* Posts by Harry Kay

22 posts • joined 8 Sep 2010

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention

Harry Kay
Stop

What if they get the message, and the reply is

"Stop bugging us.. P**s off!"

Shortages, price rises, recession: Tech industry preps for hard Brexit

Harry Kay

Will of the people

Couple of points

1. "The will of the people must be respected - we cannot ask them again." Of course, when it comes to general elections we ask them every 5 years (or less)

2. Much of the vote was based on immigration - and hoping the Brexit would get rid of immigrants. Alas, most people want sub-continent and Afro-Caribbean people out - but as far as I know those countries have not yet moved to Europe.

3. in 2016 several people said to me "too many immigrants, too many immigrants" A couple of answers I gave. "You are talking to a first generation immigrant right now." "Oh, I don't mean you - I mean all the others"

Me: "do you ever use a Chinese, Indian , Italian etc restaurant?" "Oh all the time". "Well where do reckon they came form then" Me: "What about the sub-post office down the road" have you been in hospital lately - notice anything about the satff there". Them: turn on heel and walk away.

Lib Dems pledge to end 'Orwellian' snooping powers in manifesto

Harry Kay

Re: shame

Mostly it's owed to its own citizens + country's banks, investors etc, who buy Treasury Bonds / Government Bonds / Gilts etc. These are bits of paper issued by Governments and bought by various sectors of the nation. Governments can issue as much of these as they like e.g. £375B dressed up as quantitative easing.

Separately, we know about all the funding problems in NHS, Social care, Mental Health, Housing, Education (where are the next generation of IT folk coming from, especially as visas won't be granted)and the like. But we are the 6th largest economy in the world - so how come?

Lastly, re: "strong and stable leadership". many countries in Europe had this in the 1930s, Spain and Portugal till the 1970s, and Russia, Turkey, N. Korea and some others now. Is this what we want? Obviously not weak and unstable, but responsible and society-minded leadership.

Consider when you place your vote next month!

Brexit could further harm woeful rural payments system

Harry Kay

Re: Why do you think reducing the amount of trade agreements

But making all these deals takes a lot of time. Remember that the people you are wanting a deal with have their own agenda too, and want the best terms for themselves. If only all these people saying we can do these marvelous deals with everybody that we can't do now would look at things from the other fellow's point of view.

Minor point, but on a recent trip to India I looked to see how many UK products were in the shops, motor vehicles etc. Not exactly a rigorous examination, but I found just 2 - some rather tired packets of McVitie biscuits, and some HP sauce (made in the Netherlands).

Also, we don't have that many trade negotiators, as has been pointed out several times.

Btw - sine at least the 1950's (and probably before that) we have not been self-sufficient in food

Bloody robots! 860k public sector jobs to be automated by 2030, say researchers

Harry Kay

A few points about automation in the past

1. New jobs were indeed created by the Industrial Revolution that absorbed those displaced by the Agricultural Revolution - but it took about 100 years. We are unlikely to have that much time

2. There were continuing wars, which 'absorbed' some of the surplus - that doesn't happen so much now

3. One key issue is the tension between micro and macro economics. On the micro scale, a firm automates, sacks people, reduces its costs and makes more money. On the macro scale, if everyone does this, unless new jobs spring up quickly, spending power in the economy shrinks and companies struggle. Further, as is happening now, industrial workers on say £30K are being displaced, and being replaced by carers (usually different people) on say £18K - family income suffers and family dynamics change as the traditional breadwinner is replaced by his daughter.

4. The next key issue is how to keep the spending power in the economy - remember the story of Henry Ford showing a Union boss around his newly automated plant in the 1930s? 'How are you going to sign up those machines as members, then?' 'How are you going to get them to buy your cars?'

Universal income aka everyone on benefits, may breed resentment among those working at those doing little, unless it is some form of workfare - 3rd sector jobs etc.

Troubling times ahead

Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise salute EU flag, blast Brexiteers

Harry Kay

Perhaps some of those bleating on here about ruling 2/3 of the planet, continuing to do advantageous trade deals, control of immigration, jobs etc might like to consider the following

1. We lost most of the Empire by 1948, with the independence of the whole of the Indian sub-continent. Most other colonies went by the mid-1960s. The last vestiges went with the abandonment of the Sterling area in 1967 and military departure form east of Suez..

2. We don't control our borders. Well, generally we do. We require all people who enter the country to show their passports - yes we have visa-free entry and right of residence to other EU nationals, but if there are people we specifically want to keep out, we can do so already. The one exception is people travelling from Ireland.

3. Immigration. How, pray, are we to control this without a visa system - putting significant extra costs on border control, administration, visa issuance, work permits, registration, charging for visas (putting tourists off coming here) and so on. We would also need border controls and some sort of visa for people travelling from Ireland - including closing up the land border with Northern Ireland.

4. Movement iof people. Anyone on this board want to work, travel, live abroad, have a holiday home, cheap travel, telecomms and so on - with use of Health care facilities at no cost while there? All possible out of the EU, but a darn sight easier within it.

5. Immigrants take our jobs - no-one can TAKE a job unless someone offers it. So why don't employers offer jobs to our own people. Answers on a postcard, please - off-shoring is part of it, but would that be changed

6. We can do trade deals, we are 5th biggest economy etc. Yep - but we have to sell to people to have the money to buy their stuff. What sort of deal might they want to cut with us, since we have probably irritated them with all our posturing and demands. "Sure, you can have the same deal we offer Chile (or some other smaller trade partner)".

7. We have freedom - yep - freedom to be ignored. Consider Canada, a fine and prosperous country, member of the G8, with pleasant and talented people and abundant other resources - but largely ignored on the world stage.

So let us vote to stay in - and work to build alliances and use our influence to move things forward.

By 2019 world will spend $2.8 TREELLION on the rubbish we write about

Harry Kay

Re: Do they never learn?

Probably worth trying a credibility check. Take their predictions for the last 5 years, and see what actually happened. If they are reasonably close, trust the forecast. If not, then draw your own conclusions.

Remember, their clients, who pay their fees, want to see a nice steady increase in predictions, and may be using these reports to support their own internal projects.

Amazon's tax deal in Luxembourg BROKE the LAW, says EU

Harry Kay

Re: No. PR is the special olympics of electoral systems - you get elected just for turning up.

Dogged is misinformed as to Caroline Lucas being the only woman standing in Brighton pavilion in 2010. In fact there were FOUR female candidates

- Caroline Lucas - Green

- Nancy Platts - Labour

- Bernie Millam - LibDem

- And I've forgotten the name of the Tory lady

UN: Fossil fuels should be terminaated 86 years from now

Harry Kay

The climate may have been changing for 4.5 billion years, but for most of that time we would have found it pretty inhospitable. For those that think a warming of a couple of degrees Celsius would be nice (less unpleasant winters, warm summers etc), remember that during the ice age the world's temperature was only 6 or 7 degrees less than it is today, and ice sheets came down to the Thames.

Our civilisation has evolved in the stable climates of the last few thousand years (even the Little Ice Age and Medieval warm period were less than a degree away from conditions now).

This is what we are now conditioned to.

As for politicians taking the lead - bad effects won't be on their watch, will they, and they will always go for short term gain even at the cost of long term agony. Vision? What long-term vision?

Ofcom's campaign against termination rates continues

Harry Kay

Re: Solving telemarketers

Getting regular calls form the local police, eh?

Hmmm!

Get BENT: Flexy supercapacitor breaks records

Harry Kay

Re: 6.3 microwatt-hours per cubic mm

I thought the article says 6.3 milliwatt-hours - not microwatt hours. This is therefore 8-25 times BETTER than existing technology

SR-71 Blackbird follow-up: A new TERRIFYING Mach 6 spy-drone bomber

Harry Kay
Coat

Re: As an intellectual and technological excercise...

Boring accurate canons?? I am sure that well respected man of the cloth the Reverend Canon Dr. Joe Bloggs can indeed sometimes be boringly accurate.

Orange customer clobbered with SIX-FIGURE phone bill

Harry Kay
Unhappy

Re: Unit of data

Boring!!

Tech giants on trial as report reveals more Chinese factory abuses

Harry Kay

Re: The real solution to factory human rights problems in the Big Red

Simples. Imagine you are a Director of manufacturer A. You see your costs go down if you outsource to China. You assume the economic environment around you is stable, and the market remains as it was. So either your profits go up (good news for your shareholders, Wall St, the City, your targets / bonus etc) or you can lower your price and gain market share (also good for the above).

Then everyone does it - people are thrown out of work and no-one can buy the fancy stuff any more. Market goes down, except for China where people don't buy that much from the West, and the assumption is false.

What is good for the individual firm, when repeated n times over, is not necessarily good for the economy. That's where Governments have to step in. In the West, we have 2 chances for this - slim chance and fat chance.

PS Or economies, industries etc re-position themselves to new higher value products and services, which takes time and investment.

Amazon boss finds Apollo 11 engines on seabed

Harry Kay
WTF?

Looking at some of these comments, it strikes me that many commentards recognise the price of everything and the value of nothing (Oscar Wilde's definition of a cynic). Why not spend money on curing diseases etc - sure, but I suspect Jeff Bezos has enough he could still spare a few million for those purposes if he wanted to. However, what would be remembered more in future, and would inspire more people to do innovative and adventurous things - going 5% towards 'curing' some unspecified disease, or recovering the engines that first sent humanity beyond the earth.

given that we should be curing diseases etc (sure) why go to the moon in the first place, why look at galaxies billions of years away, why spend money in unwinnable wars etc etc.

Planet-wide cloud dream burst by nations' laws - BSA

Harry Kay

I take it the BSA is US based - and so naturally what they want is for everyone else to lie down and have their tummy tickled (pocket rifled?) the American way. Other countries may not see things the same way as the US - and why should they.

As Disraeli replied when Queen Victoria asked him who Great Britain's friends were - "we have no friends, ma'am, only interests". Same goes here, I guess

Outside-the-box thinking literally can't be done inside a box, say profs

Harry Kay
Happy

Absolutely!! bring it on!!

Republicans believe in 'climate change' but not 'global warming'

Harry Kay

Some more points

A few points to add 'fuel to the fire' - ooops!

1. Fossil fuels are stored sunlight that warmed the earth for millions of years between 150 and 50 or so million years ago. We are now releasing all that energy in a few centuries.

2. it is clear that CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases do what's on the tin - they warm the wporld - it just takes a long time (on human scales) to show the effect. Trouble is, it takes a long time to deal with it once it is evident, and the effects are very considerable

3. A few degrees warming may sound nice to those of us living in chilly UK, but think of some other effects - more heat waves like 2003, more violent tropical storms, deserts expanding, reduced agrictural productivity after a short initial boost, tropical insect-borne diseases in Northern Europe / US, rising sea levels flooding the London Tube / New York subway etc etc.

4. CO2 levels are now about 40% higher than they were pre-industrial - and it will have an effect.

5. If anyone wants to see what real global warming by CO2 is - have a look at the planet next door. Venus had natural runaway CO2 generated warming - now it's temperature is 450 celsius, it has sulphuric acid rain, and snow on it's mountains turns out to be metals.

6. So it would to the benefit of our descendants for us to take precautionary measures - do you want your grandchildren to be cursing your memory?

7.. Of course they cost some money in the short term, but the long term benefits would be huge.

8. And finally - remember that you can't eat money.

McDonalds samples NFC swipe-tech in UK

Harry Kay
Stop

losses

Still misses the point that contactless cards can be used in several outlets - Pret a Manger, Subway, etc, as well as McDonalds (Errghh!), and no doubt soon various non-food outlets too. If someone pinches your card they can still make several up to £15 purchases all over the place WITHOUT having to know your PIN - causing significant loss as well as annoyance.

If someone simply nicks your 'stored money' card then your loss is limited to whatever was stored on the card. her the loss is potentially limited only by the content of yuor bank account!

Top CEOs agree: US is down the crapper

Harry Kay

Education

And if we are not careful, the UK will be going the same way. Education is key, as any fule kno.

A motto in my old school said "A city's strength is not in its walls, but in its sons" (a word to the feminists - I suspect this was writtne in a less politically correct era). We are currently running on the momentum of those educated in previous decades, when education was taken more seriously - most of whom are now 45 or more. What happens as they retire?

A further point - business's view necessarily tends to be short-term - the share price, executive stock options, need to fulfil shareholder obligations and expectations, avoid being ousted at the next AGM like a temporarily unsuccessful football maanger etc. Far sighted CEOs might plan on a strategic view of more than 1 or 2 years - but I suspect these are few.

Governments, on the other hand, have to take a more holistic view of the good of the country, and over a longer time period - then communicate it properly so they get back into office after 4 or 5 years.

These aims are likely to be in conflict - therefore handing over the Government to business interests is likely to lead to short term advantage (1 or 2 quarters), but long term decline. Sounds familiar?

Possible solution to the business side of it - tie bonuses to the company's added value over 5 years, and only pay them then. Also get institutional shareholders to take a more active role - they are often pension funds who have to fund 30 year liabilities, so would, I should have thought, have some concern for the longer term.

And legislate for disclosure of all political donations, lobbying, etc by business interests to political parties AND to individual politicians - so we can see who is buying whom

Judge puts Assange behind bars ahead of extradition hearing

Harry Kay
WTF?

Shooting the messenger??

Just a few points for our American friends - and others.

1. Probably most of us agree that intra-Government - including diplomatic - correspondence should remain confidential

2. So the US Government put it all on a system that can be accessed by 2,500,000 people - security clearance for them all, anyone?

3. Then anyone of those people can download the material - not just view an image on a screen in a secure location with the data securely held someplace else

4. Then the download seems to be unencrypted - I could imagine circumstances where an authorised person might need to download flies that can only be decrypted on an 'official' machine with suitable precautions - but making it available to all these folk in 'clear'?

5. So the miscreant (NOT Assange) stole the files - he is obviously at fault. What would be the case if he had simply copied the CD he downloaded it to, and sent copies through the post to sundry newspapers, broadcasters etc. Some would use it - what a scoop! - would they be arrested. Is the editor of the New York Times up in court?

6. No -he used the technology of today and used someone who had a suitable website for disseminating it. he could have set one up himself if he had the resources to do it - then what

7. So they are trying to shoot the messenger - likely to fail, just as it always did.

8. Perhaps the US Government should take note of the bit in the Bible about removing the beam in your own eye before moaning about the mote in your brother's, and look to sorting out their own procedures and security arrangements.

9. I suspect any company that followed such security processes wouldn't employ the relevant managers very long.

UK jobs growth grinds to a halt

Harry Kay

Unpaid work?..

Hmm... Companies say unpaid work is best route to gain experience. Wonder if lowering their salary bills / employing people as effectively slaves has anything to do with it. A pernicious trend - if a job is worth doing, it is worth paying for.

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