* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

5475 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Britain's fight to get its F-35 aircraft carriers operational turns legal

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I don't wish to complain about El Reg snark too much, as it really is one of the reasons we all come here.

But there's a point when snark moves from being a fun part of conveying the news to just talking utter bollocks.

We're not borrowing a squadron of US marine F35s to make up the numbers on the carrier, we're borrowing them because fixed wing carrier flight operations are incredibly complicated. Thus the RN have built themselves a nice staged program of training. Remember, even if we'd kept Harrier, they only tended to run very small air groups of those (usually around 10 aircraft) on 25,000 tonne carriers. These are 65,000 tonne carriers designed for an air wing of 48 planes, plus helicopters. That's a rather larger number.

So we've got guys flying (and deck crewing) with the US navy and marines at the moment, well we probably always have but I believe they have more over there at the moment. We're also working up our own squadrons. I believe our order is 48 planes for "quick" delivery (a relative term) and the balance of the 140 ordered by around 2027.

I think we've got 3 planes now, so still on evaluation and training. Plus people flying them in the US. Then they'll put together a squadron. Then they'll practise on carriers, I presume they'll go visiting the US ones if they're ready before ours are. Then they've got to get the Queen Elizabeth into commission, train a deck crew, then bring the carrier and air group together - and as the US will have been using the things off carriers for a while, they're going to use their help. Which makes sense.

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Devil

Only if your bombs are too small. Use ones that are big enough and there's nobody left to sue you.

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Tesla's big news today:
sudo killall -9 Autopilot

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As my eyesight is too poor to be allowed to drive, self-driving cars are an obvious temptation for me. Though sadly I'm convinced that when the law is first changed to allow them you'll still require a full driving license and to be sober. Then they'll be rather expensive, and so I've still got many years to wait before I get to be able to drive wherever I want. I'm sure there'll be self-driving taxis, but I bet they don't end up all that much cheaper than human driven ones.

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Adam 52,

In my opinion, the retards were the ones who called an improved cruise control system "Autopilot".

They were deliberatly lying about what their system did, some of their customers believed the hype - though ignoring the warnings in tiny print, and now they're in the shit, and flailing. As they fully deserve to be.

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Re: Switched Off?

You're not missing anything. The current users of "Autopilot" are the beta testers for the new users.

Think of them like royal food tasters. They get to eat a lot of very nice food not otherwise available to men of their class, it's just that every so often one of them drops dead.

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Re: Seems prudent

The BBC article leads with "Tesla to make all new cars self-driving"

Isn't that Tesla's fault though, for the way they worded the press release?

They're trying to have their cake and eat it. Which in this case is stupid.

Particularly as self-driving cars aren't going to be legal for the general public for many years to come. Sure there's some limited testing going on, and the tech is likely to come out safer than human drivers, but society tends to be rather conservative about these things. So I can't see it being legal to buy a self-driving car for at least a decade - and probably considerably more. By which time you're likely to have replaced any new Tesla you've bought this year.

Plus, what if government mandates lidar instead of radar?

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Ecuador admits it cut Assange's internet to stop WikiLeaks' US election 'interference'

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Re: Whils I Generlly Support the Principles or Wikileaks and Cryptome ....

Archtech,

Perhaps you would like provide some evidence to back up the "fact" that Clinton has publicly committed to war with Russia? It's certainly something that's pased me by, and I'm pretty sure that people would have made a fuss about it if she had.

Also, "vote for me I want to end humanity" is unlikely to make for a popular manifesto...

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Re: Plan B

Hmmm, an idea... Can we host in London all the foreign spies and dissidents we can get our hands on. But make a rule that they all have to use TalkTalk, so they've got no signal. That will force them to use pigeons, then all the worlds' intelligence agencies will come to London, and kill off our excess pigeon supply for free...

Or am I just being silly? El Reg need a lightbulb icon.

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Re: Woah!

There's nothing wrong with trying to influence elections. You can even do it and still be a journalist, so long as you're honest about it, and tell people where you're editorialising and where you're reporting.

However Assange and Wikileaks don't appear to be being honest. More importantly he's hiding out in Ecuador's embassy, and foreign governments are not supposed to try to influence other peoples' elections. That's very bad form, and is particularly bad for foreign relations if the side you tried to influence against go and win anyway. As they're going to be a mite pissed off with you.

Hence governments mostly keep their big noses out of elections - why I think Obama made a mistake getting involed in the Brexit debate (although he was invited by the UK government so nobody can complain).

So Ecuador don't want to be seen as supporting Assange, which they might be, as he's in their government building. So they've cut him off. Given he can just get a mobile phone and go online - I doubt this is going to inconvenience him unduly - but they've made the point that they're not supporting him. Which is I guess the important thing.

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Re: Slow motion catastrophe

What is all this crap about Clinton being a criminal mastermind?

I'm not a fan of either Clinton - and obviously there were various scandals like Whitewater (of which I remember precisely zero details now). And I'm sure she's got plenty of skeletons in her closet, given she's been in government and the awful way US politics is funded. But why is she worse than any other senator runningn for the White House? Like say Obama, McCain or Kennedy? I certainly hear much worse invective used against her than I do against them...

Yours,

Confused of Tunbridge Wells

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I did see a report from the trial that said Manning was getting help on how to get all the data off the servers over IRC and that this help was coming from Julian Assange. Of course saying that and proving it in court are two very different beasts indeed. But that was obviously the way the investigators were thinking at the time - and I presume that would be a crime under US law. Although as that crime would be espionage, I don't think Sweden would be allowed to extradite him?

If the public accusations that the Russians hacked the DNC and Clinton are correct, then presumably Wikileaks are legally in the clear over those.

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Re: Whils I Generlly Support the Principles or Wikileaks and Cryptome ....

So now exposing corruption in a candidate is "diddling with elections." Sure, anything to shut his mouth, right?

If Wikileaks had just published their trove of Clinton emails, then you could argue that was them doing what they do. But to publish them in small chunks, to keep those emails in the headlines for the whole campaign? That's another thing entirely, and looks much more like an attempt to garner publicity. The next question is then to ask who's that publicity to benefit? Is it just more good PR for Wikileaks - or is he intentionally attempting to influence the election in favour of Trump?

Obviously it's hard to know that. Although the fact that they produced another release of emails just after Trump's lovely tape came out, where he admitted to grabbing women "by the pussy" and maybe asking later - does start to look suspiciously partisan. Maybe that's the motive? Perhaps St Julian would like to be a celeb who can just do what you like, "and they'll let you" too? Or perhaps those rape charges in Sweden are all trumped up by the evil global conspiracy, he's not a narcissistic dickhead and it's just my tinfoil hat slipping?

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Re: Why does President Correa support Clinton?

You are clearly only an apprentice. So let me give you a hand with that.

You're saying you want to see Trump's fortune hair today, gone tomorrow.

And him tumbling from the toupee the rich list, to the bottom - leaving just a lingering smell and us wondering, who trumped?

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Soz, folklore fans! Negligence, not Nessie, sank WWI German sub

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Re: Das Bootnote

But if El Reg know it's "das Boot" why did they write "Her wreck"?

Perhaps they meant Herr Wreck?

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Re: The Germans...

A few navies had fun with seaplanes on submarines. I seem to remember the Japanese used one to bomob Sydney harbour.

Although nobody beats the US for silliness by landing aeroplanes on airships. The USS Akron and Macron. The didn't have a flight deck on top, they landed the biplanes on a sort of trapeze, then hoisted them up into the hangar, and launched them the same way.

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DARPA unveils robot co-pilot

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A warning from history

Remember what happened in Airplane II - which should warn us to be cautious.

Also, will this autopilot be capable of smoking a cigarette? Very important part of crew-interaction that...

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NFL is No Fondleslab League: Top coach says he'd rather use pen and paper than Surface tab

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Re: I wonder if he'll be fined

He can probably afford it...

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Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

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Re: Errrm

Naselus,

I don't believe there's a better system out there than the one we've currently got. Which is free markets with mixed ownership of resources, but most of that ownership being capitalist. And anyone who argues against it needs to come up with something better which is actually workable.

You can of course play around with the ownership model a bit i.e. more cooperatives, certain sectors of the economy being state-owned, so you're not totally stuck with capitalism.

But that basically leaves us in the situation that we're always going to be patching capitalism and cleaning up its messes. But that's OK, because the same would be true of any economic system we use - governments are just as good at fucking up as greedy CEOs / casino capitalists / shareholders / bankers / [insert personal demonology of choice].

There is unlikely to be any perfect system.

Free markets work better to distribute scarce resources than any other system we've tried. However, only if they're regulated. You can't have a free market without property rights for example, and that means law, which means government. You also can't have a proper free market if people can pollute, pushing the costs onto somebody else and taking all the profits. That's called externalities - and is another place where government regulation is the best solution.

But as to alternatives, we're a bit short of them. Hence we're likely to still be patching free market capitalism 100 years from now. And maybe still getting people complaining about neo-liberalism too? Or maybe it'll be post-neo-liberalism by then...

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Re: Automation hasn't happened so quickly as now and not everyone's cut out to be a rocket scientist

Unemployment is not the jobseekers allowance claimant count. That's a separate stat.

Unemployment is measure according the ILO (International Labour Organisation) method - which is the Labour Force Survey. This is a large survey which asks people if they're economically inactive by choice, or looking for work, or if they're part time and want more hours/full time. Plus other stuff. The ONS say they interview 40,000 per quarter to get it.

So whatever government does regarding who can claim benefits is irrelevant to it.

The unemployment rate is the numnber of people who are looking for work but don't have it. There's another stat for people who are "economically inactive", another for those claiming out-of-work benefits and yet another for those who are part-time who want to be full time/have more hours.

Zero hours contracts appear to be on the rise, though only the name is new - there have always been people employed like this. According to the ONS, it's about 2.5% of the workforce - and of those only 20% want more hours, 10% a different (I'm guessing full time?) job with more hours and 70% say they've got the number of hours they want.

Linky to ONS here.

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Re: Errrm

The author presumes that future economies must be Capitalist ones and then continues on that basis.

Pro Corporate Propagandists always do that.

Society need not be so constrained.

Vendicar Decarian1,

I don't think any society that isn't free market capitalist has ever risen above what we now call "middle income" level.

Of course I'm generalising horribly here, as there aren't many purely capitalist systems out there. But all the world's rich countries are free market mixed economies. Many countries did their catch-up growth under less free-market systems, but liberalised more as they got richer.

China is going to be an interesting case study. There's a lot of discussion as to whether they'll get caught in the "middle income trap", Only about ten countries have managed to make the leap from middle income to rich since WWII. The worst performing bit of the Chinese economy is now the state owned bit, and that's what's looking to drag them down at the moment and causing their huge credit spike. They've done the "easy" catch-up growth, and now need to transition to a more mature economy where you need more innovation. If you want long-term investment you need the rule of law, so the local Party bosses can't just take your stuff/company.

So no, capitalism isn't the only answer. In fact it's not the answer at all, as most successful econmies have a mix of state, cooperative, private and share ownership.

But no state that's tried to run the whole economy has ever succeeded (apart from maybe the UK in WWII) - and it's unlikely to ever happen because it's too difficult. So increasing cooperative ownership might well work if you want less inequality, plus maybe a bit more nationalisation - but if you start seizing assets from the rich and giving them to the poor, the rich bugger off as fast as their little legs will carry them, nobody will invest, and everyone ends up poorer. And the more you redistribute via taxation the more you end up trying to run the economy, and relying on the government's ability to do it competently.

Free markets are best of anything we've tried so far, requiring much regulation from government and a legal system to keep everyone as honest as possible - and mixed economies with a large capitalist element also. Though who owns stuff (capitalism) is less important than free markets.

As for your comment about US wages, that isn't true. US wages didn't stagnate until a few years before the recession. What is true is profit has been taking a bigger share of the pie than wages in the US, UK and large chunks of Europe - but the pie has been growing for both until just before the recession. Also I seem to remember from looking at stats that average wages in the US have grown slower than housing and medical costs since the mid 90s - so people have felt poorer - although consumer goods also got massively better and cheaper in that period so it's not all been one-way traffic. Plus all the stuff you can get on the internet for free, that's only been around for 15 years, but doesn't really hit GDP calculations.

In the UK real wages stopped going up in about 2003 - and housing costs have been rising even more ridiculously since the 90s - which obviously makes everyone who's not got a house feel much poorer.

On the other hand, while large chunks of the West stood still for a few years, billions in Asia, South America and now Africa became massively richer, in the largest rise in living standards in human history. So globalisation has helped companies to make more profit, and hopefully we can rebalance this back to wages in the next few years, but the upside is still pretty huge for the millions of people who didn't starve to death, the hundreds of millions who didn't die of preventable diseases and the couple of billion who now live much more comfortable and longer lives.

We could have managed things better, but it's hard to predict the future and globalisation has still been a good thing.

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Re: And for my next trick...

Lyal Commenter,

As I said, Child poverty used to be measured as any child growing up in a household with less than 60% of the median income. That tells us nothing about poverty, but something about inequality.

For exmaple, 60% of the median income in Luxembourg is lots and lots, whereas 200% of the median income in Syria is bugger-all. So child poverty actually went down during the recession, because incomes fell - i.e. almost everyone got poorer. I assume it will have gone up again, as wages start rising faster than (the very low) inflation, which is what benefits are linked to.

Using relative income as a measure of absolute poverty is ridiculous. Otherwise deporting Richard Branson (insert name of any other very rich person) would reduce child poverty - and allowing Bill Gates to move to London would increase it. In fact a rise in the average wage, or say pensions, would also cause a rise in child poverty.

It's a stupid measure. As I said, it doesn't measure poverty, it measures income inequality. That's something worth doing, as it's also important - but children living in poverty is a serious issue and we can only target resources on it properly if we measure it properly.

As for your mention of foodbanks, the figures from the Trussel Trust about how many people rely on these were about the number of people who'd used a foodbank once during the year. I wouldn't call that relying. I think their rules limit the number of times you can use them - i.e. they're an emergency "it's either this or a payday loan" thing, rather than a charity that provides food to families every week.

Poverty is complex.

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Re: Calculations

Apparently one economist described basic income as a brilliant thought experiment but an awful policy...

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Re: And for my next trick...

We don't have an incease in poverty. We've had (but the recession caused this to go down) an increase in inequality. Up until 2005 for the UK almost everyone was getting richer, but those at the top were getting richer faster.

The usual figures given for poverty are for households earning under 60% of the median income. So it's a relative thing. Poverty is much harder to measure, are you poor if you can't afford one family holiday? Or if you can't afford a mobile phone and broadband? Or are we going for washing machine and fridge?

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That's if you believe AI is going to replace accountants and lawyer, doctors and the like. Not to mention musicians, personal shoppers, fish pedicure specialists, party organisers.

Actually this argument forgets skilled trades and small manufacturers. We make a unique product in the water industry, but only sell a few thousand a year. The market is probably ten times that - but only if people choose to comply with the regulations - which they won't unless forced. So only those at risk of inspection buy our kit.

In that circumstance automating the manufacturing process would cost us hundreds of thousands and cause our prices to rise massively. The only way it would be financially viable to automate production of that unit is if we first invented the robot water regulations inspector to drum up trade...

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Re: It's True...

Electric monks don't cause unemployment.

Their job is not to replace priests, but to believe them, so that you don't have to waste your time doing so and/or listening to their sermons. So you could argue that the electric monk is a job-saving device, as well as a labour saving one...

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Re: No it isn't

That's what the Labour market is. Obviously there are distortions, but binmen get paid less not because they don't work hard, but because there's no shortage of binmen. Whereas HR departments require people to have a university degree for some reason and no soul - which is a smaller subset of the population than those able to walk and lift a bin.

When companies can't recruit people to do the job, then they put the wages up, or train their own staff to do the new thing. Well admittedly they first complain about lazy people not wanting to work, then complain the government doesn't train enough people, and then do those things. On the way though, they look at automation. One reason why UK productivity hasn't risen in the last few years is that it's been relatively easy to employ people, as we've had a fast-expanding workforce and relatively stagnant wages - which gives less incentive to take the risk in buying capital plant to do a job. Even if the plant can do it cheaper than employing people, you've got to tie a lot of money up in it for a long time.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

UBI also means different things to different people. For some it's a utopian idea of only working when it suits you in an automated economy. That looks far enough in the future to me to still be science Fiction.

To others, it's a way of saving loads of admin money, by abandoning a huge chunk of means tested benefits (pensions, tax credits, unemployment etc). You also lose your tax free allownces on income of course. The basic income is lower, I think the theory is it's to cover basics but not housing - but then you can do without some complex and expensive government benefits admin. Plus you don't get the huge marginal increases in taxation that are caused by the banding on benefits, where it's possible to work a couple of hours longer a week and actually lose money because of the benefits you lose.

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Re: One problem with these models

There are always more things we can buy. Obviously there's a limit, once we've mined all the available metal, but that's going to take a while. Then there are services. Personal shopping, troupes of 30 actors in a disused shopping centre who'll play zombies for a day for your stag do / corporate jolly to shoot paintballs at, fish pedicures, whatever.

If we've got more leisure time and cash, then we're likely to spend more cash on our leisure time - which then employs someone and so it goes round.

Automation has tended to change the jobs we do. And we're not going to have general purpose AI and general purpose robots for ages.

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Re: Make robots pay tax

Re: Make robots pay tax

It's called VAT and it's not going to drop below 20% anytime soon.

VAT isn't a tax on the robots, or the company.

VAT is a consumption tax. It's paid by the final consumer of a good, or very small businesses.

Once your turnover is more than the threshhold (£60k?) then your only VAT obligation is to be an unpaid tax-collector for government. You invoice with VAT on, but then hand over the loot to the government at the end of the quarter - minus the VAT you've paid on stuff you've bought.

The tax on robots is corporation tax, which is a tax on the profits of business. So if they can cut salaries and so increase profit, then they're going to be paying more of that. Plus of course more tax from the shareholders on their dividends.

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Re: Errrm

There's quite a bit wrong with the article - but then that's because there's limited space, so it can'd talk about its assumptions, or go into detail.

So in our shoe factory example your factory owner has many choices. Firstly though, the piece ignores that they have to pay for their extra technology. This will be a large chunk of cash that they're going to have to pay off for many years. This means that the factory owners are taking risk which is a reason why they might be due some of the rewards for the money they're investing in that upgrade.

They then have a choice of making more profit at current output by sacking people, or redeploying them to other roles - or they can increase output and try to win some market share. In which case they'll probably have to cut costs.

But then they're not stealing all that market share off the competition, as they're going to bring new customers into the market at the new, lower, price point.

They might also decide to pay higher wages, especially if they have to train people to use the shiny new machine - and they then want to keep their staff.

Too many people think of economics as a zero-sum game, and it really isn't. In some situations everyone can be winners. And in others, everyone can be losers...

There is no similar public grudge against people who live off our work by other means: by living off dividends and off government transfers like tax exemptions. While welfare recipients form the bottom of our social hierarchy, the idle rich are even admired.

That's total bollocks for a start. There's plenty of public grudge against rich people.

But living off dividends doesn't necessarily mean you are doing nothing you're (actively or passively) choosing which risks to take with your money. Whether you earned it yourself or inherited it is another matter. Similarly tax exemptions are often made for a reason, i.e we want people with money to invest it in certain ways deemed to be socially beneficial which they otherwise might not. One downside is that the more of this we do, the more complex we make the tax system, and the more chance for people to abuse it.

But unless the author is calling for the end of private property, then there are always going to be people with more than others, and some of them are going to be investing their surplus - and are going to want interest/dividends.

In which case we're going to be trusting government to decide how much we're allowed to have and what we can do with it, and what new technologies we're allowed to invest in. Free market capitalism has many faults, but I'm not sure we've found any better alternatives yet. It's also pulled more people out of poverty due to globalisation in the last 30 years than has ever happened in all of human history - so I'd need some convincing of the alternatives.

What we need government to do is to regulate things (you can't have a functioning free market without a reasonably honest and effective government), stop people from taking the piss, and help those who get hurt by sudden changes. Government is also great for collectively doing the things we need to maintain a civilised society, like education/health/justice/social insurance. Not that it's perfect at any of them either. I think fetishising the caring power of government is as stupid as fetishising the uncontrolled free market.

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US reactor breaks fusion record – then runs out of cash and shuts down

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Re: @Etatdame

Please tell me that is not a thing.

As happens one of our best new products is a unit for providing people with a warm clean bum after a visit to the toilet while also complying with the water regulations. So no paper is required. We haven't put a dryer on it yet, but you can always do a handstand above the Dyson Air Blade...

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Re: @Etatdame

Why? Do you not know how to use the three seashells?

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Re: We should not forget

Theres always that eCat thing... The one that lives in a shipping container full of AA batteries that nobody is allowed to open when they "test" it.

I'm sure that uses fusion. And cold fusion too, which is the best kind.

Or perhaps it's powered by Schrodinger radiation? Which is of course why it can't be opened, as it disappears when you open the box. Which is when you find that the cat is neither alive nor dead, but in a state known as "bloody annoyed".

Personally I don't believe in trying to control exotic matter with magnetic fields. I prefer the honest reassurance of tinfoil to protect my head.

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Re: @Etatdame

OK, so the list so far goes:

Brexit

self-driving cars

fusion

running out of IPv4 addresses

paperless office

paperless toilet

100% national broadband coverage

heat death of universe

middle management allowing people to work from home

Is that about right?

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Sextortion on the internet: Our man refuses to lie down and take it

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Devil

Re: Potential paramour?

I prefer to meet my lover in the chatroom at 11pm.

I'll be the one furiously masturbating while licking whipped cream off a bronze bust of Margaret Thatcher, by the light of a burning Samsung.

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Oh no! One of Vyvyan's socks has escaped!

Oh look! Some of Felicity Kendall's underwear, and it's really dirty!

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Re: Using an Iphone?

And the iPhone is definitely under 16 years old too!

I only ever show my john thomas to my ancient Motorola MicroTac - which is over the age of consent, but sadly doesn't have a camera...

Ah... Nostalgia. Rememebr the days of green screen ascii porn?

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Drone exercise will transform future naval warfare, says Navy

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Re: Navy obsoletes itself, not many medal wearers dead. Film at 11

Drone planes make sense. They're on station for short periods of time, and extra weight is a big disadvantage. So the stuff needed to keep the meaty pilot happy slows them down.

Ships and subs need to be big. The systems they carry are bulky, the power requirements large, and they need endurance on station. Which means much fuel, or a nuclear reactor. That also means they need repairs, something else human pilots don't do inflight. So the extra bulk of crew is much less of an issue, even if robots could do the job, which they can't.

A torpedo is already pretty large, and basically a drone. But only has a range of a few miles. We're decades, and autonomous mini nuclear reactors, away from drones replacing submarines.

Aerial drones might be cheap and capable enough to make surface ships obsolete years before drone surface ships are worth it. Except you can defend against that drone swarm with your own, carrier based, drone swarm...

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So. What's North Korea really like?

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Re: Communism and Korea

North Korea is 1984. It's at least as repressive as Stalin's Russia. With gulags, random executions, mass starvation, terror, paranoia, the whole works.

Of course in one way it's not. 1984 assumed a competence from the secret police that no state has ever achieved. There were plenty of people in Stalin's Russia who managed to walk out of the Siberian gulags, get back home and live "happily ever after" without papers - and still not get spotted by the police. I saw an interview with one guy who went back to live in his own apartment on Moscow un-noticed. Or take the Gestapo, who missed the von Stauffenberg plot to kill Hitler even though several hundred people knew about it, as he'd been going round most of the major military headquarters for months trying to get support. Most of the Abwehr and the planning staff of army group centre (in Russia) were actively plotting to kill Hitler from at least 1942.

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Re: "only around a hundred outsiders get to see it each year"? Really?

They've officially been trying to massively increase tourist numbers for years. The target was hundreds of thousands when my mate went in 2001. Of his tour group, over half failed to get visas. Which is one reason, of many, why they'll fail to achieve it.

But the reason they'll keep doing it is that it's a good source of foreign currency, which the regime can spend on luxury goodies. I doubt it causes much local discontent, as it's so tightly controlled.

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Pound falling, Marmite off the shelves – what the UK needs right now is ... an AI ethics board

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Re: Don't ...

Well, we know that the French don't have emotions. They just have the parody of emotions...

And the Germans have no word for fluffy.

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Queen Lizzie awarded good behaviour medal

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I bet she hasn't got receipts for all those crowns! Philip does the safes, while she smuggles the stones. What we need to find out is who their fence is.

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Re: Wellington quote

When the daily ration was a third of a pint of rum a day, wouldn't you want to join the army?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Ah yes. More confirmed kills than anyone else

To be fair Philip probably had enough frontline action for both of them.

But you don't know that the Queen isn't secretly in the SAS - and that's why they had to put that bit in the Olympic opening ceremony, as part of the cover story. Hiding it in plain sight.

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Social media flame wars to be illegal, says top Crown prosecutor

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Go kill yourself?

They're not from Microsoft anymore. They're now, "from your internet service provider". And just telling them to kill themselves isn't enough. I need the right to kill them personally. I want some kind of method where you hit them, but there's a two second delay before the pain kicks in - just to punish them for the awful cheap VOIP they always inflict on me.

And also chuggers. Although I'm willing to commute their death sentence to life imprisoned in Ikea guiding visitors to all the shortcuts, so they can get round in reasonable time.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Re: Flame wars illegal?

No, they're both shit. Microsoft Word is best! And anyone who doesn't prefer the ribbon interface probably has sex with antelopes.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Devil

Re: Education is generally cheaper than prosecution

It's a good, sensible, balanced post.

You're still a wanker though...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Good news everyone

No jury in the land is going to convict you for calling Piers Morgan a shiny-faced arse.

Or is it a shiny-arsed face?

After all, you've got the defence of truth, as well as provocation.

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I ain't Spartacus
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If I say go kill your self that should not land me in hot water.

Depends how you say it, and who you say it to.

I know someone who sent that message, "everyone hates you go kill yourself" to someone we both worked with who's bipolar. A nice little anoymous email.

That got him sacked. Would it have been reasonable to prosecute him? What if the guy in question had then tried to kill himself? I don't think I'd have been any more sympathetic had he got prosecuted than I was to him getting the boot.

On the other hand what if he'd said it just to be nasty and not known the guy was bipolar and had attempted suicide before? Would that still merit prosecution?

It's a difficult area to legislate for - and there's no way we'll ever get it right. At least we have juries to try and stop the legal process from disappearing up its own fundament.

I suspect that society is going to spend the next fifty years flailing around before we come up with the a decent balance of laws and etiquette for interacting online where you can feel anonymous and safe from the consequences of being a total arsehole.

I'm struggling to think of many circumstances when "go kill yourself" is a socially acceptable thing to say though. Particularly to people you don't know.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: John Smith

But... But... But... My name really isn't Spartacus!

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