1147 posts • joined Friday 1st June 2012 10:28 GMT
"I can tell you for a fact that Google is laying off Motorola people because they mismanaged the (hardware) business 'cause don't understand hardware."
Maybe you can tell us why Motorola had to spin off the handsets business in the first place? Wouldn't have anything to do with years of losses and making crap phones, would it? You might also enlighten us how for such a meagre stable of products Motorola Mobility had 19,000 employees at the time Google acquired it?
"I don't see what the debate is about, it does as the article states: It does a Revert, and resets the hue, saturation and brightness to defaults - not a proper undo for all circumstances"
Personally I liked the "before" image more than the Photoshopped high key version. But of far more importance than models selling soap: What happens when you apply this tool to the latest photographic evidence of Iranian technological prowess?
"I'm down to the last six bottles in my 'Apocalypse Stash'"
I'm sure we can more imported from the land of the free. So don't keep that stash to yourself - always a joy to share a proper hot sauce with somebody who hasn't sampled such delights before, and watch as their face changes colour.
Re: Decisions decisions
"Bacon and beer are my alternatives to a pension"
Doesn't matter what you want. The health fascists have all but exterminated fags. Alcohol will be next (eg Dave the Feckless' plans for a minimum alcohol price etc), and after that they'll set about fatty foods, and processed meat.
The only way forward may be a civil war. It's been a while since we've had one, so it would serve to clear the air on a lot of issues.
"I actually quite like Blair's Megadeath on my bacon, "
Try Danger Dave's Gourmet Insanity sauce, now that will get your tastebuds on the move.
Bizarrely enough Tesco briefly stocked it, but they've since retreated to boring stuff like tabasco, so it's weird deli-shops or mail order only.
"Also, we've heard all that crap about Quorn being made of mushrooms and the tears of rescued piglets. But we all know that it's really turkey."
Mushrooms? Turkey? Soil fungus glued together with egg albumen, which sounds rather unappealing, but works OK as a low fat filler and protein in recipes with a strong flavour from other ingredients. Not sure why I should eat it again, though? No lower in fat than chicken or turkey, not noticeably cheaper, and I've no idea what resources are used to make it (other than eggs).
I'll ponder on that over my 300 calorie butter bean and bacon soup that counts as tea today.
Re: Wait a minute
Begs the question why they don't make much money on the PC's, then. Either they are offering service that's too expensive and needs to be cheaper, or you're not paying enough in the first place.
Of course, consumers have enjoyed Dell's cheap and cr@p offshored support for years, and that's why I'll never buy one on my own account, or recommend them.
"Hence my vote for Wild Boar :o)"
Doesn't need re-introducing, it's already escaped and gone wild in some areas like the Forest of Dean. Expect them to soon be on the government death list, along with badgers, deer, and most forms of industry.
Re: Just my experience
"I have to say I'm quite impressed at the quality of the automation we already have... I am also a commercial pilot "
No, you're quite impressed with the quality of automation you already have. I suspect the rest of us not on commercial air line pilot salaries have a rather more meagre experience of car automation.
Throwing complex technology into cars to benefit forest dwellers may seem good to you - for me it's simply something extra to pay for and to go wrong. And in my experience, ordinary headlights have a perfectly functional kick-up on the kerb side even on dipped beam that doesn't require a soddin' pooter, optical sensors, servo motors, and projector headlights. Likewise, lane departure prevention, more optics, sensors and buttock prodding actuators, when the intentionally raised cats eyes do a perfectly functional job.
The connected car is like the smart home: There's a tiny handful of good things in prospect, but 95% of the claimed benefits and opportunities are solutions in desparate search of a problem.
"Being a shareholder does not get you any privileged information into what a company is doing."
Maybe not for your run of the mill secondary market dupe. In this case the 3% stake sounds modest, but there's two important considerations. First is that corporate and business culture are rather different in Asia from the UK & US, and cross-shareholdings are not unusual ways of cementing operational partnerships. And second, the exact terms aren't easy to find (on the basis of two minutes Googling, I 'fess), but it seems probable this isn't just a secondary market purchase, but newly minted equity, in which case this is a cash injection of $110m to Sharp, who are having a bad time at the moment.
Either way, Sharp aren't in much condition to dictate terms, and Samsung perhaps need access to Sharp's IGZO technology - certainly unverified web comment has lately suggested that Samsung have been blowing a bit cooler on their AMOLED tech.
Re: Well paid contracting pains
"Yes, I would be making a load of money back in Australia... I figured that I wouldnt be making any more really than I am making now."
Doesn't sound much of a life, weekly commuting to another country from the UK. Personally I think I'd be happy to be poor in Australia, because the government may be just as busy as Westminster in making the country a worse place, but at least the weather's better.
"I see little hope of improvement - especially here in the land of dopes and Tories."
I think that you're being fair on the Labour party, but I'm not sure why the Tories got off so lightly in that description.
"It would be neat if we had the technology to nudge it into a collision with Mars"
That's normally called vandalism. And I've seen Captain Scarlet, and I don't think that unintentional attacks by Earthlings end well.
Re: Good to know all that aid money is not being wasted, eh?
"a legacy from the days of the Raj."
They've had control of their own affairs for sixty odd years, it no longer works to say "it was the previous guy's fault". India has perhaps the worlds most stultified bureaucracy for the simple reason that its current and recent politicians think that is a good thing.
Re: I suggest you go post to@ Voland's right hand
"Which part of this f*** equation do you fail to understand?"
This apparently immutable law applies just as directly to military spending, and therefore does nothing to justify frittering yet more millions that we don't have. By your logic, speeding fat Brummie councillors to meetings with DCLG in London at a cost (before overspends) of £18bn will be even better, because it "creates jobs", and invoilves high tech manufacturing of a few high speed trains and related infrastructure?
Unfortunately the cumulative UK public spending budget deficits for the past decade and a half have been a similar Keynesian approach to managing the economy, in the belief that you can improve things by creating jobs through stimulus. The banking sector and its customers tried a similar approach of spending what they jointly didn't have in pursuit of economic growth. In neither public nor private case has the outcome been succesful or led to growth, and the most indebted economies are those that now have the worst recessions/weakest growth. Conversely, the richest and most stable countries in Europe are those that didn't try and live beyond their means (Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway) and didn't fall for this Keynesian claptrap.
Re: Too much confusion over Java security settings
To put that more simply, Java is malware.
The sooner a new pope is appointed, and Java is declared a heresy punishable by excommunication the better. As a non-catholic myself that'd only be symbolic, but we're a bit short of alternative (quasi-valid) claimants to any form of moral authority.
Re: Birdie Honours@ madra
"Show the powers that be you won't be bought off with shiny baubles. "
I admire your integrity.
Such a move did cross my mind, unfortunately my inner tw@t keeps whispering "you know you want that badge, it doesn't matter if berks like Eadon have one." And my inner oaf keeps whispering "and you know you're so f***ing careless that you really, really need that edit button.
"Promotions are nice, but there are limits to what I will do to get one. I have standards!"
Indeed. I have a reasonable degree of experience in capex management, and the point here is not about knowing the costs and setting things right to produce a perfect IT service, but rather it is about justifying the costs of the next upgrade, using your knowledge to decorate the investment proposal, and to work with your finance colleagues to produce a beautiful, irrefutable business case. It doesn't matter if it is a work of financial fiction, wishful tech thinking, overlaid with an element of vested interest, and adorned with a tiny bit of dishonesty, because truth and accuracy are not what the proposers want.
The strikethrough of "knowing where the bodies are buried" raises an interesting issue in that such knowledge won't help you, because dishing the dirt on past poor decisions is likely to harm those who made them, and that group are probably now a further rung up the ladder. If you are the little boy who shouts that the emperor is wearing no clothes (eg "costs are five times higher than they need to be because we do zero server virtualisation") then you'll also be the little boy given a good hiding for being disrespectful to the emperor. And in future you'll find that another fairy tale applies, in that you'll be the new Chicken Little. But not the Disney version, in which it all comes good, no. You'll be in the traditional version where nobody wants to listen to you, and eventually you end up associating with a bunch of unpopular whiners, and all of you wander round being ignored until you get eaten and shat by a fox.
Look at your average Bigcorp outource. Costs go up, service goes down, and Bigcorp loses the ability to serve itself, leading to a five yearly cycle of dissatisfaction and re-sourcing to a company every bit as bad and costly as their predecessor. But who will thank you for standing up and telling the board that outsourcing only works if they really know what they're doing (and if they did then there'd be no need to outsource in the first place)? The directors will have already told investors that they will "cut costs by outsourcing". The senior managers involved know that simply getting the outsource airborne is enough to declare success and add shine to their CV, regardless of the possible negative outcome. For any investment project, I've yet to come across any company anywhere that does any effective post-investment appraisal - and that's across multiple sectors, and investment of hundreds of millions of pounds. Even if the investment makes an unintended "kabooom" noise, all that happens is further investment to mitigate that, and blame of the contractor.
So my recommendation is learn to talk to, understand and work with the accountants, and you can be part of the winning team. Bad decisions are either rarely recognised, or soon forgotten, so you can ride on the coat-tails of the merchants of change, and I think that's what the article is really saying. Don't be the fat, bearded, grumpy, insular IT guy (well, you're all like that in the films, like Jurassic Park), be the co-operative, go ahead, business aware IT guy who wants to "make things happen". Bad things maybe for the wider business, but at least you'd be polishing up your reputation by engaging with something that was going to happen anyway.
Be assured, I've tried the Chicken Little route concerning poor investment decisions costing many tens of millions of pounds, and all that got me was a visit to a director's plush carpeted office in order to be told that I was wrong, and any more cage rattling would see me purged. In due course that director was given the shove, policy was changed, and he was named and shamed by the SFO in connection with fraud. But who do you think is still working down the corporate mine, and who's retired early on a six figure pension in all of that?
Standards are all very well, but my view is that the righteous individual will only suffer themselves by trying to stand up against organisational inertia. You can try and do the right thing in the early stages, but once a bad idea is rolling you have to go with it. There is only one red line, which is saying no to fraud, and ensuring that you aren't covering up or complicit with fraud.
Re: Daily defence spending...
"Think of the money we'd have for productive purposes if we weren't using it for distructive ones."
Or for teaching people how to spell.
Re: more Tesco digital stuff
"Actually Waitrose price-match Tescos specifically "
To judge by the eye-watering expense when I reluctantly reach the tills in Tesco, it's Tesco who price match to Waitrose. Personally I try and do as much of my shopping as possible at Aldi.
But, on a more important note, have you seen? This very day I've sublimed from a copper vulture to a stainless steel one! Which puts me on a par with Eadon, and thus devalues the honour. A bit like getting a knighthood, and realising what a despicable combination of crooks, incompetents, and civil service time-servers make up the others.
"Sounds like they're copying the 90s "we want to be number 3" ads "
Well, they're copying the strategy, the advertising has yet to be quite as specific. I feel that in Sony's rush to be third ahead of Huawei and HTC, they overlook the plans of The Company Formerly Known As RIM, and the plans of the companies still known as Nokia and Motorola respectively (as well as the possible wider outcomes of Microsoft's Great WP8 Gamble).
Seems to me that there are far more companies with proud ambitions to be third than to be first. I wonder what sports day is like at CEO-school?
Re: more Tesco digital stuff
"Yeah you wouldn't want low quality bits would you? "
AM is probably waiting for Waitrose to offer the same service, just costing more. Apparently the launch has been held up by legal difficulties with Fruit Corp, concerning a patented tech business model of charging lots more for otherwise identical stuff.
"they shouldn't be expected to not have their own opinions or be prohibited from expressing them outside of work"
Indeed not. But equally they should be discrete about who they work for. I post my views on things that involve my employers, but I'm suitably careful not to name them directly, nor to use my real name. And that applies to probably most commentards, including you (assuming your parents didn't register your birth in the name of Rampant).
Re: how much use @MD Rackham
"Let me guess, you consider yourself a libertarian, right?"
No, but what I consider myself has little to do with the debate. You could try sticking on topic, and contributing, instead of attempting some irrelevant labelling, that I presume you consider some form of insult?
Re: One does begin to wonder
"and [insert country of choice]..."
Re: Bah@Thomas 4
"imagine how much more *useful* it would be to take that $46bn cut from the military and give it to Nasa"
Useful? Only in the longest term definition of useful. If NASA sent a mission to Mars, or even the next nearest star, how much use would you or I get from that? Obviously if the human race wants to get off this rock before we get fried then we need to start somewhere, but in terms of both theoretical and applied research, I'd guess that you get rather more benefit from military R&D than from NASA's paltry budget. In fact DoD R&D spending is reported at around $73bn a year, so already more than three times the entire NASA budget.
There's an argument that cutting $46bn on defence might stop US presidents from conducting wars on poor foreigners, but that rather overlooks the fact that the DoD still have a $650bn budget after sequestration, in order of magnitude similr to the entire GDP of Turkey, Switzerland or Saudi Arabia.
Re: A note on the NASA budget. It's c 0.5% of the US GDP & < 1/2 the DoD aircon bill.
Your statement suggests that the DoD aircon budget exceeds 1% of US GDP.
How do you work that out, given that the entire manpower, fuel, equipment and ordinance budget is only 5% of GDP?
Re: Bah@Thomas 4
"no money to send rockets to other worlds but we've still got plenty of cash to send them slamming into other countries"
Maybe. But the US defence budget will take a $46bn cut from the sequestration compared to $1.5bn cut from NASA's budgets. In proportionate terms the cuts are about the same.
Re: Looks like@TheOther Hobbes
"Google Glass comes with a free facial airbrushing feature."
Egad, sir! You're onto something with that. Extend the glasses to a full face transparent AMOLED visor, which works out the viewers angle, and gives you any face you choose. Obviously George Clooney loses something if he's wearing a full face proectrive visor, but even so all the tech is out there now, just not joined together. More importantly in two year's time maybe we'll have a paintable AMOLED material that can be applied directly onto skin. Google Glass will by then be Google Contact Lens, and you can then be George Clooney or the Elephant Man merely by thinking it, with no visor at all.
Think of the possibilities! Conjure up in your mind the image of a baboon's back end, project that as your face, and you have a new and amusing means of insulting other road users whilst driving. Put on a rotting zombie face for doorstep sellers. Or Medusa for electoral canvassers and other political types. Face advertising, face signalling, the first truly blank face....
I bet you can't wait for the future now.
Re: Malware Operation is Not Malware Infection
" if we can use a semi-static OS and BIOS (etc.), then every time we start a new session, we will be clean"
Certainly the writeable boot drive and a locally rewriteable OS is a fundamental security flaw that encourages APT. This could be dramatically mitigated if security is a priority, but most companies simply aren't sufficiently motivated to do - they continue to use Windows, despite its appalling track record on all matters of security, and then act all suprised when they get hacked. They could use a (not perfect) but far better secured *nix environment with acceptable productivity solutions, but that's still too much like hard work.
In a really secure environment there's surely no value in allowing users to change settings, and the absolute modicum of OS data (if any) that does need saving should be treated as data, not as part of the OS. And IMHO there's no good reason for allowing the user or the system to set new (or rewrite) executables or associated files ever. All this could be done, and done fairly easily if security is your priority. Clearly it isn't for many government, defence, commercial and intelligence operations.
Note that like all security measures, having a clean boot OS simply makes APT attacks more difficult. It makes no difference to the desire to compromise systems, or the resources being deployed to achieve that, and you therefore have to then consider your antagonist's plan B, C, D, etc.
As far as I can see, the riffraff getting tanked up and out of control on Friday nights aren't doing it on cheap booze,but on whatever is the currently fashionable, over-priced premium branded lager. They are already paying four quid a pint, and the marginal impact on them is limited.
Re: Are you?@P Saunders
"I think most people have learned to tune out the ads on Google. I use it all the time and can't recall a single ad I've seen or cared for."
It's much more subtle than that. The vast, vast majority of adverts Google serve you are placed on other people's sites, not on search results. So if you start browsing for cameras, then funnily enough Nikon adverts (or whoever) will start appearing on non-photograpy web sites that you visit, and so forth. And that's the magic (or the evil, depending on how you see that). Adverts tailored to what you are probably interested in are being targeted at you all the time. You can choose to ignore them, but the sites you visit get paid for hosting (almost) any adverts that Google and others choose to fire at you.
A long way along your argument I'd agree, and I'd be there with the rubber gloves helping you insert the phone (in fact we could use the second generation Motorola I've got in my loft, that's nice and big, but without sharp corners to snag when inserted).
BUT...I reckon the future of advertising is that it is both relevant, and I get paid to receive it. Or rather something out of it. A money off coupon is a bit low tech, I'm thinking more like what Google does for me. I suspect there will be many that disagree, and even I selectively block tracking and scripts, but broadly speaking I get a lot of benefit from Google services, and I pay for that by allowing them to (mostly subtly) target me with ads (often on sites like the Reg that I enjoy and don't pay to use). If Google overstep any particular mark, then I can opt out by cleansing my computer of their software, using more extensive privacy solutions, and using alternative services, perhaps paid ones.
In the case of mobiles, my screen real estate is so small that I certainly don't want any adverts sent to me. The "creatives" can fuck off if they think I want their garbage on my mobile, tracking my movements and hounding me to buy overpriced crap, just because I happen to be walking past a particular shop. But on tablets and proper computers, then I'm a lot more relaxed about the adverts, because they're paying for the content - and if Google have been quietly tracking my movements and use that to serve adverts on larger screens, then that's OK by me - I've got choices when I buy my phone.
You don't think playing Doom on the way to Mars is tempting fate?
"I wonder how many men will nominate their Mother in Law...."
Wow. You want to spend seventeen months in a capsule with your mother in law? Obviously if she's Helen Mirren then many will applaud you, but otherwise we may question your sanity.
Re: The need for central control
"Coal and Natural Gas are essentially free. They exists already. Any charges are based entirely on extraction costs (which are largely based on safety legislation) and taxation (which are largely based on greed legislation)."
How's that different to anything else, resource wise? Wheat "just grows", and the only cost is the extraction cost plus seeds and planting (for which cf. oil and gas exploration). You can argue the farmer wants a return on his land and labour, again, no different from rent seeking by the government that controls the energy reserves and the costs of extraction. Even sunlight and wind are "free", but that doesn't make solar PV or wind energy free.
"A 25% fall in the share price is bad, but matching it with WIPED OUT in capitals is just dishonest"
Well unless you're challenging the common method of valuing listed companies on the basis of total equity times latest marginal price from trading, then 25% of their value was indeed wiped out.
Theorists may claim that the value is the sum of discounted future cash flows (or similar techniques), but in the real world value is simply the price the highest bidder is willing to pay and the vendor is willing to accept, so I'd suggest that the tabloid capitalisation aside, the orginal headline was entirely accurate.
Re: WTF radiation?@Filippo
"this radiation is given off by the matter outside the black hole as it's falling in"
So the cosmic equivalent of somebody screaming as they fall down a well? Presumably this cosmic scream is emitted before they cross the event horizon?
Re: " ... 10 per cent of internet growth causes GDP to rise by 1.2 per cent ..."
"Isn't this a case of confusing correlation with causality?"
Probably not. In the West where 10% internet growth means downloading better quality jpegs to your stash, or streaming higher quality vids off Youtube, then there's not much economic growth (in fact probably the reverse if you ought to be working).
In developing countries mobiles and the internet are being lobbed into near-subsistence level societies, and the people using them aren't feckless workshy teenage kids fondling an iPhone and listening to crap music all day, they are working people in poor countries with no welfare state, no medical system, and limited savings to provide for the bad times. They will be looking to find out about the weather for farming purposes, to get medical or agricultural advice, to get better prices for their animals, to learn knew ways of doing things.
They'll get round to grumble and bad music in due course.
Space endurance? Relationship endurance, more like.
But I'm disappointed the Reg missed the opportunity for a real bout of Finbarr Saunders. At least the lucky couple will resolve the paucity of knowledge concerning doing the wild thing in zero gravity. Hopefully the ships thrusters can make sure the ship isn't knocked off course. Build a special small port on the side of the ship, and the chap can experiment with vacuum enlargement, etc etc
Your post deserves a million upvotes, and I'm only able to offer you one. But well said.
And to add, what f***ing use is the House of Lords anyway? Increasingly a grace and favour club composed of the mates of the prime minister of the day. I think I preferred hereditary peers to a collection of arrogant, ignorant numpties blessed by Tony the Traitor or Dave the Feckless.
The "Lords" have consistently failed to have any point or purpose. As dishonest as the House of Commons when it comes to expenses (and with even fewer rules on what may be claimed), this bunch of parasites haven't ever held the Commons to account, or done anything useful.
Sack them all.
Re: Its already reality in Sweden
Never mind the vulnerabilities, when there's the cost.
Let's overlook the cat 5 all round the house, and assume you're using a pre-existing wireless router. Assume the app and smartphone elements are zero marginal cost, and you've still got to install a wireless lightswitch that will cost more than if you left the light running for an entire year.
The whole thing is a solution searching for a problem, a bit like smartmeters. Except that smartmeters have been mandated across the EU as yet another means of impoverishing the continent to please a few eco-twerps in Brussels.
Re: The need for central control
"Quite a few commentards seem to overlook the need for central control of demand and the benefit that it can provide."
And some commentards overlook the simple concept that I pay for electricity, plus a range of taxes and government levies on top, and I expect the industry to meet my demand when I want it. Speaking as an employee of a power company, I can assure you that's neither difficult nor particularly expensive to match demand and supply and suits almost everybody. The high costs and malign impact of renewables certainly make things more difficult and expensive, but the operational problems are surmountable.
If self-selected people are willing to have the plug pulled on them at the convenience of the grid operator, then I certainly wouldn't deny them that choice, but I'd draw your attention to the pathetic squealing by "interruptible gas" customers last winter, who wanted the low price of such a supply, but then weren't happy when their bluff was called.
The "benefits" of centralised control of demand are dramatically overblown by those who think it would be good to control how others live their lives. So leave me alone, and go turn of all your power consuming devices at times of high demand. I'll be warm, you can be smug, and we'll both be happy.
Re: Wind out yer backside, non?@Boethius
"I still think wind power is the way forward"
You still think nonsense then. The whole point about any machine is that scale creates efficiency. Silly little "Community" scale wind turbines are incredibly cost ineffcient in the context of generating electrical power, and technology can't change that. As others have pointed out, you can't get more power out of wind without stalling it, and the bigger the turbines the further they have to be placed apart (and to an extent, the more you have, the further they have to be apart).
If technology can improve to overcome the laws of fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, then you're right and I'm wrong. I shan't be holding my breath.
Re: This is a classic problem with windmills.
"Politicians dont like nuclear purely becuase it is politically unacceptable so wind has been deemed the way forward"
In the UK nuclear is actually very acceptable. The majority of the electorate are quite happy with the technology, and all the proposed locations for new ones are in areas where there are already nuclear facilities, and where the jobs would be welcome. The reason wind is being rolled out in this way is simply because energy policy (which originates more from the civil servants of DECC than from brain dead politicians) is formulated by faceless cretins who subscribe to unscientific Friends of the Earth nonsense about what constitutes "renewable". The amount wasted so far on solar and wind in the UK is about a billion quid on solar PV, and around £20bn spent and committed (ie under construction) on wind. Having run out of suitable sites in the UK, the criminals of DECC have signed an agreement to pay for wind farms carpeting the Irish Republic.
For that £21bn (and rising) we could have built four nuclear reactors, or around thirty big CCGTs. The gas turbine solution would have been able to replace the majority of all existing UK electricity generation with state of the art high efficiency gas plant. Instead we've got a few crappy windmills providing at most 3% of UK electricity when it suits them.
Re: How many zeroes?@strum
"Every nuclear facility requires ***loads of concrete, which creates ***loads of CO2"
So do wind turbines, Only more so, because the cumulative number of turbines is so great that they'd have several times the volume of concrete as an equivalent nuclear plant. My suggestion: Accept there is no free lunch for renewables, get used to it, stop bleating about carbon.
Re: Why not just build a solar panel that covers half the world....
"The only zero carbon, scalable, power-efficient solution is Nuclear Power"
Just as well you didn't mention cost-effcient. EDF are reported today to be seeking guarantees from DECC of £95/MWh in order to build new nuclear. Current wholesale prices are around £45/MWh. So long as you're happy for your energy prices to double then nuclear is certainly a good bet.
Re: Just a little load of old wind
"Once governments cant fund it and taxpayers refuse to pay it will all collapse like a house of cards."
How exactly will taxpayers refuse to pay? UK energy policy has been the same shambles under the present and last government, and you can be sure that the current opposition are equally bereft of common sense. So there's no electoral choice not to pay for DECC's expensive and ineffective toys, or the EU's destructive policies. And if you're on PAYE, then you can't even refuse to pay and be prosecuted.
As for "governments can't fund it", if you look the majority of Western governments have been spending vastly beyond their means for decades, if not centuries now. If tomorrow is a nornal day, the British government will borrow about £480m to fund the gap between its revenues and its expenditure. But that's actually irrelevant here because the cost of renewables isn't paid by government from voter's taxes - you and I pay through higher energy bills for measures that government mandates the energy industry to implement, or where energy taxes (eg carbon taxes) are levied on businesses.
So this situation is the bureaucrat's nirvana - spend other people's money without even the inconvenience of having to tax and borrow the money in the first place.
Re: Graph with *3* lines on it@ P.Lee
"It might be a big hit with business where the company pays for calls, but the users get apps for free and it would reduce the data load on the network as adverts are no longer pulled from all over the internet."
Many big corporates (like my 90,000 employee company) specifically ban users from downloading apps or media on work devices, including phones. And the last thing the network guys want is to replace the minimal load of a handful of adverts for permitted apps with the vast load of the entire company downloading dancing dog videos or playing networked games. So I don't see your mixed private/work example cutting much ice with corporate phone buyers, all aiming for the cheapest, nastiest crap they can find. In my company's case they standardised on nice cheap Wildfire S handsets, rolled them all out, and promptly had to replace them all with Orange San Diego's because the Wildfire S is too small for most people's hands, and too slow and clunky in operation (which could have been foreseen, but for the fact that somebody in IT procurement was suffering from the red mist, and could only see the euro signs).
I think your offer makes good sense for retail customers, and is a good way of building a value added offer (unlike MNO's current offers of crapply customised Android makeovers that add no value but simply delay the roll out of updates). But that requires Toadafone and their mates to think like a customer, and there's precious little evidence that they can.
What AO misses here is not that Firefox needs to be attractive or desirable, nor does it even need to sell - it's an option for the future. A hugely important option, because if Google do change the rules, then there is a working alternative. You can always pay to add some polish later if the need arises, but for a handful of shekels they (and the handset makers) know that they aren't beholden to MS or Google alone. It certainly needs to work at the basic level, because that's not something you can build quickly, and if it doesn't work you can't even sell it and promise future upgrades. Whereas a lumpen but effective OS can be rolled out, and then you throw money at the UI.
I doubt that this will become a major player in the phone OS world (although note how Frefox became a major player in the browser market on the back of the poor quality of its major competitor). But for the MNO's and the phone makers, it just needs to persist, ideally to keep Google in line, and failing that to be an exit door from Android. Like an ejector seat in a military aircraft, you really want it to be there, but you don't want to have to use it.
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