* Posts by Charlie Clark

5121 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Behind the scenes of Slovaks' fight to liberate their .sk domain

Charlie Clark
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Re: Entirely predictable behaviour

What kind of shenanigans are you referring to in particular?

Management of a country's domains is an aspect of sovereignty so it's important that, whoever is the actual registrar, is accountable to the electorate. The ex-Warsaw Pact countries have had very mixed experiences with the privatisation of their utilities.

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Fast-spreading CopyCat Android malware nicks pennies via pop-up ads

Charlie Clark
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Re: I feel retarded

I'd be more interested in someone explaining how in this day and age it's still possible to trivially root an OS based on oh-so-secure Linux.

Easy: just ask the user to do it. Some way to escalate permissions is always required to install software. But sideloading is disabled by default on Android and users are warned every time of the risks when they change the setting.

Elsewhere, in OS theory land, it turns out to be pretty to difficult to completely secure an OS when direct access to the hardware is required and systems like "trusted computing" have their own problems, like preventing users from using devices as they would like. But unix was never developed as a secure OS as anyone who's entered single user mode would attest to.

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Microsoft offers cloud to Baidu, gets autonomous car in return

Charlie Clark
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Going nowhere with MS?

NFT

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Microsoft boasted it had rebuilt Skype 'from the ground up'. Instead, it should have buried it

Charlie Clark
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Re: Market research

Reliable? Good? As someone who uses Skype for Business on a daily basis I would very much disagree with both of those. It doesn't often take the whole OS down

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that Skype for Business was any good (it used to be totally unusable, now it's just mainly unusable), just that there's a market for good and reliable VoIP stuff.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I face a dilemma.

I've found Hangouts to be very reliable for audio and video. But Signal and Telegram are also fine.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Market research

The staid business world is not a good income source.

Have to disagree there: companies will pay for good, reliable VoIP and conferencing which is why there is Skype for Business (previously called Lync) and why Google is in the market and has released separate consumer products.

But Skype got fucked once it was sold to E-Bay. It used to be simple and reliable: it just worked and even had a viable if low-margin OTT call-out business model. Then valuations got stupid. The rest is history.

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Charlie Clark
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For group stuff Hangouts is very reliable.

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PCs will get pricier and you're gonna like it, say Gartner market shamans

Charlie Clark
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Re: Desktops and laptops have their niche

But, there are plenty of people who are doing actual work in a non-BYOD environment.

No doubt, but quantify plenty and put it alongside those who will be happier with BYOD. My hunch is that the second bunch is growing even as the overall category shrinks.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I call bollocks ...

An RPi is almost all you need as a media server, depending of course on the number of clients. I think we'll see more such dedicated devices at home and the odd explicitly Android PC. This will put enormous downward pressure on devices unless they have desirable specs, ie. are not PCs.

Companies are starting to move from PC purchases to rentals (CapEx to OpEx) and that is bound to put pressure on prices because the lessor will want to protect margins. There's still a business there (printers moved this way a few years ago) but it won't be driven by the faster, higher, shinier products. White label manufacturers who can deliver reliable devices are the ones who'll benefit.

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Time to rethink machine learning: The big data gobble is OFF the menu

Charlie Clark
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Thumb Up

Re: It is not the amounts of data that matter, it is the labelling

One upvote isn't enough!

Apart from that ML is going to be pervasive but just not in the way that suits vendors and crystal ball readers like Gartner.

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Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

Charlie Clark
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Re: "pushing LGBTQI"

I'm against the gay agenda on only one front - adding more and more fucking letters to the original LGB

This is the principle of self-selecting minorities (you can't be discriminated against if you're not in a minority) that was parodied in the "only gay in the village" sketches in Little Britain: all about attention seeking and nothing to do with human rights.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Rainbow

Yeah, not so long along it was used by the peace movement with PACE on it.

A bit OTT for a computer website but nothing compared to some of CoC shit that some West Coast idiots try and force on you in lieu of actually doing anything.

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Boffins' five eyes surprise: Bees correct colour for ambient light

Charlie Clark
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There are already, they are usually used only for display brightness, not color adjustment.

Some devices do use them to adjust the white balance of the screen but this is generally considered unnecessary as the eye will quite happily do this itself. A lot of cameras also do automatic white balancing otherwise we'd notice much greater shifts between natural and artificial lighting as you used to when working with real film.

But I think the paper is investigating more subtle effects (flowers look very different to insects than they do to us) such as IR levels.

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File sharers Dropbox latest US tech startup to stick toe in IPO waters

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sad

GoPro's investors got impatient and the cashflow wasn't good.

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Charlie Clark
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Stop

Re: As we have found out from Google...

Principles generally go out of the window as soon as VCs get involved. IPO is a way for the VCs to make their profits. There is no reason why the ethics of a company should change after an IPO as long as it has more or less positive cash flow, or reasonable growth prospects. Going public means that the accounts have to be published but this is generally a good thing. Whether or not a company's style will change has more to do with how many shares and of what kind are made available. Hence, markets have little or no influence on Google, Facebook or even Snap and have also not been able to force Twitter to adopt a credible business strategy.

After an IPO and depending on the way it was structured it's not unusual to see employees cashing in their shares and even leaving the company.

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One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

Charlie Clark
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Pint

I have had the tremendous misfortune to spend two evenings in the company of Ms Hopkins

Oh dear, you might be in need of a couple of these…

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Civil rights warriors get green light to challenge UK mass surveillance

Charlie Clark
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Re: IPA Could Work ???

If the security services are the custodians

They never can be: quis custodet custodes.

What i do not understand, is that crime in the UK is in decline - as stated positively by the current government, so why we need IPA is an illogical requirement to meet tackling crime, which is actually in decline

Easy: governments know that passing new laws is a cheap answer to the panic they've being stirring up: this is how you manufacture consent.

There is a lot to be said for no new law without repealing an existing one.

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Charlie Clark
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But it would have been sensible to say nothing at all and keep options open

Personally, I'm inclined to agree with this but it is often politically risky as elections quickly become black and white affairs, largely because the media can't be bothered to differentiate. Sigh.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: IPA Could Work ???

security services then pass onto the relevant authorities

You seem to have this dangerously backwards: Only the relevant authorities (a court) may authorise the security services to do any snooping. This is why evidence that has not been obtained legally is not admissible as such in court, though it can often be used to gain the relevant authorisation.

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Charlie Clark
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They had to rule themselves out of any coalition because they got punished so heavily for being in the last one.

Coalitions and compromises are obviously still new to British voters and as such treated sceptically. This is why we've ended up with the "definitely not a coalition" with the DUP.

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America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just a thought

Yes, because it's totally impossible to build a dummy screen showing a bootup sequence around a bomb.

Meanwhile, with a nod to the Sean Connery, nobody's checking the bombe surprise being loaded into the kitchen by Mr Wint and Mr Kid.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "and using some low-paid donkey...to plant my device for me. "

Do you think there could be another reason for doing this?

Occam's razor would suggest not. Maybe one of the scanner makers has a new machine they want to force airports around the world to buy. But I think this is probably just more useless knee-jerk policy based on a single, unverified intelligence report.

Sad thing is that we're getting conditioned to respond to vague threats with the calls for "something to be done" which leads to new laws or policies that will be at least as poorly as resourced or enforced as the existing ones. Especially in the face of evidence suggesting that existing laws and tools are more than sufficient, if only they're properly resourced. I'm thinking here particularly of the Danish research that suggested that digital snooping diverted scarce police resources from things like community policing.

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Charlie Clark
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Only for people travelling to the US?

I'm not going to discuss the merits of this particular suggestion but it does strike me as more than a little odd, given how easy it is in the US to buy munitions, that the restriction only be applied to flights coming into the US. All recent major terrorist incidents in the US were carried out by US citizens, though the number of deaths pales in comparison with RTAs and "ordinary" murders.

However, if I were a foreign national planning an attack on US soil, I would simply look at getting my supplies in the US and using some low-paid donkey (cleaning / luggage / security) to plant my device for me. This is how the most successful attacks are carried out.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Shelley Berman knew how to do it

Maybe worth changing this icon to a joke alert.

I think we did but the point about profiling detracts from the post: most atrocities in America are carried out by ordinary Americans on the streets and in homes and nowhere near any airport.

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Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky takeover referred to competition regulator

Charlie Clark
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Re: He didn't win the Tories the election...

I love the way this is handles in Channel 4's satire The Scoop. Murdoch knows the influence of his papers his limited but he also knows that the politicians will do anything to get on his good side: very much a case of win-win for him.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Culture secretary Karen Bradley

Except in the period of "getting on with the job" Mrs May has outlawed fun because she doesn't have any and doesn't see why anyone else should!

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O Rly? O'Reilly exits direct book sales

Charlie Clark
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Re: Send an email to Tim O'Reilly to complain

They've not stopped making paper books, just handling the physical distribution of them. I will continue to order the ones I want from my local bookshop.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: As long as they're still publishing dead tree books ...

I tend to agree: for technical subjects it's difficult to beat paper when you need to browse (flip quickly through different parts of a book) and I have a couple of O'Reillys in my library, including the Python Cookbook, even thought it's available online

However, if you're travelling a lot then e-books are really very practical and with the Kobo Aura One I've finally got a reader that is suitable for technical docs: large screen, waterproof, usable in bright light.

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Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe

Charlie Clark
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Re: Follow the Money ...... Uncover a Racket

Considered returned by whom?

By the law. This is common practice with criminal fines. Whether it's for abuse of monopolies or speeding.

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Charlie Clark
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I don't know what you were looking at at the time, but I have to disagree.

Mainly Altavista but I switched to Google fairly early (as a result of a story on BeDope IIRC) because Google was providing the more relevant results as the others drowned in smut.

I'm not saying that Google's focus on speed wasn't important, because it was and is, but it was the quality of the search results that convinced users to switch and stay (no one has since been able to provide a significantly better search).

Altavista 1999 about 100 KB.

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Charlie Clark
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It was Google's simple interface

Nope, they were all pretty much the same at the time. What Google got right was dealing with scammers in the days when Altavista, Excite, Yahoo, et al. were starting to drown in spam. And this is what they've continued to work on because knowing that they provide users with relevant search results is a huge advantage when it comes to selling adverts.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Follow the Money

Fines to the European Commission are always paid. The money goes, as is usual in such cases, into the general budget. As such the money is considered to have been "returned" to the customers who ultimately suffer from the abuse of monopoly.

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Charlie Clark
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Google changed the world in a very positive manner, contrary to Intel and Microsoft

So much wrong and right in the same sentence. In their own way each of those companies has been very positive for the world. But they have also been wont to abuse their monopolies. This is why anti-trust laws and the regulators that enforce them exist.

But if you want to look at unfair treatment: you might want to look at the record of fines imposed by the various US regulators, almost always without admission of guilt, in the financial and automotive industries.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Pesky Euros

Pip pip. and if they don't pay up, we'll send a the gunboat.

Except that since the deal with the DUP there isn't enough money for the guns so it'll have to be Regents Park Paddling pool's finest unarmed pedalo*.

* Credit Alan Coren and John Bird.

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Met Police laggards still have 18,000 Windows XP machines in use

Charlie Clark
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Re: Why?

Probably a bit of both but it is no secret that successive cuts since 2010 have hindered councils' ability to invest. At the same time police forces have been forced to taken on additional work partly thanks to government edicts, but more due to heavier cuts in things like social services.

Of course, no problem now that unlimited funds have been found down the back of a sofa in Downing Street. Financially there is no doubt that the UK is living beyond its means but loose monetary policy has thus far insulated the public purse from this (low interest rates have effectively given the government a larger budget). At some point, whoever is in government, is going to have make some very tough and unpopular choices,

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The 'DUP' joins El Reg’s illustrious online standards converter

Charlie Clark
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as soon as the brexit negotiations get far enough

Wow, you're giving her that long? While the DUP deal theoretically gives her enough votes for any confidence votes it might actually make governing impossible as everyone and their dog starts demanding money for votes; Ruth Davidson is likely to be first in line.

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Charlie Clark
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Good call

Though I suspect the DUP is going to have some kind of sliding scale.

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Tavis Ormandy to Microsoft: Have another Windows Defender vuln

Charlie Clark
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Slightly scary

This full system x86 emulator runs as SYSTEM, is unsandboxed, is enabled by default and remotely accessible to attackers.

Now I can understand for performance reasons why this might be happening but then again, given all the recent advances in hardware-virtualisation and the risks of this kind of thing, why is MS doing this?

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Researchers solve screen glare nightmare with 'moth-eye' antireflective film

Charlie Clark
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The windscreen should remove most of the glare in the first place.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "would cause dirt and grease from fingers to accumulate much more quickly than normal"

Depends upon the environment but smudges can be wiped off. I certainly know what I'd prefer when trying to use a device in bright sunlight.

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BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

Charlie Clark
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Pint

Committees

That's an eerily good description of how committees get formed. Sounds like Simon is venting off some steam from a real recent event.

Pint, because it might make him less inclined to ask me to check out the wonderful new storage room!

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Lordy! Trump admits there are no tapes of his chats with Comey

Charlie Clark
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Re: It only gets worse

Remember that the Queen's Speech only covers 2 years of a 5 year Parliament

It's supposed to be a longparliament to try and quell problems with a separate bill next year. But I think it was fairly clear that the Queen expects to be back soon enough, just hopefully not in Royal Ascot Week.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Truth?!

It looks like his counsel has finally woken up to this fact. Nothing about the destroyer rammed off Japan or Syrian plane shot down.

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Ailing Brit chip designer Imagination Technologies up for sale

Charlie Clark
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Re: Business is Business

I do not know (anything) about IM

So why are you writing about them then?

IM made a lot of money from its work for Apple. It just failed to get enough other customers. Pissing off ARM was one of the main reasons for this because it directly led to ARM designing its own GPU cores (Mali) and offering them with the CPUs.

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Cheeky IT rival parks 'we're hiring' van outside 'vote Tory' firm Storm Technologies

Charlie Clark
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Re: How would Storm know?

"They wouldn't, it's just yet another example of the arrogance of most of the Tory voters"

I think you'll find that most of them are just people with a different opinion to you.

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Charlie Clark
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Meh

Re: How would Storm know?

Neither the Tories or labour (or any other party for that matter) have a monopoly on dickheads in their ranks

No quibble with that but it's basically what I said. But I'm not so sure about an appeal to the wider electorate because. sadly, it doesn't really seem to be interested. Which maybe why the dickheads seem to dominate. Much as I revelled in May's self-inflicted bloody nose, the hung parliament doesn't look like it's going to get much done any time soon. Unless there's a cunning plan to have government by private members bills…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: How would Storm know?

They wouldn't, it's just yet another example of the arrogance of some of the Tory voters, matched on the other side of the political spectrum by the fans of nationalisation, five-year plans and everything is free.

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Charlie Clark
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Well, I'm sold! When do we get to vote again?

As soon as the New Poor Laws have been enacted you won't need to worry yourself about voting ever again.

Now, my path is all muddy so lie down so that I can get to my carriage without getting my shoes all dirty. And can you send round your youngest sharpish as the chimbleys need a good clean!

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Etsy issues pink slips for almost quarter of staff in quest for profit

Charlie Clark
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Re: You can't cut your way to healthy

No, but you can shed a load of positions created in a burst of IPO cash optimism.

I like Etsy: you can find nice stuff on it at reasonable prices and I think it's significantly better experience than E-Bay for both buyer and seller. It's always going to be difficult to survive on the thin margins but I wish the company luck.

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Ego stroking, effusive praise and promise of billions: White House tech meeting in full

Charlie Clark
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Yes, it's so much better when it's just Exxon-Mobil, Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin…

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