* Posts by Ledswinger

4493 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

Ledswinger
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Re: Tesla's progress is amazing

The Tesla doesn't pay SR because it's a zero emissions vehicle. Or, strictly speaking, it has an SR of £0. So does that count as paying or not paying

The rich people surcharge is on top of the standard rate. The standard rate for a ZEV is zero. So the surcharge is added to that zero, and they'll pay £310 a year. Of course, even that's a con on the rest of us because electric vehicles aren't zero emissions at all, but hey ho.

On the topic of options, they are included. The basis of calculation is the list price of the car as sold. Not the list-price-less-extras of what you order. That makes cheating difficult for the makers, and ignores any discounts. Since the makers hate discounting, they aren't too worried about that, it will be dealers trying to make quota who have the problem.

Going back to my original post, what we're seeing is the progressive introduction of vehicle duty for electric cars. Government can't afford to forgo the £35bn+ it makes from motorists. And as another poster points out soon all cars will cost £40k, but even before that they'll start changing thresholds and costs. They can smear the incidence of duty and operating taxes, they can't get away from the need to raise an average of £800 per car per year. Unless you're going to vote for a hike in tax rates for middle income earners.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Tesla's progress is amazing

but there's a limit to how much power you can draw from a UK domestic setup (25kVA is usual)

Which doesn't bode well for the government ambitions for electrifying both transport and heating. Even if you uprate the household electrics, there's the far more complicated situation of the distribution system, which was designed for far lower loads than fast charging of EVs would introduce. Electrifying heating (even using heat pumps) makes the problem dramatically worse, both because of the amount of energy, and the fact that everybody tends to need it at the same time.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Tesla's progress is amazing

Free to use the leccy but £1.50/hour parking (limit 2 hours). more expensive than any other car park in town. Go figure.

Tragic. The rest of us are subsidising your EV at the moment in a multitude of ways, so if you have to use a more expensive car park and get free electricity you'll have to forgive my lack of sympathy. However, with £35bn raised in road based taxes, the honeymoon period of both cash subsidies and tax exemptions for EVs is already starting to draw to a close. Anybody in the UK buying a Tesla S from 2 April 2017 and will be paying £310 road tax each year for the first five years, and we'll progressively see road taxes creeping up even for lower cost EVs.

Unless the government will forgo all those road taxes (and I think we can agree that they won't), then they need to raise about £800 per car per year. Whilst there's few EVs in the fleet, they can avoid the issue and allow fossil fuels to take the tax, once we have any appreciable level of EV penetration they need to come up with a way of taxing them at the same sort of level. So that could be GPS tracked road pricing (you do want your every movement recording, don't you?), a flat rate £800 a year vehicle duty, variable duty based on expected mileage that amounts to around 7p/mile, or some other cludge like a 22p/kWh surcharge on electricity used for vehicle charging.

I think they'll decide road pricing is the way forward. They'll use the GPS and mobile capabilities built in for the e-call system (mission creep, what a surprise!), some bunch like Crapita will be contracted to build and operate a complex and expensive central registry of all vehicle movements, and drivers will be charged from a baseline that needs to be around that c7p per mile - more on congested roads or at peak times, less for off peak. The next step will be that GPS tracking will be used for automated enforcement of speed and certain other rules. As you can imagine, there's a whole host of practical difficulties, but looking at the government's commitment to their beloved smart meter programme, do you think that they will be put off?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Damn

That's why you see all the super-hyped "researchers discover new superbattery" news articles where it always says "should go into production in 5-10 years" (i.e. never) and you never hear about it again.

MIT have recently announced that their lithium metal battery should be in production for phones by next year and offers an apparent doubling of volumetric energy density, and will be going into production for drone batteries this year. Search on MIT Solidenergy.

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Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout

Ledswinger
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Re: Dunno...

However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect.

So we should refer to a herd of hippopotamodes?

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London cops hunt for drone pilots who tried dropping drugs into jail

Ledswinger
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Re: Solution - Netting

Regardless of the welfare situation, the ridiculous prices for prison phone are just a giveaway to whoever gets the contract to provide them

Good! The strong exploit the weak. That's what crime is. But it seems to me that you're wringing your hands that when the tables are turned, these poor lambs need to be treated with tenderness and kindness.

From my point of view, I disagree, They're in the clink to stop them committing more crime, and to restrict their liberties. If the scum don't like the conditions, maybe they should not prey on the weak in the first place. But my contempt is particularly reserved for people wringing their hands at the "ill treatment" of these felons. I WANT THEM ILL TREATED. I DON'T CARE IF THEY CAN'T PHONE THEIR MATES. Prison isn't cheap, and it doesn't reform, we all know that. So let's make sure it is punishment. I'd have the f*ckers breaking rocks for eighteen hours a day.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Solution - Netting

For the TRULY desperate, it's literally crime or the grave.

So, you're telling me that the near billion quid a day that the government spend on welfare is insufficient, then?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Time for Trebuchets!

Truck-mounted trebuchets would do a fine job of dropping packages into prisons, and can escape the area rapidly

Hey You! STFU before Yodel start getting ideas that can make their legendary delivery even worse.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Solution - Netting

The vast majority of prisoners smuggle phones into prisons to keep in contact with the families, thanks to extortionate payphone charges and difficulty of accessing same (profiteering is too kind a term).

If they don't like the unfortunate restrictions on chokey, maybe they could try going straight?

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'Neural network' spotted deep inside Samsung's Galaxy S7 silicon brain

Ledswinger
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Re: Most Surprised

Spectacularly misinformed post...

That's as maybe. But there's some mere mortals out here, and I'd really like to understand the relationship between silicon designers and ARM. Are they designing mere software, or mere hardware? How do the bits all fit together?

I know it is a complex topic, extending from the purely physical realm through to the dirty world of applications, but the Reg has done some stunning journalism explaining complicated sh** in (for example) the world of storage, maybe they could address the parallel world of mobile and low power processing?

Please? Pretty please? I know the staff don't read this. But some of YOU WHO KNOW could write something in plain English and submit it as an article, and get some beer money?

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Beardy Ed Vaizey: 'I can't let go. I like the tech sector'

Ledswinger
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Re: "I like the tech sector"

I was brought up in a Family that had been staunchly Labour since 1922. No one wants to even think of voting for this lot of sad sacs at the moment.

Well, your parliamentary party are indeed a bunch of sad sacks, but surely you'd be delighted by Chairman Jez' desire for good old fashioned socialism and a return to the 1970s? Admittedly it would give us an economy like Venezuela, but isn't that the sort of workers' paradise that the Labour party have always aspired to?

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Ledswinger
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"I like the tech sector"

You may like tech, Ed, but as a barrister in family law, from a very privileged background, with a degree in history, you know nothing about it.

I'd say you fit in well with the politically well connected but talent free numpties that Cameron was and surrounded himself with. And that helps explain why vested City interests have repeatedly been preferred over real innovators or disruption to incumbent businesses.

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Former RN flagship HMS Illustrious to be sold for scrap – report

Ledswinger
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Re: Questions?

Somewhat alarmingly, only China can afford a real navy these days

No they can't. They just think they can. Like the Spanish, Dutch, British, Russians and Americans did in turn over the course of recent centuries.

The Americans haven't got the memo yet, but with the Ford class carriers coming in at $13bn not including aircraft as far as I can tell, and a vast budget deficit, they're going to run out of pork soon. The Chinese will likewise find that fancy military toys and huge military cost far more than the productive economy can support.

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Ledswinger
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first of the Royal Navy's two new super-carriers

And whilst we're on this point, what's "super" about them? Admittedly bigger than the Invincible carriers, the potential at that size of ship to have proper fast jets was thrown away during specification, so they'll only be able to operate a different and more expensive flavour of STOL jet, with all the same compromises of heavy airframe, shorter range and reduced payload.

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HPE sharpens knife for next salami-slicing staff redundo round

Ledswinger
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Worth how much?

Enterprise Services (ES) division, which is spun out and is being merged with CSC to create an entity worth $26bn (£20bn)

Go on then, HP. Sell the entity, and we'll see what you get for it. I'll wager a whole lot less than £20bn.

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My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

Ledswinger
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Re: Fat-Burning Hats

But...its so bracing!

Wow. Seems you're as old as me, and have been subject to the same malign influences of postery, and potentially train-spottery.

If we did that to our kids we'd be locked up.

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DVLA misses out on £400m in tax after scrapping paper discs

Ledswinger
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Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

The ANPR camera should really get stuck in police cars. It could be hooked up to a system that automatically alerts the cops of missing road tax, missing insurance, stolen vehicles etc.

COMMENTARDS! Time travel is possible and here is the proof. DrXym is clearly posting from 1983, because where I live The Filth have had ANPR linked to the relevant databases for more than a couple of decades.

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Ledswinger
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Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

Even better - make it a requirement to have a little round piece of paper located in the windscreen for all to see, that shows if the vehicle is taxed. You could even buy it online.

Easy enough to falsify for casual inspection. The only real check is against the DVLA database. Personally I'm rather pleased to see the back of paper discs, and the introduction of monthly direct debit payment.

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Ledswinger
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Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

Even better launch a game - take a picture of a car registration with your phone, check against DVLA database and if it comes back "no tax" or wrong model/colour etc then automatically report location.....

Half of this is in place, in that the DVLA MoT and tax checker is publicly available - you just need make and reg to check the tax status, and there's an online form to report where you saw the vehicle:

https://www.gov.uk/report-untaxed-vehicle

Part of me says pay a reward for reports leading to tax recovery, the other half says that's too Stasi-like.

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£11bn later: Smart meters project delayed again for Crapita tests

Ledswinger
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Re: Gaz and Leccy...?

The is no EU diktat requiring the closing of any power station.

Strictly speaking no. But both smart meters and UK coal closures are triggered by the UK implementation of EU directives. As is the farcical and expensive build out of PV and wind assets to meet EU targets on renewables.

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Ad-blocking ‘plateaus’, claims hopeful ad industry

Ledswinger
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Re: the production of decent content costs money

How many people can still hum 'for mash get smash'?

I can. But I never bought any of the powdered white dog mess that they were passing off as a potato based "convenience food". Proving that you can advertise shit well, but that doesn't mean it will sell.

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Apple allowed to put up bit barn in the Fields of Athenry

Ledswinger
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Re: 220kVA?

Perhaps 220,000 kVA and somebody has mistakenly assumed the "k" allowed them to knock off three zeroes. Other press coverage describes the facility as having a 300 MW capacity, which makes 220,000 kVA seem feasible.

Nil out of ten to the Reg for letting this get through.

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Ten-trillionths of your suntan comes from intergalactic photons

Ledswinger
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Re: "But fear not – our galaxy has in-built SPF protection"?

First time I've heard the inverse square law described as that...

Same applies if you're big boned. Applying the Journalistic Ignorance of Physics principle, you can see that if a hambeast has twice the surface area as a non-hambest, the exposure will be halved, because we all get the same photonic exposure.

Or something like that.

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More gums than Jaws: Greenland super-sharks live past 400 years old

Ledswinger
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Re: Typical specimen @ Purple-Stater

There is no land mass of "America" except as a colloquialism when referring to the two continents collectively,

Magnificent. You, sir, are an apex pedant, and I bow down before you.

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Boffins' blur-busting face recognition can ID you with one bad photo

Ledswinger
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Re: Dressed like that, GCHQ won't be following you

But a small troop of jeering children might

I'm used to that.

"Mam! Mam! It's the smelly, mumbling weirdo again, can I follow him and throw stones?"

"Of course, dear, but don't tread in anything horrible he leaves on the pavement"

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Ledswinger
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Re: Amazing

can recognize them without being able to see their face from the way they walk etc. Plus I factor in other data

OK. So rather than a handkerchief over my face, I need a motorcycle helmet, egg boxes under my outer clothing, shoe inserts to fake my height, different in each shoe to give me a limp and unnatural gait, to take a different route to work each day, and avoid my mates?

HaHa! Theresa May, your Cheltenham Stasi won't be tracking me!

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Business users force Microsoft to back off Windows 10 PC kill plan

Ledswinger
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Re: 'Fraid not

More likely, someone in marketing is saying, "If only we'd pushed Harder, we'd have hit that billion mark!"

Indeed. And now they've further fragmented their user base because of the unpopularity of W10. Having failed to understand that most users want a W7 style UI and launcher, they've resolutely pushed on with the fugliness of W8, retrenched a tiny and unsatisfactory degree for W10 (so any sane user still needs a third party shell launcher add on), the overall feel is a dogs dinner, and then they overlay that with a ground zero strike on user privacy. So in addition to the user base fragmentation, they STILL have billions of man hours of work to make W10.2 coherent and attractive for users. Hey boys and girls, THAT'S why W10 take up has been poor: The PRODUCT IS CRAP. And that's because you intentionally made it crap. You didn't have to, but you worked at it, and boy did you succeed.

My forecast is that despite the obvious success they could have from fixing the W10 defects, they won't do that. This is death by a thousand cuts. Just as Nokia Phones died of asphyxiation up their own behind (before Elop arrived), Microsoft are emulating that navel-gazing-from-the-inside strategy, as the influential employees destroy long term value whilst pursuing their own personal interests and ignoring long term investor interests, or what customers want. Back in 1995 that worked for lack of competition. Post 2010 it is an inelegant form of corporate suicide.

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Head of UK oversight body to join GCHQ 'tech help desk'*

Ledswinger
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Re: Do Not Call Me Surely.

we do not see the likes of Barbarella in these sorry, diminished days

Earth to Hollywood Remakes Department! Can we have a Barbarella remake, please. With Keira Knightley.

Oh yes, that's a very pleasant thought, I'm so pleased I thunk it.

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White House to bung electric car industry $4.5bn in loans

Ledswinger
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Re: Electric car grants

Electric charging for the masses needs a MASSIVE upgrade of the entire grid.

The whole system - local distribution networks, HV transmission lines, and most critical of all, generating plant. In the UK thanks to the tree huggers, National Grid have to count wind power as part of the total capacity to keep the lights on in a "derated" plant scenario. Put simply, we don't actually have enough depatchable capacity to keep the lights on if there's a particularly cold winter, and we have any generating or transmission problems at the peak demand periods.

And that's with current levels of demand. As a rough guide, each electric vehicle uses about the same power annually as an average UK house. You're not going to need much of the road fleet to be EVs before they are dramatically exacerbating the problems of lack of reliable generating plant.

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Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps

Ledswinger
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Re: Another Nokia?

2. Buy successful communications company and products for lots of money

Successful? Nokia were up for sale only because they'd managed to mess up, and Apple and Samsung had dibs on the smartphone business. Nokia's board decided they couldn't fix it, and brought in Elop, who told them that they were right, but he knew a patsy who might give them money for the carcass.

And the rest is history. Disclosure: I HATE Microsoft as much as the next man, but the complete implosion of Nokia came with a sticker on the box that says "100% Made in Finland".

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TalkTalk: 9,000 broadband customers did the walk walk last quarter

Ledswinger
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Re: I walk walk'ed

I'm tempted to complain to the regulator about that as a final 'put the boot in'.

Search the Communcations Services Ombudsman. Check to make sure that your complaint fits their acceptance criteria, then lodge your complaint. You'll at best get a few quid of compensation, but so long as they accept your complaint is within their terms of reference, TalkTalk will be hit with a case fee of about £450.

Usual grounds for acceptance is the failure of the company to resolve the complaint eight weeks after you first tell the company about the problem, or if there's a dispute that has reached a dead-end, in which case you can either wait until the eight week deadline, or demand a "deadlock" letter.

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Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Ledswinger
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Re: Oh but the premium

Why would Softbank risk this large amount of money in an area of business that they have no experience?

The Japanese economy is ex-growth. With an ageing population, and vast (and still growing) public sector debt, the wider economy has to shrink. The best thing a Japanese company can do at the moment is to spend money on businesses not exposed to Japan's domestic economy. ARM's model of being an IP house means it isn't a bet on any particular country winning the race in the Internet of Tat - ARM benefit so long as their technology is used by whoever makes the Tat, not whether that it is made in China, Taiwan, Korea or anywhere else.

With UK assets looking cheaper as FX markets react to the Brexit vote like a bunch of sheep, Softbank have taken the opportunity to buy ARM at a useful discount.

If Softbank treat ARM as an autonomous investment (much as Berkshire Hathaway treat their business units) then there's no reason to worry about their lack of sector experience.

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Lily Cole: Profit still looks almost Impossible.com

Ledswinger
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Re: Smart cookie

I take your point.

But here's the acid test. Would you put your own money in?

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Ledswinger
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Re: All change

impossible(.)com now appears to be a shop selling t-shirts and other essential tat.

Better buy some quick, then. Might be worth something in tech circles in a few years time.

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Ronan Dunne jumps O2 ship

Ledswinger
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O2 is....

a very crap brand and business.

There you go Ronan, FTFY.

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Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

Ledswinger
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Re: this ain't over yet

Did no one mention this during the referendum campaign?

Err, because Brexit doesn't make a blind bit of difference, perchance?

GCHQ and the UK Home Secretary <insert name of vacuous arts graduate here> gave no heed to international data protection before Brexit, and they won't afterwards. It therefore follows that if there's some unforeseen reversion event and we don't invoke article 50, the UK government will still use either straightforward lies, deception, or whatever get out clauses allow them to continue to channel all data passing through the UK to the NSA.

To believe that the federalist super-statists of Brussels have you best interests at heart is to rather ignore the misery those same people are joyously inflicting on southern europe in the name of the same goal of consolidation to a single euro-sludge mega nation.

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Student Loans Company burns £50 million in IT project superfail

Ledswinger
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Re: @Dan 55

Banks will happily run it if they can make money out of it. That means government underwriting the billions of loans that won't ever be repaid. Problem is that banks won't be looking for a nice single digit return, they'll be looking to screw the government, the taxpayer, and the poor buggers with student loans. They'd slice and dice the entire portfolio in to differing risk profiles and return rates (the return of the CDO, for those who will recall that work of the devil), get themselves a made up credit rating, flog the low return bits to pension funds who are obliged to buy such stuff, and then sit on a big fat return, knowing that when the inevitable bust comes along, the taxpayer will again bail out the banks.

The whole concept of student loans is shite dreamt up by arts graduates. The only loans to get repaid will, be by graduates who have studied an employable subject with prospects, whereas the scheme offers what will ultimately be free education and luxury lodgings for anybody studying a drongo subject, or lacking the ability ever to get any decent job (or sensible enough to emigrate).

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Alleged Aussie plum plucker pleads guilty to motel tissue swipe

Ledswinger
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Re: Couldn't help but think

Perhaps this device could have been used as a knackered nad removal device on a DIY basis.

An elastic band on its own would have worked?

Or everyday kitchen equipment, like a cherry stoner or a garlic press.

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London's contactless ticket payment system for sale in £15m deal

Ledswinger
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Re: A good thing

if other cities don't have this yet, they'll want it.

They've had years to negotiate a deal, and most haven't, preferring to reinvent crap, non-interoperable systems that have little or no NFC content. I recently used public transport in Nottingham, and the payment system for the new(ish) tram was old skool tickets bought from an overly complicated vending machine. And Oyster was introduced thirteen years ago.

All credit to TfL who've made a pretty good job of contactless payments, a pity that other transport authorities have not got off their lazy fat arses and learned a whole lot quicker.

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SCADA malware caught infecting European energy company

Ledswinger
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Re: wow

I have many neighbours around me, I won't run out of food in an emergency for quite some time

Daaaad! Not long pig for tea again

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Ledswinger
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Re: Impressive analysis, but infection vector not apparent

Tried to virtualize the control systems for a large crisp manufacturer a few years back.

Now that's what I call critical infrastructure. Hoy! Ruskies! Walker's SCADA kit is only partly defended.

Then again, maybe the Ruskies have been attacking, and disrupting the flavour-dosing controls. That creates a lot of over or under-flavoured crisps, which Walkers then have to sell to supermarkets for resale as their own brands.

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Google aims to train two million Indian Android devs by 2018

Ledswinger
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Alphabet: A Great American Corporation

we want to contribute to the Skill India initiative and help make India the global leader in mobile app development," Sengupta said./

So Google (or Alphabet) want unfettered access to developed world markets, want a US listing, the protection of the US government and the rank US legal system....but it then wants to make India the leader in mobile app development. I suppose most Western manufacturing jobs have already disappeared to China, many IT and white collar jobs to India, and at least Google is open and transparent that it wants to convert America to a country of unemployed serfs, and very rich tech barons.

Perhaps some our Yank commentards could share their positive feelings on Google flying the flag for the US of A in this manner?

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UK.gov flings £30m at driverless car R'n'D, wants plebs to speek their branes

Ledswinger
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@Alan Brown

and driverless taxis mean lower cost of usage

Why? The cost of taxis appears to be set by what they can get away with charging, not the cost basis. Round my way, the taxis are unmpteenth hand, poorly maintained, shared-use cr@pheaps, driven by scruffy, foul-smelling people who speak virtually no English, and whose driving talents lag even their linguistic skills. But the cost is not far off the amount I get charged in Germany to be driven around in a clean, good condition, recent Merc E series by somebody who drives carefully and prudently.

Now that probably has its routes in the quality of taxi regulation rather than any national stereotypes, but what I infer from it is that if taxis become driverless, then the asset owner (most likely either a financial services company like Lloyds Autolease, or the likes of Google) will again charge what they can get away with.

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Much more Moore's Law: Wonder-stuff graphene transistor trickery

Ledswinger
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Re: Except...

When's one of these things actually going to hit mass production?

All the time, just look at the generational changes in (for example) CPUs or GPUs. Or HDD technology, or NAND. But you're choosing not to notice?

I can remember the days of the 8086, the earliest consumer PCs with (gasp!) 40 MB hard disks....

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Kotkin on who made Trump and Brexit: Look in the mirror, it's you

Ledswinger
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Re: Really?

....mean there is also f**k-all industry to employ anyone in a decent job.

The reason there's so few decent everyday manufacturing jobs is not because of property markets, but because the political elite willingly embraced globalisation. The right in a misinterpretation of Adam Smith's theories of competitive advantage, the left even more so in the belief that offshoring industry somehow reduced emissions.

That's the sort of elite that Kotkin is referring to. Sadly, I must say I'm unsurprised by the lefties queuing up in this thread to say how wrong he is.

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Use Brexit to save smokers' lives and plug vaping, say peers

Ledswinger
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@Velv

Then this piddling little market breaks away and sets its own different regulations.

I think you'll find that the UK is the world's fifth largest economy. Maybe you would treat this as a "piddling little market", I doubt others would be so blinkered.

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Bad blood: US govt bans bio-test biz Theranos' CEO for two years

Ledswinger
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Re: Considering her ownership stake

wouldn't be the first time that a Silicon Valley company peddled a lot of vaporware before fading into oblivion

Some BIG questions to answer for the SEC, the exchanges themselves, and the banks who put out the IPO. Whilst as an equity holder the investors should accept a lot of risks, the idea of allowing this snake oil outfit to trade in a secondary equity market was always nonsense, and simply a way for the VCs (who undoubtedly knew the company was worthless) to cash out at the expense of less well informed investors.

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Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

Ledswinger
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Put the army on infrastructure duties,

Why use disciplined, well trained squaddies?

Despite the fact that half of eastern europe managed to relocate and find a job here, there's 1.7 million largely native Brit f***ers claiming that they're unemployed, can't find a job and need to be supported by the sate. Idle b@stards.

I'd happily pay them the dole, so long as THEY are fixing roads,railways, bridges etc.

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Ledswinger
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Re: sub-launched nuclear armed cruise missiles

So we would need to:-

1) Design and build new cruise missiles.

2) Design and build new nuclear warheads for the cruise missiles.

This is somehow going to be a quick and cheap option...?

It would be a whole lot cheaper than buying and maintaining a replacement for Trident. Given the overkill principles that necessarily underlie ballistic defences, the same thing can be applied to a cruise system - that you don't have to hit any precise target, you simply have to have the ability to make a material fraction of the aggressor country's territory unliveable. That's rather hard to defend against.

Detente and deterrence are powerful and (so far) effective concepts, but they don't have to rely on high cost state, state of the art ballistic systems and MRVs.

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Ledswinger
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No wonder they are expensive crap that will be outdated by the time they are finally delivered.

That's what military procurement is all about. By the time the kit is delivered, the original purpose is lost in the mists of time, and then people stand around scratching their heads wondering how to fight the next war with kit designed to fight the last one. That's why the RAF are having to sellotape bombs to the Typhoon, but there's a million and one examples all round the world.

When you look at the Chilcot report's findings, and reflect that nobody (with an army, at any rate) wants to invade the UK, I can't help thinking that not having any standing military force might be a really good thing. Build some sub-launched nuclear armed cruise missiles, and then you don't need a vastly more expensive ballistic deterrent, have the cruise-armed subs on rotating patrol, so you don't need a home defence force other than a few dockyard and weapons storage guards. No need for the Army, RAF or most of the Navy.

Would mean that RIAT would be a fairly quiet affair, but if that stopped idiot politicians making the world a worse place I could live with that.

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