* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

6185 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

WINNER! Crush your loved ones at Connect Four this Christmas

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: To win

Fleet Sevastopol tries to hold,

Fleet St Petersburg catches a cold.

Atchoo! Atchoo! It's 1902.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: No need for strategy

Not sure about Secret Hitler. Though I've only played it twice. But you can get into situations where even though you know who the bad guys are - there's nothing you can do to stop them. Which I think is a design failure. It's got some good game mechanics though.

I think my favourite game of that type is till Avalon: The Resistance, because it seems to work best at allowing everyone a fair crack of the whip - and gives enough information to actually make intelligent decisions.

Werewolf is too random, Battlestar Galactica is too bloody long, I haven't played Two Rooms and a Boom - but I've heard it basically all comes down to one decision - though I imagine it's also funny.

Spyfall is excellent because of the opportunities for jokes and running gags. And the simplicity.

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Re: Poker with Maltesers

That's a game where I'd want to get into an early lead, then just eat. Although the downsides of handling the stakes is they become rather icky.

I remember playing once with Fruit Polos. And they stuck together into stacks, so you might be forced to raise more than you wanted just because you couldn't separate them, and wanted to keep the untouched ones to eat.

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Re: I still play Risk...

The problem with Risk is that it's always better to attack than defend - but if people haven't worked that out you can intimidate them with a big stack of units at a choke-point.

If you like it though, there's a nice website out there called Conquer Club - that have loads of variants, of which my favourite was the New World one (I think it was called) where you're colonising the Americas. Which only works because you play it hidden movement.

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Re: It's not Christmas without a game of...

Is Esacpe from Colditz any good though? I have nostalgic memories of playing it, but that was over 30 years ago, so although I recently found a copy, I've not played it yet.

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Re: No need for strategy

That's the problem with Monopoly being so rubbish. Not only is there almost no strategy involved, but worse, it's also long. At least Connect 4 is over quickly - and is quite fun for a while if you're thinking 5 moves ahead. Even a long game like chess is fun if played quickly - if you haven't got a clock just sing the Countdown song at people, and disqalify them if they haven't moved by the end. The annoyance of that adds to the pressure to keep moving...

There's some great games out there nowadays. From the simple and silly to the long and complex.

I like the new version of Junta, where on election as El Presidente you get to wear the dark glasses of office. Until you're assassinated... Then you hand them over, and start plotting your revenge. I would have won, but accidentally murdered the President one turn too early. Ooops.

Avalon: The Resistance, Spyfall, Cash n Guns are all good I'm not a fan of the Werewolf games as they're too random - but it's still fun to accuse your friends of being a secret werewolf, then having to act all apologetic after lynching them only to find out they were innocent after all.

One of my favourite simple games is No Thanks. A bit like poker, there's a roughly optimal strategy to play the precentages, but then you have to deal with the fact that the people around you know that too.

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Re: co-op games

I was a zombie in the graveyard in Spyfall 2 last week. You cannot imagine how hard it is not to just blurt out BRAAAAIINNZZZ for the cheap laugh, and give the whole game away. The other locations make sense, just not the graveyard - exactly what are you spying on there? Then again, how many spies are sent to amusement parks or theatres...

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The way to win at Diplomacy is to be really open, helpful and nice to everybody - right up to the point when you apologetically stab them in the back - explaining how it hurts you more than it hurts them, but that it's your only logical move. This helps them to keep feeling that you're honest in future.

It's also really helpful to be able to lie with frightening consistency.

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HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

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Re: Current location - AIS

It's a long way to Turkey, at walking pace.

Couldn't they mount rotors on the side, like in that documentary Avengers Assemble, and fly it there?

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Re: Maybe on the way to Turkey...

The problem for the Russians is they don't do year-round carrier operations. They can't afford it. Well either that, or the old rust-bucket is too knackered and they were running out of spares for the old planes - hence ordering these new MiG29s - which they've lost one of almost immediately.

If you don't do year-round carrier ops, your pilots aren't fully in practise, and make mistakes like falling off the end of the deck.

Someone apparently put heart monitors on US carrier pilots in Vietnam, and they were more scared doing night carrier landings than when they were being shot at.

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$17k win for man falsely accused of a terrible crime: Downloading an Adam Sandler movie

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Re: has the mouthbreather market locked up

What about Steven Seagall? Isn't he still making 2 straight to DVD productions a year?

At least they've got funnier dialogue than Adam Sandler movies - even if it is questionable whether that's deliberate...

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Fitbit picks up Pebble, throws Pebble as far as it can into the sea

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Re: WTF

"Well, my Tissot steel watch tells the time, too. It is on its third battery in the 25 years I've owned it,"

I've had my Citizen Ecodrive for 10 years.....whats a battery replacement?

I've had my wrist-mounted portable sundial for over 5,000 years now.

What's a battery?

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Re: No support or warranties, threat of it turning into a dumbwatch

Under UK law, if you bought from Pebble direct and they're dead, then obviously they can't refund. But remember that your credit card company are also jointly liable for purchases more than £100. This is your Section 75 rights. For example this means that after reasonable efforts to get a refund you can just demand it off your card company and they'll go and sue the scrotes in question for you. If a company has gone bankrupt that means you're also covered. So I believe that gets you a 12 month guarantee. But I don't know the legal implications if the hardware works fine, but the support servers have gone pop.

It may be a worth looking at moneysavingexpert.com for details, as they've got good info on consumer rights.

You'd have thought that saving the servers would be some excellent cheap godwill for fitbit - especially if they form part of the software ecosystem that they're buying into.

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You want SaaS? Don't bother, darling, your kind can't afford it

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Re: It doesn't make sense

Just done that test. None of the BCC recepients were revealed. Is there some specific condition that has to occur for this to happen, or is it a bug that's now been fixed?

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Re: It doesn't make sense

No, Cloud for small business makes no sense except for a website or ecommerce online. Subscriptions are a rip off.

That is a ludicrously absolute statement.

We're a small business. We use MS Office 365. Why? Because it's cheap. £12 a month per user. For which we no longer have to buy copies of office, or deal with upgrades and everyone having different versions. In the past it was new office with new computer. We also get an Exchange server with mobile access run by someone competent. I can't run a server, well I'm sure I could I just never have. I don't have the time, and I'd run it vaguely OK, not well. Anyway our office has crap connectivity - so if we put a server in it and the internet goes down, we're screwed. Now we can just go and work from home - or use a backup 3G router. We've also got backups on each computer. As well as MS doing it.

If we had particularly sensitive email, then we'd have to do it in-house. But the balance of risks tells me that MS are less likely to screw-up than us, and we've got ways to recover from screw-ups anyway.

We also use remote CRM, which I'm less happy about the robustness of. It would cost us more time, money and effort to recover from a disaster to or the loss of that supplier. But again, the costs are less than running it ourselves, and because only one of us is 100% office based - we'd need to locate a server somewhere not here. And then run it. And running your own infrastructure is not risk free either.

So on balance Cloud is cheaper and better than what we can do for ourselves. Short of spending half the profits on IT - which is probably more in one year than it would cost us to recover from both MS and our CRM supplier going titsup simultaneously.

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BOFH: The Hypochondriac Boss and the non-random sample

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Yes, MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solanum tuberosum Expert

But people aren't comfortable with latin, so they changed it.

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Microsoft’s ‘Home Hub’ probably isn’t even hardware at all

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Re: Cortana

Hikers have dropped an estimated 1 tonne of LSD while walking on mount Fuji. So the answer is, very fucking high...

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Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

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Re: You're doing it wrong

The Germans lost a submarine in WWII because the toilet technician had a heart attack, and somone trying to do his job pressed all the wrong buttons and flooded it.

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Re: A question for connoisseurs...

The toilet should have an air-gap between its cistern and the incoming water supply, to protect the rest of your house's outlets from cross-contamination. This is often a problem with the shower hoses that are fitted next to toilets - and because they're on a common water system, often on the floor above the kitchen sink, they're a serious backflow risk. Back-siphonage if dropped in the toilet bowl. You hope that the installer at least spends £5 on a double check valve, which is illegal but mostly effective. There's at least one WC sold in the UK that complies with the water regulations - I seem to recall they're about £6,000 though.

The nozzles are then recessed under the seat/rim, so that you don't pee on them or if you're really trying manage to balance a flying poo on them.

When you're finished they then pop out and wash your front and/or back - and then pop back away again, and have a self-cleaning thing. Don't know if they only clean with water, or have a bleach tank though. Plus optional air-dryers.

We designed a unit to retrofit for hoses for a large hotel, and comply with the regs. Got to have warm water on your bum too, so it's quite big with all the stuff you have to cram in the cabinet. But nobody wants a cold bum, however clean...

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Here's how the missile-free Royal Navy can sink enemy ships after 2018

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Re: lack of stealth ?!

The carrier version was called the Sea Hornet I think.

Eric "Winkle" Brown was the first idiot to try using one off a carrier. I seem to remember that your approach speed had to be lower than the stall speed and that taking off was even more hairy. To save money (and production difficulties) we didn't equip our wartime multi engine planes with different handed engines. The downside of this is that the torque from the props rotating the same way pulls the plane off to the side on takeoff. I think he and his engineering team worked out that he'd have a couple of feet to spare before falling off the side of the carrier, so he tried it.

Then again, this is also the guy who tested the German rocket planes - often with incomplete manuals. And also landed the Gloster Meteor version without undercarriage on a carrier. The idea being take away the undercarriage, save weight, deal with horrible fuel consumption. So the plane took off using a sled, and landed by stalling onto a giant rubber trampoline thing.

Phew what a looney!

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Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

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I could Google that, but then I'm equally likely to come up against some dodgy fake news site / conspiracy theory as anything real. Hence my question, so as I've got a clue what I'm looking for. After all CNN have been going for over 20 years. They might have been caught lying lots.

Well I did your search, in quotation marks, and after the first ten links not leading to a news organisation that I recognised, and an awful lot of exclamation marks!, I gave up.

I'm not a particular supporter of any side in the US election, but for Trump supporters to complain about anyone else lying takes some fucking cheek. The man talks more bollocks than a cheap sausage.

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What lies did CNN tell? That's a story I completely missed. Though as a non-American that would be no surprise.

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Re: This.

The Guardian is going all "post truth" itself now.

I'm actually struggling to find a decent news provider. May have to try out the Times again (after many years) or go back to the Economist. The Torygraph has sacked most of the good people so they can keep making the same profits, as ciruclation slowly drops. The BBC does some good stuff, but doesn't cover all the stuff I'm interested in.

So anyway I've read about 3 or 4 articles since Brexit. They've all been press conferences or speeches by European politicians. Obviously UK news is covering Brexit comments. In each case this person has said basically nothing. They've said no single market access without free movement, no special treatment for the UK, we're going to negotiate with the UK and try to come to a reasonable agreeement. So they've basically said nothing new, and stuck to the script. No new info. The Telegraph headline has been surprise intervention from xxx who says EU will come to a reasonable agreement with the UK hooray for Brexit remoaners awful.

Then I see the Guardian story which was so-and-so says no special treatment for UK we're all doomed Brexshit disaster etc.

Both articles are bollocks. In fact I'd go further, both are lies. Partially quoting in an opinion piece to back up your point is dishonest, but understandable and opinion doesn't have to be unbiased. They're using it as evidence to "prove" what they already believe, it's opinion, it's fine.

In a news piece, it's a deliberate lie. A proper news piece should say what they said, then if it's significant. In these cases, basically nothing was said but the already agreed line from their government.

You can't call out Trump for the liar he is, if you're also a liar. At least not with credibility.

Also you can't call for politics to be more civilised (and I'm looking at you specifially here Guardian) if your own merchandising department sell a T-Shirt saying "Tories - lower than vermin." I actually saw an advert for that (keywords oops!) on a Guardian opinion piece after the last election saying how we should try to understand why people vote Conservative, rather than demonise them.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Sure Trump is a lying scumbag. But how many people believed the lies? Given he was so artless about telling them, and changed them so often.

One thing I blame is the corrosive habit of people saying that all politicians are liars. It's mostly not true, but it requires some fact-checking and effort. And most people aren't interested enough in politics to investigate.

When you've convinced yourself, and everyone else, that all politicians are evil liars who are only in it for themselves - then why not vote for Trump? He's just another one of them. Whereas I'd argue he's in a completely different league, even though Clinton hasn't exactly got a stellar record.

Its worse in the US - where there is a lot more corruption in politics. Just look at the money. At a UK General election all the major parties between them spend about £50m. The figure for the last US Presidential year, including all the other elections was over $3 billion.

Labour have just raised about £5m by getting loads of people to join and have a leadership election. Unusual, but shows that UK politics just doensn't get involved in those kinds of insane sums of cash. Some races for a single senate seat spend more than an entire UK general election.

I also blame the media for helping to build the perception that all politics is lies, but not helping much to stop it. I take on example from Gordon Brown - who was much more of a direct liar than most politicians of his generation. There was an embarrassing by-election in Scotland. Labour were going to lose. He (or his spokesman I don't remember) said in a press conference that he wouldn't be campaigning as there was a precedent in British politics that sitting Prime Ministers don't campaign in by-elections. This is a straight lie. For childish reasons of PR they didn't want to appear in a losing cause, or admit they were avoiding it. Rather than just say nothing, or waffle, they outright lied. I don't remember a single journalist calling them on it. I remember hearing a few reports of it in quizzical tones, but I don't remember one news reporter just straight saying, this is not true.

It's much harder to correct people when they play with statistics, but if you let normal politicians get away with lying, and it works for them, they'll do it more. It's always happened of course, and always will, but journalists allowed spin doctors to bully them out of challenging lies - then we got more lies because they worked, then people decided it was easier to play the cynic and assume everyone lied, rather than realising it was unusual behaviour, checking and punishing those who did it. So that they'd stop.

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Re: Does democracy work if people based their vote on lies^Wpost-facts?

Dan 55,

Your comment on the UK court decision on Brexit actually illustrates both points. Sure there was a lot of rage out there, and some pretty unpleasant comments on the judges.

On the other hand, there's a context to that.

Quite a few people in the media, and even a few politicians who ought to know better, had spent the preceeding months saying how the people who voted to leave the EU were too stupid to make that decision - and so Parliament should override the referendum result. So obviously a ruling (on a completely contestable constitutional point) to give power to Parliament under those circumstances got a few people over-excited. I guess this is a symptom of a breakdown of trust.

We are in a bit of a constitutional tizzy. Most MPs supporter remain. Our constitutional position is clear that referenda are advisory, Parliament is sovereign - and no future Parliament can be bound by the decisions of a previous one. The government has the legal right to negotiate treaties, but only Parliament can legislate. So at the moment we're having lots of fun trying to work out who does what,when. All interacting with the fact that the electorate are almost split down the middle, and whatever we decide isn't entirely in our own hands anyway, as the rest of the EU get a large say on our future relationship.

My solution is that everyone calm down, and get a sense of proportion. The elite who lost realise that a lot of this is the result of their own actions, and maybe they ought to listen a bit more, and not just talk to each other. It would also really help if they stop calling everyone who disagrees with them stupid. But on the other hand, the insurgents could also do with calming the fuck down. Stop calling everyone who opposes them traitors (or evil or whatever) and perhaps have a nice cup of tea and a piece of cake.

Perhaps though it's just because I've just completed my post lunch cuppa and piece of cake that I'm feeling so generous. Maybe the rage will kick in again, once I've talked to a few more customers this afternoon...

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AI gives porn peddlers a helping hand

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Devil

Re: No use to me

I love that one where the plumber rings the doorbell, then actually fixes the fucking boiler and goes away again...

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British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

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Re: HTML5

I like my Win phone, and the previous one too. Cheap, fast, reliable, good phone software. Also when I've showed it to people, they've liked it too.

But it's shit for apps, and there's been little improvement. I had an iPhone 5 in between my two work Lumia 7xx phones. Our company's batch of 7 iPhones all went wrong within 2 years, 2 failed within 6 months - and one of the replacements for those only just lasted a year.

Came back to Win Phone 8, there were still almost no apps - despite reading that the app store had hit over 100k.

I searched for a torch app, as they'd still failed to build such a standard function into the OS. There were loads of them, but all but 2 or 3 of the 10 I looked at demanded access to the address book in permissions. Hmmm... I admit I didn't try the paid for ones, but I'm sorry a torch app isn't something I'm willing to hand cash over for. I'd grudgingly happily pay 50p, if I'd set up a card with MS's app store, but that wasn't going to happen, due to the lack of apps.

Now there's no development and no future. So I guess I'll be off to Android. Which is a shame.

Personally I don't care too much about apps, I do that on my tablet. The phone is a communications tool for me. With a minor side order of mapping. Which MS have also bollocksed up by dropping support for Nokia's sat nav, while not updating their own mapping tool to cover it. So the phone has lost turn-by-turn instructions.

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Adult FriendFinder users get their privates exposed... again – reports

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I walked into the sitting room yesterday to see the end of an advert on TV. For Ashley Maddison. Co-incidence or conspiracy... It always looked more like the name of a law firm to me, rather than a dating/shagging site.

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Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

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Happy

Re: Ah Education

My apple and bacon crumble is vegetarian, yes.

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Re: Ah the memories...

A friend of mine turned up to the pub on crutches with his ankle in plaster. He's a strapping lad from the grim frozen North (well Lancashire, it's ooop North to me). Works out, hard-drinking, no-nonsense type of chap.

So how did you get injured?

Turns out he was fleeing in terror from a 4'10" Kiwi nurse with amorous intentions - who'd taken a fancy to him at previous visits to the pub.

I have to admit we may have been less than sympathetic to his plight. I think I'd describe her as scarily determined...

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Silicon Valley VCs: We're gonna make California great again – on its own

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Re: Might want to learn a little geology, Doctor Syntax.

Isn't California slowly swapping places with Japan?

And by slowly, I mean slowly in geological terms.

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Ireland to fight against billing Apple for back-taxes

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Re: Why was that "rubbing salt in the wound"?

DougS,

Sorry, I misunderstood you then. I've actually covered that point in another post. Cook announced that Apple would repatriate about $40bn, four days after the Commission announcement. A cynic might suggest it was to get the US government onside, and slavering over the huge wodge of tax they'd be losing.

He implied this was unrelated, but it's only six months since he said they had no plans to repatriate any cash.

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Re: Pointless

Europe still gets its pound of flesh though, as this is a past liability.

Also Ireland have half the corporation tax of Germany or France, so for the EU single market, it still makes sense to book all the profits from Europe in Ireland. That is assuming Trump sets the rate at 10% for foreign profits but keeps the domestic one at 35%. If he sets everything at 10%, then they're better off operating entirely from the US.

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Re: Why was that "rubbing salt in the wound"?

DougS,

Well no. Irish Corporation tax is still 12%, compared to the US 35% - so there's still a good reason to shelter the cash abroad. Even the UK's 20% rate is still a lot nicer than 35%.

Also, they can't get out of paying this - it's a past liability - but it makes no difference to their deferred tax liability to the US, as it can be offset.

This problem is entirely of the US government's own making. They allow deferral of corp tax payments on foreign profits, they demand payment on foreign earnings (to be fair with offset against tax paid abroad in most cases), and they have both high corporation tax and high dividend tax - so it costs something like 70% in tax on dividends. They've created a system of eye-wateringly high tax that can be trivially avoided indefinitely - what the hell did they expect.

To make it worse Bush, and I think Clinton, both had foreign profits amnesties, where they could be repatriated at lower tax rates. So there was another incentive for large corporations to sit on the cash and wait. Now Trump's in - they may get a lower rate - assuming he can avoid falling out with the rest of the Republicans.

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Re: Political theatre only

Well a €13 billion windfall isn't such a bad thing to be blamed for...

But as you say, they may feel they've got to be seen to object. And also partly for domestic politics. If they admit they were in the wrong, they're admitting to their taxpayers (after years of huge austerity and a more than 10% drop in the size of the economy), that they could have had €15 billion of extra. And that's serious money in a country with a small population.

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The judgement is against the Irish government. The EU has no jurisdiction on Irish corporation tax, that's a local matter. But they do have jurisdiction on illegal state aid. Which is the case that Ireland lost.

Some people have accused the Commission of cheating or mission creep. Of ruling on an area that's the sole competence of governments - but I don't think that's fair - because they've ruled on a specific deal, where Apple were allowed to create a company to hold profits that on paper had no geographical location, and so paid no corporation tax to anyone.

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Re: Politicos covering their backs...

Apple were paying Irish corporation tax on their Irish profits. But were allowed to book a huge chunk of their global profits to an "Irish" company that didn't have a link to any state - and therefore didn't owe any tax. Weee! Nice wheeze. This was changed last year, and was one of the causes of a startling rise in Irish GNP - along with presumably other companies coming off the deal.

Now Apple would still have paid that tax to the US - had they ever chosen to repatriate profits. Because the US charge tax on global income (though you can usually offset the corp tax you pay abroad against this). But that's why Apple were borrowing money in the US (and so paying interest on it) to pay their dividends, so as not to repatriate any money and pay US corporation tax.

Many other EU countries have been trying to persuade / force Ireland to up it's Corp tax level to more like everyone else's 20% (ish) for years - because they see it as unfair that Ireland poaches corporate HQs off them. But that's how the single market works. What's really annoyed other governments is that not only were Ireland "stealing" their corp tax take - but worse they were then giving it away for free. And that's what the ruling stops.

I can't see Ireland winning on appeal, for two reasons. Firstly because they've already changed their tax system, which sort of admits they knew they were going to lose. Secondly the European Court is unlikely to overrule the Commission on something like this, because it's not a proper independent court - it tends to support the same political aims.

Apple rubbed salt into the wound by announcing they were going to repatriate a bunch of money to the US under a week after the decision. That being just enough cash that the US corporation tax would be offset against the EU bill. If they do win on appeal, who wants to bet they'll suddenly find a reason not to repatriate that $40bn?

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The Reg seeks online community manager

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Coat

Re: A bridge too far

How very dare you! I'm not a misanthrope. I'm MrAnthrope.

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Re: A bridge too far

True. But then I dislike doing the VAT return. But as I'm paid to do it, and HMRC will come and get all grumpy with us if I don't, it gets done.

I would use Facebook. If you paid me.

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Re: two tribes

Nah. These forums are gentle and fluffy. I wouldn't characterise them as full of monsters at all.

The warning should be more like: Here be grumpies - get off their lawns!

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I ain't Spartacus
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I don't have a twitter account, I log into Facebook about once a month (my Mum has more "friends" than me). I did once download the Flipboard app, but deleted it a week later. And I hate Linkedin and don't use it - although come to think of it I hate Facebook more, but the family forced me to be on there.

On the plus side, I had a Google+ account for a bit, I have a proven track record of talking bollocks on these here forums, I once drank a lot of El Reg's whisky and stayed both upright and coherent until almost everyone else had left. Finally I can eat crisps at the highest level of competition, from Monster Munch to Kettle Chips, from Paprika to Hedgehog flavours, I've got the lot covered.

By rights, the job should be mine!

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Re: I wouldn't be recruiting today

wolfetone,

I really don't think so. I suspect you'll find Hillary won't be sending any more emails for a while. Snail mail or carrier pigeon only for her from now on. She tried sending emails, but it didn't work out so well...

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'Extra-supermoon' to appear next week

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Happy

Re: The person who coined 'supermoon'

What about the Super Furry Animals?

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Re: Why the fuss?

We'll all notice when the Moon hears of this, and starts wearing its red pants and blue spandex suit with the big S on the front.

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Mushroom

Re: How about "Hypermoon"

It's only a small step from hypermoon to small explosion on Moonbase Alpha - and look what happened then.

Some people in silver jumpsuits got very lost, but nobody worries about what happens to everyone left on Earth.

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European F-35 avionics to be overhauled at Sealand, says UK.gov

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Re: Interesting contract ...

Well, that's £2bn over the lifetime of the contract (22 years from 2018-2040). So even ignoring inflation and crudely dividing it by 20 years - you get £100m per year. Of course in the first few years, with only a few tens, then low hundreds of planes in Europe there'll be much less work. Eventually ramping up to I'd guess a thousand or so, assuming the F35 gets cheaper and starts to replace older F16s that have been in services since the 80s.

It's also not a private company.

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Tesco Bank limits online transactions after fraud hits thousands

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Happy

Re: Id say...

As all good Tesco executives know, horses don't belong in the stable - door bolted or otherwise. Horses go in the lasagne.

It's horses for courses don't-you-know. Main courses.

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World's shortest international flight: now just 21km in 7 minutes

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Island hopping

Couldn't they just get a big catapult?

I believe they're sold by the Acme Corporation, as ably demonstrated by Wyle E Coyote...

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Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Parliament must vote

There's no dispute that Parliament should get a vote. Just that it should get to trigger A50. Negotiating whatever deal is down to government.

The sad thing here, is there's no space for democracy. Once article 50 is triggered, we're on a 2 year deadline, then we leave. Unless all 27 other members, and the European Parliament agree unanimously. Unlikely.

Hence whatever the government negotiate, we're stuck with. Parliament can vote it down, or we can have a referendum on it, but unless the rest of the EU agree - we don't get it. It's a case of competing democracies.

That's the sad thing for the remainers. The very organisation they want to stay in, is what makes it impossible for us to remaing. They don't seem to want to make that possible.

So the only way to avoid leaving, is to avoid triggering Article 50. Which would be a horrendous offence against democracy - and I don't think the public would be forgiving.

It's sad, as there could be a good compromise deal out there. But circumstances make it almost impossible.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Media and entertainment

Yes, it sets precedent - and it's worth noting here that the precedent would be one which granted the government a lot of power to overrule parliament in the future. A very dangerous precedent, in other words.

I disagree.

It doesn't really set a precedent, because this is a unique situation.

So unique in fact that the High Court are already creating precedent, by trying to invent law where there is none - because the law in question was badly drafted.

Basically Article 50 says we leave automatically in 2 years if no deal is unanimously agreed to extend it (or make it quicker). It also says that it's invoked by the government in question, in accordance with their own rules.

But when this was put into UK law as part of the Lisbon Treaty (European Constitution MkII), I don't think Parliament bothered to specify what those rules are, as they didn't expect to be leaving.

So the court had to make up the law, as there wasn't any. It's clear that government gets to negotiate treaties, and so negotiating our leaving deal is down to royal perogative. Parliament can advise, and be kept informed, but get no say until there's a final deal done, to put into UK law.

But the court asked, is A50 irrevocable? The government said yes. Once triggered we're automatically out of the EU after 2 years. I'm sure it could be fudged, but only if all other 27 members agree - and probably the European Parliament too. That's unlikely, so we'd be out in 2 years.

Well in that case, the court said, Aricle 50 is effectively repealing the European Communities Act because it inevitably leads to that, once we trigger it. Hence Parliament has to have its say first, as that effectively will be repealing legislation and removing rights from citizens, which must be done with Parliament's assent.

On the letter of the law, the judgement is dubious - A50 isn't changing UK law at all. It's a use of an exisiting treaty power, already created by Parliament, involving treaty negotiation which is a perogative power. However once the court asked if it was inevitable they went with the logical ruling, that it's effectively changing the law. After all, Parliament could refuse to repeal the act taking us into the EU, but what's the point of that if triggering A50 means they've kicked us out?

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