* Posts by Quip

35 posts • joined 26 Aug 2015

Nest thermostat owners out in the cold after software update cockup


Re: IofT

couple of hundred quid saving on average for a 3-5 bedroom house where there is nobody 8:00 to 15:00 and has reduced occupancy 15:00 - 18:00.

A mechanical switch can do that, on in the morning for a few hours, on in the evening. Yes, sometimes there is someone home all day, easy enough to push the overide and have heating all afternoon. If it works most of the time there is not much saving for the fine control of a few exceptions.

California cops pull over Google car for driving too SLOWLY


I'm sure this is all codified in some urban planning tome somewhere...

Google for '85th percentile speed'



We suck? No, James Dyson. It is you who suck – Bosch and Siemens


Seems to me that if there isn't much dust being sucked up then you need to boost the power to suck up more dust, not power down on the assumption that no dust means job done

Boffins: Comet Lovejoy is a cosmic booze cruise spewing alcohol across the Solar System


I've got a dozen cases of wine around here and none of them have an alcohol content of less than 11%, some are 14%. So say 12%

500 bottles at 0.75 litres per bottle = 375 litres wine; 375 litres @ 12% = 45 litres pure alcohol per second.

Elderly? Disabled? You clearly need a .38" Palm Pistol


Re: Metrication

perhaps it was meant to be 3/8" [25.4mm ÷ 8 × 3]

Pluto flashes its unusual pits


Re: Never mind the pits...

quite, and why are there so many footprints trudging toward it?

So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?


Re: Limited Liability

"They put in their £1 per share at the beginning- but how much is that share supposed to be worth now?"

Then they have lost that amount by not selling out in time. And if they purchased shares based on the value of projected earnings then they have lost the value of that income stream.


Re: Writing?

Writing but not for the reasons stated. The Greeks did not invent writing but they took it and did something new with it: they took a book-keeping method and made it into a means of recording language as spoken. Oral literature became literacy, and hence rhetorike —the ability to analyse what was said rather than just respond— and thus philosophy, logic and enlightenment.

Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back


I am sure I would upvote too but it appears that

"This post has been deleted by a moderator"

OH GROSS! The real problem with GDP


…" what people will pay for something is only at least what they think it is worth. They might be willing to pay much more: meaning that more value is created than is being recorded."

People like to think they are getting a bargain: so what people will pay for something is often less than what they /think/ it is worth. And probably more than the vendor /thinks/ it is worth.


" when a man marries his housekeeper the economy shrinks: because formerly paid for activity is now unpaid for."

But then the man then has more money to spend (probably at the behest of his new wife) so surely the consumption gets back into the figures somewhere.

Online VAT fraud: Calls for government crackdown grow louder


Re: @codejunky Hmm


"I am not trying to defend tax avoidance, I am asking why VAT is considered such a good tax when it harms the poor and damages the economy."

[Sounds like a request for another article from Tim Worstall.]

The classic definition of a 'good' tax —from the tax collectors point of view— is that it should be easy (ie cheap) to collect, hard to avoid, and not distort behaviour. This is something of a a "pick any two" requirement. Especially as politicians and 'campaigners' rather like taxes that do anything but meet the third criterion.

Virgin Media's SPAM-AGEDDON 'fix' silences mailboxes


Re: How many El Reggers

Q1 - Would you trust Virgin Media to run a piece of wire to your house and provide broadband internet access over it without cocking it up too often?

☐ No.

The original bit of wire was Cable London, which bcame Blueyonder, then VM. Worked well enough for ten years, until the new gas main cut through the cable. Try telling a call centre in India that 'switch it off and on again" will not fix a 18 inch air gap. Took them six months to dig up the road and fix it because though 'retention' will move heaven and earth to solve the problem, the work order then goes into a system that loses all the important details like: need to dig hole in road, need to get council permit etc. Meantime I discovered that 3's mobile broadband was good enough for my data usage, cheaper, and more convenient.

Q2 - Would you trust Virgin Media to provide reliable email and/or other online services, as well as providing speedy and efficient customer service?

No. I have my own domain(s) and for about £25 pa someone will run a mail service for me. And for giving out email addys to the untrusted there is gmail.

Ubuntu 15.10: More kitten than beast – but beware the claws


Re: Yeah - no ...

There was a time when I looked forward to a new version, anticipating bugs fixed and useful features added. Now I dread upgrading for fear of more bugs and familiar features made unusable.

What is money? A rabid free marketeer puts his foot in lots of notes


in sum

So, putting this together:

"what is money is that it's a way of keeping score."

" government can indeed just go and print all the money it wants to spend … And a truly scary thought it is that they are, too … Because there's just nothing to constrain those drunken sailors if they have bottomless wallets."

With fiat money we have to trust the government to be an honest scorer. In other words one of the ways in which a government must perform its essential function of providing a framework of law in which contracts can be enforced.

Lies from VW: 'Our staff acted criminally but board didn't know'


Re: no honour in the top knobs club

in other words: always move on to your next great triumph before anyone notices your last.

Mobile phones are the greatest poverty-reducing tech EVER


Re: Bank Shareholders

For many years my Northern Rock shares paid more in dividends than the interest on my deposits. And they were worth a tidy sum in 2006. And then…

Things you should know about the hard work of home working


Working from home is not just for avoiding a long journey to work. I work from home in a central London flat because both my customers and colleagues are scattered around the globe. It gets very lonely, I tend to start my morning by going out for breakfast at a café just for the buzz of conversation.

And, yes, a dining table is not a desk,

You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash


The first thing to do is to eliminate the poverty trap: Combine IT&NI and set the threshold well above minimum wage & benefits. There needs to be a band of income, a significant band, between being on benefits of any kind and starting to pay tax on income. Keeping a 100% of income if you are poor seems a pretty good incentive to work.


Re: Tax and spend!

"Duty on house sales would be an excellent place to try it out because the step-changes in that tax very obviously distort the market "

It may have escaped your notice but that particular problem was fixed nearly a year ago. (and in July another anomaly re tax relief on BTLs was addressed, if not yet actually implimented.)




Why don't all these busybodies just shut up. I eat what I want, when I want, nobody's business if I do.

As we all know, snark always comes before a fall. Mea culpa


Re: Lists

My algorithm:

Sort the list into three piles: good, bad, indifferent.

Sort each of the three piles into three piles: good, bad, indifferent.

You now have 9 piles which should be in roughly graded in quality. They may not be of equal size.

If piles adjacent in rank are small merge them.

Work through the piles again in rank order and swap around any outliers etc.


" if there's three possible choices, then three areas will “warm up”. It's when one of them passes the trigger level that the action is, umm, triggered and that triggering in itself suppresses the activity in the other potential areas."

So, we have little modelling/imagining areas in our brains. rather like splitting a training class into groups to go off and discuss some point. If one then gets really excited then end of discussion.

You might also like to note that some of this has been noticed before:

The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information George A. Miller. The Psychological Review, 1956, vol. 63, pp. 81-97

Doctor Who returns to our screens next week – so, WHO is the worst Time Lord of them all?


Re: Just thinking...

I am 61 and remember seeing the very first episode. I think the third doctor was about last I saw. So best: Hartnel, worst —don't really know— I assume like everything when you reach your seventh decade, it is all just going downhill in a handcart.

"peering out from behind furniture"—not me but I remember my younger brother finding the opening graphic music too scary to watch.

GCHQ wants to set your passwords. In a good way


Re: @oldgrumpy

Well, 'Maiden Name', 'first pet' etc are just passwords. So never use the real name, someone could guess that. But then if I use a made-up name it shouldn't be the same for every site, so I need a list of 'Mothers Maiden Names'. So now I have a different mother for every site and I can't remember which without writing it down

Laminate this: Inside Argos' ongoing online (r)evolution


collect the physical item

That's why I like collecting from Amazon locker. Although it was better when Amazon delivered by Mail: I could collect from the delivery office ½ mile away whereas Amazon locker is 1 mile. Nearest Argos is also about 1 mile maybe I should try them sometime.

So Quantitative Easing in the eurozone is working, then?


greasing the economy

Inflation does grease the economy. As should be obvious to anyone reading this site, there are a lot of things you can buy now that were not around say 20 years ago. If you were earning the same today as then and all your costs were the same where would you find the spare income for all those new toys? In effect the cost of what you continue to buy has to fall in order to make room for new stuff, or you need to be paid more without increasing the costs of what you buy. Inflation is a sleight of hand that makes those transitions palatable. And also encourages you to invest your saving rather than keep your money in a mattress.

OH DEAR, WHSmith: Sensitive customer data spaffed to world+dog


Re: Slightly disappointed by the ICO

The original DPA was in 1984, and was even more clueless. It hadn't noticed the personal computer at all let alone the internet.

So, was it really the Commies that caused the early 20th Century inequality collapse?


Re: Go loons!

"4+ term governments rarely achieve their best"

too true. The pigs need to be dragged away from the trough after a while, even if only to be replaced by other pigs.

Landslide victories are also a bad thing, especially two in a row. Parties tend to try out their candidates in no-hope constituencies; some will not get the opportunity to stand again. But with a big swing some very unsuitable people will get elected, and have the advantage of incumbency next time. Repeat that for more than one election and you get a government of (more than usual) loons


Re: Post-war 90/10 story

" repairing the damage gives you 100% growth from that reduced startingpoint,"

And, if at that starting-point things were not new but rather worn and outdated, demolition and reconstruction does give real growth even from a starting point before the damage occurred.


agricultural land, great aristocratic fortunes,death duties etc.

Lose the son(s) and heir(s) in the Great War and death duties may bite twice in a generation. Sell your low yielding agricultural land and invest in bonds: again wiped out by the Great War. Yes, it is the great urban estates that had the best chance of survival.

BACS Bank Holiday BALLS UP borks 275,000 payments


"drawing the sum in cash and handing it out"

I do remember, about fifty years ago, when paid-in-cash in those little brown envelopes was the norm. And the regular news items about yet another wages snatch. I all got far too expensive. Today, being paid in cash is not all that helpful given you really need to take it to a bank and pay it in in order to meet all your DDs and SOs etc. I worked for a small company thirty years ago that still paid in cash or (as I really insisted) cheque: get paid today, wait until the middle of next week before the money could be credited to your account

Wow, Barcelona really has a problem with tech disruptors. Watch out Airbnb


Re: What is a tourist?


If it is a matter of raising revenue for city services, then that should be covered 'rates'/council tax or whatever the local equivalent. You can even have a special rate for hotels etc if you want to discourage/encourage tourism.

If it is a matter of licensing: because you want to set standards or discourage anti-social usage etc then I see no problem with requiring permits nor with charging a reasonable fee for them. But then such permits should be readily available to all who meet the criteria.

It is very much like the Uber issue, just what are you trying to do: control quality, raise tax revenue,or rig the market?

Perhaps the AIpocalypse isn't imminent – if Google Translate is anything to go by, that is


Re: Machine translation is always good for a giggle!

Basic rule for any translation, even if using a real live person:

Translate from foreign to the translators native language.

Don't try to translate names etc.


Re: What should have been looked at

The usual 'fiddle' for euro-dosh, in fact it hard to really call it a fiddle. EU offers money for regional development/ tourism etc. Enterprising mayor or other local official plays the game for all its worth. Local economy benefits. Keeping the benefits local means employing who is available locally rather that bringing in qualified outsiders.

I know a village in Italy which has an extraordinary number of brown tourist signs and maps of (imagined) footpaths and cycle ways. There are few tourists but it keeps the local signmaker in business


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