* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

5810 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: A10 has a unique role doesn't it?

I'd imagine the future of close air support is seen as drones. The close bit of it meaning that you expect higher pilot losses than any other type of mission. Current drones aren't up to it of course, they're great for hours on end of recce and the odd missile strike - but don't compare to what the A10 can do.

For some reason nobody seems to believe that they can knock out a few hundred of a new design all that cheaply anymore. How much that's down to the defence industry, the requirement for things to be every shinier or the fact that nodody can write a decent spec and stop bloody tinkering with it is a matter for the reader to decide...

It's been done with armoured vehicles in Afghanistan and Iraq when the US Hummer and UK Landrover were totally inadequate. So why not planes? One of our light recce vehicles (the Jackal I think) was designed, tested and into first production in 18 months.

The downside of the huge multi-role plane project is that it becomes a monster, as it's expected to do so many jobs.

The downside of having multiple weapons systems is that you need multiple supply chains - which makes logistics and training much more expensive and difficult. Whether 10 years is really enough to replace the A10 with drones seems very doubtful to me though.

2
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Right tool for the job

Nope. I think you misunderstand the Bigwigs. If the senior officers of the US airforce (or the RAF for that matter) had wanted to spend their time helping squaddies - they'd have joined the army. But they didn't, they joined the airforce, because they like fast planes that are pretty. They like flying them, and they like getting budget so lots of them keep flying. And they like even bigger budgets to buy newer, shinier ones. They only buy ground-attack aircraft when forced to at gunpoint. And even then, they'd much rather spend that cash on a fancy new fighter or strategic bomber, and then do a ground support version later.

To be fair, the B52 makes an absolutely awful strategic bomber nowadays. At least, against anyone with an airforce. But it can carry an awful lot of laser guided bombs, and hang around for an awfully long time, so squaddies with laser designators can have bombs when they need them. So they are willing to compromise.

But sometimes, nothing beats a fucking enormous cannon strapped onto the front of an incredibly ugly aeroplane. Which carries a big bunch of bombs as well, just in case.

6
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

I remember seeing a pair dog-fighting over Norfolk in the late 80s.

It's the one thing that worries me about them - they've done all that low-level zooming about for so many years, you'd have thought the airframes would be a bit knackered by now.

I suppose replacing the wings is going to help a lot though.

They'll also be replacing avionics and presumably control surfaces. They'll have upgraded cockpits. So at some point they'll replace some of the fuselage, and we're into Trigger's broom / my grandfather's axe territory.

2
0

I've arrived on Mars. Argggh, my back!

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Re: Bah!

Have you considered the dangerous effects on the astronauts of months cooped up in tiny, cramped ships on their way to Jupiter? If you don't have a safety system built in to stop it, then if your astronauts should ever quarrel and resort to bullying, what you've actually designed is Stevie's Patent Astronaut Hydraulic-Ram-Assisted Wedgie Girdle...

7
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Devil

Re: On a positive note...

Who says they haven't?

For my proof: I give you the unnaturally orange Donald Trump. You're not telling me you thougth that hair was human are you?

In Britain's case, they tried to colonise the capital, but missed a bit and so now control Essex...

6
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Re: Two questions...

This is Ground Control to Major Tom

Take your steroid pills and put your helmet on.

10
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Exploration is dangerous

Lots and lots of explorers died. We only remember the few survivors. And they'd usually massively underestimated the risks.

The difference here is that if we kill our astronauts, we get to do it on live TV. Which is embarrassing for the government and upsets people.

It's all very well complaining about modern health and safety, but it simply isn't acceptable to kill hundreds of people just to build a tunnel under the Thames. And neither should it be. Proper risk assessment means understanding the risks you're taking - and then you can decide whether or not they're acceptable. If not, you have to work out how to ameliorate them, or even avoid them. This is called progress.

13
0

Reports: Twitter chainsaw massacre redux on the cards

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Well.....

Nope. Facebook is a toxic, pointless place that makes profits. So it's fine, apparently...

10
0

Paid Wikipedia-fiddling on wheels

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: I prefer the business of...

Dats a verry nice reputation you've got der sir. It would be a shame if something... were to happen to it.. What yous need is protection. If you know what I mean. We're nice guys, and we take care of our friends. You wanna be our friends don't you...?

12
0

UK fintech firm reaches for Ireland Brexit escape hatch

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Benefits of the Euro

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Not that I'm disputing all the good points about the Euro. It certainly can make life more convenient. However there are a few (frankly enormous) caveats.

Exchange rates are actually really important. Vitally so. They're the rebalancing mechanism that allows countries who are doing badly in trade terms to recover, relatively painlessly. Sure the drop in sterling costs every UK person money, but only on the component of prices that relates to imports. This also makes exports more competitve. Giving both a way to earn more foreign currency, and an incentive to substitue imports for locally produced goods. When a certain amount of that happens then the UK consumers' demand for foreign currency will drop, demand for sterling will rise (as more exports are being sold to foreigners who need pounds to pay for them) and so sterling will recover. Thus currency is acting as both a buffer to cushion the effect of economic shocks - and a push towards equilibrium, as unsustainable levels of exports or imports will be corrected by natural currency movements.

The alternative to this if your economy has become uncompetitive is wage cuts. But employees don't like wage cuts. In the Great Depression in the US, which started in 1929 - wages didn't seriously drop until 1932-33. Unemployment rose massively, but those in work were still unwilling to take cuts, even if there were no rises on offer.

The Eurozone does not have the natural balancing mechanism of currency movement. However the architects of the Euro knew that there was an alternative. What other monetary unions (say the UK and US do) - which is large transfers between regions of government money. Wealthier regions are taxed more, and that cash goes to the poorer ones, and helps to cushion asymetric shocks - where currency movement can't take the strain within a single currency area. This is the theory of optimum currency areas. The US Federal budget is something like 20% of GDP - or government spending per head in Scotland is something like 20% higher than it is in England.

However the EU budget is only 1% of GDP, and although a chunk of this is structural/regional spending to help the poorer regions of the EU - a third of it is still spent on agricultural subsidies - mostly to the richer bits of the EU.

In order to make the Eurozone work, the Commission budget would need to be at least 10x higher than it currently is (probably 15x-20x), and much of it be spent in the poorer bits that pay less tax.

At the moment there are none of the tools to currect the current Eurozone imbalances, which is why Greece has actually suffered worse than Germany and the USA did in the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Your comments on Greece are a sick joke. And only ignorance makes them forgiveable. The Euro has been an even bigger disaster for the Greek economy than the Greek government - which is saying something! And the response from the Eurozone has been vindictive, sanctimonous, dishonest, cruel and worst, fucking stupid!

Which is why the IMF prediction is that Greek unemployment will only fall below 10% (from its current 25%) in 2040!!!!

Italy's economy is now smaller than it was when it entered the Euro, even though they've been reasonably prudent, and avoided huge government deficits. Finland has been much better managed, but unable to use their currency buffer when hit by economic shocks, they've been in recession for 8 years. The comparable Swedish economy, which recovered very similarly from the 90s recession is well out of it now, as they weren't foolish enough to join the Euro.

The Euro has been a total disaster. And will continue to be so until it is either unwound or fixed - and by fixed that means common bank stabilisation funds plus common government debt and/or spending.

Oh and Greece didn't have all that generous a pension system before the crash (although too generous for its economy), and on average Greeks worked longer hours than Germans and retired later than them. Despite the lurid headlines in the press. They just weren't as efficient, productive or well governed.

1
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Boo hoo

Unfortunately house prices are not covered by CPI (the Consumer Price Index) our chosen inflation measure. This makes it a pretty useless measure for dealing with the recent rise in house prices, and is a good reason why wages have fallen against real living expenses for at least 15-20 years.

However the inflation rate is rigorously measured when it comes to consumer goods. They do lots of very expensive research on what people buy, what proportion of their income they spend on it, and what has happened to costs. People are subject to confirmation bias. They remember the price rises that annoy them, but forget when things get cheaper. So unless you keep actual data of the things you spend your money on, and what they cost, I'm going believe professional statisticians figures over what you "feel".

3
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: @johnaaronrose

qwertyuiop,

Our exports to the EU were 60 of our trade in 2007. That's now down to 42%. That's not because we've suddenly become crap at exporting, it's because their economies have tanked due to the catastrophic folly that is the Euro.

We have a trade deficit with the EU. We have a trade surplus with the rest of the world. We are the second largest exporters of services in the world (after the US) and services don't tend to be affected by tarrifs. They are however affected by regulation - which coincidentally might be why the EU has been very happy to complete the single market in goods (in which we have a trade deficit) but not that in services (which despite that we still run a surplus with the EU).

So leaving the EU without a good agreement will be messy, and damage our economy. And theirs of course, which is why it's still worth hoping it won't happen.*

The Treasury report talking about large economic losses by 2030 assumes we'll sign no trade deals, leave on the worst terms and not improve things afterwards. I'd say all three of those assumption are bollocks, which is why that Treasury forecast is bollocks.

There will be an immediate cost to leaving. There might be some immediate upsides too, but that's harder to predict - seeing as we don't know what agreements we can make, or how fast.

*Doing the sane deal that helps everyone is of course what the Eurozone chose not to do in Greece. Instead getting the ECB to break the treaties and deliberately attempt to destroy the banking industry of one of its member states in order to pressure the government to fold in negotiations. That was the day I decided to vote leave. My reasons aren't really economic, but that I don't want to share majority voting on my laws with governments who are willing to do something that monumentally stupid, destructive, anti-democratic and immoral. There may be an economic cost, there's certainly risk, but the risk of remaining is equally high in my opinion.

5
6
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: @johnaaronrose

How article 50 is interpreted is likely to be down the the Commission's lawyers. The CJEU is unlikely to overrule them - as it tends to take the party line on these kind of things.

So I think it's safe to say that if negotiations break down, we'll be out in 2 years.

There are a surprising number of politicians who seem to want the UK to stay in. But not to the extent that they actually want to do anything to make that happen. Other than perhaps trying to make leaving look too scary.

The Commission's lawyers also say that the Commission should lead on negotiating the UK's exit. Even though article 50 says it should be the Council of Ministers - so legal opinion can be nice and flexible. But I'd have thought that whatever happens will have to be approved by unanimous council vote. You can always find legal ways to do things the treaties say aren't legal, if there's the will. Otherwise the Euro would probably have already collapsed.

it's going to be difficult and probably need 3 treaties. A relatively easy one about leaving and how that'll work, an interim agreement to cover until, a final trade agreement.

I assume that May is talking much harder Brexit than she or the Chancellor probably want because that makes it less likely to end in blackmail and clock watching. Though the EU like last minute crisis agreements at 6am the day after the deadline expired.

Notice she's said there must be immigration controls and the CJEU isn't to be superior to UK courts. But she hasn't talked about budget payments, so I assume we'll offer a few billion a year in cash to get some of the stuff we want. Plus cooperation on things like space, universities, crime/terrorism - and probably structural funds to Eastern Europe, which can then be siphoned through the foreign aid budget, allowing her to cut that by stealth if she chooses. Or take it up to 1% of GDP for extra bragging rights...

The final trade agreement, or maybe they'll split it into many agreements, should take a few years.

They took 7 to negotiated the deal with Canada, and that looks to be in serious trouble now. And I imagine TTIP with the US is dead in the water, as Clinton has fallen out of love with it too.

5
1
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Brexit means ...

Those running the financial hubs on mainland Europe are probably rubbing their hands in glee and pushing for the hardest possible Brexit.

The Chief Exec of the London stock exchange suggested that if we lose Euro Clearing, then that's likely to go to New York. There's existing infrastructure and economies of scale there, and bankers don't want to pay bonus taxes, possible financial transaction taxes and 70% top rates (even if the French are nicely inviting them to Paris). The US is allowed to do this under current rules, on regulatory equivalence (and we currently share the same laws as the EU). So it would be odd not to award it to us (but who knows how the negotiations will go).

Passporting is more complex, and I think we'll be less likely to get it - even though it would probably make sense to do the deal, the City must be seen to suffer to please the voters.

2
2
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Brexit means ...

Regulatory equivalence probably works in this sector. So far the EU has said that 10 countries have regulatory equivalence in various areas, and this will be covered by one of them. As we have the same lawas as the rest of the EU at the moment it would be perverse if they didn't grant us the same status as the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea etc...

Although that's not to say that the Brexit negotiations won't become perverse, it depends on whether pragmatism wins out over rejection.

Passporting is apparently more important for banks, where you need a more active agreement in place, agreed in law, which therefore mustn't be too unpopular. Whereas equivalence is judged by the beaurocrats.

For some more info see: A European think tank - but a quite accessible piece

2
0

Today is the 211th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Quotes

It's also a big advantage when you've got the best trained crews, because in time of war no other fleet dares put to sea because there's an English fleet sitting outside their ports waiting to pounce.

5
0

New measurement alert. The Pogba: 1,200Pg = NHS annual budget

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Shouldn't the Reg unit of time be a Parsec?

How many Parsecs does it take to do the Kessel run? How many double-decker buses are there in a Kessel run. That gives you Parsecs per double-decker bus...

4
1
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Less than £2k per person

That's only the English budget I think, so slightly more than £2k per person. But it's only a few Pogbas either way.

3
0

No matter who becomes US president, America's tech giants are going to be quids in

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

LDS,

There's plenty of arguments about how you balance things. But if you set taxes too ludicrously high you either stop that stuff happening, or you create massive distortions as people desperately try to avoid them.

But you can just add 35+35.

Say a company makes $2m profit.

It wants to keep $1m in cash, and pay the other $1m in dividends.

So it pays tax on it's $2m @ 35%.

It keeps $650k in the bank and pays the other $650k out - to shareholders who then get taxed at say 35% on that.

So they've paid 35% on the same money twice.

The other money that's been kept in cash has also been taxed - and the shareholders have lost on that too as the shareprice will now be lower, as the company's assets are now $350k smaller. Obviously the shareprice also drops when cash comes out as dividend (or doesn't go up as much as if the company had kept the cash), but then the shareholders are getting paid that, so non loss.

This is why so few US companies pay out dividends. And it means there's less reward for long-term share ownership - as companies that do well long term should be paying you a regular income (dividend) not forcing you to sell up in order to get paid. So it makes for more stable stock markets.

Remember that you may have to pay VAT/sales tax on what you buy (double tax), but so do the shareholders, who've now been triple-taxed.

So you might want to reward income from work better (with lower taxes) than the rewards for investing money. But you don't want to make the tax so high that it causes perverse outcomes.

3
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: And as a bonus...

Taxes paid overseas (where there's a tax agreement) will be offset against US taxes. This is one reason why the US government were so outraged about that EU Apple ruling.

I also suspect that it's no coincidence that Tim Cook announced that Apple were going to repatriate a big chunk of cash about 3 days later. They're going to have a nice $15bn Irish tax bill to offset against it, so can pay no US tax on bringing in about $45bn.

The other thing the US could do is levy their corp tax on foreign held earnings. Except ones that have had tax paid abroad of course. And then US companies would have no incentive to hold such ludicrous amounts of overseas cash they can't profitably use. At least the cash would then either get used, or given back to shareholders who might spend some of it, or at least invest it more usefuly.

Of course if they keep tax rates at 35%, there might be an incentive for US companies to headquarter abroad - or they could keep the high corporation tax and massively reduce the tax on dividends, depending on what they think is best done with the cash.

2
1
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

This is probably a good thing. The US has some of the highest corporation tax rates in the world, plus I think they levy full marginal rates of tax on dividend payments. So if a US corp wants to use overseas profits to pay shareholders a dividend the pay 35% corp tax plus the shareholder pays 30-40% tax on it, so it's taxed 70-80%.

This creates all sorts of market distortions, like Apple borrowing $20 billion in the USA to pay dividends when it's got ten times that cash sitting in Ireland. Or companies not paying dividends, and so investors and company officers become obsessed with high share prices at the expense of long-term profitability. And vast hordes of overseas wealth being inefficiently and unproductively used to avoid tax - while companies fail to invest in growth as they don't want to pay tax on the cash they've got sitting around.

I think the general idea is that people pay tax, and companies aren't people. So Corporation tax is not paid by the company, but by the shareholders. So shareholders should be taxed on their divvies, but only at around the same rate as income tax - hence corp tax plus divvy tax shouldn't be too much more than the top marginal rate of income tax.

2
0

Meet the slimeballs who are openly sabotaging Virgin Media

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Re: DOSS attack

Launched using a shell script...

[I'm sorry, I appear to be suffering from Friday Afternoon Pun Syndrome.]

21
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Coat

Re: I know this one cool trick that for gettting online that Virgin will hate me telling you.

Is that because Zebedee is too cheap to spring for a few quid a month?

8
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Wot, no garlic?

What about red wine and herbs instead?

3
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Coat

The Shropshire Echo

The Shropshire Echo

The Shropshire Echo

38
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Megaphone

It can be done. Finish have just brought out a dishwasher tablet called Quantum Platinum Ulitmate Plus.

15
0

What will happen when I'm too old to push? (buttons, that is)

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Re: RE; LEDs

What you need is one of those remote controlled power plugs.

Except that will probably have an LED too...

So plug that into an extension lead, to a plug in another room. Except they also have power lights on them, but you can probably safely tape over that one.

12
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Devil

Have you considered taking up a less painful sport? Like boxing. Or just admit you're a massochist and go to your local dungeon...

4
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Mushroom

LEDs are great. Cheap, reliable torches, power saving long-lasting lightbulbs, nice cheap status lights on kit so you know what the hell is going on (rather than them trying to save cash by having one lamp trying to report 15 different conditions by flashing/changing colour).

LEDs are a curse! I bought a little USB power supply the other day, that allows you to charge a couple of devices and still plug your alarm clock in. Very useful for the bedside table, rather than messing around with power strips. But oh no! It's got retina burning LEDs on the face, because nobody wants to charge their phone/tablet while sleeping, that absolutely never happens.

OK, maybe that device was designed for your desktop and not the bedroom. Explain my Teasmade then. Yes, I've hit middle age and continue to accelerate, I'm a hopeless 70s throwback, etc... It makes me a lovely cup of tea in the morning though. But I have to put a cardboard box over it on the bedside table, because the light that lights up to tell me the alarm is set is so bright that I don't require an alarm, as I'm unable to sleep. I can fucking read by it!

It's a very big button, they obviously felt only really, really old gits would use it. But they didn't need to fill the whole back of the button with one huge LED, they could have just used a little weedy one. Where do these morons thing this device is going to be placed?!?!

28
0

Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Not for my money.

2 friends of mine managed to shoehorn 2 Litre engines into their Minis. Neither changed the brakes though, which struck me as suicidal.

One of them went on to race Caterham 7s, which I understand is where many of the more "spirited" drivers end up.

1
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: I was assuming this would be a look at the mini...

Fond memories. My headmaster at primary school had a purple Maxi. Which looked much nicer than all the brown and orange Allegros, and Morris Marinas.

But the car that upset me was the Mini. Especially the Clubman. Because the owner of the caravan site we stayed on as kids had a little Mini Clubman van. I guess he only used it on the site, and not on the roads, as one of the back doors was missing. In accordance with 1970s health & safety rules, all the kids loved it, as he used to give us rides around the site, sitting in the back, often with legs dangling out of the missing door.

Only ruined when I went back to the caravan, and Mum was playing The New Seekers on her cassette player. But there was usually fruit cake to make up for it.

...drifts rambles off into happy nostalgia...

8
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Are you saying the mini revamp was a success?

To be fair, a lot of the size inflation of these cars is down to safety devices. Crumple zones take up space. And the fact that we're all taller and wider than previous generations. So there was no way something the size of the old Mini of Fiat 500 was ever going to pass muster on safety - and then half the customers wouldn't fit...

However the VW and the Mini seem to have got the proportions completely wrong. They look huge and unweildy and have lost the original shape. Whereas, at least to me, the new Fiat 500 looks like it's in the right proportions - but just bigger than the original. The less said about the abominations like the Countryman the better. At least VW never made a Beetle estate! And what they've done to the ones they've slapped a Cooper badge on is even worse. Basically you get a badge, possibly a noisy exhaust, some stripey things on the bonnet and the hardest springs they could find, so your arse feels every crisp packet you run over, let alone the potholes.

Too often revamps or "reboots" are commissioned to chase a new demographic

This is the oddest bit though. BMW specifically did seek a new demographic! The original Mini was cheap! That was one of the points of it. The new Minis (like the new VWs) were both ugly and hideously expensive. Whereas the new Fiat 500s seem to be a similar price to other similar types of car, just with a nice nod to the heritage.

19
0

Sysadmin flees asbestos scare with disk drive, blank pay cheques, angry builders in pursuit

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Die Hard VII: Sysadmin

The sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, features Lord Vader's subsequent disciplinary interview...

9
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: Die Hard VII: Sysadmin

Why do we never get to see the payroll clerks on Death Star

[breathes heavily]

My lightsaber is tax deductible!

[breathes heavily]

What do you mean you're going to have to put me on hold? I've already been forced to listen to the Imperical March for 25 minutes!

[breathes heavily]

Can I speak to your supervisor... No, do not put me on hold... Hello! Hello?

[breathes heavily]

Admiral, move the Deathstar to Alderaan.

No, I don't care if the rebel base is on Hoth, the tax office is on Alderaan!

45
0

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

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Thanks. I wasn't aware of that accident, and have just read about it. A typical series of errors, and bad decisions.

I was particularly impressed by the balls of the crew chief who tried to keep a damaged 1000lb bomb from going off, even though it was lying in a pool of burning jet fuel, next to several burning planes, and all he had was a handheld foam extinguisher and none of his protective gear.

If only people were a tenth as brave as he was, when it came time to query their stupid orders (at least some did), then he wouldn't have been put in such an awful position.

3
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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.

12
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Devil

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

6
0

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

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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.

2
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Mushroom

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.

10
1
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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.

10
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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?

3
0

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

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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...

2
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

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.

5
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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.

4
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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

6
2

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

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge
Happy

Re: Das Bootnote

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

Perhaps they meant Herr Wreck?

8
0
I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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.

11
0

DARPA unveils robot co-pilot

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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...

4
0

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

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

Re: I wonder if he'll be fined

He can probably afford it...

0
0

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

I ain't Spartacus
Gold badge

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...

4
1

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017