Re: Contact tracing?
"So this has never been necessary before"
Necessity, as they say, is the brother of invention.
235 posts • joined 21 Jun 2010
The senators want to know what subsidies have been offered to the company in exchange.
When these subsidies have been subtracted from the "investment", what's left is the actual investment.
To complicate matters, this "investment" isn't really investment if it doesn't pay local contractors for the build, use locally sourced kit or employ locals in the day-to-day running.
And then there'll be things like projected sales to overseas customers, and the value of patents they might create at the plant and which country will hold them (and therefore, potentially, profit from them). Also, internal sales to US customers might be cheaper, which adds national value to the project.
It sounds to me like this is the kind of detail they are after - essentially, the long-term value of the investment, which may even be negative if the subsidies offered are high enough (although one would hope that there are other tangible benefits in the long run if it turns out that the US are basically paying for this company to set up shop there)
-1 for "balance the books". You can't balance the books in a society where the govt creates money and calls it debt, because the money can't be paid back.
I'm not against the current structure, but people do need to recognise that all money is originally on loan from govt, and the "national debt" is a rough measure of how much money the govt has created and put in to society
(Private banks then amplify the total by lending against a "gearing ratio", "capital flow" takes care of distributing it around the world and the pockets of billionaires are where money goes to die)
Well, that's great news :-)
Question though (for those on this thread who are concerned about giving the research away for free) - if the product of the research will be created and sold at cost, then who has lost out by giving the research away for free for others to use to produce the product at cost? Or conversely, who would gain if Astrazeneca were the only company producing the vaccine if Astrazeneca are not making a profit?
Are they the only countries in the world who opted not to join the program, and therefore shouldn't benefit from anything it produces? Or will we be holding 99% of the world to ransom if our research is fruitful?
Do you contribute to the development of any of the "free" software on your computer, or the "free" software running on the El Reg servers?
Just to play devil's advocate on that:
WE are paying for it, the human race.
And money doesn't evaporate once it is spent: it is spent again on those peoples' food, housing, utilities and even on more research and research-tools. It is also be created on demand. Then once spent, it gets taxed right back to the govts. So what has it "cost"? The actual cost is the individual hours "spent" on it. Money simply lubricates that work. And the work always comes before the money.
Why should some of us be able to hold the rest to ransom, via the patent system, backed by the military, on something this important?
...ff you game-play it from the other end, what is the point of a patent?
It is (imho) to stop others from profiting from your idea.
So the only reason a machine would need to stop you profiting from their idea is that they want the profits. And what is the machine going to need those profits for? Its own upkeep? That would imply it is a being with needs for which it needs to earn money to fulfil.
At the moment, it is having its needs met by its creator - who isn't allowed to collect the profits from the machine's idea because those ideas belong to the machine.
So while it's a nice way for Thaller to open up this metaphysical discussion, and it is a good discussion to have, I think he's missed a basic step in his logic.
I think you're right.
But necessity being the brother of invention, I imagine that once the grid has become unbalanced a few times by these suddenly-shifting loads, some bright spark (pun fully intended) will try to make the grid more intelligent by providing an API by which Google and others can "register their intent" to move their workload to a location, and have that request approved or be offered an alternative location to move it to.
"Statistically, fewer than 1% of the people I know that think they've had Covid can possibly have had it."
We can't possibly know that. We don't have the base data.
In the UK we appear to be extrapolating from the death rate to the current infection rate. Given that not all covid-related deaths are (apparently/so I hear) being recorded as covid, the source data isn't perfect. And given how new this virus is, such extrapolation is a long way from perfect, too.
I don't mean to suggest you're not correct in your assertion. I'm only suggesting that you can't, and therefore shouldn't, be so definite about it.
Tracing who has been in possible contact with whom is all well and good, but without knowing who is currently infected it becomes a bit tricky. With the UK's particularly lax testing regime, we basically have no source data.
I can see in the article that it stores data on potential contacts, and when someone who you have had recent contact with later tests positive for Covid, I guess you are flagged as vulnerable to getting it and (hopefully) notified of when the interaction took place. But what of all the people who get it but don't become confirmed cases, and so don't become data points?
Maybe I'm being a bit thick as usual :-)
Can anyone explain to me how this will work? At this stage of the pandemic, it only seems superficially helpful. If it was much earlier on, it might have indicated particular quarantine areas and so on, but now it's everywhere it seems like too little too late (Unless our testing regime is MASSIVELY stepped up)
Here's another thought: If there are a chain of people all notified that they have had contact with each other and the first person has tested positive, if the 3rd person then tests negative, would all the downstream people be notified that they don't need to worry any more? Or would it not work like this, and only be concerned with the one-on-one interactions and not the whole chain?
Fair enough - if you've been close enough to someone with Covid in the last 5 days that you could have caught it (and you haven't had and recovered from it yourself), then I don't want you in my restaurant.
Life isn't going to return to normal until we have a vaccine, a cure, or incredibly cheap and instantly-working test for both whether a person has it and whether they have had it. This is something a lot of people need to accept, but may not have even realised yet.
In the meantime, tracking who might have it is the only weapon we have in the toolbox (other than hiding in the toolbox)
Indeed. A few weeks ago we had news (via a well known leak site) that a certain govt agency was able to leave "signatures" of other countries' groups on the servers they target... so who can say who really did the hacking and why they left visible traces of themselves on those systems.
Not really "pot and kettle" IMHO.
If you assume Wikipedia is mainly edited in good faith, then its articles are only as good as its references. So if it makes sure all articles are cited with decent references - by, in appropriate cases, blanket banning references from publications known to be problematic - it makes itself a better source of information.
So I see this as the "pot" making itself less black by not going near the "kettle".
It may never be "less black" enough to be cited in STEM papers, but it is a valiant aim.
You're not wrong at this time.
But you are using some serious mental gymnastics to maintain your dogma to a level not usually seen outside of organised religion.
You need to be careful you don't peak too soon - save something back for when it turns out that these email accounts are indeed carrying fairly important govt business information.
"We’ve found that if reading an article makes people significantly less likely to share it, that may be a sign that a story has misled people in some way."
But what's that saying... "Lies are right round the block before the truth has got its boots on" ?
I'm not convinced this is a good metric, or a useful one, because there's an interesting flip side: if it is fake news which isn't being shared, is it a problem?
Perhaps this can be seen as an admission that Facebook still loves widely shared and read items, and isn't planning on giving up the ad revenue they generate.
Agree with every word, especially what you say about knowledge on both sides.
I know little of US law, I can only speak for how things are in the UK.
Because the knowledge is never perfect, and because customers and employees alike can be coerced through MANY means to sign contracts, we have things in our contract-law which try to correct these imperfections.
In a perfect system, every person applying for a job would have the ability to turn it down for any reason and take a different one instead and still be able to pay the bills throughout the whole process. This rarely happens in any profession, for any person - one takes what one can get. So your choice is "take the job and sign the contract" or "don't take the job, and have no job (hopefully for only a short time until the next one comes along in time to pay the bills)"
So if the only job on offer in your niche industry comes with a contract containing a clause which means that if you leave or get sacked, you can't get another job - because the only other jobs in your niche industry are with competitors, and your contract contains an anti-compete clause - this would be unfair: it would deny you work.
So we have contract law which says that such a clause in a private contract is unlawful because it would be unfair, because it would be signing away a deeper right.
As I said earlier, I know only the basics of this. But I suspect this came from court cases over contracts (civil law) rather than from our parliament. So this example probably isn't "govt oversight". But I hope it is a good example of where the legal system can step in to keep people honest - so that they cannot coerce people in to signing away basic human rights.
If this kind of thing didn't exist, then people (employers or otherwise) would be able to coerce others in to signing contracts which essentially say "You are now my bitch". In my example, one employer would be able to stop you from ever working again, via that non-compete clause. Contract law should not be able to trump other laws or rights.
Would it make you feel better about this law if I told you that we have vaguely similar in the UK, and for very good reasons?
Law exists that defines certain contract terms as illegal and therefore not contractually enforceable.
An example would be if your employment contract said that you could not work for a competitor for X months after leaving, but you work in a niche industry where the only jobs you could get after this one would be for a competitor. Therefore, such a clause would deny you the right to work, and so the clause is illegal and unenforceable.
(I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong about this one)
This isn't about govts overturning contracts willy nilly, it is about you not being coerced in to signing a contract which gives away certain basic rights - in my example, the right to work, and in the article, the right to free speech.
Do these laptops magically appear in the UK, or have international courier costs gone up by around the same amount that the pound has fallen?
I wonder if the UK branch has any debts to the US parent co that might need UK prices to go up to service the debt at the current/old levels?
Just thought I'd chuck those in there to help (or hinder) the moaning ;-)
When I had a boss (I'm now self employed), I used to consider it a part of my job remit to let the boss (who is usually obsessed with not wasting money) know when one of their decisions was technically incompetent to the point of wasting the company huge amounts of money. As the boss is the boss and not a techie, they would not necessarily understand the technical debt or other repercussions of what they are asking for, and it is my place to tell them - especially if there is not enough slack in the dept to do the work whilst maintaining the sacrosanct "BAU" (Business As Usual)
Blindly following a non-technical incompetent is not, imho, showing due diligence to the company.
Why did it take him 20 hours to turn HR's spreadsheet in to a script that can update the various DBs?
(That's not a serious question)
A serious question is - why are the laptops named after their owners?
Any sysadmin that has been a sysadmin for more than a couple of years knows that this is a sure way to be swamped with unnecessary extra work for each swap or breakage.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020