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* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

1525 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Democracy

What part of democracy do you not understand? We are in a minority of one: in a democracy, that means we lose

That's not democracy, that's "Majority rule", and is never a successful approach. Look at N. Ireland from 1920-1970 for the most obvious example.There are plenty of others.

Democracy means rule by the people, which requires agreement, not totalitarianism by the 50.1%

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Little Englander syndrome

if we were the first country to leave the EU they'd no doubt make an example of us and then suddenly doing business with them would be a lot harder.

That's the real problem. What the UK really wants is a return to a common market, a trading organization which doesn't try and impose centralized political and fiscal control. Leaving the EU entirely won't recreate that past situation.

Remaining in the EEA would be a good position, but the one thing that the EU cannot tolerate is a country leaving the EU and being successful outside it. If the UK were to leave, Juncker and co. will try every illegal dirty trick they can to make sure that the UK economy fails. The only way to successfully leave will be to find friends aong the other non-federalist states who, even if not yet ready to leave themselves, will be willing to stand up to the dirty tricks brigade. Few if any of the likely friendly countries will take that risk in the current climate.

Perhaps when the Euro finally fails, or when eurosceptic mood hardens elsewhere, something will happen. Right now, being the first to leave the EU, on its own, would be dangerous for the UK, no matter how satisfying it would be.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Democracy

if there is a nation that has historically been privileged in the EU, in terms that their opinion has often been accepted even when it was contrary to the majority and that a blind eye has been turned when it says "We don't like this global EU policy, so we decide that it applies to everyone except us.", that is the UK.

Hardly.

The two most Eurosceptic nations, the UK and Denmark, have historically a far better record on implementing EU directives tham the so-called europhile nations. The UK may well complain about directives it doesn't like, but in general it will implement them, under protest.

Contrast that with France, for example, where every new EU directive is greeted with welcome open arms in public, and then the unpopular ones are either quietly ignored, or implemented on some way that pays lip service to the title, and little else. Since the EU needs France more than it needs the UK, it says nothing.

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You, Verizon. What's with the download throttle? Explain yourself – FCC boss

Phil O'Sophical
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Unhappy

there are many people who - deep down - don't give a bent fuck about being loved at all. But they do like power, and they need control.

And the real question is, why do we keep electing them?

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Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Phil O'Sophical
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To be continued?

I'm looking forward to part 2, which I hope will cover screw habitats. I've seen some that prefer metal, and some that make their home in wood, but I've heard that there are some rare breeds with other predilections. There's also one, I believe, where the head breaks off the male after mating.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: What's the literal transaltion of the Arapaho?

literal translation of their word for screw?

bang-in, twist-out stick.

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iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I already have an NFC iPhone

Sounds great, that way you can lose both at the same time, and won't be able to call the bank to report the lost card :)

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SOULLESS machine-intelligence ROBOT cars to hit Blighty in 2015

Phil O'Sophical
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by 2020 no one should be killed or seriously hurt by a Volvo.

They should be careful what they ask for, after all no-one's been seriously hurt or killed by an Austin in years...

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4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Cut or compress

Can't we just cut the dedicated shopping and porn channels?

They make money for the providers. If there's less spectrum available then logically the cost of carriage should be increased, which might indeed drive the dross onto the internet, and leave us with a smaller number of decent channels. I'm not holding my breath, though.

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Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: All these posts, and no one has hinted at the real agenda ..

only major significant advantage that I can see, in theory, is the ability for suppliers to provide cheap tariffs for off-peak usage. So, if you're in a position to schedule use of washing machines, dishwashers etc, for weekends and overnight,

Something which has been possible for 40-odd years without a smart meter, using either a simple timeswitch or a switching signal overlaid on the mains.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Why bother?

spending £90 per month on electricity ... some people struggle to find that amount of money for food.

And spending £200 of taxpayers money on a smart meter to tell them how much electricity they're using every instant is going to help them how, precisely?

If they're that short of cash you can be sure that they're already very aware of their electricity use, and switching off everything they don't need. They probably also don't have the smartphone or broadband that they'd need for a "smart app" either.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: EVERYTHING translates back to monetary value.

I'd like to try and avoid the possibility of dramatic climate shifts; in my lifetime or my descendants

Why? They've happened many times in the past, for a variety of reasons, and it's directly because of some of them that we're here at all. By preventing them you could be condemning your descendants to a life of stagnation and failure.

That's only half tongue-in-cheek, we really have no idea of whether they'll happen, or what they'll do. I'm all in favour of not wasting finite natural resources like fossil fuels, which have other valuable uses than simply burning them, but we need some perspective here, looking at the whole picture and not relying on knee-jerk reactions to only one of many related issues.

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14 antivirus apps found to have security problems

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Problems with virus?

Well, if you will click on random irrelevant links from a forum post...

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Phil O'Sophical
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And you have a 40ft wide TV to watch it on as well?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

You couldn't slow 60fps down to 50fps without the result being unwatchable. It's always converted, and with modern standards convertors you'll not see any difference when only the frame rate is being adapted, the underlying MPEG stream isn't exactly a simple succession of 30/60 fps anyway. Interpolation really only shows up problems when you're trying to handle changes in the number of lines, like 525->625

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

most people have just got HDTV or Full HD TVs

Most people assume that because their TV says "HD", everything they watch is in HD. They have so little clue about picture quality that sales of UHD will be purely based on pub bragging rights, and they're still too expensive for that.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: aware of the benefits of 4K

The BBC recommended viewing distance for UHD 1 ("4K"), for maximum visual resolution, is 1.5x screen height. For ordinary HD it is 3x screen height. An 84" 16:9 TV has a height of ~41", or 1.04m so you'll get best quality from a 4K 84" screen at 1.5m, and beyond 3m you'll see no more benefit from 4K than from ordinary HD.

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Verizon to limit unlimited 4G plans

Phil O'Sophical
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Not so much "unlimited"

as "up to unlimited", then? Well, why didn't they just say so?

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Phil O'Sophical
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FAIL

Re: No such thing as uncontested connections

Yes, there are some natural monopolies

The laws of physics, for one.

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NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'

Phil O'Sophical
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he wanted to know exactly what I did.

He didn't care, he just wanted to see if you could reel off a sincere description quickly without giving the impression that you were trying to remember your cover story...

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: The plug-in for plutocrats

Phil O'Sophical
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But why?

Does anyone who can afford to lay out £90K for a car (probably north of £100K with extras) really give a damn whether it does 40MPG or 20MPG? Apart from giving you the chance to flaunt your green credentials at the country club this seems a largely pointless exercise.

As for you can unclip the charger from the wall and take it with you.. Why not just build it into the car then, and fit a power cord reel like on a vacuum cleaner? It could have a nice Porsche-styled 13A plug on the end. No need to unclip and carry anything.

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METRE-LONG DINOSAUR POO going under the hammer

Phil O'Sophical
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Alert

an object so intriguing it will pull even the dullest dinner party out of the shit.

Hopefully won't be purchased by Heston Blumenthal, I wouldn't put it past him to serve it at a dinner party...

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Super Cali optimistic cloud is now a focus – even though the sound of it is something quite

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Legendary headline!

California has become the first state in the US to shift its entire government computing system to the cloud, dubbed CalCloud.

♫ Let's go fly a kite... ♫

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Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Pay no taxes post no profits

The French establishment already hate Amazon.

True, but that's because it's not French, and is successful. Of course, if Amazon was French it would have been strangled by red tape and taxes, and wouldn't be successful anyway.

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The answer to faster wireless is blowing in the wind

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: read all about it

Wave - article duality

Or maybe Jasper and Richard are each others' antiparticles? Have they ever been in the same room together?

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UK government officially adopts Open Document Format

Phil O'Sophical
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Why?

You've answered your own question: I work in an it department in a govt agency

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Red X on tunnel"

Of course, because using the Lane Closed sign for "Queue Ahead" is so obvious!

Oh, those signs are there as well, further back, but the Craigies of this world don't read them.

Closing the outside lane and funneling the traffic into two lanes before the tunnel moves the queue to the input side of the tunnel, where it's easily seen, away from the long curve through and after the tunnel where it then flows more freely.

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Phil O'Sophical
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@Cragie Re: Red X

They put a red X on one lane of a tunnel round here when there's a major slowdown after the tunnel, to avoid people sailing through the tunnel at 50MPH & smacking into the back of the queue they didn't know was there. People still ignore it, since the tumnel looks clear. They learn the hard way, as you will. Hope you don't kill anyone else when you do.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Go

Re: I'm not sure

But honestly officer, it said "Green Light" on the display, right there.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Genuine reason.

PS. Don't try to open your car doors at speed. The wind blast could slam it back on you. Another stupid driver proved it.

There's a reason why rear-hinged doors used to be called "suicide doors"

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Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I think...

you have to compare the US ticket price with the UK ex VAT price

Exactly. The figures given in the article are exaggerated, and seemingly chosen to give the worst impression

The UK Kindle Fire that costs £329 in the UK is the entry-level HDX 8.9" (including special offers). Before VAT that works out to £274, or $468 at current rates.

The current US price is $379, so the UK price is 23% more, not 39.5% as claimed.

If, instead, you compare the top-end 64GB/4G one, the prices are $625 (UK) versus $594 (US), which is only a 5% difference.

Do we have any consumer tech exports?

Even if we do, they're probably made in the same Chinese factories as the US "exports".

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THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Reg unit?

5 DVD's at 4.7GB each

Sure they aren't dual-layer?

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Microsoft's Xbox TV studio OBLITERATED

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Orac in a box

A perspex box with fairy lights and a bad attitude.

I didn't realize Windows Phone was that old.

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Hi-tech Fagin couple used Apple scam cash to fly pickpockets to UK

Phil O'Sophical
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Headmaster

Re: To be fair....

Greengrocers' apostrophes with initialisms like USB are often tolerated, as they are with dates like "70's"

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That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

Phil O'Sophical
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"XL WD"

Brilliant.

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British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Retro...

Royal Mail keeps a database of where every item was posted from and the recipient.

Royal Mail has enough trouble telling you where your parcel is today, the chance of it knowing where a parcel was three weeks ago is pretty close to nil.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: @Ross K - for some definition of paedophile...

TL:DR

I wish The Register had some kind of ignore list so I didn't have to come across you again

Classic. You can't be bothered to read comments that don't fit with your preconceived opinions, and just want to pretend that the people who disagree with you aren't there.

That's a pretty clear definition of "bigot".

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: for some definition of paedophile...

the bit about catching people before they cross the line, it has a delicious Minority Report to it

Except that it didn't say catching, it said influencing, i.e. "think before you click, we may be watching you".

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Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Resiliency Model

What appears to be a resilient server looks like it relies quite heavily on the application configuration (i.e. Oracle RAC etc.) to achieve resiliency, rather than making sure the server can take failures.

Why does that matter? For most users the important thing is the resilience of the system as a whole. Whether an appropriate level of resilience is achieved in hardware alone, or with co-operating hardware and software, is just an implementation detail.

Certainly you can make very resilient hardware like Tandem & its ilk, at a substantial cost in redundant subsystems. Do you always need that? Statitstically, very little system downtime is due to hardware faults, most is human error and software problems. Few applications need bleeding-edge resilience-at-any-price hardware, for a given application youi'll need a certain level of resilience, and what's important is to provide that at an appropriate price point.

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Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files

Phil O'Sophical
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Coat

Never been much of a golfer, but I could learn.

If you lose your balls in the rough, do you get a free stroke?

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Soon to be (unfortunately)...

If something is patented it can't be locked away, since a fundamental purpose of the patent process is publication.

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Study of Brit students finds TXTING doesn't ruin your writing

Phil O'Sophical
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Unhappy

txting hasn't hurt my writing

But 30-odd years of primarily using a keyboard has played merry hell with my handwriting. I can hardly read what I've written myself, these days.

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David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

Phil O'Sophical
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Mandatory roaming would reward operators who invested the least in their own rural networks, and increase intra-company haggling.

Not necessarily. It's called "National Roaming" and works in France, where the regulator has designated certain sparsely-populated rural areas as "zones blanches". The operators effectively agreed to share these areas out among themselves, rather than all incurring the expense of installing competing networks. The cell ID shows up as "F-CONTACT" instead of "F-SFR" or "F-Orange", etc. Outside the zone blanches cross-operating roaming does not apply.

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Google starts selling Glass to Brits – for £1,000 a pop

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Industrial use.

Companies like Boeing already use this technology for their service techs, they have heads-up displays that can superimpose wiring diagrams over cable looms during aircraft maintenance.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: No symetrical frames

Or you could integrate a Wicked Lasers Arctic 2W laser in to the side and burn a hole in anyone who dares to laught.

You mean like http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2014-06-21/ ?

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Home automation while it's hot: Winter warmth for lazy technophiles

Phil O'Sophical
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Can't see it catching on widely enough

As the article says, to directly control these sorts of appliances you would need to mess about with holes in your firewall, static addresses or dynamic DNS, etc. Most ordinary folks won't want anything which needs that much hassle. The alternative, as described, is to buy gadgets that are configured via a third-party website, where the devices poll for instructions. That immediately locks you in to one supplier, who may change a fee either now, or in the future, assuming they're still there in the future.

Sure, Google probably won't go bust in the next 10 years, but we've all seen home music devices that relied on external servers to get streaming data, and when the service went titsup you were left with a fancy paperweight. Not to mention what happens when the service gets hacked & some script kiddie in China has fun playing with your central heating while you're away, so you come home to a flooded house from burst pipes in winter, or crispy pot plants and a sauna in August.

In essence, to get a level of convenience that works for an ordinary user, you're not buying Home Automation devices, but "Home-Automation-as-a-Service", and look how well the Smart Meter concept is going down.

That to me, and I suspect to the public at large, is not an interesting or cost-effective use case. Personally I'm tempted to do something myself with Raspberry Pis or Arduinos, but that's not a mass-market model. Maybe the folks buying £10m houses will be willing to pay a monthly fee for a "home management" service, but I reckon most ordinary folks will stick with a thermostat and a timer.

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France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: mmmh...

I really should register gTLDs ... .bullshit...

The Bahamas already got there with .bs

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Glastonbury debuts festival wide Wi-Fi network - fitted to COWS

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Im confused, ,

Well, if he sits under that tree long enough...

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Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: What puzzles me ...

They represent about a day's work when you have to mow the bloody field.

Isn't that what sheep were invented for?

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Shift over, TV firms: LTE Broadcast will nuke current mobile telly tech

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I have a query

Trivially easy, but there would be no income stream for the phone companies...

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