Monthly Archives: February 2011

ABC blames readers

The ter­ri­ble thing about A&R’s bank­rupt­cy is that it’s a direct result of a fool­ish gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy (and maybe oth­er things, too; see the update below). “For­mer NSW pre­mier Bob Carr, a direc­tor at rival book­store chain Dymocks, said the gov­ern­ment was dri­ving retail­ers to the wall by fail­ing to open the whole­sale book mar­ket […]

UK manufacturers reject carbon tax

To the ques­tion whether a Gillard car­bon tax would be jus­ti­fied by inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion argu­ments (as Dr Gar­naut believes), the UK man­u­fac­tur­ing indus­try asso­ci­a­tion, EEF, answers “no”. It doesn’t want to “coop­er­ate”, either. The EEF (for­mer­ly the “Engi­neer­ing Employ­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion”) says the UK Trea­sury pro­pos­al for a “car­bon floor price”, to be set by a […]

Elementary “Watson”

The IBM project that this week led to a spec­tac­u­lar demon­stra­tion of machine Ques­tion Answer­ing (yet anoth­er “QA” acronym) has a lot of seri­ous com­put­ing sci­ence behind it. Much of that technology—although none of the tech­niques, naturally—is lucid­ly explained in a recent arti­cle in AI Mag­a­zine. The over­ar­ch­ing prin­ci­ples in Deep­QA are mas­sive par­al­lelism, many […]

Answering the voices?

A lot of home­less peo­ple come in and do live web­casts” Extract from Con­fes­sions of an Apple Store Employ­ee (Pop­u­lar Mechan­ics) A primer on mod­ern mores by an Apple slave. The tedi­um of being earnest.

EU struggles with emissions policy

Going it alone” on emis­sions tar­gets is insan­i­ty too deep even for the bureau­cra­cy that gave the world Europe’s Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al Pol­i­cy. “If we go alone to 30%, you will only have a faster process of de-indus­tri­al­i­sa­­tion in Europe. I think we need indus­try in Europe,’ [EU Ener­gy Com­mis­sion­er Gün­ther Oet­tinger] went on. ‘We need […]

Trahaison des clercs

What­ev­er your views on the mer­its of the SGX/ASX deal—I’m scep­ti­cal of the durable val­ue, but there is a rash of glob­al con­sol­i­da­tion in that industry—do you agree with me that it is mad­ness to install a tri­bunal of bureau­crats at the door to the Aus­tralian invest­ment­mar­ket exact­ing an obscure toll on for­eign firms such […]

What new evidence for a carbon tax?

A tax has been announced—contrary to ear­li­er promises—that has no jus­ti­fied role in cli­mate mit­i­ga­tion. It is being held up as a “cor­rec­tion” the car­bon-inten­si­­ty of our econ­o­my. But that’s not evi­dent­ly a prob­lem and even if it were, a uni­lat­er­al tax could lead to an over­all increa­sein glob­al emis­sions. Ms Gillard’s new com­mit­ment to […]