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* Posts by John Smith 19

9435 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

New nuke could POWER WORLD UNTIL 2083

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Its real enemy.

Existing companies in the nuclear business make their money selling fuel elements , not reactors.

It's like Gillette with disposable head razors or the gun business with bullets, or even perhaps the printer business with cartridges.

A solution which eliminates the consumables is not in their interests.

There is very little detail on the concept or their Special Sauce (C Lewis Page) but I will wish them well.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Looks like an update to me, not new

"And the graphite energy storage issue (Wigner energy) isn't an issue if the reactor works at about about 300C"

So that should not be a problem.

On a side note Wigner energy (and the way it can be released) is a fascinating process. IIRC it allows the storage of fairly large amounts of heat energy in an inert solid that will not release it until raised above a threshold temperature and the heat is a relaxation effect, without any form of combustion.

My impression was the more perfect the solid the more heat you could store/release, making single crystal Silicon the ideal starting candidate.

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John Smith 19
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Re: As a few have said, there's nothing much new here....

Perhaps you might like to look at this

http://moltensalt.org/references/static/downloads/pdf/TID-26156.pdf

It describes in some detail an outline for a 1000MW(e) MSR including the real time chemical plant.

The real time chem plant is estimated at (roughly) a 15 foot high tower 4 feet in diameter (including the protactinium separator). It would therefor be feasible to build a redundant pair on site fairly easily. This is small by the standards of the bulk chemicals industry (or some branches of the fine chemicals industry).

"And don't be fooled by the fact that the fission products are removed from the reactor means that they're not a management challenge....True, it's a lot smaller than the volume in a cnvetional spent fuel pool - but much hotter!" If you mean temperature then it will cool much faster. If you mean radioactive IIRC their half lives are pretty short.

"All of which would be fine - but your working fluid is a highly radioactive molten halide salt at 500-600C. And the plant has to operate at pretty much the same levels of availability as the reactor itsself. designing and operating plant to achieve that is extremely hard - probably harder than desinging the reactor itself."

The design of equipment using molten salt is specialized but not uncommon. Aluminium separation cells use Floride salts and certain large electroplating cells also use molten salts.

"keeping a graphite core in useable condition in the core of an AGR is a sod of a job -" But this system is not gas cooled. I wonder if the high gas speed might have also been an issue? Neat trick with the Methane gas pyrolytic deposition BTW. I've heard of it on bench top rigs but not on a whole pile.

"What this things core graphite will be like, " Because the fuel is a liquid the moderator elements are much simpler (essentially rectangular pillars in the referenced report outline). Testing should be much simpler. There is also the point that not being intricately machined interlocking blocks they could be replaced by remote handling equipment (It may run hot in both senses of the word but an MSR is relatively low pressure) inserted through the ceiling. The massive improvement in computing resources available since the 1970s should make modelling core reactivity a much more accurate process than it was.

As for comparison well all working US reactors (AFAIK) are LWR, either pressurized or boiling water. They are therefor a known quantity.

The real problem is that companies in this business make money selling the nuclear fuel elements and as I have jokingly suggested in the past these reactors reduce the fueling problem to using a shovel.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: "Silly name"??

Well with just a bit of work I think WOWSR would have been possible.

<sigh>

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: connected to a drain plug of salt that has been frozen solid

"Or to put it another way, salt."

This has been a regular part of MSR designs. To remain solid the plug has to be actively cooled.

So a power failure to the support systems (as happened at Fukushima) goes like this.

Power fails.

Plug melts

Reactor contents spread out in holding tank and go sub critical and await collection and remelting. Massive increase in surface area allows heat to be taken away through conduction and (thermal) radiation.

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John Smith 19
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Boffin

Re: Thorium

"has a chemical processing plant in the fuel loop too although you could probably just adjust the mix and store the reprocessed waste like we do now."

Not so. The loop is to extract certain poisons from the salt which kill the reaction. Before its development you needed 2 layers of different salt mix which had to remain remain separate. The chem plant makes it run with 1 mix. It was a breakthrough in making the molten salt reactor concept viable.

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Who's riddling Windows PCs with gaping holes? It's your crApps

John Smith 19
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I'm amazed "how to create security holes" is not a part of *every* CS course.

Because it seems to be one thing developers across the industry manage quite well.

You've got to wonder, is it them? Is it the pressure to produce something now? Or are the vulns in the libraries their using that are not being fixed?

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Crack Bombe squad dismantles Reg encryption in an hour

John Smith 19
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Joke

And of course the INtelligence services have always supported "gender preference diversity"

Even when it was illegal in British society.

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Euro satellite ‘heard’ Japanese megaquake in SPACE

John Smith 19
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Re: Another Thing Found...

"Another thing found by another of the Earth sensor satellites (sorry, forgot which one) was that the ground temperature rose above normal just before the earthquake occurred.

Rather obvious once you think about it.

So it appears we can, now, indeed predict earthquakes. At least a few minutes before they happen. And if you happen to have a satellite overhead."

For large populations that's not really going to be enough. However if the area can be narrowed then locally mounted IR sensors (or probes stuck in the ground) can trigger an alarm. It's a limited capability but may make a difference long term.

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John Smith 19
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An *amazing* result

Air pressure halves roughly every time altitude doubles with a basic cycle of 5.6Km. So at 5.6Km it's roughly 50663Pa.

But 270Km is roughly 48x higher.

So air pressure is very low.

So it's amazing the density is still high enough to transmit the pressure wave and the satellite is sensitive enough to detect it.

Historically gravity survey satellites are a niche specialty but linking it's capabilities to seismology and geology opens up the field quite a bit.

Thumbs up for some very lateral thinking.

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Micro-drum acts as quantum memory

John Smith 19
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Go

Re: Quantum Geek Talk

<long instructive post>

And this is why Eadon remains off my ignored commentards list.

For now.

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John Smith 19
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Re: choice of wavelength dictates size

"The example of the platter include the resonant antenna and is about 150 microns square. It's visible to the naked eye!"

Would that not tend to depend on the frequency of the exciting radiation?

It's not mentioned in the article other than being "microwave," but that covers a pretty broad range. Then you could switch to light instead.

This is proof of concept tech. They probably designed it to use whatever hardware they already had. IIRC 2.4Ghz (microwave oven) and 10GHz seem to be popular frequencies for this but microwaves go up to the 100s of GHz before getting into the borderline THz and quasi optical methods.

This is starting to look a bit more like a digital quantum computer than some kind of analog device for solving a fixed class of problems.

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Downed US vuln catalog infected for at least TWO MONTHS

John Smith 19
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WTF?

I'm confused

Why was this application running on these servers?

And how did no one notice this outbound traffic for two months?

Just because you host your nations vulnerability database does not make you invulnerable.

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Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Sunshine...?

"and it perfectly generated willful suspension of disbelief, "

Sorry but a space the size of a soccer stadium depressurising through a door sized hole won't evacuate in 8 hours. WTF

Like the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves (who sounds like an alien anyway), great imagery but not enough plot.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Wot, no Avatar?

"I couldn't believe it was him when I saw Forbidden Planet. first film I saw with Leslie Nielson in was Airplane, then all the comedy offerings he was in over time, Police Squad, Naked Gun etc. I thought comic roles was all he'd done, shame, Forbidden Planet is cool."

He was also in the original version of the Mel Gibson film "Ransom."

I think he plays the role taken by Gary Sinise.

The first film I saw him in was a TV movie from the 70s as a disgraced US Army office planning a large military payroll robbery. For me all the comedy stuff came later.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Wot, no Avatar?

"Avatar - Dances with Aliens ..."

I think the less kind version was "Dances with smurfs"

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Bye-bye Telinco - death warrant finally issued by TalkTalk

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

"a joint venture of News International, United News & Media and BT."

Line One.

More like scum united.

And should anyone trust Stalk Stalk either?

Were I a business user I'd have worked out that any email address that incorporates my ISP's name is a bad idea which locks me into them forever.

But I knew that when I left Compuserve in the late 90's.

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What's most important? Bandwidth over kilo-miles, or milli-watts?

John Smith 19
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12000 Km -> Trans Pacific cable with *no* repeaters

Which radically simplifies cable design (no lumpy repeaters to design, no tricky power schemes to drive them).

That means big savings in up front costs and repair bills as the only things likely to damage the cable are physically cutting them or material breakdown over time.

The IBM stuff sounds like free space transmission IE no (very short) fibres on the board. Just lots of (highly directional) lights pointed at each other. (or possibly within the same package for intra-chip communications).

Both very impressive. But I think the Bell work will see application before the IBM stuff.

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Devs tease early screenshots of Ubuntu Touch Core Apps

John Smith 19
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Meh

ON the idea of "One UI to rule them all"

If they want to migrate most devs to this language and toolkit what migration tools did they develop?

As others have noted the concept of a single UI across all your UI running appliances sounds great but then you get a)The OS to drive the UI becomes the resource driver when the actual control panel you're simulating is a half dozen switches and a few knobs. b)You design to a lowest common denominator. Designing a properly scaleable UI which has core commands and additional functions that can be layered and take advantage of the greater processing power without disturbing your well developed muscle memory for the lower level systems (or vice versa) is very tricky. The big one being where do you put all that cruft that sits on your big screen when your mobile is a few inches wide?

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John Smith 19
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This sounds like quite good progress.

If Ubuntu want to go somewhere it was obvious they needed to get improved versions of all their stuff out on a short cycle and keep on upgrading them.

From a dead image to a working (limited functionality) set of apps in 2 months with a new SDK is pretty impressive.

Thumbs up to them for the progress.

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Medicos hack iPhone into lab 'scope

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

"If you have an optical microscope, "

That's the problem.

They don't.

At all.

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Boffins build robo-CHIMP for DARPA challenge

John Smith 19
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Boffin

So is it a tele operated remote handler or a true robot?

The former will need 1 or more joystick jockeys to do the clever bits. The latter something along the lines of a "Climb that ladder" command and it just does it.

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Coca Cola in the dock over illegal China GPS map claims

John Smith 19
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Meh

"all commercial map service providers to locate their data centres inside the country."

Chinese govt IT staff smarter than UK Govt, with their "Do it in the cloud" mantra?

Sounds like a notion to me.

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How UK gov's 'growth' measures are ALREADY killing the web

John Smith 19
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Flame

*Not* orphan

Stolen .

Then do have owners. But someone has deliberately removed this information.

This is starting to look like an advertisement for stenography..

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Elon Musk's 'Grasshopper' hover rocket scores another test success

John Smith 19
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That's "T/W >1" untill they throttled it down.

And all of their hover tests needed that to take off in the first place.

But an excellent piece of work and gradual expansion of the flight envelope.

Breaking the Mach barrier some time this year?

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Leaked: The 'secret OAuth app keys' to Twitter's VIP lounge

John Smith 19
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Coat

So another good reason to avoid twitter or an explanation for Steph Fry's more novel comments?

Inquiring minds......

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Oklahoma woman cuffed with loaded .22 in pork holster

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Anyone wonder what happened to the spent round?

Something tells me the reason why the suspect was so keen to ditch it was that somewhere there is a person with an additional hole in them.

With such a small weapon you wouldn't run around with it unless it either had 3 rounds and an empty chamber or all 4 loaded.

Unless you were in a tearing hurry to get somewhere. Or get away from somewhere.

Might turn up in ER. Might turn up in the morgue.

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John Smith 19
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Childcatcher

Re: Leave it to the Register to print a story that can at once put me off both sex and violence!!!

"Screw the children,"

Err, that is a statement and not a request?

Under UK law that might be viewed as incitement.

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O2 flogs new GPS mobile-based telecare to sick and elderly

John Smith 19
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Happy

"Generally there are issues with touch-screen phones for the elderly. One is that our skin loses conductivity over time so capacitive screens aren't great."

What I had in mind was configuring the screen into a small group of very large buttons, pretty much as a single use appliance.

" You'd need something that could boot into a senior mode."

Yes. I pictured the app pretty much taking over the phone from boot. How easy that is to do is another question.

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John Smith 19
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Granny farming is a popular business venture.

In theory you'd expect it would appeal to people with a caring nature.

In practice it seems to appeal to the more predatory (yet cowardly) sociopathic types.

Easy prey at almost no risk.

O2 seem to have joined the game.

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Here's the $4.99 utility that might just have saved Windows 8

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: This continues to amuse

"You're right - it's more and more feasible to call it a former monopoly.."

Don't start counting your chickens too soon.

There are few things more dangerous than a cornered corporation rat.

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News Corp challenges iPad with $299 education tablet

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

I never thought of it before but Murdoch is the *real* model for Ken Castle.

He thinks it

You obey.

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John Smith 19
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Big Brother

"How much extra do you have to pay to remove the automated phone tap built into the gizmo...you know, so that News Corp reporters have access in case you become newsworthy?"

Now now, you know that was nothing to do with News Corp.

"Excesses of subordinates...." "...I was not in full possession of the facts..." "....News of the World has been shut down..." "We are co-operating fully with the police investigation..." etc.

The Boy Murdoch was never charged with anything. His reputation status remains "Teflon".

I thought I'd just include a shot of Jimbo's dad as well.

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Private equity crew prep CDW IPO after $7.3bn buyout - report

John Smith 19
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FAIL

An impressive destruction of capital.

You have to be very special to turn $7.3Bn of other peoples money into an "asset" that maybe can be sold on for $750m.

Their investors must be so pleased with this performance.

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MakerBot demos 3D object scanner that fits on your desk

John Smith 19
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The other half of the puzzle is now available.

Desk top fabricators have been around for a while now and have steadily improved. Fine if you're designing something from scratch but what about copying something?

That's always been the problem and now someone's done something about it.

While the whole spinning table/lights/cameras may remind you of the original John Logie Baird TV system it is fairly simple and probably uses mostly off the shelf parts. The software to calibrate it is likely to be very tricky.

Thumbs up for ingenuity. It's the first affordable coordinate measuring system, but I doubt it will be the last.

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Apple ordered to surrender coveted docs in iOS privacy lawsuit

John Smith 19
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The kind of arrogance only really large corporations are capable of.

The other play is to bury the other side in paper and give them all the documents.

But note, either play is a means to hide facts.

Which means that there definitely is something to find.

But also note. Due process separates a law abiding society from a lynch mob or a dictatorship. When these lying b***ards have finished showing just how much they will wriggle and squirm to avoid trouble they can't turn around and say "The trial was not fair" because the documentation condemned them, not the plaintiffs.

Thumbs up to the judge for not putting up with Apple's corporate BS.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

"What on earth are we coming to when a court flat out says it doesn't trust a large (supposedly responsible) corporation."

Business As Usual?

Large corporations have a long history of hiding/lying about the documents when big money is on the table.

Classics in the US are the Ford Pinto "let them burn" memo (and the intermittent windscreen wiper malarky) and the $200Bn+ damages paid by the major tobacco corporations when they were finally exposed as having a)Known Nicotine was addictive and carcinogenic for decades and b)Manipulated the level of Nicotine in cigarettes to dial up or down the level of addictiveness.

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Tech titans: Give it a rest with the SEP injunctions, wouldja? - economists

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Amazed that does not happen already.

Sounds very sensible.

Getting adopted is going to be the tough part.

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Cheeky Boston fires up x86-to-ARM porting cloud for server apps

John Smith 19
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Sounds like a clever plan.

Give people the experience and get a jump on the process of migrating.

If this takes off I hope they have the ability to scale up.

The question is if you remove processor availability as a problem what other barriers exist to porting an application to a new environment.

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RBS and NatWest FAIL downs services across UK

John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

How about going smaller.

Bank of Dave?

There most famous customer P. Lazorou.

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John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Re: It's about time

"That the consumer banks realised that they are, really, an IT operation. The computer systems are not a cost centre, not something boring that interferes with real banking: the computer system is the bank these days."

I'd love to find out if there are any major businesses that could run for any serious length of time (1 day to 1 week to 1 month) without their core systems. I mean total removal, not a few systems still working.

I don't think there are many and I have no doubt that major banks are not on the list.

I just wonder how well they realize it.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

"I stopped caring about banks years ago when they stopped caring about me, and "inertia" on my account lasts only so long as you stop screwing me over (which would happen in a second if I wasn't vigilant). There's plenty of banks and, if it really came to it, all I actually need is a pre-pay credit card. I could have my wages put on it quite easily, it would pay for every service I require, and it would cost less than any other method (I don't use or carry cash - I literally have an empty wallet 99.99% of the year - and withdrawing cash is the only part that pre-pay cards really charge you for). It's only the hassle associated with not having a bank account that keeps mine open (e.g. Direct Debit discounts, etc.)."

Well done. Banks built their reputation in the 19th century.

IMHO it has been a very long time since they deserved it.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

"Sadly NatWest give me a 0.2% off my mortgage for having my current account with them. And I have to have a current account in order to keep it."

Which is good if their mortgage rate was good to begin with.

Otherwise if its been a few years since you started paying it might be worth hunting up a copy of Money Facts (unless you're an IFA you'll probably need a major library) to see how it compares with the others.

There is a lot of competition in this market and while much of it is very similar there are I'm told better deals to be found.

Just a thought.

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John Smith 19
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FAIL

Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

Bottom line you are resource. It's your cash they tap to lend to people at substantially above the BoE base rate (which your current account will see barely a penny from).

Anyone who knows the UK magazine "Money Facts" will know just how similar most accounts are. There are some gems buy you'll have to dig deep.

UK high street banks are much of a muchness. They do not reward loyalty.

Why should you reward their greed and incompetence?

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'Mainframe blowout' knackered millions of RBS, NatWest accounts

John Smith 19
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Childcatcher

Re: I doubt it

"... and why the fuck are they allowed to have BOTH a banking licence and limited liability? ... mutter mutter .... moan ..."

You forgot that UK banks have "preferred creditor" status, so are one of the first in line if a company is declared bankrupt. Because it's to protect the widows, orphans and other children (hence my icon).

Which can be when a bank asks them to repay their overdraft now for example.

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USA is the best country in the WORLD... for sending spam

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Turning the question on its head.

Why is the US so bad at securing it's PC's?

So many as a percentage of it's population?

No one running AV/out of date AV/unconfigured firewalls?

I also think it would be very interesting if you could pin down a geographical spread. Do most of these botnet PC's live in say Arkansas, Palo Alto or Berkley?

Let's be clear nearly 1/5 of all this crap comes from this 1 country., and that's over 2x more than its nearest competitor.

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Honk if the car in front is connected

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

So update policy like a computer mfg or update policy like a mobile phone mfg?

That said so far embedded software for control on cars seems to be built to a higher standard that that of either the average PC or phone in the first place.

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John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Anyone recall this idea of a group of cars "following the leader" with fixed spacing and braking

They called it (VW if memory serves) a road train

Of course if you pick had a decent and reliable train service at a reasonable price, and 1 person vehicles you could rent at the destination for the day you might not need a car at all.

But then no turkey votes for Christmas.

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Android 'splits' into the Good and the lovechild of Bad and Ugly

John Smith 19
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FAIL

So mfg can't be a**ed to do the system tuning necessary

So with the word on how good or bad a handset is getting round pretty quickly why would anyone want to buy a seriously rubbish one?

If it's expected to sell in the 100s of 1000s (millions?) surely a few thousand spent on a better tuning of the system would be worthwhile?

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The supercomputers LIED: UK rainfall is rising, but won't drown our phones

John Smith 19
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Interesting to see if this changes models with this small area, highish density data points array

Thumbs up for getting out and taking real data over a model and providing something for the model to be calibrated against.

But man, look at some of those maximum rates.

More than 39mm/hr for at least 50 mins is more than 1 inch. And this data is about the minimum about of time that could happen for at that location (0.01% is about 52 minutes).

People who live (or expect to visit) those areas had better plan their wardrobes accordingly.

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