* Posts by Ledswinger

3304 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND

Ledswinger
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Re: @Arnaut the less

" Improve the M5 and the M6."

Too late for that, mate. These roads are now at capacity, and widening the carriageway (or hard shoulder running) can't make up for the peak capacity limits on junctions and feeder routes. When most of the current motorways were designed there were about 12m vehicles on UK roads. There's now 34m, and for the most part we've added at best 33% to the motorway capacity.

Notwithstanding the recent (probably misleading) government claim of billions of new money being spent on roads in the next few years, we've got a fast growing population that will add another 2m vehicles to the roads in the next five to ten years. If you wanted to improve the road traffic situation then the only way would be new roads duplicating important routes. Can't see the Welsh Marches being too keen on an M5/M6 relief motorway parallel to the A49, for example.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Meanwhile......

So, just to clarify, our Brummie friends are spending £200,000 per job created, assuming the usually garbage "jobs created" figure does miraculously come true?

And within that they'll have spent over half a billion quid turning the dark and crypt like New Street station into a new dark and crypt like New Street station, they still have separate Chiltern and WCML stations in Birmingham, AND they've committed to build a different station for the ridiculous HS2 over at Curzon Street, not included in the costs above. How can you spend so much money for so little benefit?

And you mention they'll spend £100m on a new John Lewis? It's just a f***ing shop, for gawd's sake! And a single shop at that. The most sophisticated thing in a shop is the fire control system, followed by the escalators. Apart from that it's just a shed, even if you make it look like a dog's egg rolled in glitter (Selfridges, I'm looking at you). But in Birmingham it'll be a £100m shed.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I suppose it was inevitable...

"The economy will have collapsed"

Only for the commercial sector. Government will keep taxing and spending, borrowing what it needs and then printing the money to repay the debt. I think I'll get a job in a public sector organisation that has a monopoly position in an essential market, undertakes mere transaction processing, but offers an average salary of over £90k. If any of the rest of you would like to enjoy some handomely rewarded, none-too-onerous work, based in Farringdon, then this is where you need to go:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/low-carbon-contracts-company-and-electricity-settlements-company-operational-costs-201516

This may also explain why your energy bills are so high, because DECC clearly wouldn't know the concept of "low cost" if it came and p1ssed on their shoes.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I suppose it was inevitable...

"But I'm just not sure I'm ready for the next generation of Hoxton Hipsters flaunting their peninsularity."

Don't worry. When the latest tech bubble (fuelled by billions of QE) bursts, and investors start demanding actual profits rather than hot air, the hipsters "businesses" will shrivel like vampires in sunlight, and Silicon Polygon will become another vainglorious monument to government beliefs in picking winners.

Then the hipsters can go back to serving coffee instead of drinking it.

"Hey you! Beardo! Mine's a latte!"

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Ledswinger
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@Lostintranslation

Don't worry, my son, there will be a cost benefit analysis that proves that this will make more money than it costs.

In the same way that HS2 will generate more than it's £80bn cost by shaving fifteen minutes off the journey time to speed fat Brummie businessmen and councillors to London. Or the same way that if we don't concrete over either Crawley or Uxbridge for a new runway, we'll suddenly have no airports at all, whereas that third runway to serve transit passengers who never leave the airport will magically create £100bn of value for Britain.

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VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that

Ledswinger
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"It's the whole aesthetic rather than the sound quality ...."

Not it isn't. It's about pantomime, and the pretence of sound quality. In the article there's that giveaway "milled from exotic woods for optimum tonality". Bwaahahahahhahaa! I'll bet vinyl junkies still believe that cr@p, as they listen to the improved sound from new oxygen free silver speaker cables, suspended above the floor.

Vinyl: Reproducing sound by dragging a scratched piece of low grade plastic past a tiny rock on the end of a tiny stick held between two magnets at the end of a longer stick. The vibrations in the small stick along with the mechanical noise of the turntable motor, and audio feedback from the speakers results in a tiny induced current that is fed into an amplifier along with all the electrical noise that leaks in. Only at this point is there any prospect of science of fidelity, because the previous stages are all penny farthing technologies.

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Dark side of the DUNE: Probot snaps shadowy comet surface selfie

Ledswinger
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"Let's hope the sun shines on the spacy diamond!"

Is that spacy with a 'k' or an 'e' ?

A cynic might note that wherever you go battery life is a perennial problem for mobile devices, and that favours the 'k'.

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Poll trolls' GCHQ script sock puppets manipulate muppets

Ledswinger
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Re: Well that explains....

"that explains......some of the posts on here,"

Come off it, this is a haven of sanity, even including Amanfrommars' cryptic contributions. Look at the ignorant dribblings that dominate any newspaper comment pages.

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UK PM Cameron says Internet must not 'be an ungoverned space'

Ledswinger
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"God bless David Cameron!"

Indeed. I was particularly impressed to see that Spineless Dave has analysed the situation and found that the grinding poverty and lack of food or of work are not causes of extremism, and neither is "foreign policy" (meaning nigh on fifteen years of missile strikes, failed interference and persistent war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and now Syria).

No, the causes of extremism are a few crappy videos and bile-spewing web sites, and if government can control those the problem will be gone.

Actually, I've a better idea. Our government (for which purposes I regard the US and UK as a single state) stops interfering in other people's affairs, stop pouring weapons into conflict zones, stop making bellicose and inflammatory statements when they don't know what they're talking about, and concentrate on the pressing domestic problems that they've spent decades ignoring. And before things spiral completely out of control, perhaps the 'bama & Dave show could stop meddling in Ukraine and antagonising Russia. Back in the 1980s your equally small minded predecessors sought to make life difficult for Russia you created the Taliban, and I think there will be considerable agreement that policy didn't work out very well in the end.

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UK.gov teams up with moneymen on HACK ATTACK INSURANCE

Ledswinger
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Just another mis-selling opportunity

Since the PPI money-mill jammed up through over use, the Financial Services sector moved through Interest Rate Swap mis-selling to SME's, Identity Protection mis-selling (consumers, again), stopped off for a bit of LIBOR manipulation, when that was rumbled they stoked up with some foreign exchange rigging. They've yet to be properly rumbled and "punished" for high frequency trading, but that'll come. So where's the next scam to rip off customers?

Fade to the boardroom of Rubbish Bank of Scotland:

"Gentlemen, our new business development wizards have been working hard to develop novel abusive products, and they've come up with a real cracker this time. We'll offer hacking insurance. It'll target larger SME's and corporates, and they're both due a new scr*wing over. As usual, the terms and conditions will preclude any likely claim, as we proved that strategy worked well for PPI, and we'll make it a condition of business for anybody with a loan, overdraft, or trade credit agreements, like we did with swaps. And it draws on our expertise in selling high cost, value free products with a tech dimension, as we pioneered with Identity Theft insurance. So these business customers can't get out of buying it, they have to pay what we demand, and they'll never in a million years be able to successfully claim. We'll build this into a multi-billion revenue stream, and by the time the regulators rumble it our new business lads will have found something new to mis-sell."

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

Ledswinger
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Re: Is there room for workshops and small businesses?

"And if I'd have come home without the Right Sort of paint, I would have been in more trouble than I care to consider"

Just buy Farrow & Ball. They only appear to do one colour of murky beige, but if there's any challenge on the colour you just show her that is advertised in "Country Homes" or some similar sh*te, and if that doesn't work then just show her how much it cost.

But I suppose that still means a trip to B&Q.

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Ledswinger
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@ Stretch

"You seem to be in favour of every building being a house or a warehouse. I don't want to live in that world."

You're at liberty to stroll round the shops like a girl (note 1). But why should entire swathes of real estate be earmarked purely for shopping, far beyond the willingness of shoppers to go and patronise them, or retailers to take them on? That's the problem, that's why most towns have loads of unlet shops, and charity shops. The decline of the high street is occuring because many people don't want it, or rather they don't need anything like as much of it. Government and councils are too dim to see this, so they waste money consulting Mary Portas, they demand a "Tesco tax" to steal money from my pocket, to waste on supporting high streets that aren't self sustaining for a reason.

Nobody has proposed turning every building into warehouse or house. But what's YOUR solution to the tumbleweed strewn areas of towns that have no footfall, empty shops, or shops that exist simply to fill the vacuum of unlet space?

(1) No disrespect, ladies, just observing that you like shopping, and the unwashed sex generally don't.

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Ledswinger
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"The only issue with the new world order is that I'm never bloody in when the postman turns up. "

Quite frankly this is the only thing that keeps large tracts of the high street in business. If delivery services weren't as shite, offered better priced next day and more widely available evening delivery, courier returns on a similar basis, there'd be no high street.

As a simple start, offering absolute "on the day" guarantees would help. I don't mind waiting a few days for some things, but the killer is the random 2-10 delivery window for most "free" delivery. Even if you pay extra for next day its not unusual for the supplier/logistics company to fail to do next day. Tesco are widely criticised for being bloody useless, but they've always been pretty dependable on deliveries, including meeting the nominated slot.

If a bleeding grocer can deliver in a one hour slot booked up to three weeks in advance, why can't Amazon, DHL, DPD and others, given that logistics is their one and only job?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Is there room for workshops and small businesses?

"I was forced to use one in B&Q last night"

You madman! WTF were you doing in Bodge & Quodge? Is there no Screwfix, Toolstation or what have you in the vicinity?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Tesco's problems aren't just economic

"I'd call Tesco a textbook example of an organisation that got taken over by accountant types who hollowed it out in a search for ever increasing profits. "

Actually the rot started when Terry Leahy left, and was replaced by the recently sacked Phil Clarke - whose background was Tesco's IT and supply chain (board IT director from 1998). So if I might correct your sentence:

"I'd call Tesco a textbook example of an organisation that got taken over by IT types who hollowed it out in a search for ever increasing profits. " Whilst the commentards round here like to blame accountants and marketing types for everything, in this case the blame sits with the bloke who came out of the server room.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Planning conundrum

"Absolutely not. Most planning law is there to protect towns and villages from the ravages of property developers who, were it not for those laws, would be building eyesores all over the damn place."

Actually they wouldn't. One of the central reasons for over-development is the severely restricted supply of development land CAUSED by planning policy. And despite national and local government being in such a hurry to control developers "for the good of one and all", you have to ask why with this level of absolute control they've made such a repeated and routine fuck up of planning?

Take new build residential. In a good year we might build 160,000 new dwellings, but we've got a backlog caused by immigration and population growth that means we need to build an average of 250,000 a year for the next decade (based on DCLG household formation projections). Obviously that's distributed, but in context that's like building seven large towns in their entirety each and every year for a decade. Where's the planning policy to permit that?

It takes an age to get planning permission, it involves both brown bag and official bribes ("planning gain"), and even then virtually no council wants to build 10% more houses in its area. If the state chooses to run an open door immigration policy, then the state needs to make sure that there's the facilities and housing for them. Yet our roads and rail systems are sclerotic. Our health and education systems at maximum capacity. And we're simply not building enough houses, which leads to over-crowding, immobility of labour, and the nonsensical property prices that are normal in the UK, along with vast regional differences.

Looked at holistically, UK planning policy and practice is simply about defending vested interest and resisting change. That's probably what many locals would actually want, but how will the UK then meet current and future housing needs?

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Ledswinger
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Re: A few minor changes in law are in order here

"Motorists would still make a fine target; simply build a number of very big multi-storey car parks in and around city centres, and hey presto the cash cow can still be milked fairly easily, "

I can't think why you haven't noticed, but this is the sort of shit headed thinking that has pervaded local government for many decades. And then the same lard-arse councillors who think that making the traffic lights out of sequence, and car parking expensive is a good idea, well, they are now the ones that whine that nobody uses their town centres.

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GIANT sunspot returns, bigger and belchier than ever before

Ledswinger
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"Whatever happened to the Maunder Minimum we were supposedly due?"

One giant sunspot won't make much difference. On the basis of sunspot/weather history we should be seeing some really cold winters, and that has been generally true for the Northern hemisphere in recent years, albeit with the jet stream able to intermittently flick northern Europe out of the worst of it. So last winter the US froze in the polar vortex, and Europe basked in shorts, but the previous two years Europe froze its nuts off with the coldest winters for a generation or two.

As a general rule the most accurate way of predicting summer or winter extremes is to look and see what is being screamed about the coming season from the red-top front pages and presume the near opposite (the Mirror is particularly good at totally inaccurate and alarmist seasonal forecasts). I saw a headline on a red top the other week announcing that winter 2014/5 will be the coldest for a hundred years, and on that basis the shorts haven't gone in the loft.

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Ledswinger
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Re: AaaaUUGGH

"Hopefully just a light show and not the nointernetocalypse."

Fingers are crossed for a monster CME that hits us, here at Ledswinger Towers. Then we'll find out how robust modern infrastructure is, rather than keep worrying by applying Victorian standards of tech vulnerability to our levels of tech dependency, whilst simultaneously increasing our dependence on this supposedly vulnerable tech.

My guess is that the power grids would hold up fairly well. Landline comms would have a small bit of trouble, mobile comms and broadcasting some temporary interference. And a few satellites might get fried, giving trouble for those dependant upon sat nav, or militaries using satellites to plan their latest bomb runs. I could be wrong, and we get zapped straight back to 1968, but if that's the case probably better to go from 2014 to 1968 than doing nothing and being zapped from 2030 back to 1968.

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Sky: We're no longer calling ourselves British. Yep. And Broadcasting can do one, too

Ledswinger
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"Do we really need more Internationalism?"

No, you don't. But this increases Murdoch's reach and makes him more money, and poor old Rupert needs the money more than the bill payers do. Sadly for Sky's other shareholders I wouldn't consider doing business with them whilst the shrivelled old c**t is a major beneficiary. Or his revolting offspring.

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Pay-by-bonk chip lets hackers pop all your favourite phones

Ledswinger
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Re: iPhone 6?

"Seems a bit odd that they used an outdated device."

I'd suggest they generally choose the latest phones purely for the PR value. In reality the problem of device insecurity is greatest for all the devices out in the field in their millions and long since "unsupported" by their makers, and it is a pity that the competition didn't look at those. For example there's about four times the number of Galaxy S3 in use compared to S5, I'd guess other makes have similar situations.

If makers were embarrassed about the problems on models they'd decided to abandon, then we might see a better approach to supporting older devices.

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Why can't a mobile be more like a cordless kettle?

Ledswinger
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Qi (pronouched Chee)

Well why the fuck didn't they spell it Chee? Were the inventors Welsh of something?

Although all credit to Simon Rockman for "pronouched". I hope that wasn't a typo.

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TalkTalk's 'unbeatable signal strength' and 'fastest Wi-Fi tech' FIBS silenced by ad watchdog

Ledswinger
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Re: I have a VM Superhub...

I had problems with a Superhub, left a message on their forums, their tech people had a look remotely worked out the downstream signal was too strong, and sent an technician round to fit an attentuator (screw-in job, they could have posted it really). That was good customer service and improved things, but not entirely to my satisfaction, so I spoke to the customer retentions team and they sent me a Superhub 2 for a tenner (anecdotally some people have got them free).

The Superhub 2 is still not as good as I'd expect a £100 dedicated wireless router to be, but its a lot better than the original Superhub, and can do 2.4GHz and 5GHz concurrently. If you can get one for free or £10 then it makes sense. Note: I've avoided phoning the support lines because they certainly used to be a crap offshore call centre - either go through the VM forums that have a good team working on them, or phone the "I'm thinking of leaving" team and tell them you're off unless they can offer you a working router.

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British drones target ISIS for the first time

Ledswinger
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"We need the RAF drones to find and wack them all before they can get back on the plane home"

The Libdems and Labour would be frothing at the mouth that singling out our own traitors would infringe their human rights. I'd like to think that the Conservatives had more of a spine, but the reality is that they don't - remember that feckless twerp Iain Duncan Smith protesting loudly about how Gadaffi's killers should be "brought to justice"?

And the majority of our idiot MPs appear to subscribe to the idea that we can't simply cancel their passports and tell them to find somewhere more to their liking. Arseholes.

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Ledswinger
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Re: You know, I'm not against using an F-18 to kill an ISIS messenger on a moped....

"which profits might be even higher if only they could devise a means to out-source weapons production to China."

Actually the big win for the corporations has already been made. Their campaign donations to war-mongers on both sides of the house (for example Menendez, Feinstein and others) have got those people elected, and in the lead on powerful committees. This guarantees that US foreign policy will be one of intervention and war regardless of which party "wins". In fact, both have already won, locked in a buggins-turn arrangement to enrich themselves and their Wall Street friends. And likewise the real economy can go to hell, because the Federal Reserve is busy fixing things for bankers rather than for businesses that pay taxes, employ people, or export goods.

Sadly this isn't going to change. The US has a fully purchased Congress and Senate who work in their owners best interests. There's no challenger parties I can see in US politics. Nobody working for the average joes, nobody fighting against the decline of Main Street, against the vast cost of a misbegotten policy of permanent war on distant failed states. Curiously enough you've got a failed state on your southern border, where students are rounded up en-masse and murdered on the whim of a politicians wife. Where corruption, murder, extortion, drugs and violence have easy primacy over the non-existent rule of law. And this spills over into drug running into the US, bringing violent crime and money laundering with it, along with a strong flow of illegal immigrants. But apparently a bunch of dirty-arsed jihadis slaughtering each other in the sand 6,000 miles away is the biggest threat your government has to defend you against. Curious that.

So what do you get in return for the masses subsidising the 1%, and the perma-war foreign policy? Simply a lot of war-porn. You know the stuff - videos of guided missile destroyers launching cruise missiles at night, or infra-red gun camera footage showing aircraft launched weapons destroy a building. Everybody's happy with this deal, aren't they?

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Ledswinger
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"Why were the militants were blowing up their own camp?"

Probably not their own camp. Another different group of terrorists' camp. As far as I can see there is nobody but terrorists in that part of the world. One month we're backing the Syrian rebels. Next month we're attacking the Syrian "extreme" rebels and supplying weapons to different "moderate" rebels. Then the second group are beaten by (or simply join with) the first "bad" rebels. Also need to remember the Kurds are good guys now (after we previously listed them as terrorists because Turkey classes Kurds as terrorists). But its apparently OK if Kurds have guns in Syria, you see. Then you've got pro-Iranian groups. Last year they were terrorists (as were all Iranians), but now they're sort of on the good side whilst still being bad in an absolute sense. And Assad and his homies, well, they're all bad, bad, bad, but we're not actually fighting them (well, some of the Lebanese do). And of course there's the chemical weapons attacks in Syria, widely believed to be down to Turkish false flag interfering. But Turkey's in NATO even though they won't help against IS, so it's OK if they use chemical weapons, so long as they pretend its somebody else.

That clear to everyone?

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Ledswinger
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"Are these controlled by "pip pip old bean" pilots, or "nuffing but a wind up, you geezer" pilots?"

"Pip pip old bean", since these drones are RAF, and "flown" by officers, as are RAF manned aircraft.

British army aircraft and drones are flown (typically) by NCOs, so they'll be "nuffing but a wind up" types.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Being British

"Do RAF drones knock first and ask politely?"

You'll have to wait until BAES' Taranis arrives (ten years late and five times over-budget), since the Reaper is a piece of unadulterated US technology.

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Behold the Lumia 535 NOTkia: Microsoft wipes Nokia brand from mobes

Ledswinger
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Re: Naming/Numbering

"Well a similar strategy doesn't seem to have done BMW any harm."

But they don't launch new models every ten minutes as Microsoft seem to. So everybody knows what a BMW 320 is - a two litre four door mid sized saloon. BMW can happily launch a new 320 every five to seven years, with annual model refreshes, and it's still the same answer that its a two litre four door mid sized saloon.

Microsoft and phones? I'm with the OP, in that I'm confused. There's too little difference between a lot of the models, and any attempt at hierarchical numbering is doomed because of the fast development of phone technology.

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Ledswinger
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Re: the numbers

"assumed someone would want payment"

Not for "world's biggest brands" nonsense. It's all charged back to the companies concerned. Far be it from me to suggest that companies buy their rankings.

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Ledswinger
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Re: What is the high end?

"Can anyone tell me what i am missing?"

Yes. Brand.

Admittedly there's only one big fruity dog in smartphone brands, with Samsung a much smaller dog running along behind, and it's arguable whether Samsung really have a brand or just incredibly strong sales & marketing. Microsoft claim to have a brand, but in terms of having zealous fanbois willing to queue outside shops, falling over themselves to show the latest shiney, willing to pay exorbitant margins for the name? Nope.

And despite brand awareness ratings, brand strength is only really measured by the extra margin that people will voluntarily pay for an otherwise ordinary product. So BMW 3 series make fatter margins than Ford Mondeos, for products that are not really very much better (cue: Frothing BMWbois rage). And in this context Microsoft are the Ford of the mobile world - makers of worthy, cost effective but unloved products, that simply lack the cachet of BMW.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Most important question

"Will that logo on the back rub off with a drop of acetone?"

Give it a once over with Spray Mount, roll it in glitter and you won't see the logo. And you can then change the email tag line to "Sent from my Vertu".

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GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

Ledswinger
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Re: Just to be clear...

"If they don't know that data are plural...."

That only applies for speakers of Merkinese. Here on the right side of the Atlantic we're quite happy that data is singular.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Was the research sponsored by.. (build an even larger collider)

"Then they will want an even bigger one."

So we gave them (at current construction prices) a €10bn tool, and they've still not got the answer, nor even, it seems, an undisputed partial answer?

Fag packet maths says that the muttered-of Future Circular Collider would have a cost of the order of €50bn, which seems quite an investment to make in results that have the certainty usually associated with the dismal sciences of economics, weather forecasting, or climate modelling.

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This 125mph train is fitted with LASERS. Sadly no sharks, though

Ledswinger
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" Governments rarely look further into the future than 4 or 5 years."

Most don't. When it came to the French government, the original decision to go nuclear for everything was a long game, and originally came from the issue that they had few domestic fuel sources, and unreliable relationships with former colonies that did have energy reserves. With no worthwhile gas, and very limited coal, the opted to electrify France, railways, heating and all. That's why French railways are electrified, not because the railways had been given a modest pounding during the war.

This nuclear bet placed them superbly for the post fossil fuel world, but in a remarkably short-sighted move they signed up for EU policies demanding uneconomic levels of "renewable" power, and Hollande is currently letting the French power industry atrophy. The French nuclear programme is bogged down by the far-too-expensive Areva EPR, where they foolishly tried to be technologically too ambitious, and by the lack of a rolling programme to new build reactors, and rather than simplify the design and look to replace the existing nuclear fleet as it comes to the end of its service life, they have idiot politicians telling them that wind and solar will keep them warm and their trains running through the winter.

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Ledswinger
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Re: OCS don't own the trains

"The TOCs have to lease the trains from the ROSCOs (Rolling Stock Companies); the latter having a licence to print outrageously large sums of money at the TOCs', and ultimately the passengers', expense."

That is certainly the main problem with rail privatisation. And of course in most cases the ROSCOs are simply divisions of big banks, intent on scr*wing the end user (the usual financial services basis of "because we can").

This was an intended outcome by the Tories under that berk Major, but the vermin of the Labour party had thirteen years or so to fix this, and decided not to, as has the coalition.

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Ledswinger
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Re: A nice tilt to Gricerdom

"But it did sound really cool, especially when pulling away from a station!"

Impressively noisy, but not cool. Now Deltics, they sounded cool at full throttle.

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Ledswinger
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Re: MENTOR does test the overhead LIVE!

"British Rail were actually getting rather good at running trains before they were unnecessarily privatised"

Good at running trains? So what was that outfit with a similar sounding name, similar sort of business, but that was famous for its surly staff, slow, dirty, uncomfortable, unreliable trains, and an inability to run trains at the slightest hint of hot weather, cold weather, snowfall, leaf fall, and the like?

The same people that couldn't even do basic maintenance on WCML so that every hundred yards there was a gaping crater pumping out a clay geyser whenever a train passed.

IME the rail travel experience is faster, more reliable, more courteous, cleaner and more customer focused than at any time in my life. I know commuters still travel in cattle trucks, but that's what commuting is about, so I've little sympathy.

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Ledswinger
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@Six

"Seems daft that the governments are pushing sustainable energy policies while railways are operating significant numbers of trains on diesel instead of electricity."

If you're playing the "sutainability" card, what's sustainable about electricity from coal or gas? And where will renewables be when you need to run trains in winter, or even to a timetable? You also need to factor in the circa 11% system losses in electricity, compared to around 0.5% in transport fuels. I might also remind you that we're facing a "capacity gap" where forced retirement of existing fossil fuelled electricity plant is dramatically reducing the reserve margin.

The last thing government should be doing is pushing for rail electrification because this encourages the use of more electricity biased towards existing demand peaks.

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Don't assume public trusts you, MI5. 'Make a case' for surveillance – Former security chief

Ledswinger
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Re: I "trust" ISIS the most

" because they do exactly what they say"

Actually they don't. The number of infidels killed is trivial, and the vast majority of people IS kill are fellow Muslims, albeit belonging to the "wrong" faction, village, family, employer, sect or what have you. The religious label is merely for the gullible, and this is about thugs grabbing power because they can.

But Ms Rimmington is being a bit silly saying "trust the establishment, because you can't trust IS" since this ignores the fact that IS exists largely because of the actions of the security establishment and the lack of foresight, transparency and over-sight.

IS has been manufactured because the US and UK opened up a war (knowingly on false pretences) that took down all functioning government in Iraq. The puppet regime installed afterwards lacked legitimacy and created Sunni antipathy, and anti-government support. Meanwhile, the West handed over weapons to a poorly trained and inept Iraqi military, and then moved quickly on to interfere in a civil war in Syria. In doing so they supplied weapons to violent actors, even trained them at CIA camps in Jordan, whilst spouting complete nonsense about supporting "moderate rebels". Just as Al Qaeda was essentially a direct product of US destabilisation efforts in Afghanistan (to annoy the Russians), so IS is the direct product of US destablisation efforts in Iraq and Syria, in the first case against the then-ruling thug, and in the second case largely to annoy the Russians again. Having spent years spinning the idea that "Iran is in league with the devil" myth, our intelligence and security mandarins find themselves needing Iranian help to contain IS.

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Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven

Ledswinger
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Re: Clara as The Doctor...

Or to summarise your somewhat lengthy but accurate post: "A load of old shit"

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Amazon: Put our ALWAYS ON MICROPHONE in your house, please. WHAT?

Ledswinger
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Re: In a couple of years@ Seanie Ryan

"@Ledswinger looks like you have no knowledge of South Park.. look it up, will explain a lot."

Naaah. Friends have tried to convert me, telling me it's just up my street, but I can't get on with it and didn't bother. I did realise that there was a reference there to something, but elected to play it for laughs anyway. But it looks like toilet humour is dead. More's the pity.

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Ledswinger
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Re: In a couple of years

"said in the voice of Mr Hanky, the Christmas Poo."

I too usually over eat, and squeeze out a jagged, foul smelling leviathan of a turd sometime on Christmas day, accompanied by cacophonous noises. But you give your a name?

And even worse, "Mr Hanky"? Sheesh. Were I minded to christen the beast, I'd be thinking something like "Edward Scissorhands", or "Bowelo Ringsplitter", or "Osama Bin Shittin".

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Brussels' transport chief demands a single European sky to end 'air traffic gridlock'

Ledswinger
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Re: Chauvinism

"Bigging Hill to Frankfurt, non-stop and home in time for breakfast."

Never in the field of Anglophone war humour were so many inaccuracies embodied in so few words. But I did appreciate the joke.

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Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

Ledswinger
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"Personally I'd like to tell them to stop being stupid NIMBY arseholes."

FFS, why? Taking H T5 and extra runways. Why should the poor fuckers in Hounslow (or more likely Uxbridge & Wembley) put up with a vast amount of additional aircraft noise, when most Heathrow traffic is already transit passengers who don't stop off, don't pay air passenger duties of even VAT, and generate a handful of low value jobs.

If CDG or AMS want the transit passengers, let them have them. They are of little economic value. LHR would still have enough traffic to create a global network, and UK airports should exist only for the benefit of the UK, not transit passengers. Fair enough if you can tax the bastards and make it a big earner that suddenly balances the government's budget. Can't see that myself, so lets stop talking about un-needed shit like HS2 and LHR's third runway. There plenty more big infrastructure projects we could do instead.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not just windmill nutters

"Particularly those who peddled the ROC insanity, which has turned a simple engineering solution to low carbon electricity into an economic nightmare for the consumer."

But without ROCs (and LECs, and soon to be CFDs see note1) the windmills wouldn't have been built. What place is there in a sane energy system architecture for non-despatchable intermittent plant with load factors that vary from poor to unfeasibly poor, and which wouldn't offer an economic return on prevailing wholesale prices?

And that's before the compounding mistake of applying the merit curve rules, that give a de-facto must run status for renewables. The original merit curve design of allowing the plant with the lowest marginal cost onto the system was a really good, practical approach for despatchable plant. Now it means that renewables take load that would otherwise have gone to despatchable plant (fossil, storage, or nuclear), those plants are still needed but now are uneconomic due to reduced loads, so we need yet another subsidy cludge, this time to pay subsidies under the guise of a capacity guarantee. And even then, due to incompetent law maker and incompetent mechanism design, we'll be making fat and unnecessary capacity payments to the UK nuclear fleet who would have continued to run anyway, and maybe even to the French nuclear fleet, as they're likely to bid the interconnector into the Capacity Mechanism auctions.

If you actively set out to deliver the worst, most complex, inefficient, costly energy system you could, you'd end up with something like the UK now has.

Note 1: For those not familiar, Renewable Obligation Certificates and Levy Exemption Certificates are tradeable bits of paper that are issued to (eg) wind power operators for each MWh generated over and above the wholesale power prices they get paid. They sell these on to fossil generators who have to buy them, and this creates the subsidies for wind power. In future wind power will be paid under a scheme called "Contracts for Difference", where they directly get paid an amount of subsidy on top of the wholesale price, thus cutting out the not very hard work of having to trade the ROCs and LECs.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not just windmill nutters

"Every time an electricity bill arrives and I see how much extra I'm being charged as a subsidy for these inefficient monstrosities, I get this nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach."

<rant>

It is a tragedy. Government policy is pushing for electric vehicles. We can't meet the instantaneous demand of any volume of cars charging across peak, so with ambitions by DFT for 10% of the car fleet to be EVs by 2025, we will like-it-or-not need to schedule the demand off peak. This then lifts off peak consumption dramatically (with a lot of unintended but predictable consequences). Throw in some peak demand reduction, and you've got a very flat demand curve. That's very different to the current "Dougal the dog" demand profile, and one that is fabulously suitable for nuclear. Instead of scheduling generation to meet demand, we will be able to despatch EV charging demand to meet the generation output, reducing overall costs of nuclear by at least 30%, maybe as much as 50% (because it is outputting power 24 hours that people want, rather than having to put up with 2p/kWh overnight because there's no demand).

Tragically DECC and our idiot UK and EU politicians have committed to all this gormless "renewables", and by my fag packet estimates we're now committed to around £24bn of capital wasted on windfarms and solar PV.. So even if we now build the nuclear, we'll have the blasted wind and solar destabilisng the wholesale market whilst the owners hoover up the various explicit and tacit subsidies.

And even more depressingly, that £24bn spent on sodding tree hugger toys, that could have been far better spent installing solid wall insulation on the circa 7m UK houses that have uninsulated solid walls - the costs of the programme would still be added to all of our bills, but the 7m houses insulated would see their energy use (or waste) reduced, and would benefit to the tune of around £200 a year for the life of the property, creating enduring economic and environmental benefits.

It's enough to make me tear my clothes off, paint myself in woad, and invade DECC with a spear to attack the evil-doers who have made such a pig's ear of energy bills, energy policy, energy efficiency and in fact everything else.

</rant>

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Boxing clever? Amazon Fire TV is SO CLOSE to being excellent

Ledswinger
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" Also see the Fire phone... "

And the way they offer the Kindle Fire with a "pay us or get spammed with our choice of adverts", which caused me to instantly rule it out, and get a Nexus. Google of course don't give you the chance to opt out, but the there's a big difference between being forced-fed somebody else's choice of adverts on your own device, and the Google model of somebody else's choice of adverts displayed where you would in any event encounter adverts anyway.

Seems to me Amazon are brilliant at internet shopfronts and good at logistics, but struggle with digital stuff and consumer propositions. In fact even with the reviewed device I'm left thinking "why would I want this? I've already got a house full of tablets and a Chromecast".

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Google's Nest partners up with utility company – on smart thermostats

Ledswinger
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Re: Heat Genius.

I can't respond on that, but claimed 50% energy savings in their case studies look improbable unless compared to a scenario of zero energy efficiency and zero common sense. In my case a Heat Genius system would cost over a thousand quid installed, and (as an industry insider) I reckon if might at best save 10-15% of my £700 gas bill on a like for like basis. So it is touch and go as to whether it would pay back at all after allowing for interest.

I'd really like things to be different and to offer you a more upbeat response that this system will save you bucket loads of cash with no downside, but that's not how things generally work. If you live in an uninsulated solid wall property, have no thermostat and no timer on your heating then YMMV, and likewise if you're off the gas grid with an inefficient oil boiler than you might get lucky.

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Ledswinger
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Re: It lets utility companies change your settings

"I'd say their basic desire is to simply bill you more"

No. The energy suppliers do understand their own business, they know people don't want to have this shit of capacity charging, max demand charging, and time of use tariffs. The network operators have done some fantastic detailed research which concluded that such schemes won't work for them. Citizens Advice Bureau (now the official voice of the customer) know it's a pile of shit (their official position is far more considered, erudite and appropriate).

It is DECC and OFGEM (both government departments) who think this intended complexity is a great thing. Sucking on the the teat of "climate change" they both think everything they do will save the planet. So it comes down to a choice:

(1) "I worship the religion of human induced climate change, and any cost increasing complexity must help reverse or slow this evil."

(2) "Any position not in accord with (1)."

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