* Posts by Charlie Clark

5121 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: A small crumb of comfort

Yes, but it will inevitably cast some doubt on that policy: no good having cheap launchers if expensive satellites get lost.

I really admire Musk's ambition, and I wish Space X all the best, but I'm not yet convinced that Silicon Valley's approach will transfer well to space.

1
0

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Facepalm

The European Single Market is probably the most competitive, free trade bloc there is and the European Commission has for more teeth that something like the FTC in America.

Lots and lots of leftists dislike the Commission for enforcing things like unbundling of telecommunications and energy markets and backhanders from states to keep unprofitable businesses going. Hopefully at some point this is going to include stopping the Spanish government from subsidising coal-powered electricity with money it doesn't have,

7
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Just dumb

They would get €13bn now and probably have to hold the door open while the multinationals leave in an orderly fashion later.

Where else in the EU should the companies locate to?

6
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

It's not what you say but the way that you say it

Apple would collaborate with the Irish government if it launched an appeal against the ruling

I don't actually think that the ruling can be appealed, it has to be challenged in the court. And, as Apple is the benefactor of the subsidy, it's up to Apple to challenge it. But nice of Mr Cook to suggest that Ireland has somehow been punished by the ruling and that Apple is on their side.

As for the prospect of a challenge the ECJ has a history of confirming the Commission's rulings, especially when it comes to upholding the principles of the single market, of which unfair state aid is an obvious example. And companies invariably play along as the alternative could be reduced access to the market, or being forced to repatriate the earnings so that they can be taxed in the US.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Luxembourg Any One?

No, no cover up. Juncker's successor at the head of the Luxembourg government is having to deal with it and Juncker has to resist the urge to meddle.

2
0

Nest developers become Oompa-Loompas in Google shake-up

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Illustrating the problem with one sentence paragraphs

He was also responsible for the decision

It is entirely unclear who "he" is: Lockheimer or Fadell. Sentences should be grouped into paragraphs by object of discussion.

8
0

Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

Where the girlfriend is now fast asleep.

I think anyone could have guessed this. Still very noble of you instead of just "lagering up" and letting nature take its course. Maybe why you're still together!

You must also have cut a fine figure limping around at such high speed.

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Get out of my country corps

You forgot the Apple mode: the washing machine looks fantastic but destroys your clothes and orders more fashionable replacements!

17
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

With you on that. But with a little tweak: embedded NFC tags could allow you to walk round and compile a shopping list. I often write them down only to forget them when I go to the shops…

I pity the poor, fat buggers who try and get everything delivered by Amazon.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: What?!!

Imagine dutifully holding onto the boner and keeping foreplay going until delivery the next day… yeah, right. More like bukake or bust!

I do seem to remember reading something about a condom taxi here in Jormany that promises delivery within the hour.

5
0

ARM moneymen OK buyout

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Only in Newsbytes?

We could have a competition for t-shirt designs for those soon to be paying for the premium with their jobs…

Not that Softbank would ever go back on its word! Actually, this has all the hallmarks of a leveraged buyout before being flipped to private equity for asset stripping. I sincerely hope I'm wrong on this, but Softbank's debt is eye-watering.

3
0

Waze to go, Google: New dial-a-ride Uber, Lyft rival 'won't vet drivers'... What could go wrong?

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I know what was said, but it's irresponsible to think it won't happen. If they're not vetted then it allows it to happen, the chance of it occuring is increased because it's an easier route for them to get themselves in to that sort of situation.

I'm not that familiar with the pathology of sexual perverts but I don't think that is how the majority of them operate.

Sure, for some, opportunity will be everything, but for many preparing, grooming and stalking the prey are part of the deal. And there are plenty of opportunities for them do this without them being logged while doing so.

Personally, I'm against all these unlicensed OTT services. Higher yields can be achieved within the current frameworks which include compulsory vetting of drivers and some kind of minimum wage.

But for me, knowing that you were travelling somewhere would useful if I was planning to rob your place. As I say, the tabloids are conditioning to suspect the wrong people of committing the wrong crime. We're encouraged to believe that world is full of violent perverts and terrorists whereas violent crime is in decline and road traffic accidents are the real killers.

For fun we could apply Terry Pratchett's actuarial approach to crime to things like big business' tax avoidance schemes: how many people died in Ireland as a result of underfunded services because Apple, et al. didn't pay the going rate.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Uber saved my ass last weekend

150 miles for $115? What's that about 2.5 hours each way, 5 hours in total. So just over $ 20 an hour including gas, maintenance, health insurance and pension provision? And you really think that this is a market.

There's a reason why taxi drivers are primarily immigrants: they're very poorly paid.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Pint

Then can I suggest you drink less coffee in the morning?

Contrary to what the tabloids would have us believe, there is not an army of rapists and child molesters desperate for opportunities to prey upon the innocent. If there is an army at all, then it is the one of organised crime and it won't want to get involved in anything that is traceable, but theft is probably the biggest risk.

5
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Guess they are trying to claim ignorance

That wouldn't let them out of liability, which is determined by the law and the courts, and not companies.

But let's not jump to conclusions. Best way to see what is actually on offer and as to whether they have any agency function. If this is just a service for carpoolers then they may be fine.

In any case, I thought Google/Alphabet had put money into Uber. They're unlikely to fund a rival before cashing out.

0
0

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Promise everything ....

I think everyone knows what you were commenting on :D

Okay, under what legislation would the European Commission be able to prevent a national regulator from imposing conditions on a company operating in a national market? Note, it's not really up to the deliberately toothless OfCom to decide whether OpenReach should be spun out of British Telecom, that would be for the monopolies commission. OfCom should be encouraging unbundling by making sure that there is a competitive market for unbundling (as in France) or alternative suppliers (as in Germany) through setting the prices and conditions of use of BT's network.

Though there are many arguments for splitting up the ownership of the infrastructure from running services on it. And many precedents for doing this in things like the energy markets (managed in Germany by a far beefier network regulator).

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Why ?

FFS, you can't have it both ways. Either:

You mean Corbyn failed to adequately support one side or the other

Or:

He managed to convince his own electorate to remain by a large margin…

But basically he was the invisible man in the campaign and failed to make the case for anything. As for the numbers being bandied around that Labour supporters were a majority to stay in the EU, that doesn't square up with the votes in most constituencies outside London with Labour MPs and certainly doesn't bode well for the next election.

1
3
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Why ?

@Phil W. Thanks for the attempted explanation, to which I generally subscribe. But what's still eluding is what is meant by "Brexit traitor"? I can't make syntactical sense of this. Is he a traitor to the anti-EU brigade? That's certainly what it sounds like. Or a traitor to the country because of his anti-EU sympathies? Or is he just another fucking hypocrite? And maybe that would be the better term: "Corbyn, the Brexit hypocrite and incompetent party leader".

0
4
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Promise everything ....

Wow, looks like I'm heading for my own downvote record! :-)

Just to add some clarity: I wasn't dissing the original post but AMBxx's nonsense.

Anyway, carry on.

2
8
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Roll-out weasels

So 'exchange goes live on xxx' isn't always something to cheer about if you don't live next door to it.

You are a rogue heating engineer and I claim my £5!

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Why ?

Corbyn is a dirty Brexit traitor

You keep writing this and I still don't know what you mean.

Personally, I think he's a principled fool fighting last century's battles.

12
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: 25 billion fits easily into 500 billion

At which point we invoke the The Mundell-Fleming trilemma and the UK will be back begging the IMF for loans, as it did in the 1970s.

The mere prospect of the UK leaving the EU is already making funding the national debt more difficult and it is only going to get harder as the costs (lower tax receipts and more bureaucracy) rise. As a result there is going to be even less money available for investment than there already is (the UK compares poorly with other industrialised countries).

The current manipulation of the debt markets by the central banks disguises the fact that not all central banks have infinite balance sheets. As soon as it looks like any particular central bank is directly monetising government debt, then risk premiums will be applied. In the case of the UK, which is both able to issue debt in its own currency and force investors (insurance companies, pension funds and banks) to buy large amounts of debt, this may seem unlikely. But it's happened before and, as the recent failed auction hints at, it could easily happen again.

But I think that Corbyn and his Luddite Militants might actually be quite happy with rolling back technological change. Whereas I'd be content with just social media disappearing…

7
8
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the party will not win elections using strategies from the past,

Strange because everything I hear from him reminds me of the 1980s Militant Tendency.

I really don't mind state-sponsored or organised investment in infrastructure. But without the right kind of oversight it tends to resemble an Oxo-powered train. I'm getting my bowl and soup spoon…

17
4
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Promise everything ....

Please stop talking such utter shit.

8
19

Intel's makeshift Kaby Lake Cores hope to lure punters from tired PCs

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: "Intel gave the entertainment giants what they wanted"

I buy my films

Actually, you never do. You only ever buy a licence to watch a film even if they tell you "you own it". The interesting thing, that neither Big Movie nor Big Music, have never come clean over, is that the licence should be independent of the medium. Many of us have, over time, bought new licences for the same content but I don't remember ever being offered to trade my VHS copy of something in for DVD version for a nominal charge to cover duplicating and handling.

8
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

You're assuming Apple will support that hardware in MacOS

Google has already indemnified all the patent stuff. So that's 2011's battle.

Safari for Sierra supports WebM and WebP so it looks like they've caved.

0
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Wrong target . . surprise, surprise!

Yes, but that's the way ideology works: make the man on the street feel guilty as soon as you call his name, because we all know we probably have done something "wrong". Note, this is the inverse of "you've got nothing to hide" mantra of the data suckers.

10
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: DRM is evil

Sounds more like handwaving than anything else.

It will probably be harder to use hardware accelerated decoding to another stream for anything that is wrapped in DRM but the CPU itself should be beefy enough to allow the DRM to be stripped software at an acceptable rate.

Content owners always demand DRM even if the IT industry keeps telling them that it's a stopgap at best and at worst tissue paper. As long as they intend to distribute their content in places like China, they really don't need to worry about people ripping, often legitimately (backups are legal), content they have paid for elsewhere.

13
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Presumably Apple has been waiting for these chips for the 2016 models.

Hardware support for VP9 will be nice. :-)

0
0

Li-Fi with my little eye … a vulnerability

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Reliability & infrastructure - bandwidth and interference

The biggest advantages might come in places like conference centres where the Wi-Fi is often saturated.

Nope, not saturated, just poorly set up. With professional equipment and a little skill you can always setup a wifi network correctly so that contention will not be an issue. But the uplink might: many conference centres have very poor internet connections: 10 MB/s won't cut it for a conference of more than about 20 people.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Holmes

No shit, Sherlock

This kind of exploit is builtin to li-fi, which was over ever a proof of concept for particular installations. Ie. a typical research project which is unlikely ever to be directly usable, but still worth doing.

In practice: where can't you use either wired or wireless ethernet?

2
0

EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Well, considering that Irish voters were promised time and time again that the EU did not have tax competency

This isn't about tax: Ireland is still (nearly) completely sovereign in the taxes it raises and the rates it sets. This is about a subsidy given to Apple in the form of a tax break. If the same tax break was offered to all companies in Ireland there would be no case to answer.

10
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Of course, Ireland has already protested

So too has America - the EU doesn't have the right to tax American companies

It isn't. The Irish government was giving preferential treatment to two Irish companies, set up by Apple with specific purpose of doing trade in Europe.

A uniform global tax structure is not only a pipe dream but completely illegal or unconstitutional for the majority of countries.

11
8
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: What about

Yes, but Luxembourg has come up with a new wheeze as a free port…

0
1

Europe to order Apple to cough up 'one beeellion Euros in back taxes'

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Barking up the wrong tree?

Apple got a preferential tax rate. This amounts to a subsidy and hence Apple is required to repay the subsidy to the Irish taxpayers.

Sorry to disappoint but no evil EU conspiracy here.

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Who are the taxes payable TO?

Sweetheart deals like this are often part of a country's approach to get companies to move to them: "build a factory here and pay x % less tax for ten years". Ireland doesn't want to lose this particular bargaining chip from future negotiations.

But no doubt, together with Big IT's accountants, they'll dream up some other wheeze.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Popcorn time

I doubt this very much. Ireland already has a very low corporate tax rate, which is one of the reasons why so many US companies set up their European operations there. But Apple negotiated an even lower rate. The European Commission quite rightly interprets this as a subsidy which gave preferential treatment to Apple.

I expect Apple to pay in full and tell the US govt to shut up and get on with reforming its own rules corporation, especially the parts pertaining to repatriation of earnings.

0
0

$329 for a MacBook? Well, really a 'HacBook' built on an old HP

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: How do I buy a license from Apple?

It's definitely a grey area since Apple stopped officially charging for the OS but if you can contain a copy of the OS then, at least in Europe, you are within your rights to install it on whatever you want: the hardware restrictions in the EULA are null and void.

Of course, Apple is also more or less within its rights to add things to the OS that break installs like this in a software "update", presumably by playing with the kernel extensions. And even if the OS still boots and runs, it's unlikely you'll get optimum power management out of it.

You're probably better off picking up a second hand MacBook. Or wait for Apple to finally update their line up.

8
0

Ireland looks like it's outpacing Britain in the superfast broadband rollout stakes

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

In the not so distant future, much of the world of work will be knowledge based…

Dream on. But if that is the case, then it will be mainly machines doing the work. In case you hadn't noticed: IT tends to concentrate in cities and is accompanied by an increase in travel elsewhere, not least because the business cycle has accelerated.

It's usually wrong to play one thing off against another. HS2 is merely an expression of decades of underinvestment in the UK's rail network: all of it needs a lot of money spent on it. Sometimes this doesn't just mean replacing the track but adding capacity or choosing new routes. Historically the route of some of the train lines (and later the motorways) was chosen mainly for political reasons, of which the West Coast main line is probably the most glaring example.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I don't think it's much different than the UK in totality.

Do you actually think that having 500 channels of crap/reality crap/ and more crap sent to your home is a good thing?

Who cares as long as the TV companies are helping to cover the costs? In reality nobody watches 500 channels (I'd be surprised if anyone watches more than 10 regularly) but people do like niche channels*. So, Jeffy gets to watch the channels about trolls living in the forest. And I get to watch bog-snorkelling and nose-picking championships and everybody is happy.

*Well, this was the theory anyway back when cable companies could sell you 50 channels of stuff you're not interested in just so you can watch Saffers today. Unbundling will make things change a bit but could mean even more niche and fewer endless MoR repeats.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Cu?

it's been suggested before that you could probably pay for the entire operation by selling the copper.

By whom? And what we they smoking at the time?

When the telephone networks were built the cables were very much just laid in the earth or behind the plaster along with the rest of the wiring. This was expensive but okay, because the taxpayer was footing the bill. The switch to fibre came to most places after the telcos had been privatised. Digging up and replacing cables is bloody expensive (could be hundreds per metre on a suburban street) and can never be paid for by the copper recovered (currently around $ 4.50 / kg).

What is supposed to happen with new building areas / renovation is that common cable tunnels are built for the relevant utilities. Maintenance should be a lot easier as well. But someone's still got to do all that expensive digging in the first place.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Why FTTP?

Aren't we all supposed to be going wireless?

No. Next question.

Wireless is good for somethings, bad for others. It uses more power per MB, cannot penetrate buildings effectively and has more problems with contention, which is a problem seeing as there is less bandwidth to go round in the first place. This is why the mobile networks ignore remote populations as much as the fixed line lot do.

Dropping fibre to a village centre is pretty cheap. It's hooking everyone up to the trunk that's expensive. This is where you can indeed make use of wireless technologies to share the love, which is just what several villages have ended up doing.

6
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

France it will be a city-centre apartment block with dozens of homes fed from a single FTTP drop

France has a relatively small urban population with only 4 large cities: Paris, Marseille, Lille and Toulouse. After that you're into what are essentially larger towns of which England alone has for more.

In any case FTTP doesn't make much sense for large apartment blocks because the cabling in the building will also need replacing.

While France was a laggard in broadband ten years ago, at some point the government took the decision both to force France Telecom to buildout the networks and to support unbundling. This has led to much better broadband provision in much of rural France: friends of mine in la France Profonde recently got upgraded to 50 MB/s. I think all the DSLAMS (cabinets) are now connected by fibre but the last mile is still likely to be copper. This obviously isn't the case everywhere, as you prove, but still pretty impressive. Especially in comparison with how little things have improved in the UK over the same time.

However, I think the overall boost to an economy because of broadband can easily be overstated. Good connections to businesses and offices are important, but boosting residential speeds significantly only makes sense for VoD, which is hardly a GDP booster.

4
1

Larry Page snuffs out ‘too expensive’ Google Fiber project

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Who in their right mind ...

Do you think the other ISPs don't inspect your traffic just as much?

Google's US ISP play was about jumpstarting the broadband market so that things like YouTube UHD would be more viable. Google needs good infrastructure to sell and serve ads.

2
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Oh well

In comparison they're much cheaper. They're also a pure technology play with a potential massive dividend on selling / licensing the results.

Becoming an ISP requires massive initial capital outlay with the promise of steady cashflow at some point in the future. But it never really fit in with the rest of the business which is OTT. Add to that the retrenchment tactics of the monopolistic incumbents.

Doubtless some of the technological lessons learned from the project will find their ways into other projects, particularly the Nest stuff.

0
0

Facebook, Twitter and Google are to blame for terrorism, say MPs

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean its not there

There are numerous reports of reports of very high quality movies being released.

Presumably along the same lines as the "smart" bomb video after the first gulf war. Did wonders for US arms sales in the region.

Reports on Brit kids that have gone to Syria etc often show that they have been groomed through social media contacts.

The social media part is spurious but it's what everyone focuses on. "Terrorists" or plain old criminals have always known who to recruit and how to inculcate the right set of "values" in them. Targets are usually either easily led or looking for leadership.

Recently saw a British Asian comedian tackling the subject and pointing out, that at least for some groups, a stint with IS in Syria is an attractive alternative to a restrictive suburban existence. If this reminds anyone of the age old army recruitment campaigns then it should. The twist, she added, was that the prospect was even sexy for younger women. But maybe this chimes in with our own colonial calls for settlers and missionaries: "isn't life in Glasgow/Newcastle/Liverpool/etc. shit? Wouldn't you like to go somewhere exciting like black Africa where you can meet wonderful new people (with massive dicks and few inhibitions) and do God's work?"

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Isn't "Vaz" some kind of lubricant?

I always grimace at the term "creative industries". Anyone who invents, designs or modifies anything other than a T-shirt logo or a website can just fuck off, because you aren't "creative".

Oh, I don't know. Sounds like an appeal for a generous subsidy. I'll happily organise anti-radicalist jam festivals if I'm being paid to.

0
0

Google 'Solitaire' ... Just do it

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: TTT.

try Googling a Zerg Rush.

Very cool! As long as Google keeps letting its developers piss around with this kind of thing, there's still hope for them!

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: TTT.

Tic-tac-toe is a solved game

And your point is? Doesn't mean it can't be fun, or instructive if playing with those who haven't "solved" it yet.

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Not fair

Couldn't ever really get into that. For me it has to be solitaire / free cell. But word games could be the new one. Anyone have any tips? Needs to be be multiplayer and preferably multi-language.

0
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017