Feeds

* Posts by Brenda McViking

126 posts • joined 28 May 2012

Page:

Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

Brenda McViking

Since both the justice system and law enforcement have proven themselves completely inept when it comes to technology, I move that neither be able to use any technology in their jobs until they get an el Reg approved internet licence.

In it should be questions like: Little Jonny downloads a movie. What is he guilty of?

  • a)Piracy
  • b)Copyright infringment
  • c)Theft
  • d)Nothing, yet. he is innocent unless proven guilty
  • e)Terrorism

and: In terms of connectivity, what does IP stand for?

  • a)Intellectual Property
  • b)Internet Protocol
  • c)Incompetant Policeman
  • d)Illegal Populace
  • e)Terrorism

21
0

ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

Brenda McViking

Re: Tory-led government's Drip bill?

In the UK, not giving up your key is a criminal act.

Exhibit A, register article.

In the USA, not giving up unencrypted email is a criminal act.

Exhibit B, register article.

1
0

Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

Brenda McViking
Holmes

Re: Chris W @ Condiment

What is a magnet going to do to a flash based MicroSD card? To disturb electrons in silicon based NAND flash memory you'd need a magnet capable of sucking iron out of your blood cells.

Shoving it in a microwave, on the other hand...

1
0

UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

Brenda McViking

Re: I need to get some t-shirts made up...

"Why does the Grid need to quadruple STOR power?"

Because we're running far too close to the margins. STOR is a last ditch attempt to make up for the fact that we don't have enough capacity. It's the payday loan of the energy sector which prevents it from defaulting (blackout). Renewables like wind do indeed provide unpredictable and spiky power which increases the margin requirement.

"Why are gas plants not more attractive to run,"

Because they've been winding them down for ages, because historically gas prices have not been competitive with coal, and because you can't just un-mothball a plant economically unless you've got some guarantees that it's going to stay economical. And because the EU say you can't add more fossil to the grid once you've taken it off. For smaller plants, it's far better to keep a gas plant on STOR - it'll earn it's money that way, rather than trying to compete with nuclear, coal or subsidised wind.

"Why is it the politicians that shut down plants?"

Because they're in charge. They provide the laws and regulations relating to the countries infrastructure. Unless you want the French and the Germans to be in charge of our energy (which they pretty much are, as our politicians don't give a shit and it's come to crunch time.) Energy companies HAVE been screaming for new capacity, for an energy policy, for plants to be given the okay to go ahead. But no, the politicans block it to get short term green lobby votes. And it takes years to build stations. And the politicians sign us up to EU directives that state that fossil is bad m'kay, and we're LEGALLY obliged to shut it all off.

"the energy companies screwed up, not the politicians."

See above. Politics blocks the energy companies from doing what they want, and spend so long fumbling around not giving commitment or guarantees to financing or permission, or debating whether "profit" should be guaranteed for someone making a national investment. National infrastructure is not something the private sector want to pay for - the public sector holds all the cards here, and it comes with high risks with little reward. You can spend £20bn on a new plant for the next politician to come along and give it to your competitor. Why would any sane person take that risk?

"If they shut down too many plants without building new ones the energy companies screwed up"

Politicians agreed to laws stating fossil plant must be shut down. Politicians didn't agree legislation to allow new plants to be built, unless they were wind turbines, which are not fit for purpose when it comes to a stable and affordable energy supply.

"If the grid operators did not enter into enough long term contracts ... then it's operators fault."

You can't enter into a long term contract with a plant that a) is due to be shut by law or b) hasn't been built yet. What exactly are national grid supposed to do? other than explain to the politicians what a fundamental mess they're in and whose fault it is (and they've been doing that)

"In the end the consumer pays, or puts PV solar on his roof"

You can pay as much as you want - but you can't buy what doesn't exist. As for Solar PV, at this latitude - you can choose to run your microwave, or your fridge, but not both at the same time, and not at night. You'd be better off with a domestic diesel generator - but once the power cuts start, they might be commanding a nice premium.

It's a farce, a mess and a frankly stupid, entirely predictable state of affairs, and in my mind, amounts to high treason by the current and historical crop of politicians we've had. But still, even with blackouts coming as early as this year, we're STILL not building new capacity - which will in all likelyhood take until 2020 to be operational.

4
0

Look inside ELON MUSK'S CAR! Tesla S wundervehicle has voom

Brenda McViking

Re: Still waiting to see where the power's coming from

Well to accomodate a potential for an additional 1.25MW peak load on a typical domestic distribution substation, you'll need some major, and expensive upgrades.

Mean load for a house is around 1.25kW - peaks at maybe 10kW if you've got the kettle, oven, tumble dryer and immersion heater on. A single Tesla on a "supercharger" is the equivalent of shoving 10-12 homes worth of peak demand on the grid - and at the lower distribution level our grid wasn't designed for it. I've heard estimations that more than 3 electric cars on your average domestic street is liable to knock it out as the substation simply can't cope. And it isn't like substation manufacturing is a high volume activity which can knock one up for easy installation with a weeks notice. Our grid is only slightly newer than those new-fangled victorian railways we still have lying around. It'll take decades to upgrade.

The fact that at an increase of 0.2% consumption for an infrastructure of 200 charging points which will service, what, 14000 vehicles? (10 cars a day charging themselves once a week) - you'll need to build 59x 1MW wind turbines at a generous 33% utilisation factor for that 164GWh requirement you have. List price ~ £1m/MW installed (2012) = £59,000,000, so a not insignificant £4200 per vehicle. (and they'll need replacing every 10 years.) That's just the capacity, let alone distribution and the rest of the critical infrastructure Not exactly cheap to save the planet, is it? Conventional fossil fuel is probably a quarter of that price, but even so, a 0.2% increase in UK consumption for vehicles which can be owned by 0.0002% of the population is actually still a rather concerning figure, if these things are going to become popular. If only our electrical infrastructure wasn't already on it's knees...

0
1

Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

Brenda McViking

Re: Nope

Yeah but when they're really small they're not that efficient, in thermal terms. They're also expensive to build and maintain, require expensive materials as the average temp at the back is soooo much higher and are still very thirsty. Not to mention it'll easily drown out the noisiest boy racer Corsa driver who has drilled a hole in his exhaust.

GTs are extremely power dense, and therefore fine for when you want an insane amount of power from something that doesn't take up much space or weigh very much - thus for land based vehicles they really don't make sense - you're much better off with a diesel running at it's optimum driving a generator, if you're after maximum efficiency with minimal losses... Unless of course you're trying for land speed records.

But don't let me stop you wanting a jet car. I do too!

4
0

UK govt 'tearing up road laws' for Google's self-driving cars: THE TRUTH

Brenda McViking

They'll porbably go the same way as other outdated forms of transport - provide a mild annoyance for normal road users stuck behind one on the very rare occasion that they're on their way to a vintage rally, or be used in sporting events. Like horses, traction engines and classic cars are today.

1
1

E-cigarettes help you quit – but may not keep you alive

Brenda McViking

Re: ....and less sick people choking up the NHS.

But that isn't the whole story, is it.

The medical community came up with many studies showing that smoke-related healthcare was actually costing more than the tax it bought in. Without that the smoking ban would never have happened - it wasn't for the good of the countries health, it was about money. It always is.

Now, you will probably get people lasting longer, from a statistical point of view across an entire population, but due to the fact that fewer people will need the more expensive treatments that smoking increases the likelyhood of them needing, then overall, caring for people for longer without requiring so much expensive specialist equipment (say ventilators, oxygen-equipped wheelchairs, lung transplants, chemotherapy or whatever) is cheaper.

Yes, this is a gross simplification.

Yes, they'll die of something else.

But a human dying of a heart attack is cheaper than being kept alive with lung problems for 20 years, and that, effectively is the crux of the matter, only simplified (a lot). If smoking killed you stone dead, really quickly, then it wouldn't cost more than the tax it bought in, and it wouldn't be such a public enemy, and we wouldn't have seen the smoking ban, which is pretty much being rolled out worldwide, at least in the west.

1
4

Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house

Brenda McViking

Re: Don't have 85k

What, this one?

Huvr board

2
0

Microsoft throws Kinect under a bus, slashes Xbox One to $399

Brenda McViking

Re: Meh.

And yet, having both consoles and not really biased either way, it is clear at least to me that the Xbox is the more polished experience of the two. The PS4 was not *quite* ready when released and it shows.

2
5

LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

Brenda McViking

Re: I think the time has come

This disaster resulted in the entire aviation community agreeing that TCAS advisories are to be given priority over controller instructions. As a result, if a TCAS resolution advisory is telling you one thing, and the meatbag another, you follow TCAS - because it is provenly safer to do so.

0
0

Thanks for nothing, Apple, say forensic security chaps

Brenda McViking
Black Helicopters

This Story

Bought to you by the NSA, who actually can break in easily but they want you to think it's secure so that you get rid of the blackberry which has them stumped.

Next week: The dangers of letting terrorists into your computer by using TOR

1
0

Apple stuns world with rare SEVEN-way split: What does that mean?

Brenda McViking

What is much more likely is the average "mom and pop" investor will not update their stop-loss orders and get stopped out of the market.

The other thing is that employee share plans are pretty difficult to do with a 3 digit share price.

But in the markets there are plenty of people (even rich ones) who don't really know how stocks work and will not have bought Apple because it "was too expensive."

1
0

Shocking new low for SanDisk – 15nm flash chips rolling out its fabs

Brenda McViking

Excellent

Nice to see that there is still hard technical innovation going on in this industry. Not just petty patent squabbles over the way something looks.

6
0

Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor

Brenda McViking

Re: Another day, another anti-Windows 8 story on The Register

I'll have you know we here commentards are fair and balanced in our opinions

We hate Microsoft on here, and we hate Apple even more. But the one thing that really irks us the most is when Microsoft try and be like Apple - like they did in Vista, and like they're doing in Windows 8. And 8.1

1
0

Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

Brenda McViking

Re: OH NOES THINK OF THE CHILDREN

Problem is, 6 months later, they'll come back to you because you made the printer stop working. And the internet is slow. And the anti-virus expired 5 months ago.

And it's all your fault because you were the last person to "fiddle" with it

12
0

Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich

Brenda McViking

Re: @localzuk

It was an US design back in the 50s for the first generation, but they have since been upgraded several times over, without any help or know-how from the US.

Unless you're arguing the same analogy that all motorcars are heavily supported with US know how from the model T as well, in which case, fair enough, but it's not really all that relevant in the capabilities of today's world.

2
0
Brenda McViking

Re: @Don Jefe

Funny,

I'll just tell the 8,000 enginers in the UK at Rolls-Royce that they don't manufacture anything complex, let alone half the engines for the worlds widebody jetliner fleet shall I, or the thousands employed at Bombardier, manufacturing rail stock, or how about Coventry, where Jaguar Land Rover are recruiting THOUSANDS of new engineers to assist with their R&D and manufacturing plants (seen any Range Rover Evokes around the states recently? Indian Owned but British Made in Liverpool). Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce - British made. JCB industrial and construction equipment - you may have heard of them. Head up to Scotland and you'll find all manner of marine, oil and gas activity - none of which is known for requiring simple manufacturing.

F1 technology and motorsport- an awful lot manufactured in UK, gearboxes, energy recovery systems, engine development, brakes - Prodrive (UK R&D and Manufacturing) quite literally were the only name in the world rally championship a few years back, supplying technology for virtually all the teams. BAe Systems you've mentioned - in decline at the moment due to the global defence cuts, but defence is a fringe case because as you've mentioned, sovereignty comes into it - so anything made for a country will have it's IP and final construction completed there. Which is why we don't buy US military hardware, just as you don't buy UK (except where we share risk - F35 is a classic example - US do not have the capability for STOVL variant, UK does, designed using UK IP, manufactured in US)

Manufacturing simple things with skinny margins in the UK? not a chance, not at any scale anyway - there is no way you can compete with Asia. We make highly complex equipment that they cannot, due to a lack of adequately qualified personnel and established R&D resources, infrastructure and protection which the east cannot offer (except maybe Sinagpore or South Korea). That does mean that the blue-collar manufacturing on production lines that people "fondly" remember back in the 60s and 70s has largely disappeared, as minimum wages here mean automation/offshoring is cheaper. But to say we don't manufacture anything complex is simply wrong. If anything, it's the only thing we still do. ARM electronics, Imagination technologies - plenty of the IP in your smartphone belongs to British companies, despite what Apple would like you to believe.

I think I've made my point that Britain does do complex manufacturing, and lots of it. I should know as I work in it.

Getting back to topic: putting a manufacturing centre in London, where space is at a significant premium and commands extorsionate rents, is not an idea anyone would seriously entertain. If you have lots of people making lots of money in high rise offices (banksters, insurers, financial services etc) then locating in London makes sense. If you have need of low density (by which I mean warehouses, factories with a few stories) manufacturing needs, you'd be bankrupt within a year if you put it in London. Just like putting an automotive factory in downtown Manhattan - it's a stupid idea.

So there was no way it was ever going to win the top tech city award - it's too expensive to manufacture anything there.

2
0

Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers

Brenda McViking

Re: "turned down Levison's appeal against the contempt charge"

So let me get this straight. He was asked to provide the keys so that the g-men could snoop on the data they were "entitled to" and refused. They take a court order out to force him to, and he stands fast for 2 days before relenting and challenging the legality of the request, in the meanwhile axing the service - and that is contemptuous because he should have taken them to court the first time they asked?

What planet does this judge live on?

If a copper came around my house and asked for my keys "because terrorism", I'll tell him to leave and slam the door in his face, not take him to court for asking. If he then persists, bringing back a court order, then that is the appropriate time to take it to court, surely. That is surely how escalation works.

Otherwise you'll be in contempt next time you don't take a policeman to court should they pull you over for speeding when you weren't (faulty speed gun, for instance). Rather than fighting it once you have the ticket, like any sane, normal member of society would.

Or have I got the wrong end of the stick here?

10
0

MIT boffins moot tsunami-proof floating nuke power plants

Brenda McViking

Re: Containment Solution?

Just sink it. Radioactivity from fuel rods isn't dangerous to humans when it's below 3m of water (which is why we have spent fuel ponds at most reactor sites where the spent fuel cools off.)

Yeah, greenpeace will be shouting "won't somebody think of the fish" but compared to an atmospheric release, it's a no brainer.

4
0

Borked Bitcoin bunker MtGox in administration: Lawyer seizes control

Brenda McViking

Re: Mighty quiet ....

By its definitition, Bitcoin is not FIAT. It doesn't derive its value from any government or legislation, and relies instead on its scarcity (due to it theoretically being finite) to attain value.

Of course, once trust in a currency is gone, it becomes worthless anyway - MtGox is certainly the most trust-damaging event to date, but bitcoins are still trading.

2
0

Amazon wires up email-to-Kindle to its gigantic online hard drive

Brenda McViking

Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/949/

4
0

Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast

Brenda McViking

Re: 500mA power draw

I don't know - you try holding a 64MB MicroSD card that has just completed a few 10GB file transfers at 50MB/s - it actually gets very hot - too hot to apply any kind of pressure to with your fingers, anyway.

1
0

Did you know Twitter has a 'consumer product division'? Ex-Google Maps boss now runs it

Brenda McViking

That's interesting

I assume "product" in this case is the adjective referring to the consumer.

3
0

Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM

Brenda McViking
Mushroom

Re: Just for this...

Two. Hundred. Thousand. Pounds.

£200,000.

For this?

WITH TAXPAYERS MONEY?!

My head just exploded.

17
0

Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?

Brenda McViking

Re: Economic WIN

Come off it. Futures markets exist because they take the gambling out of the equation for the consumer/provider, and give it to those who deal in and have experience in that area (the bankster).

It's primary advantage is that it allows a certain amount of certainty about the future, which very quickly diminishes risk for those all those involved, from investors, suppliers, consumers, and the entire chain in between them all - as described by posters above.

Cloud computing, aside from being ill-defined (but can probably be offered as CPU cycles, or storage), is no different. If trading it offers no advantage to building it yourself, as you suppose, then the market will dry up, and all the speculators will be left high and dry. Hell, Amazon AWS pretty much does all this already - you can buy cloud at spot prices or at pre-determined prices in the future, and they, together with their customers, are doing well.

0
0

Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

Brenda McViking

Re: What everyone needs is a £280 Nexus 5

And why is a shedload of megapixels a requirement for a phone camera? My old Sony DSLR has 10MP, and due to the physical size of the sensor and the quality of the glass in front of it, It'll still take a far better photo than the 41MP Nokia, EVERY SINGLE TIME.

I have an S4, with a 13MP camera. It still takes shite photos. My Nokia N95 with a 5MP camera had a much better lens and took much better pictures. I miss that phone...

Buying a phone camera based on megapixels is a game only the uninformed play (and don't salesmen know it!) - there are far far far more important things to consider, and anything above 5MP is only really useful if you happen to be printing images the size of motorway advertising billboards, head over to photography forums and they'll tell you all about it.

2
0

Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

Brenda McViking

Re: Does ANYBODY still believe this tripe?

A program I've heard of that overcomes the copying issue is teracopy www.codesector.com/teracopy

Of course this falls into the "microsoft messed it up and there is no way in hell that in a sane world this program should *need* to exist." But hey. It solves the problem because microsoft won't, so I'm leaving the link here in case anyone has need of it.

4
0

Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report

Brenda McViking
Black Helicopters

Re: Wrist, meet slap

Well you know what they say about security agencies: the only time you're sure they're exploiting something is when they official deny it.

13
1

Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

Brenda McViking
Joke

Well at least I won't have to change my reg password - as it doesnt even bother with https to protect the login >_<

11
0

Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

Brenda McViking

Re: 85000 XP!

Yet I hear the "tax simplification" team for 2013 was made up of just 6 HMRC employees.

No wonder the countries finances are in such a state.

3
0

Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Brenda McViking

Re: Sounds a lot like those...no, not really

Did you know THERE'S A MUTE BUTTON on the self service machines.

Check it out next time - before you hit start, at the bottom of your self service machine, there is a speaker icon. HIT IT, and IT SHUTS UP!

(except you then have the problem of when there is an unexpected item in the bagging area and the machine isn't shouting about it - confuses the hell out of the supervisors.)

2
0

'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

Brenda McViking

Re: @ Stuart Longland (was: What legit email admin ...)

I use one too jake. (a billion dollar advertising agency account that is)

For general spam. Internet shopping and facebook and linkedin notifications - in fact, as the vast majority of the email I recieve is neither confidential, particularly personal or even indeed useful, I'm quite happy for the likes of google/microsoft/yahoo to host it for me. It's not like they charge me, and they can sell it all to advertisers all they want - with adblock plus, i'll simply not see all the targeted ads that desperate agencies have paid for to put in front of me.

As for running my own email server, I don't. Just like I don't have a washing machine repair workshop in my garage despite owning a washing machine, or an vetinary operating table despite owning a cat. Both of those would be pragmatic, but unfortunately I have to work for a living, and as such don't have all the free time necessary to purchase, install, operate and maintain these "nice to haves." YMMV.

17
1

Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

Brenda McViking
Angel

Re: Coffee cup holder, someone's got to mention the coffee cup holder! www = internet

Text Message from the Mother:

"Darling, can you stop changing the internet every other day"

[reply]

"What do you mean?"

[mum]

"the google, you keep changing the google on my computer. I like yesterdays one better. Just keep it as that"

[reply]

"No mum, I don't change the google logo, google changes that."

[mum]

"You don't run the google?"

[reply]

"No, if I did I wouldn't be driving a fiesta"

7
0

Universal Music mulls 'all you can eat' buffet of song downloads

Brenda McViking
Go

Eh?

Downloading is quite superior to streaming, not to mention more efficient as you only do it once, rather than every single time you want to listen to it - music streaming is a huge waste of bandwidth, if you think about it, as people usually listen to the same song more than once. not so with video.

It sounds like UMG have finally come to the conclusion that actually, people want copies of music and are will get them cheap (or free if anything remotely restrictive gets in their way), then they might as well be the supplier, and make a bit of money out of it. Sure, there are some people who will probably try and pay once and download the whole back-catalogue. Maybe there will be "fair-use" provisions to "unlimited" or maybe it really will be unlimited - after all, it's trivial to download the entire back catalogue anyway through less, erm, legal means. However - this time they're paid, so regardless, they win over having it all pirated.

But a supplier that has good quality copies is worth a premium, and to be honest I'd consider it for $20/month - and pay for more than one month too, as whilst I might download everything good I know of in the first month, after that it becomes much more of a "try something new" experience, and if that works, then they'll keep getting my subscription. everyone wins. It's high time the music industry worked with it's consumers, rather than against them - good music will provide other revenue streams in time, but the old way of charging £3+ for an intangible digital bitstream lasting 2.5 minues when your CD is £2 (and requires the full supply chain and distribution infrastructure) is a business model that is well and truly dead. Flogging that dead horse has got them nowhere for 15 years, maybe they're realising that actually, there are other ways to make money than by ripping your customers off.

Good luck to them. They still might need to halve that subscription - they're so late to the party that they've got to complete with the likes of netflix now, but this is the first step in the right direction that I've seen the industry take, for which I applaud them. (never thought I'd see the day...)

5
0

20 Freescale staff on vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Brenda McViking

Re: Very sad indeed...

I too am very unsure of those statistics, but in an effort to remedy the situation, I've found some HSE stats on their website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/theory/r2p2.pdf

For the entire UK population:

Annual risk of death due to road accident: 1 in 16,800 in the UK in 1999

Annualised risk of death due to aircraft accident per passenger journey 1 in 142,000,000 (1991-2000)

So even if you take this to the ridiculous extreme of flying twice a day, every single day of the year, your chances of being an aircraft accident fatality are 1 in 195,000, or, to put it another way, you're still over 11 times more likely to die on your way to the airport.

Not that statistics are any comfort to the families of the souls onboard MH-370 - our thoughts are with them at this terrible time.

1
0

What do you mean there are no Surface Pros? HAND 'EM OVER, yell Microsoft resellers

Brenda McViking
FAIL

Re: Microsoft misread the market

The original RT was a joke that only the retired Windows ME development team found funny. However, everyone I've spoken to about the Pro would have them, if only they didn't cost as much as a second hand car.

For microsoft to misread the market would have required them to actually look at their market, which they don't, because they already "know" what the market wants better than the market does. Hence their booming success, Windows 8 on every desktop, and the baying hordes outside redmond calling for Ballmer's return... Oh wait

0
0

Flying fondleslab causes injury after plane hits turbulence

Brenda McViking
Holmes

The incident in question

http://avherald.com/h?article=46b376ea/0000&opt=0

The ATSB also had the following to say to passengers in this very same report:"Turbulence is a weather phenomenon responsible for the abrupt sideways and vertical jolts that passengers often experience during flights, and is the leading cause of in-flight injuries to passengers and cabin crew."

I feel SO much more knowledgable now.

0
1

Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base

Brenda McViking

Re: They almost laughed him out of the boardroom...

Well, at least in the Marine industry, the EU is heavily funding research into ways of emitting less CO2 (regardless of your beliefs as to whether that's a good thing), and one of the ideas seriously being considered is the use of sails - the downside is that they're efficient at 12kts, not the 18kts cargo carriers current go. But, there is a glut of cargo carriers, and you can get the same throughput with more ships on the ocean going slower. It of course means that you'll be waiting for your big-TV shipment from Hong Kong for around 33% longer, but presumably if you're shipping by sea rather than air, it's because you want it cheap and are willing to sacrifice time for that.

So a slow (it's still ~4+ times quicker than shipping by sea), heavy lifter market may work - it has drawbacks- indeed the weather restrictions for a dirigible presumably are more strict than a helicopter, but just because it's slow doesn't mean it could be useful. I can think of lots of companies who wouldn't mind the capability to lift 50 tonnes out on short notice - oil companies spring to mind. Whether they'd let 50 tonnes of swinging cargo next to an offshore rig is questionable, but in terms of getting say, heavy machinery from a manufacturer in Germany to a site in Africa somewhere in a reasonable time frame for less money than hiring a C-17 Globemaster- I can see that there might be a market for that.

11
0

Boeing going ... GONE: Black phone will SELF-DESTRUCT in 30 secs

Brenda McViking
Thumb Up

Re: Borrowed technology from the Dreamliner batteries??

No indeed, in fact my Samsung iPhone* can have its battery replaced in under 10 seconds by popping off the back.

* according to the ruling of Judge Koh. USA supreme authoritaaaah!

3
0

Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

Brenda McViking

Re: Oh fsck. Not Lewis Page again.

You'll note he also made the same problem with the density of lead. so whilst he was wearing his 1000x binoculars, his comparison was valid. The volume of 270,000 tonnes of lead (via wolfram alpha) comes with the helpful volume comparison of 1/8th of a hindenburg airship or 1/44th of an empire state building. The same applied to 1.2m tonnes of carbon-graphite (which I've assumed to be similar density to ash) is 3 hindenburgs, or 1/2 an empire state building.

Was it a howler, really? yes, he was out by 3 orders of magnitude, on a subject which very few people can actually visualise. What does the UK national debt (~£1.3tr) look like in terms of volume of pound coins? how about £50 notes? is it the size of a warehouse? canary wharf? or of heathrow?

Coal stations burn a lot of coal. We definitely dig square kilometers of the stuff out the ground every year. The point still stands, that the entirety of all man made nuclear waste to date is pathetically small compared to a single years worth of ash from 1 single coal station. Fair play on you for calling the units, but at least from my point of view, it doesn't invalidate their argument as they applied the same error to both sides.

6
1

NHS England tells MPs: 'The state isn't doing dastardly things with GP medical records'

Brenda McViking

Re: What do you want from the NHS

I don't think many people will have a problem with medical data being used for life-saving medical research. What I have a major problem is the selling of this data to the private sector for commercial gain. Those two areas have been lumped together for care.data, which is why it's a farce to begin with.

Secondly, the rhetoric coming from those in charge of the project just shows they haven't a clue - this project, in order to work, needs complete transparency, and for the rules on how data is used to be clear. On the first point, they've already bungled, by refusing to explain decisions that led medical data be sold to insurance companies due to companies "re-branding" (whether that particualr act is actually damaging to peoples interests is debateable, but the refusal to explain IS definitely damaging) and on the second, nothing exists.

And it's going to be implemented by ATOS. Now I know that you're going to have to use a big provider for this, but jeez, anyone but ATOS...

You seem to misunderstand what Care.data is about. It's not about sharing your medical records inside the NHS, it's about sharing medical records with 3rd parties outside the NHS. Your data is already available to the professionals within the healthcare service. Staying opted-in will not change the fact that you're asked to repeat your medical history every time you see a doctor or healthcare professional.

12
0

SMELT YOU LATER: Apple announces conflict-free status

Brenda McViking

This is all well and good

But if Dodd/Frank is already law, then surely this (vastly more sensible option) doesn't fulfil the necessary requirements for it? Surely the bureaucrats haven't shuffled enough papers, and NGOs haven't leeched enough blood?

I'd like to think the EU might have a modicum of sense when it comes to this, but then I remember that EU bureaucracy makes American bureaucracy look positively amateur.

This is now a political issue, which, like all political issues, requires nonsensical actions coupled with taxpayer signed blank cheques to "solve". Do we really think that this sensible approach has any hope at succeeding?

0
0

FBI offers $10,000 bounty for arrest of laser-wielding idiots

Brenda McViking

Irrational? not really

A laser deliberately targeted at an aircraft cockpit is most definitely a hazard and it does blind you temporarily (or for longer, depending on the power output and distance).

Your arguments about laser shows are mostly irrelevant, I too have seen the HK one and the Singapore one, they are scheduled, limited with short exposure to the sky, and it's obvious to any pilot flying in the area that it's happening. It's not the same as having a pointer targeted at you for a sustained amount of time by any stretch of the imagination.

A pilot has absolutely no way of knowing the strength of the beam, it may be a fairly harmless 1mW one which will dazzle you for a couple of seconds, or it might be a class IV blu-ray cut from a player and modified for sustained use (freely available on ebay) which will burn your retinas and do irreversible damage. The range on even the smallest of pointers can be several miles, and it does spread out light a torch, so it is perfectly possible to illuminate the entire cockpit from a mile away. Cockpits don't have curtains or blinds - you can't prevent the light entering, and it is very distracting usually at the point where you require most concentration - i.e. low level take off or landing, where the very last thing you need is a distraction that you can't mentally block.

If you want an example you might relate to, imagine you're on a dark A road at night, approaching an unlit roundabout or intersection at 50mph, when all of a sudden you are lit up by something akin to football stadium lights directly in your path, or hit by the full beams of some other motorist who keeps them on you for more than 10 seconds. That is the kind of distraction and danger that it presents, only in the plane situation you can't slam on the brakes. If you're telling me that is only a nuisance when you're piloting 300 people, and not endangerment, then I'm going to strongly disagree.

People really don't understand just how dangerous it is, and their huge availibility leads to a blasé attitude to laser use - if it were down to me I'd have them as restricted as say, lab chemicals.

0
0

CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

Brenda McViking
Stop

Re: utter crap

Oh do shut up AC.

In my local town centre, parking charges have doubled every 2 years since they introduced them. In addition, all (charged) parking is capped at 2 hours, which when you have a 2 mile long central high street, means that you cannot ever do all those chores in one go. The post office is at one end, and the pharmacy is at the other, which might not be a problem had the coffee shop not been right in the middle of the two, and you all know we're caffeine addicts here.

Shop owners are livid at the council, because people can't leisurely shop, as they're always having to go back to their cars. I don't particularly see why I should have to race around on my weekends due to greedy councils wanting to tax the motorist some more on addition to the VAT they pay on the car, vehicle excise duty, fuel duty, VAT on fuel duty, with parking charges, which in themselves include VAT!!?! At what point does it end?

And yes, we have plenty of boarded up shops in our high street, directly due the greed of the council in business rates and parking restrictions. In addition, once they became responsible for parking (i.e. once the meters were installed) there was a 1400% increase in traffic wardens. If it really wasn't due to the money, why would they be so keen to invest so much in that particular area at the same time they're being asked to cut all public services? It's not about bad parking, it's about ripping us off.

3
1

Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

Brenda McViking
FAIL

Looking at the BPT Board members...

It would seem that none of the trustees have any engineering or computer experience between them, save one woman who did "computer programming" for a couple of years before climbing the corporate ladder, and a telecoms exec. That said, there are Lawyers, Civil Servants, Historians and investment bankers aplenty.

No wonder Collosus, Tunny or any of the exhibits that made Bletchley park what it was have no support - it's too busy being run by executives who have no appreciation for what happened there from the technical and mathematical point of view. A woefully unqualified Board to run Bletchley, if you ask me, even if they can run large organisations.

And yeah, the Gullivers Kingdom guy is still on the board too - tells you all you need to know.

7
0

Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Brenda McViking

Re: An amazing experience will be lost

Agreed. I first visited Bletchley whilst I was still of school age, and the experiences with the volunteers there were one of the key reasons I went on to study, graduate, and become employed in electronics engineering. The machines to a schoolboy were just machines - but the volunteers made them come alive, and showed the extent of the genius of the people that created them.

The Lottery funding was badly needed to restore the buildings and exhibits, but they count for precisely nothing when you remove the people who know about them. I'm 25, we're suffering a monumental shortage of engineers, and yet the BPT seem to be doing their hardest to remove the one single most effective tool in their arsenal to inspire the young people to learn about what happened here, and realise that there is still so much to do in this amazing field of science and engineering. I'll give them a clue - it isn't the tangible assets.

I'm extremely dissapointed in what I have read and seen here, doubly so by the apparent flippancy of the BPT responses, both official and leaked. Sacking one of those people who gave ME so much, who inspired ME, and who is partly directly responsible for my current career in an area which helps keeps UK PLC afloat (as opposed to say, errr, banking or sueing people), for something as pathetic as "not following the tour to the letter" is nothing short of disgusting.

A national treasure is under threat, once again, for seemingly petty and childish reasons. I will be voicing my displeasure to the Heritage Lottery Funding, and if anyone has details of the Bletchley Park Trustees, I'd like to understand exactly what they think they're doing, because their responses thus far, in my opinion, have been entirely inadequate.

5
0

Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

Brenda McViking
Black Helicopters

Re: Tl;dr

Nah - it's obviously just GCHQ redirecting all British traffic through NSA servers making it look like we're all American so that they can spy on us.

I mean - we're looking up things about computers and security on the internet - we MUST be a threat.

1
0

Page: