Questions in The Guardian We Can Answer

The first in our ever popular series, Questions in The Guardian We Can Answer:

Given this woeful history, it’s reasonable to ask why the issue of the future of journalism keeps being investigated, and why so little action results.

Because the people who buy ink by the barrel are the people losing their jobs.

That really is it, there’s nothing more to it than that. We have extant news outlets, those newspapers. Anyone can (and we are) set up to compete with them in this brave new world of online.…

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Lunacy from UK Treasury – Taxing the Tech Giants on Turnover

It’s normally true that the Treasury cannot see economic activity without desiring to tax it. Yet there are sensible ways to gain the revenue to run government and those not so very rational. Taxing a company upon turnover is one of those less rational ones. But that is what is being suggested.

Mel Stride, the financial secretary to the Treasury, said the tax system was not designed to cope with multinational digital businesses, and a revenue levy was the “potentially preferred option”.

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Burning Biowaste Isn’t Exactly An Economic Method Of Energy Production

Contrary to the way this story will be reported, burning odd body parts is not a good method of generating energy. We know this because those crematoria the councils run are not net energy generators, they’re energy sinks. The human body being largely water, water not being a great fuel.

So, this announcement of a new form of incinerator which will run off biowaste, well, it’s not, quite, as it seems:

A plan to produce electricity by burning “body parts and organs” has created uproar in a small Sussex town.

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Banning Plastic Straws Is To Fail Chesterton’s Fence

The Environment Secretary is to consider the banning of plastic straws. Pubs and so on will be forced to use paper ones instead. Apparently it is better to kill trees these days than to use inanimate feedstocks like oil and gas – things the environmentalists tell us we’ve too much of already.

However, this is to fail Chesterton’s Fence – for why do we use plastic straws in the first place? This isn’t something we know ourselves but given that people do use them we’re really very certain that there is a rational reason for their use.…

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Congratulations to Bolivarian Socialism – Venezuelans Starving Under Maduro

The great promise of Hugo Chavez and his Bolivarian socialism was that the poor would be made better off by the redistribution of society’s resources. The actual fact is that everyone in the country has been plunged into deprivation, destitution, by that very redistribution. The problem not being with the redistribution part, amazingly. Nor was it to do with the socialism. Rather, they thought they could do better than markets in the pricing and distribution of goods and services and this isn’t something that anyone is actually better at.…

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Google’s Gender Diversity Woes Continue

Google appears to be finding out the hard way that there is no possibility of being correct in dealing with modern day gender diversity claims. For, after that James Damore memo and firing we’ve now got someone claiming they were fired because they protested about it. It is possible to read a little between the lines here and think that the parting of employment ways wasn’t so much about what was said but about the time taken to say it.…

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Jennifer Lawrence is as Feisty as Katniss over Modern Feminism

Following on from yesterday’s ridiculous outbursts concerning Jennifer Lawrence’s Versace dress while advertising Red Sparrow we’ve the response from the actress herself. She is not, to put it mildly, impressed with the comments of the more snowflake elements among modern feminism:

Lawrence responded to critics in an impassioned Facebook post, writing: “This is not only utterly ridiculous, I am extremely offended. That Versace dress was fabulous, you think I’m going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf?

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Save the Children Plays Pass the Parcel to Unicef

One of the ways that you can see that a self-serving oligarchy has been formed is to watch what happens to one of the magic group when they misbehave. If they’re cast from the light into the outer darkness then there’s at least a possibility that all is working on talent, hard work, a meritocracy. If, however, a game of pass the parcel is then played with the possible miscreant then we’ve a class protecting its own rather than focusing on the job at hand.…

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Apple, Logically, Uses Cash Pile To Amass Cobalt For Batteries

As the perceptive will have noted there’s a certain excitement going on in the world of batteries and the electrical and electronic items which can be powered by them. As the similarly perceptive will have noted Apple’s sitting on vast piles of real cash money. There’s great good sense in the company using that cash to make sure that the excitement doesn’t affect its future plans. Which is exactly what it is reported they’re doing, using the cash stocks to make sure they’ve sufficient cobalt stocks to be able to continue to make the batteries their equipment needs:

Apple Inc.

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And Why Not? I Too Would Buy $20 Trillion Of Bitcoin For Nothing

If someone’s offering free money the correct response is to take as much as you can and then ask the Oliver Twist question – May I have some more please, Sir? Which is exactly what one customer of a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange did last week. There was a 20 minute period when it was possible to order varied cryptocurrencies while offering zero yen (what you and I might refer to as real money) in return. Why not go all out with a truly significant order?…

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