* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Flexible PRAM: Not a bendy baby carriage, but infinitely cooler

DougS Silver badge


Until you can make flexible SoCs that are in the same capability ballpark as silicon-based SoCs, flexible memory doesn't do much for you. If you have the inflexible SoC in some non-bendy part of the device, you can simply stack the memory on top of the SoC - something which is already being done for space saving reasons anyway.

Huawei humps up its DS8000 heavyweight array range

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They're leaving the mainframe market to storage made by IBM, EMC and Hitachi. Mainframe customers are the most conservative and risk-averse of anyone, so they wouldn't consider Huawei until they've been on the market for years.

I certainly disagree if you think that mainframe support is required for the 'enterprise' label. If EMC sold a version of the Vmax without the capability for mainframe connectivity, it would still be an enterprise array.

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FICON is an IBM trade name, why is it necessary for anything else you're an IBM shop?

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Re: Free cloud storage

Seriously, because the Senate says "they're bad" that's enough for you? I guess you believe the lies they've been telling about Snowden, and believed Clapper's statement that the government isn't spying on you until Snowden exposed his lies.

Huawei may be building bugged equipment, but so is Cisco (maybe even without their knowledge) so you're at as much risk either way. But I guess someone as naive you as appear to be trusts his own government always has his best interests at heart even as they violate the Constitution in numerous ways.

Duqu 2.0‬ malware buried into Windows PCs using 'stolen Foxconn certs'

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Secure boot

Secure boot is about what your FIRMWARE is willing to run. Linux people don't care if Microsoft locks down Windows so it only runs Microsoft signed code. But if a PC you buy can only run Microsoft signed code even when you intend to wipe the hard drive and install Linux, that's a real problem!

DougS Silver badge

Chains of trust

You have to have some trusted roots if you want to allow interoperable certificates. Otherwise Microsoft has to sign everything themselves. Which isn't a bad idea, other than the increased workload. I don't know for sure, but I'll bet iOS doesn't extend a chain of trust to Verisign or anyone else, and only works with Apple's signing key. That's the benefit of a "walled garden".

Apple seeks fawning 'journalists' for in-house 'news' self pluggery

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Opt out

Isn't that exactly how Google News works?

Would EU exit 'stuff' the UK? Tech policy boss gets diplomatic

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51st state?

Britain would probably be better off joining the US than the EU if it came down to a choice. I'm sure people in the US would appreciate the irony!

It's curtains for you, copper: IBM boffins push the LIGHT FANTASTIC

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Kind of a minor breakthrough

We've already got 25 Gbps transceivers, and have 100 Gbps networking based on four of them working together. Sure, it is notable they've shrunk it down so all four wavelengths can come from a single transceiver, rather than four transceivers, but it is still four 25 Gbps signals underneath the hood.

Limited edition Iron Man S6 sells for $91,000 thanks to ... serial number

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Re: Sell by date

Better be $91,001 worth of lucky over those 18 months I guess.

'Right to be forgotten' applies WORLDWIDE, thunders Parisian court

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Sure they can afford it

I'm sure France would miss Google more than Google would miss those 60 million people to advertise to, and come around to a more realistic viewpoint on this quite quickly due to public pressure.

Let's see what happens when browsing to google.com (or .fr) in France displays a message "Due to your government's unreasonable demands, Google no longer does business in your country."

If France is able to effect global changes in Google's offerings, where does it stop? Does China start asking them to remove links to stories that criticize party officials even in the US? What if the US had a creationist president and he forced Google to remove links to sites teaching evolution, world-wide? Next maybe India could force Apple to sell iPhones for less, and Brazil could stop ESPN from talking about World Cup 'soccer'!

Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

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Re: Bots posting?

I think bots are indistinguishable from extremists on either side - they don't read articles, or understand them if they do, only fixating on keywords. Their posts don't criticize the content of the article, only what they perceive as its slant.

Don't assume someone has bothered to write a political bot when there are so many humans already willingly programmed to produce the same output.

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Re: Cheques vs cash

If you mailed out cash, you'd certainly stimulate the criminal economy. Not sure if that's what the government really wants, however.

Fire, fire! Just move your data centre onto my lawn ... Oh rats!

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Re: Power of Three

All BC is a cost/benefit analysis. What are the odds of your primary DC failing, and how much does it cost you if it happens? That can inform the decision of how much you pay for implementing your BC strategy, and whether it involves a second DC, a hot site, or whatever. The odds of both your primary and secondary DCs failing ought to be really low (or you need a new provider and/or better geographical separation) so you really don't need to plan for this unless even those odds when measured against the monetary loss justify real planning for "what if both DCs are taken out". If you're a Fortune 100 company, sure, but not for some local service provider like in the story.

The real problem with the place in the story was that it took FOUR DAYS to repair a cut fiber IN THEIR PARKING LOT (so no need to work with the city to block off streets etc.) Who the hell was their telco, I want to know so I never have anything to do with them!

How much info did hackers steal on US spies? Try all of it

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@HildyJ "verify your identity" questions

Only a moron answers truthfully to those security questions that are a plague on websites everywhere, asking what high school you went to, the name of the street you lived on when you are in third grade, etc. No matter how good of a password you choose, if you answer these questions truthfully you may as well have used "password1" for your password since it takes almost no effort to find many of these answers for the average person and email the "forgot password" link to reset their password.

It is sad that those same questions are used to verify your identity when you try to access your credit report since that's probably already been pulled for all the high value targets on the list, but considering the scale of this breach the ability of the Chinese government to access your credit report is like adding a firecracker to a bonfire.

Guess I'm lucky that even if they got my info the Chinese government wouldn't have any interest in me since my stint as a contractor was nearly a decade ago and I don't have any friends who are Chinese nationals.

No doubt the US has broken into similar databases for most countries in the world, except for those too backward (or too smart?) to have digitized them.

BlackBerry ponders putting Android on future mobes

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Re: Not a terrible idea

The point of moving to full Android is they don't have to waste a lot of resources maintaining and improving an entire OS, but only the special sauce they stick on top of it. What's the benefit to having it run QNX and run Android apps?

Unless someone wants to argue QNX is inherently superior to Linux, to the extent that an underfunded company maintaining QNX would produce something more secure than the well-funded company maintaining Android, there's no point.

DougS Silver badge

Not a terrible idea

People don't buy phones for the OS, they buy them for the user experience, apps and hardware (in whatever order) It doesn't matter if the phone is running Android, QNX, iOS or Windows 10 underneath, if the phone is well designed and you like the GUI and can run your apps.

Blackberry can design the hardware their customers want, layer on the GUI features they want, add Blackberry's software like their email and the stupid messenger, and benefit from the large application base of Android. They were already going Android compatible for apps anyway, once they do that exactly zero developers will care about developing native BB apps that take advantage of OS features that Android lacks. So why not add those OS features to their own build of Android and give those committed to Android an option for something a little different?

4 new twists that push the hacker attack on millions of US govt workers into WTF land

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Glad that top administration officials were affected

Having their privacy taken from them by the Chinese government doesn't feel any better than when us peons have it taken from us from our own government.

At least it isn't hackers out for identity theft, though assuming it wasn't that tough to break in, the Chinese government hackers may not be the only ones who got access to this data.

OpenSSL releases seven patches for seven vulns

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Indeed, that is the sort of 'feature' you'd expect the NSA and GCHQ to insert into the code.

Screw you, ISPs: Net neutrality switches on THIS FRIDAY – US court

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Appropriation bills

For those of you outside the US, our appropriation system is too fucked up to explain (frankly, I'm too embarrassed to try) Suffice to say these bills are rarely passed until the fall and lately it is the last act before recess for the holidays, so if this amendment is attached and ends up on the bill that is passed and the president signs, net neutrality will have been law of the land for about six months already.

It may save Comcast and friends eventually, but it isn't going to delay the rule taking effect tomorrow.

Commish snaps on rubber gloves, Amazon readies itself for antitrust probe

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I thought the Most Favored Nation clause was one of the big things Apple was cited for (other than the collusion that all the publishers participated in) Surely Amazon isn't dumb enough to do the same thing after Apple got its hand slapped? And it is worse for Amazon since unlike Apple they have a monopoly or near-monopoly in e-book sales!

The Martian: Matt Damon sciences the sh*t out of the red planet

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Re: I doubt he'll science the shit out of anything

There will have to be explosions and some sort of gun battle / car chase. Its Hollywood after all. How they'll work that in to a movie about a guy alone on Mars will be interesting to see. My money is on aliens or the "other country's guy who secretly got to Mars first".

But ... but iOS 9 could BLOCK my Ad-Block, dev squeals

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And not "less sucky user experience?"

Ads on mobile browsing have got out of hand recently, and since I hardly ever run Safari even if I used an alternate browser it wouldn't help. Assuming this blocking works when you visit a link in Facebook, etc. then this will help.

It seems like in the past six months popover ads have become a plague in mobile, and in the last few weeks I'm even seeing ads that try to direct you to the app store (luckily iOS pops up a dialog and you can refuse to be sent to another app, so I'm not sure if the idiots realize that doesn't work)

Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

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Someone pulled those 20p coins out of a proof set and spent them. Some people working the register are suspicious of anything they don't recognize (like people in the US who refuse a $2 bill even though they are legal tender, since they are rarely used) and some will take anything if it is looks legit - and after all, they are only 20p, and who would counterfeit a 20p coin?

I mean, YOU got them as change at some point and didn't refuse them, right? If someone gave you a washer in change instead of a penny, and you decided to accept it because "hey I need a washer exactly that size, this will save me a trip to the hardware store" would that mean that people who say a washer isn't legal tender are wrong?

Gonna RUB MYSELF against the WALL: Microsoft's Surface Hub 84" monster-slab

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Re: reasonable

Visio 80" 4K TV $3999, 84" LG 4K $5500. No need for OLED for a meeting room, you don't need perfect blacks since meetings are not held in the dark.

No, $25K is not reasonable if you are comparing with TVs. There may be few touchscreen devices of that size, but if the market cares it'll become an option on Visio and LG TVs. Adding touch capability to a TV is pretty cheap if there was a desire for it. I'm sure Microsoft's software solution is a lot more polished than whatever crap the TV OEMs would come up with, of course.

Bring on the Music, Apple: Spotify ups the ante - and money pot

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Re: Interesting...

There's always some idiot who comes up with this "now Apple is going to ban competitors" but no one can point to a single instance where they have retroactively banned competing apps. Did they ban Google Maps or Nokia Here when they did Apple Maps? No. Did they ban WhatsApp et al when they introduced iMessage? No. And so on...

But please, continue with the ridiculous assertions every time Apple adds something new that all the competition is going to be banned from the App Store tomorrow.

Corporate cuddle: USTR linked arms with industry in TPP negotiations

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Re: Spotted this today. Its regarding TTIP, but just as sobering...

There are three major treaty negotiations going on at this time. I think they learned the power of the internet can torpedo one of them, so they're pushing three at us at once to divide the attention of the opposition.

HTC reflects on Champions League iPhone cock-up

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I think that was an iPhone/iPad on display nearby

Not what was used to take the picture, because no one would contort themselves to take a photo with the front camera like that. It looks like the HTCs are in some sort of display, presumably that isn't an HTC only display and includes other products.

NY, Connecticut investigate Apple for Music service violations

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Re: Taylor Swift withdrew her music from Spotify in protest against the freemium model.

At least one of the streaming pioneers (maybe it was Spotify) negotiated a lower rate for tracks played for freemium users. That may be part of Swift's issue if she's making less from all the cheapskates.

The thing about Apple's 'one MORE thing'? It's a streaming music thing

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Re: Another device

Well the problem with the idea of using downloaded music I own or "own" is that I have to bother to find/purchase/download it. I haven't purchased much for some time and haven't bothered to download anything illegally in over a decade. So if I want to hear much of anything recent, streaming is the only way, or spend a lot of time/money getting it.

DougS Silver badge

Anyone know if it supports caching?

It would be nice if it could cache a few days' worth so you could load it up on wifi and have it play when you're on vacation without needing cellular data or when out of cellular range.

Most streaming services have too many annoying restrictions in how that works because the labels are super paranoid about people copying the cached music. Since iOS doesn't allow access to the filesystem maybe Apple was able to negotiate a more sane implementation.

Facebook tosses creepy Place Tips beacons at stateside retailers

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Re: "Don't see the harm"

People who have have location and places enabled on Facebook are already automatically checking in wherever they go that Facebook knows about based on GPS and/or SSID. It is up to those end users whether they want to enable/disable this stuff, adding the beacons just gives Facebook another way to get the location fix they're already providing (whether knowingly or not) I personally keep that all disabled in Facebook and don't even leave Bluetooth enabled on my phone.

Since iOS anonymizes the MAC used when looking for wireless access points (only giving out the real one when you actually associate and get an IP) the only way you can be tracked is at larger places like malls where they can afford to have their own base station that grabs your IMEI information. Individual businesses don't have the ability to do that. One thing I'm curious to see if whether the beacons change that (i.e. if there's a way it can recognize my phone via Bluetooth info even if I have all that stuff disabled in Facebook)

The idea is to sniff the traffic coming off the Facebook beacon when I enter. I imagine that traffic will be encrypted, but if it is sending back data when I come in with Bluetooth enabled but not when I come in with it disabled, I'll know the beacon is tracking my phone even though it doesn't know who I am (presumably saving the info in case it could later match that info up with my Facebook ID should I ever enable location tracking in Facebook) If it does that, it won't be permanently installed as it would be going beyond what Facebook has claimed it would. Someone else will almost certainly beat me to this since deciding what to do with that free beacon won't be high on my priority list. In that case hopefully their findings will be the subject of a Reg article and save me some time :)

DougS Silver badge

I own a business

And I received a notification in my Facebook app yesterday that my business was eligible for a free Beacon. I filled in the request, because I'm curious to see how it works.

The people who would want to use this are the ones who leave their location information on Facebook enabled, check in at a business, etc. So long as it isn't grabbing information on people who have that stuff disabled, I don't see the harm. If we can get more customers to better engage with our page then it is a win as far as the business is concerned. If it is overstepping its bounds in any way that more privacy sensitive customers might not like, it'll go in the trash post-haste as driving customers away is not a goal!

At first I was wondering about the short range of Bluetooth, but upon thinking about it you'd locate this near the main entrance, so it would trigger when customers walk in, and it doesn't matter if they leave its range later (though it may re-trigger when they leave and count that as a second visit) Since my business doesn't have walk by traffic it won't affect anyone who doesn't intend to visit. In those cases I could see it being a real annoyance - one wouldn't want to have it triggering for every business you walk by on the way to your destination in an urban area!

Hyperconvergence: Just where is the technology going?

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Re: Sooner than you think

Not only that, but 10GbaseT is a reality with full 100 meter length over cat6a and reduced length over plain cat6. They're even working on 40GBaseT...

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Limits of Moore's Law

Moore's Law is quite a ways from single atom transistors, if we were able to get down to that it would have another couple decades to run. If we want to go much beyond the early 2020s we'll probably need to find a way (i.e. nanotechnology) to build stuff from the bottom up atom by atom instead of trying to deposit and etch ever finer features from the top down.

'Stolen' art found on nearby shelf. Police keep looking anyway

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Re: Catalogue as you go

True, but had they been cataloging as they went the search would have been much slower and it would have taken much longer to find these items.

Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

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Re: Anyone else alarmed

Do you think they're made of lead or something? I doubt the weight is an issue.

If I was concerned about anything it would be that if they have access to the planes they could load in a bomb for a false flag operation pretty easily. Want to invade Egypt? Let's set them up with a plane bombing with a design and components that make it look like it came from the Egyptian intelligence service or whoever you want to frame with evidence that points their way, whip up the US public thanks to a compliant media that no longer investigates anything for fear of losing access to government sources, and full steam ahead!

Everything Apple touted at WWDC – step inside our no-hype-zone™

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Dropping 32 bit compatibility

How could iOS 9 drop compatibility with 32 bit binaries when it runs on 32 bit hardware like iPad 2 and iPhone 4S? Until they drop compatibility with all pre-A7 CPUs, they can't even drop 32 bit code from the OS let alone 32 bit app compatibility.

But I agree, it refers to the amount of free space needed at install time, iOS 8 didn't take up all that much space (I think a little over one GB) The problem was that if you did the install over the air (rather than connected to iTunes) it was really inefficient in however it was doing it. Guess they heard the criticism and addressed the issue for iOS 9.

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Probably mistranslated

I'm sure what they meant is that apps using HTTP to communicate rather than HTTPS has been deprecated, not that you must use HTTPS protocol for everything even when your app requires a different protocol. If they required that not only SSH apps, but all mail apps would go away, being unable send an email when speaking HTTPS over port 25 :)

Screw you, Apple! We're still making phones no one wants – Samsung

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Re: Samsung Crapware

As an iPhone user and Apple shareholder I'm not complaining about your choice, but why do you feel your only choices are Samsung or Apple? There's a whole bunch of Android vendors out there, if you would leave Apple for a crap-free Samsung phone, why not buy a crap-free Android phone from someone else?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sales slipping

I guess since Apple was able to increase their ASP due to the higher priced 6 Pluses in the mix, Samsung felt they could do the same. Unfortunately in the Android world there are many other vendors, most of of whom are cutting prices not raising them hence their declining sales.

Though it is quite possible that selling fewer S6s than they did S5s but for a higher average price ends up as more profitable for them. Hence rather than putting all the features like the "edge" and water resistance into the plain S6, they've segmented the models and charge people who want those features more money like Apple did for people who want the larger screen / larger battery 6 Plus.

Cynical Apple says it'll gouge less cash from iTunes strummers' sales

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Re: Cynicism

His mistake was in thinking the Reg "wants to be taken seriously". It has always been cynical, and it isn't just to "balance out" things for Apple. For instance, back in 2013 when the media turned against Apple when their stock price fell and many were thinking that Samsung was going to eat their lunch, etc. El Reg was headlined every Apple story with "Peak Apple". Had they wanted to balance things out they would have become less cynical about Apple when the mass media's love affair with them had cooled quite a bit.

To the guy whining about the tone of the article: The Reg is cynical about everyone and everything in IT. Read the masthead for their philosophy if you doubt this. And if you don't like it and you're looking for "serious" news, don't complain, go elsewhere. You'll be happier and the rest of us who like the Reg the way it is won't have to listen to the whining. I've owned an iPhone since 2009 and hold a fair wodge of Apple stock, but I don't get butt-hurt when the Reg makes fun of them. Some people are too damn sensitive.

Dre-stic measures: Apple Beats retreat from iTunes brand – report

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Re: Slowly moving away from the 'i' naming scheme?

You really think there isn't a price at which they'd sell that name? It isn't like that's a family name or it's a brand name on the level of Mercedes Benz.

A pause in global warming? What pause?There was no pause

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Re: Bah!

You're talking about stuff that has changed in very recent history. Perhaps these same things were true 1000 years ago in the Medieval Warm Period? No one had ever been to Antarctica or tried to sail the northwest passage, and there was no wheat in North America, so its hard to say.

Are these places warmer than they were 100 years ago? Yes. Is this an exceptional warming unprecedented in the planet's history that humanity is responsible for? It is impossible to tell from your observational data.

DougS Silver badge

So what happens if you adjust all buoy data down by 0.12C?

Do you still show some warming, or do you now show cooling? If it is true that they've added 0.12C to all the buoy data because that's the uncertainty range, then any conclusions reached from that data is utterly invalid because that's not how statistics works.

I certainly hope that this assertion is incorrect and that they haven't done that, or my faith that climate scientists are in earnest and not just trying to demonstrate a conclusion they've already arrived at is further shaken.

So why the hell didn't quantitative easing produce HUGE inflation?

DougS Silver badge

Re: QE was used to increase inflation

If you wanted to buy a new car which cost $30K but you knew next year it would cost $28K and the year after $26K and the year after that $24K wouldn't you be more likely to delay purchase as much as possible to save money? On the other hand, if you know it will be $32K next year, $34K the year after you'd be more likely to want to buy it sooner. People reduce spending in a deflationary economy, which means companies have to lay off workers, which reduces spending further which means more layoffs. It is a vicious cycle and there's practically no way out.

When we were in a gold standard the only way we got out of deflation was when large deposits of new gold was discovered (i.e. increase in money supply) and since we got off the gold standard deflation has only happened once and it took the largest stimulus plan in the history of the world to break the grip of global deflation in the 1930s. It was called WWII, and isn't a response we'd like to have to resort to again (it was probably not only all the spending, but the fact that the industrial base of the entire world aside from the US was mostly in ruins by 1945)

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Re: Not liquidity but solvency

TARP was profitable for the government, even though AIG, Fannie/Freddie and others were bailed out quite heavily to the tune of hundreds of billions cumulatively.


DougS Silver badge

Re: No inflation?

So because a few items went up badly in price inflation must be running amok?

There's always some nutter who claims that consumer prices have doubled in a short period of time, but they can't prove it other than by referring to a conspiracy theory site like shadowstats. Somehow people who got by on $20K a decade ago continue to do so today without having be forced to live in their car and eat cat food. Unless virtually every economist in the western world is in on it, you're never going to be able to defend such a ridiculous position.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is that the sound of a can being kicked down the road?

Who says a housing crash has to happen? If you look at long term averages and figure out property prices rise at 2% more than inflation (I'm just pulling that number out of my ass, so it is probably wrong, let's just assume that's the number though) then since 2000 you should have seen prices rise by inflation + 30% (ignoring compounding) Let's say you actually saw prices rise by inflation + 70%.

Does that mean you're due for a 40% fall? Maybe. Or maybe it means if inflation averages 2% and over the next decade that housing prices remain flat, and then you're back exactly where you should be on the long term average trendline!

Keep in mind, the only reason housing prices took a rapid fall in the US was because the debt supporting them went bust. Normally that would have taken a lot of banks down with it, but since the banks had mostly sold those loans off into complex financial instruments only the really poorly run banks ended up going bust. Along with those big ones left holding the bag on those complex financial instruments, like Lehman, AIG, Fanny & Freddie.

Yes those latter three were bailed out by TARP, but one of the major underreported stories of the financial crisis is that those three companies in particular generated so much profit since then that TARP has shown a significant profit for the US government! I'd love to see someone ask one of the republican candidates who spoke out against it whether he still thinks it was a bad idea in hindsight when it didn't end up costing us anything...

When banks could no longer sell off bad loans it became a lot harder to get loans and as a result housing prices dropped like a rock in areas where they had overheated (where I live they didn't rise like a meteor due to bad loans so there was no drop in prices at all) The UK housing market wasn't supported by stuff like CDOs, and while it may still be overheated (I'll take your word for it as I don't follow it) there's no reason that prices can't stay relatively steady for as long as it takes to get back on the long run average.

Whether that's better or worse for the economy in the long run is probably something Tim is a lot more qualified to write about than me (there's another article idea for him) but which you prefer may come down to whether you're the type who wants the rip the bandage off and get the pain over with, or tug and pull a bit on it here and there so there's no really bad pain but there's some moderate pain over a longer time.

DougS Silver badge

Re: QE causes deflation....

Right on, this is 100% correct. That's the fatal flaw of the Eurozone - there's no "bank of last resort" that can keep depositors whole so the places where the banking losses were concentrated like Greece end up with zombie banks that should have been allowed to fail.

I haven't followed closely enough to know how the BOE handled things in the UK. Did they allow the bad banks to fail, or did they prop them up like Ireland did with theirs? An overpriced property market will take care of itself in the long run - the prices simply won't go up as fast as they otherwise would for a long time. Basically buyers today will find the gains they should have had over the next decade or two were stolen by people who took them in the previous decade. In some ways that's better than a crash as it least it doesn't take down a lot of banks, but the people buying today probably don't care much for it.

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