* Posts by MonkeyCee

840 posts • joined 16 Apr 2013

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Ooops! One in three tech IPOs now trading below their starting price

MonkeyCee
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Re: Why?

"Is whoring your users from advertiser to advertiser really that profitable?"

Short answer, yes.

Bear in mind that various traditional media, with far more real-world costs (newsprint, radio, TV) can make good money purely on selling adverts. Hence why "free" papers continue to be profitable.

Facebook is a media company where other people generate the content. Much like Google and the various other social media platforms. It's just much much MUCH more personally targeted, both data gathering and in advertising.

The part that bothers me most is less the shilling of goods and services, it's the influence and manipulation that FB et al are being paid directly to do. Political advertising is obviously not illegal, but is influential when you can target specific demographics with just the right sort of article/ad.

FB and the Tories have kept a bit of a lid on it, but the 2015 election win is widely held to have been due to micro targeted advertising campaigns through FB aimed at swing voters in tight races. There's some suggestion that the negative campaigning worked even better, persuading Labour voters to switch to SDP/Greens/UKIP in races the cons couldn't win.

Considering how effective gerrymandering has been in the UK and USA for breaking representative democracy, and the resistance to any form of change to the systems, this will just allow an even more effective form of forging consent and ensuring people vote the right way, even if for the wrong reasons.

No idea how to deal with it either. Obviously banning political advertising is Not Cool, since that can pretty much be used to cudgel any dissident opinion, and requiring warnings like "this utterly baseless piece of propaganda was brought to you by $Party" is going to be dodged pretty quickly, since there are plenty of think-tanks etc that can be used to front someone else's agenda.

So since FB can probably now sell you the ability to win an election, I'm pretty sure they've got their money+power printing machine running quite nicely thanks.

I'm sure there's a modern equivalent to "Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel", it'll be interesting to see what happens if some party pisses off Zuck enough for him to break them.

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CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme

MonkeyCee
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Re: Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme

My issue with the Leave voters is very little to do with what each of them individually decided on as their reason(s) for voting that way, but that that many of their views where mutually contradictory.

Most will repeat things that are demonstrably false. When these falsehoods are explained, they are dismissed as the conclusion is clearly "correct" and doesn't need no steenkin' evidence. The persistence of BJ's assorted euro myths managing to show the EU as being some evil empire, rather than the UK being somewhat incompetent (eg prawn cocktail flavorings)

" It's incredibly bigoted, almost fascist perspective that only serves to divide our society "

Perhaps you missed the lessons on what fascism is. It's about might = right, that force is the only true measure. You'll notice that it was a right wing, Britain first, Leave voting chap who decided to gun down a democratically elected representative because he disagreed with her.

If you're voting for the same cause as the actual fascists, then I'd take a good hard look at yourself.

PS Remainers are about as racist as the Leavers, just in an "exploit them" rather than "shoot 'em all" kind of way

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MonkeyCee
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Re: @Doctor Syntax: It will be horrific

"apparently the locals are basically to f'ing lazy and work shy to actually get up each morning and pull veggies out of the ground."

That's one way of putting it.

My experience is that unskilled agricultural laborers are treated like stock. You get driven to the field in a cattle wagon, you have to work fast and accurately whilst freezing your tits off, and you get called a lazy PoS if you suggest that maybe they should follow even the most basic of safety rules or have work breaks more than once every four hours.

Much the same as hospitality manages to flaunt labor and H+S rules, and if you disagree you get shown the door, there is a cultural acceptance of a way of working that most people find a tad dickensian. I've also found that if there is even a whiff of a union or basic knowledge of labor rights it is a very good way to get your hours cut to zero.

In defence of farmers, since I've got plenty of friends and family who are, they have one of the hardest jobs out there, and they expect much the same of their staff.

Oh, and whatever happens wrt brexit, seasonal EU labor is hear to stay. The laborers just don't get to. Stay that is. Just make sure they are shipped in and out each year, and May can say they aren't immigrants.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: It will be horrific

" "you're going to have to dig your own potatoes."

There'll be enough unemployed natives looking for seasonal work."

If there where such natives, then there wouldn't be the need for migrant labor in the first place.

It's incredibly naive to think that by blocking one source of cheap labor migrants, that somehow the local labor force will suddenly decide to pick up the slack, rather than there will be migrants from other countries instead.

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AI shoves all in: DeepStack, Libratus poker bots battle Texas Hold 'em pros heads up

MonkeyCee
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Re: The use of games to train and test AI is prolific

Good poker players can still read you through a screen. Most of the actual play is interpreting what bids the other player(s) are making, and thus what they are claiming to have.

So you can make pretty good play by making a bot "tight and aggressive" with fairly simple mathematics. You can teach someone who knows a bit about probabilities, and paying attention to how quickly a player makes a decision can also give quite a lot away. So less "Ted rubs his ear" but more "Ted tokk less than a second to decide, Ted is probably not bluffing".

Teaching a decent Magic player how to beat fish takes a few hours. Anyone who can handle high school stats should be able to after maybe 6-8 hours practice. It's much less about what odds does hand x have, and much more about how much of the pot is your money, and thus what your expected profit is if you call/raise.

You can memorise the 20-25 hold'em hands that you should play, and fold the rest. That alone will allow you to beat most face-to-face players.

As always with AI research, it's only really useful if it's a general rather than specific AI. Which is the point why Deepmind is actual AI, wheras Deep Blue was a specific problem solver.

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Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

MonkeyCee
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Re: Not only in America

"In fact, the precedent base at present is - if there is the smallest suspicion that you have done it deliberately setting up "burglar punishment facilities", then you are at fault."

IANAL but my understanding is that the crime being committed (by the homeowner) is something like "setting man traps". In NZ at least it's still used, dating from people setting traps for poachers. This is generally a bad idea, since while scrotes are scum, you can't go around killing and maiming them. As much as that sounds nice, vigilante justice, especially blind (no check on who falls in the pit or triggers trap) is strongly discouraged.

Only know this since some charming vegan save-the-planet types poisoned the milk at a previous workplace, and that was what they got charged with, as no-one was actually harmed.

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Barcodes stamped on breast implants and medical equipment

MonkeyCee
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Re: But how to know if someone has an implant?

My implants have a serial number that I have several printed copies off, also recorded in a database. No writing required. Also comes with barcode and QR code, something humans are also poor at reproducing ;)

Not sure how useful the bar code being on the things would be, it's also a bitch to engrave titanium.

Pro tip, don't get kicked in the face. Even the best replacement teeth are worse and waaay more hassle than the originals.

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How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

MonkeyCee
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Vader

It had proper bad guys. Who are scheming against each other, which adds to their depth.

Had decent action sequences, and (IMHO) a proper character arc for the protagonists. If you attempt a suicidal mission against all odds than success still involves you all dying in the process. Which the protagonists accept, don't spend their time whining about, so their deaths have some gravitas. Rather than some redshirt or Sean Bean dying at the end of act 1 and everyone else lives happily ever after. Duty heavy as iron and all that.

Still has the usual issues with the fairy tale of the US. Plucky (American) rebels against evil (British) empire, evil empire is super evil for no point other than to justify chaos caused by rebels. Wheras for most non-USians the empire is pretty clearly the US, with it's super CV being taken out by the equivalent of a zodiac with a limpet mine, and plenty of oppressing brown people in sandy countries.

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Landmark EU ruling: Legality of UK's Investigatory Powers Act challenged

MonkeyCee
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Indeed

GCHQ may well do what they like, but they have been shown to have been breaking the (very small) amount of legal restrictions that where placed on them, and deliberately hiding the evidence from the court that is supposed to have oversight of them.

So passing the law to retroactively make ~15 years of illegal surveillance legal, and the retention of data also legal was pretty much the goal. It's why the same legislation has been making the rounds for a decade or so now.

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Non-existent sex robots already burning holes in men’s pockets

MonkeyCee
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Sex surveys

Slightly off topic, but sex surveys are one of the handy tools to show just how inaccurate surveys are, especially when dealing with anything that is not the norm to be publicly discussed.

Durex does surveys into people's sex lives, as part of their market research for selling condoms. For straight people, apparently men have on average 3-5 times the number of partners (over a lifetime) than women, based on survey answers*. Since proving that the average number of partners for both genders** in this section of the population is equal is trivial, it's clear that some combination of the following factors:

- people lie about their number of partners

- people have different definitions of "sex", such as counting (or not) oral-only partners

- men with low numbers and women with high numbers do not answer the survey

It's also one of the more fun examples to give in class when showing that self selecting surveys will almost always miss data. CPI basket of goods selection is far more important (wealthy people do not answer it) but less interesting to show that you can clearly see incorrect results.

* exact rate depends on country, NZ being the only place where the ratio is roughly 1:1.

** This is for straight people who've only had partners of the opposite gender

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Trump's 140 characters on F-35 wipes $2bn off Lockheed Martin

MonkeyCee
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Re: The new President

"What a way to run a country."

To be fair we haven't seen how Pence will run the country yet.

Trump is going to be spending all his time being presidential, he doesn't rely have time for policy, domestic or foreign.

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Make Christmas Great Again: $149 24-karat gold* Trump tree ornament

MonkeyCee
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Re: Drumpf was the grandfathers name

Neither Trump nor Farage are anti-immigrant. Both their politics and personal life clearly show that.

They are against the "wrong sort" of immigrant. White ladies with careers who like wealthy douche bags are perfectly acceptable, even if they flout working visas.

Since they are usually clueless about what sort of person migrates, what age/gender they are, and their average economic contribution, because all their "good immigrants" tend to fall into the category of "immigrants".

Both Farage and Trump are quite keenly aware that the support they get for immigration stems from some mix of rascism/fear (yeah, yeah, you're not racists, just on their side) and mainly from changes to jobs. But they can't promise to return jobs, since that would require workers to be more productive than the Germans or cheaper than the Chinese.

The democrats are not any better. They don't have any real answers to the jobs question other than than education, and tend to just ignore the states and districts where the industry is gone and isn't coming back.

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Stay out of my server room!

MonkeyCee
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Re: storage of IT equipment.

"Once, an old old OLD freezer. Locked. Rusty. most definitely was NOT empty."

My bad. No carpet in the van that day.

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Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

MonkeyCee
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Re: I can understand

Big fan of the x220. Last "proper" laptop keyboard, 5 rows, non-chiclet keys.

Pretty easy to service and repair yourself (including screen fixes).

Once you've maxxed the RAM (it can do 16, but 8 will do most people), decent drive(s) and a spare battery, you'll still be cheaper than a new machine.

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Antivirus tools are a useless box-ticking exercise says Google security chap

MonkeyCee
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All the same

"Ah, a New Zealander. Met any attractive sheep lately?"

Wouldn't know, it's all cows there now.

Given the relative rates of bestiality in the population (OZ >> NZ) and convictions* for said nastiness (NZ > OZ), I'd be a bit careful about those insults.

Then again, it's those accusing others who are always a bit more suspect.

* the trend is to use animal welfare laws rather than bestiality laws, since it gets a lot less press that way.

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CERN boffins see strange ... oh, wait, that's just New Zealand moving 2m north

MonkeyCee
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Re: More a storm than a quake

As mentioned in other comments, depth+intensity is far more relevant than intensity alone. NZ has masses of small quakes, I wouldn't bother getting out of bed for anything under 30 seconds duration.

The quakes that done for Christchurch where shallow, hence the much wrecking, quite close together (long enough to repair and have it wrecked again) and with liquefaction being the major destructive force.

Even then, Christchurch wasn't totally fucked. That took government spending ~4 years deciding on what parts of the city to save (so your property could be fine, but be in a red zone, so no road or utility repairs), using 10+ year old property valuations for insurance, and getting in some of the dodgiest salvage companies out there to do the cleanup.

A story I've heard repeated in several differing formats goes roughly like this. Everything in a salvaged building belongs to the salvage company, apart from intact safes. If there is a row of buildings, with one quake damaged building at the end, then the business owners are not allowed back in the other buildings until the damaged one is demolished. In the process of demolishing the damaged building, the neighboring one becomes "unstable". Repeat down the row. Note that the salvage companies would then strip the remaining stuff in the buildings *prior* to demolition. Known at least three companies and a dozen individuals that lost much of their professional equipment, only to see it for available for auction a month or so later. Mainly engineering type kit, specialist tools, prototypes etc.

Also, if you drop a safe ~10 times from a couple of stories it usually is no longer intact.

So after being (legally) stolen from, being offered 60% of your properties value (if you had insurance), and then watching the various government bodies fuck things up, much of Christchurch's talent went to the 'naki or to Oz.

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Brexflation: Lenovo, HPE and Walkers crisps all set for double-digit hike

MonkeyCee
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Re: Brexploitation

"As for Farage, not sure he cares. "

His salary is in euros. So is his (German) wife's.

So he's in clover.

Probably sharing a pint with Cameron, having a laugh over leading the country into a fractured state then fucking off.

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Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

MonkeyCee
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Re: The majority of people who voted, voted to leave...

"Getting lawyered up is always the final pathetic position of the desperate."

That's what the government is doing, in order to avoid an Act of Parliament. That's why they will appeal it. It's Ms May standard playbook, why follow the law when you can just rule by popular diktat.

Once A50 has been triggered, by a majority vote in parliament, then we're leaving the EU. Until then, it's *just* a politically divisive topic that gets a MP gunned down in the street, by the "we're not racialist" side.

"If you didn't vote, then your fault."

The amount of hoops I had to jump through to get my vote (been outside UK for 14 years, back for 2) was quite a lot. If I hadn't come back to the UK for a bit I'd have not gotten any vote on keeping my EU citizenship.

"The fact that the majority didn't vote the way you wanted"

That's not what majority means. No group (leave, remain, abstain) got a majority. Since the plebiscite was not required to be acted upon (despite much foaming at the mouth) it didn't have a proper majority requirement, which would have explicitly cast the abstain voters into one of the camps (typically the one for maintaining the status quo).

While I voted remain, and live in the EU, I can perfectly well accept that the UK will leave the union. Means I have to get a third nationality and (hopefully, depends on how UK citizenship works post EU) keep my current citizenship. It's a bit of a pain in the arse, but my life isn't going to be badly affected.

Still think it's a terrible idea for the UK. The government and Parliament are going to be spending years sorting this out (including big fights over who controls what) instead of addressing issues of actual import.

So there's a nice distracting, divisive "issue" that the public can be relied on to focus blindly on (see also abortion, gun rights etc) while the elites can get on running the country without any awkward public interaction. Just wait until something dodgy comes up, guarantee that it'll get buried in brexit news.

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Alleged 2010 flash crash trader loses latest appeal against extradition to US

MonkeyCee
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Re: Using software to defeat trading algorithms

It's exactly that. It's also something that you can see happen ~20 times a day in various markets. A mini crash every week or so. Prices being "forced" just before certain benchmarks are taken.

He got charged about 5 days before the statute of limitations kicked in. To ensure no-one else could get charged for the same crime.

His real crime is not having nearly enough lawyers and politicians on his payroll.

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Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

MonkeyCee
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Re: What's the advantage to the consumer?

" If you want something that gives you your 900-1200lm in little used circulation space,"

Not sure which CFLs you're using, as there does seem to be a bit of variance around. The first few generations where certainly iffy with certain applications. But for the ones I've got (Callex branded, made in China) they chuck out ~850 lumen on start, getting to 1100 after about 5 seconds, which should do the job even if you are only switching it on for a few seconds.

But the main point is that you'd be mad to change a bulb that works well for current purpose, and should last until it gets physically broken in that use case. 50 years maybe before it wears out from use :)

I've got various fitting that probably have filaments in them. Too little used, and too much hassle to open them when they aren't actually broken.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: What's the advantage to the consumer?

Ah, actual repayment times. Great fun :)

It's like the weird attitudes people have towards lightbulbs. I want a 900-1200 lumen bulb in a e27 fitting, with 10-20k hour lifespan. My options are a filament bulb (100 watts, 1 euro), CFL (23 watts, 2 euro) LED 900 lumen (12 watt, 12 euro) and LED 1200 lumen (17 watt, 20 euro). The CFL are head and shoulders above the others, but get pretty much all the hate. The LEDs will pay back their additional costs at roughly a euro per thousand hours(20 cents per kwh) , so for normal use after about 6 years. Which is around the lifetime of the bulb.

Or for solar PV*. The companies will INSIST you calcualte the ROI assuming you use all the power you generate, and you cost that power at full retail. Despite the fact that isn't ever going to happen, and some 30-60% will go to the grid at some fraction of the retail price, which roughly halves the value of the generated power. Thus most go from a 5-6 year repayment to 10 year repayment, which means the frequency and cost of replacing the inverter becomes a fairly major factor.

This is not to say you shouldn't do these things, but that the ROI is vastly overstated, and often involves sinking a large chunk of cash up front. Same as running old appliances until they die, even going from a C to an A+ energy rating will only save you tens of pounds each year.

Oh, and your 300W mystery nightime draw? That's the weed plantation next door ;) 250W for the lights, 50 for the fans and pumps.

* Depending on FIT, subsidies and tax credits, PV can totally be worth it. But that's political :)

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Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog

MonkeyCee
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A-10 is awesome :)

It's a great example of a single purpose air frame (ground attack) that through various political and practical pressures is one of the best in the world.

It's also a great example of airpower that the USAF/RAF haaaate to bits. Almost as much hate for the A-10 as for drones.

While it's probably the best ground attack craft, it's one of the worst things to be in if the other side have fighters or even rotary wing craft. Combined with it's usual mission of being slow and low, most airforce type pilots would rather run a mile rather than fly it. It's why a bunch of the USAF ones are designated as spotters, without any change to loadout.

It's also a very cheap plane to run, and is incredibly popular with ground troops.

Hence most of the discussions have been the USAF saying they want to get rid of them, the army, navy and marines lining up to say they'll be happy to have them, and their budget, followed by the USAF loudly protesting that it needs ALL the money for shinies, because USAF.

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British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

MonkeyCee
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Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

"I want to do a part time degree in AI and despite being by UK standards fairly well paid and working in tech as a software engineer - I can't afford to "

Study in Europe then. I'm doing Data Science at Maastricht, and their AI Masters program is very nice. Taught in English, fees are 2k euro a year.

Massive demand for interns from the course (roughly two internships offered per student) and if you've already shown to be able to work at a professional level you;ll get a wide range to pick from.

Get in now, and you can probably finish before the Brexit negotiations finish :)

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UK will build new nuclear bomb subs, says Defence Secretary

MonkeyCee
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putin vs trump

C'mon, you can't contrast those two, other than no-one really knows how much money either of them have :)

Trump will talk a lot about how much he'd win the fight, because of his winning mentality. Putin wins a fight, then a few months later goes on TV and announces that there may have a been a small altercation.

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BOFH: There are no wrong answers, just wrong questions. Mmm, really wrong ones

MonkeyCee
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Re: 2B) or not.

Them: "good news; you're not an axe murderer".

Me: "Don't be silly. Axes are dirty. Fire is pure. Only fire will cleanse the filth from this world. Definitely no axes."

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Apple wants to buy Formula 1 car firm McLaren – report

MonkeyCee
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Thank you EC

I'm glad that the EC is kicking Apple about it's tax arrangements. At least if they spend some of their sack of cash on doing something new it'll be better for all of us than it sitting offshore.

McLaren is an excellent high tech engineering company. Even without doing anything about cars, they should be able to improve Apple's manufacturing operations.

My tin-foil hat thoughts was that faced with the US and EU getting together and probably forcing Apple's hand on paying tax, Apple has a plan that involves setting up some suitably state-funded (and loved) industry and use that as a negotiating stick for a better tax deal. Buy a car company, start the negotiations about where you'll site your factory, in exchange for the usual backhanders.

Guess we're lucky Apple's not buying into the F35 project ;)

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TRUMP: ICANN'T EVEN! America won't hand over internet control to Russia on my watch

MonkeyCee
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Re: I honestly don't know who'd be worse

"You mean even MORE than Obama has managed?

Actually, most people I speak to have seen Obama as a reasonable President. "

There are Trump advocates who sincerely believe (with much truthiness) that Afghanistan is Obama's war. As in, he declared war and invaded them, so this mess is his fault.

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Hackers hijack Tesla Model S from afar, while the cars are moving

MonkeyCee
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Your Corolla doesn't catch fire after a 100mph impact? Damn....

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Paint your wagon (with electric circuits) but leave my crotch alone

MonkeyCee
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Oh gods...

Plumbing is just a mind bender for me....

In the Netherlands, getting the builders and the plumbers to talk to each other, except to agree it's neither of their faults, is the biggest pisser. I've ended up doing a bunch of the building type stuff myself otherwise we go for weeks without a shower.

Current bullshit is the shower cabinet no longer leaks on the sides, or where the panels meet, but the drain trap seems to overflow. I say seems, because actually catching the bugger in action doesn't work, and seems to either dump 1-2 liters or 10+, without any clear reason why.

I'm at the rip it out and put in a bathtub stage.

I'm lucky tho. One of our neighborhood buddies had their next door "indoor growing arrangement" spring a leak, which saturated two storeys worth of wall and a ceiling with a green tinge.

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Watch SpaceX's rocket dramatically detonate, destroying a $200m Facebook satellite

MonkeyCee
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Re: Wet beach sand

Ah, all these delightful comments about the more energetic chemicals reminds me of Max Gergel’s memoir “Excuse Me Sir, Would You Like to Buy a Kilo of Isopropyl Bromide?”

Both very entertaining and extremely terrifying at the same time. Much like rocket fuels :)

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L0phtCrack's back! Crack hack app whacks Windows 10 trash hashes

MonkeyCee
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Re: Nope

Another trick for a stand alone windows 7 box is booting off a live linux USB, and do the following:

- pick an input utility to bugger with. In this case, the on screen keyboard

- rename that utility (osk.exe to osk.old)

- rename cmd.exe to osk.exe

- reboot into windows

Now you can call the osk from the login screen, which will in fact run cmd.exe with full admin rights.

Then resetting the password is a simple command: net user *username* *newpassword*

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Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all

MonkeyCee
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Re: See the needfor US tax reform

But the reason the EU is sticking t's beak in is that the US also allows corporations to defer paying taxes until..... well, until they feel like it.

Since there have been previous tax holidays, allowing corps to pay their deferred taxes at a lower rate, then "proper tax planning" means the corps will hold of paying tax until they can get the maximum discount.

The EU feels that this is bollocks, and that taxes should be paid relatively promptly, based on where the profits are booked. They have called out the US Treasury department on this issue, and as rightly observed, any tax paid outside of the US will count as a tax credit for the US profits.

It's also cheaper to pay lawyers to string this out, while sitting on a big arse pile of cash. Hell, the interest alone is probably covering lawyer fees and associated bribes.

I'm not quite sure how various Irish/Dutch/Luxembourg tax laws have survived so long, since they are clearly being used to avoid taxes. It's all well and good that double taxation is avoided, but it's (relatively) simple to claim that back, but if your laws designed to avoid double tax result in no tax, then it's clearly taking the piss.

Combined with some spectacularly lax oversight of the arrangement by the Irish, such as having billions be transferred to a company that isn't actually based in *any* country, it's been clear for 20+ years that Ireland has been bending over backwards to accommodate this arrangement. No idea why either, since it's not like Ireland makes very much on this arrangement.

As for playing bullshit with tax for personal reasons, my understanding is that with a trust* or two in play, and making loans that are never paid back, it's possible for Jo Public to pretty much avoid taxes too.

I think the only way actual tax reform would occur is if the majority of taxpayers (ie people with incomes from selling their labor) starting doing the same tricks as the major wealth holders. Once every man and his dog has a personal and family trust set up, and an offshore stash pot, then the abuses by the big players might get addressed. More likely is that the rules on wages/salary will be re-interpreted, and some new form of trust will be created, to ensure that nasty things like NI, income tax and death duties are paid by the plebs, not the "proper" types who run this joint.

* trusts usually pay some tax, AFAIK 10% every 10 years, or a bit less than 1% pa.

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New booze guidelines: We'd rather you didn't enjoy yourselves

MonkeyCee
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Don't worry brave brexiters! Those puritan killjoys, the ones who interpret every EU directive to best fuck with the British public, they will still be with you. Since it's Whitehall fucking you, just using their (often batshit) interpretations of EU law, you can rest assured that silliness will ensue.

Most europeans drink. The anglos drunk. It's all about getting smashed, not about the journey.

Back to gardening with my bucket of adequate refreshments :D

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Microsoft: You liked Windows 10 so much, you'll get 2 more in 2017

MonkeyCee
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Hackintosh

Eh, they work OK. Colour is usually a bit off, and wifi can be iffy.

Getting a hackintosh to work is about as hard as getting linux to work in the early 2000s. Usually pretty fine, and you get 95% of the stuff working OK. Still got a bootable OSX for this box that I haven't used in.... 3 years I think?

It's quite a lot easier (and far less fussy about hardware) to install some flavor of linux and make it look Mac like.

Most of the time the extra hardware cost is easy to recoup in either less support costs, or being able to get decent money in a couple of years time selling on old kit.

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California to put all your power-hungry PCs on a low carb(on) diet

MonkeyCee
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PSU quality

Now I'm a little obsessive about PSUs, since they tend to be something (along with high end GPUs) that it's worth spending the extra bit of cash on upfront to get a more reliable experience later.

Hence I've often forked over (personally and professionally) for PC Power and cooling kit, and always been very happy with it. Very few failures, and the one that did they fell over themselves to replace and get back the bung unit.

Trying to justify the extra cost on the basis of power savings is *nearly* impossible. Even running 24/7 machines the difference between silver and platinum rated PSUs are minimal compared to initial costs. The difference in cost between a "minimal" sub-bronze PSU and the cheapest silver should justify cost recovery during the life of the machine, but increases the PSU cost by 20% or so.

However, the cost of downtime while buggering about replacing a dead PSU, or finding that the PSU spec is wildly optimistic about how much it can actually supply simultaneously on the 12 volt rail, is what the big time saver is.

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Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

MonkeyCee
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Re: Treason

Next you'll be suggesting that the gwb43.com email scandal is anything like the Clinton one.

But it's very clear in tribal politics, whatever the other guys do is terrible and should involve jail, flogging and hanging, but our lot are pure as the driven snow. Because ideals, ends justify means, them lot want to destroy our country etc etc.

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Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors

MonkeyCee
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Re: Methods that are more credible than a polygraph

"As a side note, I've always wondered why the "psychic" didn't call you."

They already know what you're going to say

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MonkeyCee
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Confessions

"I wonder what will happen the first time someone gets banged up for violated the terms of their release based solely on the polygraph and it is later proved that the polygraph was incorrect."

It will never happen. It's certainly not whats happened here.

The suspect confessed to a violation of parole. That's what the evidence is. If they want to retract the confession, they will probably have to show some reason for it. If this is "I was being whacked over the head with the yellow pages" then the confession will (hopefully) be thrown out. If it's from something that is considered an acceptable interrogation technique, then it's acceptable.

So if you have two suspects in custody, it is usually acceptable to say things like "your mate is busy telling us everything and is going to get a sweet deal" or "you totally done it, we know you done it, confess now and we'll go easier on you" or "if you don't 'fess up, we're going to arrest your mum/nan/child since one of you lot done it". Saying "I know you're lying, I have magic powers/technology" is probably fine too.

As an aside, it's often pretty easy for me to tell if someone is being deceptive. When your safety depends on reading people's intentions it's instinctive, and I'd imagine most LEOs have something similar. Determining exactly what that deception is covering up is a whole other ball game.

I would also suggest that if you're talking to the cops and are guilty you should probably get a lawyer. If you are innocent then you REALLY should get a lawyer before answering. Or decline to assist until they arrest you.

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Florida Man cleared of money laundering after selling Bitcoins to Agent Ponzi

MonkeyCee
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sting versus entrapment

IANAL, but I believe entrapment requires three criteria have to have been met:

1. The idea for the crime must have originated from the government agents and not from the accused person.

2. Government agents persuaded the person into committing the crime, as opposed to just giving him or her the opportunity to do so.

3. The person was not ready or willing to commit the crime before speaking to the government agents.

Since selling bitcoin is not in itself a crime, and the chap never actually committed any other crime it's pretty tricky to prove anything.

It's also why you shouldn't buy drugs etc as a "favor" to a friend.

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The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

MonkeyCee
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Trump doesn't have policy stances. His statements are often contradict each other, and he will promise things that either are not possible, or require the rewriting of the constitution or are so light on details that it's so much meaningless hot air. It's a blank slate allowing people to project what they want onto it, and he'll say whatever will score some laughs. He's a demagogue, so will say what the mob wants to hear.

Trump is also (from all accounts) not actually planning on doing any of that boring presidential stuff, aiming to hive off foreign and domestic policy onto his veep, while he goes around being presidential "making America great again".

It's also the big pony show (presidential race) that gets liberals all fired up (because hollywood tells us the president is magic), while the actual business of government that affects your lives is about congress and state senates. The GOP plan seems to be much more focus on those races, especially at state level, to push their desired laws through and segregate the country (all the gays to blue states etc). It's why mid terms are important, but get ignored by those lazy lefties :)

Clinton does seem to be the more "conservative" candidate from my perspective, in that she's pretty keen on maintaining much of the status quo. I have *no* idea what Trump would actually do as president, since he doesn't really seem to have a party backing him, and he's all over the place on his "hot button" issues. But whoever gets elected, their ability to work with congress is going to matter more than anything they are spouting now.

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Uber's dud private dick given a hard time by judge in stiff surge case

MonkeyCee
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Just curious

About that whole "off the record" thing.

Now, I'm not a journalist, and I'm always reluctant to let them into my life based off previous experiences* (all writers steal, at least authors of fiction bother to disguise you a bit), but as I understood it *nothing* is ever off the record. You can ask to not be specifically named (which is what it usually means) but it will still get attributed, since making up quotes/facts is A Bad Thing, leading to a career in politics a la BoJo.

So if the Buzzfeed chap realised this, the difference would have been instead of Emil Michael as the source of the quote, a "person in a position of leadership at Uber" would have been the source.

If you say something *to* a journalist, or in public, I thought it's fair game.

Be good to know from an actual journo what the deal is.

* journalists are often not too bad, but will record everything you say, then their editor will pick all the bits that conform to the juiciest story, without regard for any promises made.

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Nintendo to investors: Pokémon Go won't make money come

MonkeyCee
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Re: This clearly goes to show you...

You need to read better economics :D although you are correct about how insanely orthodox econ departments are. I studied econometrics, so we where the "geeks who want to be quants". Studied how the models are built, by people who help write them, and most of those are pretty wise to the ways of the world, and of the behaviors of groups of people.

In general, micro economics is very good, and usually quite scientific. If you have a very specific situation, you can model it quite accurately. And a model for a similar situation can be used as a basis for a model of a similar situation. There's also plenty of experiments that show that people are *not* rational when it comes to negotiating over money.

If you read the papers, there are often more caveats and assumptions than actual arguments. But it often ends up with a rule/model for every situation, all of which lose some amount of detail. So I'm always very careful about aggregated data, GDP and inflation by basket-of-goods can be manipulated to hide what is happening in various segments of the population.

How economics is used politically is roughly half the things that are conventionally "agreed" on will ever be implemented, and only if it benefits the groups currently gaining the most from the current system. So you either can use models to benefit real world stuff (operations research), use it to "beat" the market by predicting behaviors, or be used to justify whatever our political masters are going to do anyway.

The profit scaling from a free-to-play are massive. Your marginal cost for items is nil, your fixed costs are (hopefully) tied to the size of player base, and once you're news, then plenty of free advertising. It's like a theme park, either charge you $40 to come in and ride all day, or $2 a ride and reasons to come back each day. Why sell physical goods, when virtual ones cost you nothing and nothing to transport.

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UK employers still reluctant to hire recent CompSci grads

MonkeyCee
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Re: Quality of graduates

I'm currently studying a fairly well regarded CS type degree (Knowledge Engineering and Data Science) in the Netherlands, where the "sandwich course" (there's some German name for it here that I can say but not write) is still in big favor.

The top 30-40% of my first year class have already got (paid) internships, with the majority of companies aiming to keep them on through a masters, then 5+ years afterwards. Based on what happens with the other years, I'd estimate 60% will be placed by end of second year, and 75% by final year. Given that about 5-10% go into the research track* (which precludes you interning), there will only be 15-20% of people graduating who don't already have jobs lined up. They will also tend to be some combination of less motivated, less able or missing desirable secondary skills like additional languages.

This seems to bear out with your experience, in that grads that haven't got a job during their study are *less* desirable than ones who are midway through and want to get more relevant experience.

There are a number of other educational institutes around, teaching what I think of as poly style** CS courses (programming, networking and security) who produce excellent programmers. Enough that we are strongly discouraged from competing with them directly for roles, as a programming position should go to them, whereas we should be doing more data focused activities. Well, if we want school credit.

I'm also a little shocked that a CS course means a student hasn't really done "proper" writing. First year alone, we had two short essays, four group reports and three group presentations. Plus another four short reports that where optional but could get you a bump in your grades. You are also expected to produce a thesis in your final year and defend it, plus publish a joint paper if you're doing the research track. At the very least you should be able to write a basic report, and some semblance of simple research and summation for a less technical audience.

* the research track and work placement are part of the honors program, and research gets to play with robots, so there may be more going there than in previous years.

** not intended as any insult. The Dutch education system can be rather vocationally focused, but they do manage to instill a good basis of knowledge whilst giving top level instruction for job related education. Placements/internships are required as part of the course.

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Tight-wad Apple repair techs swapped our damaged iGear with used kit – lawsuit

MonkeyCee
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Warranties

Not sure if this is still the case, but when my friend used to work in consumer electronics, the law was very clear about a device comes with either a reasonable lifetime warranty, or 2 years. Depending on your country, opinions of courts etc. Thus selling someone "insurance" was selling them something they had already got. My friend used to get a 1% commission on most goods (kit, but not consumables IIRC) but would get somewhere between 33% and 60% of the sales of "insurance". Which gives you an idea of just how lucrative it can be.

Donkeys years ago I bought a "boom box" with a CD player in it, for $65. Salesgoon tried to persuade me that dropping $40 on insurance was a good idea, which I found hilarious.

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Apple Watch craze over before it started: Wrist-puter drags market screaming off a cliff

MonkeyCee
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Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

I'm with Esme on this. I'm old enough that also needed a watch when growing up, although finding one that didn't make my wrist get uncomfortable was a pain, so I ended up with a sweatband with the watch on top. It was the 80s, so that was one of my lessor crimes against fashion.

After a friend snapped his wrist after a small (1 foot) fall where his flailing arm hit a wall, and the watch nicely concentrated the impact onto a couple of bones, I stopped wearing them. Had one looped on my belt until I got to secondary, where the perv who taught geography did the same thing, so had to change that trick.

Got quite good at reading other people's watches, or clocks, and then the prevalence of digital displays meant it was pretty easy to keep track.

Pocket watches are cool, but my suits that fit are all 3 piece, so tossing a pocket watch on there means that I'm a little less likely to be mistaken for a waiter. Also means I get to wear my granddads rather battered brass watch, which survived WW2 and a couple of years of service after the war.

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Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung

MonkeyCee
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Re: @Midnight - Penn Jillette as Cyrano

You say this like it's a bad thing, but that's the best movie pitch I've heard for a while.

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An anniversary to remember: The world's only air-to-air nuke was fired on 19 July, 1957

MonkeyCee
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Re: just goes to show how little ...

Due to national security issues, it's somewhere between hard and impossible to get an accurate count of people who have died on nuclear projects. Whether in construction, accidents, radiation poisoning or from cancer. There's a bit of PR tied in with it too, but in general radiation is more dangerous than some of the "safer" sounding stats, as they ignore the hidden deaths, and not nearly as bad as some of the more shrill greenies make out.

It's also pretty much impossible (short of evidence of ingestion) to determine what radiation caused what cancer. We're all exposed to various levels, depending on locale, and we all have various cancerous growths*. If someone dies of a heart attack and had multiple late stage cancers, what's the cause of death?

Even if you factor in a reasonable estimate, nuclear power (as electricity generation) is about as safe as large scale hydro, which is pretty** safe most of the time, considering the size of the civil engineering involved.

It's pretty easy to find people who've died of radiation poisoning. Whether someone who dies from cancer, showing that cancer was caused by a particular source of radiation is very hard to prove. Off the top of my head, about 30 people died of radiation poisoning at Chernobyl (within a few weeks), Harry Daghlian Jr and Louis Slotin for doing nuclear experiments without proper (any?) safety measures, and Alexander Litvinenko.

* 99% of which we'll outlive, as they grow slowly. It's the fast growing buggers that we worry about.

** Hydro dams don't fail often, but when they do it's horrific.

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Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

MonkeyCee
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Re: The whole thing

Because you don't understand how people can spend money on a hobby that boggles anyone who doesn't engage in that hobby?

There are many examples of things that people spend small fortunes on, that I think are an utter waste of money (and time)*. But I'm not going to win any argument with them because there are different priorities. Same way for things I own that are an insane** or ego pumping purchase for most of the population.

The principle in f2p games is that ~80% of the players never spend a dime on the game, and often enjoy a perverse pride in it. ~15% spend roughly the same as you'd make from selling it at a conventional price, and ~5% spend serious money on it. As long as you're happy with which group you're in, and you don't get too annoyed at the p2w aspect then they are often better games than subscription or purchase models. You also get an option to spend time or money in leveling up, which exists even if the game doesn't explicitly allow it. Had more than one freelance gig which consisted of being paid $30 an hour to grind a clients WoW character.

* I worked out that my Dad spent roughly $150 per round of golf he played, based on his membership rates, and various other bits. This is ignoring buying clubs, balls, travel or time costs. Paintballers spending ~$5000 on a new marker, hobby photographers with ~$10k worth of kit etc.

** Chefs knives, which where worth it when I was spending ~80 hours a week cooking. A $200 knife saves time, effort and is safer than a $20 one. But for home use you've probably got better uses for the extra $180 :)

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Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment

MonkeyCee
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Yup

Well, that was my attitude too. If it's a serious crime to just posses the damn files, call the cops.

I'm curious why I got a couple of down votes for my CP anecdote. Perhaps I should have made clear that the stuff was nasty shit, nothing that could be mistaken for innocent images etc. Not kids in the bath stuff, things that made me want to take a cricket bat to the fucker.

That or there are some kiddie fuckers on here who feel that IT workers should afford you a higher level of privacy than say lawyers, shrinks or doctors. If you provide evidence of a crime to them, your client privilege goes out the window.

I guess I should have included the other stories where I found stuff that was clearly intended as "funny" but bestiality is still illegal. That chap just got a written warning since it was: a) a single image, b) he saw the error of his ways and c) he went and personally apologized to the various offended parties.

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AWS works on 'urgent' deals for UK customers as £ dips against $

MonkeyCee
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Balance of trade

"What about the foreign traders in our goods? They must now be getting more. Supply and demand will now make the stuff we sell to them more attractive"

Like any economics that a child could understand, it's not actually true. Or to be fair, the usual answer is "it's complicated" :)

The UK is a net importer of goods and services, so things are not equal. Currently imports are declining slightly, but exports have declined even more so.

All the bumf about how this helps exporters, and will somehow increase UK manufacturing ignores reality. The UK doesn't have lower wages or higher productivity than it's direct competitors (other technologically advanced nations) and is in no way able to compete with more developing economies.

Much of the UKs manufacturing base is highly taxpayer subsidised, to the point where it'd actually be cheaper to import finished goods and just pay the workers directly.

Another issue is if you're planning on buying from a regular supplier, you want to avoid volatility in pricing. Since there clearly isn't a plan for brexit, why risk buying from a UK based business when an EU or US based one will likely be more consistent. At *best* the UK business will be like an EU one, but depending on how negotiations go there may be tariffs or restrictions that come into place.

What worries me is that this is all from a non-binding referendum, without any clarity as to what exactly "leave the EU" entails, and the exact details of single market access for goods and services is possibly going to make this worse.

The free movement of people is slightly less relevant from a financial perspective, since lessening EU immigration will result in increased migration from the rest of the world, so labor markets will be similar.

Best of all the UK gets an unelected PM. Which should at least lose the cons the next election, if the party survives that long.

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