Re: Preemptive strike
Oh noes! I typed "earoplane" by mistake - then corrected it to... "earoplane". Ooops!
That's the kind that can't pass the speed of sound, as the boom hurts too much.
5489 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
Oh noes! I typed "earoplane" by mistake - then corrected it to... "earoplane". Ooops!
That's the kind that can't pass the speed of sound, as the boom hurts too much.
NK makes a nice buffer.
That's harsh. I know Kim is a bit of a porker, but even he's not that fat...
I believe the Chinese stopped buying their coal a couple of months ago. Though I've not been following things closely enough to know if that was a quick slap on the wrist, or a punishment that they're still keeping up. However China are still supplying the regime with a whole load of subsidised oil. But that's the nuclear option, if you'll pardon the pun, as once the oil dries up, the army becomes a lot more a paper tiger than it probably already is. Which makes it very hard for the regime to continue the high levels of oppression needed to renew itself. I'm sure they've got reserves, but I'm sure even the Chinese don't know what happens if they do that.
However, they've got quite a lot of ecomic levers. There's a lot of Koreans working in China and sending stuff back across the border. This is possibly the only thing making life bearable for the folks at home.
Kim 3, after looking like he'd reverse Kim 2's minor reforms seems to have relented, so lots of people have small personal food plots and these actually do produce something, unlike the collective farms. People are now allowed to sell this in still illegal (but ignored) local markets. That and remittances from China mean the place is a lot less desperate than it was in the 90s famine, or even 10 years ago.
However he killed his uncle a couple of years ago. And that guy was the main regime link to China - and had been so for Kim 2. By the looks of it, Kim 3 has made no attempt to fix things up, and has even done stuff to deliberately snub the Chinese leadership. So I wonder even how much they know about what's going on inside the regime. If not much, it's no surprise if they're even more cautious than normal. Though they've taken a few public steps, like cricising and joining some UN sanctions, and especially stopping buying the coal, that are major steps compared to previous Chinese policy.
Does it now come down to if they're more worried by what Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump might do?
Erm, a few problems with that.
The DPRK's biggest test so far was about 10KT - so they're a long way from 200KT. That was a land-based test, they're still a while away from miniaturising their warheads to smaller than a shipping container. They may not even have the ability to drop a warhead from an earoplane, let alone getting one onto a missile. They're also still testing fission, or just possibly boosted fission, not fusion warheads.
On which subject, their longest missile tested so far can reach maybe Alaska. Even the Western seaboard is a mite further than that, let alone the Eastern.
Next the US do have the ability to intercept Nork missiles. They have at least 3 layers of missile defence. THAAD is the final stage area defence, there's a mid-course missile to hit warheads in space and the rather better tested SM3's which they have deployed in the Sea of Japan to shoot missiles on the way up.
Obviously that doesn't help with a surprise attack which looks like a missile test. And I've no idea what the quality of intelligence sources inside the DPRK is.
If you're talking about disguising this warhead as a satellite, rather than re-entering the atmosphere, then they've launched one satellite, which they never gained control of. So they neither have the tech for control in space or for re-entry.
200km seems rather high. I'd have thought the atmosphere would still be giving quite a lot of shielding at that distance, which brings me neatly to my final point. Nobody has ever tested an EMP weapon. Nobody knows how, or even if, it would work.
So there's one hell of a lot of if here, and an awful lot of rather complicated tech that the DPRK may be quite a long way from developing - let alone mastering. If they ever can. They have very limited resources.
Kim's going to be in deep shit soon. Once Godzilla gets properly annoyed, Pyongyang is history!
Oi! El Reg! Why don't we have any giant dinosaur icons? I've picked the closest, which is a small dinosaur.
China is the embarrassing proof that you can have successful capitalism without democracy,
That's yet to be proved. China has a heavily investment-led economy. For the last thirty years it's been very successful at export-led growth by fixing its exchange rates at a very low level. This had the nice effects of helping them export more by keeping them cheaper, and effectively reducing the wages of the workers - as if the currency had risen naturally, they'd have got richer. They were further helped by many hundred milllions of people coming off the land and into the cities to swell the work-force.
That's all good, however it's coming to an end. That's the easy stuff that many economies have proved can be done by planning. But their working population is starting to shrink (due to the one child law), most people have now left the rural econony) and their investments are getting less and less returns. Basically because all the bank investment goes into the state controlled sector of the economy and people have mostly been forced to save into banks at crap rates (often below inflation) - but the state controlled sector is the most corrupt and least efficient. Because it's run as much to give sinecure jobs to the party elites than to make money. Corruption in China dwarfs anything that happens in the democracies.
The most efficient bits of the economy are the private bits, which are also the bits the state deliberately starves of funds. Which has forced them to borrow at higher rates from dodgier sources, hence the huge worries about the Chinese shadow banking sector - basically again because government intervention has made their banking system close to useless.
Again, planned economies have their downsides. 2 years ago China probably went into actual recession (from 7% growth the year before) purely because the government banned local government from borrowing from the banks they controlled. This being an obvious risk to those banks going bust (see German Landesbanks and Spanish Cajas for details). This was to be replaced by a new system of local debt issuance, but the ban happened on Jan 1st, and the new debt issusance didn't happen until sometime in April. Hence the economy looks to have shrunk in the first quarters, but made up lots of that growth later in the year. Again, non-democratic governments can just make up the figures.
To be honest a lack of democracy is much less of a problem, than a lack of rule of law. It's possible that democracy follows from having a genuine rule of law, it certainly makes it more likely. But it's not having your stuff nicked by random party officials that really allows you to invest.
Anyway, about now is the crunch time. Can the Party keep dancing, or will they fall over, and fuck everything up. For example, they've no longer having to maniuplate their exchange rate down. This is not so good however, as it's basically due to capital flight. Any Chinese person who can, wants to get their money out of the country, and the hands of the party. So what money for investment there is, is being wasted on the state-controlled sector (much of it loss-making and suffering from chronic over-capacity), and there's not enough money to invest in the private sector to keep the economy growing so fast.
In summary, it's complicated. And so far I've seen nothing to suggest that Churchill wasn't right. Democracy is the worst system in the world, except for all the others.
I'll have you know I got my badge by honest blackmail! No dubious sexual favours were offered, only photographed...
Come on. I've got the gold badger and everything...
Perhaps a karma feature then. Whenever you downvote someone, one of your own posts is randomly selected and also downvoted.
Or perhaps we could each have an icon next to our usernames showing the number of downvotes to upvotes we've given, displayed in the form of a barrel of toxic waste filled appropriately.
I also think the brown badge of dishnour should be available to everyone who's received more than 1,000 downvotes.
And perhaps the pink fluffy unicorn of disgusting cheerfulness, awarded to those who issue too many upvotes.
Now I just need the tool to see who's downvoted me, so that I can automatically downvote all of their posts with this, and my army of alternate accounts...
I'm sure we can sort this out like civilised beings.
I know we gave them a quick Hale-Bopp. But after a Swift-Tuttle, I'm sure they'll forgive us.
It's true. The asteroids will want revenge, after NASA has belted this one with a fridge.
But we could just tell them, to chill.
Well you know what it's like when people call you because they're having trouble inserting their floppies into Drive B...
I think £3 a month gets you online Office only. Where you get a webmail client but not a domain or Exchange.
About £15 a month gets you Office licenses, so you can install on up to 5 computers, plus an Exchange server you can hook up to your own domain. For us, it worked out cheaper than the server we replaced it with - and the uptime has been better as well. But we're too small to have an IT department, so that was outsourced to a local company instead.
As you say, an online only office suite seems stupid. You can't use it on a train or on a plane. You can't use it on a bus, oh what a fuss. You can't use it if the net goes off or MS' servers cough. And if their datacentre's down you can but frown. I do not like green cloud and eggs.
What if my need is to have it available 24x7x365?
Erm you download the software to your computer. Then it's all available even if you are unable to log-in to MS for any reason.
I've not yet had a noticeable problem with it. In that I've never not been able to log-in when I've tried to, and had no drop outs in connectivity with the remote Exchage server that have been long enough to notice. Been on it for 3 years now.
Do we know that for sure? Is it possible that our personalities are coded into the connections in our brain, so that some future tech could sort of rebuild us from that info? Seems rather unlikely. Also, I'm not sure being frozen just as your hear is giving up the ghost is going to be all that much help either. Surely you need to be frozen with a couple of days left of life, so that future medical tech has a decent run at saving you.
Of course the this is all covered in Larry Niven's Known Space stories. He assumes rather more people froze themselves in the 20th Century than actually did. When the technology comes to revive them, the corpsicles as they're known, their bodies are still destroyed by formation of ice crystals. I can't now remember if it's brain transplant or some sort of hand-wavey personality transplant. But anyway they get revived, but into the bodies of executed criminals who've been mind-wiped and then enslaved until they've paid off the hideous cost of their medical bills. I didn't say it was a cheeful future, as it also involves forced organ harvesting for parking offenses...
Well at least you can get your own back by defrosting all over their carpets.
Or go one better, do a Henry VIII, and explode.
I had a Sony Ericsson P800 back in 2003. That had software updates - admittedly downloaded via a computer, but then I think the original iPhone did its updates over iTunes too.
That had a virtual keyboard, which you could use if you had small fingers. Or with a stylus. The touch screen wasn't great, but was good enough for navigation with fingers. Obviously at the time the tech wasn't there to make the phone bigger.
But in my opinion a stylus is still a quicker, and less frustrating, method of text entry than an onscreen keyboard. For a sentence, it's fine, for a paragraph it becomes very annoying, and far inferior to handwriting recognition.
You could also buy apps for Symbian, though because of the bollocks with having more than one flavour, the ones I wanted were never available for UIQ. So the walled garden would have been better.
I agree that the capacitative screens were a great advance, and Apple came into the market at the right time with the right tech. But, I don't think the way they pushed the development of the industry has been for the best. Far too often their phone design is looks over functional, for example putting glass anywhere on the phone but the screen was an utterly pisspoorly thought out stupid dunderheaded piece of childish idiocy. That should have been stopped at source.
Also they were one of the first companies pushing the stupid design decision of not protecting the expensive and fragile screens with a bezel. Sure it may look prettier, but deliberately designing a product to be so fragile that it requires a case to be useful is also a stupid decision.
You're right that they were better than Symbian and Windows CE. And both Nokia and MS had lost the plot on mobile at this point. But I'm not sure that Blackberry deserved their fate.
Buttons are so much more ergonomic than screens. I'd love to see some innovation in phone design, but this seems to have stopped. Touch screens are good, but so are other input methods. Haptic feedback only goes so far, and for the most important function of a phone (being making and receiving phonecalls) modern smartphones have many faults. If only someone could make something like the Motorola RAZR that could do email satnav and a few apps.
The iPhone was the kick up the arse the market needed at the time. And did that job brilliantly. I'm not sure now that Apple aren't as complacent as everyone else in the market now. Is it a general fault of the mobile industry?
Sorry. Nope. I've used iTunes. It's awful. But I've also used Microsoft's Zune software that came with the Windows Phone 7. Which was both worse than iTunes and designed by a cluster of colourblind hedgehogs in a bag. On acid.
But both were brilliant pieces of software perfection compared to Sony's music management program at the time. MusicForge? It was the only way to get data onto their Walkmen (Walkpersons?) - and was rather like iTunes, only it was impossible to install, took 3 minutes to start, then crashed 50% of the time - and repeatedly failed to complete synching. It wasn't as hateful to look at as Microsoft's though.
He put a lithium fire out with water? That is a trick. #journalistsknowall
As I understand it, this is the advice for airline staff. Put overheating lithium batteries in metal container of water. It won't put the fire out, but will cool it, and stop it spreading.
Just think how much more fun the Roman empire would have been with dinosaur cavalry?
Or Hannibal crossing the Alps with T Rexes, then capturing Rome and saying, "I love it when a plan comes together."
Sorry, but it is Friday...
I saw a TV program about a village in the USA that was built like that. Each house had a garage/hangar, with a drive that went out of each end. One way led to the road, the other led to a taxiway, that went to a shared runway. So you could literally get up in the morning, hop in the plane without having left your house and fly to wherever.
I'm pretty sure there's a combat version of the Alphajet. Or if not yet, there's one in design. It's supposed to be a cheap close air support plane.
I remember seeing a guy on telly who'd bought one in the late 80s. He lived in central London. So a Scorpion (painted bright yellow naturally) was apparently the perfect vehicle. One advantage being, the new clamps didn't fit it.
Cue inevitable joke: Where did he park it? Anywhere he bloody well wanted...
Ooh la-la! Is that a 105mm gun in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?
Your proposal was wonderful. Tanks for the memories.
On the story of the Spitfire I remember the mighty Eric Brown talking about having fun with an unidentified one of those. He flew it under the Fourth Bridge. As you do. I think it was about 1942.
Many people complained to the local police (which I find suprising in wartime). And they apparently spent quite a lot of time shouting at the local RAF bases, whose officers I'm sure then spent a lot of time shouting at each other. But the culprit could not be found.
Nobody asked Brown, as nobody knew the Navy had any Spitfires, so the police didn't bother asking them.
Although I still have to say my favourite story about him is that he subsidised his motorcycle while still at school by doing the Wall of Death at weekends. And one performed this stunt in a motorcyle and sidecar, with a lion sitting in the sidecar. History does not record just exactly how pissed off the lion was about this...
but their motion is locked and they never come within 176 million kilometers (109 million miles) of each other
Obviously either Jupiter or BZ have a restraining order.
This information is easily available at your local planning office, at Barnards Star. Even if it is locked in a filing cabinet, in a disused toilet with a sign on the door saying, 'beware of the leopard'.
(You already know which one it is)
Don't be ridiculous. That would never happen! I've been to PC World and there are no staff to help you whenever you actually want to talk to them. They have a special AI system that uses the store's CCTV cameras to analyse body language so that staff can be alerted only to talk to customers who've already found what they need, so as to escort them to the tills and ensure they buy the extended warranty.
I believe the Canadian army was only showing the qualities of its snipers last week. Sure the world would be grateful if Canada took back Celine Dion and Justin Bieber. But should they not wish to suffer themselves, I'm sure they can work out other accepable solutions...
The question is, what does Google do? Remember that Google provide search to us mere mortals in order to show us adverts, paid for by companies. Most of that ad spending comes from honking great international companies, who also don't like fake products.
This is an area where because there's no single government, there's unlikely to be any single law. So Goolge will do what it can to make as much money as it can, and accept as little legal oversight as it can get away with. However if it takes the piss too much out of its real customers (the global advertisers who pay it something like $100 billion a year) then it might find the bottom line suffers.
People seem to think that the internet is sort of immune to national law, because it's global. And that's basically true. Unless you can get cooperation from other nations, there's always somewhere to hide a server and operate from.
However when you're as big as Google, that can easily stop being true. Google might be doing something the courts don't like in a third country. And mostly Google will get away with saying, that has nothing to do with you. But if Google have significant assets in a country, then that country's courts can go after Google there, to force them to do stuff elsewhere.
Something that's unlikely to be an effective tactic for say Vietnam or Tuvalu, who aren't that important to Google, but the EU, US and Canada are worth enough money to the bottom line that they can exercise some power over Google outside their borders. I seem to remember from a few years ago that Google's UK turnover was about £6 billion for example, which ought to mean the UK government and courts could make them jump if they wanted to enough.
Why can't they use cloud services? They've got lots of aeroplanes - so getting to the clouds should be easy-peasy!
All military kit is old fashioned. As the chappie said, you order this stuff 10-20 years before you get it. Often from a spec that was mostly written before that. Every time you try to change that spec during the build process, the price goes up and the delivery time gets further away. So you tend to plan regular upgrades instead, and deal with the problem while the unit is in service.
So for example, Lewis Page of this parish spent many a happy article complaining about the Eurofighter Typhoon. But the design work for that started sometime in the 70s - where they were trying to guess what aircraft the Soviet Union would be operating by the 1990s, and then build something to be capable of dealing with them. The design work got serious in the 80s, and it was ordered by the mid-80s, just in time for the Cold War to be about to end. At which point who needed a pure air superiority fighter?
But cancelling it meant burning all the money already spent, and sacking all the people involved, plus possibly knackering the companies. So it was considered cheaper to keep going, then modify it to be more multi-role when they'd finished it. Also the price shot up, asl the various nations buying it chose to have fewer aircraft, thus spreading production and R&D costs over fewer units.
Was this mess anyone's fault? Well not really. They had to order way into the future when they thought the Cold War was a serious problem. The only alternative was to buy from someone else - which obviously has less risk. But that means your stuff won't be state-of-the-art by the time you get it, and that you lose the skill and ability to produce your own, should someone ever refuse to sell to you.
These carriers are such large and complex systems, that there'll probably be some bit of kit changed, updated or in testing every couple of months.
Do you mean the self-loading cargo?
Surely Kelkoo went the way of the dinosaur years ago? I remember actually using them deliberately in about 2005, when I was playing with Pricerunner and Google's brilliantly named (but sadly crap) Froogle.
I think I decided Pricerunner was best, but was returning so many prices from sites I'd never heard of and on inspection wasn't willing to entrust with my credit card, that I just gave up on the lot of them.
No. It's loose change. They made more than that just in tax credits on the losses Motorola had racked up in the 5 years before Google bought them. When they sold most of Motorola on to Lenovo, they of course kept the yummy tax credits...
If you want to know how you've been violated, take a look at Google's privacy policies.
But this case wasn't about that, or about harm to you. This case was about harm to shopping price comparison sites - who were trying to make a buck in the market a few years ago and got unfairly (at least according to the EU) muscled out by Google. The argument being that Google's price comparison was crap at the time (which it was), and yet they got all the clicks when the actually popular and quite useful sites started slipping down the Google rankings.
I'm not sure how fair that is, because I didn't find many price comparison sites to be much cop, and so mostly gave up on them - but I do remember Google's being worse than the couple I was using back around 2005.
It's very simple. You can legally have a monopoly. If you're the best at doing something and so everyone goes to you, it would be totally unfair to regulate your monopoly out of existence. So you get to keep it. After all the aim of this law is to protect the consumer, and we can assume that they all went to you for a reason.
What you're not allowed to do is to use that monopoly (market dominance) in order to enter other markets. At which point it all becomes rather murky, as to what's being normally competitive and what's unfair competition.
You don't need 100% control of a market to be defined as a monopoly, it can be less than 50%, it's about your market power.
This case is also a bit weird of course, in that Google don't charge for search - and so the customers are the advertisers. Except that the ads are only going to get seen if people use search.
The Microsoft example was a lot clearer. They were considered to have a monopoly with Windows, and were using that to push their browser. Even though Netscape had a nice business charging for a browser. Not that the law intervened in any kind of timescale that would have saved Netscape.
A more traditional monopolistic abuse might be Vanderbuilt, in the late 19th Century. He built a nice railway that was used by a bunch of steel mills. Then he decided to go into the steel industry. And those mill owners were asked to sell their mills to him at a substantial discount. If they didn't, his railway would stop doing business with them, and they'd go bust.
Or say BT, who were charging about 50p a minute for daytime telephone calls in the early 1980s. Because your alternative was not to be able to make calls.
Why get angry, before you've even been offended?
Google can't push this through the courts for years and years. There's only one avenue of appeal, and that's it. They can appeal to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg - which is the EU's highest court and after that there's nowhere else to go. After the Commission fined Microsoft, they'd appealed and lost within 2 years. I'm sure it'll be similar with Google.
This isn't like the Apple / Samsung dispute that took place in a court in California, where there were all sorts of levels to appeal through. In this case the Commission is acting in a quasi-judicial role, and then then there's only one place to go.
Who do these scientists think they are to say Uranus is on its side? Does it have a this way up label? No? Thought not. Perhaps it's just resting then.
Or it's only there because someone missed a pot in a game of intergalactic bar billiards.
It's worse than that. We're using a giant telescope to ogle our near neighbour's uranus flashing...
Surely we expect better from El Reg. We want it Roger Cook stylee, a Reg hack following him down the road shouting questions, until he turns round and punches them. At which point the hack says, "why are you hitting me Mr Levy, I'm only asking you about what's happened to your product, that was promised to your customers months ago."
Bonus points for the doing it Damien from 'Drop the Dead Donkey' style, where the journo remains unharmed, and the camerman cops it. Possibly having paid an impostor to punch him, to make better telly and save the effort of finding the actual MD.
No. ZoomyMcFlyPlane surely?
BulgariaSat is a vital part of the infrastructure for the litter collection equivalent of Interantional Rescue. Instead of Brains or John Tracy being up there in Thunderbird 5 - this early warning satellite is manned, or should that be wombled, by Uncle Bulgaria.
I don't think the satellites will help, if the rocket is interfering with the signal. So it's obvious what he needs to do. A sonar link for the telemetry to his submarine, which can broadcast it via its own antenna from a safe distance.
Even if he's not yet bought himself an old soviet ballistic missile boat (or captured one with a giant oil tanker), he'll have a few mini-subs around for moving the stolen nuclear warheads to and from his yacht. I'm sure they'll do the job.
Oh, perhaps I wasn't supposed to say that. No! Please not the pirhana tank! NOOOOOooooooooo!!!!!
Richard Jones 1,
A couple of suggestions for you.
You can get one of those tables on wheels they have in hospitals - where the table goes over the side of the bed - or in this case arm of the chair. Some can be set at an anlge, rest book on table at good reading - job's a good'un. Means you don't have to hold book. I've tried various solutions like this over the years, other things to try are sitting at a table with a portable lectern to hold your book - or something like a recipe book stand. Depends on what way you find most comfortable to sit. If bed is better with propped pillows, then you can get beanbag things which hold a book or tablet at the right angle.
If the neck problems make it hard to do, then I'd suggest audiobooks. Someone like audible.com? You pay a monthly sub and can listen to what you like. I think Amazon may do a similar service.
As for hunting through all the available telly content, there must be good websites that discuss review this stuff. I know my brother did this about 10 years ago, where he read about what was the best American telly on a discussion website, then ahem 'sourced' it via the internet.
Surely Androids dream of electrifying iSheep?
Unfortunately judges do treat high profile cases differently to low profile ones. So he might get a stiffer penalty, as it's public, in order to make a public point. Which is the downside of facing the criminal justice system if you're famous - the upside being you probably get better lawyers.
But it comes down to time. If he surrenders himself in the expectation of getting just a slapped wrist from the magistrate, he needs to be seen that day by the magistrate, and then deported to Australia that day. Otherwise he's going to be in cusody (being a bail-jumper he's an obvious flight risk) and at that point Sweden can nab him again. I can't see the wheels of justice turning that quickly.
Obviously if the conspiracy theories are to be believed, so might the US. Though even if true, they'd have to move pretty damned fast. If he genuinely believes the US stuff, and I think he is possibly that paranoid, then how's he ever going to leave the embassy?
There's no need for politics here. When was the last time a suspected criminal ran into a London embassy? This is something to be discouraged. So it needs to be seen to fail. Both to other crims, and embassies who might enjoy causing trouble.
Plus, if you very publicly take the piss out of the criminal justice system, it'll almost certainly try to bite you back.
No. At least not officially. And I doubt they'd trust Ecuador or Assange not to blab/gloat about it afterwards.
Officially, and legally, the government can't tell the police what to do. Unofficially ministers can obviously have a quiet word. So long as the risk is worth it, or the likelihood of getting caught is low.
In this case I don't think anyone cares enough to risk their career over it. Plus I strongly suspect the Foreign Office are enjoying Ecuador's discomfort. They accepted his asylum for some cheap publicity, and to make the US look bad. With a side order of embarrassing the UK government.
So I think the FCO want to make them suffer for it. As well as the genuine policy goal of discouraging other embassies in London from sheltering criminals. The fact that Assamge suffers ten years self-imposed imprisonment for a crime many suspect he's both guilty of and would get off in court, is just a bonus...
Talking of Corbyn...
Conspiracy Cat meets Conspiracy Catweazle...
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017