422 posts • joined 21 Jul 2008
Re: Back in the day...
"Ever the salesmen, the paid monkey in a suit even handed me an example foot-long length of this wondrous "fibre-optic cable" as an example of what would soon be carrying a plethora of TV channels and other services into the comfort of my own home."
I had an electricity guy knock at my house a couple of years ago who claimed that his company had been round replacing all the external wiring to allow it to be used for renewable energy. He turned up in a van with a clipboard and demanded to see our meter before starting his pitch. It was quite bizarre and could be summarised as "lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, sign here". Alas he didn't win our business.
Re: It's a crisis?
"If they have the Internet, then why have a library?"
Because they're, you know, different things.
Re: Substantial majority
"How about only being able to advertise the speed which say 90% of customers will experience for 90% of the time "
Your line speed is your line speed. It doesn't vary.
Your 90% of the time issue is about throughput and that's down to how much contention you're paying for. Less contention = higher cost. How do you define 90% of the time? Actual usage time will vary from user to user and the throughput will be a function of how many other people are sharing your bandwidth and what they're doing.
Re: evidence, evidence...
"My link was to evidence that it ain't been warming much or at all in the last 15 years."
Indeed but you missed off "if you only look at one data set - surface air temperature". If you were to look at - for instance - sea temperature, you'd see a very different picture. The Met Office themselves state that anyone who cherry picks that one piece of data and uses it out of context is being wilfully misleading, as in their published exchange with David Rose.
I stand by it being idiotic to take the sum total of the research and efforts of thousands of people, look through it for one piece of data that when taken out of context appears to contradict global scientific concensus and then say "See! They're wrong!"
" I hope that isn't what you'd really like to do to anyone who disagrees with you :-)"
I don't mind at all people disagreeing with me. I am often wrong. Thankfully I am not a climate scientist and so your argument with this data is not with me at all.
Re: evidence, evidence...
If I stick a thermometer to your feet and then set fire to your head, how long would you continue to claim that there'd been no warming and that temperatures were remaining stable?
Cherry-picking one data set does not constitute science. From the same site;
"Others would point out that actually there has been no warming for the last fifteen years and more,"
But those people would be science-ignoring idiots not fit to grace the pages of what is at least superficially a publication interested in data, science and evidence.
Re: Product placement aside
I had a Citroen where the centre of the steering wheel always remained in the same position.
Isn't that the whole point of the article though? If you don't like your current ISP, sign up with another one. There are enough ISPs and packages in the UK that everyone can find a package that suits.
Whether the package you want is affordable or not is a different question though
Re: You (should) get what you pay for
"If the bandwidth rates were properly enforced, there would be no issues, you pay for 2Mbs you get that, and if you have it switched on all of the time who cares, its not like water."
No. You can buy an uncontended 2Mbps service, but it will be expensive - maybe 10 or 20 times more expensive than a broadband service.
Broadband is cheap because you share backhaul bandwidth with other users. If you don't want to share, you don't have to, but the cost will reflect that.
Re: We manage it in Europe
" you'll soon be finding out about the other unaccounted for costs of your system: we're producing the medical breakthroughs. You just parasitically feed off of them"
So, by that logic - the latest Apple toys are far more expensive in the US because that's where all the new product development happens?
It's a global market. R&D happens wherever it happens, the costs are included in the prices of things that are then sold globally. It's crazy to suggest that huge swathes of US citizens have to go without healthcare (which is what the market approach delivers) so that you can do R&D. Just think about the logic of that for a second - "You poor guys have to have no healthcare so we can do research on making the healthcare you can't have, better".
"That's why people from Europe come to the US to pay our "outrageous prices""
Don't confuse the costs of specific treatments with the costs of coverage. In some cases a specific treatment is cheaper in the US because of simple scale issues. My son might need a type of surgery known as SDR at some point and currently that's done in Boston, because there's not enough need for it in the UK to set up such a specialism here. If that happens though - it will be paid for by the UK state heatlhcare scheme, the NHS. I'll point out that there are kids in the US who need this surgery who can't get it because their parents are refused cover for a child with a serious disability. So no, your argument is wrong.
A supposedly Christian country that believes access to healthcare should be dependant on how wealthy you are must have lost its way somewhere along the line. By all means discriminate on how fancy your car is, how flash your house is, the clothes you wear and the holidays you take - but healthcare? That's batshit crazy.
"The sooner ISPs understand that the ONLY business they are in is that of shuffling packets from A to B as fast and securely as possible, the better off we all will be"
That's fine, that model can work, but it's not what investors understood to be the case and it's not the model that banks lent capital against for network rollout.
If the value add stuff is removed from what ISPs can do then one of two things will happen;
-The price of that 'shuffling packets' service will rise - banks and investors still want paying back
-Businesses collapse, mergers, takeovers - leading to fewer players. Again, prices will rise.
You might end up achieving your neutrality goal but at a higher price than if there had been no intervention.
I'm sure I'll be downvoted straight to hell, but you can't pretend Internet access exists in a vacuum untouched by economics, especially if the provision of those services is by private enterprise.
Re: Obama Plan for Internet?? - Nooooo!
"The answer to your question boils down to three choices:
You can cover everyone
You can cover every health problem
You can keep costs low
Now, pick any two of the above. You are not allowed by the laws of economics to pick all three, sorry."
Well - actually, you can have all three - or you can reach a point that encompasses all three things. We manage it in Europe - it requires the risk to be socialised. It doesn't need to be entirely state-run, private provision works, but you can't do all three if every interaction requires that a profit be made.
Let's look at the UK. Cradle to grave care including emergency cover, pregnancy, childbirth - a seriously comprehensive package. It's entirely funded by taxation and costs £110Bn a year to run. There are 64 million people in the UK, so it costs £1700 a year, per citizen. £143 a month.
Not everyone can afford to pay that though, so the wealthy pay more and the poor pay less and some people (children, pensioners) don't have to pay at all.
In terms of your original three points - it covers everything, it covers everyone, and it does it for half the cost of the US system that achieves neither points one or two.
"I had to get a new system, pronto."
Repairing the power connector didn't occur?
Let me know when a bulb goes in your car. I may be able to do you a great deal on a Range Rover.
Re: First/Final Mile
"And thanks to the virtual monopoly that Openreach has on the leg between the consumer and the point of presence"
Virgin's last mile network covers around half the UK.
Re: Cheap dig
"How about trying to make an adult comment about what is wrong with the Russian attitude towards gays rather than just being bitchy?"
It's as repellent to disapprove of someone because of their sexuality as it is because of the colour of their skin. Being gay is not a lifestyle choice or perversion.
Adult enough for you?
Re: Excellent if it happens...
The operators make far less money for a wholesale call than they do for a retail call. It messes with the economics and will tend to provide an incentive to not build out network.
If you look at fixed line telecoms, the requirement on BT to provide wholesale access to its network and regulation then setting the charges for that access at a low rate has resulted in very few telcos building their own. It has worked in that there is lots of competition and cheap prices in the UK, but not much infrastructure competition. That's different to the mobile market today and this new rule, if introduced, would tend to make the economics of buy/build more like the fixed market.
My 820 has all three.
Hmm, interesting. It's possible to buy a German toll free number that gets delivered to the UK though, the restriction is only on geographic numbers.
That's not regulation, that's your supplier refusing to sell you a product.
I can buy EU numbers to be delivered to the UK from a whole selection of suppliers. I can do it in most places around the world. Even Skype will sell you a number. You don't need to be resident or have an office in any of the countries.
Re: Um, no...
"Of course Nokia's smartphone market share had fallen, the smartphone market itself had grown."
Erm, in a healthy business with products that people want, they'd have ridden that growth and maintained market share. They didn't.
It's a cognitive thing. Interacting with the voice of a person you can't see - whether they're real or not, places a big load on the same system in the brain that deals with holding a spatial model of where you are and what's around you. It's quite important when driving.
Moving faster than we can run and talking to people we can't see are both recent developments in evolutionary terms - attempting to do both simultaneously with the same brain system is asking for trouble. Even walking and doing it is hard - witness people on the pavement stopping suddenly, swerving or walking into people when using mobiles.
You can try it yourself at home. Play a game like Tetris and try and do other things at the same time - talk to someone sitting next to you, have some shouty kids next to you and then try talking to someone on a mobile. I'll bet upwards of 40p that your lowest score will be on the latter 'trial'.
Interestingly it's not so apparent where the communications mode isn't full-duplex. Those car radios the police use with a CB style 'push to talk' button don't cause the same impairment. It's hard to make a like-for-like comparison as the systemic driving training the emergency services drivers receive means they use their brains differently to most people when driving.
Re: I can't think of Alan Turing without thinking of the radio series Hut 33!
"Indeed. Values lasted much longer without being power cycled."
I don't think the original Bombes had valves, they were electro-mechanical. You might be thinking of Colossus.
The later 'high-speed' bombes had valves, but they were built by the US.
"Networks that cost billions to install, maintain and upgrade. That investment did not come from nowhere, it was profit driven. Profits that ate supporting your pension and driving the economy, thus giving you a job."
You spent all that money without doing a proper risk analysis and offset on potential regulatory changes? That sounds like a failure of due diligence to me.
It's not in any way communist to regulate markets, especially ones with a small number of large players and gigantic barriers to entry. The market hasn't delivered effective competition in roaming and so regulation is required to correct the error.
"At the end of the day most phone calls are back hauled over the "Internet" (private or public) between cell towers so it makes NO difference what country that second tower is in. "
Actually it does. Most cellular operators don't have much in the way of international capacity. If a call leaves their network, someone has to be paid. Similarly a UK call plan will have costs based on the termination fees charged by BT Wholesale - give or take - if the regime in another country has a different termination model, those plans don't add up.
I'm sure this is all detail that can be worked out, but pretending that this is in some way 'free' to the operators because of the existence of Skype is a nonsense.
Re: My cordless landline doesn't, and that's a phone.
Can I be a pedant for just a moment? I know that usage trumps all else but; the word 'mobile' accurately means 'movable by vehicle'. Think of a mobile library. A mobile home. A mobile disco. None of those things will fit comfortably in your pocket.
The term 'mobile phone' was the US equivalent of the British 'car phone' - a device that predated cellular telephones by maybe 20 years (google the GPO's Radiophone / System 4 service). We even have a national chain named "carphone warehouse".
When we say 'mobile phone' in modern usage, we really mean 'transportable phone' if we're talking about the specific device type, or maybe "cellular phone" if we want a catch all.
Re: Kinda' sad, Apple used to wear the "it just /works/" crown ...
In British English as well, "it just works" has a second meaning - to get the same meaning in American English, insert the word "only" after "it".
Re: Green Prince of Darkness
"On the other hand, clouds, generally speaking, are not so reliable."
Agreed. But you'd be surprised how little of the earth's surface, near the equator, would need to be covered in solar panels to provide 100% of global energy requirements 24/7 - even with clouds. There's "a bit of work" required to make that happen, but it's feasible - meaning we'd use batteries for portable devices (like cars) rather than to smooth sporadic grid input.
Re: Green Prince of Darkness
"Since DC generation from wind and photovoltaics is sporadic"
I believe the sun's output is pretty reliable. Life on our planet rather depends on it.
"If the environmentalists are right, in that new mines will inevitably be more expensive to develop than the old mines with the easy stuff in it, then when mines close because of falling prices it must be the new mines that close, right? "
That's quite a straw man. Older mines will have less un-mined material left and ageing capital kit. A newer mine will have the latest tech and, presumably, a worthwhile amount of material to be mined.
Development cost is not operational cost.
Re: But Will They Have Any Useful Attributes?
I'm not sure I understand. My 820 does handsfree, and does it pretty well. I think it's a standard feature.
Re: Flash/Non Flash.
"many consumers wouldn't buy a Microsoft phone anyway ... such a poor record on lies and mistruths."
Do you mean in much the same way as practically no-one in the world has a PC running a Microsoft OS?
Re: Journalistic Integruhty
"So, people that break into safes are safehackers?"
I don't believe such a term is in general usage amongst the population, so no.
The use of "hacker" to mean a person who gains unauthorised access and use of a computer system *is* in general usage.
Re: Journalistic Integruhty
"they still call people that break into systems for nefarious purposes 'hackers'"
Usage defines meaning. Much as it may pain you, hacker is the right term.
You need to buy a 2 Amp charging lead and try to have at least 50% battery when you start navigating. I've just driven to the south of France with my Lumia 820 as a sat nav, the battery was fine. Before I bought a better charging lead it would run out of puff after a couple of hours.
James Dyson said in an interview that they've never made a vacuum with an motor that powerful - they rely on efficiency rather than grunt to work.
Re: Great, maybe...
"Either visibility is such that you don't need your fog lights turned on, or you shouldn't be doing anything like 70 mph."
I was taught to only use rear fog lights in fog (obviously) and only for as long as no headlights were visible behind. Once I could see lights behind, turn them off - on the basis that they had served their purpose at that point and leaving them on was likely to just mask braking.
Re: Dazzle and indicators
"For example you will not find me stopped at traffic lights, in a lane where I can only turn right, sitting there with my indicator on."
Even though such indication would be of use to young people who've yet to learn to drive, or to people with less than perfect vision? Don't presume that just because you know it's a turn-only lane that other people do too.
Re: pushbike headlamps
"Most night cyclists I see have poor or no lighting at all"
Your statement contains a logical conundrum. It seems to suggest that cyclists with no lights are easier to see.
" a smaller headlight will appear brighter when looked at head on"
isn't that why in the UK headlamps have to aim down and to the left? It shouldn't be possible to look at an oncoming car's headlights head on because they should never be pointing that way.
Re: Daytime running lights
" Now with daytime lamps, the dash lights are always on, making people sometimes think their headlamps are on."
That's not the case with our VW. Only turning side or headlights on illuminates the dash lighting. with the lights set to 'off' and the DRLs on (conventional bulbs, not LEDs on our car) only the needles are illuminated.
Re: This is terrible news!
There are seven in our house right now. My work phone and personal phone. My wife's personal phone and work phone. My father-in-law and mother-in-law both have one, as does my son's carer.
Maybe I fit an odd demographic, but I don't know anyone who has bought a smartphone in the last six months who hasn't bought a windows phone.
Re: No spare wheel?
I'd imagine exactly the same as with the many modern cars that come without a spare - a can of squirty puncture fix stuff to get you to the nearest tyre repair place.
Re: Why Li-ion?
"It matters very little whether a house-scale solar storage battery weighs 10kg, 100kg, 1 tonne or possibly even 10 tonnes."
It kind of does unless you want to undertake significant building work to strengthen your floors.
Re: Lets price up a car battery
"I went into all this is some detail years ago."
Clearly not all that deeply. Lead acid batteries are ruined quickly by deep discharge cycles, so to avoid replacing your cells every few months you would need to buy multiples of your actual intended usage. That takes up a ton of space and requires a reasonable amount of maintenance.
You also seem to have ignored the requirement for a means of charging this huge shed full of batteries - which is becoming cheaper on seemingly a monthly basis.
Re: Net energy gaiin?
"The same probably goes for solar cells, and wind turbines. If you're using solar cells or wind turbines to make energy you're probably better burning the fossil fuel directly."
No. MPLS is a method of managing traffic priority across a managed network. It works well where you can make a reasonable prediction about the expected volumes of different traffic types in a private or virtually private network and dimension network elements accordingly. It couldn't work in a public network because users have a strong incentive to game the system by marking all packets as being of the highest priority. You end up back at square one.
My bold prediction is that we will see some return to circuit switching to run alongside packet switching in our public networks. That would most likely take the form of an overlay network and traffic would be split out at edge routers. For some types of traffic, for some usage and routing scenarios, packet switching is awfully inefficient and difficult. At some point it becomes easier to just circuit switch that traffic than it does to try and engineer an illusion of circuit switching over a packet switched network.
Re: EE / Orange lost me as a customer after 12 + years
"They've left me no choice."
Haven't you just described your choice? Better service at a higher price or poorer service at a lower price.
"but as long as it's all or nothing who'd sign up for it?"
It's not - or it's not with BT. You get to tick "yes" or "no" to each of the listed categories.
Re: Makes sense to me
"You don't know every subject in the world to an equivalent level to that, why are computers special? Because you already know them and think everyone else should too?"
I agree. Why buy medicines from a pharmacy - that's just giving control to an elite. Everyone should learn chemistry well enough to make their own common medicines at home. Etc...
- Product round-up Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows
- Review Tough Banana Pi: a Raspberry Pi for colour-blind diehards
- Analysis Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray
- Product round-up Ten Mac freeware apps for your new Apple baby
- Chromecast video on UK, Euro TVs hertz so badly it makes us judder – but Google 'won't fix'