1135 posts • joined Friday 1st June 2012 10:28 GMT
"if they are capable of developing nuclear power and (alleged) a nuclear weapons program; surely they can knock up an OS of their own."
You'd have thought so, but there's surprisingly few ground up OS's developed that I've noticed, and I guess this reflects the fact that a true home brew needs the OS authors to write drivers and apps, so that altogether it is rather more than a trifling endeavour? And that assumes that you can write drivers for OEM hardware without their cooperation. Obviously if you just roll your own Linux flavour, that's a lot easier, but you're then making yourself vulnerable to the many clever people who know different flavours of Linux.
That Linux is more secure I don't dispute - but if placing money on Iranian Linux security holding out against the Israelis, I wouldn't put my money on the penguin.
Re: Okay result@jai
You're right that the fine is a joke. But the shame here is that US regulators allow corporations to settle without admitting liability. That's what is wrong.
As things stand, MS, Goldman, and the rest, conduct serially improper business practices, knowing that the absolute worst outcome is that they will have to give back some fraction of the profits on the specific misdeed, but not to have to apologise or admit guilt, and they'll be allowed to start developing the next way of fleecing thier customers. As it isn't their money, the financial penalty is no penalty at all, as you state, and we have a worrying scenario where regulators raise what are in effect raise tax revenues (not compensation for the victims), in return for allowing the offenders to get away without admitting guilt.
What would be far better would for US regulators to insist on "admission of liability and wrongdoing" in the settlements, regardless of the fine, and let the civil courts then address the compensation to victims. Worryingly, UK regulators have long looked at the US system, and envied this idea of no guilt settlements, so this sort of thing is perhaps the Ghost of Christmas Future for the UK.
Presumably because the list of software produced by their friends is even shorter than the list of friends?
Given the development of such highly specialised code as Stuxnet, it seems probable that even if the Iranians used some flavour of Linux, those behind Stuxnet will work out how to cause trouble. The supposed security advantages of Linux probably won't help much if you've got the Israelis and the Yanks working together on it.
Re: Aim low to ensure disappointment@Spiny_Norman
"So, BT are recruiting ex forces people primarily to support this work - are you suggesting they should stop this in favour of 'other' unemployed people?"
Yes and no. The ex-forces people are (in my close experience of forces personnel) resourceful, able and willing to work, and have a range of skills that are in part transferrable. The young unemployed generally speaking have poor qualifications, little or no work experience, and little or no skills. If I'm choosing which unemployed to subsidise, then it makes more sense to focus on those currently with the worst outlook, rather than cherry picking those who have far better skills, experience and initiative to help them find or create work themselves.
Having said that, on a normal contract you won't have the overhead and the skills to do that much training. Which organisation probably is the most experienced at taking raw and inexperienced young people, and getting them to do a skilled job? Probably the military. This doesn't come free, but the potential exists to use both ex-military, existing civilian employees and contractors, and the hard-core unemployed to do a lot of infrastructure work that otherwise won't get done anytime soon.
Not just rural broadband, but things that need doing but currently aren't being done, like bring the water mains up to an acceptable condition so that we don't lose a third of water put into supply. There's a ton of other opportunities in infrastructure that could be addressed, and you could hoover up all the ex-services people and a large tranche of the unemployed and willing to work.
Government do nothing, seeming to think that the young unemployed aren't costing us much, because jobseeker's allowance is diddly squat. But when you factor in the lost tax income from them not being in employment, and the implied pension contribution credit that should be accrued for their life after the retirement age, then each unemployed person is costing the state around £10k a year, even if they don't get the full range of welfare benefits. If they are getting those then you're talking more like £20k a year. Which brings me back to my starting point - slow and unambitious roll out of broadband, whilst people who want to work sit at home and twiddle their thumbs.
Re: Aim low to ensure disappointment@AndrueC
"* End of 2016 - 90% of homes and businesses to have access to FTTC or FTTP, and all remaining premises to have access to a 2 Mbps service. End of 2018 - All those who want a 24 Mbps or faster connection will have access to one."
If it works I shall be happy for those who benefit. But I'll be very surprised if we get to 2018, and find that this has been delivered. Even assuming that the promise is delivered, then within two years starting 2016, they'll need to take 10% of properties (presumably the most remote ones) from 2 Mb/s on damp string to 24 Mb/s. Does that sound likely to you?
Admittedly I'm in bad company suggesting that the government are unambitious, the House of Lords having made a smilar point earlier this year.
Regarding the unemployed, I wasn't suggesting that they were simply handed a pick and shovel, rather that there are trainable people who are already being paid to do nothing and some of them actually would like to work. Unskilled, youth and rural unemployment in particular have been hard nuts to crack, so why not let this contract to BT based on them training and using currently unemployed people. There's lots of detail "problems" that the nit pickers can get stuck into, but nothing that any intelligent person couldn't resolve fairly quickly.
Re: But does the door
On the sound effects, surely proper Thunderbirds stuff. Speakers loudly playing "D-D-Dum, d-d-d-dum..."(see note 1) on receiving the command. Some improbably noisy hydraulic sounds as the door opens. And, to fully use the computational power, have leylandii in pots along side the drive that tilt outwards.
You know it makes sense.
1) I should have been a musician, me.
Aim low to ensure disappointment
Delays, targets of 2 Mb/s by 2016, and a cost looking like £400 per property. Good to see that the government have such high levels of ambition.
In other news government pays 2.5 million people to sit on their backsides because there's no work, apparently, because there's nothing for them to do.
Re: A trap?
You're right. But a trap set by which country's authorities? I don't fancy your chances of getting a visa for the kids trip to Disneyland Florida if you've had a few beers and clicked "like" for the Ayatollah.
Having said that, serve everybody involved right for having anything to do with Farsebook.
Re: Why the heck .....
"does a football field or gym (or whatever) need someone's National Insurance number to register their membership or usage rights? "
Read the article - the Civil Service are reported to use NI mumbers as the payroll number. So a "Civil Servants only, no peasants" sports club might reasonably ask people's NI number as a means of identifying the member for contributions to be deducted from the member's salary.
Having said that, the Civil Service and public sector have a long history of IT incompetence and poor data security. I therefore see it as a delight that the civil servants should find their own data compromised. I'll bet it doesn't encourage any better security practices though.
Re: The conference broke down for good reason
"The US was right. The treaty allows governments to inspect the contents of Internet traffic."
And you think the US (or any other Western givernment) doesn't already do this to the best of its abilities?
And having world class utilities / post / telecoms by nationalisation if necessary)
World class by nationalisation? Now there's two concepts that you don't hear together very often. For a reason.
As for the "US so strong...be self sufficient"? What are you on? The US has a vast trade deficit, the biggest of any nation in all of recorded history. Like Europe, far too much of the US' industrial base has migrated to China and other cheap locations, and the US is self sufficient in only two things: Armaments and bull****. Just to offer a factette in support of this point, the annual US trade deficit has been consistently around $600 billion for the past decade.
Re: Only for americans@Pete 2
Whilst agreeing with your other comments, I'd just comment on the US specificity. They have indeed limited it to the US, and the data is as well, but Europe is a larger area than the US, covering similar latitudes. If the claimed solution will work in the US, we might reasonably expect it to work in Europe. Equally, if this is pumped up pseudo science aiming for a good headline and a pat on the head from the EPA, then it won't work in the US, and it won't work in Europe.
So I think this is relevant to Europe - just a pity it isn't going to work.
"Are they waiting for fusion to pan out, or what?"
There is no plan. But there is also no shortage of hydrocarbon fuel sources, some more difficult to collect than others. Gas hydrates contain unimaginable energy reserves, but we currently don't have a scooby about how to collect it (as we didn't have for shale gas a decade or two back). There's massive coal reserves, particularly offshore, again a few problems around gathering it in (although surmountable at a cost). North American oil shales contain volumes of oil that compare to the Middle East - waiting on a means of getting it. Tar sands and oil sands are viable at present round much of the world, although the EROI is worryingly low with current technologies (meaning that too much energy is used collecting the stuff). Oil producing bacteria are feasible but not at current fuel prices.
When you talk about the naysayers, you seem to assume that everybody likes fossil fuels and wants to use more. On the contrary everybody would be delighted if renewable/sustainable energy were available (even oil companies, because who do you think will run, for example, biofuel synthesis plants?). But at present the technologies we have don't amount to a solution and rather than do more science to get a better solution (and this report isn't science IMHO), the powers that be are building out windmills and solar panels that have no benefits unless we crack the storage problem.
Re: Let's do it.@Jonathanb
"We quite often import electricity from France at the moment, and that won't change"
It may well. The German nuclear shutdown will eliminate surplus capacity in the one market that historically was Europe's largest exporter of power, and the swing producer. Factor in the large combustion plant directive closures across Europe, and the likely closure of most French fossil fuel capacity, and there is going to be a distinct lack of surplus capacity in most markets. The Swiss have opted to close their nuke plants, the Belgians have, Italy is building no more....
As for connected to North Africa, that's a pipe dream - the Desertec consortium have proposed this idea, but the rapidly growing Arab world is probably going to want power for local needs, creating big political risks of expropriation even if they built the thing.
Re: Child's Play@David Neil
"So if I have a shitty lock on my front door it's ok if someone comes in and spray paints on the walls?"
Not quite a valid comparison, unless you're a world super hero/super villain. In the circumstances, our Gazza found that Goldmember had a shitty lock, waltzed in and spray painted the walls.
In some ways it's a pity that he did. If he'd not, then the retards responsible would have left the door unlocked, and somebody with serious intent (like Russia, or Iran) could have waltzed in and done a bit more than spray painting the walls. And the rest of the world could have had an even bigger laugh.
Mind you, I'll wager that Gary's going to be grounded by his mum for a very long time when it comes to going within ten feet of a computer.
Re: Reserves@The Axe
"Definition of reserves is ..."
You are correct, but I wasn't trying to use oil industry approved terminology, merely everyday English. A few years back you wouldn't have counted shale gas as reserves - didn't mean that it wasn't there, and to likewise dismiss other reserves that currently aren't economic or technically feasible doesn't mean that we should overlook them.
Re: Looks like cruel and unusual punishment to me.
It would be, except they ignore their fabled bit of parchment when it suits them.
As in the case of Private Bradley Manning, who's incarcerated like a Taleban extremists, for the crime of embarrassing the bureaucrats.
Hopefully the government can now find some more important things to spend their time on. Should have told the Yanks to get lost in the first place.
Re: Backup plan?
Wind turbines deliver next to no useful output when you need it, and without ultra flexible conventional plant (or some as yet mythical energy storage system) they don't even save much fossil fuel at the margin.
Nukes - well, ignoring the cost, what if they have a radioactive accident? Low probability, but a bugger to clear up, which you don't seem to mind (or the hundred years NDA want to decommission the site whent he reactor closes). So what's the point in "if" arguments about fracking?
As the Bowland shales are 4,000 feet underground, the chances of fracking affecting the water table at about 200 feet deep are small, and the most compelling evidence for groundwater contamination is not beyond reproach, being US EPA stuff on methane traces in groundwater. Given the fact that methane percolation already occurs in locations where coal mining or even un-mined coal seams pass through acquifers, and we've not had any problems, I think the issue is wildly over-dramatised.
And even if you needed to scrub methane or fracking lubricants from groundwater for consumption, it would be no more problematic than removing the shite present in river water which is the source for many major cities, or putting in the nitrate removal plant in response to pointless EU directives on nitrates in ground water (or arsenic removal, maganese removal, or any of the other things that locally exceed EU drinking water regulations).
Re: Leave it underground@markw
A good idea in some respects, but our balance of trade is so far in deficit that we need to produce our own fuel where possible. At present we're paying for imported fuel (and other products) with IOU's, and that makes the cost of imported stuff go up steadily as we print the necessary money to pay.
Re: hang on a minute ..
It doesn't publish itself for free. Some of the data may be commercially valuable. The interests of the taxpayer might be better served by selling the data, e.g. OS maps.
Pah. By the time OS got their act together the world had knocked on the door, been ignored, and passed by. Although OS could have been a real money spinner, it hasn't been, and never will be now. Mind you, over at OS, increased government "business" is more than offsetting the slow but steady decline in private sector rrevenue, so they can pretend they make a profit.
Similarly, a highly valuable asset that taxpayer paid for (the postcode data) is at risk of being given away or otherwise buggered up by Post Office privatisation - you can be sure that government won't achieve a good outcome whether they retain it, or sell it. My money's on a really bad value deal that involves them selling the postcode IP for a pittance, and then being all surprised then the new owner dramatically hikes the charges for using the postcode address file, buggering up all forms of distribution, navigation and location based services.
Interesting to note that even the Graun was campaigning for public data like this to be released free as early as 2006.
Re: When Journalist become flamers...
"Incidentally, 15 years does not equal energy security give the time it take to build say a nuclear reactor and make it operational..."
And it doesn't take 15 years to put up a reactor if your really want one. It could be done, start to finish in about five years if you stop all the planning bollocks and endless legal appeals by hippies and nimbies. Westinghouse reckon that from first concrete pouring to loading the fuel rods could be done in three years, but I've allowed a couple of extra years for site clearance and preparation, and completion works.
Re: Get it right next time@James MiCallef
just because there's 15 years of reserves (and possibly up to 60), doesn't mean it makes sense to over-develop, and hoover it all up and burn it as quickly as possible to get teh maximum immediate profit.
This is the Bowland shales we're talking about. There's other shale gas reserves in the UK, but it would seem likely that there's probably plenty of shale gas under the North Sea that has previously been ignored because it wasn't economic to extract. Offshore shale gas is (AFAIK) not commercially exploited anywhere at the moment, but neither was onshore shale gas a few short years back.
And if we really want energy, there's plenty of cheap coal. Best to import that, but if need be we have about 3 giga tonnes of UK coal reserves, with probably three to four times that under the North Sea. As with offshore shale gas price and technology mitigate against using it now, but that might not alway be the case.
Re: I am glad...
Having this gas also has an upside of reducing our bills at home helping millions that are struggling with the recession today
Have you been paying attention? DECC have already been spouting that new CCGT will cause bills to go up because of the "carbon taxes" that they've got coming in.
Not only does the UK have to contend with a depreciating currency that makes wholesale energy prices rise (because government won't balance their books, our currency is worth less, and wholesale energy costs are set by global demand), year on year the government diktat elements of your energy bill have doubled, and will continue to increase - "social" obligations, renewables subsidies, carbon taxes etc.
I think you are looking at double digit price increases for electricity for the next five to ten years, and the only possible and very remote hope for lower prices is for China to go into recession, causing energy and commodity prices to collapse. That might have some downsides.
Re: Get it right next time
"If we spend billions on machinery that's only used for 30 years"
Most M&E plant has a maximum asset life of 25 years, often considerably less, so I don't think you need worry too much about that.
But the idea of spending some hoped for shale gas windfall on "investments in infrastructure" ignores the unfortunate reality that the money has already been spent on crap by this and the last government. Before the enthusiasts start planning how to spend the next bonus, they may care to consider the slight problemette that we have a national debt of £1.1 trillion quid, and that is currently increasing by around £14 million pounds an hour. So much for all the pathetic whining about austerity.
Re: Does anyone else like the North Korean news presenter's style?
If we launched a rocket in France's backyard, they'd be people out in the streets in celebration. We did own/run an empire once.
Yes, but the French have their own nuclear deterrent, and one that they (rather than Washington) have the keys to. They might fight back, attacking Dover with multiple garlic warheads, for example, or setting off a dirty cheese bomb in Knightsbridge.
So I like your idea, but I think we should choose somewhere that doesn't pose much threat. The Channel Islands, or Denmark seem credible options.
In part you're right that they may misjudge the balance of military capability, but an even more important thing that dictators appear to routinely believe is that the Yanks Won't Do It. You can see that in Iran right now, and in Syria. We saw it in Iraq, Libya, Kosovo etc.
Because the UN is dysfunctional (on account largely of allowing non-democratic nations a seat on the security council) the judgement is most of the time correct. Assad's in no obvious danger from outside, for example.
Re: Oh, I love this!
If you run a Linux distro ...
Which I don't. There are acceptable alternatives to Acrobat Reader running under Windows, but the point I was making was quite simply that if you destroy the economics of an established market by giving something away free, even though it cost money to produce, then it is very difficult to remake an economic market, and that harms future product development by all firms. Open Source goes some way to fill the gap, but the mixed views on Firefox illustrate that it isn't a perfect solution, and the lack of polish around all of the few Linux distros I've tried again causes me to be dubious.
Paying for something certainly doesn't mean it is any good. But not paying for it should mean people ask why it is being given away, and what the longer term impact will be.
Indeed, but as a corporation they still spent over $4bn on R&D in 2007, and $3.4 bn in 2008. That's rather more money than the chart shows for Microsoft's R&D, and well ahead of Apple, and as with Nokia, it hasn't produced goods that people want to buy at any price that works for Motorola.
Re: I want to remain anonymous when I travel
"And worst case, if there was an accident in a tunnel it might help the emergency services to know that you went through the barriers a little before and have yet to exit from another station"
In any serious emergency there's likely to be an evacuation with barriers opened for speed, so it won't be any use for listing the unaccounted-for.
it points to a central fact: the most profitable, successful mobile companies are also those with the highest capital expenses the most on capital infrastructure
But the causation is that if you're stinking rich you choose to invest a lot, not that investing creates success. Apple, for example, were spending the least on this in 2007. Certainly in terms of reported R&D expense Nokia were spending more in 2007 than Apple by a factor of two, and fat lot of good that's done them.
Much more interesting would be to redo this chart to include Motorola, Nokia, RIM and ARM, and then to similarly chart the operating profits of all the companies. The article hints at this, but then doesn't do the legwork.
At a guess, the underlying reality is that it probably costs as much to develop unsuccessful products as it does successful ones. And that means that Apple and Samsung's considerable investments today are no guarantee of future success. Apple got where they are today not by determined spending, but by the zealotry and demanding perfectionism of Steve Jobs. Let's see if Cook can spend his way to success?
In part yes. But faced with a diet of Australian TV anybody would choose to go outside regardless of the weather.
Re: Oh, I love this!
I'd never use Opera because of their constant whining to the EU about Microsoft's "monopoly". Perhaps if they weren't charging for a browser back when everyone else was already giving them out for free they'd have less problems today.
Well you'd probably be pretty cheesed off if you coded a product for some years as a means of earning a crust, and then a competitor ripped the rug out from you by giving away a vaguely similar product free, on the back of a monopoly in another business line.
And arguably the reason why IE is so insecure is because nobody pays for it, and there's no commercial market for browsers - so if people don't pay, who's willing to invest in improvements? "Free" software is good because you don't pay for it up front, but you then live with the downsides for some while. Look at how sparse the market is for good email clients - they're mostly free because Outlook Express was given away "free", but there's now not much choice or innovation (even Mozilla parted ways with Thunderbird). Acrobat Reader is another example of "free" meaning "not as good as something there's a market for".
Re: I want to remain anonymous when I travel
"This is still possible with my Oyster if I always top up with cash"
Depends how anonymous you want to be. In terms of privacy of an innocent person of no interest to the police, you've got that with your cash paid Oyster. But if they wanted to trace you then it's easy to tie your Oyster transaction times to CCTV, so a matter of minutes to tie a face to your card, a matter of seconds to collect your journey history. Electronically that's still anonymous without face recognition and a national identity database, but if so minded I suspect they could correlate the card movements with (for example) mobile phone records and if you're on contract that links to all of your electronic identities via banking records. You could argue that you've got a PAYG sim that is only ever topped up in cash and you never have switched on in the car (easy to link to your registration plate via ACPO's NPR), but even for a cash paid SIM the network records would still probably identify your home and work locations easily enough, and then they know who you are, and where and when you've journeyed on TfL.
Rather than being anonymous, you're making snooping more difficult, and maybe that's sufficient.
Re: And while I'm on a rant...
No - to confuse matters more, bonking will give you the Oyster pay-as-you-go fares, but without the daily cap (since they don't know who you are, they just see a bunch of independent transactions).
They don't know who I am? Seems a bit last-century if they can't spot that I've used my ticket before on the same day using the same card, given that they're going to manage to get all my transaction and journey details onto one statement.
"I'm not familiar with the speed of Oyster"
About 0.2-0.3 seconds on the tube for the card to be acknowledged and read. Just enough to be noticeable, and very marginally irritating if you're feeling intolerant, although an experienced user will judge their pace so as not to have to pause mid stride. It's probably faster than the circa half a second for the magnetic strip tickets.
Re: Sometimes I wonder
But who has time to look?
It is a very minor skill to anticipate that you'll have about half a second to see this as you go through. But if I can manage this with my near-dyspraxia and poor eyesight, the vast majority of people should have no problem.
How can i keep track of my journey and get refunds?
Don't know for the Paypass, but certainly the Oyster online system enables you to see where and when you've been, how much you were charged, where and when you've loaded the card. It's almost spooky to see it show times to the minute for the start and end of your journey, the stations you travelled to. Particularly spooky if you're off on a jolly during work time, or going for an interview....
How can i keep track of my journey and get refunds?
I'd guess that the Paypass system will show a journey record for each payment along the lines of Oyster on line, like this, from my Oyster online account:
Monday, 10 December 2012 09:08 - 09:36 Marylebone [London Underground] to Monument £2.00
Other than the security concerns about wafting your credit card around in close proximity to the unwashed masses, I can't see why this won't actually work very well. On the underground though, will the pay by bonk fares be the same as Oyster prepay, or will they be the extortionate cash single fares?
Refunds will presumably work in the same way as Oyster as well.
Re: Fascinating but..... (@Spearchucker Jones
Having a go at Nazis or Hitler doesn't bother me. The fact that innocent people get killed along the way does.
How naieve. When has war ever been some polite, military only sporting event? The whole fucking point is to attack the "enemy" population and its economy. Killing the enemies troops serves no function other than enabling you to then attack their homeland. Your own military are merely the means of doing that, their military are their defence.
And why are conscripts in uniform (by your implication) a legitimate target? Whereas women working in a munitions factory, or producing food for the war effort, again by presumption they're "innocent civilians"?
Re: Fascinating but.....@madra
Actually, Churchill instigated the carpet-bombing of civilians during WW2
You really know jack shit about this don't you? Try searching on the term "Guernica" to see who pioneered the bombing of civilians using relatively modern heavy bombers. Or, before that, the use of Zeppelins in World War 1, again by those fine German chappies. Even in WW2, Churchill only ordered raids on Berlin on 25 August 1940 after the Luftwaffe bombed civilian areas of London the day before.
But don't let that get in the way of your bitter post imperial anger.
Re: We were mislead by the authorities!
(Big blast icon to indicate what would actually have happened as a result of a direct hit on the gasometer...),
Not at all. The gas/air mix wouldn't be suitable for an explosion. For proof you might want to investigate the heroes of the IRA, who made a couple of largely futile attacks against gas holders, for example in Warrington. Having failed in that they hid bombs in litter bins in Warrington town centre and killed a couple of children.
Re: I like this
"The delay bolsters my feeling that these people are serious about putting a proper value on the stocks, not just hype them up and rake in the profit."
Then you're daft. The whole point of an IPO is to raise as much money for the company (and particularly it's advisers) as possible. If you're right, and I'm wrong, then lead underwriters Goldman, Credit Suisse, and Merrill have cut the price as an act of charity to the sort of people who buy into IPO's like this (Facebook, anyone?).
If I'm right (and you're wrong) then they simply couldn't shift the stock at the mooted $15 to the major institutions, and had to back down on both price and volume.
So, your call. Wall Street: publicly spirited eco do-gooders, or rapacious thieves?
Re: Data Allowance?
"In that case, the answer to the question of 'what does a mobile network actually offer?' is presumably 'a mobile network'."
And a phone on the never never, even if the peasants think it is "free".
Top of my son's christmas present list, I guess they still have something going
Not at all. Your son's savvy, he wants one of the last Blackberry's, and in a few years time it'll pay for his University fees. "Go on Grandad, tell us again how hoodies organised riots with those funny Blackberry things...."
Re: Microsoft's new hotshot marketing brainwave - Astrotheiving
You don't fool Eadon Microsoft!
Eadon Microsoft? It's an odd name, but it could explain a lot.
Couldn't you change it by deed poll (or whatever the local equivalent is where you're posting from)?
In case you'd forgotten, capitalism isn't big on ethics. Look around.
That's true, but what's unethical about complying with the law to legally minimise your tax exposure? That might be against the supposed spirit of the law, but it would be no different from the many MP's who made (and continue to make) ludicrous expenses claims "because they are within the rules". Or the many MP's who undertake significant personal work commitments outside of Parliament because there's no rule that says being an MP should be a full time job (just a full time salary, full time pension, and full time pay-off if you're careless enough to not be elected next time round).
Be assured that the situation can be made worse, and the government are on that case far more so than business. The draft Finance Bill for 2013 is over a thousand pages long. How many MP's do you think have read any of it? It'll be the usual misbegotten, poorly drafted legalistic twaddle, create new loopholes, exemptions and contradictions, and the very length of it tells you that it has had no proper scrutiny and that it will be too complex.
Some people never learn. Unfortunately many of them are called MP's.
Re: Well done!
"I'd like to applaud North Korea's technical achievement"
I wouldn't. Given that they're repressing a country of 25 million people, I'd want something better than this to applaud the techncial achievement. For crying out loud, the Reg SPB put a paper aircraft into space, and how many people are they repressing and starving? Just a few sub editors who probably deserve it, I'd guess.
It's an odd way of asking for help.
Arguably it's no different to attention seeking behaviour from a child. Iran exhibits the same tendencies, as did Libya for some years (Venezuela's trying hard as well). Sometimes it is for aid, but more commonly its a misguided presumption that the US doesn't take them as seriously they deserve, a bit like a hoody picking a fight for being "disrespected".
In the UK we accept that (even as fifth/sixth largest economy on Earth) we are the Yank's poodle, and treated as such. But the Norks and the Iranians seem to entertain a rather amusing idea that they deserve a seat at the top table, and when they don't get that they start throwing the toys out of the pram.
Re: "Kwangmyongsong"?@ theodore
My favourite too. But for such a small selection to include so many gems, it makes you wonder what other stuff the Norks have got at home that didn't get included. Maybe they're like the French, and keep the good stuff for themselves?
Re: I don't want a smart TV.
"Why on earth they don't have a similar arrangement to the CAM sockets whereby you can just plug a "computer" into the TV to generate the image I don't know. ...and I'm talking a simple recessed area on the back, maybe with a cover or some such."
Because there's no chance of such standardisation amongst the PC makers. But any decent TV will have a fistful of SCART, HDMI and D Sub inputs. Get a docking station for your laptop, link to the TV and you're done. Somebody earlier commented on the low res of TV's as monitors, but at normal viewing distances this doesn't really apply, and even using the D Sub output from a six year old laptop I got a very clear display on a 40 inch screen, so that you could read small text sitting ten feet away on the sofa.