* Posts by Charlie Clark

5409 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

The Rise, Fall and Return of TomTom

Charlie Clark
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Charlie Clark
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Re: TomTom just gets driving more than Google or Apple

True, but Here is also very good. And free. And backed by deep-pocketed owners.

I wish TomTom all the best and will have a look at the stuff they have. 5 day battery life sounds unheard of in this day and age. But I'm sure that, if they try hard enough, they can get it down to just over a day like the rest!

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Dell swings layoffs axe at 3,000 EMC people

Charlie Clark
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Believe it you like

A Bloomberg report claimed Dell will seek out $1.7bn in cost savings in the next eighteen months – but it will seek to beef up sales by several times that amount, minimising the need to thin out more.

Cut $1.7bn and magically make more than from sales? Ain't gonna happen. Sorry for all the people getting the chop but we all knew this was going to happen. Dell took on far more debt than the deal can afford. But, since it got voted through, it's been Crystal Champagne and speedballs all round for the money men who hatched the taxpayer-financed scheme.

My prediction: will seek to beef up layouffs by several times that amount when sales don't meet their impossible targets as customers somehow reject price hikes and start buying straight from the Chinese, or Taiwanese to avoid problems with import restrictions.

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No-fly zone suggested for Galaxy Note 7

Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Ban all Lithium batteries

All Lithium batteries are potential risks. Ban them all and let the rest of us fly in peace!

Given that Samsung has recalled all sold Note 7s then this is alarmist nonsense by the FAA.

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Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just.... no

We'll believe it when we see it. The new ones come with an adapter. What more do you want?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Will audio quality get better?

The Apple justification of this is simply lies. It's a disgrace and a huge backward step.

It's worse than that: it's a con trick "watch the ball/lady", designed to take your attention off the real issue. See my post above.

For wireless transmission you pretty much need to go digital in order to get error correction and deal with the potential interference in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band. If this is done right then with a good DAC the quality is a good as good old copper, done poorly and it's fucking awful.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: 1200+ for a ceramic???

Thanks for the link. From the page And the W1 chip manages battery life so well, you can listen for 5 hours on a single charge

That is a massive fail for cordless headphones. 8 hours is the absolute minimum because if you need them on a long journey, you really need them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Not so Smartwatch

A mate of mine is very happy with the Pebble 2 (he had a Pebble 1 before).

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Charlie Clark
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No, not at all. It's the name of the game in consumer electronics or cars. But it is difficult to maintain sales volumes and, more importantly, margins like this. Apple can maintain margins or increase volumes but with pretty much me-too hardware it's going to struggle to do both.

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Charlie Clark
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Analogue versus digital? FTW!

By abolishing analogue there’s now a clearer digital path to your ear, and the phones get smaller.

When it comes to things like ear buds it really doesn't matter because the most important thing that matter is how the mechanics move the air to make the sound. Focussing on digital vs analogue is a "watch the ball" trick so that the sleight of hand can be performed.

There are so many other problems associated with removing the 3.5 mm plug: if you want to stay wired, the connection is now "at the wrong end" of the phone: should always be at the top of the phone. Personally, I much prefer using Bluetooth to avoid all the cable chaos. My best were some Sennheiser things on a neck cord: easy to use, good battery life and good sound but the controls stopped working at some point. Went with a Jabra dog tag for a while but controls weren't as good, neither was battery life and it was very susceptible to interference.

Despite the poor experience with Jabra I recently bough a Halo Smart for cycling and it does the job brilliantly: excellent battery life (15 hours talk/music) and microphone out of the wind. Controls could be bigger. As for hifi: well I'm on the fucking road and I need to hear any traffic / horns / sirens, so I can just about live without the feeling of being in the Royal Albert Hall!

But there's something missing from this article, as there was indeed in the presentation: what about new Mac hardware? Lots of us have cash we're desperate to give to Apple but not for last year's models.

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Apple killed OS X today and binned its $10,000 BlingWatch too

Charlie Clark
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Re: The Last Symbolic Vestige of neXtstep

Not quite: think of all those class names that start with NS…

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Charlie Clark
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Mac OS X is dead

Mac OS X never existed officially. MacOS was the "classic" OS and OS X was the NextStep based one. I'll stick with MacOS meaning the OS that comes with Apple's PC hardware and provide a full version number if required. Journalists who copy companies' writing styles such as macOS aren't journalists. macOS™ is merely a trademark.

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Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

Charlie Clark
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Re: Interesting

@Kieren

Like I said, I'm not a journalist so I don't know what you have to do to get on with companies. I'm usually pretty abrasive myself, but it still strikes me as odd that you think you'll get anywhere by essentially insulting them. Doesn't seem that smart to me but whatever works.

In any case, it doesn't sounds like you missed much: Apple removed the headphone jack from the phone; played some catch up with Android and ported retro games. And still no new Macs.

So, pretty much as Paul Graham predicted at PyCon in 2012: Apple has run out of ideas.

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Charlie Clark
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Interesting

To be honest I have a degree of sympathy. You seem to manage to combine persistence with a little too much snide and sarcasm — maybe this goes with the territory? — but I can't see it being very persuasive with the gatekeepers: unless you're Donald Trump calling someone a moron usually doesn't get their vote.

What I would do is go with this kind of information to Samsung, Huawei, et al. and see whether it opens any doors. Apple's attitude seems to be that it doesn't need "lowly" media like The Register. Of course, any company with a product to sell needs the media whores to get the message out, especially if the innovation train starts to slow.

I like Apple's approach to streaming the event as well: Safari or Edge. Because? This says more about arrogance and fuckwittery than anything else: they're excluding around 70% of internet users like this. That's obviously a lot of customers they're not interested in either!

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Meet Deliveroo's ‘bold and impactful’ new logo. No, really

Charlie Clark
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A shit, punk Playboy logo is what I thought too.

Don't know the older logo but it can't have been worse. Lots of these "capital light", "me too" services here in Germany. Hard to get excited about any of them considering how low the barrier to entry is but some seem to have given at least some thought as to the best way of carrying stuff around on bikes.

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Spinning that Brexit wheel: Regulation lotto for tech startups

Charlie Clark
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Re: One day we will revisit this with hindsight

Sadly option two is to fix the Euro. But that basically requires a common banking regulatory and bail-out system

This is already starting to happen. The bail-outs will stay national until the various national funds have built up enough capital. There's a positive side to this: who the hell wants to pay to bail out a merged Deutsche Bank / Commerzbank? German savers have already had to cough more than enough for WestLB, NordLB HSH Nordbank, etc. You can understand us for not wanting to take on the Italians as well.

Greece doesn't need more money, it needs an effective government and civil service. I'd like to see it leave it this didn't mean a potentially failed state on the edge of the EU next to a newly aggressive Turkey.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: One day we will revisit this with hindsight

The EU struggles on, still sticking to it's dogma and refusing to admit any possibility that currently entrenched policies are not "110% correct".

Outside the UK media this is never the case. As Alex Stubb, former prime minister of Finland. like to say the EU seems to need to for a crisis before doing just enough to reform things, but reform them it does. Then again, I can think of many national governments that do pretty much the same thing.

Personally, I hope that us voting to leave is a trigger for some introspection and the EU ends up in a "break up or reform" situation, and chooses to reform.

And Britain's decision to leave would encourage this kind of introspection because… Throwing your toys out of the pram is not the best way to advance your arguments. While every other EU member is unhappy about the British decision they are frankly more worried by their own national politics and economics.

The most telling thing about the whole process was the memo from the Japanese government. I saw an interview with the Japanese ambassador to Britain and he really didn't mince words. For anyone with any degree of familiarity with Japanese negotiators will aware, that is very, very unusual it was basically a thinly veiled threat: "stay in the free market if you want Japanese companies to stay in the UK". I think we can expect more of the same. Well, maybe not from Russia or North Korea…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Your Spanish mate

We've been trying to reform from the inside

Really? Certainly didn't look like that. One of Cameron's first moves was to break away from the EPP grouping in the European Parliament. This immediately irked the centre right parties in the larger countries and was the first of many attempts by Cameron to pacify Tory backbenchers.

Ever since Thatcher the rest of the EU has learned to work around any of the UK's more outlandish demands and just given them opt outs. This has steadily reduced the influence of the UK within the EU, much to the distress of the Netherlands or the Nordics. Grandstanding simply doesn't work. Tony Blair, who shouldn't ever be forgiven for messes in Iraq and Afghanistan at least understood this and was considered a skilled dealmaker.

But it was when it came to bailing out the Eurozone that the British approach was most shown up. The legality of the deal can most certainly be called into question but all non-Euro countries like Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic agreed while the UK fought, and lost, a pointless rearguard action over principles. It's precisely by playing the game better than the Brits that smaller countries like the Netherlands and Ireland get more of what they want.

A little more skilled negotiation, some give and take and the EU would have adopted a more reformist agenda.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Your Spanish mate

I thought such intra-EU protectionism Was Not Allowed?

"National interest" can always be invoked. I this card is even being played by the UK's planned massive nuclear subsidy aka Hinckley point

Here's your example Spain blocks takeover. This was later made into a full <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2007/apr/03/spain>Club Med deal</a>.

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Charlie Clark
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Your Spanish mate

seems to be living in another world if he thinks the UK will be able to have both less regulation and full access to single market. From what he says I know where he's coming from, but we all have somewhat limited perspectives:

I have close knowledge of several instances in Spanish industry where the regulations force them out of business to the benefit of some large German firms (regulations are tailored to suit these firms). Also I think that EU subsidies, whether in the form of grants, research projects or direct subsidies, destroy competitiveness. I know many companies and institutions living out of EU subsidies.

Here's he complaining about EU standards being based on DIN (German industry standards, many of which are drawn up by the industries themselves.). Well, in a game of standards the first one with a complete set tends to win. And the EU is a great example of how common standards can lower barriers to trade. Germany understands this game better than Spain. On the flip side it also has a much more open market than Spain: the Spanish government intervened a few years ago to stop German utility companies buying Spanish ones, which would have advanced much needed deregulation in the area as is already the case in Germany. A more competitive environment in Spain would be the best way to compete with German companies.

As for subsidies: I don't really know of any large industrial economy that doesn't have them on a large scale. In America DARPA's projects are basically a trough for the military industrial complex, withdraw them and a lot of companies would go to the wall.

There are, of course, cushy projects out there but the EU doesn't provide that much funding (when compared with what national governments tend to provide) and it does have a pretty good record with projects that might otherwise never have happened (CERN, Ariane, ITER, etc.). But the main point is: the UK would be in a much better place to reform this stuff as a member of the team committed to reform and one trying to reverse the post-expansion navel gazing.

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Japan's Brexit warning casts shadow over Softbank ARM promises

Charlie Clark
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Re: Nope.

There won't be a second referendum. End. Of. I believe Theresa May has been crystal on that.

What, you mean like "read my lips" kind of crystal?

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Charlie Clark
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I see the media are going into Brexit propaganda mode yet again, could it be do with parliament discussing a possible second referendum?

The status of the referendum is legally suspect. Technically it can only be advisory to Parliament, which is sovereign and fully within its rights to turn the advice down. Weird, that David Davis didn't mention this in his speech today, don't you think?

Whether it would be advisable for Parliament to do so is, as you rightly point out, another matter. Though it looks like May is quite happy to sit out the full five years, and without government support it's impossible to call an election earlier.

All this just means more uncertainty for the country and this is most certainly bad for business. However, every day means more younger voters coming of age and more EU residents being awarded residency and citizenship. Given those potential millions, who knows how the country would vote in a couple of years. Well, after Jezza has retired to the Fidel Castro Retirement Home for Deluded Trotskyists that is.

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O2: Float or flog. What's it going to be, Telefonica?

Charlie Clark
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What tends to matter is the ratio of debt to revenue aka "leverage". Though, thanks to central bank intervention even this doesn't seem to matter any more. Whether it's O2, Dell, Softbank, Japan or the good ole USA, seems people can't get enough debt.

I mean, after all, what could possibly go wrong?

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'Hey, Elon? You broke it, you bought it' says owner of SpaceX's satellite cinder

Charlie Clark
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Re: Going nowhere

@DAM . Yeah, yeah, and they killed that Jebus.

With respect, the Israeli tech sector is infamous for hustlers. That's not to say that there aren't some very smart people doing clever things there because there are.

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Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X

Charlie Clark
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Re: Can you spell lawsuit?

I know a lot of people don't like windows 10 but I really don't see the issue,

Then I suspect you don't work professionally with computers. Microsoft's policy may well annoy business companies so much that they look for alternatives, or look even harder if they do already. The telemetry and sloppy update process are real blockers here. Any hint of a different deal for business users is only going to be bad PR for "normal" users.

As for lawsuits: there is ample case law for this kind of restrictive practice and as a result I don't see them following through.

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Charlie Clark
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Can you spell lawsuit?

This has restrictive practice written all over it and is likely to backfire in a completely unnecessary way on Microsoft and Intel and AMD.

When purchase an operating system you obtain it with statutory rights and not with just the bollocks they put in the (generally) invalid EULA. This includes being able to run the OS on any hardware that meets the minimum specification.

Now, it might be okay for MS to disable certain functionality if hardware support is required that wasn't available at the time (encryption springs to mind but there are other examples). However, fiddling around with synthetic limitations like this is about the best thing MS can do to annoy its enterprise customers. While some of them will play along, others will go with different hardware. Or, and this really ought to scare Microsoft, bring forward BYOD / other platform plans.

And class action lawsuits by individuals shouldn't be ruled out either and they could be big, not just financially but also in the amount of information they might have to turn over in the discovery phase.

There is an easy way out for Microsoft: concentrate on fixing Windows 10 so that people will really want to use it and keep the free "upgrade" open. Shitting on your customers' doorstep is not going to get them to love you.

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Charlie Clark
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Then just buy Sky Lake instead, there is nearly no performance difference.

How long do you think Intel we keep those processors available for?

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Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablets recalled immediately

Charlie Clark
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Re: So this isn't a dodgy USB cable issue after all

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. We know you're an Apple shareholder and fan but so what?

There is no doubt that this is an expensive mess up for Samsung but at this point it would seem to me that the most important question is: are they handling it well? I think they are. Whenever you make a mistake in business the most important thing to do is to admit it and show you're doing something about this. All Lithium batteries are a fire risk, which is why they come with hazard warnings printed on them. This maybe the most profile incident the mobile phone industry but the same problem has affected other companies (Sony, I think) in the past as well as notebook manufacturers and plane makers (Boeing's 787).

Samsung have apparently sold over 2 million devices and there are reports off less than 100 incidents but they are still doing a full recall. To me this is kaizen in practice and shows that they care and is a very different response to a failure than Steve Jobs "you're holding it wrong" when Apple engineers fucked up on the antenna build. So, while people's faith in Samsung make be a little shaken, they're taking the best action to restore it, though this will take time. As for the timing with respect to the next I-Phone, I don't think it matters that much and if customers are happy with the way replacements are handled, could yet be good PR. Apple will be hoping that they don't have anything similar in their kit.

Most importantly: what does this tell us about fixed batteries? If the problem is with the batteries then the recall action would be a whole lot quicker, cheaper and easier to run. I wonder if Samsung will learn from this and revert to offering phones with removable batteries. I even wonder if this shouldn't be regulated for devices for all rechargeable batteries bigger than say 500 mAh.

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: A small crumb of comfort

After the first launch of Ariane5 the stats didn't look so good.

You're right, they didn't and that launch was a disaster. But it was also an exhaustively researched disaster and it looks like the lessons have been learned.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: A small crumb of comfort

Because $bn rockets built by giant defence companies from re-purposed ICBM designs and launched by national space agencies don't go kaboom

So you mean not like Ariane?

Rockets from the Ariane family have accumulated 230 launches since 1979, 219 of which were successful, yielding a 95.2% success rate. Between April 2003 and June 2016, Ariane 5 has flown 72 consecutive missions without failure.

And that has involved doing some seriously revolutionary rocket science.

Source

It doesn't matter a gnat's dick if the launch only costs $ 10 million if your $ 200 million satellite goes up in flames. Expect insurance premiums for Falcon launches to have gone up significantly this week.

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Charlie Clark
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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.

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Is it time to unplug frail OpenOffice's life support? Apache Project asked to mull it over

Charlie Clark
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Re: 1.1 onward

I still prefer the UI of OpenOffice over LibreOffice. And I get odd crashes with LibreOffice that I never got with OpenOffice. I understand the development philosophy behind LibreOffice and the team has obviously got energy but I find the results too buggy to use comfortably.

Long term, some kind of merge would make sense. Or maybe just of the common code base, filters, etc.

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Google scraps its Project Ara modular smartphone wheeze

Charlie Clark
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Re: FIgures

Remember Orkut, Wave, etc.

Yes, but they weren't useful either, were they?

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Windows 10 now rules the weekend, taking over from Windows 7

Charlie Clark
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Re: -1

Well the Win10 numbers are about to reduce by one user

I'm sorry, Dave, I can't allow you to do that.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Logical fallacy

Android devices outselling Windows devices by nearly four to one. But Windows 10 is clearly on the rise and more of us will soon be in the OS-as-a-service world, just where Redmond wants us to be.

This is a glaring example of a logical fallacy along the lines of: frogs are green; I am green therefore I am a frog.

An increase in relative terms (market share) does not mean an increase in absolute terms. Indeed, as the market share of mobile devices increases, the number of people using desktop machines decreases (absolutely and relatively). So as people switch from Windows to IOS or Android, and they are, the market share for Windows 10 might go up even if fewer people are using it. That said, 1 year in and even including the compulsory distribution on new machines (with the odd exception) and strong arm update tactics, the uptake of Windows 10 is far from impressive.

From my own numbers I'm watching a growth in mobile from around 15% in 2015 to over 20% in 2016. But don't believe me: have a look at Akamai's data, which El Reg persistently fails to refer to, along with its own data.

I have no idea why Mr Sharwood thinks data from US government websites is any more representative of global trends than data from El Reg. I suspect the answer is that he simply doesn't have access to El Reg's stats. This would be very poor for a tech website if it were true.

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Cooky crumbles: Apple mulls yanking profits out of Europe and into US

Charlie Clark
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I think you'll find that Trump's plans are only intended to apply to his companies and family. This is one of the reasons why the Koch brothers (the loathsome duo) aren't spending any money on his campaign.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: For my downvoters

Still anonymous we see. Could be any of the many clueless wankers out there.

By doing so, the commission risks undermining the important work carried out within the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) through its “Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” (BEPS) project.

This is probably the weakest argument of all that have been presented. Only by aggressively going after the various wheezes is the commission going to get the proper attention of the US and any kind meaningful deal with BEPS. The lobbyists, to which illustrious group Kroes returned after her time in the commission, have been busy watering down the proposals since they were first made.

This is similar to when the US decided to go after Switzerland, where coincidentally I think Apple did its amusing bond issue for share buybacks because to do so with cash would have required repatriation and paying tax, about money laundering that convinced the Swiss government that international banking licences were worth more that banking secrecy.

There is definitely scope for negotiation over the total amount to be paid and that's where Apple and the Irish government should be focussing their energies.

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Charlie Clark
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Stop

Re: It's not about fair, it's about the law

Going after sweetheart deals is the best way to get coherent and cooperative international tax policy.

Sweetheart deals are are a form of state aid. As such they are generally tolerated as long as they are open to all and have clear limitations. Are you seriously arguing that a deal cut between Apple and Ireland in 1991 for preferential treatment, in order to offset the costs of setting up business in Ireland, should still apply today?

In any case, the real bone of contention is that Apple setup a shell company in Ireland for handling international sales to its subsidiaries but thinks that this shell company should somehow be exempt from even Ireland's low corporate tax rate. So, apparently it's okay to pay corporate tax on business done in Ireland, but apparently not okay to pay corporate tax on business done elsewhere in the EU. In which case, the alternative is surely that Apple should pay the tax (presumably at much higher rates) in the relevant countries.

The single market exists precisely to avoid this kind of complex accounting and even allows them to play countries off against each other but they must pay tax on all the sales in the EU as a result.

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Where is Tim Cook's PR team?

They really should not be letting this stay in the headlines in the run up to their next product launch. Agree to pay, though perhaps with some negotiations, promise to be a good corporate ciitzen and get out of the headlines. Otherwise, this will still be in people's minds when next week. And, when they're supposed to be thinking "must have shiny, shiny", they may still be thinking: so 0.0005 % of the $ 900 is all the tax Apple pays?

Trying to fight this is lose-lose for Apple: it's back tax on sales in the EU that have already happened through an Irish-based tax shelter so repatriation isn't an offer and all the precedents are against appealing. Apple has hundreds of billions in cash so even this massive bill will hardly effect them. Hell, if they're accountants get them to offset share buybacks against tax, then I'm sure they can come up with a suitable scheme to minimise the actual pain.

And get lobbying for tax reform in the US: not just the corporate rate, but on taxing only where sales are made. A simpler tax system will benefit Apple almost as much as wheezes like this.

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

Charlie Clark
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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,

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Charlie Clark
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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?

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Charlie Clark
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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.

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Charlie Clark
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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.

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Nest developers become Oompa-Loompas in Google shake-up

Charlie Clark
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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.

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

Charlie Clark
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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.

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Charlie Clark
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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!

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Charlie Clark
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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.

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Charlie Clark
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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.

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ARM moneymen OK buyout

Charlie Clark
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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.

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

Charlie Clark
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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.

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