94 posts • joined 8 Jan 2008
Building Bigger Bridges?
This is a deeply mysterious report. Since most people get to airports by public transport and in London that means rail (by modern, not Victorian infrastructures).
Of course building a London to New York railway would be a tad expensive with the wrong sort of jelly fish causing some delay. The shipping alternative is not noted for its green credentials so efficient airliners maybe with some better thought out bio fuels is the best option for intercontinental travel. Instead of 'green' airline taxes that merely deny the poor, but benefit the rich, I always thought that deep and heavy taxes should only be applied to seating over 34". Highly efficient travel (bit of pain which restricts it to really valued travel) for those willing to squeeze in. And, hopefully, an end to the outrageously unenvironmental 'flying beds'. Or at least soak them to finance some decent green research.
@ FRank Bough - our new railway line opens in 12 months to relieve the growing pressure on the old. Being the East London (Overgound) Line it isn't going to displace any runways methinks ... just make London City Airport more accessible.
Losing the plot
eeepc was small & cheap. A sensation. The 901 put even more & better goodies into the same form factor and can still be had for around £230.
Now HP, Asus & Acer are dropping 9" models and upping the entry to 10". Good for their revenue line but is a dummy whammy for the consumer's pocket (yes I could get my old Asus into my coat pocket!). Road warriors use these for on the hoof browsing, emailing or commanding their remote Unix boxes. Most of which is quite light on the keyboard - the achilles heel of the 9" (and this 10"). Apart from those with defective vision - this brings nothing to the party.
Displacing our preferred party guests is not good news. But it did lead me to buy a Mini 9 while they are still available (Dell uncatalogued them last weekend). Get 9" now while stocks last ..
Off their Tits
Wobbly1 "If the senior officers are off their tits on coke while prodding prossies , why are they still in a job to be blackmailed/"
Standing in the line of fire often requires some strong 'R&R' as has been recorded and accepted throughout military history and accepted as a consequence of winning wars. Not nice, but removing need for wars is a better way of stopping it.
No - this looks like stuff collected by the positive vetting process (or whatever it is called nowadays). Probably volunteered by the officer involved to the security services. More worrying is that if not treating 'ordinary' personnel data is a secure way could be conceivable - how should we react to not keeping highly secure information 'secure'?
Then start thinking of all the people who will have access to our own personal data via the National ID database and the ingenuity (i'm guessing a fair number here would not have too much difficulty) of 'offlining' some choice stuff which just might end up on an unencrypted pen drive. Just so I could meet my deadline, the minister's, oh and perhaps a bonus for both too!
Missing a few billion?
Deeply depressing and proof this is a con was the statement that dumping ID cards would 'save' only a billion or so. I mean multiply the population by £30 (or the more realistic £600) means a tax of between 2 and 4 billion. Add in the other costs of running this system you are into a magnitude more.
The cancellation charge on an initial contract is a small part of the cost. Jacqui knows that (surely even she can't be that thick?) Deliberately seeking to mislead and cheat the people she took oath to serve should be treason. But then when you think the people are just there to pay for your bath plugs and porn - why should she worry.
Dead meat that even the hungriest hyena will walk away from. Oh and I was a Labour supporter.
The only thing that surprised me was the claim the grid/power generation system can sustain unrestricted charging. Which is surely not an issue anyway as most people would choose to do most charging at 'white meter' charges (look how far people drive to say 2p/litre on petrol).
Overnight there is plenty of capacity - even with the projected loss of nuclear and some major coal fired plant. Indeed it can help the system by using otherwise unused power capacity (particulary nuclear and wind with almost zero marginal cost and CO2 impact). Electric car batteries provide a user paid solution to the grids perennial problem in not be able to store electricity.
BTW chacking the Nat Grid monitor - the channel link from France is nearly always 'full-on' supplying 2Gw to us from their nuclear/wind fleet. Presumably because they can make a better offer than local generators. I wonder if another 2Gw link might be better than the projected Kingsnorth coal power station blowing our CO2 target from the same Kent coast.
Before End of Times?
I really don't know where I stand on this. Making money or reducing income to people who have expensively created original material is wrong morally and economically (since the original idea of IP was to encourage people to invest in creating goods that would not otherwise be available).
I believe in IP protection as a beneficial policy. But then IP protection has gone into overdrive. I thought I would like to download an old silent film - to find it was still in copyright and would be for the foreseeable future. The beneficiaries were not the creators or their immediate families. So copyright income is not pension or going to encourage a dead person to create more good stuff.
And so it goes on. We have a problem with pharmaceuticals - where the current judgement is that drugs are best protected for 20 years so big pharma can get payback on R&D. That or even longer would be no problem with movies or songs. But 50 years tops.
More than that puts the movie/record/copyright companies into the captive greed category. Morally and possibly economically thieves themselves. I choose to not pay them by not using their material. I worry I should indeed subvert their business model by torrenting until they come to a more reasonable deal with the people to make money in the short term and create public goods in the long term for us all to share.
Follow their desires and Shakespeare will soon be back in copyright (if only Time Warner could claim they owned the first folio:)
History repeating - BURP!
As his Victorian predecessor said of the current technology "No, sir. The Americans have need of the telephone -- but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys."
When modem companies competed - speeds doubled every two years till the theoretical maximum was reached. When BT took monopoly control with broadband it stagnated.
BT's interest isn't its customers. Why should Brits be content with a fraction of the resources of our competitors Mr BT?
In general I'm against CCTV. But if we have it (and nobody asked me if it was OK) then it should be available to all and not just the taxpayer financed screenwatchers deep in a council bunker.
One protection is that we should be able to see what they see. If its too intrusive for us - then so it should be for them. I'm particularly incensed by the legislation restricting (that's effectively a ban) photographing police here in London while they aggressively photograph innocent people doing innocent things for their files.
Picturing them doing nasty things has resulted in prosecution and the threat of being photographed will discourage abuse.
What a terrific idea all of us who want to protect children can support.! OK the evidence linking porn to kiddy fidling is a bit vague but there is much better evidence linking religion to child abuse.
So let's start right there!
Child protection agencies - BEWARE!
So is it now illegal to document illegal mutilation of genitals in order to try and stop the process/prosecute the offenders?
I fear the law of unintended consequences more than sad people it is supposed to target.
Pedantry strike back
OK so aunty was a bit naughty. But no puppies were harmed, some good was done and nobody is trying to conceal anything.
Why waste legal time on being offended?
"Outside the US calls to a mobile are expensive for the call so the service won't work on this side of the pond until we get rid of termination fees (and start paying to receive phone calls)"
Or as is happening, technology and the EU, will drive down termination fees over time so the differences will eventually disappear.
Evidence is of the time not too long ago when there was a huge difference between local, national & international calls. Now there is no difference between the first two and international can be even cheaper if you know how.
Don't attack, just ex-communicate. All we have to do is cut all traffic Monday to Friday until they effectively outlaw DoS and the spam gangs. It will damage them more than us. And they can't DoS except at the weekend which is a decent protection and justification anyway.
Vista is not all you see ...
Don't think that piccie is of an EV. Or does an EV also need a 12v battery and sound deadening stuff under the bonnet for an ELECTRIC motor?
Still vapourware methiks. Wish the other Vista was ...
Class B Burglars
Hardly a professional outfit doing a job with 'substances' aboard. Too spaced out to hear the alarms?
Smaller, cheaper, faster ...
Errrr ... that was what the eeepc is supposed to be about. Big brothers are fine but I'm feeling distinctly uneasy about the lack of successor for the 701/901 footprint and SSD systems. Don't bloat Asus!
Cos' coat pockets don't get bigger.
Excuse me being a bit dim but what is to stop anyone using a proxy to get round the firewall?
OK, So sheep don't speak English
We come from a Welsh family which we can trace back to 17C. None appear to have ever spoken Welsh. Oh and my Mum still lives in Ceredigion (possibly the Welshest part of Wales) and we know of NO-ONE who does not speak English fluently (and that includes kids) when they want to. I don't mind what language people speak but I do mind what it costs and Welsh costs us all a fortune. There are other British languages which are more essential (eg BSL) which receive virtually nothing. If the Welsh language mandaters were not so concerned with protecting their own nests and were not so selfish they would put people with greater needs first.
Icon? Where is Janet Street-Porter when you want her?
BT is not all bad
Some BT engineers are very good and can fix the problems their management ignores. The infrastructure is slow but solid. Would I trust a landline routed through those thin Virgin streetboxes with their doors always swinging open?
So for a solid landline they are usually the best risk. Then use VOIP and decent ISP to do your phone/internet stuff and you get a decent quality/cost service.
Given that BT is left with a declining share of a possibly shrinking market - they have done not too badly (Global Div excepted). And BT ain't as bad as the mobile companies in rip-off tariffs!
The Bulb Delusion
The first two comments are surprising to me. I have been using CFLs for too many years to remember. Nearly all the first generation (phillips globe) are still working perfectly. They were expensive (£6), slow to get to full power, but had a warm colour.
Which would suggest, your correspondents did not use these or had an electricity supply or use that destroyed them.
Subsequent CfL of the 'rod' variety were very much cheaper - 49p seems to be the norm nowadays. Some are good, some from cheap factories are blue and dodgy. Could this be what your correspondents are judging from? As for size, the normal inexpensive CfL is a little larger. But I have never had a problem getting a compact version of that would fit in the space of the old 60w. Yes, these are more expensive (~£2) but still are much cheaper than 60w when consumption is taken in.
Sorry, these people are either rather thick, or deciding (like that NI minister yesterday) that their agenda is more important than fact.
But then 19% of the UK population believe the earth goes round the sun once a month so I guess alllowances must be made ....
My partner prefers 9"
Just like the VW grew the Golf into a mid range car and the Polo into a Golf - we seem to be getting steadily more obese as the eeePc moves into middle age.
Can we have a lithe 9" variant? I really don't want my partner excited by it protruding from my pocket. Quite willing to concede a little battery life which is surely the only justification for the extra size?
I did get mine in on time. But only just as I was expecting issues.
Logged in 10 days before to find my view of my password did not agree with theirs. No problem, click on the reset password. Oh it said it couldn't recognise me. After enriching BT & HMRC's coffers on the 0845 number the very kind lady tried in vain to find a way around the problem. About 30 minutes of wasted time each.
"Oh well we do have this problem sometimes and we don't understand the cause ... ". I should add that I also observed a number of raw server error messages. So is this a development beta application - or something that has been signed off as 'fit for purpose' with legal penalties if you can't avoid its issues?
I think we should know the name of the hand that signed. Severing it may prevent it happening it again.
Why go grey if you can go away?
Cutting of a source of legitmate licensing. Great idea Microsoft!
This is a two way street - if you want us to respect paying for IP then it has to be reciprocated by playing fair with consumers. Banning grey imports/differential regional charging is a denial of level playing field. Its the opposite of fairtrade.
It lessens the morality of dealing with MS. An incitement to pirate or, better, look for free alternatives ...
Add to the list ...
Add this to paying my bill online, unfixed after 4 years, text alerts unfixed since before Christmas and automated cc payments not working today tend to suggest Orange loss of plot meanders on and on.
Oh my for the glory days of Hans Snook!
I paid about £250 for an early 15" LCD monitor. It was a major advance on an alternative CRT of the time albeit at 250% of the price. Prices/spec improved. Now you can get 19" monitors under £100.
On those ratios nobody is going to buy sufficient in bulk to get mass production going until you get a lot of change from a grand. I'm betting the majority early-adopters will be taking a raincheck on this.
Come on Sony - you are going to have to lose a lot of money before you make some methinks.
Back to the Sixties
When IT departments ran their (mainframe) shop I remember being given a !CL 1901A to do my business modelling (~£30k?). Useless. Went out and bought a £400 TRS-80. The only tricky part was lashing it to a Termiprinter so it looked as though the 132pp output had come off a mainframe. We kept the truth away from the IT folks for a remarkable time. Perhaps it was the lack of support calls that got me in the end ;-)
Of course one problem is that Windows is no longer a personal OS. Vista attempts to lock out all initiative just like GEORGE & OS/360 before it. But then Linux does the same without trying :-(
Afraid its not street legal in the UK ... unless there is a metric option ...
Have used ED in the past and the service and pricing was good. But that was sometime ago. Has their service gone bad or are the 150 employees yet more victims of these stupid bankers who, it would appear, starved them of funds to trade.
Its a shame to lose people who actually provide a useful service. Empty places on the high street and net. Shame it isn't folks like RBS who had an apparently perfect record of putting money where they shouldn't (including the amazing Mr Madoff!) and then expecting us to bail them out.
And when it comes to administration the only people to benefit are the self same 'accountancy' firms that failed to spot and stop those balance sheet blackholes and the other major financial institutions. And accused forecasters like us that we didn't understand a financial instruments that they obviously had no real clue about.
Even telephone sanitisers are more use </rant>
Who needs enemies?
Having just ranted on elsewhere about Banks being a bit clueless on finance - here`we have the MOD a bit clueless on defence.
That's presuming it is our virus of the month and they are running bog standard windows. I mean any security expert should know that any Microsoft published security fix will be exploited within days and systems open to the outside (net, floppy, stick ...) has to updated faster. Looks PC like they didn't.
Even then standard security thinking should not have all one's eggs in one basket. Use Windoze if you must. But a mix of other OSs may put a little on the overheads (but saving on licencing?) will limit any failure to managable proportions - even if it means the top brass having to share a PC with an oik.
The mind boggles at some of their thinking. Especially, if like me, you have tried to sell them solutions (never mind the quality, feel the cost). Yet still stuff seems to come out costing us more than it should.
"the cynical might say that the last thing wind farm owners want people thinking is that 'natural' causes can cause mechanically violent occurrences to wind turbines"
Ahem ... if you check Ecotricity's website you will see that the remote possibility of flying ice from a turbine next to the Manchester City stadium hitting the crowd was the reason for not building.
Meanwhile the Danish incident occurred during maintenance. The cock-up was apparent which is why the area was cleared in anticipation. No UFOs were damaged during filming of the subsequent and anticipated event.
Always be cynical of cynics ;-)
Certainly are. I remember when the one on the A4 approaching Earl's Court went up. LONGER LASTING SEX had me hitting the curb, and NASAL TECHNOLOGY had my mind boggling all the way to Chelsea Embankment.
Maybe OK in a lads' magazine but roadside posters is just thoughtless and dangerous. ASA ain't my favourite body but this time my criticism is "what took you so long?". Trust the company which has already been banned from doing this in their own country (hello Earls Court again?) will be hammered for its further attempt to delay removal.
Then I suppose all they want is this free publicity.
Why didn't Canonical?
@ Conor Turton "Ubuntu 8.10 already has full netbook support"
Really? Troll across to forum.eeuser.com and see the endless threads on trying to get wifi, sound, camera, suspend et al working in Ubuntu. That's why Ubuntu eee and several other 'forks' emerged to try and provide an out of the box experience with what should have been the breakthrough product for Ubuntu.
Several million not very good Xandros installations was a gift if Canonical could have delivered a working product. Remember not all this market gets excited by ndiswrapping or kernel compiling. Load & Go from a LiveCd should have been there with 8.04.
I think we are still waiting. Meanwhile Asus (and many users) have returned to the MS World. Lost opportunity.
Simple: Require all mobiles be put into silent/vibrate mode. Otherwise require it to be treated as a suppository ... require all patients/visitors not suffering from a hearing deficit to not interfere by also not talking loudly and all on ward TVs to have only earphones.
Cameraphones? I've never seen a notice forbidding cameras not matter what the focal length. Good manners would be nice. It starts by treating patients as people and not as revenue earning victim for a wobbly private telephone parasite.
That's the Spirit
And`talking of Mars, Happy Birthday Spirit!
Just five last Saturday. Keep them buggies rollin'
Convergence or Divergence?
Does this mean Orange are going to reverse their policy of removing technology from their mobile service?Line 2, Everyphone ... the last remaining O 'unique' - SMS Email alerts is now broken.
Innovation took Orange from 4th to 1st place in the market (a unique achievement). Lack of innovation has pushed them back.
The Honda FCX website shows the future. The hydrogen being produced in the home from their natural gas powered unit (which also powers the rest of the home).
So instead of geting leccy from renewable & non-CO2 generated sources - which is the way we are supposed to be going. We are supposed to switch back to a fossil source!
This is crazy and not the future, cos if it is - there will be no future for many of us.
Treehuggers should hug Teslas - not Hondas!
If she wanted her fatness hidden from view - then stop eating!
Its not nice to see these expanding waistlines every day knowing you are going to foot their medical bills resulting from their selfish overindulgence.
I have no problem paying for helping folks who do have a genuine medical condition - but these are a tiny proportion of the obese. Perhaps showing the obese as we see them would be a better idea than trying to cause yet more grief to photographers and reporters trying to record real life. In the end shaming them might just save their lives!
The eye of the beholder
What is striking about this event as recorded in many forums is that many people can see nothing pornographic in the image and are surprised that anyone can do so. Equally, and presumably including Jimmy Wales, do see it as pornographic and hence questionable to appear on Wikipedia & elsewhere.
Now the difference of opinion is so widepread I don't think either group can claim the moral highground. It is just that. The image is dirty or not and this perception is independent of whether you are a perve or not.
So how do we manage our way through the issues of images that one group couldn't guess would offend/not offend a significant part of the community? Does it not suggest that we should not rely on a particular group of watchdogs? That is, by all means, set up watch/ban panels which if they are in line with your view can be switched on/off to filter your or your kids viewing?
After all, whatever the law, the split reaction of people would probably mean that if this image had gone to court it is unlikely that a jury (also being split) could return a unanimous or near unanimous decision.
Puritanical Self Censorship
I checked out the Scorpion Image (thanks IWF - you must have increased its viewership a thousandfold). Err you don't need to trouble Wikipedia/Amazon or your ISP's transparent proxy if you have an ounce of searching skill.
I'm a bit of a prude - like being surprised anyone on R2 would broadcast Brandt/Ross episode - but I would not have dreamt of censoring this image if it appeared on one of my forums. Obviously I was wrong and to protect myself, my members, the nations morals and every pubescent girl - I should have removed it forthwith. Which begs the question of recognising the difference between a tasteful nude photo and 'extreme porn' (as in the other story about the woman in polythene).
No time to consult lawyers, ask my friendly local plod et al. So it looks like nudity has to be off limits per se. That's the only safe understandable easy rule one can have when providing a community forum. Glad I'm not running flickr.
I was a child of the era that published Lady Chatterley's Lover and got rid of the Lord Chamberlain. Looks like we have already gone back to the puritanical fifties and still travelling.
Mind you, if anyone has a photo nude 15 year Wacki Jacqui - I think I might be tempted to publish and enjoy my penal servitude.
Don't let HP see this story. Or you will soon be able to buy a leccy car at PC World for only £29.99 and enough charge to get you to the first HP recharging point. At only £39.99 per (short) shot. Using any other cartr^H^H^H plug will invalidate warranty/set immobiliser.
Let's hope the EU mandates a common charging connection for all leccy cars
Never thought I'd hear that. But it takes some guts and resource to continue to host a DoS targetted site. Especially as it is a low revenue job. Well done FH and I hope this is part of putting your past reputation behind you.
Free Money (if you are vat registered...)
Ahem - they will still charge you 17.5% on a reduced pre-vat price. So if you are VAT registered you still get 17.5% back. A double discount ;-)
SORN Scam - OR NOT?
I do not understand Neil's claim. When submitted online you get an immediate confirmation page to print. I don't bother as I keep that on scren till the confirmation email arrives 30s later. It tells you to save that. And of course you get a postal confirmation a few days later.
Is Neil saying DVLA/Court did not accept their own confirmation - or if there was no confirmation did Neil check it had gone through?
I'm surprised the numbers are so low. If there is a story it might be under reporting because of the hysterical reaction to lost government computers. Golly I lost a company laptop (carefully hidden) during a normal household robbery. I guess quite a few here have had a mobile stolen. Given the large numbers of civil servants who have to use mobile IT - how many would you expect to lose by muggings etc - ie where the civil servant was not culpable?
I suppose that figure is the reminder that data will always be lost, however you try and protect it. Standard rules, don't have more than you really need, distribute it , make sure you don't have 'single points of entry' and pretty much anything this government has rejected. A walkabout laptop/mobile/stick should have no more impact than the cost of the device itself.
This is just the Tories fishing for bad news rather than taking on the real issues on government data grabs.
Single Point of Failure
Hospitals should be the first to realise that diversity is a great (the only real) protection against a virus. If the desktop is merely the client - then why is there not a mix of Linux & Windows? Neither is perfect but they are not going to fail at the same time. Too many eggs methinks.
KISS my mail
Do you get the feeling that in order to handle the load the 'sniffer' may be simply programmed for the ISP's own mailserver, well known webmail services and maybe other port 25 traffic.
Doesn't take too much intelligence to navigate around that. Indeed I would avoid obvious encryption as that may attract attention. All the terrorist needs to be able to do is read up on secure communication in time of war and have some offshore resources.
Meanwhile we innocents pay billions to have nothing of interest sieved. And no government will admit all the money was waste, will they? Like what we spent in Iraq - oh and if we hadn't spent that we wouldn't even be thinking about this extra security - would we?
All Hot & Bothered
So Quad Cores using "no more than 65w" are "energy efficient" and Intel are happy to push the market to 135w processors.
People were amazed at the original Pentium prolific 60w consumption. Seems a bit strange to re-label prolific as energy efficient. Looks like we ought to get CO2 emisions on the label and charge penal taxes on the leccy-guzzlers.
Mines the one with an (eeepc 901) Atom in the pocket.
This will be ideal for warning me of the delays caused by motorway roadworks removing all those huge signs just put in telling us there is fog when there isn't or invisible workman in the road or something in Welsh.
Why did we get this horrible, expensive technology when RDS/Traffic Info would have been far better if someone could have bothered to get the content right?
Indy 0 El Reg 1
The Indy has sadly declined so much that I have had to resort to the Grauniad. What a shame.
Getting back to the point in question. I guess we can all work out what the process will record and at least a dozen ways to circumnavigate it. So it will find record dim Indy journalist's sources but surely not outwit our trusty IT savvy El Reg & its deep throats.
Anyway - I don't mind Whacky Jacqui knowing my email partners - as long as I'm entitled to know hers. Freedom of Information and all that. Sorry, showing my age again ...
- JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
- Google flushes out users of old browsers by serving up CLUNKY, AGED version of search
- GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
- China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
- Something for the Weekend, Sir? If you think 3D printing is just firing blanks, just you wait