* Posts by Alan Brown

5670 posts • joined 8 Feb 2008

Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Alan Brown
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Re: @mab14367

"If we have really cheap hydrogen, why not use it to replace natural gas?"

Because hydrogen has a tiny molecular structure and anything rated for natural gas will probably leak hydrogen like a (relative) sieve. Not a problem for short pipe lengths but when you factor in hundreds of miles of pipeline (lots of surface area to diffuse through) at relatively high pressures (more diffusion) there's an economic benefit in tacking on at least one carbon atom to make methane or ethane (methane attacks metals too, so ethane or heavier is better)

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Alan Brown
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Re: Joined up thinking....

" it doesn't ramp up and down very efficiently."

Nuclear using fuel rods doesn't ramp up/down very well (ie, can't load follow)

This is because of xenon buildup in the rods when you ramp down that has to decay away before it can ramp back up again (this also builds up a shitload of pressure inside the rods and the gassing causes the ceramic fuel pellets in the rods to break down to powder over time - both are undesirable, so ramping down is best avoided in a fuel-rod based design.

Molten salt fuel reactors don't have this problem, because the xenon (insoluble in Fl/Li salts) gasses out in the circulating pump headspace and can be extracted or left in situ to decay before being removed. This was amply demonstrated at Oak Ridge in 1968

Conventional MSRs aren't pressurised and can run far hotter than water-cooled systems, which in turn means more efficient turbines or process heat supply and no risk of radioactive steam explosions.

There's a UK fuelrod design variant which substitutes circulating molten salts inside tubes for the fuel rods. Whilst it's a simpler engineering change vs current civil reactor designs, it still puts superhot (400C), pressurised (20-40 atmospheres), acidic water (boric acid is dissolved in the water as part of the moderation process) in close proximity with radioactives which is a "very bad idea" in the overall scheme of things and means you still need a huge containment building with all the associated gubbins. Water isn't known as "the universal solvent" for nothing, and almost all the nuke incidents in the last 70 years have been because of water-related issues (corrosion of piping or rods) or compounded by the release of radionucleide-contaminated water/steam.

If a nuke plant is producing hydrogen for fuel (with further carbon tacking to the molecules to make 'em more easily transportable - hydrogen is a bitch to store and transport), then you do not want it as a load-following electrical generation system as well - large scale hydrogen generators or processors don't take kindly to variable inputs. In any case, a water-moderated nuke plant doesn't run hot enough to directly drive the water-cracking process (electrolytic generation is supremely inefficient, never mind the inefficiencies of uranium plants (mined vs fuel vs waste) and water-moderated electricity generation.)

Bear in mind that a molten salt system doesn't need to dump heat to water bodies (ocean or river), so you're not location-constrained to vulnerable areas, nor by hot days (dumping to atmosphere is sufficient and it's entirely possible you can scavenge more energy by using a vortex generator, bringing the overall thermal efficiency up from 35% to something like 45%, vs a water-cooled system's absolute best thermal efficiency of 28%)

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30 years on, Chernobyl wildlife still feeling effects of nuke plant catastrophe

Alan Brown
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Re: ...Now tell me again

(yeah, I know, feeding the troll)

40 years on, Three Mile Island's meltdown reactor is being cleaned up as radiation levels are safe enough to deal with. Leaving it to cool off really is the best option for such events.

As at Fukushima: noone died. Noone was even seriously injured.

Boiling water by putting it in direct contact with radioactive materials isn't necessarily the cleverest thing to do, nor is using sodium as coolant instead. There are better alternative reactor designs but nuclear energy is still the only practical way forward.

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Alan Brown
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Re: (Related) ... Anyone have grounded theories about this...

"but the pacific fish die-offs are supposed to be affecting many ocean species all the way up to Alaska..."

1: Overfishing

2: Look up "anoxic events" - and what's preceeded them in geological record.

possibly 3: Stuff like Minamata Bay.

This was already happening before Fukushima.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Liquidators

"There's a video on youtube from somebody visiting the most radioactive places on the earth."

That video ends by pointing out that the insides of a smoker's lungs are pretty "hot" too, thanks to naturally occuring polonium being concentrated in the bronchia. It's #1 on the list for levels of exposure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRL7o2kPqw0 - who on earth is exposed to the most ionising radiation.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Liquidators

"All of this melted, and created the "elephants foot" which is radio active glass essentially."

The elephant's foot was so hot that it would be deadly to be in the room with it. 30 years later you can spend some time in there.

Radiation tends to kill cells or damage them to the point where they get killed by their neighbours (which is why radiation therapy is a big part of cancer treatment). What that means is that if you get a large dose you'll either live or not live (depending how bad the damage is) and if you get long term exposure it depends if the body's repair rate is exceeded.

The liquidators have been treated appallingly and a lot of what you see is more a result of harsh living than long-term effects of the exposure. They were treated as pariahs for a long time - people thought they might "catch radiation" from them, etc.

Bear in mind that the world's coal burning plants emit more nasty radioactive shit into the atmosphere than 3-5 chernobyls _per year_. That's something the anti-nuke activists don't like being reminded about, along with the pointer that coal burning is almost entirely responsible for the doubling of oceanic mercury levels since the start of the industrial revolution.

Yes it was a stupid event, yes nukes could be safer but they're still tens of thousands of times safer than burning coal when you look at deaths and injuries per TWh from the various energy sources. The fact is, "we" need to get more nuke plants online to replace coal/gas ones, or the environment is fucked (Wind and solar could just about replace current electricity demands if fully deployed, but that's only 1/3 of current carbon generation. Getting rid of gas/oil heating systems, moving to more-electric vehicles and supplying enough energy to poorer countries to lift people out of poverty (cheap energy really is the key to that) means we need to increase supply abilities by a factor of at least 8 if not 16

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Alan Brown
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Re: I'm surprised that the wolves are doing well

"the only people saying otherwise are fringe scientists with a clear agenda. "

It's worth bearing in mind that the hot radioactives are almost completely gone (the hotter they are, the shorter they last). It's entirely possible that a lot of the effects are chemical, not nuclear (uranium and plutonium aren't particularly radioactive but they're worse than lead, if ingested.)

The thing which should really stick out is the claim that Chernobyl "killed thousands". The death toll is less than 200 and most of those were high doses from fighting the fire. The really interesting part is that a few extra cancers have been found in kids and the general population but researchers have pointed out they're being screened so much more than the general population that mostly they're picking up stuff which would normally be missed until much much later.

Radioactives which are hot enough to be dangerous are also hot enough to be detected at a distance and cleaned up - and in any case they'll decay after a while. Arsenic and mercury are forever.

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Austrian mayor spunks €40k on virgin-eating dragon

Alan Brown
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"Maybe the virgins were uglier back in the day they had dragons to worry about."

Maybe the dragons had to worry about the virgins. I hear ugly virgins can be very hungry.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Hang on.....

Maybe it was a juicy straw bull stuffed with gunpowder and dressed as a princess.

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FBI ends second iPhone fight after someone, um, 'remembers' the PIN

Alan Brown
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Re: "Remembered" the PIN

"Perhaps he didn't remember, perhaps he's been trying to be helpful but couldn't."

Perhaps he's been negotiating witless protection.

Exposing his contacts (and being seen to have done so voluntarily) will put a big fat price on his head - probably with a double bonus if it's delivered in a box to the person who wants the job done.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Q: How is the government ever going to convict bad guys without access to encryption?

"8. Sting operations"

As long as those sting operations don't involve entrapment (John deLorean was approached by FBI agents wanting to trade cocaine, which is why the case collapsed. He didn't actively seek them out.)

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Meet the malware that screwed a Bangladeshi bank out of $81m

Alan Brown
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Re: Follow the money

"Didn't the CIA run drugs to help fund their activities?"

Yup. Search for "the 10 reprehensible crimes of Ronald Reagan" and you'll find the details.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Follow the money

"$5M Would go a long way in Dhaka though."

But what makes you think that anyone responsible for this is in Dhaka now - or was there in the first place?

The network was completely open, which means that any compromised system inside it could have been used to compromise the SWIFT terminals - a lot of stuff that's assumed to be on a "private/secure" network has no security of its own - the assumption is all that's been done already and so only trusted people are getting access(*).

(*) This is STILL the case with the international phone number routing tables (somewhat akin to BGP4) and has been repeatedly exploited in various international calling scams.

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Alan Brown
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Re: "...Why go for a billion??"

"Note: Most crooks are caught due to this flaw, or trying to brag about their exploits."

The classic example of this is the guy who hit the repeat button whilst the computer was printing his paycheck - around 80 times.

He was only caught because he attempted to bank them all at once

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What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

Alan Brown
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"How do you fix it?"

A limited liabiilty company limits the SHAREHOLDER liabilities, not the directors.

Acting illegally can and should put the directors on the hook, personally, along with the staff.

No, I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone working in an illegal call centre. They may be ignorant that it's illegal on the day they start but they'll be well aware of the fact by the end of the day. Twonks waffling on about "needing to earn an income" are on par with those who defend burglars on the basis that they need the income.

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Alan Brown
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"in the telco being given a fine equal to last years pre-tax profit."

NO. This won't work. They're experienced at hiding profits.

10% of annual turnover is MUCH more effective.

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Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

Alan Brown
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Re: Ads are bad, mmkay

"Until you find out the calls came internationally from foreign countries who could care less about EU law."

Follow the money. The non-scam calls always trace back to a business which is local to you - and holding that business responsible for the actions of the people they hired to advertise would go a long way towards solving the problem.

This is why the USA's TCPA holds both parties jointly and severally liable.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Lots of people hate adverts...

"It's all very well to say that advertising isn't nice, but just blocking it is cutting off your nose to spite your face."

I allowed advertising on my browser for _years_. Even when frames had flashing banners in them.

popups, popovers and popunders could generally be premptively blocked with standard javascript defences.

What finally persuaded me to install adblock was when frames started pushing adverts containg full-motion video and sound - which somehow managed to turn the volume up to "full". Malware drivebys were just the thing which cemented my opinion that said-blockers would never be removed.

It's my opinion (and just mine, IANAL) that if a website's advertising frames push malware at users then the website operator is fully liable under the computer misuse act. I'd love to see that actually tested. A prosecution alone would be more than enough to make many operators rethink the way they handle 3rd party content, no matter which way the actual legal decision went.

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Alan Brown
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"for some reason publishers think it is sensible to charge literally hundreds of times the amount they would get per user per year for their subscription fees."

Handling fees.

That .50 per user per year is amalgamated into a large lump sum.

Those $1 week micropayments end up having 60-75% of their initial value pulled out by banks and other handlers along with added accounting administrative overheads (extra staff, etc) before the website author gets to see the income

It's all a scam either way of course but one of the big thing those 3rd party advertisers use to get their frames into unsuspecting websites is that website publishers no longer have to handle the costs associated with vetting and billing advertisers individually.

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Alan Brown
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"2 can just go out of business. Or mostly, anyway."

Exactly.

There are a lot of no-talent. no imagination hacks in the advertising industry and they're the kind of personality who gravitate to the "more intrusive" scale of adverts.

Loading them onto the B Ark is a fate too good for them.

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Alan Brown
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Re: snooping my machine

"legitimate advertisers would want to display effective ads to the people who might actually buy stuff."

The level of disconnect between the people actually selling stuff and those who force the adverts for that stuff in your face is amazing.

An example I like to use from 2 decades ago is newspaper advertising: $1500 of adverts in the local regional rag got $20 in business. Radio and TV adverts (or even a classified in a far larger paper from another city) got rates of return at least 10:1

The response from the local rag when informed of this was a proposal for an even bigger campaign costing 10 times as much - and the guarantee of increased business they offered in the first instance was waved away as non-binding. needless to say they didn't get any repeat advertising.

More recently (10-12 years ago) I ran into some totally obnoxious advertising online (spam and popups) and realising it was a local business made contact. They had been sold campaigns by a similar set of cowboys as the local newspaper, with glowing (and as it turned out, faked) references.

They had _lost_ business as a result of the adverts and were fighting off a steady stream of complaints. The owner described it as one of the worst decisions she'd ever made.

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Alan Brown
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Re: 'Wired' does this.

> After about 15s, they throw up a message, "Here’s The Thing With Ad Blockers..."

Which is pretty easy to stop.

If websites allowed an option for "non-intrusive ads" then I'd probably take ot.

The problem is they don't and generally they offer adverts in frames from 3rd parties who don't adequately vet the content. I've run across too many driveby software installations and _noisy_ adverts in frames to allow them ever again.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Almost enough to make me want to vote to stay in

"The internet is in need of a major cull of crap and parasite sites. "

Yup. Most of those parasite sites scrape content from someone else, bracket it with intrusive adverts then push themselves using clickbait.

Sometimes they even take over existing high quality sites..... Perhaps this has already happened to El Reg.

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'Impossible' EmDrive flying saucer thruster may herald new theory of inertia

Alan Brown
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Re: I don't believe this has an exhaust. That's what all the excitement is about.

"EmDrive produces a reproducible effect, now we need to know why."

It's not known if it works in space.

_NONE_ of the vacuum chambers on earth can pull a vacuum as good as the partial pressure seen at ISS levels, let alone further out.

Why does this matter? Look up radiometers - supposedly a vacuum effect but it turned out to be due to expansion of the tiny amount of residual gas inside the envelope.

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Alan Brown
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Re: question

"I can't remember which scifi author used something like this - using a ship's exhaust as a weapon to the roast a planet on approach."

Bussard ramjets would certainly achieve this.

The fun part about the microwave drive is not that it emits microwaves, but that the container is _sealed_ - ie, NO EM energy is leaking out.

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Music's value gap? Follow the money trail back to Google

Alan Brown
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Re: The value gap indeed

"For sale in our local charity shop : CD's 49p each."

It's worth noting that the publishing, music and movie industries have ALL tried to get sales of secondhand books, records/CD and movies made illegal.

Hence we have the first sale doctrine.

Not that it's stopped them periodically trying again - and also trying backdoor routes like trying to get licensing fees for resale. All of these attempts have been thrown out.

As far as internet airing of music goes: In 1999, APRA(*) offered a deal to all ISPs in Australia and New Zealand whereby all downloading of music for any reason by users would be covered by a blanket 99c per customer per year fee. They argued that it was no different to radio play and royalties should be handled in about the same way (99c is a bit high compared to what radio stations pay per listener but it was still worth considering)

Unsurprisingly that got stomped on heavily by the *AA's who were trying to maximise revenue.

(APRA = Australiasian performing rights association - this levies and distributes mechanical and copyright royalties for all public performances in both countries. Small artists would joke about getting a letter saying "you earned 50c this year, as our minimum payout is $5, it will be deferred" - and that's a lot of the rub about airtime royalties. Unless you are an uber-megastar you simply don't get paid much, but these same artists weren't being paid _at_all_ by the record companies)

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Alan Brown
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Re: Simply broken

"The artists and producers dream of the golden days when everybody replaced the payed-for LPs and tapes with an expensive CD collection. "

It's worth noting that CDs were a 10-year shot in the arm for the music industry. Those sales from 1984-1998 were largely driven by people format-shifting - new releases didn't sell particularly well and it wasn't helped by the industry unilaterally reducing artist royalties on CD sales by 60% - on the spurious basis that CDs cost more than LPs (here's a hint: They did for the first yea or so. By 1986 I was getting costings to produce 1000 CDs at about 2/3 the cost of 1000 LPs and by 1990 it was 1/3 the cost of LPs.

Prior to CDs the industry had been in a long decline. Sales of singles stopped being meaningful by the end of the 1960. Overall sales in around 1982 were about half what they'd been a decade earlier. The _REAL_ driver of the sales slowdown was simply that the format-shifting blip was over and sales were back on the same curve they'd been on (worse, because whilst they could make money for old rope, the labels neglected their new artists, resulting in a dearth of _quality_ new material to drive sales.).

One of the things to bear in mind about back catalogues is that the labels want them to STAY in the back catalogue. Having to keep stock of every obscure artist who sold a few hundred records because there's now demand 20 years down the road from a generation who've just seen them on TV (or youtube) isn't worth the cost of doing so. They HATE that explosion of complexity of demand that the Internet brings. Far easier to know that you will sell millions of copies of New Kids on the Block, who coincidentally have been signed to the most repressive contracts and can be discarded for the next New Thing next year.

From that point of view, it's like how telcos hate the internet - they used to dictate how much bandwidth we wanted, at rates they set, to make a nice profit. Now there's competition in the supply market and most new submarine cables aren't owned by telcos.

Hollywood suffers a similar problem. The main driver of low audience figures isn't piracy. It's crap content. Who's going to pay £15 to see a bad movie - and what theatre owner is going to pay £14.50 to the distributors per seat sold to when audience figures are flagging and it costs £600 a screening on an 1100 seat theatre just to run the projectors and pay staff? (yes, I've spoken to managers and the distros are demanding that much for new releases) - and as with record sales, movie attendance was declining at least as far back as the late 1970s - which is why so many old theatres ended up rotting in city centres worldwide.

The models _ARE_ broken. They've been broken for a long time - long before the Internet was "a thing" Google and Youtube are a convenient scapegoat, but the malaise runs very very deep and the damage to the entertainment industries is almost entirely self-inflicted.

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Alan Brown
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" If UK trading standards laid into Youtube it would quickly get shut down"

Closely followed by the record labels due to lack of sales.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Great . .

"That isn't really credible"

Actually, it is.

I suggest you acquaint yourself with some history - specifically the 1986 dispute between Television New Zealand and the music industry - the music industry demanded royalties for TVNZ airing music videos in their various programs. TVNZ responded by axing the programs on the basis that videos are "promotional content"

The net result over a 6 month period was a _90+%_drop_ in sales. It underscores just how loudly the music industry was crying "Uncle" that they paid full _undiscounted(*)_ market rates to air Michael Jackson's Thriller video - in the 6pm news adbreak and in several other prime time advertising spots over the following 2 weeks. In addition they'd had to resort to full scale advertising campaigns for most other releases - something that was only ever previously seen for big name "best of" releases.

A few weeks after that, the industry dropped their demands. By that stage TVNZ could have been extracting money from them, as it was fairly conclusively shown that video airtime==sales and radio station airing made almost no difference.

The music industry treads a dangerous line in tangling with youtube - Spain and Germany have already seen what happens when Google goes "Ok, fuck you" on the newspaper front - and that's without the risk of Alphabet exuding another pseudopod which could simply subsume the entire music industry without getting indigestion.

(*) As in a lot of fields, noone ever pays the posted rates for TV advertising. Discounts start at 20% and large-longscale advertisers get at least 50% off.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Google abeds copyright abuse.

"they drive up the prices of live concerts which have become the only way for musicians to make money now."

The odd thing about the music industry is that the more record an artist sells, usually the more in debt they become (with a very few high profile exceptions).

Many of my jobbing musical acquaintances and friends have done live shows for years as a way of paying for records to be made - and this goes back 35+ years. The whole "making it big" thing has always been something dangled on a string for the gullible, whilst sensible musicians looked at the numbers and took on day jobs to pay the bills.

All that lovely jublly money the record companies shower on new signups? That's a loan - with interest - that's paid for out of artist royalties. All the advertising, manufacturing and distribution costs? That's lumped into the loan too.

The fact that artists get $2 royalties per record SOLD, whilst the label gets $8 and the record store gets $6 - that's just the cost of doing business, don't you know? The real creativity in the music industry is in the accounting department.

The fact is that 99.9%+ of musicians - even sucessful ones - end their careers in debt to the record companies.

The same applies to the movie industry. Ask Sigourney Weaver how much she got diddled out of in royalties for Alien (or Mark Hammill+CarrieFisher+Harrison Ford for Star Wars - or Peter Jackson for the Lord of the Rings trilogy).

These same accountants (in companies with turnover and network so low that Google could pull a hostile purchase with change found down the back of the sofa) are wielding influence on trade treaties far beyond their actual value.

Ask yourself where the real pirates are - and ponder that it was once said that the perfect crime is one where the victims willingly hand over their money and never realise they've been swindled.

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Romania suffers Eurovision premature ejection

Alan Brown
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I'll only agree if the boat has a calibrated leak such that it will sink 200 miles offshore.

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BOFH: Thermo-electric funeral

Alan Brown
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Re: Cooling hammer

"I saw it in the bin, and it still looked good, so I took it out"

Usually after undoing the very tight knots in it (which were put there deliberately so you could tell not to use it)

Yes. After that I made sure to always carry a sidecutter.

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Alan Brown
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Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

"The reassuring clackety clack that thing emanates when running at its glorious 110 baud"

My old Creed model 7 ran at 45 baud - entirely mechanical with 2 solenoids for input, running on a 1/10 hp motor.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Ah, yes

"...cases that were just not fully formed, but with the worst, cheapest cases, the blanks of sheet metal had not been square in the former when the case was stamped. "

The kind of case that left you bleeding from simply picking the device up? (I've run into those)

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MoD contractor hacked, 831 members of defence community exposed

Alan Brown
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Re: Undeliverable emails?

"I happen to have a very short and guessable email address"

You don't get as much mail as twelve@monkeys.com does. The admin of that domain has blogged about the load for years.

There is a standardised test address by the way: email@example.com (which is also what should be used in documentation. It's guaranteed undeliverable)

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Alan Brown
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Pgp phones

In the absence of pgp phones you could always install Redphone.

Crypto is a lot like whack-a-mole in that respect....

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Alan Brown
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Pgp phones

In the absence of a full pgp phone you could try out redphone instead.

Crypto is a bit like whack-a-mole in that respect.

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What the world needs now is... not disk drives

Alan Brown
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"The larger ones (especially at the multi-TB levels you mention) carry a price premium ratio of around 5:1 or more, and there's no analogue to them at the consumer end."

Look again.

The pricing for PM863s is slightly under linear (double capacity slightly less than double price) and a 4TB PM863 is about 3 times the price of an _enterprise certified_ Hitachi 7k 4Tb drive (which are about 400 quid for my Nexsan Satabeasts, not 100 and some change)

It's at the point where I'm happy to eat the 25% premium and put SM863s in my domestic equipment for the smaller sizes - a 25% premium on enterprise spinners over consumer is unheard of.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Just bought 5 4TB drives

"There may also be a problem getting enough ports (SATA3 or PCIEx) if your drives only have a few hundred Gig each."

Never heard of sata or sas expanders?

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Alan Brown
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"until and unless enterprise and cloud capacity disk drive demand rises enough to offset the PC and notebook decline."

Enterprise is rapidly transitioning to SSD in all but the biggest sizes - but then again I put a half dozen 4TB SSDs in _one_ machine a couple of months ago and I don't think that will be the last occasion.

As for the price premium - that's falling fast - faster when you factor in the size of big spinny drives (3.5") vs their SSD replacements (2.5") (== much higher density) and the vastly reduced power consumption.

And no, Seacrate and Western Dogdytil are not going to keep customers by switching to SSD - after years of market abuse customers are ready to jump ship. OEMs might keep buying if the price is right but they don't have to worry about long term reliability. Everyone else does.

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NASA saves Kepler space 'scope by turning it off and on again

Alan Brown
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Re: If cycling power doesn't work...

"Regularly used that same trick to unpark the heads on an external 20(?)MB HDD "

Picking it up and a jerky twist on the platter axle axis usually achieved the same result without risking unseating the heads from their carriers (which makes for an interesting sound as they bounce off the spinning platters on their wire tethers)

The real solution to drives which had sticktion problems (other than replacing them) was to never turn them off.

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Adobe scrambles to untangle itself from QuickTime after Apple throws it over a cliff

Alan Brown
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Re: >QuickTime on Windows isn't really QuickTime

"Safety vids & preliminary exam questions for basic UK building site regs are offered on a CD in Quicktime.. but that's guvverment for you"

That won't be government.

The Cabinet Information Office has made it clear that all levels of uk.gov _must_ use portable, open, _documented_ formats. They've made it clear to a number of councils and other outfits who felt that "Word" was a standard that it's not. This applies to video formats too.

If you receive _anything_ that's not a proprietary format (and mov is proprietary) then a few complaints to the CIO are in order. They _will_ take action. (Most recent one for me was an order to the DfT to stop using some unreadable proprietary apple format in email attachments.)

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Alan Brown
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Re: Chuckle ...

"a closed source proprietary software package"

And a closed source proprietary format too.

This is why the very few opensource quicktime players only support a limited range of types - the ones which have been reverse-engineered

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Kent Police handed domestic abuse victim's data to alleged abuser – a Kent cop

Alan Brown
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"glad that heads have rolled"

Except they haven't. A fine has been levied and hands smacked, but nobody's actually been named and shamed or publically kicked out (and I don't just mean the abusive partner - if they're stupid enough to hand over stuff they shouldn't do, then they're unsuitable for any role in the police - and those covering need to go too.)

Personal experience with Police and the ICO is that even after having been reprimanded twice for failure to follow laws is that internal police investigations exonerated everyone involved (including a senior inspector, who knew full well what the laws are, chose to ignore them and faced no punishment whatsoever)

Maybe I sound harsh, but I don't believe in cutting police slack for breaching laws. They can and should be held to higher standards with higher panalties for lawbreaking. Without that we continue to see only a couple of degrees of separation between crooks and cops.

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Alan Brown
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"enable those wronged to sue them for Misfeasance in Public Office"

Not to mention what the law society should be doing to the solicitor.

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Edward Snowden sues Norway to prevent extradition

Alan Brown
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Re: The marathon-couch-surfing champion in the Ecuadorian embassy

"He also faces some jail time in the UK"

Bail breaches are contempt of court. For a first offence it's highly unusual to get more than a telling off and perhaps the rest of the day in the cells.

Even seasoned bail-breaches seldom get more than this - personal experience after a stalker (with a history of gbh convictions) ignored all his bail conditions. The judges clearly saw a lot of it but continued reimposing the same non approach orders which continued being ignored.

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Computers shouldn't smoke. Cigarettes aren't healthy for anyone

Alan Brown
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Re: Keyboard hell (@Binky)

And if you cant have a model M, get yourself a Cherry G80

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SpectraLogic debuts big, bad exabyte-tastic temple of tape

Alan Brown
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Re: Must be a Boulder thing

"This must be a Boulder thing."

Also in Colorado and not far away: MP Tapes - worth noting them and especially what they sell (in particular: Cartridge analysis tools, and media cleaning machines - both rebadged all over the world and sold at insane markups, but absolutely necessary for reliable tape ops)

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Dutch PGP-encrypted comms network ‘abused by crooks’ is busted

Alan Brown
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"companies are using "canaries" to rat the government out"

Canaries won't work if you've been ordered to keep them running.

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One million patients have opted out of Care.data

Alan Brown
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Re: An arm and a leg

"Payment taken in advance, of course..."

Yup. It's called Tax and NI

NHS care is not free. You already paid for it. Jeremy Hunt and friends want you to pay for it twice.

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