Privatising Royal Mail?

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Arshad Ali
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Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Arshad Ali » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:18 am

I heard today that Royal Mail is to be privatised and that to make it attractive to buyers, postal charges are to be raised 14% in April. This is so profoundly depressing.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:22 am

If you find the privatisation depressing, then it's not too bad. They're passing all sorts of laws to make sure they retain traditional flavour; e.g. size, shape, the image of the monarch's head facing the left. Within a generation, most things currently done by post will be done by e-mail, and the shipping of larger goods (which need to be done by post) will be done by Courier services such as Fed-Ex. To an extent, this is happening now already. I think the government are basically getting what they can for it before it becomes nigh on obselete.

If you find the price rise depressing, it's not too bad either. Luckily, I - and the people who I need to get in touch with - live in the 21st century and know how to use e-mail, so this isn't the greatest crisis to befall my life...

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Gareth Harley-Yeo
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Gareth Harley-Yeo » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:10 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
If you find the price rise depressing, it's not too bad either. Luckily, I - and the people who I need to get in touch with - live in the 21st century and know how to use e-mail, so this isn't the greatest crisis to befall my life...
But... What about all those chess books and DVDs we order!? :o

Phil Neatherway
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Phil Neatherway » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:31 pm

Whatever is happening to Royal Mail, they are to be congratulated on this set of commemorative stamps!

http://www.royalmail.com/gear/shop/html ... yId=900003

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:36 pm

Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
If you find the price rise depressing, it's not too bad either. Luckily, I - and the people who I need to get in touch with - live in the 21st century and know how to use e-mail, so this isn't the greatest crisis to befall my life...
But... What about all those chess books and DVDs we order!? :o
On the rare occasion I purchase a chess book, I buy them at a bookstall at a congress. I'm sure most of the titles you want will be purchasable from those sources.

ChessBase DVDs are a long way behind the times. Their videos - and software for that matter - should be downloadable from their website, and you just enter a validation key to let you use the software. When you enter an e-mail address at your time of download, they'll send you this validation key to you in an e-mail. At the moment, only a limited range of their software has this option. Don't blame Royal Mail for ChessBase's deficiencies. :wink:

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:19 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
If you find the price rise depressing, it's not too bad either. Luckily, I - and the people who I need to get in touch with - live in the 21st century and know how to use e-mail, so this isn't the greatest crisis to befall my life...
But... What about all those chess books and DVDs we order!? :o
On the rare occasion I purchase a chess book, I buy them at a bookstall at a congress. I'm sure most of the titles you want will be purchasable from those sources.
Many mail-order sources will use private mailing companies, and not Royal Mail. In any case, the biggest mail-order companies (think Amazon) will use the mailing company that works best, and if Royal Mail isn't good enough, they won't use it.
Alex Holowczak wrote:ChessBase DVDs are a long way behind the times. Their videos - and software for that matter - should be downloadable from their website, and you just enter a validation key to let you use the software. When you enter an e-mail address at your time of download, they'll send you this validation key to you in an e-mail. At the moment, only a limited range of their software has this option. Don't blame Royal Mail for ChessBase's deficiencies. :wink:
I think he meant more than just ChessBase DVDs, and there was probably a reason why you specified those DVDs and not others. What do the other DVDs offer as options?

Sean Hewitt

Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:05 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:ChessBase DVDs are a long way behind the times. Their videos - and software for that matter - should be downloadable from their website, and you just enter a validation key to let you use the software.
You'd die of old age waiting for your 7 piece table bases to download :lol:

Arshad Ali
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Arshad Ali » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:06 pm

There's something deeper at stake, which no-one seems to have touched on. Do Brits want everything privatised? Education (which seems to be moving inexorably in that direction)? Mail? Maybe pensions? Maybe health care? Whatever happened to state services? To the social contract? Beveridge must be turning in his grave ....

Mick Norris
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:09 pm

If the public sector isn't good at delivering particular services, then let the private sector do it better - this doesn't mean people have to be charged (more) for it

Royal Mail produces a rubbish service to me, and makes running my business harder

They produce greater costs for worse service

I got a Xmas card today posted in London before Christmas...
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:21 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:ChessBase DVDs are a long way behind the times. Their videos - and software for that matter - should be downloadable from their website, and you just enter a validation key to let you use the software.
You'd die of old age waiting for your 7 piece table bases to download :lol:
Well, if we can get 6-piece tablebases to work in a web-browser...
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:I think he meant more than just ChessBase DVDs, and there was probably a reason why you specified those DVDs and not others. What do the other DVDs offer as options?
Well, this is a chess forum, and they produce the vast majority of proprietary chess-related software.

iTunes is a perfect example of downloading being the modern way, rather than buying a hard copy from shops; in 2010, legal downloads exceeded the purchase of hard copies of records.

With film DVDs, the film production companies might well go down the line of releasing some of their titles online in the distant future, as well as the DVDs they release now. The difference with films is that people go to watch a film in a cinema, or watch it on a TV, which isn't necessarily connected to an Internet connection.
Arshad Ali wrote:Do Brits want everything privatised?
I couldn't care less, as long as whatever it is is good and isn't expensive! It's not like my worrying about it is going to make any difference to its status as private/public anyway.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:03 pm

No, British people *don't* want everything privatised. But it should never be forgotten that they didn't vote for it, either :evil:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Richard Thursby
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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Richard Thursby » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:03 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:ChessBase DVDs are a long way behind the times. Their videos - and software for that matter - should be downloadable from their website, and you just enter a validation key to let you use the software.
You'd die of old age waiting for your 7 piece table bases to download :lol:
At today's computing speeds, you might, even if you zipped and/or 7zipped it. By the time of it's likely completion (circa 2015 is I believe the current estimate) there might be considerably faster download speeds.
Alex Holowczak wrote: Well, if we can get 6-piece tablebases to work in a web-browser...
The only one I can find in a brief internet search is this
http://www.shredderchess.com/online-che ... abase.html
which presumably is Shredderbase rather than tablebase (not that I was aware of such a distinction until about an hour ago. There's also Bitbase, but I am sure various forumites know much more about such matters than I do).

On the issue of downloading software, it seems things are moving in that direction. The latest versions of Fritz, Rybka, HIARCS, Junior and Shredder (or at least their engines) can be bought on download and also chessbase is offering Big Database 2011 and Fritz Powerbook 2011 for download. Understandably some of the downloads have less in them than the corresponding postal version.

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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:18 pm

Richard Thursby wrote:Understandably some of the downloads have less in them than the corresponding postal version.
Oh really?

I don't see why the downloadable version should have any less than the postal version.

For example, I recently bought International Cricket Captain 2010 as a download from the game's website. By having it as a download, I was able to get a 2-day free trial of the game. I was then able to purchase the key online to have the game permanently. The price was no different. All I miss is the disc and instruction manual. The instruction manual instead is a .txt file somewhere in the game's path that I haven't bothered to look for; having played previous versions of the game, I know exactly how it works. So I've got everything I would require regardless of the medium.

If I was on the ChessBase website, and I downloaded ChessBase, I could have the similar option of a free trial, with the option to purchase a key thereafter. If I could download (for example) BigBase, rather than buy a physical copy of it, why should I expect the download version - which costs the same - to have less functionality than the hard copy?

If anything, it's in the interest of companies to switch to this type of system. The cost of producing the disc case and delivering the good is removed. They get more of a share anyway; often they'll sell to a middle-man chess supplier, who then sells on to consumers - e.g. Chess & Bridge Ltd. If anything, the online version should be significantly cheaper than the hard copy!

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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by PeterTurland » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:17 pm

Well I agree with Arshad and Matt that nearly everything being privately controlled, as being bad for the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

I do not agree with communism, where everything is controlled by state regulation, that just becomes a more insidious form of dictatorship, enshrined by the likes of Stalin and Pol Pot.

I remember Manny Shinwell giving a speech at a Labour party conference, quoting Jeremy Bentham, as the function of government, being the provision of the maximum good, for the maximum number of people.

Don't get me wrong, I much prefer David Cameron to Gordon Brown, but think the career of a politician seems to have become more important, than his or her political ideology.

Having said that though, my gut feeling is, it is not Cameron that is running Briton.

For me one of the most obscene privatisations was water, as far as I can see the workable side of capitalism is a form of gambling that everyone benefits from, the fact that private capital is risked to create a better mouse trap, means human society progresses.

Private capital being invested in the public need for water, entails virtually no risk at all, as far as I can see, this is not healthy capitalism.

I was absolutely disgusted with the BBC with how much it reported the problems with burst pipes in Northern Ireland, with its publicly owned Waterboard, without mentioning hardly at all, the number of people in England who suffered with burst water pipes, of which there was much evidence of on my local media, but the people who run Severn Trent, have connections in high places to the people who run the BBC and would not want the bad publicity that would make the share price drop wouldn't it and possibly lead to a takeover by the French fat cats?

I have the misfortune to live next to a suburban national health hospital, the General Hospital in Leicester to be precise.

Under Gordon Brown's watch, they decided to charge for parking in suburban hospitals, why park in a hospital's car park and get fined for it, when you can freely and legally park in the lots of space around it and never mind the people who have the misfortune to live there.

I even went on the local BBC to complain (I'm the gnarly bald guy with the beard) When the reporter at the end says they are creating more parking places, this is not the problem, the little estate I live on is rammed in the weekdays with employees of the hospital, when there are lots and lots of parking spaces in the hospital grounds.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7818975.stm

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Re: Privatising Royal Mail?

Post by Richard Thursby » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:38 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: I don't see why the downloadable version should have any less than the postal version.
It's to keep the size of the download down. To give specific examples from the chessbase website:
Deep Fritz 12 download has a smaller opening book, a smaller database, fewer 3D boards, no voice output notation and no video training, compared with the DVD

Fritz Powerbook 2011 DVD contains the games from which the book was derived, plus a second book from "the strongest GM games from the past 100 years", neither of which appear on the download.

From what I can see, the Deep Junior 12 and Big Database 2011 appear to be identical to the postal versions.

To buy any of Rybka, Shredder or HIARCS via download, you only get the engine and have to separately find a graphical user interface.
PeterTurland wrote: Having said that though, my gut feeling is, it is not Cameron that is running Brit[ai]n.
Given that some people in this country get paid more than him (the man who is supposedly paid to run said country) you might be right!

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