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* Posts by Ledswinger

2472 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Curiosity now going BACKWARDS

Ledswinger
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Re: hollow legs

"Why didn't they route that cable bundle through the (presumably) hollow leg? It could be damaged by stones kicking up"

I can't see there being much shrapnel with Curiosity moving at a rather leisurely 100 metres a day.

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Volvo tries to KILL SHOPPING with to-your-car Roam Delivery

Ledswinger
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Re: Good idea for low-value items

"but for sub-£100 dry goods it's a neat idea."

Translation: This is a solution casting hopefully around for a matching problem.

I can't see this sort of capability coming cheap, but for those who don't want to shop but do want to have their goods in their car when they get home, what's wrong with (eg) Tesco's click and collect service?

We've narrowed the suitable goods down to exclude valuables, style items and compact (stealable) technology, clothing (unless you buy off the peg without trying it on), booze (stealable), frozen and refridgerated. As you say, pet food fits the bill. Volvo driving zoo owners will find this innovation a boon.

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NHS England DIDN'T tell households about GP medical data grab plan

Ledswinger
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Re: Funny that..

Follow the money.

In the case of Virgin, it's in their interests to spam people, hoping a proportion will sign up. As a volume game, it doesn't matter that you haven't signed up yet.

In the case of health data, the money is to be made by selling the data (or more likely handing it over for free to a company run by a minister's friend), and that money is therefore maximised by NOT delivering opt out leaflets.

Anybody still not in the tinfoil-hatter camp on this matter may wish to look at this article on today's Telegraph website:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10656893/Hospital-records-of-all-NHS-patients-sold-to-insurers.html

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Fine, you can mock us: NSA spies back down in T-shirt ridicule brouhaha

Ledswinger
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"So, where's the GCHQ version?"

http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/gchq-always-listening-to-our-clients/

Not really very amusing, and based on the now very tired KC&CO graphics, not the current "the state is embracing all your data" GCHQ logo:

http://www.gchq.gov.uk/pages/homepage.aspx

Of course, you could breach crown copyright and lift the logo from the GCHQ web page (and the MI5 and SIS logos on links at the bottom) and make your own image and have a unique mug printed? Maybe the logos and your own legend - some starters for you:

"If you're reading this you're a subversive, and we're watching you".

"Imagine a boot tripping over itself forever"

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen"

Or perhaps:

War is peace

Freedom is slavery

Ignorance is strength

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Brit boffins brew up blight-resistant FRANKENSPUD

Ledswinger
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Coat

Re: So, Doktor Frankenspud, we meet again!

And if it gives you silent-but-deadly wind it will be a frankenspod.

In fact, there's a growth market. GM the spuds to be wind-giving, with specific strengths and aromas you can choose. A-E for strength, 1-10 from parfum through to devil's breath.

Mine's an E10 please, and that's you getting your coat.

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SPACE VID: Watch JUMBO ASTEROID 2000 EM26 buzzing Earth

Ledswinger
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Re: As big as three football fields??

" Please ensure future Earth menacing asteroid sizes are given in El-Reg units"

And compatible units. The blighters are quoting me an area when I'd foolishly assumed the object might have a volume.

Maths boffins! Assuming a finite area and infintiely thin object, the minimum volume is presumably nil. Is there a maximum volume you could associate with a given surface area?

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Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

Ledswinger
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Re: If they were serious about punishment

"BTW, I did give you an up-vote because even though I completely disagree with your conclusion, your observations are interesting and add to the debate"

Well said, sir, amongst the peurile humour (guilty, yer honour), the dogmatic moralising grandstanding, the factually wrong, and the purely opinionated, that is the best contribution in this thread.

And for all those complaining about supposed trolls, do you not think the whole article has really, really weak tech angle, and is PURELY and simply posted to generate some interest?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Litigation

"Climate change enthusiasts? People who are working for climate change? Curry, Linden, Mcintyre, Watts,"

On the correct side of the Atlantic those names ring no bells, I'm afraid, so no witty or facetious response is possible. But you could pretend I did manage it?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Chris T Almighty If they were serious about punishment

" Nah, for real misery inducement, it would have to be IBM's OS2 Warp, on an IBM PS/2 (see what I did there?)."

Now that would be both cruel and unusual. But personally I see nothing wrong in either.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Litigation

"much cheaper to let him starve to death and use his body to fuel a furnace."

If you let him starve to death the energy content of the corpse will be fairly low. Better to fatten him up, leave a few nooses around as a hint, and then burn him. Possibly restrict his liquid intake so he's a bit dehyrdrated - the higher the water content the less energy you get out.

I'm all in favour of dead people as a renewable fuel. In fact I'd round up hippies, convicted murderers, and climate change enthusiasts and throw them in the hopper alive - why waste bullets, or make a bolt gun dirty?

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Samsung flings sueball at Dyson for 'intolerable' IP copycat claim

Ledswinger
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Re: The picture ..

" I think your sample size might be somewhat lacking."

Well, I can raise you a Panasonic bagged cleaner, so we're two vacuum's apeice. But you'd still be right about sample size.

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Ledswinger
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Re: hearing loss isnt funny!

"downvoted for the troll against those people of the world with hearing issues/problems"

Bugger off. I'm not trolling against anybody here.

"Its not funny & it has a huge effect on social ability & confidence"

Tell me about it. I have close relatives with near profound deafness. But chip on the shoulder gits jumping to conclusions about what I think won't be getting my sympathy vote. So when I say that you're an anonymous knob, you'll understand now that I'm most certainly not disparaging or discriminating - I'd same the same to any other knob.

Now, go back to my post, consider what I was actually saying (a) that I have an issue with the extreme noise of one of Samsung's vacuum models (the ear defenders are for real, it's not a joke). And the bit about the Samsung engineers is what many people would call a "joke", and is a ridiculous attempt to explain the otherwise inexplicable "whisper quiet" legend on the box.

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Ledswinger
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Re: What did vacuum cleaners look like before Dyson ?

"What did vacuum cleaners look like before Dyson ? Answer is they looked nothing like a Dyson"

Depends how closely you look. Stop at the bright colours and Fisher Price shapes, and Dyson's did look different. But step back, and compare an original Dyson to a comparable Hoover upright, and you've still got a beater brush bar stuck on a suction head that rolls along the floor, attached to an upright handle with a dust canister attached.

I doubt many people looked at a Dyson and wondered what it was. And the colours and shapes were simply dsign choices, mostly with limited relevance to the bagless operation. Arguably Dyson cleaners would have been every bit as successful if they'd been bagged models but with the same emphasis on colours and design.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

"I'l get a Vax, if only for old time's sake."

Choose carefully. If you have a look at the cheapest bagless cleaners carrying the Samsung, Hoover and Vax names, you'll see several machines that look near identical. Who actually designed them we'll never know, and my guess is that they all come out of the same factory in China. And they're all Which? "Don't buys".

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Ledswinger
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Re: The picture ..

" although one has to admit that they do look decidedly similar:"

I can confirm that form does not follow function, if my cheapo Samsung bagless vacuum cleaner is anything to go by. Dirt pick up is poor, dust retention appalling, the suction starts off strong but drops off alarmingly quickly. It seems to be similar to Dyson (by reputation) as the turbo brush was pathetic and short lived, and various bits have broken or dropped off.

And Samsung have a USP of world's noisiest vaccum cleaner. I keep a pair of ear defenders over the handle, so unpleasant and exterme is the noise. Amusingly, the box proudly announced "Whisper quiet", and I have a mental image of two profoundly deaf Samsung engneers

standing by the device, itself screaming away into an aero engine test bed, even their vision going opaque due to the intensity of the noise energy, congratulating each other in blurred Korean Sign Language on their silent vacuum cleaner.

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Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

Ledswinger
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Re: Opened up the casual gaming market

" but opened the whole new "casual" market... "

and promptly shut it. Just because the customers didn't know about frames per second, GPU pipelines, or any other anorak stuff, they do know rubbish when they see it. And the graphics were rubbish, the games were few, and the appeal short term.

Arguably Nintendo did a dis-service to the whole gaming industry by persuading casual gamers that gaming was uninvolving, graphically unconvincing, repetitive, and accompanied by soundtracks so bad that they can reduce your IQ simply through exposure.

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Ledswinger
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Re: All downhill from Wolfenstein

"But Nintendo's games didn't. They wanted to target the younger generation, but their rose-tinted version of that generation may never exist again"

I'm not sure. I wonder if it's a Japanese thing, what with all that anime art stuff, and in Japan adults actually enjoy that graphic style?

Having said that, I got a Wii for the kids, and was gobsmacked by the awfulness of the graphics, the poor gameplay, the mind numbing sound tracks, the limited range of games, and the lack of breadth of those games. Then there's minor irritations like the lack of good control or input options, the poor menu and setup logic, the lack of easy on-line gameplay. The Wii may have sold well, but it was so deficient in so many important ways that I'm still staggered. Having paid good money for a device so mediocre, I can't see many former customers forming a queue to buy another Ninendo product. If the ghost of Christmas future visits the board of Nintendo, then he will show them the company formerly known as RIM, unfortunately it's clearly too late, and Nintendo will be following RIM down the technology sewer.

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How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

Ledswinger
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Re: Salary

"Or to put it another way if these guys think the guy why changes disks is paid $120K a year then I won't trust any of their other numbers either."

I think you will find that the original salary figure was deliberately over the top to illustrate that the labour costs of replacing failed disks were negligible even if you hypthetically used an over-paid, over-qualified senior support technician in a high labour cost location. And I can't speak for the author, but where I sit around 40% of an employee's costs to the business are not their direct salary, but annual leave, sick leave, overheads, payroll taxes, support & administration costs.

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London calling: Date set for launch of capital's very own domain name

Ledswinger
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Re: Nicely timed

"Scotland is a net contributor".

I could challenge that claim, but let's take is as fact. So enlighten me, why do the Scottish then wish to continue subsidising those of us south of the border?

"most Scots see themselves as British first, Scottish second and you think that's a bad thing?"

For you perhaps, but most of the Scots I know see themselves as Scottish first, British a very long way second. Some even see themselves as Scots first, European second, and British somewhere after the African ancestry they'd claim from the origins of the species. But however they think of themselves, I don't think there's a bad or good aspect. How people see themselves is simply cultural identification which is a combination of belief and emotion as much as location and ancestry, and if they culturally identify as Scottish, British, or Hebridean then I'm completely happy with that.

As I interpret your tone, I think you misinterpreted my comments as anti-Scottish. My only view on the matter is a guess that the Scots will vote to stay in the union, but that will be a missed opportunity, binding them to a government system that does more harm than good for Scotland. The singularly negative, obstructive and antangonistic approach of Tories, Labour and Liberals (not to mention the eurocrats) shows they do not want to do whatever is the right thing for the people of Scotland. I take my hat off to Salmond's response of "No currency union? Then no debt", but I think the people of Scotland will ultimately be cowed by the largely mythical threats being put up as "arguments" against independence.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Nicely timed

"After the Scots have decided to go their own way"

Don't get your hopes up. The Scots know that the Barnett formula throws billions over the border from England to Scotland, and you've got the nonentities of Westminster and Europe wilfully and falsely spreading FUD like a high performance muckspreader. The Scots will not vote for independence, and the polls show that. WHich is a pity, because the more I think about it, the more Salmond is right: He hasn't admitted that in the first instance independence would be very painful for Scotland (particularly in ways that the left wing SNP would not like), but in the longer term it has to be a better thing, with the Scots economy having to stand on its own two feet, instead of being subjugated to the London centric policies of Westminster.

Having said that, the idea of a .london domain does further cement the status of London as a separate country and separate economy from the rest of the UK. My guess is that the Londoners would be more enthusiastic about the M25 wall than the provinces. Cameron likes infrastructure projects, perhaps he can get the brickies to start work this year?

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Google moves to silence critics - whips out EC search settlement deal

Ledswinger
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Re: Awful document

"It would be nice to see Google defeated, as punishment for that awful document."

They aren't the only ones. A bit poor of the Reg to post an article that amounts to no more than a few sentences around a link? Should Kelly Fiveash be defeated and punished?

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10,000 km road trip proves Galileo satnav works, says ESA

Ledswinger
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Re: GPS in smartphones

"If you have just the GPS receiver active on a phone with mapping data stored locally, no SIM card, WiFi off etc. I would take an educated* guess that you'd get a good 6-12 hours of use from it."

Not really.

I read your post just before a one hour drive, and with a one month old, fully charged SGS3, set all networks off, including voice, mobile data, wifi and bluetooth. Only app running was Navmii, using local maps, with positioning on.

After one hour's driving I'm left with 75% charge. So I might expect at best four hours. I don't believe the SD card takes any worthwhile power, and the phone got reasonably warm (although less so than with all networks enabled and on-line mapping).

My guess is that the positioning and voice synthesis is computationally intensive, and a dedicated GPS has better hardware for this that uses less power.

I suspect you're right that there's benefit to turning off the networks - I reckon that the implied four hours is significantly better than the perhaps two to two and half hours I'd get using Google Maps and online modes, but you're over optimistic about the benefits.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Does this mean@Randolf McK

"Err, it's nothing to do with bouncing signals off the Sun"

You're new round here, aren't you?

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DON'T PANIC! No credit card details lost after hackers crack world's largest casino group

Ledswinger
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Re: My head hurts@ Charles Manning

"Who's the worse scum: Online gambling operations that prey on the addicted......"

If they prey on the addicted, then let's ban it. It'll certainly not pop up as a worse, more dangerous, unregulated underground gambling industry eh? In fact we could do the same for booze, and fags. Ooh, and online gaming, that can be addictive. And fast food,

Or of course, it might be that not withstanding the unlucky addicts, the majority of punters actually enjoy gambling? I don't know why, it doesn't float my boat, but blaming an industry because of the minority of users with mental health issues seems rather odd.

Returning to the thread, I'd agree that the outcome of having the punters credit cards compromised is much the same as actually going to the casino - they get cleaned out, for very little obvious upside. But maybe the risks of insecure systems will add to the frisson of the whole thing for gamblers, and this could make it more appealing?

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IT'S ALIVE! China's Jade Rabbit rover RETURNS from the DEAD

Ledswinger
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Re: An OZ blogger...

"He advised that it was likely the folding solar panels that didn't retract before the 14-day deep-freeze."

Moon frost is a right blighter. Should have sent a bloke to scrape it off.

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Trials of 'Iron Man' military exoskeleton due in June

Ledswinger
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Re: Why??

"Make it a remote controlled droid on 6 wheels, an armored casing for storing motor/fuel/ammo, one or two guns on a turret, and a few cameras"

Wheels aren't so good for the sort of sandy and rocky terrain we seem to fight hobby wars over. I agree the human is unnecessary in the suit, but then why go with either wheeled or humanoid format? Nature's answer to this sort of terrain is the mountain goat. The form factor looks as though it could be enlarged, carry sensors, obviously missile pods where the horns ought to be, and a gun firing out of the arse.

Low price, available tech, and more amusing (unless you're an insurgent being chewed up by the arse mounted gatling).

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'Wind power causes climate change' shown to be so much hot air

Ledswinger
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Re: My usual comment...

' which puts your numbers into a different light, I'd say.....Course I live in France, but never mind that. (And no, I'm not French.)"

Actually it doesn't.

Not only did EDF build sufficient reactors to entirely cover peak load, they built a fleet a third larger still. There's a small proportion actually needed to cover plant outage, a third provide baseload, and the remainder either provide discount power to the UK, Low Countries & Germany, or they are off line for non-planned outages (availability of the French nuke fleet is appalling), or operating a very low load factors. That did cost money, you just don't see it on your 'leccy bill. The bill for construction was covered by the French government so it never really appeared in power prices, but given the age of most plant and the intervening rates of inflation the original cash construction cost would now look pitifully small anyway.

France shows that you can technically do this (which I think we all agree). But it doesn't alter the underlying economics. The only two smart things the French did (in the original programme, it's gone to pot since) were to build lots of reactors to similar designs, reducing the unit costs, and using a proven basic reactor design (Westinghouse? Can't actually recall) which meant they had less of the unknowns and R&D problems currently bedevilling Areva's EPR builds at Oykiluoto and Flamanville.

This is now becoming a problem for France, as the partially privatised EDF has to issue public accounts (as do Areva), and the nuclear reactor fleet is ageing. If the costs of Flammanville are indicative, France can't afford to replace its nuclear reactors like for like.

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Ledswinger
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Re: My usual comment...@John Robson

"Is it because you only think in terms of first generation BWR?"

Not at all, sir. The reason that nukes are only suitable for baseload is because they have vast capital cost and largely fixed operating costs. As soon as you try and operate them as mid merit plant, the load factor collapses very quickly to around 50-65 per cent, and at that point you're going to be almost doubling the unit cost of delivered power. As Hinkley Point is only going ahead if EdF get £93/MWh (plus CPI inflation for thirty five years, regardless of wholesale cost movements), this would suggest that mid merit nukes will need around £175/MWh (cf £50/MWh for the current UK market).

I like nuclear power, but at those prices it isn't viable. If new designs can reduce the capital costs by something like a factor of five or more, then they could be used for mid merit generation, but I've seen nothing to show that a safe, properly regulated, well engineered nuclear plant can be built for that sort of money. In indicative terms it would mean that Hinkley Point would need to be completed for around £6bn, not the £16bn being bandied about by DECC and EDF.

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Ledswinger
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Re: @ Heisenberg

"Now, keeping a traditional power station on standby does not come cheap (it can no longer pay for itself through making profit for the owner) meaning that someone has to pick up the tab. Hmm, who do you think that will be?"

We all know who. Us.

Those more involved with the process will also know that the mechanism to throw subsidies at fossil fuel plant is being worked up by DECC at the moment. It's call the "capacity mechanism" and is included in the "Electricity Market Reform" programme. In reality, the electricity market only needs reform because DECC's and the EU's stupid energy policy broke it.

Who'd have thought that a "market" would involve subsidies for industrial scale wind plant, subsidies for household scale micro-generation, subsidies for heat pumps, subsidies for new nuclear plant, subsidies for biomass power generation, and soon, subsidies for fossil fuel plant? Oh, not forgetting subsidies for energy efficiency measures including those that aren't economic, and extensive subsidies for selected groups deemed unable to afford the resultant energy prices, and assorted other subsidies on offer for things like wave and tidal power, geothermal and carbon capture and storage. Meanwhile, very little money is spent on R&D for things that might alleviate the problems, such as electricity storage. There is money being thrown at "demand side management", which is likely to lead to optional time of use tariffs - in practice another incoming cross subsidy from the majority to the minority able to shift their consumption (or pretend to).

Some round these parts believe the energy industry should be renationalised. If they weren't so thick they'd realise that almost every aspect of the energy industry is under government control. Over and above the vast flows of subsidy, DECC control national infrastructure projects, so you can't build anything without their approval. OFGEM monitor and oversee the behaviour of the energy suppliers in retail markets. Costs of generation are dictated by government's foolhardy policies on carbon floor prices and the European emission trading system, and by the impact of the Large Combustion Plant Directive and the subsequent Industrial Emissions Directive, plus other taxes like the "Climate Change Levy", and the various renewables obligations.

Marketeers: It's called a market, what's not to like?

Lefties: It's all micro-managed by the state, what's not to like?

Hippies: It's a Gaia-friendly low carbon policy, what's not to like?

Consumers: Sorry, you're f***ed.

So you see, something for everyone.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Re Woo - F***ing -Hoo!!!

"The wind is free - it takes politicians and british management to make it expensive."

You really do know nothing, don't you?

Wind power is expensive because it is sub scale (biggest individual plant is 6MW for a deep water 200m tall turbine, average size is about 1.2MW) compared to the 1.5 GW you'd get from a proper power station. So that's over 1,200 wind turbines to replace a single power station. That's a lot of concrete and steel, a lot of assembly, a lot of control gear, a lot of maintenance. Not to mention vast amounts of copper and aluminium for the connections because wind turbines generally have to be built away from urban areas, and have very long lengths of connections between the individual turbines. So the cost of the plant is high for the capacity. Then you have the dismal load factor, which means that the output from the wind turbine is not only unreliable, but small. You'd want a CCGT achieving 75-80% load factor, wind achieves about 25%.

DECC are doing a poor and misguided job, but it isn't their work that makes wind power expensive, it is the policy, driven purely by the physics and economics.

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Ledswinger
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Re: @PyLETS

"As I write, according to gridwatch.templar.co.uk metred wind is contributing 11.38% of UK grid electric demand "

A pity then that we've spent about £18bn on these things to generate (at the moment) around 5GW). The same money spent on state of the art CCGT would have enabled us to renew virtually the entire UK fossil fuel fleet of c40GW (including replacing the remaining coal plant), as well as securing peak demand. If spent even on three nuclear reactors, then you'd get about the same output as wind is given at the moment (5GW), but of course you get that all day every day with a nuclear plant, so over the year you'd get four times as much power from investing the same money in nuclear.

Wind power is an economic disaster, and will continue to be one until we can efficiently store electricity. I'll wager that we won't be able to do that in the lifetime of the crappy wind turbines currently being built left right and centre.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Consistent

"The same would go for wind - if people invested in mass production rather than creaming off the subsidies then we would be generating most domestic power on site and that's not what big business wants."

What a charmingly naieve thought.

Given that your renewables will be useless on cold still winter nights (peak demand scenario), who will pay for the transmission and distribution networks, and the 72 GW of power plant to keep you ticking over when your ridiculous subsidy-funded toys are delivering no output? The capital costs, maintenance & operations still need paying for.

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Ledswinger
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Re: My usual comment...

"Nuclear"

OK, given the cost of nuclear power it is only suitable for baseload (and arguably is too expensive for that), which means nukes should only ever provide around 22GW out of a peak demand of around 60 GW, to which you'd need to add around 5-10% of reserve margin, say 72 GW of reliable plant.

Sensible thoughts on how to provide the remaining 40 GW of capacity are most welcome.

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US Appeal Court slaps Apple for trying to shake antitrust monitor

Ledswinger
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Re: Oh boo

"Stopping you from breaking the law is NOT doing your company "irreparable harm"."

Maybe Apple were being honest and truthful? Their business model seemed to involve breaking the law in order to continue raking in the vast profits that they are so well known for. Arguably having to comply with the law will indeed do them irreparable harm.

Lucky Fanbois are so biased that this sort of thing doesn't sully Apple's reputation and harm sales. Then again, when your iPhone's been assembled by child labour, or adults in near slavery conditions, you probably don't mind that the company don't comply with US competition laws, or pay much in tax.

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HTC looks to cheaper phones as revenues wane

Ledswinger
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"Samsung already makes mid-range phones sold as high end. High end != plastic."

Nothing wrong with either approach. It depends on whether you want your phone to be cheap and acceptable, or expensive and jewellery quality. The cost of making the phone feel better in the hand has to come out in the specification if the price will be competitive. So comparing an S4 and HTC One, the S4 has a very slightly larger display (13% larger area), is 9% lighter, has a much higher resolution camera (noting the implied low light benefits of HTC's approach), a faster processor, expandable storage (albeit less built in). The only real advantage to the HTC is that it feels much better (by a long margin) and reported battery life is slightly better (for the first year, until the li-ion starts to wear down).

At the moment the market seems to prefer plastic over metal in the Android market, although that doesn't invalidate well made metal phones for those that want them. You pay your money and take your choice. For me the non removeable battery and fixed storage are deal killers, but Apple have shown that a lot of people don't care.

The poor reception for the 5C says that iPhone buyers won't tolerate plasticky devices, the problems HTC have say most Android buyers don't like the cost-induced compromises of a quality feel. I would have though quality Android was actually a differentiated position that could be defended, the problem HTC have is that they are actually a volume phone maker, and the high end niche isn't on its own big enough to feed all the mouths.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Simple To Me

"How does a company lose $17Bn year-to-year, yet still make millions in profit? Well, simple...they invested less money into their business, which, of course, will lead to less profits. Period."

Err, no. They didn't "lose" NT$17bn, they made NT$17bn fewer sales. As net profit varies by device and market, it might even have been feasible to increase profits on that reduction in sales. Nokia's inability to make profit on volume sales illustrates that quite nicely.

R&D was (in relative terms) quite well protected, at 3.1bn (compared to 3.4bn same quarter last year). Where HTC really took the razor out was sales & marketing costs (4.7 bn versus 8.4 a year ago).

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Barclays Bank probes 'client data sold to rogue City traders' breach

Ledswinger
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Re: Are Barclay's actually liable?

"In the current environment it would not surprise me in the least bit to see some multi-million pound fine being dished out"

It would surprise me a great deal, because the ICO can only levy penalties up to half a million. That's bad news for an SME, for a bank it's not even a rounding error on previous fines, never mind profits. The eagle eyed will spot yet another law drafted to the advantage of big data and big financial services lobbyists. In any competition law or regulated business environment the bureaucrats fall back on the "up to ten per cent of turnover" fines, but if it's your data abused by the same people who caused the current financial difficulties (or if it had been tax dodgers like Google), then a mere half a mill will do nicely.

By rights Wanklays should be taken to the cleaners for this, because they have breached the law and customer trust by retaining, or allowing to be retained (even if through lack of proper control) this data, and by not securing it. But that's not going to happen. We've not yet had a major EPOS hacking scandal that's native to the UK, but it will happen sooner or later, and largely because the retailers and financial services players know there's no penalty for ignoring data protection rules. Meanwhile, MP's debate plans to ban child-transporting proles from smoking in their Ford Sierras, and Wanklays increase the bonus pot to all those "top talent" individuals that make them the bank of choice.

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Nokia to launch low-cost Android phone this month – report

Ledswinger
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Re: Now, I'm really confused...

"Am I correct, or would lawyers be slavering in the wings?"

Depends whether there's a non-compete clause in the agreement, or whether MS have exclusive rights to any Nokia owned IP (ie it is possible that Nokia grant MS an exclusive licence, and that excludes Nokia themselves.

But there's a bigger reason why Nokia won't go back into phones. Having made the most awful mess in phones, and allowed themselves to be backed into a corner where they had to practically give the business to Microsoft, why would shareholders allow the board to go back into the same business again? People currently holding Nokia shares are doing so despite the alternative opportunity to invest in Apple, Google, Samsung, HTC etc etc (ooh, and Microsoft).

Changing the strategy of a big company is like steering a very large ship - you can only do it very slowly, and its best for everybody involved if the intentions are clearly signalled, and the course plotted according to the capabilities of crew, vessel and local conditions. The Nokia board did a Schettino with the mobile business; they were very lucky that it didn't drag the rest of the company down as well.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Perhaps

"It would not surprise me if he left within a year or so."

Well he's just been passed over for the big chair. So either (a) he hangs around resentful, unco-operative and bitter, (b) Nadella shows him the door, more or less gracefully, or (c) he storms off in a strop. I've seen all three at close hand due to the nature of the job I do.

The one thing I've not seen is failed CEO candidates do is knuckle down, work hard to support the winner, and accept that they are still on a cushy number. Even if they were willing, the new CEO will be paranoid that the other guy is a threat to their leadership, and will work against them. You don't get to be CEO by being reasonable, normal, well balanced, or even intelligent.

It isn't like he's going to be short of offers. There's plenty of VC/PE houses would love any former MS C-level bum to "share their wisdom" on tech projects, or other non-tech companies in the market for a rent-a-non-exec director.

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UK claims 'significant lead' in drones after Taranis test flight

Ledswinger
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Re: Taranis

"Taranis also suffers from a communications problem, like all drones can be spoofed and disrupted by interfering with its GPS signals(widespread with a Russian system Avtobaza), and wide frequency jamming.... "

Looking at all the wars of recent decades, they've not involved super-power on super-power. It's either p1ss pot renegade states, newly started civil wars, or super power proxy battles involving thug nations not clever enough to see what's happening (or not caring).

With any form of deterrence and nukes on call, the main powers won't go to war with each other, so the wars of the future are likely to be the sort of things we see today - wars of choice against third rate states or irregular actors, usually over large areas and geographically hostile terrain. These missions won't see any worthwhile ECM. And you don't need an F35 for these missions, you just need a drone, even if the F35 is still considered necessary purely as a linking cog in the machine of deterrence.

There's plenty of other roles as well for drones where no ECM is likely to be offered (piracy prevention, drug interdiction, mandate enforcement). As ECM becomes cheaper and more readily available, the drones will use alternative approaches for communication that get round the crude systems they might face - but ultimately you could use them as effectively for simple strike missions based purely on inertial and optical positioning.

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Ledswinger
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Re: It only exists to let BAe be a player

"It only exists to let BAe be a player"

Well, given the way things are moving, manned aircraft seem rather redundant for many roles in a combat zone, limiting the performance and the endurance of the craft. But BAe (and most other Euopean nations) have been very late to the UAV party, having let the Yanks and Israelis build up some strong capabilities. BAe have to pony up something fairly good to be considered, and what better than promising both stealth and supersonic as well as the all important "unmanned".

In BAe's place what would you do to make up for the lost ground?

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Think wearables are the next tech boom? Cisco's numbers beg to differ

Ledswinger
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" It's not completely implausible that health insurance companies might take the place of the Telcos by subsidising heart rate loggers, for example"

Up to a point. But consider the mix of interests of a big financial services business. The only part of the business that wants you to live longer is the life assurance arm (and they only want you to last to the end date on your policy). The pensions division want you to live right up to the date your pension comes into force, and then to die quickly (ideally the same day). The health insurance and earnings protection businesses don't mind you continuing to live, but it suits them that when you die, you do so promptly, with little notice and little or no hospitalisation. In net terms, the ideal financial services customer is a fat smoker, likely to die early and quickly, as they typically have conditions that lend themselves to sudden death and reduced treatment opportunities.

My guess is the only interest the wider financial services industry would have in wearable health monitors would be to write down the liabilities of the balance sheet in real time, and move the policy surpluses straight to the P&L. Who said wearable technology didn't have a use?

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Baby's got the bends: LG's D958 G Flex Android smartie

Ledswinger
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Re: How well does it impact durability?

" It would be nice if the bendy components go some way towards addressing that vulnerability."

It would. But I can't help wondering if LG and their supplier will be pioneers in extending our understanding of glass fatigue. I look forward to other people testing the innovation on my behalf.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Does it come in a range of bendiness?

"And will there be multiple versions in store that we can hold to our arse until we find one that matches ones natural curvitude?"

Don't be silly. You buy the phone (which as a fairly large curve radius) and just eat until your arse fits the phone. At a guess LG have done their research and the curvature is in the sweet spot for a standard Merkin hambeast, so Brits may need to pile on a few more pounds, unless they already have the desired shape.

The tighter and perter your arse, the more burgers you need to munch. Could be a cross-marketing opportunity for fast food restaurants.

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Woz he talking about? Apple co-founder wants iPhones to run Android

Ledswinger
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" I hold a Samsung phone in my hand and it feels like I'm holding a lump of plastic, not a premium device."

So don't buy a Sammy. If you're after premium feel phone running Android, why not the HTC One?

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fWHoaR! Trick-cyclists crack eternal mystery of WHAT WOMEN WANT in a man

Ledswinger
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Re: So that's the root of Call-me-Dave's popularity.

"So that's the root of Call-me-Dave's popularity. "

What popularity? Everybody I know hates him with a burning passion. Admittedly not quite as universally loathed as Clegg, but not far behind.

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Google will dodge EU MONSTER FINES by 'promoting' rival search services

Ledswinger
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Re: Why?

"Quite simple really - it's about abuse of monopoly. Seriously, the entire SEO industry is built around how a single company perceives websites - not a good place to be."

They don't have to use it. I can remember the years BG, when Alta Vista briefly ruled the search roost, before that Lycos. The current lack of competition (which affects the poor darlings of the advertising industry far more than it does users) exists not because of barriers to entry, because users are fickle (so are advertisers), but because the wannabe search engines, in particular Yahoo and Bing simply don't do it well enough, or in a manner that users want. Look at how, out of the pack, Windows 8 and IE default to the garish MSN/Bing home page, full of flatulent glittery rubbish that looks like a Geocities page from 1995, all full of movement and "news" that I don't give a shit about - four screen fulls of this ordure, desperately trying to appeal to anybody. Yahoo is even worse - vast flash banner adverts, crap like horoscopes, rubbish trending on twatter, etc etc, and even the UK Yahoo page is full of irrelevant small town US news. No wonder nobody uses Yahoo.

Google won't be around for ever. And even if nobody comes up with anything better, Google will probably engineer their own downfall anyway by over-reaching user privacy. And even then it won't be Yahoo or Bing that supplant Google.

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Save Ofcom! Telcos and consumer groups call for end to legal disputes

Ledswinger
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Re: A stitch in time

"Making OFCOM it's own arbiter could go very wrong, very quickly"

But that's where we are already, that regulation is toothless and beneficial to the telecoms industry.

As a general rule the civil service are not very open to bribery, so I don't see the "envelope" argument as a big challenge (they're brown, not white, by the way). And you could say that the current system is open to financial persuasion in excatly the same way, you simply bribe different people.

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Ledswinger
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Re: A stitch in time

"Scrapping them and splitting off their functions to other bodies should be a priority for the government!"

I work in a sector where the current regulator OFGEM is slated for closure and replacement by the probably inevitable next (Labour) government. In practice this means that we have a lame duck regulator who's going to do nothing for the next two years, and then a further two years (minimum) to design, legislate for the new regulator, and then recruit and get up to speed.

I believe OFCOM are a crummy and ineffectual regulator, but simply moving responsibilities to new bodies won't necessarily make those new bodies any better. Far better in my view to sack Tony Blair's placeman chief executive, and make the existing organisation work.

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Indian press focuses on Satya Nadella's love of cricket

Ledswinger
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Trollface

Re: Batters?

"There are batters in rounders, but that's a childs' game and need not detain us."

The same may be said of baseball.

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