* Posts by schmerg

3 posts • joined 25 Jul 2012

Nosy Brit cops demand access to comms data EVERY TWO MINUTES


Re: Have you really checked the numbers?

If only it were that simple - I think you might be confusing the computers from movies with those from real life. I find a drug dealer regularly phones 118500, his mother, a local pizza shop, 2 suspected colleagues and a third number.

Reverse lookup the 3rd number (oh, there's another request) and it turns out to be someone who's of no interest but was just a contact for some reason. The police really haven't got the time, the info, the inclination or the interest to go digging on random people that come up in these things. But if it turns out that person works in a bank, or a courier firm, or a bookie, or a school, or a hospital, then yeah, you might dig a little deeper in case they're laundering cash, transporting drugs, obtaining drugs, or a potential danger to children who fall under a duty of care (this last one to point out it's not a blanket "but what about the children" but that the duty of investigation is very real), because that's the basis of an investigation. The police wouldn't be doing their job otherwise.

Look at the numbers of actual investigations this works out to ..... how many "rafts of innocent people" do you think the police have the time & resources to "trawl" ?

Genuine snoopers charter concerns, sure, be very worried.

But 700k requests in 3 years by ALL the UK police forces doesn't sound that bad once you look at what all those police officers we pay for are supposed to be actually doing. This report is a red herring - "trawling" will involved much much much bigger numbers than this.


What do you mean WHY is Sony PS4 so pricey in Oz?


FX - Strong AUD$ expected to drop with the end of the commodities boom

I take on board the "foreigner's pay more because they will" arguments, but I'd also consider FX rates.

The Aussie dollar has been riding high off the back of the commodities boom, only now falling away over the past few months, and is widely expected [weasel words; citation needed] to continue to drop as the commodities boom drops off too.

Have a look at 10Y FX rates to see how much of a high it's been on


Sony are going to be selling this console for a year or three before there's a hardware refresh ("PS/4 slim") and/or price drop. Increasing the price of a console during its lifetime is seen as a big no-no, so my guess is they're planning not for today's exchange rates, but with an eye to FX rates for the end of 2014 at the very earliest.

Now you're more than welcome to look at forward rates and the like, but I think it's a little mis-leading to price something that won't be on sale for another 6 months on today's rates when it's then got to sell for at that price for another year or two.

Sure they can take out forward rates and hedge against it, but if they priced it at parity today, and the 12 months from now the AUD plummets and the Australian PS/4 (& xbox etc) starts to look cheap, you know that the grey import market *into* the UK/US would start to take off...


ABS pulls Census app, points it at the right data


"Coolest government statistician on Earth"??

Hey , back in the late 80s (ask yer parents kids) we took the ABS census and put it on CD-ROM with a software package to generate tables and choropleth maps so you could access the data with no more than a PC-AT (12MHz CPU, 640k RAM, 10Mb hard drive, EGA graphics, DOS 3.3 etc) and shutdown mainframes for quite a few people in the process, never mind the massive computational resources of an iOs device.

CDATA86 aka "SuperMap" by Space-Time Research if you want to look it up - yeah, glory days.

Anyway, the point was the ABS has always been a leader at this stuff. We did other countries later, but the ABS was the one that had the vision to take what we were building and welcome us (in relative terms) whereas the UK and US were a complete PITA.

And yeah, we did censuses from other years too and did all the alignment of data terms & geographic boundaries etc for you too (that's the "Time" part of "Space-Time Research"), so I'm sorry if you had to do all that sort of stuff yourself Richard, cos we did it all 25 years ago.

I'll get me zimmerframe...