* Posts by Alan Brown

3738 posts • joined 8 Feb 2008

In-depth: Supermicro's youngest Twin is a real silent ice maiden

Alan Brown
Silver badge

SC847

Those aren't "storage server" cases. They're crap which transmits too much vibration between drives to be usable under high seek loads (and they're far too big for the number of drives they hold)

There's a lot to be said for Dell's 60 drive JBODs (which are rebadged EMCs as far as I can tell) or if you're skint, Infortrend's JB2060s

0
1
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: A negative

"My personal supermicro server's kvm management card is still down since last FW upgrade a year ago. I have to go on site and reconfigure the IP"

One word: ipmitool

Works well for this kind of shit.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Deduplication?

You only need the SLOG if you're pushing sync writes - and you're better off using something like a dedicated 16Gb HGST S800z for most purposes or a 8Gb HGST ZeusRAM if you _really_ need blistering iops (Remember: the SLOG is _ONLY_ there for power failure recovery. Under any other circumstances it's a write-only circular buffer and even in the event that the drive goes titsup at the same time as the power goes off, you only lose the pending writes, not the entire FS.)

(It'd be interesting to see a small fast flashdimm in these applications.)

As far as dedupe goes: DON'T DO IT. At least not for more than a couple of hundred GB of storage

ZFS requires about 1GB ram per Tb of disk under most circumstances. Adding dedupe will bump that to 4-6Gb/Tb with the requirement scaling exponentially as storage increases. If you skimp on ram then ZFS works well until it doesn't, at which point it really _really_ doesn't.

0
0

Galileo! Galileo! Galileo good to go after six-week recovery effort

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: I presume

"What is the expected impact on its service life"

IIRC it's knocked about 5 years off the spec but the service life of this kind of bird usually ends up defined by electronics failure rather than fuel starvation (ion drives tend to be _way_ overspecced in fuel in any case)

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Inservice dates anyone?

"Brussels on the other hand will have changed their mind about the spec 6 times"

The entire thing has been a work in progress.

This hasn't been due so much an EU issue as mission creep on the commercial side, however the accuracy requirements weren't achievable when the first designs hit the drawing boards. As such much of the delays have been down to proving the base chassis and then working on better iterations of the nav side until it met the specs.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: "reached its desired orbit."

"Good old-fashioned Gaullist dogma. Send a "screw you" message to the Americans, whatever the cost to you."

The funny thing is that the French military already have their own separate navigation system anyway.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: "reached its desired orbit."

There's always Beidou..... :)

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: "reached its desired orbit."

"The Galileo project is to rocket science"

It never was about rocket science - and given this was a launch failure the save of birds 5&6 is a good thing.

I'm still unsure if the EU will switch off their birds should the USA tell them to. Last I heard Uncle Sam was threatening to shoot the things out of the sky should the EU refuse.

0
0

Dot-sucks sucks, say lawyers: ICANN urged to kill 'shakedown' now

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: I reckon...

"I reckon most of these new TLD's will die a speedy silent death after the initial hype has dissipated."

That's a bet I won't take. 2nd year renewals for most are already down the shitter.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: I'm old enough to remember ....

"Nothing sucks like an Electrolux"

I seem to remember the computer centre having doctored posters which said "VAX sucks harder"

0
0

Chip rumor-gasm: Intel to buy Altera! Samsung to buy AMD! ... or not

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Buy or shed? Gotta keep with the latest Wall St fashion

"As soon as there are problems, the companies must start doing whatever is deemed to be the right thing to be dooing, otherwise the shareholders give them hell and want boards fired etc."

Not so applicable to Chaebois though - and I can see Sammy regarding AMD as a risky buy.

A chinese company buying AMD would probably be blocked by the US gov on national security grounds.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Samsung AMD one sounds a bit rubbish

"The current A-series line of CPU's is good enough for most people"

This is true, however the equivalent performance Intel part is usually cheaper until you get down to the bottom end of the A-series line (which are the parts that end up in junk machines)

I really wish it wasn't so.

0
0

BOFH: Never mind that old brick, look at this ink-stained BEAUTY

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: LP05

I remember seeing these in action printing phone bills - the fanform paper exiting at the top would reach about 18 inches feet above the printer before curving back down to the output tray.

0
0

'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Amazon

"When it arrived it fortunately was just under the UK Customs threshold. Otherwise the courier's paperwork informed me that they would have charged me £50 for clearing it and collecting the fee."

Other couriers have more reasonable policies. DHL for example.

The initial courier charge may end up a fraction higher, but not having to stump up £50 in ridiculous fees makes up the difference.

I'm sure that they can't justify this kind of rent-seeking, but I also suspect that noone can be bothered taking it to small claims to fight it.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Amazon

"I was just totting up my Amazon buying experiences"

So was I. 25% of the stuff I've bought on Amazon has turned out to be counterfeit. Ebay polices this shit. Scamazon don't.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: @Lars

"You obviously never ever had to deal with the French."

Or french who decide they can speak english perfectly well thank you very much and don't need native english speakers correcting them.

(Chinglish is a walk in the park by comparison. I had to rewrite French TRT technical manuals in the 1980s because the ones they supplied the telco I worked for were gibberish. TRT were "not amused" when they found out.)

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

13%

Most intra-EU trading is done in english.

The big issues are what was raised by the Commish - traders limiting access, but also by banks slapping swingeing surchanges on when there are different currencies involved and the rather minor issue of "support" - particularly if it means tech have to come from the source country or kit has to be sent back there.

As a UK buyer I've been amused on more than on occasion by a UK reseller going ballistic upon being told that we're buying off another supplier in the EU - many seem to think that they have "exclusive UK sales rights" and we aren't legally allowed to cross the channel for stuff. My response in all cases has been "Feel free to take us to court - if you can find a lawyer who will take your case on."

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Cross-border shipping.....

"Interfauna as a competitor to Interflora."

You can easily say it with flowers: Send a triffid.

1
0

Satnav launches are like buses: none for ages then three arrive at once

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Maybe it's better this way...

"For reasons I don't understand, Chicago Transit Authority gave up on skip-stop scheduling."

Simple. In heavy traffic in the key areas, busses can't skip because of narrow streets. In addition passengers kick up merry hell if they can't get off where they want.

0
0

Easy come, easy go: Euro astroboffins blast brace of Galileo sats INTO SPAAACE

Alan Brown
Silver badge

This is an EU alternative

As in, one from the EU, with extra features (both civilian and military) for people who happen to be in the EU (some are free, most are not). It's a shitload more accurate than the existing systems too.

NavStar(*), Beidou and Glonass are already operational. My Galaxy Note4 can see the birds - but I'm not sure if it will see Galilleo without serious bwain surgery (This is a question that tech journalists should have been asking Samsung and other phonemakers whenever they started touting their GPS credentials)

There are also operational positioning systems up there from France (yup, they did it alone, as usual, by upgrading their ancient SPOT system), India and Japan - but these don't use the "standard" GPS L1/L2 frequencies (the other 4 systems all transmit within a gnat's fart of each other so the same chipset/antenna can easily tune 'em all)

(*) That's the official name for the USA GPS system.

3
0

BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks

Alan Brown
Silver badge

"But when you've got to wait 5 days for something to happen, and with abysmal customer service - surely there's room for better companies."

'Mafia Mutual - we know where the BT execs live and what route their children take to school. They don't want us to be unhappy'

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

"Meantime i just cancelled a big business move because OR missed their dates for TalkTalk. "

The thing about TalkTalk is that they let Openreach do it.

My current provider was onto Openreach within a few hours of them not showing up and had them out the same day, but that's a simple thing because it's just cable monkeys being dickheads and they're easily dealt with.

When it comes to navigating the byzantyne mess of openreach vs bt wholesale in non-LLU areas, you need the patience of a saint. Even in LLU areas the ISPs end up having to deal with multiple entities within BT who don't seem to talk with each other, even if they're within BTW or BTO, making faultfixing a stressful nightmare.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: External Observers would agree with Vodafone

"There is no competition to CHORUS though...it's an absolute monopoly."

Not quite, but close - that's what 30 years of one of the lightest regulatory touches on the incumbent telco gets you, coupled with a policy of asset-stripping by not reinvesting in infrastructure..

In 1997 it cost $US9000/month for a 1.5MB/s circuit from San Francsico to Auckland - and $4000/month to deliver it within Auckland, or $20000/month for anywhere else in the country.

The thing about the price from Chorus is, it's the SAME for everyone, as is the level of service given and access to those lines or ducts, whether they're in a central city or a rural area.

It's kind of rich for Spark to be complaining about the regulatory prices set for Chorus, given they're heavily based on (but lower than) the prices quoted by Spark when it was Telecom New Zealand and trying to justify not separating the company. Because it's subject to regulatory oversight the pricing should be self-correcting longer term in any case.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: External Observers would agree with Vodafone

"Out of interest, how does ordering a new line or reporting a fault work under the NZ system? Do you still have to go through a retail firm to do it?"

Yes. Chorus is wholesale _only_. The difference is because the lines company is no longer beholden to the incumbent, it really does treat everybody equally.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Of course Voda want direct dark fibre access

"Why does the existence of BT prevent competition?"

It is not in BTs interest to allow competition in areas where it is the monopoly - and that's the vast majority of the country outside of core city areas.

As such they make it as hard as possible for 3rd parties to get into such areas - and as happened in Cranleigh, if a competing provider makes an announcement that they're about to start rolling out broadband you can guarantee that BT will have a doorstepping campaign running in _days_ to ensure they lock all the existing customers into 2 year contract extensions.

Openreach doesn't exist out of the goodness of BT's heart. It was the absolute minimum possible thing they could do to stave off regulatory intervention and is mostly for show, not for the benefit of 3rd parties.

1
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Where did the rural internet money go?

There are a LOT of hoops to jump through before BT will allow LLU kit in areas where it's the monopoly.

It was this kind of behaviour and a wish to avoid it being repeated in New Zealand which was a large factor in the regulators there refusing to allow Telecom NZ to have its own version of Openreach. History has proven them right.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Where did the rural internet money go?

"Except where there are too few people on the exchange so they say its not worth upgrading the exchange to even provide adsl,"

They say that until the village arranges its own broadband and EU funding, at which point the tune changes, which in turn nobbles the EU funding.

Cranleigh is smaller than Plaistow and it happened there.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Free market?

" BT had to raise its own funds to pay for the (then) new System X and System Y exchanges and all the upgrades that entailed."

Telephone exchanges are not local loop or infrastructure. Competing telcos have to provide their own.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: dark fibre

"a monopolist is creating a 'shortage' where none actually exists."

Telcos used to dictate what you wanted and when you got it.

That changed in the mid-late 1990s, but incumbent telcos are like supertankers - not exactly manouvreable. and traditionally cushioned by lots of govt protection plus the ability to leverage existing monopolies.

The current situation is as if Ford built roads and the only non-Ford cars allowed on Ford Roads were required to do so by sitting on top of (expensive) Ford Interface Units which Ford supplied and soley existed to isolate the non-Ford car's tyres from the Ford road, even though the tires were identical to the ones used by Ford, the non-Ford cars complied with all the same standards the Ford Cars did and the interface units were not required on non-Ford Roads, whether the cars on the non-Ford roads were Fords or non-Fords.

Oh and by the way, if you have a non-Ford car on the Ford road, you can't report a pothole or a problem with the (unreliable) Ford Interface Unit until you have exhaustively checked down a 120-point faultfinding list on your car and you go to the back of the problem queue unless you pay extra fees to be treated with the same priority as the Ford cars.

8
1
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Of course Voda want direct dark fibre access

Here's a big argument in favour of dark fibre (and there are various flavours of that including multiplexed bandwidths)

The less "stuff" there is along the line, the more reliable it tends to be.

EVERY SINGLE FAILURE on our current circuits has been down to BT interface equipment, but thanks to the current multilayer supplier approach that's added _at least_ 6 hours to repair time, every time - BT monitor their circuits and have known full well they have a fault but won't lift a finger until the telco we contract with raises a fault with them and jumps through hoops to do so (BT won't tell them their kit is down, so a telco tech has to drive out to the site and verify the BT interface kit has died), with a minimum delay to get onsite and deal with it of 2 hours.

One particular BT optical interface in Reigate is repeatedly failing (wedges and needs power cycling) - but BT refuse to replace it "as it tests ok".

When BT were the end-to-end supplier they treated interface faults as an automatic callout and have been known to have people onsite in 20 mins. They replaced dead kit on the spot. Interestingly although they're the supplier of the tail circuit in any case, the figure they charged us for it was _lower_ than the what they charge the competing telco.

Anyone who actually believes there's a full separation of Openreach/BTwholesale/BTretail has forgotten that BT Head office can see over the walls and direct operations _and_ that there's clear customer experience that contradicts that assertion.

It was investigation into the BT/Openreach model which made New Zealand regulators realise that it's a sham and that the only way to achieve true separation and market fairness the divisions had to be completely separated into different companies with different financials, shareholding, CEO, Board and offices.

14
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

External Observers would agree with Vodafone

When the New Zealand looked at the options for dealing with Telecom NZ's anticompetitive behaviour, TNZ pushed the BT/Openreach model hard and even split itself up "voluntarily" internally to try and make it a done deal they only needed to rubberstamp. (Telecom became "Spark" and the lineside "Chorus")

After looking long and hard at the UK model and how it was working in real world terms, the NZ regulators decided that the best way forward was to force divestment of the lineside, which was done after a lot of squealing and claims that the lineside company would not be economic to run, etc etc.

This was done by making it a condition of getting funding to sort out rural broadband (which is hellaciously more expensive to run in NZ than in the UK because of the terrain and low population densities)

End result: After the handbrake effect of the incumbent dialtone provider was removed the NZ lines market has exploded. Chorus actively sells LLU (instead of making it as hard as possible to deal with) duct access _and dark fibre_ - something which Openreach flatly refuses to do(*)

Chorus is now highly profitable and extremely responsive, with a huge range of 3rd party telcos hanging off their lines. On the other hand Spark seems to be losing ground rapidly.

(*) As a result, our 60km 1Gb circuit goes via a BT ethernet device & BT tail for 15km, comes out as copper, gets turned back into fibre for 50km of Sky run and ends up in a rack on another campus where it comes out as copper on a Sky interface. A single 65km fibre run could trivially be plugged straight into our gear at both ends and upgraded to 10Gb/s / multifrequency without further telco interference, but in order to "upgrade" to 10Gb we have to fork out 100k and pay an extra 200k/year under the current environment.

Thanks Ofcom.

8
0

Chipzilla spawns 60-core, six-teraflop Xeon Phi MONSTER CHIP

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: What socket?

Xeon Phis are (currently) a PCI expansion card. They do get "rather toasty" (personal experience).

The hardest part about dealing with them is finding programmers actually competent to write multithreaded code in the arenas we operate - they're as rare as rainbow unicorns.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: NICE!

Funny you should say that......

0
0

Tennessee sues FCC: Giving cities free rein to provide their own broadband is 'unlawful'

Alan Brown
Silver badge

"Tennessee doesn't want its cities causing trouble for the likes of Comcast with working, affordable taxpayer-backed ISPs, in other words."

Except that they frequently don't work, aren't available and are overpriced thanks to state-stamped local loop monopolies.

"The lack of local loop broadband competition in the US is largely a function of the exclusive cable franchises cities granted many years in the past."

GIven a choice between between having 30 different companies stringing cable along poles and then going under, or one outfit doing it, that's a sensible decision for the most part, however those exclusive franchises haven't had adequate financial oversight.

As for 50Mb/s - "yeah right" - there are more complaints about the quality of "broadband" from cablecos than from ISPs - and bear in mind that it's the cablecos who started the "rent seeking" behaviour over the likes of Netflix when it starting impacting sales of their own video services.

The USA system is a royal clusterfuck based on who pays the regulators the largest backhanders.

1
2

Paul Allen hunts down sunken Japanese WWII super-battleship

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: unappreciated prophets

"Japanese naval vessels were rumored to carry plundered gold and sometimes native currencies."

Such items are also entombed under various islands in the Philippines, according to various legends.

Dumaguete is the most popular site mentioned. To this day there are fortune hunters toiling through jungle both there and on Mindanao trying to find Yamashita's Treasure.

0
0

Hated biz smart meter rollout: UK.gov sticks chin out, shuts eyes

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: A waste of money

"You could fix it with energy storage, but you then build in vast additional capital costs over and above the economically challenged renewable plant."

You'd also need to build to build more of the renewable plant - all current storage technology results in a minimum of 30% energy loss over the cycle.

Hopefully in 20 years we'll look back and shake our heads about how silly people were to put their faith in windmills for long-term reliable power supplies.

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: A waste of money

"we could easily replace a coal or gas fired power station or two with the renewables we currently have connected to the grid. "

That's just the problem. We could replace _a_ power station (maybe 2), but you still need to have enough

The entire UK wind output peaked at 3/4 of the nuclear fleet average output late last year for a few days. Under normal circumstances the average is less than 1/3 and at other periods during the year output dropped to nearly zero.

Wind and solar combined could peak at about twice the current nuclear output.

That might sound good, but the UK nuclear fleet produces only a small fraction of total UK power demand and that's _peak_ output for renewables, not average.

1
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: @Electron Shepherd I don't get it at all.

"If only they could calculate demand at the supply end"

They already do - and even if meters instantly updated that someone's switched a kettle on, the message will get to the supply side at least 5 seconds AFTER the generators already noticed it and cranked up supply (or let the mains frequency dip a little)

Short of being telepathic, "smartmeters" will have no effect on predicting demand and the enercos really aren't that keen on them.

If smartmeters were worthwhile then the powercos would be installing them for free

The _only_ way to maintain energy supplies and reduce CO2 is to go "more nuclear" - and once you have nuke technology which can cope with load peaks (LFTRs), the extra costs of running Solar PV/Wind, etc etc will simply serve to drive costs up.

Current "renewable" energy supplies are heavily subsided - both directly and via "must connect" laws which force grid operators to hook them up whilst not allowing them to charge for the operation of "backing generation" (mostly being inefficient open cycle gas plants)

Don't forget that in order to reduce carbon output, we have to go "more electric" - gas heating ends up deprecated and electric cars will increase demand too. Wind/Solar will _never_ produce enough to come close to satisfying current demands, let alone the spectre of requirements 4-8 times higher than they are now.

1
0

More than 260 suspects charged in UK child abuse crackdown

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: @ Mine's a Guinness

There's some interesting speculation surfacing that the OSA is being invoked "on national security grounds" because the rings were connected to:

1: A royal close to the queen (unlikely to be one of her children as they're too young for the timelines)

2: Security services in Northern Ireland

3: Senior security staff (as in MI5/6) in the UK

Some names are being bandied about on the net. I wonder how long this kettle of fish can continue to be sat on before it explodes.

It's rather telling that parliament has voted not to exempt people from the OSA in order to allow them to give evidence to the enquiries, but I suspect the truth will surface eventually anyway.

0
0

HUGE Aussie asteroid impact sent TREMORS towards the EARTH'S CORE

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Devonian?

Most of the output of the Deccan Traps is under the Iridium layer, so comet causing the eruptions can be safely be ruled out.

Current hypothesis is that the Traps were erupting for quite some time before the Chicxulub strike, with fossil evidence supporting the idea - there was a dieoff underway for some period before the iridium layer appeared.

Under normal circumstances, Chicxulub should not have been a global extinction level event, even with the added input of the Deccan Traps. The final straw is that at the time it was a shallow sea with a _huge_ layer of limestone underneath and most of that got vaporised, putting an enormous CO2 pulse into the atmosphere along with billions of tons of water vapour.

This underscores that it's just as important where a rock hits as to the size of it (Modelling large ones shows that land strike = bad, open ocean strike = worse, shallow sea/continental shelf = even worse still)

For local extinction levels, there may not even be an observable crater. There at least one hypothesis that the younger dryas dieoff in north america was caused by a fragmenting comet skimming the atmosphere, generating a shitload of airbursts that effectively sterilised the surface - https://craterhunter.wordpress.com/ - I can't fault the idea and there does seem to be a fair bit of supporting evidence including melted rock formations in Mexico which appear to have been windblown into their current shapes whilst molten.

As others have said, the australian crater was known, but not the multiple large lumps. It's probably not large enough to have caused a global extinction level event though, especially given that life at the time was extremely simple.

The Deccan traps aren't the only ones associated with a dieoff - the much older Siberian traps are also about the same age as a dieback.

Personally I wouldn't be surprised if most of the larger craters caused by fragmented impacts rather than a single solid one - Shoemaker-Levi9 serves as a good observed example - but they're generally so badly eroded that it's impossible to tell.

From a human point of view, extinction level events aren't needed to wipe out civilisation. There are plenty of rocks whizzing around the inner solar system which are large enough to do the job and enough of them come worryingly close each decade that as a species, we really should be making plans to get off this planet.

0
0

Assange™ lawyers demand Swedish prosecution files or no London interview

Alan Brown
Silver badge

uh yeah

"the UK courts get first dibs on a small account of breah of bail conditions."

The standard punishment for breach of bail conditions without violence is a small fine and a warning not to do it again.

One of the local nasties thought so little of it that he'd breach his bail twice a day to go to the local betting shop - for 3 months. The police were thoroughly frustrated by it, because every time they arrested him, the judges gave the same "punishment" (and in that case the guy had an exclusion order because he'd been intimidating witnesses whilst facing ABH charges, so showing up was a threat of violence all in itself)

A judge tossing St Julian Asshat in clink for a few months would face questions about acting far in excess of the norm, so whilst he's technically in trouble the reality is "not very much trouble"

3
0

Wind turbine blown away by control system vulnerability

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Oh Good Grief

"Do the commentards here really believe that an industry as mature as industrial electrical and control would not have processes in place which circumvented any possibility of remote access to a piece of kit presenting a hazard to the operators or maintenance guys ?"

Not only believe it, but have observed it in action.

2
0

AT&T, Verizon and telco pals file lawsuit to KILL net neutrality FOREVER

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Time For An Alternative

"Saying what the public think privately?"

If they actually did, they'd be more than just a fringe rightwing party.

1
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

" The Google-friendly regulations"

Uh, yeah, right. Try "anti-monopolistic regulations"

The bare fact is that supply of broadband services in the USA has degenerated into cozy duopoloes and monopolies frequently protected by state-level legislation.

Endusers are faced with "the Phone Company or the Phone Company" most of the time and in most areas where there's any choice, it's "the Phone Company or the Cable Company".

Both of the oligopolies have demonstrated that given the opportunity they will engage in rent-seeking behaviour.

In areas where there's real broadband supply competition, these same outfits don't engage in that behaviour.

AT&T has almost completed reassembling itself since the 1980s, with state-level regulator collusion(*) and without that pesky "Universal service to all" obligation imposed on it by 1930s antitrust lawsuits.

(*) CLECs and competitive access to local loop for DSL have both been outlawed by many state legislatures in exchange for promised upgrade works by incumbent telcos which subsequently never materialised (or in cases where they were begun, were quickly cancelled once the competition ceased to exist).

The USA currently has the best laws and politicians that money can buy and is set to become largely irrelevant in the overall world scheme as its internal infrastructure starts disintegrating. It's likely to resemble the mafiaocracy of Russia before too much longer.

23
1

US states vow to fight Google after the FTC meekly rolls over

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Philae's either screening Rosetta's calls or isn't home

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: if the comet melts as it gets closer to the Sun...

That might happen in another 100,000 years.

The comet only gets to about earth distance at perihelion. It's no sungrazer.

0
0

Complaints against ISPs and mobe firms are up by a fifth — reports

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Plusnet are no better than they were. I've had to debug for some of our staff recently.

The best thing I can recommend to most is "change to a decent ISP", but people lock into 12 months contract from the cheapest bidder.

Most are blissfully unaware that PlusNet == BT Yorkshire. The usual comment is "I went with them to get away from BT and you're telling me that they're BT anyway?"

0
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

"Interesting that JL is 1st and Plusnet is 4th, when JL is just Plusnet with JL written on it."

Not overly interesting or suprprising.

At home, I'm with http://thephone.coop - who resell TalkTalk business. That extra 2 quid/month gives access to a helpdesk which actually has a clue and can solve problems - including making Openreach show up _immediately_ when they breach appointment times instead of forcing me to wait another week for a rebooking.

That kind of focus on customer service is what makes the difference between "Good when it works and 7 circles of hell when it doesn't" and "Good when it works and they get it working immediately when it doesn't"

JL and the smaller outfits understand customer service. The Telcos still work on the model of "We tell you what you want and we tell you when you'll get it"

1
0
Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: John Lewis? An ISP?

"All three BT divisions mentioned here operate independently. Ofcom insist that all CPs (Communication Providers) get equal treatment so BT Retail operates under the same rules as all the others."

In theory perhaps.

In practice, BT head office gets to see over the "Chinese Wall" and direct what BTOR does and doesn't do, as well as deliberately making it harder for external organisations to interact with BTOR than it is for other BT divisions.

New Zealand's regulators looked long and hard at how the BT/Openreach split works (Telecom New Zealand pulled the same stunt and was pushing for the same regulatory solution) before opting to force the lines company to be completely divested from the incumbent telco in exchange for broadband funding.

After 25+ years of monopoly abuse, the regulators were justifiably concerned at what they saw as continued market abuse by BT. It's easily arguable that in the UK, the single biggest impediment to free and fair market competition is BT (they engage in provable margin squeeze but Ofcom won't do anything about it)

The transformation of the New Zealand Telecommunications market in the last couple of years has been nothing short of astonishing, particularly for those who recall TNZ's anticompetitive activities during the 1990s (some of which are now starting to get to court, but they don't resurrect the companies which went out of business as a result). New Zealand has gone from a poster child of how NOT to privatise your telco to a good example of an operational competitive market with truly neutral LLU.

2
0

Hold the front page: Spain's anti-Google lobbyists lobby for Google News return

Alan Brown
Silver badge

Re: Translation:

"Google own their index, the Spanish gov own Spain. It would be wrong for one to think they possess the other."

I can imagine the spanish govt trying to pass laws to force google to keep indexing, with the result that Google simply withdraws its entire operation from Spain.

It wouldn't be so much "brown envelope" time for the politicians so much as "brown trousers" and possibly a smattering of blood on the cobbles.

0
0

Forums