* Posts by Slx

460 posts • joined 5 Jun 2010

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Why Theresa May’s hard Brexit might be softer than you think

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I'm still confused how this is going to work for Northern Ireland.

It's lovely that she values the historical and familial ties between Britain and Ireland, but I still fail to see how the hell we are going to keep the CTA (Common Travel Area) working. Effectively, all that ever guaranteed was freedom of movement of people and labour.

Ireland and the UK recognise eachother's citizens as non-aliens. So, basically if you're Irish in the UK or British in Ireland, for all intents and purposes (including voting rights in parliamentary elections etc) you're treated as a local, in a way that goes far beyond EU rights.

They're not even required to produce ID - although, for practical security reasons in airports it happens.

However, on the land border between the two countries it's not even marked. It's as visible as the border between two counties in England and probably less marked than the England-Scotland border as we tend not to play it up. The only way you would realise you'd crossed is the road markings change from a white line on the edge of the road and (ironically) standard European type signs in UK (Northern Ireland) to an orange line at the outside of the road, US/Aussi/NZ style orange warning signs and km/h in the Republic and your mobile phone might alert you to roaming.

HOWEVER, that never applied to to the movement of goods, services or capital and that's where this lovely sentiment all falls apart. If the UK is not part of the single market or the customs union, we end up with a customs border which will be exactly the same, if not worse (as if the UK doesn't join the customs union) as the EU-Turkish border.

While it means that your average Irish or British citizen can pass freely across the border, if you have a bag of shopping with you from the local supermarket you could be done for smuggling.

Also since the 1990s, Irish and Northern Irish economies and infrastructure have begun to become shared and deeply integrated. For example the electricity networks are owned and operated by the same companies, interlinked at various points at just regular transmission voltages and share common standards. The telecoms networks are largely intergrated in a very local way and have been for many decades - a local call is a local call. The Republic had agreed to fund road infrascture in the North where it facilitated interlinking regions like Donegal (extreme Northwest of Ireland in the Republic). There are loads of examples of this kind of thing.

Many, many businesses also just operate as if there's no border at all. So, everything from logistics to supermarkets, to agrifood, to you name it tend to operate on an all-island basis. Cutting Northern Ireland off from the Republic at this stage could be hugely damaging to the North probably more than the Republic as it's the smaller and less financially flush partner in the relationship. A lot of Northern SMEs are very dependent on having access to the rest of Ireland for trade. So, I would assume the UK is planning a sizable buffer fund while it readjusts its economy, to avoid it spinning into a depression?

There had also been growing integration of things like health services and you've various cross-border bodies that are effectively QANGOs for areas like tourism, food safety and so on.

You've also got a North-South Ministeral Body and the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, which is pretty unique in any EU context.

On top of that you've now got BVIS - British Irish Visa Scheme that allows mutual recognition of certain classes of business traveler visa so that citizens of China and India can travel to both countries on a single visa. It's a little like a mini-Schengen between the UK and Ireland.

How the hell is all that going to work after Brexit?! An awful lot of it is predicated on both countries being EU members.

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From a practical point of view, only two things in that speech stood out to me.

1. It will go to a vote in parliament. That's likely to have been what's calmed markets.

2. They aren't looking to remain in the single market and want semi-detached status in the customs union.

So, rather than a Norwegian or Icelandic EEA style model, what she's actually described is something along the lines of a Turkish relationship with the EU, only a bit weaker as she's not really that committed to the customs' union idea, more just a vague wishlist type option.

The only positive I've seen is that she's keen not to rip up the Common Travel Area which would have impacted Ireland very badly. Although, with the UK potentially being outside the customs union and definitely being outside the single market, that relationship is largely going to back to pre-EU days where it only applies to movement of people, not goods or services.

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Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

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It'll turn out to be something like slow moving sulphur snow clouds or something we aren't used to looking at. The scale of it would seem far too big to be anything artificial or life-based. Although, there's no harm in sending a probe to take a look...

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US watchdog sues Qualcomm for 'bribing' Apple to swallow chips

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Re: WiMax?

The major advantage of it for mobile networks is that's part of the 3GPP standards and has full backwards compatibility with previous 2G GSM and UMTS. It's also providing an escape route for Qualcomm CDMA-One / 2000 / EV-DO standards which Qualcomm have actually discontinued development of.

WiMAX also does not function very well at high speeds, rendering it useless on the intercity trains and even European-speed motorway travelling. The networks aren't designed to deal with terminals moving faster than 120km/h vs 450km/h for LTE.

So basically a public WiMAX network would be hugely problematic for most European, Japanese and other intercity trains which typically run at at least 160km/h to 200km/h or in the 300-350km/h range at high speed.

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Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

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I'm assuming this is final, right? There's now way Trump could roll back on a predecessors commutation?

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Solaris 12 disappears from Oracle's roadmap

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Considering, SPARC and Solaris are used by some major corporate customers, including banks, I can't see this going down well at all.

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UK's lords want more details on adult website check plans

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I'm sure it'll simply be a subcutaneous NFC chip implanted by your local vet.

Once that's there you register on the national database perv-register.gov.uk, install the special snoopware to give full access to your pic or mobile and voila! You will get access to images approved by the Home Office.

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BT installs phone 'spam filter', says it'll strain out mass cold-callers

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People also need perspective and to chill out a bit!

I do think though people need to stop getting so 'rattled' by spam callers. There's a lot of total over-reaction to relatively small volumes of calls.

I know a few people who get absolutely ridiculously annoyed by them. I realise they're annoying and they waste a couple of minutes of your life, but you can always hang-up or tell them to feck off!

In the big scale of things, it's a relatively minor nuscance unless you're getting absolutely bombarded with calls.

I completely stopped using my landline largely because I have no need for it anymore.

It's the same with my office phone, I don't think anyone even rings my desk anymore. Everything goes to my mobile. It's now largely just a slightly retro looking 1980s style paper weight with buttons and lights. Anytime I check the fixed line voicemail at work, it's invariably people trying to sell me conferences I don't want to go to.

I really do think the PSTN is finished other than as an incoming number for businesses.

Other than a few elderly relatives, I just don't ring landlines at all and mobiles are so cheap these days it's no cost saving anyway. In most cases, if I ring someone's landline, it will ring out / go to voicemail as many aren't plugged in anyway. It's definitely a legacy technology.

I'm in Ireland though so maybe there's still more landline usage in the UK and US?

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I'm in Ireland but spam calls were one of the reasons I just ditched voice service entirely on my landline. I just went wirh VDSL (up to 100mbit)! "Fibre" without a dial tone.

Voice service was bundled with broadband in the past and i never really used it. I didn't even plug the phone in to wall.

I think the pstn is likely to be as relevant as the fax machine in a very few short years.

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UK can be a 'world leader in 5G', you say? Er, our 4G still takes a beating from Peru

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Just call LTE Advanced 8G job done.

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This'll be the next thing Trump crows about: Apple assembling servers on American soil

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Re: What's old is new again

Actually, looking at the logic board most of the components are made in the USA, Japan and Korea.

Processor: Mototola

Other chips : VSLI Technologies, Philips and AMD.

The memory seems to have been made in Korea but it's not branded on the chips.

I can't see any chinese components at all.

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Re: What's old is new again

I'm pretty sure I've an ancient Macintosh Classic made for the European Market in Ireland, not the USA.

It was a skirting European tarrifs arrangement rather than taking US jobs, but Apple has had a Cork, Ireland base since 1980.

It even carries the Irish Mark of Electrical Conformity, from the days before CE marking.

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FM now stands for 'fleeting mortality' in Norway

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Re: Very unlikely to happen here in Ireland for one reason - centralised control doesn't exist..

€30 (which according go Google is NZ$ 45.30) gets me:

30GB 4G data (which typically runs at about 50-70Mbit/s) [YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pokémon Go are unmetered - so much for net neutrality]

Unlimited Irish Calls (landline/mobile)

Unlimited Irish Texts

50 Mins of international calls (including mobiles) to pretty much anywhere.

No contract as I own my own handset.

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Very unlikely to happen here in Ireland for one reason - centralised control doesn't exist for FM

In Ireland we have had an absolutely disastrous DAB rollout where there's just been little or no interest from the commercial providers and its been driven by RTE using public money.

The issue is quite simple. Commercial broadcasters and even tiny community stations here own their own FM transmission infrastructure and independent local stations have a lot of market share. It's not in their interests to rent space from either the state owned RTE Networks (2RN) or some megacorp that ultimately gets to run a national DAB network.

Also the local stations do not want the extra competition so won't spend a cent on DAB.

On top of that music-driven stations are facing huge competition from people switching over to just listening to Spotify, Apple Music, Google Music, YouTube and all sorts of other streaming services. For €10 / month or so you've access to way more music and no annoying ads and DJs.

You can pre-download more music and audio than you could possibly listen to on most modern smartphones and It is now quite feasible to stream music on 4G (here anyway) - data's cheap and decent 4G is widespread. Even on prepay €20 will give you more data than most people could use if you pick the right networks.

Then you've got an increasing number of people listening to radio via podcasts and streaming online and DAB uptake is generally pretty poor. I'd guess many people aren't even aware of it.

If you've a country with more centralised control of broadcasting, perhaps DAB might work better but I can't see cheap, effective and reliable FM systems being switched off here for a VERY long time. Considering we had a public outcry over the suggestion of closing LW 252kHz simulcast of RTE Radio 1 (carried on DAB, FM, online etc) and there were a few people quite upset over closing down RTE Radio's AM Medium Wave services in 2008 after 82 years on the dial.

Is this the experience in other countries too?

Is the Norwegian setup very different?

I know the UK has been doing OK with DAB but mostly because BBC has poured money into it.

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How Apple exploded Europe's crony capitalism

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Re: what the hell's it got to do with Europe ?

I'm very confused as to how you can compare "European GSM" to Apple. Apple is a device maker and software company. GSM is a set of largely open industry standards (3GPP) covering GSM 2G, UMTS (3G), LTE and a whole load of supporting and associated technologies and protocols. The GSM Association is simply an industry body.

Apple's phones are running on GSM standards for communication - GSM 2G, UMTS, LTE etc.

It's a bit like trying to compare Samsung to the IP and the ISOC.

GSM made it possible for open standards that have made handset development a hell of a lot easier. Had it not been for GSM and its associated standards, you'd have a kludge of proprietary commercial networks like CDMA-One in the USA which would have required non-standard chipsets, special licensing, custom handsets etc etc.

GSM threw the door open to a plethora of equipment manufacturers, handset makers (including Apple and all the Android makers) and umpteen telcos that were able to roll out networks far more readily than they would have been with locked-down standards.

Before GSM, you basically had to approach someone like Motorola and buy a complete network and were locked into a particular system on their terms.

Incidentally, GSM spun out of a European Union project which was aimed at smashing down the barriers between mobile networks in the 1980s and creating some kind of a framework for pan-European (and beyond) mobile services. It achieved that by creating an open standard and getting players to corporate. Before GSM there were just islands of proprietary analog systems in different European countries, roaming was impossible, there was no obvious path to data services etc etc.

Incidentally, Nokia hasn't gone anywhere. Its handset division failed and disappeared but the company itself is still one of the key players behind mobile and fixed line infrastructure and has acquired Siemens networking division and also the enormous Alcatel-Lucent which included Bell Labs and all of Alcatel's gear and patents.

It's very likely that your mobile handset, home phone in your house or your internet traffic is traversing Nokia or Ericsson networking equipment.

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Re: Paperbag vs PureView

I don't really agree that the hardware's become worse - Rather that the focus is now entirely on smartphones, so any feature phones that are available very, very cheap and basic. 10+ years ago those were the mainstay of the mobile phone companies' business and they poured resources into designing and building them.

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I don't think this is a fair criticism of GSM at all

I think this is a grossly unfair criticism of GSM and it's crediting Apple with market smashing innovation it did not have.

GSM was hugely liberating as it made it possible for the first time for consumers to pick their own hardware and mobile carrier. From day one, it mandated a SIM card which gave the consumer control to bring hardware they owned from network to network without any need to do anything other than swap a smart card.

Before that you had absolutely lock-in and on US CDMA networks you still do.

When Apple launched the iPhone first it was incredibly locked to networks, far more water tightly than any other device I've encountered. They're extremely difficult to unofficially unlock and unless you're buying the phone outtight from new you're very much controlled by your network. It's understandable where they subsidise the phone.

European networks also implemented full number portability long before the US and many other markets and had generally more competition.

All telcos all over the world had a notion they were going to be content providers and put you in a walled garden of WAP and iMode and so on. That didn't work out as mobiles became capable PCs and an expectation of full open internet access was the norm.

Apple doesn't generally distribute phones straight to consumers anymore than Nokis did. You could always buy a Nokia or any other phone totally independently of a network but you had to pay full price. The exact same case applied to iPhone from day one. They were when more likely to he networks subsidies and locked because people generally don't like handing over €700 -1000 for a phone and would rather fund it through a carrier subsidy.

GSM has been a phenomenal set or technical standards that are fully open to use. Networks can a use equipment from multiple vendors. There is no lock in to proprietary standards unlike CDMA One / CDMA 2000 or other single platforms.

There's been an absolute revolution in technology in the last decade and a half in terms of mobile technology and European driven standards have been at the core or that.

Nokia's handset division failed because Nokia didn't have the technical ability to develop a useable OS and touch screen environment.

Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens, Alcatel, and others European handset makers along with US players like Motorola, Japanese companies like NEC and Fujitsu came to the handset business as a development of their telco equipment operations. These companies, especially Nokia, Alcatel, Siemens and especially Ericsson are massive network equipment companies and have been for decades (over a century in the case of Ericsson). They're Europe's Bell Labs counterparts. They had no experience of producing direct consumer products. The provided telephone exchange and their model historically was selling to telcos.

Meanwhile other entrants like Sony, Philips and Panasonic etc had experience in consumer products especially in audio visual stuff.

NONE of these organisations were computer companies producing software for consumer and business desktops.

What happened quite simply was the technology hit a tipping point, a paradigm shift, where the device was a mobile PC, not a phone. So it was inevitable that silicon Valley had a huge huge lead. An iPhone has a lot more in common with a Mac than it does with a telephone.

That's why Apple and Google dominate. These devices are PCs.

Just like 1980s and 1990s landline telcos and cable companies didn't make it into online services and interactive TV, mobile telcos soon discovered they're also just dumb pipes and don't really have the v ability to develop the killer apps.

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That's the way the Cook, he stumbles: Apple CEO pay cut as sales tank

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I think Apple are failing to realise that their professional creative market was actually what drove their 'cool' for years. They've been undermining and frankly pissing off professional users - i.e. trend setting designers, digital artists, photographers, journalists, video producers, web developers etc etc for some years now by mucking around with dropping support for products.

1. Final Cut Pro had become an industry standard almost and it was radically changed causing major upheaval for video editors and producers who had trusted it.

2. Aperture was dropped.

3. They made the MacPro into some kind of weird looking ornament instead of the ultra-practical workhorse that many pro-users loved. Did they actually ask pro-users what they wanted? Nope! They decided that the one thing that your typical music producer or graphic designer would want is a tiny computer that you can't expand easily without a spaghetti junction of wires.

4. Then to top it off they produce a professional-oriented laptop (certainly price wise anyway) that has removed all the ports?!

Generally :

1. Removing the headphone jack?!? Why? It saved almost no space worth worrying about and pissed a lot of people off.

2. Magsafe. It was a brilliant little feature that saved many an Apple product from ending up on the floor. Why get rid of it for USB-C.

Is Apple just letting some designer who hates ports dictate technical policy?

iPads: iOS is too limited for the advanced hardware that's in the iPad pro. It needs some kind of touch-friendly version of macOS to really make any use of it.

iOS:

It's too rigid and isn't changing with the times at all. The simple grid of icons that you have to shuffle around like a 1970s tile puzzle is really very limiting.

It also needs to open the door to a few things like other web browser rendering engines. The block on that seems absolutely stupid. Also the lack of any kind of access to the file system is completely stupid.

macOS:

1. Breaking age-old logical ways of doing things.

Why the hell did they feel the need to change the File > Save / Save As approach to saving things in so many Apple developed applications? I have ended up accidentally messing up versions and screwing things up because I didn't duplicate the file before making changes and suddenly realised that because there's no longer user-control over saving, it's just making changes to a live document. It's really unintuitive and breaks a very standard concept of how to deal with files.

2. iCloud integration - It's lacking transparency and too much is automatic. I have found that I have accidentally put stuff into the iCloud that I had never intended to. This included work documents which would be subject to data protection requirements. I was really annoyed that this was so easy to do.

I've also discovered that colleagues had put their entire Desktop into the iCloud without realising exactly what they'd agreed to.

3. iCloud lack of transparent access to the file system / inconsistent access to it anyway. It needs to just be a normal drive more like dropbox.

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TV anchor says live on-air 'Alexa, order me a dollhouse' – guess what happens next

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I still don't find voice interfaces much use beyond voice dialling in the car. I don't really see the point of them most of the time and you still look like a total moron barking commands into Siri or Google Assistant on a headset walking along the street or in public transport.

"Hey Siri .. play most embarrassing playlist ever!"

"OK Google: Where's clapham junction?"

"Hey Siri... do I look like a gimp talking to myself on a bus?"

"Yes! Yes, you do! I had been meaning to say that for years!"

If I'm in an area where I really don't want to take my smartphone out - I will use my watch to adjust play lists. Otherwise, I'll just use the phone (which most of the time as very few places are THAT threatening).

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Did EU ruling invalidate the UK's bonkers Snoopers' Charter?

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Brexit means Brexit

Don't worry! You'll soon be rid those meddling Eurocrats protecting you from your information-hungry government and then you can finally have state installed CCTV in all your bathrooms and those chip implants you've always wanted.

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Everything at Apple Watch is awesome, insists Tim Cook

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I got the Huawei Watch (in black) and it is a stunning bit of kit.

Absolutely useless, but stunning.

My 18 month old niece loves sliding the menus around though, so I suppose it's useful for something!

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UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

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Brexit for IT companies

It's quite likely this is in gross violation of European Data Protection legislation, so it more or less will end the ability of UK ISPs, telcos or UK businesses hosting data in the UK or passing it through the UK from doing any sort of business in the European Union and possibly also in the associated EEA countries too.

To me, this looks like it will sink the UK's thriving telco and ISP business and end your role as a hub of communication in Europe.

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Jeremy Hunt: Telcos must block teens from sexting each other

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How???

Short of banning <18s from using mobile phones, or pretty much any internet-connected IT device, I cannot see how this could possibly be achieved.

You might as well be trying to legislate to get the wind to stop blowing from the northeast or the rain to only fall on Tuesdays between 8:00 and 10:00pm.

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UK cops spot webcam 'sextortion' plots: How vics can hit stop

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This really can only be tackled by education, education and more education.

If you're using a webcam to communicate with anyone, but particularly with a stranger online, anything you present to that camera is at risk of being published or used against you.

On the other side of it, maybe we will just have to ensure nobody ever feels totally humiliated if something like this does happen. Yes, it's embarrassing but it shouldn't be life-endingly embarrassing.

Strong supports need to be there emotionally but also strong supports in terms of an IT-savvy crack squad who can ensure that damage limitation is done i.e. help with getting as much of the offending media removed from sites as possible.

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Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

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If you're a vegan just pay with your phone, which is in most cases will contain at least some components made from sweat and the odd bit of blood and tears.

Cash is so 1990s anyway.

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Huawei Mate 9: The Note you've been waiting for?

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It looks like an evolution of the Nexus 6P, but without the freedom of stock Android.

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UK Parliament waves through 'porn-blocking' Digital Economy Bill

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Don't worry it'll be just like Dad's Army soon

Relax and don't worry about a thing.

You're being rapidly spun back to a sort of Tory Utopian fantasy 1950s (dystopian to anyone sane) where you can all dress in suits and ties or pearls and twinsets, sexuality will be declared unmentionable once more, and you can look forward to village fetes, strawberries and cream, censored films, no smut on the television, people attending church out of sheer boredom, a complete collapse of the creative industry, exit of all the interesting people to Berlin or even Dublin.

I speak as an Irish person, be very wary of this kind of level of conservatism and censorship wrapped in nationalism and protectionism.

We had a dose of it here in the mid 20th century and it did horrific damage that has only really been undone in the last 20 years and hopefully will never be repeated again.

The US is also going head first into this kind of weird conservative, authoritarian mess and an even worse one as it's being driven by religious extremism.

It seems nobody's shouting stop, the labour party is currently totally useless and you are just going to sleepwalk the UK into undoing 50 years of progressive liberalising.

I'm just very wary of any party or government that goes on moral crusades.

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Investigatory Powers Act signed into UK law by Queen

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At least you won't have to worry about all that awful red tape from Brussels protecting your privacy anymore.

Just lie back, think of England and all the freedom and the greater efficiencies you can now enjoy.

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Encrypted email sign-ups instantly double in wake of Trump victory

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People still use email?

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Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

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Re: And we thought BREXIT was bad

No, you're just the court jester now which is a major improvement.

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Ireland to fight against billing Apple for back-taxes

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Both the UK and US governments massively facilitate such gaming themselves. The City of London didn't grow so large due to the lovely weather and excellent housing in Greater London, I can assure you. It is a handy, English-speaking financial hub in Europe with light touch regulation and relatively low tax / no tax options and has operated like a money laundry.

Same goes for Switzerland.

There is no 'system' and the powers that be have all been lobbied extensively to ensure that nobody upsets the status quo. If the US and EU really wanted to close those loop holes that allow money to disappear into mysterious virtual lands that only exist on paper, they could have done so decades ago at the stroke of a pen. However, they didn't and probably won't really do anything serious about it in the future.

The simple reality of it is that big corporations have all of us, from Ireland to the UK to the US, to even moralistic claiming to be high tax France, by the short and curlies . Nobody can be the first nation to innovate on tax as the inward investment (foreign or domestic) simply runs away or they cut jobs and damage your position.

So, yeah we're all being gamed but until there's a properly global taxation system to prevent (which as yet simply does not exist), the game just goes on and on and on.

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Fairly simple really:

1) It would involve an admission of wrong doing by the Irish Government or at best incompetence by the tax authorities. They are not going to do that.

2) It would potentially unravel a whole load of very long term Irish policies that were used to attract FDI and could cause massive numbers of job losses.

3) There's a significant possibility that the €13 billion would be uncollectible anyway as other states may seek to apply taxes and then Apple would not pay them in Ireland under double-taxation agreements.

4) There's a distinct possibility the figure is grossly over estimated and Apple's liability could be significantly smaller anyway.

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The Irish arguments are pretty simple too:

1) The EU has no jurisdiction on tax policy and is using competition law as an backdoor attempt to expand its powers.

2) This is a competition law case and EU would need to prove that Ireland gave Apple a deal that was unavailable to other companies. If it were available to other companies, the EU has no case.

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Re: Irexit

"Traditional open borders for Paddy to the UK - Good, English speaking labour for the UK"

I think that's pretty much defined why Ireland would be extremely unlikely to leave the EU and end up riding on the UK's coat tails again. It's not something most of the electorate here would be prepared to do and, perhaps unlike our British cousins (or should I use some kind of pejorative?) we are not as keen to shoot ourselves in both feet and isolate ourselves from a massive market.

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Siri, clone yourself and dive into this Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone

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Maybe it'll be as good as TouchWiz and made from pure explodium ?

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McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

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I don't get it!

Why do people want to go to an amazing city in a country with one of the best cuisines on the planet and eat a Big Mac and drink a Starbucks.

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China passes new Cybersecurity Law – you have seven months to comply if you wanna do biz in Middle Kingdom

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China's actually not in *that* strong a position.

Multinational companies will only hang on in there as long as the country is friendly to them. If it starts imposing onerous and intrusive regulation that is impacting their products and security, you may find the attitude changes very rapidly.

There are other places these things can be made and all it takes is a big shift in attitudes. It won't necessarily be the American Government who make this kind of decision. They're not a corporate dictatorship that tells companies what to do. However, if the Chinese grow openly hostile to things like this, you are going to see companies looking elsewhere. It's just inevitable.

Chinese companies can potentially be major competitors, Huawei, ZTE and a few others have shown this is most definitely the case. However, if one side enters into protectionist policies, the other side will reciprocate. It's a two-way street where China is getting access massive consumer markets which it simply does not have internally.

For all the openness to business, China is not an open democracy and is unlikely to become one anytime soon. Its default reaction to free flow of information is to immediately censor it and filter it while all of these IT products and services are designed to maximise free-flowing exchange of ideas and knowledge and come from places that foster that kind of approach to life generally.

It would suit the Government and the companies to just exclude foreign IT companies and products so that the Chinese domestic market was running on some kind of controlled platform that allowed the Government to control the message and probably opened up levels of Big Brother spying and tracking that would be the wet dream of Western spy agencies who could never go that far, even if they wanted to.

You can't really square the circle and there isn't really a compromise position on this. You can't have unfettered media and social sharing and extreme state control just co-existing without problems.

China will have to decide does it want continued unfettered access to global markets?

Or does it want to crack down on internal free flow of information using restrictive IT ?

You really can't have both.

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I could see this coming to major blows with the US on trade.

This could effectively kill Apple and Google and other US IT companies and consumer product companies in China.

At the best they're going to end up with special China editions of devices that are providing a narrow subset of services available elsewhere.

China expects to have unfettered access to the US and EU markets but at the same time is quite happy to impose extremely serious restrictions on US exports in this case. So, I could see this turning relatively nasty as the months and years roll on.

Fundamentally, it looks like China isn't really compatible with a modern information society type economy as the government is just unwilling to let information flow.

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Unstoppable Huawei draws level with Apple

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The reality is that they're almost two parallel markets because of the differing ecosystems.

Huawei is more likely eating other android OEM's dinner. I would suspect those growing Huawei sales are in reality coming from Sony, HTC, LG and even Samsung's market share.

I'm not being an Apple fan in saying this, but the two business models are very different. Apple makes far more profit from a smaller market share than any of the Android OEMs ever can because it owns the entire ecosystem and can sell services in or take % cut on services sold through the AppStore.

When an Android OEM sells a phone, they're making money on the hardware and are often selling in services that aren't all that great or don't hold their own against Google. So, the majority of the potential revenue streams are going to the Play Store and Google Play services.

Apple's in a very unique position in the mobile market at the moment. Whether they can maintain it long term is another question, but for the short to medium term they look pretty much a safe bet.

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Cynical Apple gouges UK with 20 per cent price hike

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Re: Isn't Apple an Irish company?

Same applies against the Euro.

€1.00 cost about 75p a few months ago.

€1.00 costs about 90p now.

Whether you're paying in $ or €, the £ is significantly weaker against both. So, you're really not paying more (or at least not much more). You're just paying the same price with a weaker currency.

Companies cannot afford to give the UK a 20%+ discount. It doesn't work like that. You're just going to have to either cough up or start running your economy sanely again.

The uncertainty is absolutely killing the British economy. You just haven't felt the real pinch yet, but believe me ... it's coming!

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It's OK Sterling plummeted again today due to the Northern Irish court decision that they had no jurisdiction over Brexit.

Don't worry though. You'll be able to use those lovely БЭСМ computers as soon as your Russian trade deal is ready.

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James Dyson's new startup: A university for engineers that doesn't suck

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Is this not just a way for companies to effectively get 'free' or almost free R&D?

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FBI reopens Hillary spillery

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Re: Going French

That's all very well, but their titles are utterly meaningless.

I might as well call myself the Arch Duc du Frufru of Haute Picardy for all the titles in France mean.

In the UK you still have the remnants of the feudal system alive and well and preserved for some odd reason.

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It is such a joke of an election.

You could adopt the French approach when you're left with a choice between a dodgy candidate and Le Pen, you wear rubber gloves when voting as a protest.

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No spin zone: Samsung recalls 3M EXPLODING washing machines

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Re: US Washing Machine Arms Race - Big ≠ Better

There is literally only one main-stream company still building them like a tank - Miele.

However, when you look at the cost comparison of a modern machine vs one from the 1980s (most of which were pretty well built), they were simply way more expensive (closer to modern day Miele prices).

That's why a lot of UK and Irish households in the 1970s still had really primitive washing machines in the 1960s-1970s - They were coming in at nearly the price of a small car for an automatic.

If you pick up a washing machine for €299, you can't really expect it to be built out of the same kind of components that its €1299 ancestor was built out of or to be comparable to a modern Miele or comericall-type machines.

What annoys me though is Samsung tend to just whack a fancy display and control panel and a load of polished chrome and bells and whistles onto a pretty cheaply constructed washing machine and sell it for Miele-like prices.

If you're going to spend a grand on a machine, you're better off going for the boring looking German one that's built like a tank than the one that's more or less a Galaxy phone beautifully embedded in a bog standard washing machine.

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Eye-wateringly! (Damn autocorrect!)

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US Washing Machine Arms Race - Big ≠ Better

Part of the problem with this is that American consumers (and European Consumers to a lesser degree) are demanding bigger and bigger drums in washing machines.

The laws of physics come into play. When you have an object being rotated about an axis at a speed, the g-forces increase massively the further away from the centre it is.

So, as you expand the radius of the drum, you increase the forces at play by a huge amount.

You've also got a lot of machines on sale in the US that are ludicrously oversized as consumers have some notion that they need to be able to wash 400 towels at the same time or ALL their bed linen simultaneously. In reality, they never do and you end up with a few pairs of jeans or a normal sized load being flung around this huge drum which will inevitably have issues with balance.

Where as an older machine (even in the US) would typically have a much tighter packed drum, with smaller diameter which is much easier to balance.

Modern machines rely on sensors and software to ensure they don't go out of balance, and this has allowed cheaper machines to be made with much bigger drums. However, if the sensors and software don't work correctly, the machine will go catastrophically out of balance and fall apart.

Also the build quality of these machines is not always totally comparable. I opened our Miele and it has a smaller drum, surrounded by a heavy stainless steel outer rub, huge cast iron weights and shock absorbers that look like something out of an industrial machine or a car and will take stuff up to 1600 RPM without even noticing.

In the past it was only these kinds of machines that dared to push the speeds up that high.

Nowadays, a lot of the other manufacturers are selling the same kind of high speeds, but with plastic tubs outer, far flimsier suspension systems and much weaker internal drums.

Washing machines are probably one of the only appliances in your home that have to contain serious forces. Other than your car, they are the only device that really does need to be built very well to avoid a catastrophic mess like this.

I think people are going to have to accept that unless you buy a very much more expensive machine like those made by Miele or a semi-commercial machine, you can't really safely do some of these kinds of speeds. Those machines have always been eye waveringly expensive for a good reason.

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Living with the Pixel XL – Google's attempt at a high-end phone

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Sorry, but this phone just looks dull.

The Nexus 6P may have been a little weird looking but at least it was kind of an eye-catching device.

To me this looks like a rather boring and slightly bad impersonation of an iPhone body.

If I'm going with Android, I think I will be sticking with the OEMs.

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Teen in the dock on terror apologist charge for naming Wi-Fi network 'Daesh 21'

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It seems a bit harsh!

Wouldn't telling him to "cop the feck on!" and leaving it at that be more than enough ?!

I thought France was supposed to be all about freedom of speech and satirising these organisations?

If you start putting words like this on some kind of pedestal, you're giving those organisations way too much power and respect.

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Computer forensics defuses FBI's Clinton email 'bombshell'

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What it looks like to me is the fundamental stumbling block here was the State Department itself. It should have a very, very clear and rock solid internet security policy and apply it to everyone from the Secretary of State to the President as a matter of national security policy.

I would expect all of the key cabinet members to be issued with ultra secure phones and laptops that are deeply encrypted, using the very best technology available. To me, it looks like at the time this scandal was going on, that certainly was not happening.

To me, this whole fiasco strikes me as a politicians' office probably staffed largely by political science / legal types and PR / marketing people and probably not the most IT savvy group in the world implemented a solution that was aimed at convenience and mobility.

A lot of people are grossly over-estimating the IT skills of a political office. They're usually full of very enthusiastic, often very academically qualified people but I wouldn't really rate them for their natural ability to implement complex security to fend off hackers.

I would suspect that you'll probably find tons of people using personal email accounts for business or public office email. A lot of people simply aren't aware of the risks involved and a lot of the actual infrastructure in some of these public offices can be horrifically dated or not particularly secure itself.

I know I've seen public sector email systems that were still running on ancient versions of Lotus Notes and Exchange.

To me this scandal is about a systems administration / security policy failure that has turned into a political witch hunt. The whole thing is absolutely nuts.

At the very worst, Clinton and her office did not appreciate the risks involved. That to me sounds like a massive lack of IT support from the department itself.

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