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pongo last won the day on December 14

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About pongo

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    the centre cannot hold

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  1. Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370

    It’s always going to be a mistake to begin from that perspective since no system can ever be hardened enough so as to be invulnerable. There will always be another way in - whether via some specific design vulnerability or via social engineering. Remembering that the technology is only one part of the system - the system is also the context, implementation, people etc. It would be very dangerous to believe that a system could not be hacked.
  2. Social media is ripping the fabric of society apart

    Some people are better at some things than others*. Often through experience, knowledge, opportunity, education etc. I was careful to say that the thing should be meritocratic. The brightest people and the best ideas should rise to the top. Not the most popular or aggressive. * ETA: not me btw. I am a plodder. But I am in awe of some of the amazing people I have met.
  3. Trump is at his most aggressively attention seeking and divisive when he is trying to divert attention from other stories about himself. America has sort of been there before as the Watergate story gradually unfolded. Though Trump has a lot less class than Nixon who was also popular with the common man.
  4. Social media is ripping the fabric of society apart

    Easy to joke. But the world made a lot more sense when news came from responsible organisations committed to stuff like 3 separate sources and one prepared to go on record. It was not perfect but it was a lot more intelligent. What is happening now is not a natural extension of the break down of class assumptions which began in the 60s. Nasty people and gangster money are manipulating the ideas which become what people are often being persuaded to believe today. It’s a manipulation of populism by people who are essentially spivs. A meritocratic establishment is what we should be aiming for. With high ideals. Not an idiotic populism.
  5. New hotel

    And handy for your Hogwarts / OKW reunions
  6. My mind is made up about you.
  7. That would be about simultaneously looking at what is likely and yet also considering what-if scenarios. Likely outcomes vs your mad ideas. And Liam Fox’s fantasy trade deals. It’s the difference between being able to consider different possible outcomes, vs hitting stuff with a hammer to see what happens. Or trying to explain 3 dimensions to 2 dimensional people. I wonder whether you imagine that you are doing a good job of selling your vision of Brexit.
  8. New hotel

    It’s partly because of some of those sorts of places that the tourism industry hasn’t developed as well as it could. Though some of the Airbnb places look very good. Nobody cares about choo choos and trams. And only an increasingly elderly population of bikers care about petrol motorbikes. I certainly believe that there is also a small market for a quality modern version of what you are describing. Price is not especially an issue if the thing is worth doing. Working in London I would have loved a weekend tramping around in the rain on the hills and getting some fresh air. With everything provided. Followed by a roaring fire and amazing food and drink. Everything laid on and no Royston Vasey weirdness. Countryside, fresh air, food and atmosphere. Separately a smart hotel in a lovely spot next to a popular golf club and close to the airport doesn’t seem like a stupid idea TBH. Could be the sort of place which might appeal to tha sort of people who like golf.
  9. Your least incoherent posts are roughly Comical Ali. It didn't take a moment to calmly counter with a specific technical example. I am not sure there is a better way to counter common-senser nonsense or the sorts of people who believe we all just need to be more positive. Brexit is clearly a technical and systems issue at this stage. An alternative might be to respond in kind - with idiot smileys and yah boo sucks. The mental equivalent of lighting his own farts and giggling.
  10. That is not true. So let's look at one specific example: HMRC was in the process of swapping out the existing system (CHIEF - Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) and replacing it with the new CDS system when Brexit came along. That huge change was due to be completed in late 2018 (though these things always run over). But it was designed to handle a substantially smaller number of declarations and traffic than is likely post Brexit (especially if, as you seem to hope, there is no FTA). Putting that in clear perspective - the existing system is halfway through being changed and may have to now be changed again depending on the outcome of a negotiation. And this sort of thing is typical. Not just across govt but also right across the private sector. Brexit, even a soft Brexit, will take years. It will be huge and very costly technical task - after the politicians and administrators decide how it might look in theory. Politicians and an aggressively ignorant public demanding change is stupid if what they are demanding does not take into account the practical and economic considerations. It's like demanding that the engine is changed whilst the car is in motion. The sensible way to approach any sort of Exit will be over decades. One thing at a time. Carefully.
  11. *the* computer system? You write that as if calculating the tax due were the only issue involved. It's going to be about potentially hundreds of different systems - and neither the systems nor the infrastructure are in place. And nothing can be designed until a preliminary specification exists. A system is also very much more than the actual computer. And then these systems will need to be implemented and tested. Whilst the existing systems continue to run. So you'd be looking at needing to duplicate existing processes. Across multiple systems. Also in many other areas of daily life. And everyone involved needs to be retrained. It is also notoriously difficult to change a system which is running. Like changing the engine in a car whilst driving along the motorway.
  12. Social media is ripping the fabric of society apart

    The Bible deals with more or less this issue in Genesis. Somewhat amazingly.
  13. Social media is ripping the fabric of society apart

    I agree with him. Not just social media but mass communications in general - the ability of everyone to effectively broadcast and organise internationally. We now have an over-democratisation of process without any of the built in checks and balances which have traditionally offset destructive populism. We risk a sort of mob rule.
  14. Simply not true. Because you cannot design a system representing a set of rules which are not yet known. That’s a basic fact of system design. And the government has strict practices which relate to how systems are designed and implemented. Once the new rules are agreed in theory - then the government will practically need an analysis of how long it is likely to take to design and implement suitable systems. And then these multiple systems will need to go out to tenders. That timescale will be part of what determines how long the various different transition periods will realistically need to be. It won’t be a case of saying make it so.
  15. The more you look at it, the more you realise that there is no “just”. We are never really going to be separately delineated places ever again. And the revised infrastructure simply won’t be in place for years. The computer systems, the new departments etc etc. Most times that the EU makes a new law or changes the fine detail on some specific regulation, the UK will have to follow along. What we will end up with is the two speed Europe which sensible people have been arguing for. But not a separation. I’m not arguing against it. But we need to stop pretending that Britain is breaking away from the EU. ETA: I expect that a generation from now populist opinion in England and the rump Uk will be demanding input into the decision making process and democratic representation with the EU.