* Posts by Ledswinger

5412 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

Ledswinger
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Re: IR35

to many companies and individuals and accountant who spend far to much time trying to find loopholes in the tax laws

If politicians don't want people using loopholes, then they should stop drafting obscenely complex legislation full of the things. The funny thing is that this isn't really about loopholes, or about their use, it is about who is benefiting. MPs and really big companies apparently aren't a problem, Joe Public and SMEs very much are.

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Low-key Samsung: Psst. We've got new Galaxy tablets and new Gear VR

Ledswinger
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FAO Samsung's marketing peeps

Oi, Samsung! Can you stop applying the now meaningless word Galaxy to every single one of your products, like it means or implies anything?

It's almost as irritating as companies who insist on random punctuation in their name.

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LG, Huawei unwrap 'Samsung Galaxy-killers'

Ledswinger
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"Wonder why nobody's tried it before"

Perhaps because there's sod all content in 18:9?

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Ledswinger
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You could be a touch more sceptical, please

The spare CPU cycles are also being used for defragmentation and memory optimisation, using ML algorithms

Go on then, tell me how space CPU cycles on a single phone can do ANYTHING useful in machine learning terms? At full throttle, it might just learn how to turn itself off if left running for a thousand years.

If you're using ARM cores, to do anything worthwhile you need something like a million cores, running full tilt continuously (like the SpiNNaker project at the Uni of Manchester, back a few years).

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Oh, irony of ironies: Gov.UK's transparency report reveals... nothing

Ledswinger
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there used to be a time when government would listen to experts outside of government -

I'm an old buzzard, and I can't recall that time. Transport policy, fiscal policy, energy policy, industrial policy, defence policy, foreign policy, migration policy, education policy, housing policy, health policy.....they've all been shit as long as I can remember.

Many of the persistently poor choices of the past are only now coming home to roost (eg with the NHS or borrowing), and the idea that politicians in the past were competent and listened to expertise is nonsense. Think back to the bunglers of the past Ted Heath, Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan, and before? Since then, I doubt from your previous posts that you've any time for Maggie. Blair and Brown launched the never ending wars in the Middle East on lies, created our idiot energy policy, bankrupted the state by reckless borrowing and letting the banks run out of control (not to mention screwing up higher education). Cameron is universally recognised as a toffee nosed arse wipe, May is an illiberal Victorian control freak.

Who's left? John Major?

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Ledswinger
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This is our post-expertise government...

That would imply that there was once an era of expertise in government. Would you care to enlighten me when that was?

Seems to me they are universally incompetent.

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We want Waymo money from you! Uber sued for 'stealing self-driving car' blueprints from Alphabet

Ledswinger
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Re: Google vs Uber

I get all confused as who to root for here as I hate both.

But its fun to watch. Here we have the conflict between Uber's very literal interpretation of "the sharing economy" and Google's "don't do too much evil".

Seems a big bit odd that Alphabet/Waymo didn't notice the inappropriate downloading of GBs of sensitive data at the time, and then only noticed after the event because of a fumbled "cc"? And the wording of this article suggests that the bloke still had his Waymo laptop after he left to a competitor. All very well wanting legal redress, but I'd have thought that they might try harder to control their own intellectual property.

So on balance both companies deserve a savage kicking (although its looking as though Uber/Otto are the ones who'll take the heat).

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O2 daddy Telefónica reports 12.5% drop in UK sales

Ledswinger
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The other man's grass: Wild optimism at Telefonica

If they think that IoT is going to save them, they perhaps need to sober up, have a strong coffee.

The value of IoT will be minimal, and it will be like mobile phones, that the bulk of any value that accrues will be unevenly distributed. Most will go to platform owners, followed by a subset of successful IoT tatmakers. Device retailing by the telcos will be a tiny margin business in a perpetual battle with low or zero margin internet retailers, and more complex installations such as home hubs or heating controls will see the value extracted by blue collar installation firms (eg British Gas).

For all their ludicrously expensive advertising, the brand of the MNOs is weak, with low portability, and harmed by poor customer service. They can't put more money into customer service because at a market level people won't pay the extra when taking a new contract, so levels of trust will remain low. So they won't be able to change the dynamics mentioned above.

The real growth opportunity would be to roll out proper 4G, allow tethering, arrange content delivery, and completely bypass the fixed line providers, but the MNOs seem to regard 4G as a costly nuisance that they would prefer not to have to deliver. They've seen the "dumb pipe" threat evolve for years, but still have done nothing about it. To be fair, I think that Telefonica are like most big companies - far keener to sell what they'd like to sell, rather than producing either what the market wants now, or what the market would want if it were offered.

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Motorola's modular Moto Z: A fine phone for a weekend away

Ledswinger
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Re: Battery life

I might even argue that a snap on external battery is a superior solution to a swappable main battery.

Depends on your concern. For me, I want a user-replaceable battery not because I routinely swap it, but simply because I tend to buy and keep phones for longer than the reliable battery life. Sometimes the cells last, sometimes they don't, but at least my handset allows me to throw away a faulty battery and stick a new one in for ten-fifteen quid.

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HPE CEO Whitman says everything's 'on the right track' as sales are literally decimated

Ledswinger
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Re: Yesssss........

given that Amazon are in there with their usual loss leading cut price approach

AWS are the only part of Amazon that appears to make a decent and reliable profit, so I'm not sure it is loss leading as such. Otherwise an excellent comment.

Because of the commodity nature of the bit-barn market, it is a cut throat market with severe margin pressure, and market prices set by the lowest offer. HP will never be competitive in this market, and even when they've shifted their last US/European employees jobs to some scummy offshore location, they'll still be uncompetitive.

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Google to annihilate online trolling with ... tra-la-la! Machine! Learning!

Ledswinger
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Re: Can it detect sarcasm?

It will have its work cut out, given the proportion of people reporting that they have experienced on line harassment.

Which, if the numbers are true, would suggest that either a very high proportion of internet users are guilty of behaviour that others perceive as on line harassment, or (improbably) the on line harassers are small in number, but both highly productive and effective in their "task". Whilst not denying the more egregious examples of on line harassment, I simply don't believe the numbers.

I suspect many people simply have very thin skins when they're online, but fail to see that others may see their responses as the same form of personal attack. Feel free to call me a c**t if you disagree, I won't go crying to Google, asking for protection.

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Blundering Boeing bod blabbed spreadsheet of 36,000 coworkers' personal details in email

Ledswinger
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Re: Here we go again

And why is that employee allowed to download that information into a spreadsheet, even if he has read/write access as a part of his job.

Read/write access to the database is usually access controlled quite well, problem is that access is held by essentially transactional employees. As soon as you want any serious data manipulation (eg for cost build, retirement or workforce planning, corporate change programmes) the database and the HR ERP modules don't offer the flexibility to do much, nor do the administrators have the skills to do those less common analytical tasks. So the people with access are asked to run a report, which they do with the due authority and checks, but THEN the data passes on to people who you have to trust to do the right thing.

If I'm right, that trust hasn't worked, but that doesn't mean that access to the database itself wasn't controlled. A big part of the problem is that email and internet connections are leaky as hell, and most people don't know the risks they're taking. My job has required access to similar sub-sets of employee data - and I hate having that on my PC. All encrypted, and protected by best practice, but essentially the defence against me doing something stupid is me. I could have a PC with no external email or internet access, but there's other parts of my job need both. And even if I can only send the data internally, how does that stop anybody else doing anything daft.

Not a good scenario, there are a few solutions, but most are fairly draconian, and even they are rarely bullet proof.

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Oracle crushes Apiary's hope in slightly awkward email to customers

Ledswinger
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Re: Reading between the lines...

Might apply to customers using Apiary too?

Maybe time for all companies to reconsider, if they have built a business that has become critically dependent upon a particular piece of this party software, only to find that the original owner/developer gets inhumed in the SAP or Oracle software graveyards.

Most companies have forgotten that in-house developed software frees them from exorbitant licence fees that the acquisitive software houses have to charge to cover the ludicrous amounts of goodwill that their balance sheets get burdened with after serial acquisitions. In house development certainly isn't any bed of roses, but at least it means you have control over what it costs, how much is actually done by way of support, and how long the product is actually supported for.

It's curious: Almost anything else that's business critical has extensive alternative procurement strategies and careful risk management applied to it. But not third party software (or service outsourcing), where companies buy these in on the promise of improbable savings that then never occur, but then seem to be happy to be pillaged quarter after quarter. And of course, if you homebrew your software, you will only be on the hook for FX effects if you've CHOSEN to use offshore contract developers, rather than simply because some cash rich US corporation ups your licence fees solely to preserve its margins when measured in dollars.

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IBM to UK staff: Get ready for another game of musical chairs

Ledswinger
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Re: Cut staff levels to zero for maximum profit with no costs!!

Imagine how much time and money IBM would save if instead of having new "consultation" processes every few months, they simply had a continuous rolling programme of "consultation"? The PHBs could even appoint one of their own as permanent VP of Consultations, Rightsizing, Transformation, and Optimisation, complete with a department of do-nothings to administer this important "value lever" that IBM's makeweight board feel the need to tug on with some regularity.

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UPS & drones: Delivery company launches UAV from truck

Ledswinger
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Re: Sorry You Were Out

"Now the UPS driver can deliver the Sorry You Were Out cards from the comfort of his van."

You have hit the nail on the head. I would guess that the costs of failed delivereries are far more significant (and perhaps avoidable) for delivery companies than inconvenient delivery paths. When I order stuff online, immediacy/speed is of far lower importance than knowing exactly when the delivery will occur, or being able to schedule the delivery.

So my rationale is that drones are the usual solution searching for a problem. Delivery companies would be far better off either committing to specific delivery in a one hour time slot (or less) one or several days ahead with, much as supermarkets book their deliveries. That would require far better systems integration between retailers and the delivery companies, but at the moment there's no obvious appetite to do that, whereas there is appetite to prat around with drones.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not even that...

maybe some sort of roof mounted delivery "Cannon" might be in order

Projectile parcel delivery in the UK is under a patent pending to company called Yodel, I believe.

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Tosh in deeper financial doo-doo as banks crank up the pressure

Ledswinger
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This could be interesting for...

...UK energy policy. Toshiba having been hugely harmed by US nuclear cost problems, and looking at the problems EDF/Areva are having with their EPR new builds, it would seem a grave error of judgement for Toshiba's board to engage in new build nuclear in the UK. As Tosh are the most significant part of the NuGen consortium, looking to build a three reactor plant at Moorside (=Sellafield), this could be a big problem for the carbon-obsessed energy policy that the UK has. Hinkley Point is on course to be the world's single most expensive folly, and the sale of Westinghouse to Tosh by serial traitor Gordon Brown, well.....polite words fail me.

Looks like we'll have to sit and shiver in the dark when the wind's not blowing.

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EE unveils sky domination plans with drones, balloons

Ledswinger
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"We are obsessed about having customers connected all the time"

If that's the case, why's their coverage so shit in areas where they could do something about it?

Then again, I supposed "obsession" doesn't imply doing anything about the matter.

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Ditching your call centre for an app? Be careful not to get SAP-slapped

Ledswinger
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Sounds like a perfect way to lose a lot of business to me.

Not to me. As another poster notes above, corporates are willing victims. To go open source sounds risky, complex, dangerous, particularly if you're a corporate suit. There would be voices saying "don't build your own systems, you aren't clever enough, it isn't a core competence, buy software from somebody like SAP or Oracle who know what's what". And whenever some "expert" is consulted from the likes of BCG, McKinsey, PWC et al, they'll be falling over themselves to recommend a single ERP architecture from the big boys (sprinkled with the obligatory references to cloud, machine learning, best shoring, digital best practice, etc).

SAP (and others) have their foolish customers by the short and curlies. All the customers can do is pay up. Even if they wanted to build their own, a complex ERP, or even the CRM module would at fastest be five years from inception to live operation, probably more like seven years, and very few companies have that sort of patience.

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Florida Man jailed for 4 years after raking in a million bucks from spam

Ledswinger
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Re: He used other people's computers without permission

"One could also argue that taking money for bulk-emailing services that were done by stealing computing time and resources from 3rd parties is defrauding the customer buying those services."

That's theft rather than fraud. The electricity and CPU cycles were taken without permission, and with intent to deprive the rightful owner (the computer owner, electricity bill payer). Admittedly trivial amounts, but trivial amounts times billions of emails will add up. In addition to theft, his botnet amounts to criminal damage, whose clear up costs will be significant. Then there's the time wasted of the recipients, disk space stolen on a whole range of servers, even before the (alleged) fraud on the business customers paying for email marketing, or the promotion of illegal activities.

Unfortunately, the authorities have generally treated spamming (and much internet crime) at the level of priority and gravitas as the single instance. And they hide behind weak excuses of intervention being "too difficult" (even as they grant themselves vast and ever increasing powers of surveillance and internet snooping). In this case they've started to up their game, but if you have to be a millionaire before they'll act, the point about trivialising the crime still stands.

Whilst the authorities continue to regard a million offences as rarely more serious than a single one, they offer a licence to operate to spammers and fraudsters, and if there's a threshold below which they clearly can't be arsed to act, then there's little deterrent to starting down the path of cybercrime.

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BlackBerry sued by hundreds of staffers 'fooled' into quitting

Ledswinger
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Re: Intelligence Test

Intelligence Test

Clearly you don't know how big companies operate and treat their staff. In these sorts of scenarios, employees are pressured into signing, they're told what the documents mean, and there's an implicit threat that you're out of a job if you don't. And even if they read the document, I'll wager that it doesn't say "fuck you, unvalued employee, you'll lose all your benefits". The consequences will be deliberately and intentionally unsaid.

I hope Blackberry have their sad, fat arse sued off them. Whether there;s a brass farthing in the coffers to pay any damages is another point (although that obligation may be passable to Ford).

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Probe President Trump and his crappy Samsung Twitter-o-phone, demand angry congressfolk

Ledswinger
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Wow I really hope the GOP puts on their big boy pants

Errr, you what?

The farcical anti-democratic comedy show of elephants versus donkeys is precisely WHY you've got Trump. Rather than hoping that the establishment can crush him and return to BAU, you really ought to be looking a whole lot deeper at the core issue of how Capitol Hill can actually serve Main Street rather than Wall Street.

I can see this from four thousand miles away, why can't the people who actually live there?

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Huge if true: iPhone 8 will feature 3D selfies, rodent defibrillator

Ledswinger
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Come along commentards, pay your way!

we felt it was time to write down some wild speculation because, like lemmings, you will click on it and we make money when you do.

It was my pleasure to click on the clickbait. If that pays your salary I am pleased, in fact we're all happy.

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Round-filed 'paperless' projects: Barriers remain to Blighty's Digital NHS

Ledswinger
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Re: Proven cost savings in mobile phone use

They used to have to drive back to Abingdon to get the paperwork for their next health visit.

In which case they'd fucked up their process, I suspect (since my partner has some involvement in this type of thing) under bogus "data protection" or "confidentiality" excuses.

IT can be a solution, but a better one is to prejudicially exterminate NHS bureaucratic fuckwits.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Oink!

Why isn't there a flying pig icon?

The refresh of Reg icons has been promised for years and years. Despite active and enthusiastic (free) consultancy from the Commentariat, nothing has been delivered. I assume billions have been spent, in order to show that the capitalist vulture is as profligate and incompetent as the public sector.

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New Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters can't transmit vital data

Ledswinger
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"The Ministry of Defence insists its £178bn equipment programme will create thousands of votes (in a constituency that's moved from Tory to Liberal and back again), over the next few years."

The main purveyors of that technique are currently in the cheap seats at Westminster. It was the infamous twat Gordon Brown who ordered the two carriers before the specs were properly finalised, doing so purely to try an protect Labour seats in the arse end of Glasgow. Hence our embarrassing need for the even more embarrassing F35B.

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Ledswinger
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Re: And they have to land to ask for directions !!!

That'll be the Kazakhstan MoD, the UK one doesn't operate a lot of Mil-8 Hips.

Yet.

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Ledswinger
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Re: make the whole MoD military personnel

So if the military were in charge, it would have to have 3 co-chiefs that sign of on every expenditure. War by meetings. With meetings.

I'm cool with that. After a couple of Chiefs of the Defence staff have found that their pension has been halved or cancelled for fucking up defence procurement, the next couple of incumbents would understand that they had to stick to the brief of buying the best set of weapons between the set budget and the demands of politcians for capability, without undue favourtism.

So that takes about six-eight years to take effect? Big deal, the problem won't be solved otherwise.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Treason

none have succeeded because it is institutionally incapable of being fixed.

I agree nobody's fixed it, and that the culture is deeply entrenched. But there is a simple solution - kick out the incompetent wasters of the civil service, make the whole MoD military personnel, reporting as an extra "service" to the chief of the defence staff.

Then the military have only themselves to blame. The military command structure is very good at shouting at people until they do what is needed (or court martialling them if they don't). Give them a finite total budget, with some forward visibility to stop the dogfuckers at the Treasury messing things up, and then they have to control specification and out-turn cost, they can balance projects against revenue costs. fight amongst themselves until they realise that is a zero-sum game. From a national perspective we'd know what we're spending, the military can never complain that they were "given the wrong kit", and the budget for toys wouldn't bloat since they'd have to choose what gets cut if they overspend on a particular project. The defence industry would suddenly find that the buyer didn't give a hoot about their lobbying, and that said buyer just wanted a product that worked, at the agreed cost and time. Equally, the military would be accountable for any spec changes or errata, with the certainty that they'd have to cut spending on another toy.

Simples. And if they really fuck up, we'd still be better off than today, because even with a load of inappropriate and broken kit, that's what we've got now, but we'd have the concept of a set defence budget.

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Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Ledswinger
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Re: Power leads

See, those EU dictats were good for some things.

What, like ensuring that one of the crappest, fiddliest, flimsiest connectors ever designed should become the standard?

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Zuckerberg thinks he's cyber-Jesus – and publishes a 6,000-word world-saving manifesto

Ledswinger
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Re: you asked....Ledswinger's Guide to Hating the Rich

Explain to me why I should hate rich people.

Because they're rich, and the vast majority of rich people haven't got their doing anything socially useful, they've just come up with a scheme that extracts money from the masses, and then keeps a good chunk of it in their own hands. And more important still, straightforward bile-fuelled envy.

A brother-in-law of mine earns more than I do, should I hate him now?

Yes. But note that if you overtake him then you will have to stop hating him, whilst he'll need to hate you. This is the proper social order, y'see.

Some of our customers have more money that I know I will ever make in my life - does that mean I should automatically snarl at them every time they spend some of that on our products?

Nobody said that. But you do have to hate them in your head and in your heart, spit in their food unseen if you get the chance, or sabotage the product they're buying. FFS they could be Philip Green, Beardy Branson, Smugface Blair. WTF don't you already hate them?

Should I hate their kids too?

Yes. Rich kids are universally more revolting and hateable than their parents.

And at what age?

Birth to death, unless they either get disinherited with nothing, or inherit and then squander or drink it all away. When they're poor its OK to reconsider.

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Finally, a use for your mobile phone: Snapping ALIEN signal blurts

Ledswinger
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I believe that the current consensus is that the Universe is finite but unbounded.

I call foul!

Bloody scientists, always want their cake and to eat it. Just like that cat murderer Schrodinger. They reckon all that fancy maths gets them off the hook, but it doesn't. Here's Ledswinger's hypothesis, following established models of philosophical logic:

Anything either "fucking is" or "fucking isn't" (or maybe transiently fucking in-between, whilst not being both at the same time).

Now, who'll second my application to join the Royal Astronomical Society?

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FAKE BREWS: America rocked by 'craft beer' scandal allegations

Ledswinger
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Re: REally

On that note I'm going to get some Deuchers IPA tonight, it's not 'craft' but tastes good and Aldi sells it cheap.

On a related shopping note, try Aldi's Rheinbacher Pilsener in cans. This predictably gets a firm thumbs down from the beer snobs, personally I reckon it's amongst the best pilsener style beers I've tasted out of a tin. Yeah, yeah, glass is better than cans, its not a real pilsener, probably made in Burton. But for a casual snifter with a convincing clean taste well worth sticking a few tins in the fridge.

Aldi's canned Taurus cider on the other hand is amongst the worst, most awful parodies of cider ever retailed, it's worth buying only for those who want to teleport back to student days in the 1980s (the pint bottles of Orchard cider are marginally better, but nothing you'd write home about). Fortunately Aldi are doing some decent 750 ml bottles of "specially selected" cider made by Westons, that's most palatable, if a little smooth for those of us who know that real cider contains real beetles.

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Ledswinger
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Re: "India Pale Ale went *to* India"

You call yourself Homer, but I rather doubt that you've written any epic Greek poetry lately.

Excellent! That was called for....

Perhaps you have more in common with the yellow Duff beer drinking variety.

That was not.

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Ledswinger
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you don't want to upset the shoreditch hipsters

Errrr.....why ever not? That's what hipsters exist for.

And anybody who hasn't yet seen it should seek out The Ladybird Book of the Hipster. Anybody who KNOWS a hipster is under a moral obligation to buy them the book, too.

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US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

Ledswinger
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Re: But

Did the Senator not learn about logic, proofs, and the impossibility thereof in some cases?

You've not come across the US education system, then? And this man was such an Einstein that before politics he was in the US Navy Supply Corps.

Jim Banks:

He Knows No Fear

He Knows No Danger

He Knows Nothing

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Cheer up, pal: UK mobe networks are now 8% less crap, tests show

Ledswinger
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First law of thermodynamics also applies to telecomms

I have a hypothesis that there's a fixed amount of reliability and speed to go round. So if your service gets better, somebody else's gets worse. This isn't anything technological or backhaul related, it is just some cosmological constant, with the reliability doled out from a fixed pot by Nepalese monks on a remote mountainside.

And due to convergence, the reported 8% improvement in mobile reliability has been offset by a 30% worsening in reliability inflicted solely on Virginmedia's cable customers.

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Apple nabs smartphone top spot from Samsung, but for how long?

Ledswinger
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Re: "I care about what I get for my money."

My ideal manufacturer of almost anything is making a reasonable profit, and rewards its workforce adequately

Go on then, tell us who this is.

No conflict minerals, no child labour, no sweatshops & dormitories, no abusive trading raps, full trade union recognition, obviously a zero carbon footprint, and a fair return to investors. Seems to me the list will be very short. And shorter still when you include the criteria "competitive on the high street".

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Rasputin whips out large intimidating tool, penetrates uni, city, govt databases – new claim

Ledswinger
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"This well-established but easy-to-remediate problem continues to vex....

...the lazy, fuckwitted, and incompetent. Like TalkTalk.

Field validation is soooooooo basic, so fundamental, it should be a crime to not do this properly. I was designing and coding systems that did this back in 1987, three decades ago, it wasn't rocket science then.

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UK credit broker fined £120k for spamming folk with five million texts

Ledswinger
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so its high enough to hurt, but low enough that the lowlives won't immediately go into receivership?

Nope. Buying an off the shelf company is cheap enough circa £50, and that's the marginal cost for the bottom feeders. The forces of government could follow up "wilful insolvencies" through the Insolvency Service and the courts, and bring them to book, get them struck off as directors, but its slow and ineffective.

The only real recourse is to prevent directors and shareholders hiding behind limited liability in this way. Government could have closed this loophole years ago, but they're too sluggish and idle. Limited liability is a hugely important concept, and should be protected and encouraged, but at the moment government simply let the status be abused.

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Hold the phone! Crap customer service cost telcos £2.9 BEEEELLION in 2016

Ledswinger
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they'd have the regulator to answer to...and we all know how fearful a prospect that could be :-/

Yes, but in this case ICO are backstopped by the very aggressive Ofgem, who rejoice in doling out multi-million quid fines. Energy companies need a licence to operate, and the licence has a specific condition requiring companies to treat customers fairly. Last year Scottish Power were fined £18m for failures under a range of licence conditions, and npower copped a £26m spanking. I'm very surprised npower had the competence to provide a response to your demand, I'm not at all surprised that they would want to.

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King's College London bods recruit members for penis ring study

Ledswinger
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Re: I hope the rings are large enough

There were nine callouts involving "men with rings stuck on their penises"

So that's nine rings for mortal men, right? Certainly seems that in the darkness they got well and truly bound.

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GRAPHENE: £120m down, UK.gov finds it's still a long way from commercial potential

Ledswinger
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Re: "but no one seems quite sure where such a sizeable amount is being spent."

So yes it would seem that much has been spent on 'pencils' by architects et al.

This is the curse of government funding: When government commit money, they want it spent. They have no concept of getting value from it, or spending wisely. Look at Hinkley Point C, HS2, foreign aid. The point of spending public money is purely the act of spending, and being seen to do so.

If we posit that a fully funded academic (plus facilities, materials, support functions) costs £100k per year, then £120m would have paid for 1,200 man years of full time research if they'd used existing facilities. By p****ing the money up the wall on shiney new buildings, the amount actually spent on research is what might we guess, 1/8th of that?

But graphene isn't being treated any differently to other areas. Look at the "investment" in the new Francis Crick building. £700m sprayed up the wall on a fancy building in one of the most expensive property locations on Planet Earth, where most academic and research staff won't be able to afford to live locally. Imagine what £700m would have done if that had been spent on real science and real scientists, rather than real bricks and real navvies.

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Russia and China bombard Blighty with 188 cyberattacks in 3 months

Ledswinger
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Re: Fuller disclosure

Unless there is a war what good does it do to know the Russian or Chinese military's secrets?

By the time there's a war on it is a bit late to think "Ooh, we'd better hack their military secrets". As a general rule, a successful cyber-espionage campaign takes a lot of scoping, planning, and execution (plus design, coding and testing if you need new spyware able to infiltrate nation state defences).

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Kids these days will never understand the value of money

Ledswinger
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Re: Help the aged

When did the Reg become a site full of old timers who don't get new technology and reminisce about paper?

Since forever?

Is there a site out there where the audience is a bit younger and accepting of new things and new technologies?

Methinks you'll be wanting Wired. "Where tomorrow is realized", apparently.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Is there any great change from our point of view?

If you cant learn to control your impulse spending when you get a list every month of what went where you are beyond help.

Well, the evidence of maxed out credit card debt in both UK and US, where each month people get a list of what they've spent with whom, and still accrue debts they can't repay would suggest that a very large number of people are beyond help.

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Ford fills up ex-Google, Uber engineers' tank: $1bn pours into Argo AI

Ledswinger
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I can see the day when "Self Driving Cars" are common place around towns and on motorways

To judge by the inattention of human truck drivers to events going on around them, self driving trucks are already almost universal in the UK.

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Crack in black: Matte iPhones losing paint at alarming rate, gripe fans

Ledswinger
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Re: How many of you do this sort of weekly maintenance??

anyone who cares about their device

<Ring, ring> Sounds like reality calling - that'll be for you:

It's a mass produced phone, mate, not a cuddly toy or a pet.

If you want to fondle your electronics, then there's no law against that (well, certain religions get hot and bothered about all manner of trivia, I'm assuming you're not in those places), but even so, if I was going to cuddle an electrical device, it's be something genuinely covetable, like Quad electrostatics, or something similarly classy. And even then, I'm thinking that maybe the religions are right - cuddling any digital device....welll, it's just wrong.

15
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Samsung's Chromebook Pro: Overpriced vanilla PC with a stylus. 'Wow'

Ledswinger
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Reviews with a real sense of humour:

"and I suspect it's going to be a real selling point once Google finishes the software "

Bwahahahahahaahahahaaaaa! In this reality, or a different one?

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All of Blighty's attack submarines are out of action – report

Ledswinger
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The reality is we are much reduced in stature, being unable to maintain or afford the type of defence force we once were used to

Actually, we have the third largest defence budget in the world, and spend more than enough for a very well equipped and scary military. Unfortunately MoD and HMT ensure that it is mostly squandered.

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