* Posts by Ledswinger

3304 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

China spending $182 BEEELLION on net construction by end of 2017

Ledswinger
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"So they will have infrastructure, technical skills, production skills and America owing them trillions, just about all the cards they need really."

Until they try and cash those T-bill IOU's and find that the dollar is worthless?

Meanwhile as living standards rise, and Chinese people speak more international languages, more and more understand that there's alternatives to corrupt one party government*, and that's not going to pan out well for the Communist Party.

* Yes, I know the alternative is generally an alternating arrangement of corrupt two party government, but if you've just been given a kicking by state goons for using Facebook to mock the party, then any alternative looks better.

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Singapore to trial 10Gbps home broadband

Ledswinger
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"8k 120fps 48 bit Color depth is coming"

So good you said it twice. But what's your advice? Should we walk round the streets with placards proclaiming "8k cometh, and all your porn will be obsolete", or were you thinking more along the lines of telling us all to run for the hills?

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Nokia getting there with HERE as rivals talk up price

Ledswinger
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"You are a corp, you wanna make $$$$ by fsck'ing the competition"

And you want to make a shed load of cash from the sale of over-priced options. I've not checked Audi's price list, but as a general rule built in satnav is about five to eight times the cost of a standalone Garmin unit, and map upgrades are charged at obscene prices through the dealer network.

Car makers profits are intrinsically tied up with options added to the base vehicle, and built in sat nav has been one of the higher margin options for many years. Even if Audi funded OSM, that would not result in any lower cost for the built in navigation or for the upgrades.

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City of birth? Why password questions are a terrible idea

Ledswinger
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Re: Spell it phonetically

" using the same non-relevant answer to a particular question ....Favourite food: Kylie Minogue"

Non relevant for you perhaps. There's some people round here would be delighted to have a munch.

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Factory reset memory wipe FAILS in 500 MEELLION Android mobes

Ledswinger
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Re: I think I can answer a question

" so the manufacturers and carriers would need to do the update"

Ideally they should be legally required to under consumer protection legislation. For Google it'd be a reminder "don't be incompetent" when coding, and for the carriers it'd be a welcome headache that might eventually persuade them to stop the nonsense of custom skins and bloatware.

Outside of the warped reality space of the carrier's marketing departments, I don't believe a single person on Planet Earth wants their new phone to be soiled by the carrier's logo, or the memory they've paid for to be filled with unremoveable but often barely functional bloatware, but it is specifically these undesired features that seem to be a barrier to fixing this.

The obvious solution (short of rooting and SIM free purchase) is for the handset makers to offer their nearest-to-vanilla versions of Android directly to consumers. The carriers could still skin up the phones before sale if they're so desparate, but then they'd have to add some real value with that to keep it on people's phones.

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Russia will fork Sailfish OS to shut out pesky Western spooks

Ledswinger
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"Get out of Ukraine and then we'll talk."

But all the US led regime change in Kiev, Iraq, Syria, Libya, that's just dandy?

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Please no non-consensual BACKDOOR SNIFFING, Mr Obama

Ledswinger
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Re: Struggling for words

"I struggle to understand how any policy makers are so ignorant of the underlying principles of.... "

In my experience or working fairly close to policy makers, the politicians spout idiotic crap without consulting the policy makers, and then the policy has to be back fitted to the ignorant mouthings of politicos (eg Cameron's "four energy tariffs should be enough for anyone"). However, even if you consult the policy specialists, they have such narrow, siloed remits that it is very, very difficult to get a holistic picture, and despite individual good intentions that leads to bad outcomes (eg the rest of UK energy policy).

In technology things are worse, because there's no real ministry of tech, meaning that all you have is the ramblings of gob5hites like Cameron, but not even a gang of tech specialists trying to do the right thing round the back.

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Milking cow shot dead by police 'while trying to escape'

Ledswinger
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Re: Wikus van der Merwe: Cow Morph!

"how many of the bluejackets are recycled veterans"

Very few. That's part of the problem IMHO, that the military have discipline and a healthy respect for weapons, along with a general reluctance to use necessary force. The civil police don't all appear to have that same respect for the power of the weapons they carry.

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Ledswinger
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Re: A cow is actually quite dangerous

"A week ago when I commented that the UK firearms units (the ones allowed to carry weapons) are as trigger happy as their USA bretheren."

But luckily we have few firearms equipped units, generally kept on a short leash, and the result is that UK police have shot 23 people dead in 10 years, compared to somewhere between 300 to 600 people US authorities shoot dead every year.

I think many people would agree that outfits like SO19 should have been replaced with Army personnel on permanent deployment to assist the police, but to suggest that our armed police are as bad as the cowboys apparently operating with impunity across the US is simply libellous.

You might want to read this, for a summary of what the Land of the Free enjoy:

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/rising-police-aggression-a-telling-indicator-of-our-societal-decline/

And a search on "militarization of us police" will bring up some juicy detail. My particular favourite was the headline "Obama calls for turret mounted cameras on all police tanks".

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Border Force bureaucrats become super-spooks

Ledswinger
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Re: For a country started by criminals...

"The British Government ' started' Australia but due to a lack of interested emigrants they started to transport criminals to provide a slave/labour force. "

A lot of us back in Blighty wish our ancestors HAD stolen a load of bread and been transported. As things were, they didn't (or more likely, didn't get caught), so we're stuck here, we've already got mass surveillance, an incompetent "border force", three times as many people on an island a thirtieth of the size, and we have to put up with shit weather.

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High-level, state-sponsored Naikon hackers exposed

Ledswinger
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Re: over and over and over

"Surely if they're even hire-able in the first place they can tell departmental business from garbage."

If, as the article suggests, they're highly placed government workers, they will be expected to be up to speed with goings on in local and foreign politics, what the press are saying, and the output of numerous external analysts and think tanks. If you routinely receive unsolicited external emails with work-related attachments then you're going to be vulnerable to clicking on something that looked credible, but has a payload. You could have a rule that bans opening attachments (or even have the mail server delete them automatically), but it then creates a very embarrassing problem when the head honcho screams "why wasn't I aware of X?", and the answer is "because the IT people deleted the documents which would have told us about X".

You'd have thought that any competent IT department would be able to strip out commodity grade malware, but dealing with a state sponsored hacking team, there's every chance that they could be using zero day exploits against which your defences are weak. Defending against state sponsored hacking is always going to be very difficult.

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Ofcom: Oi, BT! Don't be greedy – feed dark fibre to your rivals

Ledswinger
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Re: How does this affect investment decisions?

"The return on investment calculation shifts in favour of not installing so much spare capacity to begin with. In the long term that doesn't benefit anybody."

You'd be right if dark fibre cost serious money. It doesn't, because the cost of the actual fibre is a tiny part of the installation cost. Not only is the actual fibre optic cheap, the marginal costs of installing additional capacity when you're already on site to the job are very low indeed - another couple of hours on site when you've already got the people and equipment there.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I'm confuzzled

"Which bit of BT owns the dark fibre? OpenReach or someone else?"

Due to regulatory failure at OFCOM, Openreach isn't a separate legal entity from the rest of BT, so Openreach technically own nothing. A cynic would say that this is VERY convenient for bamboozling regulators, competitors, and politicians, and enables a multitude of sins to be hidden, such as the margins being made by Openreach, the cost of internally provided services and the like.

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Ledswinger
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"why aren't 'the rivals' investing in dark fibre networks of their own"

Because BT have some history of not fully utilising their assets, then when somebody proposes to offer a separate solution they'll move to undermine them using the assets previously left to languish.

You'd have to be mad to invest in your own new fibre if there's any dark fibre making the connections you propose to build, because you could sink millions into your project, the dark fibre suddenly gets put into service, and then your traffic modelling and whole business plan disappears up Brown Creek.

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Californians get first chance to be RUN OVER by a GOOGLE ROBOT

Ledswinger
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Re: Brings to mind...

" cars with no one inside"

Nooo, no, no, no. There's the "safety driver", a superfluous meatsack cargo in everyone.

Presumably this will create a new sport amongst the yobs of California, in which the objective is to cause the Googlecar to either go off the road, or screech to a near instant halt, by spoofing the sensors intro thinking that a collision is imminent,

Do in on a bike or in a car, and the angry meatsack won't be able to chase you because you'll be able to outrun his 25 mph limit.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Booring

The most boring thing of all will be the job of "safety driver". Imagine sitting in a car, moving sedately around slower than a pushbike, for hour after hour, with instructions to do nothing unless something exciting happens. How will the poor beggars stay awake?

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The Internet of Things: a jumbled mess or a jumbled mess?

Ledswinger
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Re: Why

"Except for the possible remote reading of the meter, (if it works), they are another example of a bright solution looking for a way to create an insoluble problem."

Not even a bright solution. I work in the energy industry, and it is near-universally accepted that the UK smart meter specification is so primitive that it won't usefully function alongside even the mythical Jetsons-style smart home, or even solutions on the market today. The UK plan is to roll out technology that would have been state of the art about fifteen years ago, and to complete this by 2020.

The whole laughable "business case" is a driven by the vile mix of EU and UK governments competing to prevent climate change. Sadly this is going to be a £15bn waste of money, and that £15bn plus interest will be added to your energy bills.

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Election? Pah. Here's the REAL question: Who’s the SEXIEST MP?

Ledswinger
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" Listing those rated least attractive is not nice."

Why the sympathy? They're only MPs, it's not like they're dogs, rats or humans.

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Free at last! Flogging off O2 fattens Telefonica’s financials

Ledswinger
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"then how can it have had any impact on Telefonica's earnings already?"

I haven't bothered to check, but usually businesses making a divestment report the numbers for a business they plan to sell as "discontinued operations" until the deal closes. When discussing performance, and quoting their financials (and indeed awarding themselves bonuses), all the commentary and metrics will focus on continuing operations.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Consolidation?

"How is BT purchasing EE consolidation of the mobile operator market?"

The word "sector" appears to apply, logically enough, to the broader UK telecoms sector, reflecting the fact that both fixed and wireless lines have only two types of traffic, voice and data, and the number of people in mobile-connection only households is slowly rising.

So if you take a step back, and ask what your choices are for voice and data connections, that choice just got smaller.

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Polygraph.com owner pleads guilty to helping others beat lie detector

Ledswinger
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Re: "Lying, deception and fraud"

"If they really were 'lie detectors' then it would not be possible for Mr Williams, or anyone else, to teach you how to 'cheat' the test."

But that doesn't matter. Pseudo science like this is great for the law enforcement authorities - if it supposedly shows you're guilty they'll use it against you, but it it says you're not then it won't be proof of innocence.

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$19 billion made from dumped e-waste every year, says UN

Ledswinger
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@Alan Brown

"Burn them for energy and use fresh oil to make plastics."

You have to have decent technology to burn plastics safely. The Isle of Wight tried to build a waste pryolyser that in theory would burn stuff safely, but turned out to have dioxins in the flue gases. IIRC the project went bust because there wasn't the money for scrubbers in the budget.

They may have since got it working, but the UK has a hate/hate relationship with incineration and energy from waste in general. The economics are unpredictable, and the reliability of steady volumes of combustible waste streams is subject to capricious regulations and a heady mix of untrustworthy councils and untrustworthy waste collection companies. Short of buying an airline, putting you money into UK energy from waste is one of the best ways of watching it go up in smoke.

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Tesco tries to talk Tesco Mobile up from 'Value' to 'Finest' ahead of sale

Ledswinger
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Re: Dammit

"But my choice is about to be stolen from me."

Join giffgaff. Like Tesco Mobile, uses O2's network, and better value than O2. Curiously enough the nipper has a Tesco Mobile PAYG sim, and I can track (my) topup costs, and come rain or shine, on very modest mixed use it costs about £10 a month. Looks to me like I'd be better off with a £7.50 contract sim only plan with giff gaff.

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Mozilla flings teddy out of pram over France's 'Patriot Act'

Ledswinger
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"What parallel world are they living in?"

The parallel world where France has international respect, a balanced budget, competitive world leading industrial corporations, low unemployment, and an agricultural sector paid for the by the rest of the EU?

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Oz battery bossmen: Fingers will be burned in the Tesla goldrush

Ledswinger
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Re: The real elephant in the room

" It's hard to see where batteries with only a few hundred cycle lifetimes will make sense in the US home market."

Or in any mature electricity market. You'll know the arguments, not sure many of the battery fanbois do: Ignoring out-of-balance charges and annual peaks, peak to off peak arbitrage isn't great enough to deliver returns. Aim for seasonal peaks and you get poor asset utilisation, aim for daily peaks and the price difference isn't there (and you've trashed your asset in two or three years of heavy cycling).

Where it might make financial sense is in niche markets where incompetent regulators have gifted fat feed in tariffs to (say) solar PV, and there's no local demand, or where the incompetence extends to subsidising both crappo renewables and storage. It'll push up system costs for electricity (or require subsidy from taxation), but that's rarely a problem when regulators and politicians are pretending to save the planet.

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Amazon creating 500 ‘fulfilling’ jobs in the UK

Ledswinger
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Re: Creating

"I wish people/press would stop with this 'creating' bullshit."

Why the big deal. It's hardly Amazon's job to report net job market figures, is it?

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Ledswinger
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Re: "order picker in an Amazon warehouse is pretty far along from the worst jobs in the land"

"From what I've heard, it has a fairly high attrition rate. Besides, a job might be dirty and dangerous, but that's no reason for an employer to treat its employees like dirt."

I don't doubt that as a job it has a high attrition rate - probably hard work, unrewarding and shift based. But I don;t hear Amazon-esque abuse of Tesco, who have a high attrition rate, or call centres that equally have a high attrition rate.

But when it comes to treating shift workers like dirt, I'd like to hold up that icon of public worship, the National Health Service. Incompetent, demotivating shit head managers, clinically and managerially incompetent too often, and full of unrewarding, poorly paid jobs that often have quite high vocational training demands.

That still doesn't make treating people like dirt right, but if that's the real concern, then maybe we start with the publicly controlled organisation with almost 1.4m staff, rather than a loss making foreign owned company that employs a couple of thousand in the UK?

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Ledswinger
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Re: As a resident of the town in question,

" I doubt he'll make any mention of an Amazon warehouse being shit place to work"

A valid point, but there's lots of crummy jobs required in this world that most Reg readers will be pleased they don't have to do. Toilet cleaner, dustman, delivery driver, road sweeper, ticket inspector, debt collector, tyre fitter, keeping sewers clear, railway track worker, A&E porter, etc etc. And all those jobs need doing by somebody - they're often dirty, sometimes dangerous, and poorly paid.

I'd suggest that working as an order picker in an Amazon warehouse is pretty far along from the worst jobs in the land.

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Ledswinger
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Re: So...

"applicant beware."

Maybe. But I'd have thought that a brand new warehouse using meatsack pickers just North of London is a major failing of Amazon's technology department. Surely it is about time they had robo-pickers and packers? That way workers can be happily unexploited doing, well, something elsewhere, and I can still access cheap, convenient tat.

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Backwaters in rural England getting non-BT gigabit broadband

Ledswinger
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Re: Isn't this in David Cameron's neck of the woods?

"Silly cliched blather."

What did you expect from a cat?

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Scot Nationalists' march on Westminster may be GOOD for UK IT

Ledswinger
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Re: Nukes

"Like most military capability you train and equip to defeat the most violent, biggest, baddest enemy and other roles can be undertaken with ease"

This, my son is self evident rubbish, and I can't believe you typed it. No matter how many SSBN's we have, they make not one jack of difference to the conflicts that the UK (and allies) have been embroiled in fairly continuously for the past few decades. And in a budgetary constrained environment, if you splash your cash on a sea based nuclear deterrent, you find (as the clowns found out at the last SDR) that you can't afford the strike aircraft and attack helicopters for your wars of choice. You can't afford a decent highly mobile army with tactical and strategic transports. You can't afford the maritime reconnaissance fleet upgrade to police your own waters. You can't afford aircraft for your carriers.

Precisely because we tool up for Armageddon with Russia, we find that we don't have the resource or equipment to do other roles "with ease".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Leaving the EU

"England could effectively have to secede from the UK while Scotland, Wales and NI would inherit the EU membership?"

Sounds good to me. Given that Salmond was threatening to secede but take no debt, presumably if it happens the other way round he'll be in favour of the Scots Welsh and Nornirons keeping the full pile of £1.5 trillion of UK national debt when England secedes?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Leaving the EU

I doubt that being outside the EU would result in famine and disaster in Scotland, as there's plenty of wealthy countries that aren't in the EU, and a few poor ones inside it.

What puzzles me about the SNP stance on the EU, is that they don't want to be "governed from Westminster" but they're more than happy to become part of an ever more integrationist EU, with government from Brussels, where the the EU Commission are not elected at all, and where in the EU parliament the Scots would have 6 representatives out of 750 or so.

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Ledswinger
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Re: "MAD has been proven to be cobblers in Ukraine"

"... well, if Ukraine had kept it's "share" of ex-Soviet nukes, you might be right. But since Ukraine isn't a nuclear armed state, one can hardly say that its current difficulties are due to a failure of MAD, however else you might describe them."

Au contraire, the point being made was that the UK and US guaranteed Ukrainian sovereignty. When the civil war broke out in Ukraine and Russia made a land grab, despite their guarantees and their nuclear arsenals, the UK and US decided to do nothing - they weren't going to risk a war to defend the crooks in Kiev. It is precisely because the UK, US and Russia have nuclear weapons that the Russians (correctly) surmised they would not end up in a major international conflict. Even if Ukraine had nuclear weapons, would that have stopped Russia? I doubt it - either through forcible neutralisation, or by a calculated gamble that Kiev don't want to die.

So I come back to the issue, where's the value to the UK in a full fat submarine launched deterrent? In particular, the underlying principle of MAD was detente, which is only possible if you have a full suite of escalating conventional military and tactical nuclear options before your strategic deterrent. Our conventional military forces cannot field a single aircraft carrier, have no naval surface forces above the scale of a destroyer, comprise a bare handful of antiquated Tornado strike aircraft and some new build but ancient design concept Typhoons. Our army has a tiny handful of attack helicopters and collectively the military have trivial numbers of transport helos and transport aircraft (of which the newest are currently grounded). The army has been reduced to a size where the Horseguards outside Buck House are probably imposters employed by Crapita, or carrying Equity cards.

I think we should retain nuclear strike capabilities. But we don't have the capabilities necessary to support MAD via detente (that only ever really worked against a major, imposing enemy, rather than numerous, diverse, rapidly changing threats), and we can't afford to replace Trident. So it seems that we need to cut our cloth according to our circumstances and yet still offer our military the equipment it needs to do the duties we ask of them. I simply don't see a new submarine launched ICBM system as being a good "investment", compared to a cruise launched system that could be deployed in a greater number of submarines, launched from ships, silos or air-launched. And that would leave a lot of money for conventional military kit, rather than disappearing into the coffers of large defence contractors.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Nukes

"Good luck finding an area of England .... happy to host nuclear reactors and warheads."

Come off it, a few short years back nuclear armed strike aircraft (and indeed the Nimrods) dotted the English countryside, with the weapons routinely carted across the country for maintenance. And before that we briefly had land launched ICBMs, then a large fleet of V bombers scattered at stations across the green and pleasant land. The Yanks kept a sizeable fleet of nuclear weapons on UK soil. The nuclear powered attack submarines routinely berthed at the English naval ports, even Derby was graced by a submarine nuclear reactor for development purposes.

The only people who had a problem were CND and the hippies of Greenham Common.

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Ledswinger
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"a certain German party"

Godwin strikes again, but I may as well go with the theme:

I'm sure Sturgeon will make a nice little Fuhrette, although that dreadful 1980's dress sense will have to be attended to. Anybody who's been watching the Beeb's "Dark Charisma of AH" series will have realised that true national socialism is all about pomp, presentation, image and really, really good uniforms. Would Ms Sturgeon look good in a uniform with jodhpurs?

Ooh, and a really shouty leader telling people what they want to hear.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Nukes

"We really should look at relocating these anyway"

I'd agree with all the points you make, and add another one, which is simply to question whether we need a submarine based deterrent, and would be better served by cheaper distributed land based (final) solutions?

Submarines have low serviceability (which is why we need three or four to maintain one on station) and this makes them expensive. With no maritime patrol capability courtesy of the last "strategic" "defence" review, we've no way of knowing that they aren't already routinely tailed by foreign powers, dramatically reducing the invulnerability claims of the boat jockeys. And the original Cold War mk 1 theory of deterrence and MAD has been proven to be cobblers in Ukraine. First of all, the Russians no longer have an ideological drive to invade Western Europe. And if they were to nibble off bits of Poland or the Baltics, would we all want to die a nuclear death over those bits of Eastern Europe?

All we need these days is a deterrent capable of wiping out a second tier attacker with one or a handful of nukes, who wouldn't have the capability to plaster the entire UK, but might consider that they could wave a stick at London. And that potential retaliation could be delivered by cruise missile, land launched ICBM, or internationally based air launched cruise missiles.

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GCHQ puts out open recruitment call for 'white hat' hackers

Ledswinger
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Re: My cv says I'm a good team player...

"Not sure I can do the free running that bond does though."

Don't worry, to judge by my short time working in IT for the Ministry of Peace, it's Brooke Bond, not James Bond that you should be aspiring to in this role.

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Forced sale of Openreach division would put BT broadband investment at risk, says CEO

Ledswinger
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Re: If the board of BT plc @ Odius

utilities now almost foreign owned....Huge tax payers subsidies to encourage them to invest in new infrastructure which ultimately we end up paying for in our bills, where is that a success?

What subsidies? They get capital allowances that they can offset against profits like any other company. And the profits are limited to whatever the regulator of the day thinks is acceptable. The interesting thing is that those evil foreign investors are willing to buy the assets and invest in enhancements for returns that UK stock market owned companies won't hang around for.

The logical conclusion is that UK investors are evil profiteers who won't invest in UK infrastructure, whereas foreign investors are willing to invest to keep your lights on.

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Ledswinger
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Re: If the board @Lamont Cranston

"I can't say that the situation would be better under public ownership, but the UK's water network is crap"

It was most certainly worse under public ownership. I worked for a water company at privatisation, and we spent billions on better quality water treatment, new pipes, water resources etc. And that was because decades of public ownership had seen inefficient working practices preserved and embedded, whilst the capital investment was whittled away by politicians of all shades so that they could pay for bread and circuses, happily ignoring the performance standards and water quality.

The reason that 22% of water is lost is because the single most significant determinant of leakage is the age of pipes. It's technically easy to replace the pipes, but the average cost is probably £200 per metre of pipe, with a range from £50 up to £10,000, depending on pipe size and where it is. Burst pipes are sometimes easy to spot and fix, but if you're replacing entire lengths of network because of pinhole leaks and loose joints, then the costs are astronomical to save relatively small volumes of water. The industry would be delighted for the regulator to allow them to do this, but you wouldn't be, because your bills would go up. In drastically simplified terms, if your water company wanted to increase the amount of water main replaced each year by 2% of its total stock, then it'd add 20% to your bill, for no saving in operating costs. How does a 20% price increase grab you?

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Ledswinger
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Re: If the board of BT plc won't invest in a demerged Openreach....

"Are they really such desirable results though? <Glances at the bills that always seem to go up, even when the prices of gas and electricity go down>"

You'll need to speak to Red & Dead Ed about that example. With the mere threat or a price freeze, the energy companies had to lock in long term contracts to avoid being bankrupted if wholesale prices move upwards during the period of a price freeze. You can argue that they wouldn't go up (predicting wholesale markets is a mugs game, mind you), but the global price is set in dollars, so the companies were hedging both wholesale prices and exchange rate risk (with a Labour government the likelihood would be that sterling would fall and thus increase prices on all imports).

So the root cause of retail energy prices not falling as wholesale prices do is traditional socialist interference in markets, even if that were prospective interference. The other driver of prices not falling is simply that years of NuLab, Condem, and EU inspired interference mean that the wholesale price of energy is an ever declining proportion of your bill, as the various explicit and hidden subsidies escalate. So, for example, coal fired generation is cheap as chips, and has a very low wholesale price. But suppliers are legally obligated to buy ever increasing proportions of expensive "renewable" power, and in response to EU diktats, some 12 GW of thermal generating capacity will have closed by the end of this year. Coal could be free, and the wholesale price of coal fired generation would fall, but we'd still struggle to see any impact on UK retail energy prices.

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Ledswinger
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If the board of BT plc won't invest in a demerged Openreach....

...there's plenty of other companies and financial investors who would be delighted. The successful private ownership under regulation, of water and sewerage networks, gas and electricity grids shows that the required results can be delivered, with both adequate returns for private investors, and adequate delivery of legal and social needs. I'd happily agree there's been some mess ups, but overall the system works very well.

So maybe that's the problem. Not that a demerged and full regulated fixed line broadband and voice network can't operate successfully. But that, by their own CEO's admission, BT plc are the wrong owners.

That's fine by me. A simple demerger that separates the equity of Openreach from BT would leave investors with exactly the same assets they currently own, but under separate management. If any investors don't want to own a regulated monopoly, then they can sell their shares in Openreach plc, but the fatcat roadblock that is the board of BT plc get completely bypassed.

Make it so, number 1!

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Chill, luvvies. The ‘unsustainable’ BBC Telly Tax stays – for now

Ledswinger
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"which have just won a smashing democratic endorsement"

I take it that's sarcasm?

Lightweight Dave won simply because he wasn't Ed Miiliband. Nobody knew what either parties' actual policies would be in any detail, nobody had a scooby about what their plans would cost, nor how those plans would be paid for.

To give credit where is due: I'm sure that nobody on the left of the political spectrum likes anything about Cameron, and in that respect he has united the nation, because everybody I know of a right wing persuasion feels quite similarly.

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Gaze upon the desirable Son of Alpha: Samsung Galaxy A5

Ledswinger
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Re: Had it for a couple of months

"nice battery life"

For a year or so, at any rate.

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Fox gives Minority Report the nod – precog goes primetime on tellybox

Ledswinger
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"Minority Report is a seriously whacky and underrated film IMO."

But sadly the premise for the series is merely about one of the characters. It'll be handed over to the lightweights of Amblin, get little input or love from Spielberg, and then be crafted to fit the interests of the commissioning network.

Every week Agatha will have some premonition of some dreadful occurrence, and then have to find some way of saving the day. But her talents will rouse a bit of popular resentment plus a suspicious sheriff, and she'll have to move along swiftly. Lassie on steroids, all designed for the easily pleased, packaged and sold to the highest bidder.

It's simply a cash-in to pay some of Spielberg's bills.

This has got my juices going

You're a Fox executive, then?

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The next Nest? We talk to Ring, the doorbell-come-security system

Ledswinger
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Re: A general problem with IoT devices

"If your doorbell gets stolen, don’t worry - we’ll replace it. For free."

If that's a winning business model, I'm sure phone and car makers will copy it. Having said that, I presume the business model is

Stage 1: Burn VC cash at frightening rate whilst rushing halfway decent solution to market and selling at or below breakeven;

Stage 2: Before cash runs out, sell company to bigger corporation hooked on IoT startups.

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OECD nations gang up on internet retailers, tax dodgers

Ledswinger
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Re: And a good thing too

"This proposal to force them to actually provide support for the countries they are feeding from is totally justified"

The problem that the politicians claim to be solving is one of their own making, having happily rubber stamped immensely long, poorly drafted, complex tax laws, and then idiotically signed tax and trading treaties that enable international corporations to engage in tax arbitrage. And since almost all countries prohibit profit shifting through transfer pricing, I've no doubt some of the rules already exist to prohibit dodgy licensing or reseller schemes - apparently the Ozthorities can't or won't enforce them, so its not really clear how more rules will solve anything.

Of course, adding another complicated tax law overlay won't solve the structural problems. This (as with the UK's similar ambitions) is the worst sort of gesture politics, since with the structural issues still in place, they're just squeezing the balloon at one end, and the tax dodging globocorps will come up with a new wheeze that puffs it up at the other end.

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All-Russian 'Elbrus' PCs and servers go on sale

Ledswinger
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Re: A decent market

"Outsourcing inevitably raises the espionage risk."

There is that. But the Yanks having all but confirmed that theory, they invite the Russians and Chinese to conclude that no US companies or technology can be trusted. So, the NSA have worked diligently to freeze US corporations out of the half of the world that don't get on with the US. Go team NSA!

Meanwhile, the Europeans continue to play nicely with Uncle Sam, happily paying extortionate sums for the "services" of untrustworthy US IT and BPO corporations, and (because that's not enough) then letting their own intelligence agencies hand over all and any data the US ask for, including commercial secrets, citizens personal data, and head of state phone calls.

The answer would appear to be "Europeans", in which case the question must be "who's the patsy?"

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Malfunctioning Russian supply podule EXPLODES above Pacific

Ledswinger
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"well at least you can enjoy burnt and broken pieces of Labour of Scottish origin. "

I'm looking forward to the inevitable single party Scottish Soviet Socialists Republic. It's going to be great fun watching them learn the hard way. The Scots will be better off than in the Union, but only after seven years of Grecian decline, and then fourteen years hard slog of recovery.

Now, I'm torn whether England should offer Scottish Unionists asylum, or whether the reverse should be the case with forcible repatriation of ethnic Scots. I think the latter is fairer (we wouldn't want to starve their economy of skills), and it has the benefit of reducing English unemployment, the only downside is Her Maj would need to find an alternative pad to Balmoral. And in the meanwhile we need to find a way of persuading the Welsh to take their football away.......

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Why carrier neutrality matters for 'proper hosting'

Ledswinger
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Carrier neutrality

Isn't that where you have carriers you're too afraid to put in harms way (like the US), or is it where you have a carrier or two, but they don't have any aircraft, making them as useful as a £6bn chocolate teapot (like the UK)? Or is where you have a carrier, but you don't join in the regular "bomb the savages on made up evidence" parties held by the international community (France, I'm looking at you)?

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