125 posts • joined 28 May 2008
No, No, not Nationalisation !
With reference to the AC above, please - No Nationalisation !
We used to have a nationalised communications industry in the UK, it was called the GPO (General Post Office) and ran the mail, telephones, telegrams etc.. Those were the days !
Three months wait for a telephone line, and if you lived far back in the scenery you got to share one with your neighbours. A choice of one style of telephone (it was large, black, had a dial and the handset connected to the 'base station' by a thick brown cable). Oh, and you couldn't 'buy' a phone - you rented it along with your line, but since the design never changed, you never got a newer one.
It was only with privatisation and the introduction of competition into the industry that consumers got better service and choice. Please, do NOT bring back those glorious -happily long gone - days.
Brilliant, pure brilliant. I always regretted not 'acquiring' a copy in the days when it was current.
I think it was 'DownandnotOut' above that mentioned 3D Pipes. Does anyone remember the occasional joint that came up as a teapot in some versions ? I can remember spending hours watching for that bloody teapot !
Never mind all the jealousy and bitching in the previous comments, and indeed to a degree in the article itself.
Has anybody noticed that a female driver managed to land on grass and not up a tree ?
Perhaps the SPB should reconsider their recruitment needs. But have a beer anyway.
Re : The Jon - The only known cure
That curly headed correspondent is correct ! Much to the aggravation of one of my sisters, her junior son on his 11th birthday declared he was vegetarian. This lasted about 8 months, until one Sunday she was making herself a couple of bacon sarnies.
"Mum, can I have one of them, please?"
Instant return to omnivore status !
Celebration purposes only !
I might have a pop at this myself, but I would strongly suggest that the SPB flight crew keep this for post-flight celebrations. The mind boggles gently at the thought of trying to launch a balloon containing all these electronics and explosives after a couple of these - just to steady the nerves of course !
Win 7 / Win 8 / Win 8.1
I tend to go with Cambsukguy - Win 7 is a good operating system. I find Win 8 on a non-touch screen a bloody nuisance, but Win 8.1 with its option to boot to the desktop is a good operating system. OK, some of the features are different and laid out differently, but for the little I have seen and used it for, it works quite well and it seems reliable.
Having said that, I have Win 7 on this computer and expect to keep it for at least another couple of years. Then perhaps Win 9 ?
I believe there is little doubt that it was marketing decisions that generated the negative reception that Win 8 got. Now, all i have to do is to find a screen to replace this Hanns.G that is beginning to go wobbly !
8.1's not bad
I have just had my first extended experience of Win 8 on a laptop I was setting up for a relative. Once I had worked out how to upgrade to 8.1 and got the desktop back - yes, I know it was always there, really - this has shown me that at least 8.1 is quite a nice operating system. It has its quirks, but so does every OS I have ever used.
My biggest criticism was reserved for the hardware. The left and right buttons are incorporated in the one piece surface trackpad. This required extreme accuracy in clicking or the cursor went shooting off, and after 5 minutes of this, I grabbed a mouse and control returned. Medium sized Sony Vaio - nice machine except for the trackpad.
Pack a ladder !
A splendidly bare target landscape - the highest thing in sight a large bale. BUT - given the propensity of things like gliders and radio controlled models to find trees, it can almost be guaranteed that a mighty oak will spring 'full armed from the soil' just in time.
Or, as it might be put on the Disc World 'Million to one chances are dead certs.'
I wouldn't leave the ladder at home if I was you ! But I will raise a glass to a safe flight when it happens.
Unfair to on-line retailers !
"WBT uses a custom installer, Monitor.exe, which it serves up from Amazon"
While I have no connection with Amazon other than as an occasional customer, I feel this is a little unfair to them. Unless I have completely misunderstood the Malwarebytes PDF referenced in the article, this PUP is stored on Amazon's cloud, not dished up with any software you might download from Amazon themselves.
The Economist and juries
To be fair to The Economist, the suggestion to try patent law cases without a jury is not a bad one. They tend to be very complex and last longer than the average case. Being a juror on such a case can create considerable hardship for the individual juror, his or her family and their employers.
The judges who try these cases are after all well paid by the state to be there.
From my own model building experience, all this painting and sanding - it's the dust, you know - is thirsty work. Have one on me !
It's going to look gorgeous !
Secure and cheap
The original poster wants safe and secure off-site back-up in case his house burns down - entirely understandable.
Apart from the initial outlay, this method is effectively free. Two external HDs of appropriate size and keep one of them in a friend's house. Do a back-up and swap it with the one that is in the friend's house.
I looked at cloud storage, and once you get beyond a few Gb it starts getting a little pricey for the private user. I've got about 450 Gb of photos alone floating around my system. It may well be a different situation for a business. A local company I worked for once upon a time - haulage and warehousing - had a fire one night which totalled their offices and the warehouse complex. Because of back-ups, they were working again as soon as they had a couple of PortaCabins put on site.
Good in parts !
The best bit about this article was the mention of 'Arrogant Bastard'.
I'll drink to that !
“Life is about to get much more difficult for corrupt politicians, arms traders, drug traffickers and tax evaders."
This is one of the finest non-sequiturs I have ever come across. With the exception of arms traders, none of these groups are set up as companies, listed or otherwise, so a register of ownership will disclose . . . nothing. And I have not heard the likes of BAE being discussed in the same fields as Starbucks, Google and Amazon.
Dishwasher - what's that ?
My wife has a dish washer - it's called Chris ! But that doesn't matter because I do most of the cooking and the knives are MINE !
Hot water from the tap to clean, and a rub with a steel to sharpen. The only one that shows signs of rust is the tattie (sorry - potato) peeler, and I haven't worked out how you sharpen one of them yet. Anyway, the rust comes off after the second spud and the human body needs a certain quantity of iron in any case.
This could be useful . . .
As a fairly enthusiastic if not very competent simmer, I could see this being very useful in other games, such as building simulated railway routes. If you got the geography, all you need to do is lay the tracks, dig the embankments and tunnels, build the bridges. Wow !
The hardest part I always found was building the bloody scenery !
Have one on me !
Superb quality imagery, and the equipment is obviously built to Victorian standards of engineering margins.
Employment opportunites ?
I was amused by the sits vac advert for GCHQ situated beside this article, but surely the slogan 'Explore another World' is incorrect ?
Should it not read 'Explore this World' ?
Ummm . . .
"Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command is now carrying out a criminal investigation, which is at an early stage."
Fascinating. Against whom might they be preparing this (possible) case ? Against the heads of NSA and GCHQ for crininal negligence ? For breaches of the Official Secrets Acts ? For aiding and comforting terrorists ?
Or are they working on behalf of Data Protection Commissioner, preparing a case under the Data Protection Laws ?
Re: LDS, above
It wasn't that the Philiips Audio Cassette wasn't stitched up with patents - it was. The genius of Philips was to say anybody could use them or make them, but they had to comply with Philips' specifications. Philips after all was, and is, a hardware company. the more cassettes out there, the bigger the market for players and recorders.
This is the way to grow a market.
That is not to say the cassette was perfect, it wan't. But it sure as hell was convenient ! Happy Birthday !
It's not what you know, . . .
I could believe that some middle ranking - Inspector, Chief Inspector - watch commander at Heathrow deciding to pull Miranda off his / her own bat. Among other things, that is probably what they are paid for.
What I do find difficult to believe is this same middle ranking police officer being in a position to phone up No. 10 and the White House just to let David and Barack know what he is going to do.
After all, this was a purely operational matter for the police, wasn't it ?
Why helium ?
As has been pointed out two or three times above, monatomic helium can leak through very small holes. If you can build a case to keep helium in, then you can build a case to keep everything else out. Why not evacuate the drives ? There would be even less turbulence and buffeting in a vacuum.
Just a thought - I freely admit I know virtually nothing in practical terms about how you build hard drives.
Call me stupid
Call me stupid, but since this is a shipborne radar system unless the US Navy is planning on mooring their ships in Downtown Washington DC, New York harbour or San Diego where is the conflict ?
Last time I looked, radar and mobile phone transmissions are virtually line of sight, I just don't see the conflict unless the Navy does plan on using these radars in the above locations. Further, since these radars are anti-air and anti-missile radars, if the Navy do need them in say the upper reaches of the Potomac then there may be more immediate worries than a lack (or excess !) of phone signal.
Another nail in the coffin ?
Another would-be nail in the coffin of free speech and independent thought ?
I agree, crime is crime and the police should be resourced properly to deal with it and the banks etc. should report incidences of even low level fraud - otherwise how do the police build up a picture of the scale of the problem. But since when was having a different opinion from someone else, even our Right Honourable Home Secretary, an offense ?
As has been said often enough, one man's 'terrorist' is another man's 'freedom fighter'. And when I consider some of the things I did as a 16 or 17 year old - I'd get a five stretch for them now. Homemade explosives ?
If I was an active terrorist in the UK at the moment, I would be campaigning hard against the proposals of the Scottish Parliament to complete the dualling of the A9 from Perth to Inverness. After all, some 12 or 15 people a year die on this road and that is more than the average killed by terrorists in the UK since 1945.
24 Hours ?
It might not be foolproof, but 24 hours notice allows you enough time to, for example, ground all aircraft and would certainly allow enough time for almost all equipment to be disconnected from the mains. That's about the best you can do in circumstances like that.
Not original !
Isn't this report just a little similar to the recent Committee of Parliament being assured by GCHQ that they always adhered to the law ?
I know Lewis Page used to work for the Gray Funnel Line, and even I once upon a time wore a green and brown suit and carried a rifle for Her Majesty - if only on a part time basis - but there is an old military principle of 'Honour the threat'.
I have to ask myself what threat are we honouring by keeping nuclear weapons ? I find it difficult to think of any realistic nuclear threat against the UK in the present day. It was different during the cold war - British ports, airfields and other installations were a vital part of NATO basing and reinforcement and therefore were justifiable targets to the Warsaw Pact forces, but we are no longer waiting for the Group of Soviet Forces (Germany) to come charging through the Fulda and Weser gaps.
I agree with both Lewis Page and Robert McNamara that, in terms of bang for buck, nuclear weapons are the cheapest way around of killing people in large numbers - but you need large numbers of people to kill before the investment has a potential pay back. And killing people in this sort of quantity has gone out of fashion, thank God ! Nowadays we get upset if two or three squaddies get blown away in Afghanistan.
Leaving aside the question of how fighting a war in Afghanistan is doing anything to improve our security, or further British interests, the sorts of war we are gearing up for today seem to be rather infantry heavy and the Government is reducing our establishment of infantry with a gusto. I know infantry are relatively expensive - they have to be paid on a regular basis and training them and keeping them trained is expensive, but they do at least get used !
No, I am a long way short of agreeing that Britain gains anything useful from having a nuclear deterrent. Still, I do agree with Lewis Page on the subject of carriers and catapults !
Congratulations on what appears to have been a very successful flight.
Due to the timely reminder yesterday I watched it in real time and you almost managed to complete the mission before coverage of Le Tour began. One eye on a TV, the other on the computer screen. I will raise a glass to your success and my thirst !
Pick up the slack ?
"Instead it has insisted that libraries, job centres and other public places will pick up the slack."
This whole scheme terrifies me, not because of any great direct impact it might have on me personally but because of the 7 million or so with no experience of using the internet. As the article points out, a large part of this 7 million comprises the poor, the elderly and the sick, who are the ones who need access to the benefits system most.
I am fortunate that I live in an area where local government cost saving policies have not impacted greatly on the library service and in our nice shiny 18 month old combined library, community centre and Council office we have 12 computers available for public use. That is all well and good, but leaves one hell of a training problem for the 7 million with no internet experience. I am one of the trainers.
I teach basic computing as a volunteer in the library and at the moment I am the only such volunteer. Most of my 'students' fall into the elderly category - I have had at least one who was in her '90s and learnt quite successfully - but a surprising number have considerable difficulty in grasping that you need to log-in to the computer with one password and then - for example - log-in to your e-mail account with a different one.
I fear that people like this are essentially going to be cut off from the benefits system. And these have been people with reasonable command of their faculties. How about the seriously handicapped - my sister-in-law who is confined to a wheel chair, my neighbour who is blind ?
Crime doesn't pay ?
Isn't there a zero or two missing off this report ? Even assuming that the £100,000 quoted - ignoring the + - reflects the wholesale value of this kit and therefore represents the sums that might be achieved on the bent market, over 18 months that is £ 65,000 pa.
Unless it is claimed that all this was done by one criminal mastermind on his / her own, it sounds to me like an awful lot of work for not very much return. Filing paper work; generating credit references; premises to accept delivery; finding punters to buy the gear - Nah, I'll just stick to my pension thank you.
There was an interesting, almost throwaway, remark in that article on the lines of 'Considering the blind when designing web-sites'. There must be hundreds of readers of El Reg who design or operate web-sites - I run two myself and will admit I have never given anything other than the most passing thought to users with physical handicaps. Yet one of my neighbours is blind so I have less excuse than many.
How do you accommodate people with severe physical handicaps ? I suppose adding sound to your links would be a start, But how do you make a Club program readily comprehensible ? I could see it being necessary to make every date a separate 'sound bite'. How I would do this within the size constraints of a 'free' hosting arrangement suitable for a small Club, that too escapes me !
One Hundred and Eighty ?
180,000 licenses. doesn't that equal 180,000 computers ?
That's getting close to two computers per member of the armed forces !
Naive, or what
Of course you spy on your friends and allies. Two reasons. The first is that you know where your enemies are - they are your enemies, but you don't know when your friends are going to change sides. The second is that it is generally safer and easier to spy on your friends and allies - they tend not to think you are going to do it, and the penalties for getting caught are less.
Naive, or what ?
You put milk in it !
I just lost all interest
" and a third got themselves in hot water by making political comments on a personal Facebook account."
Just because you are a Civil Servant you are not denied personal opinions and beliefs. Pascal Monett, above, may be right about Civil Servants not being allowed to comment about the government but a distinction can be made, I think, between 'The Government' and politics. So long as such opinions are expressed on personal accounts without identification to a government department, I cannot see where there is a problem.
HMRC's reputation ?
I don't see where HRMC's reputation comes into this - their job is to enforce the ( byzantine ) tax laws that Parliament ( = MPs ) create.
And further to one comment earlier, the record shows very little corruption at operational levels in the British Civil Service. Ill equipped, under trained and under funded are different matters.
Good luck !
And a gill of rum for the heroic replacement Playmonaut in case he decides to join the Navy and ditch again !
How's about ?
Soul Windows . . .
Long way for a shortcut !
I will admit I do not know exactly where BT's Adastral Park is, but Ipswich to London = 410Km ?
A quick glance at my mapping software suggests 85 - 90 miles, say 130 to 150 Km. Not that it isn't an impressive achievement - I would like a small share of that - but how are they routing it ? Via Leeds ?
Good luck !
I'll raise a glass to your proposals. That's an ambitious schedule of work for a high tech garden shed operation !
All the best, and here's to the health of the second playmonaut.
Level playing field ?
Leaving aside the bit about tax avoidance being legal, I am interested in David Cameron's statements about creating a level playing field for the international taxation of global companies.
While the objective makes eminent sense - if all countries operate similar ( and hopefully, simplified ) tax systems and charge broadly similar, or even identical tax, rates then the incentive to imaginative accounting would be greatly reduced. but a proposal of this type is essentially of the nature of a price ring. The problem with all price rings is that while they are in the long term interest of all the members, in the short term it is in the interest of one member to break ranks. Which is the cause of their renowned instability.
On top of that, how would our worthy Competition Commissioner in the EU take to price fixing on that scale ?
Scurvy anyone ?
First, I wish you well with this challenge.
Second, I would not want to be on a diet like this for very long - it seems to be awfully short on vitamins. There are some very nasty vitamin deficiency diseases out there which are largely a memory in Western Europe - scurvy, ricketts, pellagra to name but three.
As one or two commentards above have suggested, get out there and start foraging !
Fun, fun, fun
I just went through this out of ( morbid ? ) curiosity, ticking 'Neutral' to everything. Got told that I am creative and go out of my way to visit museums, art galleries etc.. There is some truth in this - I visited Louvre-Lens two weeks ago ! Haven't had as much fun with a questionnaire in years !
As a reliable indicator of work skills ?
I am reminded of a former neighbour of mine who was nearly 60. He had had a slight stroke and was blind in one eye. The local Job Centre sent him for an interview as a security guard on a building site !
What piracy ?
I have to admit that I am now numbered among the ranks of the 'Silver Gamesters' but I don't have any pirated games.
The most I will admit to is having a couple of No-CD cracks for old sims that were never meant to run on a 64 bit operating system, but I bought the basic software. I also have a bunch of add-ons, most of which are shareware or freeware, but I also I have some for which I paid hard cold cash.
re : M. Gale
If you think that's bad, try logging on to your e-mails from a French cyber cafe. I must have wasted five minutes the first time I tried it - then I looked at the keyboard. Still, could be worse - I believe the @ symbol is a special character on Italian keyboards.
3 to 4 minutes ? Wimps ! Tea must have BODY !
I have previously mentioned the delights of NATO standard tea - after sitting in a haybox ( roughly, a thermal container, originally hay lined ) for up to three hours, but I am reminded of a shop I worked for when I was about 20 where the container for brewing tea was one of those ginormous old fashioned kettles and tea-breaks took place in two shifts.
Fill with water, bring to boil, add 3 - 4 tablespoons of tea ( leaf, not bag ), and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve to first shift. Refill with water ( do NOT empty out ), bring back to boil. Add another 2 tablespoons of tea, let simmer until second shift comes in for their cuppa.
Now that tea had body !
Especially the liver.
Slice into smallish pieces, coat with flour, fry, serve with fried onions, mashed tatties and any other vegetable of your choice - superb.
And there I was thinking this was an IT journal, not Good Housekeeping. Doesn't change the fact that venison is delicious.
I posted a comment on Kelly Fiveash's last article on this subject ( 7+ M no internet access ) so my position is already known, but -
"an increasing proportion are made online." and "We need to tackle the digital divide, and this is a very good way of doing it."
This sounds remarkably like coercion. I have an elderly neighbour who is blind. It is so easy for her to claim benefits on-line, and to argue on-line about the correct level of her benefits.
That tears it !
Oh dear !
Two bacon sarnies this morning, with brown sauce, washed down with a mug of black tea. Unhappily, from that excellent cafe at Penrith ( England ), not the champion cafe between Perth and Dundee.
A pint of Fuller's 'London Pride' this evening, and currently working on a medium dry martini.
It would seem I am not long for this World. I can only reassure myself with Groucho Marx's belief - 'No man goes before his time'
The Scottish position
The AC above is incorrect about Scotland banning Sunday drinking - what we did was invent the 'Bona-fide Traveller' and provided a steady income for bus hire companies. You had to travel more than three miles from where you lived to be considered 'Bona-fide' ! You were not allowed to drink within three miles of your home.
The debate about mininum pricing has raged longer here than elsewhere in the UK. While personally I am in two minds about it, I agree with others above that it should be done through taxation rather than making retailers set a mininum price. If it is to happen, I would rather see any increased take going to the public coffers than to those of TESCO, ASDA etc.
For myself, I am inclined to agree with Stacy of Holland, above. There is a lot of very good beer brewed in the UK, but I am still glad that I manage to get to Belgium a couple of times a year.
- Analysis Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
- Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
- OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs
- Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
- NASA finds first Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around star