* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

DSL inventor's latest science project: terabit speeds over copper

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It would be an interesting development

If it turned out those tired old twisted pair telco lines could allow for higher bandwidth than the cable company's HFC network. It would be funny if Verizon regretted selling off all their copper...

FBI boss James Comey was probing Trump's team for Russia links. You're fired, says Donald

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They should make a deal

Appoint independent special prosecutors to probe both Trump's Russian connections and Hillary's email. Both sides will get something they want, and Trump won't get away trying to kill the investigation (that he's already tried several times to have killed or dodge with false claims that it is a "hoax")

IBM: Customer visit costing £75 in travel? Kill it with extreme prejudice

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Fixing those small issues that cause a lot of annoyance and visibility for the customer is the sort of thing that will get your contract renewed. Fixing their big problems via expensive change orders might keep them satisfied for now, but makes them more likely to look around for a cheaper alternative when the contract term is ending.

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Stinginess is relative

Everyone seems stingy to those of us who were around in the late 90s until 9/11. I used to buy full fare tickets so I could earn more miles/points and have a better shot at upgrades. We used to compete to see who could run up the biggest dinner bill - and broke all previous records with a $7500 tab for six on the last night of one of my contracts. Everything was always reimbursed without question, so long as you saved the receipt.

Having to deal with "per diem" or buying restricted fares three weeks in advance and putting in change fees as an expense if flights needed to be adjusted seemed like austerity had hit! Blanket travel bans are great unless 1) it means working in some crappy cube farm instead from home like I do and 2) that travel wasn't to a place with a beach when you have snow on the ground where you live.

Travel is a royal pain here in the land of the TSA - it looked like I might have to travel for work for the first time in ages last year and I got permission to drive myself even though it was 500 miles away just because I could avoid the airport. Fortunately it was canceled (not due to cost cutting, just changing priorities in the C-suite)

London app dev wants to 'reinvent the bus'

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Use the airline model

Small buses can go to small roads / outlying areas "spoke" routes, dropping off passengers to switch to a big bus for the "hub" routes.

Since the spoke buses and hub buses will know where each other are, they don't necessarily always have to meet in the same location, which will avoid dropping people off and having them wait 10 or 15 minutes for the next bus if one was delayed or the other is running ahead of schedule. Ideally if software does the on-the-fly route planning well enough, they would meet, people pile on/off each bus, and away they go with the stop taking only a minute.

There be dragons? Why net neutrality groups won't go to Congress

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Re: Congressional inaction was whole reason the FCC went the Title II route

Sure, because Obama knew that with a republican congress he had no hope of getting legislation passed. The republicans were putting up a united front to obstruct even stuff some of them wanted, because that was their whole strategy on dealing with Obama - a strategy democrats hope to copy if they can take back the congress in 2018)

Regardless of whether there was behind the scenes arm twisting from Obama, after the courts had ruled the FCC didn't have the power to impose net neutrality under the existing framework, re-classifying as Title II was the only way absent legislation. Reclassification might have failed court challenges as well (if for no other reason than not following proper process in doing so) but the "hybrid approach" was always a fantasy. It would either fail court challenges or not accomplish anything of note - the previous court rulings had made that much clear.

DougS Silver badge

Congressional inaction was whole reason the FCC went the Title II route

Wheeler and Obama both tried to push congress to enact some sort of net neutrality policy, but they refused. So the FCC tried to go it alone with simple rulemaking, but that was shot down by the courts. The only card left to play was trying to pull ISPs under Title II.

The thinking at the time was that if Title II regulation succeeded in the courts, the cable/telco lobbyists would be forced to come to the table for something less threatening to them (since Title II carries a lot of other baggage)

Now that the lobbyists have won, you're nuts if you think congress will pass a law. If democrats were 100% behind net neutrality then sure, you could probably scare up enough republicans to pass a law - which Trump would likely veto. But democrats aren't 100% behind it, because some of them are bought and paid for by telco lobbyists too. And if it looked like something was going to pass, they'd buy a few more to insure it didn't.

America's mystery X-37B space drone lands after two years in orbit

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It was following Black Knight for a closer look, of course


Team Macron praised for feeding phishing spies duff info

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Who is high or stupid? Clinton's private email server was not hacked. The DNC's email server was, as was Podesta's personal email (where "hacked" here means "someone got his password")

You're right that 2FA would not have prevented the DNC hack, since they hacked the server and got access to all emails it contained. The problem there is that even if you patched everything perfectly you can't stop a state level actor from hacking you if you they want to, because they have a private stash of 0 days they can deploy if you make yourself a hard target.

IBM: Remote working is great! ... For everyone except us

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Laying off the homeworkers is hardly surprising

If management has to decide who to get rid of, it is much easier to get rid of anonymous cogs instead of actual people walking down the wall that you know personally. Sure, if done right you get rid of the low performers no matter where they are, but a lot of people who rather avoid conflict and having to see the person you fired boxing up their stuff. Simple human nature.

Sorry, Dave, I can't code that: AI's prejudice problem

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If we can't get bias out of society, how do we get it out of algorithms?

It could be argued that the reason many people would refer to an unknown computer programmer as 'he' or assume a gang member arrested in a low income neighborhood is black, is the same thing. Our biases are a product of our exposure to information, so unless algorithms can be given a source of information other than the real world, I'm not sure how easy this will be to solve.

Rather than trying to feed an algorithm PC-approved cleansed data, maybe it should be taught about bias. Oh wait, that would require these "AIs" to actually have some artificial intelligence, instead of just being large relational databases with clever input methodology.

The radio environment is noisy – so use the noise as a carrier for signals

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Re: i hope they are not going to patent it

While that's very interesting and I'm glad for the link, it isn't the same thing as what's being discussed here AT ALL.

Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron 'emails' two days before French presidential election

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Re: "... We will never see 1 piece of proof that it was Russia ..."

How make the logical leap that accepting that Russia is actively trying to subvert the elections of other countries implies you should support nuking them? There is a long history of statecraft/spycraft where countries have historically tried to undermine each other in all sorts of ways, and they've rarely escalated into shooting wars, let alone wars of mass destruction.

The correct response is 1) hack Putin and his lackeys and air that dirty laundry and do your best to make it known to Russia's citizens and 2) figure out ways to shore up security so it is harder for Putin to do these sort of hacks in the first place.

In an ideal world an altruistic organization like Wikileaks claimed to be would take the position that the problem isn't that Clinton and Macron got hacked and had their dirty laundry aired, but that Trump and LePen did not suffer the same fate. If politicians knew that all their skeletons would be made visible to the public, maybe we'd have a better class of candidate and we wouldn't have ended up with the Hobson's choice between Clinton and Trump in the first place! Because there's surely no way either could have survived the process if we knew all their secrets during the primaries.

DougS Silver badge

@Andy Prough

Given the timing of some statements from Trump campaign officials who appear to have known about the timing of Hillary data dumps, and going from initial blanket denials of any contact to ever lengthening lists of team Trump members who were in contact with Russians, I think suggesting "well the Russians will do it anyway" (while it may be true) is an increasingly specious argument to make.

Given the Russian loan for LePen, which was supposedly personally approved by Putin himself, it looks even more specious in her case. If the only loan you can is from a guy whose government hacks your opponent an hour before French law imposes a media blackout on the election, the idea she wasn't colluding with him is frankly ridiculous.

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Re: So, just another day in the office...?

Given that Macron had a 20 point lead in the polls, that obviously isn't the case.

Amazing new boffinry breakthrough: Robots are eating our brains

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Re: @ The Onymous Coward

I think the long sabbatical is more prevalent now only because 1) contract work is more prevalent now and 2) having a long career with one or two companies over your working life is almost entirely a thing of the past, so people have more gaps in their working career than they used to whether by choice or by circumstance.

In other words, it is easy to take time off when you don't have a job. I have taken long breaks on occasion like you, and it was partially by choice and partially without choice. I only take long term contracts, so they're usually be six months initially, though a few I did three months if I knew extensions were almost guaranteed. Usually I don't know for sure about renewals until a month or so before the end date, so I don't bother to start contacting my network to find my next contract until the previous one is done.

Since it always takes a few months to get a gig set up, that enforces some vacation time since I don't take as much during contracts as I really should - for obvious reasons: is hard for me to make myself take vacations when I know it not only costs the cost of the vacation, but also the opportunity cost of what I would have made if I didn't take vacation! When I'm not working that opportunity cost is zero, so I feel a lot better about taking long vacations. Or as you call them, "sabbaticals" :)

DougS Silver badge

@ The Onymous Coward

Taking sabbaticals isn't the same thing. You're basically taking some of your retirement early - i.e. take five years off when you are younger and retire five years later than you could/would have if you didn't take any time off.

The idea of working less isn't about working full time and taking long breaks, it is about "full time" becoming working three days a week with a four day weekend instead of working five days a week with a two day weekend.

DougS Silver badge

Re: A corporate tax on profits is not enough. We need a robot tax

What's wrong with them passing it on? That's what they do with wages they pay, healthcare they pay and so forth today. Currently we tax labor, in the form of income taxes that workers pay. When the "workers" are robots, if you want something like the same system you tax them.

Oracle: You've got such strong arms, Mr Pai. Oh, hello, Donald! We didn't see you there

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There's one important difference

Despite all his talk about "transparency", Trump isn't making White House visitor logs public like Obama did. The only reason you were able to count up all those visits in the Obama White House is because he made his public.

Every administration is 'pay for play' - if you donate enough you get face time with the big cheese. But at least with Obama you could quantify it, while Trump decided to hide it.

Uncle Sam backs down on slurping passwords from US visa hopefuls

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You'd think humans would have evolved to not care about birth dates and anniversaries by now.

Those who do are unlikely to be together long enough to raise kids.

So long as procreation occurs before the first time the female has a birthday there isn't any selective pressure against forgetful men!

How to remote hijack computers using Intel's insecure chips: Just use an empty login string

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My HP laptop was patched a month ago

The firmware update mentioned security and said "HP strongly recommends" so I'm pretty sure it is the one. Luckily I just had bought a new laptop last fall so it is still actively supported. I'll have to see whether Dell ever releases a firmware update for my old laptop. Since I never use either one wired I'm not really too worried.

It's been two and a half years of decline – tablets aren't coming back

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Combination of factors

1) big phones made small tablets less of a difference

2) thinner/lighter laptops made big tablets less of a difference

3) replacement cycle more like laptops than phones

I gave my girlfriend an iPad 2 for her birthday not long after it was released, and she still uses it every day - when she moved she dumped her PC and never got a new one. Hasn't even had to replace the battery, since it only needs charging once a week I guess it doesn't get the same number of charge/discharge cycles as a phone so the battery lasts a lot longer.

I think tablets will eventually stabilize at some lower level, as we're probably due to reach the replacement cycle for tablets pretty soon. They just won't ever come close to the overly optimistic predictions of the early years when analysts assumed people would be replacing them every two years like a phone.

Australian Taxation Office named as party preventing IT contractors being paid

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Re: The tax issue may explain how they were able to do it

How much money can they make holding onto money for say a week or two before paying, at today's interest rates? Nowhere near enough to pay for the salaries of people, building rent, etc.

Sorry, there is a reason this is the only no-charge payroll processor anyone has ever heard of.

DougS Silver badge

The tax issue may explain how they were able to do it

It is obviously impossible for a payroll processing company to not charge for its services, which should have been a huge red flag to anyone dumb enough to sign up with them. The only way they could make money and be a viable business is to 1) steal money or 2) steal personal information to sell to criminals.

Looks like they might have been pocketing the taxes they were supposed to be sending to the ATO, figuring they'd flee the country once they were caught. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the owner(s) are long gone, as is the money owed the ATO.

We are 'heroes,' says police chief whose force frisked a photographer

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Will they pull over Google Street View cars?

Not only are they taking pictures, they're posting them on the internet where Al Qaeda and ISIS can download them! The horror!!

Is Britain really worse at 4G than Peru?

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You won't use what you don't have

Every summer I visit a location (a county with a population density of less than one person per square mile) that has almost no cell coverage. Not "no LTE", no nothing. There are a couple spots on the property where you can pick up a signal, but there are no guarantees it will work if you try to actually use it to make a call, and forget trying to browse the web.

Because of that, if you leave cellular enabled all day your battery drains pretty quickly, so it is reasonable to just turn it off entirely and rely on wifi (where available) for wifi calling and internet access. If everyone did that, crowdsourced data wouldn't show any coverage problems there!

What augmented reality was created for: An ugly drink with a balloon

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Groped into it

Some of us need more persuasion than others to be sucked into the "all day bag carrier" drudgery.

Spend your paper £5 notes NOW: No longer legal tender after today

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Re: I had no idea

US currency doesn't last nearly as long as you think. According to the mint these are the average lifetimes:

A $1 bill lasts 18 months; $5 bill, two years; $10 bill, three years; $20 bill, four years; and $50 and $100 bills, nine years. Bills that get worn out from everyday use are taken out of circulation and replaced.

User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

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Dying out

Glad that CDs and DVDs are dying out, or the person behind you who took a piece of plastic shrapnel to the head?

China's first large passenger jet makes maiden flight

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But can it do a barrel roll?


Qualcomm to demand US iPhone import ban

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Motorola tried the same thing with Apple

And when they sued Microsoft. Both over FRAND patents, where they were trying to charge based on the sales price of the device they were in, rather than the chip(s) that implemented the patents. The ITC told them to go pound sand. Qualcomm won't have any different luck with this tactic.

Dark-web pedo jailed after FBI and co use vid trick to beat privacy tech

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Re: Unidentified foreign law enforcement agency?

Well of those 100,000 surely many are not in the US, and thus beyond the FBI's reach. Hopefully if they ensnare people in other countries they are passing that info along to the relevant authorities, though.

Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

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Re: 1960s health advice?

Did you miss the article at the Reg a month or two ago with a metastudy that clearly showed heavy drinking resulted in better health outcomes overall that not drinking at all?

The reason for lowered limits has nothing to do with health issues caused by consumption of alcohol, but rather the effects caused by drunkenness - i.e. drunk driving.

Imagination puts two-thirds of itself up for sale as Apple IP fight rumbles on

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Re: might makes right in this late capitalism era

How is Apple "taking advantage" of Imagination? Should they be required to use their GPUs forever in order to keep Imagination in business? They gave them plenty of notice when they'd stop using their GPUs - presumably notice as dictated in a contract.

The only possible dispute is whether Apple's in-house GPU design will infringe on Imagination patents, and if so to what extent. Since Apple's design isn't even complete yet Imagination is trying to get them to pay up based on guesswork. I think the real plan for Imagination is to divest the stop Apple doesn't want, and make them think buying them out is cheaper than potential litigation.

Given their turnover and profit from the GPU segment, losing over half their business will put it deeply in the red so they obviously can't continue in that business without major cutbacks. That's too bad, but it is hardly Apple's fault Imagination was so heavily dependent on them. A lot of Android SoCs started using Mali in the last couple years, if Imagination had done a better job competing with ARM they could have won those customers and the loss of Apple would be only be a blow, not a death blow.

After years of warnings, mobile network hackers exploit SS7 flaws to drain bank accounts

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Re: Head in the sand

Not only that, in the US 60 Minutes did a story about it last year, which included a demonstration where a German hacker in Berlin used a SS7 attack to listen in on a conversation between a US congressman in California and the 60 Minutes correspondent. All he needed to know to perform the attack was the congressman's phone number.

For the purpose of the demo, 60 Minutes sent him a brand new iPhone and SIM so it wasn't his 'real' phone number compromised, but it wouldn't take that much to learn the phone number of almost anyone a motivated attacker wanted to listen in on. And obviously would work on any landlines that either aren't behind a PBX or are behind a PBX running SS7.

While this congressman was technically literate (Stanford grad in comp sci IIRC) regulation will be required to fix it (telcos have had three decades to do something about this and haven't, so they never will unless forced) but the only way a republican congress would agree to that would be if congressmen are attacked this way. Someone just needs to listen in to the inner workings of the health care debate and make a few calls between Trump and a congressman public, and this would quickly move to the top of the agenda!

Jeez, we'll do something about Facebook murder vids, moans Zuckerberg

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How is it they can be so quick to remove nudity

But it takes so long for them to remove a video of a guy hanging a baby? They've obviously got their priorities in the wrong places...

Apple leaks new thinner, lighter iPad ... revenues

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Re: you really got to admire apple

Who says Apple is playing to the stock market? I just replied to the guy who said they'd dropped 2%.

DougS Silver badge

Re: you really got to admire apple

Apple went up 3% on Monday & Tuesday, so the 2% drop just brought them down to near where they started the week. And actually, as of this writing, they've now fallen less than 1% from yesterday's close before earnings, so they are currently over 2% higher than Friday's close.

I don't think anyone cared much what Apple reported this time, or will report three months from now, unless the numbers are wildly different than expectations. Wall Street's eyes are fixed on what Apple releases in September.

DougS Silver badge

Re: you really got to admire apple

The reason services are increasing is because the installed base of iOS devices is increasing. It isn't like 50 million old iPhones were retired in the last three months to balance out the 50 million new ones that were sold. Since Apple supports iPhones with updates for far longer than any Android phones they hold their value better and almost all have second (and probably in many cases third) owners. Except for high end Android phones like Galaxy/Note, Android phones have almost no value after a couple years and it isn't worth the cost for carriers to refurbish/resell tradeins - instead they are recycled.

The bigger their installed base the greater their services revenue, even if their per user services revenue were to stay flat.

Gang-briefed by IBM bosses in Hawaii? Nah, I'll take redundancy

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Re: 20 straight months of non-growth ?

"Still losing money"...what you are talking about? IBM is making plenty of money, they are far from losing money. The cutbacks aren't because they're in the red and trying to become profitable, they're because they aren't as profitable as they used to be and the executives want their bonuses!

Windows 10 S: Good, bad, and how this could get ugly for PC makers

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Re: For college kids Apple still has the better offer

Now if only some big country would have the balls to pass a law protecting kids from having that data stolen. Then we'll see just how altruistic Google really is with their push of Chrome into education.

Unpaid tech contractor: 'I have to support my family. I have no money for medicines'

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I have limited sympathy for those affected

If it is true that "Plutus did not charge for its services" then that should have been a HUGE red flag that this is a scam - to either steal your money (which looks like has now happened) or steal your personal information and sell it to criminals (which I wouldn't be surprised victims will eventually learn has ALSO happened)

People have to bear SOME responsibility for the decisions they make. If you found a bank that charged 0% interest on mortgages would you take a mortgage from them because it is the best deal? If so you are an idiot who would deserve what you get when the scam comes home to roost, like some sort of ridiculous "fee" structure that makes it cost more than a normal mortgage, or fine print in the contract that if you're one day late on a payment they can take your house along with all your equity in it. Fortunately mortgages are well regulated (even in the US) so such onerous terms would not be allowed, which is why no one has ever heard of 0% mortgages.

Anyone who had a choice and picked this company as their payroll processor because of the great deal of "free service" is a fool who deserves their fate. The only exception to that and people I have deep sympathy for are 1) people who may have been forced to use them (in which case they probably have grounds to sue the recruiter/company that gave them no choice) or 2) this is their first contracting gig and they were ignorant of how they work and didn't realize that a payroll processor charging nothing for its services is an impossibility that is a sure sign of a scam.

I thought about posting AC since I know this will attract a lot of downvotes, but I'd rather stand behind my words than hide behind the AC label for a post I know will be unpopular with some (especially those affected who don't fall into category 1 & 2 above)

Net neutrality blowback: Cities say no. Court says whoa. Trumpster blames Canada for not going slow

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Re: Despite net neutrality provisions

Separating the physical wires from the provision of services over those wires is obviously the best way to do it, but difficult to do when the starting point is companies that own both.

If only the courts had been smarter when they broke up AT&T and split it between the wiring, local telephone service and long distance service instead of across regions. I think the US would have been a lot better off!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Google Fiber is done

Comcast is still planning to go gigabit nationwide, they just aren't going in the same order they were before. It isn't fiber, but who cares, a gigabit is more than anyone needs to the home anyway and that's not the limit of what they can do with the HFC network. AT&T is still announcing upgrades at the same pace they were when Google Fiber was still a thing.

Where I live a third party has been laying fiber in the larger city 30 miles to my north, and announced last year they were coming here - back when it looked like we were getting Hillary and net neutrality was here to stay, so obviously that didn't affect their investment decision either.

Republicans go all Braveheart again with anti-net neutrality bill

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Re: Self-aggrandizement Central

Given that democrats only need to flip three seats in 2018, changing the rules to 51 for everything could mean that he gets nothing he wants in the second half of his term.

It will already guarantee that if democrats take back the senate any Supreme Court seats that open up will remain unfilled. After republicans played their dirty trick to 'steal' that seat from Obama, you can bet with 100% confidence that democrats would do the same to Trump - who applauded the move before but would surely unleash a storm of angry tweets the minute it is done to him!

It's Russian hackers, FBI and Wikileaks wot won it – Hillary Clinton on her devastating election loss

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Sour grapes

Those things contributed to her loss, sure, but she could have overcome them easily over a weak candidate with huge unfavorables like Trump if she:

1) didn't act like she was owed the presidency just because she's been a good soldier for the democratic party

2) actually articulated some plans to help the people who Bernie and Trump were talking to about jobs, or heck just acknowledged them in any way

Had she done those things, then the email stuff, the fake news, the Russians would have merely reduced her margin, she still would have won without breaking much of a sweat. Based on exit polling, around 8 million people who voted for Obama voted for Trump. That's a massive loss considering that Obama had approval ratings over 50% during the whole election cycle - it shouldn't have been that hard for her to sell people on going for four more years of Obama. Those 8 million are open minded independents or even democrats who she could have kept with a better campaign. She only needed to keep a total of 50,000 of them from flipping in three states to win!

In the end, it seems like her whole message was "I'm not Trump" which is fine for the democratic base, but hardly enough to win over independents. If she would have said "I'm not Trump" and presented plans and showed why they will help average people and not just the 1% she spent too much time around she would have won. Which is ironic, because so far what little Trump has accomplished has been about helping the 1% and not the blue collar voters who put him in the White House.

Gig economy tech giants are 'free riding' on the welfare state, say MPs

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The UK has a much better chance of doing this than the US

Since most of the 'gig economy' companies are based in the US, there would be too much pressure preventing real reforms. The CEO of Uber just has to spread around a few of tens of millions, or pocket change for him, and any legislators who get the idea of passing laws that restrict Uber's behavior will forget about that and move on to the next idea.

Ironically, one of the reasons Trump is finding it nearly impossible to 'repeal and replace Obamacare' like he promised is the rise of the gig economy which was helped by Obamacare making insurance more available/affordable (especially for those who aren't young and healthy) Making changes that would cause 20 million to lose their insurance, or drop the restriction on pre-existing conditions is what is getting angry people (who aren't all just democrats) showing up at republican town halls telling them not to vote for the bill.

Unfortunately Obamacare was already having serious issues, and Trump has guaranteed its eventually failure by having the IRS drop the health question question on tax forms, making the individual mandate effectively unenforceable. Without healthy people in the system supporting things, it will quickly collapse. It is as if good drivers were allowed to go without insurance, and only people with DWIs and a dozen traffic tickets were buying it - no one would be surprised that the monthly payments for such auto insurance was comparable to a mortgage payment...

UK outsourcing market hits record levels

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Local government should outsource

Aside from big cities like London, governments that don't have enough work to justify more than a small full time IT team would be nuts to keep it in house. Maybe you get lucky and hire smart people who stick around for decades, keep up on the latest tech, and do a much better job for you than any outsourcer could. But the reality is that you are more likely to get short timers who will hop to a new job the minute more pay is dangled, stick around forever and insist that "token ring is still fine, not need to follow that ethernet fad" either due to laziness or job security, or are just plain crappy at their job.

It is a service that should be outsourced like any other non core competency. Local governments don't own their own road building equipment and employ people to operate it. They contract that stuff out because they aren't the experts at it and don't do enough of it to justify doing it in-house.

Now large governments like say the UK and US could effectively insource their own outsourcing. That is, basically replicate the structure of an outsourcing company with government employees, so resources can be shared rather than having each organization having their own IT fiefdom. Whether the result would be any better than outsourcing to IBM or whoever, your guess is as good as mine.

Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

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Re: Well, that's the end for Desktop Windows

Don't worry, no one is going to buy this anymore than they were buying Windows RT devices. Desktop Windows will be fine.

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Microsoft is trying Windows RT all over again

It failed miserably when they were trying to counter iPad, why should they expect it will be different this time when they are trying to counter Chromebooks?

People buy Windows devices to run real Windows apps. If they don't need to run real Windows apps, then they have a lot to choose from, including iPad, Android tablets, and Chromebook. This is just another choice competing with those, except with a smaller selection of software. Can anyone provide a single reason why someone would choose Microsoft here?

This has FAIL written all over it, and I predict Windows S will disappear without a trace before Windows 7's support life ends in early 2020.

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