* Posts by Terry Barnes

445 posts • joined 21 Jul 2008

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Google to tame Android's Wild Wild West to please suits

Terry Barnes
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Re: Androids and iPhones are great for big businesses...

" "What's this? You visited your grandmother in the hospital for 10 minutes when you said you were traveling to a customer's office? Terminated!""

Good luck with that in court. The Data Protection Act makes that kind of thing illegal. Has the employee given their informed consent to have their device used to track their movements?

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Royal Mail's Colossus move gets ex-WREN's stamp of approval

Terry Barnes
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They worked on separate projects. Turing had no involvement with the work Flowers did on Colossus.

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Virgin Media to splurge BEELLIONS on UK network infrastructure expansion

Terry Barnes
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Re: So far ...

Core network investment should be ongoing, unremarkable, part of the business's normal Opex. I'd not expect it to be remarked on separately unless this investment is expected to materially change the average cost of serving a user.

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Samsung snub sends Qualcomm into a spin over Snapdragon 810

Terry Barnes
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Re: Think of it another way...

"co-operation between manufacturers to save on R&D costs by sharing engines and components (see Peugeot/Citroen"

That's not co-operation between manufacturers. They're two arms of the same company.

Component sharing between manufacturers in the car industry is widespread - including engines.

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Post-modem Ericsson wobbles thanks to flat sales and falling profits

Terry Barnes
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Re: Do some research before you post a story.....

It's been making telephones since 1876 and telephone exchanges since 1884. The statement as written would only be true if it was written 131 years ago.

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Microsoft: We bought Skype. We make mobiles.. Oh, HANG ON!

Terry Barnes
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Re: What is old is new again

"(a Skype phonecall can be placed through the "telephone app", just by pointing at a contact that has a Skype account) and messages "

Windows Phone has always done this too. I select a contact and I'm presented with an array of options for contacting them, including Skype.

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Planning to upgrade your Lumia to Windows 10? NOT SO FAST

Terry Barnes
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Re: is it because they're ARM?

Wouldn't that affect every model, not just some of them?

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Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

Terry Barnes
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Re: Push-to-talk latency

"What's wrong with putting an audible tone in the software when the thing is ready to transmit on the network? "

Because of unintended consequences.

If the tone is long people will wait before it finishes before speaking.

If the tone is short people will miss it and not speak at all.

It requires the user to hold the device to their ear when they're planning on transmitting.

It creates an opportunity for audio feedback.

If the 'ready' tone is picked up by the mic and transmitted another party may hear it and presume they're good to speak.

A red light would be a better option that trying to signal transmission readiness through audio.

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Intel offers big bucks for black women

Terry Barnes
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"E.g.: you claim the people writing software don't have to be the same ethnicity/gender/background as the people using it. That's obviously false,"

What? Your argument is that white people can only use software written by white people? I hope to hell that with your logical skills you don't write software.

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Terry Barnes
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Re: surely this is discrimination?

" if it happens to be your whole office is full of white males, then so what?"

Then it means your recruitment process is sexist and racist, because society isn't made up of white males. That won't be fixed by the magic equality fairy and so action has to be taken - like this one by Intel - to redress the balance.

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Terry Barnes
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Re: Forget true equality

"Those figures reflect the fact that less females, and less non whites have put themselves through the education required to get these jobs."

...because all the evidence available to them suggests that there's no job at the end of it for them if they do. That's the problem.

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Terry Barnes
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It's amazing to see all the middle class white males bristle when someone takes a tiny step to redress their inherent advantage in tech jobs.

Any successful organisation will have a make up that reflects the make up of the community in which it conducts its business. If it doesn't there must be some inherent bias. That bias has been proven time and time again in lots of organisations by researchers submitting the same CVs with different names and thus different sex or perceived ethnicities of the supposed applicant. Guess which group is reliably invited to interview above all others?

Women and people from different ethnic groups are just as intelligent, capable and skilled as white middle class men, so if those people are under-represented in an organisation something is wrong. The only way to overcome that bias is through policies like this - for reasons that should be obvious. People who aren't white or male tend to be less inclined to apply for jobs in a business they perceive as almost exclusively white and male.

Or, looking at all this from a different angle - you want customers who aren't exclusively white middle class males? Then you'd better employ some people who aren't white middle class males.

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4K off, Google Fiber: Comcast, Broadcom tout 2Gbps cable

Terry Barnes
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Re: The question is, how wrotten is your infrastructure?

"Otherwise we'll now be left with expensive incremental updates which become obsolete after a couple of years."

Versus a really, really expensive upgrade to fibre that leaves the cable companies bankrupt after a couple of months.

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Super Cali's futuristic Tesla batt swap focus – even though car tech test is an expected bonus

Terry Barnes
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Re: Dodgy replacement battery

"Nobody will want to swap their brand new battery for a dogdy used one on its 800th charge cycle... unless they get their original back. Or Telsa throws in some "minimum range" guarantee on the swapped batteries so people basically buy the car and then rent the batteries."

If this model is more widely adopted, you own the car and the battery is leased - just like Calor Gas. It's not your battery, it belongs to Tesla and you're just borrowing it as a container for the energy you've bought.

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Terry Barnes
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Re: This is the only reasonable way it works

Not every battery will be empty when it's swapped and there's plenty of capacity at night for charging.

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Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school

Terry Barnes
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Re: Do they encrypt transmissions

GSM is encrypted. It's a basic component of the standard.

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Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

Terry Barnes
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Re: The Jeremy Clarkson Effect...

"However I have zero personal issues as regards putting my foot down when appropriate to conditions, rather than obeying an arbitrary legal limit."

Driving isn't a compulsory activity. If you feel unable to comply with the rules and laws regarding driving, you are free to choose not to drive.

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Terry Barnes
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Re: Hazard

"That doesn't stop governments from installing them as revenue-generators. I always said, if there was a genuine hazard and the intention was to really slow motorists down, you would have a highly visible camera housing, painted in bright orange."

That makes no sense though. Apart from specific junctions on some roads, it's stretches of road that are dangerous. It's impossible to have a camera that covers the whole stretch, though I suppose we could start to use average speed cameras instead and time people in and out of the dangerous section.

Stats show that people who have points for speeding are roughly twice as likely to have an at fault accident than a driver without, so there's clearly some merit in the cameras. they're unlikely to work as revenue raisers though as 1) in the UK all the fines go on driver awareness courses and 2) you only need to catch someone four times and the revenue the exchequer receives from a driver in terms of fuel tax (and sometimes income tax) tends to decline rather rapidly.

I avoid any problem by simply never speeding. I don't have camera warnings on my satnav, I just have it set to alert me if I exceed the limit by 1MPH.

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G.fast is HERE: Sckipio slurps funding to cook up SPAWN of VDSL tech

Terry Barnes
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Re: One bit I don't get

There's no need to have a constant metallic path all the way to the exchange with FFTx. I think in the UK there is one today, but it's not essential. In ancient telecoms terms, it's Central Battery (CB) versus Local Battery.

If the intention longer term is to reduce the amount of copper in the network and push fibre further and further out to customers, installing new kit that needs to be exchange powered over copper is probably a bad move.

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97% of UK gets 'basic' 2Mbps broadband. 'Typical households' need 10Mbps – Ofcom

Terry Barnes
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Re: Typical households need 10Mbps

", it will soon become (if it hasn't already) a utility service. And that means a service obligation"

Do you know what proportion of the population has no access to mains sewerage or gas? It might surprise you. Across England, Wales, Scotland it's 20% without mains gas. In Northern Ireland it's 80% without access to it. 3% of the population have to use septic tanks as they have no access to the sewer system. Mains water only reaches 99% of the population.

Provision of utility services are by no means universal.

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EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

Terry Barnes
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Re: Free?

"So who will pay for it"

I presume that much like other safety improvements that have been mandated, the manufacturer pays for it initially and the cost is recouped through sales. Manufacturers have an incentive to keep that cost low because they operate in a competitive market.

The alert service is not much more complicated than a GSM SIM - so the ongoing cost is lower than Amazon's cost for running a 3G Kindle, given that there's no data or calls being made on any kind of regular basis.

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Solar sandwich cooks at 40 per cent efficiency

Terry Barnes
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Re: 0% efficiency...

"Between sunset and sunrise. Need to factor in a few AA rechargeable batteries..."

Or just network power in from somewhere the sun is still shining. At any given moment in time there is enough solar energy striking the earth to make powering the entirety of humanity's needs, including travel, a trivial undertaking.

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Reg mobile man: National roaming plan? Oh UK.gov, you've GOT to be joking

Terry Barnes
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Re: Not on the side of the consumer then...

"Ever noticed how much better your phone coverage is when you travel in Europe with your UK mobile phone?"

Ever noticed how expensive it is?

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Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts

Terry Barnes
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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.

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FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools

Terry Barnes
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Re: It's a crisis?

"If they have the Internet, then why have a library?"

Because they're, you know, different things.

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Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?

Terry Barnes
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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.

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ZZZAP! Climate change means getting HIT BY LIGHTNING is likelier

Terry Barnes
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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.

http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/met-office-in-the-media-14-october-2012/

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.

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Terry Barnes
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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;

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/indicators/11keyindicators.html

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Terry Barnes
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"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.

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Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG

Terry Barnes
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Re: Product placement aside

I had a Citroen where the centre of the steering wheel always remained in the same position.

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Shuddit, Obama! Here in Blighty, we ISPs have net neutrality nailed

Terry Barnes
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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

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Terry Barnes
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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.

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SCREW YOU, net neutrality hippies – AT&T halts gigabit fiber

Terry Barnes
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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.

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Terry Barnes
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"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.

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Terry Barnes
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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.

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SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION

Terry Barnes
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"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.

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Bullish Vodafone barges back into UK consumer broadband market

Terry Barnes
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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.

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Russians hear Tim Cook is gay, pull dead Steve Jobs' enormous erection

Terry Barnes
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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?

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'National roaming' law: Stubborn UK operators to be FORCED to share

Terry Barnes
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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.

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Lumia 830: Microsoft hopes to seduce with slim 'affordable' model

Terry Barnes
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Re: Impressive

My 820 has all three.

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Landline deregulation: Big EU telcos have Skype to thank

Terry Barnes
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Re: Please....

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.

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Terry Barnes
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Re: Please....

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.

http://www.skype.com/en/features/online-number/

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Was Nokia's Elop history's worst CEO?

Terry Barnes
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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.

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Siri ... why is this semi headed RIGHT AT ME? Phone apps distracting as ever – new study

Terry Barnes
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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.

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Official: Turing's Bombe BETTER than a Concorde plane

Terry Barnes
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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.

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EU operators PLEAD for MERCY, may get roaming rates cut ‘reprieve’

Terry Barnes
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"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.

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Terry Barnes
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Re: @Coward

"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.

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My TIGHT PANTS made my HUGE iPHONE go all BENDY!

Terry Barnes
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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.

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Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR

Terry Barnes
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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".

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Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around

Terry Barnes
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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.

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