* Posts by ql

390 posts • joined 22 Jul 2009

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Microsoft gets data centres powered up for big UPS turn-off

ql
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Re: Wow!

Let's take it to its logical conclusion. Why centralise all your data in the cloud? It makes far more sense to have your systems running close to where they're actually used. What's more, the more people who do it, the less the centralised data centres are needed, so everyone's a winner.

And they said I'd never be a marketeer...

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Greedy web borg Facebook to SLURP news websites' golden nuggets

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Re: Can't be worse than the new BBC site

Average BBC cock-up - they got the user feedback from the Teletubbies show mixed up with the specs for the new web site. An innocent mistake, especially just before an election when people may want, you know, to know what's go on in words of more than one syllable.

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Mono Magic: Photography, Breaking Bad style

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Re: Such a complex subject

> Colour photography happened very shortly after black and white

Yeah, I meant for practical purposes. Even now, doing film-based black and white work is far more do-able than colour work.

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ql
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Such a complex subject

I've been an amateur photgrapher for decades, and while I was uncomfortable with the "progress" model of early digital gear (you know, wait 6 months, and the new version has so many more features) this aspect seems to have plateaued a little recently, and this article reminds us what could be achieved by the mature model of phtography just prior to the digital era.

But I recently did a module on visual research for a degree (rather late in life) and it got me thinking about whether the early pioneers of photography would have been quite as purist as we can be. For example, they were restricted to monochrome by the state of the art, but I am sure would have rejected monochrome for anything but very specific expressions of art had they had the ability to do colour work.. Our thoughts these days on monochrome are much more complex, conditioned by an expectation of an authenticity in a black and white image.

Myself, I miss the beautiful engineering of the film era. Where is the joyful silkiness of an OM1, the re-assurnace of a quick range-finder or the sense of permance that comes from using a two-and-a-quarter-square? But that's nostalgia, and maybe we need to work at finding the joy of the digital era too. For myself, something like the Fuji x100 may be close, but who can afford that? I want the equivlant of my little Olympus Pen half-frame, that was my constant companion for close to 20 years.... But then I am sure I'd miss my Nikon D3100.

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Russia's Putin IT spend in reverse gear, fast

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Why can't they learn from the UK?

News this morning is that the new UK farm subsidy payment system has been canned even though farmers were forced to use it, as it doesnt work. A mere £154million has been spent on it, but hey, that's technology isnt it?. That's the proper way to deliver givernment IT systems. Why can't the Russians understand this?

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We're not sure what it is, but we like it: Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV

ql
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Re: Just driven in one

:-) A hit sir, a palpable hit. (but profraeding has never been strong in this one...)

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ql
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Just driven in one

Oddly, we're with a friend at the moment who has just bought one of these. The technology really is astonishing, and the UIs seem remarkably intuitive. Re comments about Chelsea tractors, it's not as big as it seems, although you do sit at bum level, of you see what I mean, neither climbing down nor up to the seating position. Our friend bought it on the basis of 6 trouble-free years from his previous Lexus hybrid, which he bought as a two year old. Inside, I was expecting to feel claustrophoc, as the apparently titchy windows, viewed from the outside, might make it feel too enclosed, but from inside, it doesn't feel this way at all. As some have commented, this is by no means my personal cup of tea, even if I could afford such a thing, but I can definitely see its appeal. My friend was also very impressed by the Edinburgh dealership, and I suppose if you're in the market for cars at this price, you expect a lot from your dealer.

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Microsoft chucks patent sueball at Kyocera over Android phones

ql
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Self caricature

"We're hopeful this case can be resolved amicably,"

The only thing missing is the torso-shot and the stroked white cat.

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The spy who leaked me: Ex-CIA boss Petraeus 'fesses up to blabbing intel to his mistress

ql
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> his visiting professorship at the UK's University of Exeter

Oh good grief. I knew there must be some kind of law that meant we had to provide cosy sinecures for our own establishment apparatchiks, but now we have to make provision for americans too? Mind you, Save the Children US think Blair is a humanitarian, so maybe it goes both ways for once... https://charitywatchuk.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/save-the-children-blair/

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SpaceX lofts two all-electric ion-drive comsats to Clarke orbit

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> Hardly the sleek, shiny, graceful vision of ion propelled vehicles science fiction promised, is it?

No, but Red Dwarf got it right. So I'll see your Petersen and raise your Kochanski.

<DOES_FULLY_DOUBLE_RIMMER SALUTE>>/>

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Microsoft working on 'Nano' version of Windows Server for web-scale ops

ql
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Technical leak

If it was a leak from a set of marketing slides, it would say "All of this and you can still run Office."

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MP resigns as security committee chair amid 'cash-for-access' claims

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> Is there a particular reason MP's seem to get away with resigning when this happens?

Yes - so that they can immediately get elevated to the Lords without any of that messy investigation business or other scrutiny. The establishment knows how to protect its children even if the poor Lords have to subsist on a mere £300 a day with only some bribes that have to be worked for to help the poor dears.

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Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

ql
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Ah, the reverse cloud moment

Old-style telephony, the one that works without standards problems, network QoS issues and so on, classically has its intelligence centralised, and often can be, and in the very old days, had to be by law, fully outsourced. Old-style telphony is what "the cloud" in other IT really want to be, VOIP proposes swinging that around, pushing the intelligence to the end points. That's the issue that has created the difficulties of getting to this point in its evolution, and conceivably the reason it could well have its moment.

But I wonder how many people are actively pursuing a cloud strategy on the one hand while pursuiing an anti-cloud telepony strategy on the other. It may be worth while thinking about this architectural aspect when thinking about VOIP.

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Mozilla mulls Superfish torpedo

ql
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Re: I love crapware

> Makes the machine cheaper.

Except that it doesn't. In jurisdictions where you can buy a Lenovo without windows, the windows alternative is more expensive. So at best, crapware is a windows subsidy. I don't think Lenovo or other manufacturers should be given such an easy let-off as an assumed economic necessity. Let them make that case, rather than us potential marks inventing such excuses for them.

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Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

ql
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Re: Stupid

> I think calling Marxism 'stupid' is incredibly arrogant and.... stupid.

True, but the real issue is the assumption that we live with a duality of choice, marxism/socialism/communism versus capitalism/free_market. While the discussion is mired in the convenience of an either/or scenario, it can't really enlighten us. It's hard to find information on alternatives to these apparent opposites, but distributism is the school of thought that seems to me to get closest to meeting the needs of the human condition, and therefore it offers a better critique of both capitalism and communism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism

So I would say the argument made in this piece is academically of minor interest but so narrowly defined as to be a mere straw man.

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

ql
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Real nostalgia...

Remember when GCHQ was working for us and not targeting us?

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

ql
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Re: Laptop manufactures take note!

Except that I couldn't even buy a UK lenovo a year or so ago which didn't come with windows,let alone a disk, when the exact same model was available in Europe for a lot less.

Having said that, I'm conflicted by this story, even though it only affected the consumer end of the market. The keyboard on the E145 on which I am typing this went bezerk a few months back, and I steeled myself for the inevitable series of stumbling blocks the support line would place before me. Instead, I spoke to someone knowledgeable at the first step, who, within 5 mins, had arranged ofr a replacmeent keyboard. The keyboard arrived the following morning, by courier, who had driven from Greenock to our remote and rural location in north west Scotland.

The moral of the story - it's the marketeers who who should be moved to the B ark as soon as possible.

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Your hard drives were RIDDLED with NSA SPYWARE for YEARS

ql
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Re: Grzegorz Brzeczyszczykiewicz

Dreadful that the NSA would attack someone with Irritable Vowel Syndrome...

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Huawei Browne-noses UK after hiring ex-BP peer for its board

ql
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That's the first thought that crossed my mind too. Huawei are simply following the convention that has institutionalised sinecures among the establishment, which, when it happens in other countries, we call corruption.

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Elon Musk's Tesla set to unveil home storage battery

ql
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Count me in, but...

For us, that sounds wonderful, but that's because we're not on the grid, and the battery bank is a perennial source of grief. However, in the off-grid home context, one of the most hysterical things to read is the "charging regime" from the battery manufacturers, who assume you are on the grid and can therefore charge in an ideal way, and every day. The reality for renewables is that you charge when the wind blows or the sun is shining. That may be predictable in California, but in Northern Europe, not so much. Still, welcome news, as the concepts underpinning the grid need a shake-up

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'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch

ql
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Re: Bizarre, but in the interests of science...

> when you take it to the ISS

Oh please, can I, can I, can I? :-)

Unfortunately I can confirm that a piece of black duct tape over U16, just inland of the power socket, sorts the problem, so no ISS trip for me. And no smurf poo needed either.

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ql
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Bizarre, but in the interests of science...

Yup - just tried this, as I happen to be using my shiny new Pi+ as a desktop. It falls over - no, it's felled as though it had been poleaxed, by the titchy flash on my old Nikon P5000 coolpix. If it's an electromagnetic effect, there goes taking the Pi+ into space unless the ISS has loads of bluetak on board. I'll try duct tape, though, a much more likely option in space.

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Tiger Moth: Old school flying without all those pesky flaps, brakes and instruments

ql
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Agreed, especially as it's not just a great story, but well written too.

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UK boffins DOUBLE distance of fiber data: London to New York WITHOUT a repeater

ql
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Establishment he say "Inappropriate use of taxpayer money"

A government spokesperson said today "If there aren't any repeaters, how can our trustworthy security forces tap the fibres for our safety? It's this type of so-called research that aids terrorists, child-snatchers, and ICDJs*

Oh, I wish that wasn't so plausible a response.

* - Invented Crime Du Jour

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Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

ql
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Re: Begun the Ad Wars have

> a squid proxy cache can blacklist the adservers

Or just run privoxy, which is easier than full-fat squid. Or run an occasional script for dnsmasq - see http://www.debian-administration.org/article/535/Blocking_ad_servers_with_dnsmasq

I'm not sure of the status of privoxy on android - there seem to be a number of versions with different origins, which seems dodgy. But I think there is a build for windows if you're that way inclined.

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Microsoft eyes slice of Raspberry Pi with free Windows 10 sprinkled on top

ql
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Re: Good work MS

> that's a pretty decent gesture from Microsoft

And in the immortal words of the Carry Ons, I, too can make an appropriate gesture...

Only a uni-digit icon, when two fingers are so badly needed.

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Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

ql
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Re: Am I missing something...

Just placed my order. Using the option of running off a spinning disk, whereby just the initial boot is off the microSD, which hands off to the disk makes the Pi more responsive as well as your data being more trustworthy than relying on the SD card. I see several useful serverette projects (owncloud etc) looming

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Snapchat jihadist-fearing peers return with LAST GASP Snoopers' Charter demand

ql
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"I am not a tweeter.. but it is absolutely clear that the terrorists and jihadists do"

I am not a sponger off the state. I have not been gifted unearned power. But it is clear that the Lords are spongers to the tune of £300 a day plus their various directorships and other establishment conveniences, and have been gifted ludicrously unearned and unmandated power.

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'Linus Torvalds is UNFIT for the WORKPLACE!' And you've given the world what, exactly?

ql
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Re: How bad is Torvalds?

> Add to that the doors it has opened...

What? The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation uses Linux?

Ahhhhhh. Glad to be of service...

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Top US privacy bod: EU should STOP appeasing whiny consumers

ql
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You can’t just say 'it’s national security – go away',” he said.

What? That's the way the UK as well as the US has worked for years. No wonder UKIP wants us out - good grief. Whats next? Teling us Baroness MLF wasn't democratically elected?

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US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

ql
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They probably are cheap and cheerful, but the number of snouts in the miltary industrial trough means a piece of perspex ends up as a "stealth pilot/environment ocular interface device".

Meanwhile in the UK we've got pointless £6billion aircraft carriers with no aircraft to carry. Should have bought a fleet of Rafales instead.

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Future imperfect: A UK broadband retrospective

ql
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Good article

Some very telling comments in the article, especially regarding BTs unwillingness to embrace the connected era, doing everything negative that monopolies do, but somehow managing not to be called a monopoly.

My Internet connection was first via Compuserve's walled garden in 1990. Then we were on a small Southampton-based ISP whose name I can't recall connecting using Trumpet Winsock in the mid 90s. Connected with a Mac Classic too. Later Demon's 0800 access allowed the connection effectively to remain up (although I once had BT disconnect my second, modem line, because they needed it for a new customer in the neighbourhood...) Home Highway was good, but the lack of compression on ISDN meant it often appeared slower in use than a good modem. And while connection was quick, negotiating the link once the connection was made was just as slow.

Re the 21CN, this always meant much more to BT marketing droids than to anything else. I recall a boring discussion when I finally managed to liven up a 10Mb/s fibre connection via a competitor, the BT droid carrying on about the wonders of 21CN, and how moving to the competitor would leave us left behind, while he was offering overpriced megastreams. It was always, and still is, jam tomorrow. In every company I have been with, moving from BT or keeping them at arms length via a 3rd party made life easier.

Yes, looking back, we have had to fight every step of the way to a connected world, rather than being led by companies who should be offering us leading options.

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Microsoft turns the power of FINE PRINT onto enterprise licensing

ql
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Auditors - where are you?

If some other critical business resource was subject to subjective interpretation and intrusive and threatening conditions, auditors would flag the issue as a business risk that needed addressing. Astonishing that MS software in particular, or any other FAST affiliate, avoids this.

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Crap broadband holds back HALF of rural small biz types

ql
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Usual government/big corporate thinking

In our rural area, millions were on offer to roll out a fibre loop a couple of hundred miles long. That's being installed at the moment. Only there are no plans to use it for exchanges, even the ones the cable actually passes through. One small village through which it passes actually has no ADSL at all. Still, the usual suspects have pocketed their millions, the MP can claim that there's fibre everywhere, and we're all still on edge-of-range copper ADSL.

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MAINFRAMES are SO NOT DEAD: IBM's launched a new one

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IBM - supporting terrorists (according to Cameron)

A mainframe destined to encrypt in real time? Only terrorist supporters do that, don't they Dave*

* - Dave should probably be DAVE - some acronym describing who really pulls the strings of these idiots

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Sony post-mortem: Obama lobbies for new legal powers to thwart hackers

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More civil liberty theft coming

The Beeb reports that Cameron is off to get his orders from Obama - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30766106 Dutifully they also report that the discussions will centre around these issues, so expect Cameron to return all enlightened, and give yet more power to GCHQ as we head to more war.

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European data law: UK.gov TRASHES 'unambiguous consent' plans

ql
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Re: Saving taxpayers money

> but the same treaty will mean that European financial

> companies can sue the US government

Hahahahaha - oh, were you serious? Better chack the text of TTIP carefully, then. I think you'll find it works both ways as much as UK-US extradition is two way, ie, not at all.

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ql
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Saving taxpayers money

That'll be their excuse, because as soon as the UK government signs TTIP, which they're wetting themselves to do, their corporate overlords will be able to sue them for cutting off that lovely senstive data stream that opening up NHS health records and other sources will allow them if explict consent is required

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Devuan rebels hope to deliver Debian fork in 2015

ql
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Re: I'm looking forward to the first edition

Yes, me too. In particular I have a stack of Wheezy servers that will amost certainly take advantage of their promise of upgrading directly to Devaun 1 rather than Jessie.

While the headlong rush to the non-init parts of systemd are of concern, the main reason I wish Devuan well is to retain diversity among linux distros, and the further systemd creeps into aspects beyond init, the less this appears likely.

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Car hacker secrets revealed: Clutching up a tank engine in a classic motor

ql
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Stalwart clutch?

There's probably a reason you're not using a Stalwart or similar clutch, but the reason I mention it is that I once got the chance to drive a Stallie on Salisbury Plain. I sat at the steering position ad the owner said "Put it into gear." "Which gear," says I "Any one" says he. He was right too.

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FURY erupts on streets of Brussels over greedy USA's data-slurping appetite

ql
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TISA - Could be already implemented

Connecting the TTIP trainwreck to the recently reported VAT MOSS issue, it's hard to understand how the EU can require non-EU businesses, which are commonly US business, to charge VAT at individual member state rates, but do away with data protection requirements. In fact, an acquantance of my SO says she has checked with her congressperson who confirms that personally identifiable information can now be held on US systems. Now it could be bravado, but it seems the US already think the deal is done. I suppose it is as far as the UK is concerned, as that toffs in government seem gleeful to bend over, but maybe, just maybe, this can also be defeated by democratic oversight.

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India's heavy launch rocket passes flight test

ql
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Re: At last a British funded rocket takes off

> but it makes me mad

Ah, is that what it was....

Presumably the Indian givernment has to get your and other Daily Fail readers' approval for any long term programme of technological development to establish their economic future? Or wa sit only the US, and others on its coat tails that could use a space programme for long term econopmic good?

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EU VAT law could kill THOUSANDS of online businesses

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Re: This is entirely UNreasonable

My wife is in the same position. She's doing her best to keep up with this issue, but virtually daily HMRC's position changes. That idiot Cable said at opne point that it wouldn't afffect many businesses! The latest from HMRC is indeed that if you receive an order and then send the pattern by email rather than an automated donwload, then the new regs don't apply to you. But they'll change their minds in a few days time. It's a fiasco. HMRC also claimed they;ve been making businesses aware of this for 18 months. They have, but only the big businesses which are already in the VAT schemes.

Oh, Cable also suggested that small businessed would have to sell through intermediaries who would in turn be liable under the new regs. For pattern sellers, for example, at a couple of quid a time, and a low turnover, how exactly will that be feasible?

Re the VAT reg comment, that's no use at all. ANYONE selling into the EU is liable for this, including non-EU sites, for example, US sites. So VAT registration has nothing to do with it.

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UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

ql
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Interesting watching in real time

At these times flightradar24,com makes for interesting browsing. Looks like the 14:15 LHR-JFK has just taken off. A flight from Oslo to LHR made two huge circles in the north sea off Lowestoft (you can see the track if you click on a plane) while two Falcon 900s are at high altitude (40k feet) approaching the Thames. Guesses as to what they're up to on the back of a black helicopter...

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This Christmas, demand the right to a silent night

ql
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Re: Other people's pressures/expectations

>That guy felt neglected. He was uncomfortable with neglect / had ADHD.

>And it personifies someone so unfamiliar with the reality around him that

>he is unable to deal with it.

He's now CEO, so you're right on all counts ;-)

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ql
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Other people's pressures/expectations

Real life example. Early one morning. Phone rings. Exec at airport, waiting in lounge.

Exec: There's something wrong. I've been here an hour and no email's come through. There must be something wrong.

QL: Get a life <CLICK>

(And no, there was nothing wrong with the email system or his phone, but the pressure he felt he was under always to be accessed and accessible meant it was a genuine concern of his, poor sop.)

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Plusnet customers SWAMPED by spam but BT-owned ISP dismisses data breach claims

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Re: Part of a bigger problem?

> You could do a breach of contract claim in the small claims court

Interesting, and worth researching. As it happens, a neighbour moved to Zen, and they are taking the issue seriously. They asked for pings to be enabled on a few of our routers and claim to be building a case to take to BT wholesale.

No fibre in our area, and no plans either. That whole "market" thing that's supposed to sort all the arrogance of a residual monopoly just doesn't seem to be working.

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Part of a bigger problem?

PlusNet used to be great for support - you could easily speak to real people who knew what they were talking about and knew what to do about it, and when you needed support, you'd get it quickly and in an unpatronising manner. But my latest support call is a classic - I logged a call about poor upload speed, which for what I use my ADSL connection for is important, very poor latency, up to 250ms at times and dropped packets - over 10% on occasion. I got a response containing boiler plate links and saying my download speed was within acceptable levels. I replied patiently, saying that my download speed was not the issue, and repeating the issue. Eventually I got a response saying that it's not a problem they can do anything about and they;re not prepared to raise a call against BT wholesale (the problem is almost certainly our local exchange. 4 neighbours, on different ISPs all have the same problem) I will definitely be leaving PN after 12 years with them, at the earliest I can. They seem to have forgotten that it takes more than telly marketing to run an effective ISP.

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Trevor contemplates Consumer Netgear gear. BUT does it pass the cat hair test?

ql
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"The prejudices... need revisiting."

Agreed if the prejudices are your own, but what if they're someone else's, in particular, auditors or other box-tickers? I recall replacing a ludicrously expensive Sun+Checkpoint firewall (nearly £20k, if I recall with a generic multi-ethernet mini-ITX debian box as a firewall, and having to spend ages with an auditor to explain why it was better. Later, at a pan-Euro company, I used IBM pizza box desktops in the same role and for OpenVPN, but one French company we bought, they were horrified that we didn't supply them with a PIX or similar. They were convinced that the box would fail, so I ended up giving them two, one of which, years later, was still in its box above the system rack.

The perception is that the safe, meaning insurance against fear of retribution and comeback, option will remain well-marketed "enterprise" brands. Cynics and realists would call this lunacy and uncreative, MBAs and PHBs would call it "business sense."

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Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register

ql
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Re: IT angle? Who cares?

The number of IT techies I've come across who are also Landie owners, which implies continual fettling, is surely statistically significant. And I thought Landie fettlers were a daft lot, but this lot take the biscuit.

By the way, I found that modern Bentley owners don't take too well if you ask how their Volkswagen is going... ;-)

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