* Posts by Charlie Clark

5121 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Not auf wiedersehen – yet! The Berlin scene tempting Brexit tech

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Not just Berlin....

I could handle a fair bit of bureaucracy to be able to live in Paris.

Paris is great if you can afford to live somewhere with good transport for work. Like London, it's a wonderful place to visit but living there can be very stressful.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Meh

Yeah I think we aught to give up there.

Well, you ought to until you learn to spell and set commas correctly.

And we have a referendum with a leave vote.

The referendum was only ever advisory because … drumroll … parliament is sovereign. And the reason the UK doesn't govern by referendum is because referendums are shit for detailed policy, such as trade negotiations. The margin to leave was small, which is one of the reasons why policy referendums usually come with quorums and 2/3 or 3/4 majority requirements to favour the status quo. So, we still only know that "Brexit means Brexit". Two packets, please.

Thank you goodnight!

We can but hope so.

1
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Meh

Not really, just trapped with the regulations of the EU…

Yes, because BSE was caused by the UK's own laxer regulations over the dubious practice of feeding sheep carcasses to cows…

The Euro currency should have been dissolved but instead a country was sacrificed. The utopia dream of equality destroyed when Germany unilaterally invited the middle east to move in.

This is, as usual, superficial nonsense.

3
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Meh

"And you might expect your government to try and keep you in the dark for as long as possible."

Makes for good negotiating. Glad they didnt cave to the pressure of idiots wanting them to broadcast their negotiations.

Have you been reading the Dummies Guide to Game Theory again? How does keeping the electorate in the dark help the government, except in areas which the electorate might not like: cf. the ideas about dispute resolution in TTIP.

As for negotiating with the rest of the EU. What do you think that the UK can hide from the countries with which it currently trades the most?

"You're the one who doesn't seem to think that businesses can succeed both within the single market and out of it"

When did I say that? Of course some businesses can succeed. It does limit our options though.

You keep on saying that being outside the EU will give the UK more freedom in trade. This conveniently ignores the fact that the UK can already trade with non-EU countries and that it benefits from any trade agreements the EU signs. Outside the EU those agreements will have to be negotiated from scratch. Trade agreements generally take years to negotiate.

Is Germany the only one in this single market or are they the only success story?

No, it's merely an example and the one I'm most familiar with.

And still doesnt change the fact. If Germany left the EU which way would their new currency go? Here is a hint UP! And of course if Greece left their new currency would fall. Tie them together in the euro and both suffer opposite problems.

Germany isn't planning to leave the Euro or the EU any time soon, so there is no "fact" to be changed. If it did it would continue to do what is necessary to remain competitive: increase productivity through rationalisation and wage restraint. As for Greece, currency devaluations do not solve systemic problems and can make these worse.

Currency unions are always compromises: in the US the economies of Mississippi and California are extremely divergent; within the Euro area Ireland and the Baltic states have practised "internal" devaluation to remain competitive as, to a lesser degree have Portugal and Spain. Indeed Latvia and Lithuania worked hard to join the Euro even during the crisis because their governments understood the advantages of the currency union. Greece is a basket case because successive governments have failed to undertake the necessary reforms to benefit from the single market.

2
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Meh

Did you mean to include google in there or is that a joke?

Nope, Google has a significant presence in the UK and elsewhere in the EU (and Switzerland).

Not much is happening yet, because the future terms of trade are unknown. And you might expect your government to try and keep you in the dark for as long as possible.

I guess it helps when the Euro forces their currency to be artificially low while at the same time artificially too high for Greece.

Nonsense: among other things Germany practised wage restraint for years, while countries like Greece squandered a period of low interest rates to fund a credit boom. Other than that pretty much every country has been holding their currency down since 2008, though this has generally been a welcome side-effect of financial repression rather than explicit fiddling with the currency. Indeed for the last few years most Germans would like to see higher interest rates and hence a stronger Euro.

Is Germany now the only example of success?

When did I say that? You're the one who doesn't seem to think that businesses can succeed both within the single market and out of it. Talk to any German industrialists and they'll tell you how important the integrated supply chains within the EU are to their success outside of it.

6
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Meh

China can set their own standards because they're a bloc of a billion people.

It can and does sometimes but, like many countries, it's often happy to use standards that somebody else has already spent time and effort coming up with.

5
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Meh

Yup. It will come tomorrow. I know I said that yesterday but I know it is coming tomorrow. And if tomorrow becomes today and it hasnt happened then I will say the same then too. Because its coming... tomorrow.

It's an increasingly open secret that the companies in the financial services are already opening small offices. They can relocate pretty quickly, bug as long as there is no immediate need to move, then why should they?

Indeed the recent rise in Sterling since the announcement of the election was justified by May using the bigger majority to renege (surely not!) on repeated pledges about the UK leaving the EU. But, as long as Brexit means Brexit, how can she be accused of anything?

We will see movement associated with any of the many EU research initiatives and of course the regulators. But the litmus test may well be industrial and whether the government can deliver on the secret assurances it has given to Toyota, Nissan, etc.

6
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Meh

For those who need or want to restrict themselves to the EU moving may make sense.

What? You mean like Goldman Sachs, Google, Toyota?

The single market is important because it sets standards not because its exclusive: look at how Germany's trade with India and China has continued to grow.

5
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: HOW MUCH?!???

Flats in Germany are generally measured by size and the price m2 is important. A "one-bedroomed flat" could be anything from 40 to 70 m2.

Berlin is huge and economic development is spread out around the city. That said, it has recently seen a property speculation boom (driven as much by AirBnB tourism as anything else) and prices are now considered to have more or less peaked (rent controls prevent the most egregious price hikes) with the financial repression induced by low interest rates starting to end. Outside of the hippest areas, rents should be a lot lower and public transport in Berlin is very good.

7
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: The Berlin scene tempting Brexit tech...

I thought that it took three years and that if your second nationality at the time of getting the German one is not an EU nationailty then you have to give it up. I.e. of you started now you couldn't keep the British one, or have I got that wrong?

The requirement to give up the other nationality has recently been relaxed. It's difficult anyway as many countries will not allow citizens to return their passports. I don't know anything about the three year rule but I don't see things changing much until the UK has officially left, which might be some years hence because leaving the EU is so fucking difficult. This is probably the main reason for May calling the election: a bigger majority might give her a more pliable parliamentary party (yeah, right), but it also puts the subsequent general election back to 2022 by which point people might not care so much that regarding Europe very little has changed. One nice aspect of the current SNAFU is that the ECJ is likely going remain the arbiter of any settlement.

5
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I like the whole Brussels-to-Berlin corridor

Tory party was never a meritocracy.

I agree with you but don't forget that the term was originally coined as one of derision, which seemed to be vindicated by last year's "rebellion".

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: The Berlin scene tempting Brexit tech...

EU citizens can get unrestricted residence permits pretty easily and, once you have one (and you must apply in order to stay in the country), applying for citizenship is pretty straightforward.

5
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Why Berlin?

Start up areas tend to benefit from network effects: once somewhere is established it attracts other parts of the eco-system, which help employees move between companies or create their own. Berlin's attraction was not just cheap rents, but also the ability to attract quality programmers and engineers from Poland and elsewhere.

That said, start ups also tend to congregate around other existing business areas, which is why Düsseldorf also has its fair share (telecoms, fintech, etct.) as do Munich and Frankfurt. London's scene is almost entirely dependent upon money from the investment sector and if that moves, it will. But don't expect any major announcements until the necessary deals have been done.

6
0

SAP Anywhere goes nowhere, reaches commercial cul-de-sac

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: This is probably a forseeable consequence

ah, yes the recent High Court decision in their favour means that their licence fees are safe however naughty customers try and access their own data.

3
0

Qualcomm's Windows-capable silicon will land later rather than sooner

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

MS was stuffed by Intel's exit from the mobile market.

The damage was done long before that with the needlessly crippled Windows RT that MS did as a favour to Intel.

Microsoft's new strategy is mobile cloud first, cloud only.

2
1

Not the droids you're looking for – worst handsets to resell

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Touchscreens that mount on the RPi's extender are cheap and come with drivers.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Up

FWIW LineageOS is now available for the S3. It's well worth giving a go to get more out of the phone.

But the S5 is a much better phone, bought my own second hand 18 months ago. Splashed out on the wireless charging kit and an MHL cable (so I can watch what I want on hotel TVs) and an Otterbox and Quadlock for mounting on my handlebars and a Jabra sport headset. Worth keeping some cash for useful accessories rather than buying more shine.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: James May

The new car market is mainly driven by leasing and company cars which benefit from significant tax subsidies, the idea being that the car industry is hugely important to the economy. Pity the idiots that are trying to keep up with them out of their own pockets.

1
0

Trump's self-imposed cybersecurity deadline is up: What we got?

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

My guess is that when he finds some aspect of the presidency hard, he will just ignore it.

He's already done this many times. Just not quite enough yet to start impeachment proceedings, which is possibly why he's holding on so tightly to those tax returns.

What we're now seeing, however, is a bit like the Reagan years with policy being handed over to the generals and the VP with Trump interrupting his golf games every now and then to give a rousing speech to the base.

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Cybersecurity is a problem for Trump

FWIW other countries are not quite so lax. A few years ago in Germany it became a requirement for companies in "strategic" industries (banking, insurance, etc.) to report any attacks to the state prosecutor's office (LKA). That in itself doesn't guarantee anything but, of course, failing to do so could void any insurance claims and this will inevitably spread along the side chains and to suppliers.

So, slowly awareness about cybersecurity and the willingness to do something about it is growing. Not without the usual pointless PR ops such as Ursula von der Leyen's "cyber army" stunt. In summary, it's easy to get the ball rolling on this without lots of reports.

0
0

Google's cloudy image recognition is easily blinded, say boffins

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

This is already what happens. Plus, they already have cameras covering the whole area: fixed view cameras are much easier to calibrate and train. But we need to dream up "use cases" for drones and image recognition other than whether some celebrity has got their baps out…

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Oh goody! More training data

Interesting study but I suspect the system can soon be trained to work with such processed images.

1
1

Apple's zippy silicon leaves Android rivals choking on dust

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Is this what is has come down to?

I don't think I've ever bought a phone because of its performance benchmark. And, even though Apple's silicon has traditionally outperformed the competition in key areas such as the GPU, it's wisely steered clear of comparisons along those lines. Apple's value proposition to customers is a beautiful product with all the nasty technology hidden away and seamless integration in the Apple world*. As Andrew himself has repeatedly pointed out: it's not about the hardware but about the platform.

What Android offers is choice. I personally won't buy a phone that doesn't have an OLED screen. Others find the idea of replaceable batteries or cheap memory expansion via SD cards, or a different browser or mail client. Google and Android manufacturers spent years playing catch up with Apple in both the hardware and OS but overtook them a couple of years ago. Since then Apple has started to copy the upstarts with larger screens and things like notifications but where's support for multiple windows?

The comparison of R&D spending between Apple and Google is disingenuous. Google has its fingers a great deal more pies and is actively looking for new markets. When did Apple last launch a genuinely new product? Of course, as long as it sells I-Phones at current volumes and margins, it doesn't really need to do much.

* This may or may not be the case for users. Certainly isn't for me.

10
1

No, Microsoft is not 'killing Windows 10 Mobile'

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

A better Windows than Windows…

If that is where x86 on ARM is supposed to lead then we all know where it will end.

0
0

Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Who to choose?

Simply people complain about there only being 2 parties and then tactically vote for one of those 2 parties.

It's the electoral system that favours the two-party system: see also the US.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Who to choose?

You should also consider the 2010 result before making a decision, though I agree it looks like the anti-Tory vote where you live is probably Labour. :-/

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Who to choose?

It seems to me that Labour's best chance of nabbing this is to dump Corbyn

FTFY

I guess they won't get around to doing that until they've been humiliated again. Even then Militant 2015 seems to be so in control of the party that won't bother. After all militant policies worked so well in the 1980s didn't they? How does 18 years out of government sound?

5
2
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: This goes to show one thing

If Corbyn wasn't such a fucking tool, he'd do what the Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition is supposed to do and oppose the government. Let May get her parliamentary majority only with the support of the SNP or try and ride out the inevitable backbench rebellions. Fixed term parliaments are only supposed to be undone by votes of no confidence in the government, not to allow the PM to call snap elections when it suits them.

28
2

Feel guilty for scoffing Easter chocolate? Good news: Scientists have made NEGATIVE mass

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Negative mass?

Talking about mass here definitely muddies the water. The effect seems to be one of negative acceleration but presumably the energy required for the change in direction is provided by manipulating the spin of the atoms?

3
1

Code-sharing leads to widespread bug sharing that black-hats can track

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Stop

That time of the month?

Don't we seem to get a report like this stating the bloody obvious and overstating the risks from Trend Micro every month?

The PHP example is annoying even if it's true: if you don't use prepared statements for DB work you deserve to be hacked. Good research highlights the less obvious security flaws in our code.

0
0

Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

Trite nonsense

Algorithms are almost as pervasive in our lives as cars and the internet

Algorithms are far more pervasive than either cars or the internet. But it seems the author is not sure as to what an algorithm is.

Mine's the one with the pocket Knuth in the pocket.

12
0

Good job, everyone. We're making AI just as tediously racist and sexist as ourselves

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Hope that problem will be fixed and AI will one day take charge of hiring workers on most places

hm, I wonder who, or more likely what, they will hire: other computers are likely to make the best candidates!

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

This counts as journalism?

A previous experiment showed that people with European American names were 50 per cent more likely to get an interview from a job application.…

Link or at least name of the study and country where this happened (I assume the USA but the USA isn't the world).

Machine learning will be skewed by the datasets and the corrections it receives. Seeing as these will both be done by humans, adopting the human bias is unavoidable. Think of training systems to recognise images of cute animals… So, the real question is whether the systems are being used appropriately?

Anyway, I'm happy with a certain degree of bias as long as it stops Amazon et al. trying to sell me what I've just bought. In many commercial applications (think film or music recommendations) this kind of bias is likely to be welcomed by the customers, who, when it comes to comestibles, almost always prefer "more of the same".

0
1

US military makes first drop of Mother-of-All-Bombs on Daesh-bags

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Unique selling point

Indeed. It's the smart bomb video redux. The video footage focuses our attention on the awesome power of this weapon and its amazing accuracy. That we have no way of verifying the claim that it was actually dropped on a tunnel complex underlines the real object of the report: tell the US population that no one messes with America so they can sleep safely and not worry about the budget.

Massive bombs and chemical warfare worked so well in Vietnam and Afghanistan since 1980, haven't they? Breaking news for the US: the Taliban is winning the war in Afghanistan.

3
1

Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: 'logging out of websites – especially social media websites'

Depends on the cookie: any session cookies will be deleted when you logout and any decent blocker should stop running (including making a call to the FB server) in the first place.

0
0

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Stupid

But for those stuck with Windows-ONLY software

Not really, modern hardware imposes a minimum penalty when running VMs so need for toys like WINE.

3
2
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

What I don't understand

Assuming that the descendants of Windows NT still use something like HAL for abstracting the hardware, why there should be problems like this at all. I can understand Windows 7 not receiving hardware-dependent acceleration that only newer chips support, but for the rest? It's x86_64, SSE, SIMD, etc.

If I had a Windows environment I'd very strongly consider switching to a stripped down unix just for running Windows VMs.

5
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I don't get it...

Unfortunately, a significant number of the MS audience

Not really: PC sales continue to decline and the most recent report (check for skid marks) suggested only business customers were buying new machines in any volume.

I don't know anyone in the retail channel but my most recent to the German equivalent of PC World showed a poor selection of cheap and underspecc'd machines and little interest from customers. It wouldn't surprise me if the selection gets smaller or even if there is a rebranding as customers switch off their computers for good.

Gaming is obviously still a large, dedicated market but there's no reason to think this won't also be eaten by the mobile revolution: imagine a beefed up version of the S8 dock just for gamers…

2
0

Far out: Dark matter bridges millions of light-years long spotted between galaxies

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Pint

Re: False false colours

Octarene, anyone?

Pint of scumble or screech, please landlord.

6
0

No more IP addresses for countries that shut down internet access

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Worry not, Python devs – you can program a quantum computer

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Scratch?

It's basically Squeak (Smalltalk) done in Python.

I remember a keynote by one of the original Squeak developers (I think) given at Europython in Geneva saying that had Python been around at the time then he would have used that.

2
0

MPs worried Brexit vote website wobble caused by foreign hackers

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

how encryption works

Isn't is some kind of fiendish EU bureaucratic regulation nonsense?

5
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

First thing I would do is a add a server level GeoBlock

What about those of us living elsewhere who are still entitled to vote?

6
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Cabinet has ruled out intervention by foreign powers

all the lies

You really sure about that?

And there's me looking forward to a rerun of the good natured contest: what larks!

2
1

Nvidia says Google's TPU benchmark compared wrong kit

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Google still kicks NVIDA in terms of power...

I think you've rather missed the point of the article.

No, the article missed the point of Google's report. They decided to build their own hardware because power consumption was key for their rollout plans. They still rely on nVidia for the training so nothing's changed there and I suspect they're not at all averse to offers for TPU replacement chips from nVidia or anyone else that have better OPs/Watt values.

3
0

Hasta la Windows Vista, baby! It's now officially dead – good riddance

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Vista Capable

No, it wasn't just Aero it was the who display subsystem using XML, which was like going back to Display Postscript and pouring treacle on it: this required lots of memory. As long as you had that then you were fine, with or without stupid translucent effects.

At the time a friend of mine asked for help getting a notebook. We went straight for 4GB which was a huge step up at the time when many XP machines had 500 MB or just 256 MB but he was happy with the machine all the way until recently retiring it. I heard similar things from other people who had Vista: with enough RAM they liked it, without it, it was a pig.

Windows Vista did indeed introduce lots of security and stability improvements of which disabling shitty drivers was key but the UAC was just badly done because it was too granular. We've similar things with the privacy settings in modern mobile phones but at least permissions are now grouped into generally understandable high level categories.

2
0

Apple wets its pants over Swatch ad tagline

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: This is what lawyers do

Am I really the only person here who speaks English?

Stop being so prescriptive. "As" may be redundant here but it's the dominant word used in comparisons or similar adverbial phrases.

And it looks like equally as has a a long history

0
3
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Daft thing is ...

All of you who feel a compelling need to know exactly what time it is

None of us do so you can burn that straw man. Just because you don't use watches doesn't mean those who do are idiots.

What it comes down to is simple usability: KISS or "Obvious always wins". When I do want to know time I want a simple, reliable and repeatable way of doing it. I have yet to come across a device for doing this that beats a watch, though I think that today maybe a pocket watch or nurse's watch might be better because I don't like a wrist watch when I'm typing or cycling.

People used to tell the time via the local church clock (this is, I believe, one of the reasons why building ordinances often stipulate that they're kept visible) but the industrial revolution allowed the production of reliable time pieces for the masses. Should accurate time again be restricted to the elite?

4
0

Google fumes after US Dept of Labor accuses ad giant of lowballing pay for women

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Correlation is not causality

@Meerkatje

Thanks for the link. An interesting report.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Correlation is not causality

The big problem with investigations like this is that employment contracts are civil contracts. Regulation should, therefore, be limited to ensuring that minimum standards, such as hours worked, minimum wage, equal opportunity, etc. are met and that the playing field is as level as possible (collective bargaining). More than that and it quickly becomes interference with a company's ability to trade.

In terms of equal pay this means little more than candidates with the same qualifications doing the same job should start at the same pay grade. But there must always be room for individual negotiations and this is where the problems start: men are generally better at negotiating higher salaries but they might also get preferential treatment if they're prepared to work longer or unsociable hours, which is likely to favour men. People might also get offered better jobs because of their looks – anyone who thinks this doesn't happen, hasn't spent much time in the workforce – which might favour women. But employers are unlikely to gain a significant advantage by systematically paying men more than women to do the same thing. Where flexibility in wages is important is where you see bonus schemes or non-salary benefits such as company cars.

4
2

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017