ledswinger
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Re: Seriously?

They went to all the hassle of lawyering up to contest a £1000 fine?

In this case that's the biggest fine the ICO can offer for late notification. However, as a general rule, the fines (or "monetary penalties") that UK regulators impose are decided by a range of factors, including a particular consideration of the track record of offenders. If TT can get out of the £1k fine, it will have a bearing on future penalties for next time they screw up. With the ICO only handing out a theoretical maximum £500k fine for major breaches that still doesn't matter. But under the EU GDPR fines could be very serious from May 2018, and that's probably what is being played for here.

The Remainderers will weep and gnash their teeth and say that Brexit means we won't have any protection under GDPR because it probably won't be enforced during the leaving period. In strict terms that's not proven, but even if that is the case I would suggest that the UK government will not wish to have the weakest data protection regime in the developed world (and a system that prevents data transfer from the EU), so a UK act of similar standards is a near certainty.

So for TalkTalk, appealing the penalty makes economic sense, since even the smallest chance of success is worth hoping for.

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Newest Royal Navy warship weighs as much as 120 London buses

Ledswinger
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Re: So no "Patrolly Mcpatrolface"?

Or it could be renamed the "RN Nigel Farage" ...

FFS, man, get a grip! It would be HMS nor "RN", and by the conventions of the Royal Navy it would be called Farage. It's only you bloody Yanks that do that whole name-and-middle-initial shit, as in the USS Elmer D Phud (to be the fourth of the Gerald R Ford class carriers, I hear).

Having said that, we should indeed have an HMS Farage. Launched by Sir Nigel Farage.

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Ledswinger
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the River class was sold to both Thailand and Brazil

The Thai orders weren't for British built vessels, just a licence on the design. The Brazilian sales were a fire sale of a cancelled order by Trinidad. All in all it isn't exactly a glowing commendation of the thing is it? And those were the earlier, cheaper design (circa £150-180m). The batch 2 vessels are reportedly £350m, and for a few pennies more you could have a Blohm + Voss K130. Which has more guns, additionally has torpedoes, anti ship and anti aircraft missiles, mines, and has its own ship-borne drone.

F*** knows what goes through the minds of MoD ship planners, but the pea-brained retards have long forgotten that warships need weapons. Was the same story with every other class of warship the poor beggars of the Royal Navy have had for decades.

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Ledswinger
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she should be good to go around 2030.

Don't worry. That bit about installing complex systems is just journalistic licence. Despite the opportunity to make this a seriously armed small warship, the MoD have worked relentlessly to ensure that in common with most other RN ships of recent years, it will be pathetically under-armed. So, no missiles, no decent guns, no AD radar, no sonar, no depth charges. Whilst it can land a helicopter, there's no hanger and not much prospect of regular chopper operation. Total armament is a couple of machine guns and a single 30mm pop gun. And the range is OK, but speed is PATHETIC. Compare capabilities to an Israeli Sa'ar 5 and weep at the ineptitude of the MoD.

Some will say "it's only an inshore patrol boat". And they'd be right - at the moment, in peace time. But given the tiny number of serviceable big ships the navy have, and the fact that if there's a real war you need all the weapons you can get, it's yet another missed opportunity, and so slow and under-armed that there's no export potential.

My guess is that the "complex combat systems" are two dry wipe boards showing how many rounds the machine guns have left.

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Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

Ledswinger
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The process of moving people and facilities represents a big cost in itself

How? Apple's mythical head office had neither people or facilities.

The more pressing concern is not the past and retrospective taxes, but the future, when Brussels admits defeat on retrospective taxes, and sets the rules for the future....

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Missing Milky Way mass blown away by bingeing supermassive black hole

Ledswinger
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Re: "a million-degree gaseous fog permeating our galaxy"

I wondered where Boris Johnson had disappeared to recently. A million degree gaseous fog seems quite likely.

Ignoring BoJo the Clown for a moment, I'd like to share with you all the fact that I cracked one off this morning, and it was extremely hot to push out, and formed a gaseous fog that caused retching and distaste in all those who enjoyed its short lived but magnificent pungency.

Have the rocket-boffins allowed for the ever-changing miasma from human and alien bottoms? I think that "dark matter" may have a more ordinary explanation.

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Labour's Jeremy Corbyn wants high speed broadband for all. Wow, original idea there

Ledswinger
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Re: "democratise the internet" @Mayhem

but look at Estonia. They have a distributed set of services, all linked by a middleware layer with a unique identity product.

Well, I suggest you go to Estonia. I don't like my government. I don't trust the fuckers. I don't want the obligation to prove I'm me to the fuckwits. And as far as I'm concerned they can shove their middleware up both holes between their second and third buttocks.

Incidentally, on your example of single trenching utilities, that's a bloody stupid idea because you have to dig most/all of the damned things up when there's one fault. I won't outline all of the reasons for that, but the basics are that the most likely to leak are at the lowest layer because they leak.

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Reports: Autopilot will go on strike if you're not paying attention

Ledswinger
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Re: Its all in the name

I look forward to the day when all wetware driven cars have a display on the roof which shows the number of licence points of the current driver.

Meaning nothing. I've no points on my licence and never have been in several decades of driving, and...well, there's nothing you'd be proud of in my history of reckless speed and careless misjudgements. The only thing I could offer the Court of Public Opinion (tm) in mitigation would be that my reckless speeding wasn't in OBVIOUSLY dangerous places, and that I've been out with IAM examiners who've told me that that on THAT occasion I'd have scored an easy pass.

(Not really).

Most certainly not. I wish I was a calmer, more prudent, more patient driver.

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Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all

Ledswinger
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Re: Irish politicians will need to fight this ruling...

Those multinationals wouldn't be in Ireland if they were paying tax at the published rate. That's why they're there.

Actually, the tax discounts are icing on the cake. Predictability, fair property rights, reliable rule of law, a good (?) balance of employee and employer power, acceptable location....

Giving something away to secure inward investment is the rule of the day. Walking away from even a quarter of the €13bn was a foolhardy mistake, and because this is egregious, there's stuff all chance of the Irish government winning in the longer term. They might see off the Apple challenge, but the EU can just ram through new regulations (as opposed to directives) and Ireland's model is doomed. Don't expect the same rules to apply to Luxembourg...

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Ledswinger
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Re: See the needfor US tax reform

The real problem is going to come when other countries decide to compete.....Greece decides that for 500euro it will give any refugee an Eu passport and a flight to Germany?

That'd do bloody wonders for the otherwise intractable issues of Greece's insolvent economy.

Too late now, but you could have patented the idea and taken a cut if you hadn't blabbed in public. And you could have streamlined the model, by having a bidding platform (over an app, natch) whereby the number of passports is restricted (but not much), people smugglers have to pay you, in advance, and report their subsequent successful end to end transfer rate on the app. The transparency ensures fair(ish) play, and better safety, the people smugglers do the collections, and the auction and slightly limited volumes ensure higher prices.

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Ledswinger
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If the Irish just accept this, it's the thin edge of the wedge for ALL of the tax deals they've made,

Of course. That's the EU Commission's intent. Despite the French and Germans being (in their own specific ways) ardently protectionist, they jointly hate the Irish (but bizarrely not the tax haven of Luxembourg (home to one JC Juncker, IIRC), and are delighted by this. Maybe the Irish government should have abided by the first referendum on the Lisbon treaty?

But anyway, the specifics of law, liberty and economics are simply minor, proximate issues -

this is all part of the convergence that the EU project was intended to deliver. You either like that slow but steady erosion of national powers in favour of Brussels or you don't.

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Robot babies fail in role as teenage sex deterrents

Ledswinger
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Was it a randomised trial, or did they just look at existing programmes?

Dunno. But since it was published by the Lancet, I'd be instantly suspicious of the statistical rigour. Why? Andrew Wakefield, that's f***ing why.

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Notting Hill Carnival spycams: Met Police rolls out real-time live face-spotting tech

Ledswinger
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Re: Its a Canival FFS, not a Police Identity Parade. Leave People be.

It was a really run down, area way back.

And now? Average price of a two bedroom apartment is £1.3 million. Which rather puts a different perspective on what this carnival "owned by the locals" actually means.

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Both HPs allegedly axed people just for being old, California court told

Ledswinger
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Re: customers do not like inexperienced people

Customers, especially the big ones, do not like inexperienced sales people

Customers have only themselves to blame. In many cases they outsourced a competent and experienced in-house IT team to save money. Whether they did save money or not is immaterial, what counts is that they put the employees under the control of a third party managing purely to a rather one-sided SLA. They can hardly change the terms of the deal, and say "ooh, we forgot to say that we wanted exactly the same volume of staff with the same depth of experience".

I say the customers get what they deserve. The only people to feel sorry for are the front line staff, treated like sh*t by their former and current employers.

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Corporates ARE sniffing around Windows 10, says Computacenter

Ledswinger
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Re: Corporates will change there O/S only when they have too

Windows XP retirement is a fine example of this

But why did they have to? Because Microsoft were ending all forms of support, most critically updates for Windows anti-virus. Microsoft have learned one lesson from XP: Keep the support lifecycle as short as possible, and ensure that critical updates aren't offered forever.

W7 has now been out of mainstream support for over 18 months, and corporates are having to look at Windows 10 no matter what they would prefer to do.

Turn the table for a moment. You're a senior Microsoft employee, and you're looking to force corporates onto W10. What would you do? I'd make it clear that there would be no critical updates, and no AV or firewall updates beyond 2020. Maybe scare the cattle by letting on about all those zero days floating around on the dark web. Corporates should really be using third party AV and hardware firewalls, but even with those, would you chance running the entire corporate fleet on an unsupported OS with a long and well founded reputation for insecurity?

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New booze guidelines: We'd rather you didn't enjoy yourselves

Ledswinger
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The purpose of advice like this

is evidently to be ignored. If they can't come up with something sensible, then why did they even bother?

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Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

Ledswinger
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Re: Tesla's progress is amazing

The Tesla doesn't pay SR because it's a zero emissions vehicle. Or, strictly speaking, it has an SR of £0. So does that count as paying or not paying

The rich people surcharge is on top of the standard rate. The standard rate for a ZEV is zero. So the surcharge is added to that zero, and they'll pay £310 a year. Of course, even that's a con on the rest of us because electric vehicles aren't zero emissions at all, but hey ho.

On the topic of options, they are included. The basis of calculation is the list price of the car as sold. Not the list-price-less-extras of what you order. That makes cheating difficult for the makers, and ignores any discounts. Since the makers hate discounting, they aren't too worried about that, it will be dealers trying to make quota who have the problem.

Going back to my original post, what we're seeing is the progressive introduction of vehicle duty for electric cars. Government can't afford to forgo the £35bn+ it makes from motorists. And as another poster points out soon all cars will cost £40k, but even before that they'll start changing thresholds and costs. They can smear the incidence of duty and operating taxes, they can't get away from the need to raise an average of £800 per car per year. Unless you're going to vote for a hike in tax rates for middle income earners.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Tesla's progress is amazing

but there's a limit to how much power you can draw from a UK domestic setup (25kVA is usual)

Which doesn't bode well for the government ambitions for electrifying both transport and heating. Even if you uprate the household electrics, there's the far more complicated situation of the distribution system, which was designed for far lower loads than fast charging of EVs would introduce. Electrifying heating (even using heat pumps) makes the problem dramatically worse, both because of the amount of energy, and the fact that everybody tends to need it at the same time.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Tesla's progress is amazing

Free to use the leccy but £1.50/hour parking (limit 2 hours). more expensive than any other car park in town. Go figure.

Tragic. The rest of us are subsidising your EV at the moment in a multitude of ways, so if you have to use a more expensive car park and get free electricity you'll have to forgive my lack of sympathy. However, with £35bn raised in road based taxes, the honeymoon period of both cash subsidies and tax exemptions for EVs is already starting to draw to a close. Anybody in the UK buying a Tesla S from 2 April 2017 and will be paying £310 road tax each year for the first five years, and we'll progressively see road taxes creeping up even for lower cost EVs.

Unless the government will forgo all those road taxes (and I think we can agree that they won't), then they need to raise about £800 per car per year. Whilst there's few EVs in the fleet, they can avoid the issue and allow fossil fuels to take the tax, once we have any appreciable level of EV penetration they need to come up with a way of taxing them at the same sort of level. So that could be GPS tracked road pricing (you do want your every movement recording, don't you?), a flat rate £800 a year vehicle duty, variable duty based on expected mileage that amounts to around 7p/mile, or some other cludge like a 22p/kWh surcharge on electricity used for vehicle charging.

I think they'll decide road pricing is the way forward. They'll use the GPS and mobile capabilities built in for the e-call system (mission creep, what a surprise!), some bunch like Crapita will be contracted to build and operate a complex and expensive central registry of all vehicle movements, and drivers will be charged from a baseline that needs to be around that c7p per mile - more on congested roads or at peak times, less for off peak. The next step will be that GPS tracking will be used for automated enforcement of speed and certain other rules. As you can imagine, there's a whole host of practical difficulties, but looking at the government's commitment to their beloved smart meter programme, do you think that they will be put off?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Damn

That's why you see all the super-hyped "researchers discover new superbattery" news articles where it always says "should go into production in 5-10 years" (i.e. never) and you never hear about it again.

MIT have recently announced that their lithium metal battery should be in production for phones by next year and offers an apparent doubling of volumetric energy density, and will be going into production for drone batteries this year. Search on MIT Solidenergy.

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Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout

Ledswinger
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Re: Dunno...

However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect.

So we should refer to a herd of hippopotamodes?

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London cops hunt for drone pilots who tried dropping drugs into jail

Ledswinger
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Re: Solution - Netting

Regardless of the welfare situation, the ridiculous prices for prison phone are just a giveaway to whoever gets the contract to provide them

Good! The strong exploit the weak. That's what crime is. But it seems to me that you're wringing your hands that when the tables are turned, these poor lambs need to be treated with tenderness and kindness.

From my point of view, I disagree, They're in the clink to stop them committing more crime, and to restrict their liberties. If the scum don't like the conditions, maybe they should not prey on the weak in the first place. But my contempt is particularly reserved for people wringing their hands at the "ill treatment" of these felons. I WANT THEM ILL TREATED. I DON'T CARE IF THEY CAN'T PHONE THEIR MATES. Prison isn't cheap, and it doesn't reform, we all know that. So let's make sure it is punishment. I'd have the f*ckers breaking rocks for eighteen hours a day.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Solution - Netting

For the TRULY desperate, it's literally crime or the grave.

So, you're telling me that the near billion quid a day that the government spend on welfare is insufficient, then?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Time for Trebuchets!

Truck-mounted trebuchets would do a fine job of dropping packages into prisons, and can escape the area rapidly

Hey You! STFU before Yodel start getting ideas that can make their legendary delivery even worse.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Solution - Netting

The vast majority of prisoners smuggle phones into prisons to keep in contact with the families, thanks to extortionate payphone charges and difficulty of accessing same (profiteering is too kind a term).

If they don't like the unfortunate restrictions on chokey, maybe they could try going straight?

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'Neural network' spotted deep inside Samsung's Galaxy S7 silicon brain

Ledswinger
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Re: Most Surprised

Spectacularly misinformed post...

That's as maybe. But there's some mere mortals out here, and I'd really like to understand the relationship between silicon designers and ARM. Are they designing mere software, or mere hardware? How do the bits all fit together?

I know it is a complex topic, extending from the purely physical realm through to the dirty world of applications, but the Reg has done some stunning journalism explaining complicated sh** in (for example) the world of storage, maybe they could address the parallel world of mobile and low power processing?

Please? Pretty please? I know the staff don't read this. But some of YOU WHO KNOW could write something in plain English and submit it as an article, and get some beer money?

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Beardy Ed Vaizey: 'I can't let go. I like the tech sector'

Ledswinger
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Re: "I like the tech sector"

I was brought up in a Family that had been staunchly Labour since 1922. No one wants to even think of voting for this lot of sad sacs at the moment.

Well, your parliamentary party are indeed a bunch of sad sacks, but surely you'd be delighted by Chairman Jez' desire for good old fashioned socialism and a return to the 1970s? Admittedly it would give us an economy like Venezuela, but isn't that the sort of workers' paradise that the Labour party have always aspired to?

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Ledswinger
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"I like the tech sector"

You may like tech, Ed, but as a barrister in family law, from a very privileged background, with a degree in history, you know nothing about it.

I'd say you fit in well with the politically well connected but talent free numpties that Cameron was and surrounded himself with. And that helps explain why vested City interests have repeatedly been preferred over real innovators or disruption to incumbent businesses.

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Former RN flagship HMS Illustrious to be sold for scrap – report

Ledswinger
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Re: Questions?

Somewhat alarmingly, only China can afford a real navy these days

No they can't. They just think they can. Like the Spanish, Dutch, British, Russians and Americans did in turn over the course of recent centuries.

The Americans haven't got the memo yet, but with the Ford class carriers coming in at $13bn not including aircraft as far as I can tell, and a vast budget deficit, they're going to run out of pork soon. The Chinese will likewise find that fancy military toys and huge military cost far more than the productive economy can support.

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Ledswinger
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first of the Royal Navy's two new super-carriers

And whilst we're on this point, what's "super" about them? Admittedly bigger than the Invincible carriers, the potential at that size of ship to have proper fast jets was thrown away during specification, so they'll only be able to operate a different and more expensive flavour of STOL jet, with all the same compromises of heavy airframe, shorter range and reduced payload.

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HPE sharpens knife for next salami-slicing staff redundo round

Ledswinger
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Worth how much?

Enterprise Services (ES) division, which is spun out and is being merged with CSC to create an entity worth $26bn (£20bn)

Go on then, HP. Sell the entity, and we'll see what you get for it. I'll wager a whole lot less than £20bn.

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