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* Posts by Ledswinger

2143 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Microsoft's Nokia plan: WHACK APPLE AND GOOGLE

Ledswinger
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Re: Skype is worth more!

"Ok, how does it work out that Skype is worth $8.5billion but a company that makes things and has an investment in actual things is worth $7.2billion?"

Because intellectual property is far more highly valued than tools and fixed assets. Most physical assets are subject to depreciation - they wear out, and require relatively expensive maintenance and repair. And other than patented or registered designs (which are IP) almost all physical assets are easily replicated. So you could spend £20m on a new production plant, but other than any trade secrets and patents, there's nothing to stop anybody from setting up a plant making a similar product, be that a phone, or a bucket.

A good patent requires no maintenance or repairs, and a decent bit of code can last for donkey's years. You might suggest that Silverlight (for example) isn't such code and you'd be right, but I'd raise you the kernel of NT, which has been and remains the foundations of desktop Windows for two decades. Likewise, the cobweb infested Cobol that keeps so many banks in business was written donkey's years ago, and still works. MS Office hasn't really evolved much in the past decade, with the bulk of the functionality unchanged - sticking a disjointed new UI on the front of your OS or your applications is only window dressing, and the core IP remains what it was. Now Android is relatively stable, how much will the kernel really change? Likewise IoS.

Normally brand is another excuse for paying through the nose. But in this case the Nokia brand is a bit shabby and soiled by the reversals of strategy and the muted reception for WinPho, whereas Skype was seen (by MS) as new, exciting, sexy, and unsoiled.

Looking at the history, the odds are against MS. They don't have a name for good hardware, they have a very poor record of making a success of acquisitions, they've been very poor when trying to make money in new markets, and they've just made a biblical mess with the entirely foreseeable botch up over Windows 8. At the core of all these failures has been a corporate arrogance, a refusal to listen to customers, which probably comes from their near monopoly in business and office OS and productivity software. If they can sell WinPho/Nokia products in volume to gormless enterprise CIOs then maybe it will all work out, or if Nokia's goodwill in emerging markets is retained. I don't see this myself.

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HTC trio suspected of pilfering design IP

Ledswinger
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"Shame about HTC at the moment."

Don't worry, they can't be long for this world, judging by the known exec departures, and now the fact that two fairly senior execs, and a senior manager were busy conducting a fraud with an apparent value of around US $70k each.

What with RIM, Nokia, and HTC all racing for the wooden spoon at the same time you have to wonder which of them will be first into the phone maker's afterlife.

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Nokia drives cars into the clouds: Hear HERE, you're here, hear?

Ledswinger
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Re: while Google Maps can leave you lost in the wilderness when the signal disappears.

"Someone want to show Nokia how to cache maps on Google Maps..."

No, somebody show Google how to have a maps and navigation tool that doesn't mess its underwear as soon as it loses network connection. Yes, I could faff around looking to cache my route beforehand, but I've got better things to do. And the implementation of Google maps is such that (on my SGS2) it takes forever to get and display a satellite fix, despite the fact that Navmii can get a fix in a few seconds on the same hardware.

When it works Google maps is brillant (and even more brillant for free). But move outside of good mobile data connectivity and the limitations quickly become apparent. Nokia had phone satnav cracked five years ago, and Goole still haven't got an application as good. Which is a pity, because whilst I'd buy a Nokia handset, I'm not buying a Winpho device.

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US gov preps sale of TOP SECRET disease research island

Ledswinger
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Re: Asbestos and NIMBY's

"There's also a shocking (ha!) shortage of 120VAC with most electric being 3-Phase 240VAC; great for large equipment but less than ideal for daily appliance and convenience use."

You've never visited Europe, I take it?

I think what you mean is that either voltage is just dandy for appliances, but Merkins have already decided to standardise on 120V, and you'd have to order in stocks of 240V toasters and the like.

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Fandroids blow $200,000 on secret PANIC BUTTON for their smartmobes

Ledswinger
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Megaphone

Re: "Report a WinPho sighting" ????

Well, I've seen one in the past six months. Not sure how many switching cycles this device is rated for, but as a Winpho alert I doubt it'll get worn out.

Still, another coded message to moron smartphone designers: We now also want assignable physical buttons (and micro SD, removable battery, two days or more battery life, proper DNLA client, and and and and).

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Vodafone mulls $100bn Verizon stake sale - now about that $10bn tax bill...

Ledswinger
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"BTs market capitalisation is ~£30bn, and given Vodafone's interest in fixed line operators elsewhere "

Should be big synergies of customer dis-service, as the two operations could share worst practice by comparing notes.

The interesting thing is whether they'd then unbundle and sell Brokenreach? That'd open up the possibility for greater transparency in UK broadband, and create a company that might not be distracted by trying to become a half @rsed sports broadcaster.

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Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

Ledswinger
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@Lee D

" My microwave has (deliberately) precisely two controls - one for power (which could have "defrost" and "incinerate" and I'd be happy) and one for time. What else could you possibly want?"

Big mechanical levers for those two controls, rather than piddly buttons? Something between a railway points lever, or a ships telegraph, depending on what suits your home decor.

And separately, treat that Oregon Scientific clock with kid gloves if its an RM113 or RM116. They don't last forever, Oregon don't make anything equivalent now and it's a bu99er to get a decent quality MSF alarm that's as easy to use. No problem getting an MSF alarm, but of the four or five different ones I've had, they suffer from UI's every bit as pants as your average cooker, or miss out on nice little touches that matter, like crescendo alarm, proper backlighting, two alarms, proper display.

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Ledswinger
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"I want to know why these devices need to know the time in the first place"

They don't, I do. Because it is often relevant to know that "the pie needs to come out at twenty past, but the roasties won't be done until half past, so the yorkies can go in a twenty five past".

Its just a pity that the makers haven't managed to make time setting obvious and easy, nor have they worked out ways for the clock to set itself.

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Ledswinger
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"And of course such power cuts are also opportunities for a couple of hours of doing more interesting stuff than watching a movie together."

But the pleasure will be spoiled when part way through the interesting stuff, every flaming light flashes on, and the whole house starts bleeping, groaning and wheezing.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Power Cuts

"I resolve the microwave issue by not bothering. We don't use it as a clock so I don't see the point. "

Two reasons: On present and last ovens, the beggars won't work without the time being set after a power interruption. And second, even if it will work unset, yu've got either a malignantly flashing display, or the wrong time forever telling you that you weren't clever enough to set a clock.

A pity that device makers don't build in MSF signal receivers (if Casio can do this on a thirty quid watch, no reason that a £100-£600 appliance shouldn't have it).

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Dell to axe 1,000-plus call-centre bods, enterprise staff in prep to go private

Ledswinger
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Re: sources claimed fresh layoffs are now happening every Wednesday.

"If they are going to cut people they should do it in one go, then let the survivors get back to work."

What and miss out on the repeat delights of "Layoff Wednesday"? Think of it as a sort of weekly prize draw, but in reverse.

Unbelievable that any company could have management this callous and incompetent. What makes Dell think that they'll be better at cloud and enterprise offerings than they were at making and flogging PCs?

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Finance watchdog: Big fingers + tiny mobe screen + banking = doesn't end well

Ledswinger
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Re: Not just mobiles...

"In this case, the payment was for a few days later, so it could still be amended and authorised again - but that may vary from one bank to the next."

Which shows the value of NOT using the Fast Payment facility to send money immediately, and instead scheduling the payment for a day or a week ahead, as these (with my bank) are easily amended until the money goes. I shall bear this in mind when making future payments, as I'd not really considered making scheduled payments for this purpose, but it's seems a sensible idea.

Fast Payment is great for paying the odd bill, where you're either very careful, or know and trust the payee, but perhaps best avoided for anything that could be tricky to resolve if it goes wrong.

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Tesla tops $20bn as Elon Musk claims arm-wave design tech

Ledswinger
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Re: Y-A-W-N

Well he's proposed the re-invention of evacuated tube transport. And although not original, it's a better idea than the sort of HS2 w@nk proposed by the trainspotters.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Battery life

"in fact, Tesla claims that their batteries will retain 70% of their capacity after 5 years and 50,000 miles"

Wooohoo. My diesel car retains 100% of its tank capacity after five years. Electric car owners must be very easily pleased.

What is 70% of not much?

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Green German gov battles to keep fossil powerplants running

Ledswinger
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Where Germany goes

The UK will slavishly follow. And in this case, having broken their wholesale market and power generation model, their only way out is to raise further subsidies to support thermal power. And that's subsidies on top of the costs of inefficient intermittent operation of fossil to fit in around the random convenience of renewables.

In the UK this will be done (in Ed Davey's wet dreams) by the "Capacity Mechanism". At face value that is being mooted to pay owners of back up plant to peak lop, or large users to load shift, all int he name of "effciency". But actually the biggest element of the Capacity Mechanism is the plan to use this to subsidise thermal plant that DECC's idiotic policy has made uneconomic. So cue continuing costs of renewables subsidies, rising costs of thermal plant, AND new subsidies for thermal plant. In future it will be uneconomic to run any form of power generation without some form of government support, because DECC and the EU have successfully destroyed the power market.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Ramp up hydrogen creation

"They create hydrogen when there is an energy surplus. "

Perhaps you'd care to do the calculations? Sadly the end to end efficiency of multiple conversion phases is pitiful, and so renewable hydrogen (using current technologies) is simply irrelevant to grid scale applications. Particularly unhelpful are the energy demands of gas compression and losses on decompression.

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IT now 10 percent of world's electricity consumption, report finds

Ledswinger
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Re: Advertising?

"It would be interesting to know what proportion of energy consumption is down to advertising."

Typical marketing budget is around 4% of turnover, and advertising spend as a percentage of GDP is a similar sort of number. So not unreasonable to conclude that if it is 4% of GDP, then it's not that far different from 4% of energy use.

Admittedly advertising doesn't usually involve heavy durable assets that you'd associate with big energy use, but that actually makes the energy intensity worse, because the spend is associated with printed material (paper and inks being very energy intensive to make) or with energy use by electronics (TV adverts, a share of your screen on advert supported websites). Note that for it to be around 4% we are (for example) reallocating the energy use of the entire nation's tellies during advert breaks to "advertising" rather than "domestic use", but I think that's correct for these purposes of largely idle speculation. You'd also include the entire energy use of advertising agencies, including their building heating costs, the electricity associated with processing their payroll runs and the like.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Is that all?

" 3 TV's on, 4 mobile phones charging, 3 tablets plugged in, 2 iPods on the go, wifi speakers blaring, four laptops and a tower plugged in, Xbox, wii, music production..... It goes on and on and on and so do my bills."

And still it's probably your fridge and freezer that form the largest single common use.

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More brutal PC numbers from Dell as revenues stay flat, profits sink

Ledswinger
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Re: Not Dell

"I can't find any "standard" desktop PCs there at all "

Errr, you can't have tried very hard:

http://www.scan.co.uk/value-systems

http://3xs.scan.co.uk/

I can assure you that Scan have amongst the most adaptable of specifying capabilities of any retailer, and will happily sell standard laptops, desktops without peripherals, or whatever you want. I've recently bought a mongo gaming machine from them, but (because I already had a pile of carryover parts) with a fairly unusual configuration - fast processor, bags or RAM, up market power supply, quiet cooling options, data storage but no boot drive or OS, no graphics card, no onboard graphics, no monitor, but with keyboard. They built it, tested it, and I got it cheaper than I could source the bare components, with a better warranty, and simply had to slam in the SSD and graphics card and load up the OS.

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Ledswinger
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Re: OK not Dell, then what?

"Custom built is not a practical option for the vast majority who don't enjoy messing about with PC parts"

Plenty of boutique makers and even larger PC assemblers who will offer a standard spec using good OEM parts. As it's all brand name kit, and the standard spec is tested and warranted to work you're not particularly exposed if the supplier were to disappear.

Admittedly, you'll pay more like for like than Dell, because Dell use proprietary kit, cut down custom versions of branded stuff, creaky plastic cases, vast standardisation and vast economies of scale (oh, and cheap, sh1t offshore "support"). For the big corporates, they'll be desperate to waste their money on HP, Dell and the like. But for anybody sensible buying business PC's why wouldn't you talk to the larger boutique makers?

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Telefonica and Arqiva set to mop up BILLIONS in smart meter cash

Ledswinger
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Re: Demand Side Management

"Yet despite all of this, their own figures show that there was no change in the median amount of energy used in the home, it stayed at 3,300kWh"

All built into DECC's farcial plans and assumptions, is that EU "product policy" will cause a dramatic reduction in power consumption. What this means is that they assume that the continuous tightening of product energy efficiency will cause household demand to fall. As you suggest that doesn't happen very much, partly because the incremental savings aren't that great. And in fact, smart enabled devices and household networks will have incremental demand running 24/7, only a few watts, but it all adds up, and goes on to baseload..

The strange thing is that even if DECC are correct, and big savings are to come from more efficient products (because the makers simply design them to be more efficient) why waste £14bn on crappy smart meters? Because they want to force time of day tariffs on everybody, as part of their ongoing master plan to mess up every aspect of energy supply and inflate costs, without the inconvenience of having to nationalise it.

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Wow! British Gas bungs a million remote-controlled sales-droids in UK homes

Ledswinger
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Re: Or

"The CEGB had a legal obligation on security and continuity of electricity supply."

Did it, now? Last time I remember three day weeks and reading by candlelight was when the combined incompetence of state owned infrastructure failed to deliver power because the ingrates were on strike. Every aspect was owned and operated by the state, and still the bunglers couldn't do it right.

Given your daft opinions I understand why you're posting AC.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Pass those savings one British Gas

"Because if they had transparent charging you would be able to tell who was the cheapest and everyone would switch to whoever had the cheapest Tariff. "

Obviously you've never heard of the concept of price comparison web sites? A novel innovation that means you don't have to do much work, and they'll give you every tariff in the land, in order of price. Not too hard for you, was that?

"Basically, the entire concept of privatised electricity/gas and "competition" is based around using confusing Tariffs to trick customers into not leave after you edge the prices up."

As it's piss easy to change suppliers, just shop round once a year, and if you're notified of an impending price rise. Are you twerp enough to just take your insurer's annual price hike? I doubt it, so why any big deal of energy prices? And the prices in Tesco change all the time, do you bleat pathetically about that too?

Privatisation reduced prices significantly for a decade or so - there's a few reasons they've being going up over the past few years, partly world markets, but also Gordon Brown's economic incompetence that has caused sterling to slide, making any globally traded commodity more expensive, and DECC's idiot "green" and social policies that are currently adding about £150 a year to your bill. So the whole "privatisation is wrong" hand wringing ignores the expense, inefficiency and incompetence of state suppliers (maybe you're too young to remember how crap they were under state ownership, but I'm not).

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Ledswinger
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Re: Pass those savings one British Gas

"Wow, with all that money they are saving, how about the reduce the unit cost of electricity and pass the savings on to the consumer. Radical I know."

The cost savings are negative, but rest assured they will be passed on to you, as part of the ever increasing proportion of your bill that pays for government mandated nonsense.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Did we overlook this?

"If you don't pay your bill they can cut off the power by SMS without entering your premises"

Maybe, after about five letters and a visit to the property. That's because the regulator will fine energy companies if they cut off vulnerable customers, and the only way to establish that is to visit. In practical terms they probably wouldn't cut you off, they''d set a smart meter to pre-pay mode, and add any debt to the applicable tariff - and they have to notify you in advance.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Meter Readers

"The power companies are delighted that they are going to save money (and energy) on meter readers because of smart meters"

Oh no we aren't. You call installing a £260 device to save about £7 a year "saving money"? In forty years you'd recover the costs, but only if the capital is free. As it isn't, smart meters increase the costs by about £11 a year per meter.

And what's more, the clowns of DECC have required the supply company (not the network operator) to install the things, so your average big power company with say 5m customers has to find around £2.5 billion quid to install new gas and electricity meters, then when you change supplier the new company will probably be leasing the old supplier's meter, cue much faffing around, complexity, cost and confusion behind the scenes.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Costs hidden...

"The trouble is that the utility companies do all they can to hide these clues by averaging bills over long time periods, etc"

There's no desire to "hide" what you're using, and in fact the information from at best two manual meter readings a year wouldn't tell you much even if it formed the basis of a non-averaged bill. The reason that we offer fixed monthly direct debits is because most people don't want the alternative: If you want to pay your bill quarterly (or even monthly) in full then there are options to do so, although you may have to search hard for them. Due to the variations in seasonal demand your winter energy bills will typically be three or four times higher than summer (or rather, you monthly 'leccy bill would be twice as high in winter as summer, and your gas bill about five times). And there's extra - in aggregate people who pay quarterly and monthly in full suffer more bad debt when the big bills roll in, so the tariffs are about 10% higher than the normal monthly direct debit.

Residential monthly billing is particularly rare because of the need to send round a meter reader (or the onus is on the customer to accurately and regularly provide a customer read). Smart meters could solve that, but that's hardly justification for spending £14bn, mind you.

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Bill Gates' nuclear firm plans hot, salty push into power

Ledswinger
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Re: No Radiation?

"it's just that the potential harm of nuclear power is beyond compare. "

Compared to what? Maximum number of deaths due to nuclear accidents, weapons testing and weapons use is about 5m tops, using the most extreme figures I can find. That's nothing compared to the harm from pandemics, famine, poor sanitation, poor air quality, warfare, state oppression, cigarettes, road accidents, drugs & alcohol, and suicide. As a broad brush, you can attribute an indicative figure of about one million deaths a year to each of those causes, year in year out.

Nuclear seems quite safe to me, even on the figures from the scaremongers. A pity it is so expensive that it isn't economic.

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Ledswinger
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Re: @ledswinger

"And that alone kind of suggests that this is all b***ocks."

It is. Unfortunately energy policy is driven largely by the EU, who are (in all things) clueless, and obsessively focused on renewables at any cost. German energy policy is in chaos due to the over-build of renewables (and the daft idea of abandoning nuclear). Spanish enegy policy has all but collapsed due to the overbuild of renewables, and Italy has had to have huge policy about turns in the energy sector. And by following the same nonsensical ideas, the UK has a failed energy policy, albeit we're still in the political denial stage - we've already seen the farce over solar PV feed in tariffs, the government's Green Deal programme is a barely believable quagmire of unappealing bureacracy, they propose to spend £14bn in a panickly rolling out of smart meters to save trivial amounts of money on manual meter reading (because the EU told them they had to, and nobody at Westminster had the gumption to tell Brussels to take a hike), and they've got all these wildly complicated ideas about demand side response, capacity mechanisms, and idiotic ideas that splitting vertically integrated companies apart will somehow make a difference. UK energy policy is a bit like your grandad's medication - hundreds of different pills, the majority of which are trying to counter the undesired side effects of the preceding pill, rather than contributing to solving the original problem.

You'll have seen various press coverage of SSE and nPower suggesting that the lights will go out and costs will go through the roof. OFGEM warned Parliament of the post 2015 capacity gap at least seven years ago. Meanwhile Rome burns and Ed Davey fiddles, as have all his useless predecessors.

We could and should stop the mass roll out of smart meters; the money spent to date on renewables is more of a problem - if you stop the subsidies for the existing plant then the people who built them in response to government policy and incentives have to write down the value and take a loss, and it then becomes apparent that government promises are totally worthless when taking investment decisions - so why buiild CCGT, nuclear, or anything else? But if you don't stop the subsidies, then intermittent and unpredicatable renewables continue to disrupt the power market, cost money for stuff all output, and make fossil plant uneconomic so requiring more intervention, more complex rules and yet more subsidies, whilst reducing the net thermal efficiency.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Forget fusion?

"Why don't Bill Gates, Warren Buffett et al. each chuck a couple of billion of their personal wealth into the pot and just get the job done?"

Because it's not just cash sitting in a piggy bank. Most likely it is already invested in other businesses, or loaned to them. Even if the owners hold it as "cash at bank", the bank is using that as part of its deposits to lend to other businesses or to invest.

It is a common fallacy that the world if full of idle money; In reality you always have to make a choice between how it is being used, and if you don't make that choice then the institution that holds the money for you will make the choice on your behalf.

Given that there's plenty of things you can get a return on now, would you invest in fusion when it still looks to be thirty years minimum away from producing energy?

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Ledswinger
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Unhappy

Re: Why isn't this being done in the UK?

"The government's latest plan (which they aren't mentioning in public yet for obvious reasons)"

Oh, they are, but it is under euphemisms like "demand side response", and "capacity mechanisms". This involves using back up plant to hopefully peak lop, but also "load shifting" where they hope that big eneregy users like refridgerated or air conditioning warehouses can be persuaded to turn the chillers off when it suits DECC. And they've also got a beady eye on the future opportunity to turn your fridge off at home using smart meters, home hubs and networked appliances. All available in various publications on the DECC web site, which is full of complex and expensive solutions to otherwise easily fixed problems.

"and they aren't building enough gas plants fast enough to replace the coal plants when they go offline"

No. I think there's only one CCGT under substantive construction in the UK, although there's about five consented and ready to move towards formal planning. In part we don't need to replace all of the LCPD closures, because our reserve margin was too high (due to previously centralised planning that built power stations to keep miners employed, or extra oil stations for when theminers were on strike). But when we factor in the full extent of LCPD closures, the retirement of Wylfa, then we do need a bit more decent fossil plant. DECC could and should have resolved that, but the last government were so keen on the War on Climate Change that they weren't willing to wake up and sniff the coffee. Note that all of this DSR and capacity mechanisms will not be properly operational until about 2018, so (with a firm kick up the @rse) we could have built the necessary CCGT by then, and not bother with convoluted, expensive and unreliable attempts to ameliorate peak demand. In many ways DECC's policy will reduce peak demand, but only because their expensive solutions will force our modest remaining industry out of business.

"the power companies, civil servants and government have known this was coming for 15 years at least, and resolutely refused to do anything"

Don't blame the power companies. We'll invest if there's some certainty that we'll be allowed to build and operate our plants, but DECC and government will only provide certainty for their bl00dy windmills. And we've warned politicians for the past decade or more of the capacity gap that was emerging as a result of the LCPD closures.

The ultimate root cause is this obsession of politicians with carbon. The low carbon technologies simply aren't developed enough to work properly in meeting our demand, but regardless they have been incentivised rather than putting money into research. As a result we have £30bn of ineffectual eco-bling despoiling the landscape. You have two choices: If you subscribe to the AGW religion, then you have to accept that government policy is sensible, if expensive and probably unreliable. Or you could accept that climate changes anyway, we might be making a tiny change at the margin, but we'll live with the good and bad consequences, and build some decent proper reliable plant, maybe perhaps funding renewables research (but not production).

With that £30bn spent on renewables, you might hope we'd be making energy efficiently now. Unfortunately, on DECC data released yesterday, power station conversion losses remains the second largest point use of energy, almost twice the scale of all industrial energy use, more than all forms of domestic energy use, and almost as large total transport energy use. A sensible strategy would capture and use the 46 million tonnes of oil equivalent that disappear up power station cooling towers, but instead all of DECC's daft incentive schemes are for nonsense that can be classed as "renewable" heat. Neither government nor civil servants have a clue, nor a grip on what needs to be done, nor on how to improve things.

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Apple KILLER decloaked? Google lovingly unboxes Nexus 7 Android 4.3 slablette

Ledswinger
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Re: Nice but...

"They are supposed to be gateway drugs into selling you adverts and services. "

Which means people have a choice. Buy a Nexus 7 and accept that it is Google's spec, or buy better specified tablet which will be higher priced by virtue of the need to earn the margin at point of sale, and because the better spec costs more.

An unfortunate side effect of selling the Nexus 7 at such low margin is that the economics of paid for repairs are questionable, making it essentially a disposable device. I'm not sure I like that aspect.

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Royston cops' ANPR 'ring of steel' BREAKS LAW, snarls watchdog

Ledswinger
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"I can't see any justification for the police recording *any* ANPR data long-term"

Most serious crime isn't solved immediately, and in many cases it goes on for months before being detected, never mind cracked. A recent court case round our way involved drugs deals done fifty miles away over a period of a year, and the ANPR data was used both as supporting evidence in court to the crims movements, and operationally to track the dealers to their supplier. In many serious cases, it becomes important to know where the subject of interest went before he was known to be "of interest", and you can't do that without recorded data. Even with duplicate or stolen plates, if you've recorded the data you know the movements of the cars involved, and if I report my plates as stolen one morning, then the police will automatically deduce that somebody has been up to no good in a car with my registration, and they can start looking for both perps and the crime. Piece that together with CCTV and other evidence, and swapping plates isn't quite so anonymous as some people seem to think.

Personally, I'd rather ANPR was used against serious crime rather than road tax dodgers (who could be caught by non-ANPR means). Unfortunately, if you want ANPR to be used against serious and organised crime then that means recording and retaining the data.

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Ledswinger
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"Who's to say they aren't storing the photographs as well?"

They are, although perhaps not in the way you think. Dedicated ANPR cameras usually only record an image of the plate, but many CCTV cameras can be dual use with software monitoring the video feed to provide slightly less accurate ANPR capabilities, and these will indeed automatically record both images and plates. Even the dedicated cameras are often co-located with CCTV so that cross referencing is very easy. There's plenty of stuff about this if you search with the terms ACPO ANPR.

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Ledswinger
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Re: And in Brum

"Rumour has it the local wags drive past those, and the ones on the A34 (about 15 miles away) simultaneously with identical number plates"

Which won't confuse the systems, which will simply flag the plate as copied. And that means that any drivers of cars with those plates have a very high probability of being stopped as soon as they drive past an ANPR equipped traffic car. I can think of better ways of spending my time than baiting the traffic police.

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Ledswinger
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What's changed?

How is this different to the ACPO national network of ANPR cameras?

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Sammy had Sweet Fanny Adams to do with Swiss Fanny madam's blast

Ledswinger
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FAIL

Re: Ledswinger

"My girlfriend didn't see anything wrong with it when I showed her after work. I recommend reading Caitlin Moran's "How to be a woman". Essential reading for feminists,"

Thank you for the patronising advice. Re-reading my post, do you think I was claiming any moral high ground?

But regardless of what your girlfriend might think, I know my wife and female colleagues would be offended. You certainly can't please all the people all of the time, and a perusal of my output will show that I'm not above some gutter language but this came across as gratuitous and sexist.

An interesting challenge for you: The lady in question is quite pleasant looking. Would the headlines have been the same if she'd looked like Mo Mowlem?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Headline excellence...

"OK - what part was sexist? The madam?"

You pathetic knob. If you really can't see why women might take offence, then I'm not going to explain it to you. Care to repost under your normal pseud, so we can bear it in mind in future?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Headline excellence...

"Outstanding!"

Or maybe not. I can't see the few female readers of the Reg being amused. Even I don't find it funny, and I'm a sexist old dinosaur in so many ways, and an appreciative reader of Viz.

And then they wonder why so few women go into tech. Wouldn't be the whiff of misogyny and flatulence that lingers over IT, would it?

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Moto X specs leaked ahead of expected August 1 launch

Ledswinger
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Outdated specs

"Yeah, I thought that. Then I looked at the photo - all female, all <35yo. On a second look, it appears they're all circa 35 but "dressing young". It's obvious who Motorola are targetting with the X - and it's not your tech-savvy male. MILFs who want to look young again. That's my take on the advert.

So - hypothetically, of course - if I carry a Moto X, then these women will be impressed with my taste? Order placed!

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PHWOAR! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Prime Minister

Ledswinger
Silver badge
Meh

"Blue coats K9 protection is free so not even a cost to it. But like all filtering it has it's issues (horoscopes are classed as occult)...So say I want my kids to go to say... debunkingsexualmyths.org but it's blocked. How do you allow it?"

Come off it! There can be no univerally agreed whitelist, but K9 is easy to use and robust, and very easily customised. The defaults are to filter for starch-collared US Christian values, but that's OK. I've permitted some categories and sites I want them to have access to, but as a starting point better to have excessive filtering rather than let some of the unpleasant rubbish through. Children will struggle to get round it (and if they can then there's probably nothing to stop them getting round other barriers), but adding exceptions by category, or by specific website is very easy for the K9 administrator (ie you). And if it's on a machine also used for "adult purposes" then it's easy to bypass all filtering in administrator mode for preset periods, at the end of which it reverts to normal filtering.

So if you want your kids to look at "Occult", you just allow that category and leave all else blocked. Or you sit with them, agree which horoscope sites they want to look at and you're happy with, and add the individual sites in the permitted exceptions. No big deal at all. My kids know that their machine welws are filtered, and they don't have admin rights for Windows; they know they can ask for specific sites to be permitted if the default settings don't allow it, and they've got a good case.

I shall be turning Cameron's filter off as a matter of both principle and of practice (well, because....), but I'm now fairly relaxed about what is being proposed. I'm more angry that it comes from that twerp Cameron, than about what it actually is.

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US Marine Corps misses target, finds and bombs Nemo

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Related information

"Also: what makes you think something hasn't been sneaked into the avionics on such sales to ensure it CAN'T be used against you?"

You have a point there sir. Although the conspiracy theory is a bit much. Given the pigs ear made over Chinook software and more than a few other avionic software problemettes, it seems surprising that our kit can be used against anybody, even when its in our hands.

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Ledswinger
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Thumb Up

Re: Bombs?

Saturday. Nice to see the A380 and the Arrows, and a fabulously quiet climb out for such a beast (Respect to Rolls Royce). And as somebody usually being rude about BAE, I'll tip my hat and say that they sponsor an excellent show, and their display stand was excellent and the staff great at explaining the tech they were using.

Of course, there was a reason the A380 was going back for more training - they didn't put the wheels on the runway at Fairford simply because they had not yet covered "Landings" in the manual. Hope they'd read it by the time they got back, but we'd have heard if not...

But I have to say that amongst all the hot shot afterburner jockeys, and new shiney kit, the stand out moments were those fabulous loons of the Italian AIr Force doing a full 360 roll in a reasonably large transport aircraft, and the Meteor doing its stuff - so ungainly and primitive looking when you see it on the ground, and truly graceful when flying.

Here's to next year!

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Ledswinger
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Unhappy

Re: Related information

"This is relevant when you consider future F-35's will have the exact same problem ..."

Only for the Yanks. The British government will have sold or scrapped its QE class carriers before it is able to afford the aircraft, as part of the continuing glidepath to a single ship Navy. And the RAF & Army needn't feel too smug, because they're on a similar trip to the one aircraft air force and the one tank army. In Britain we call this slow trudge to disarmament a "strategic defence review".

Experience of previous long-lead defence procurement decisions involves mothballing things you ordered and then forget what you wanted to do with them, and after a few years of expensive storage selling them to somebody you hope won't use them against you, for a fraction of the money actually paid.

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Ledswinger
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Bombs?

"Several hundred thousand people watching and not an environmentalist in sight"

Wasn't it fab? And I loved the non-PC prize draw for a 30mm sheel casing "fired on operations".

If we'd been better cordinated we could even have shared a pint.

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Ledswinger
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Unhappy

"The USA is notable for having one of the worst trained armies in the first world. Just for reference British troops and special forces are far better trained...."

...and then handed their P45.

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Mass Sony DVR seppuku riddle: Freeview EPG update fingered

Ledswinger
Silver badge

I thought it was just me

Cue much thumping, powering off and on, hard resets, pulling the lid off and tweaking all the connectors. Eventually started working again after 24 hours unpowered, a couple of hard resets, and powering back on with no aerial connection, and then putting back into service. At the time I put it down to my skill in tweaking the connectors, but obviously not.

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UK gov's smart meter dream unplugged: A 'colossal waste of cash'

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: FatGerman

" There simply isn't any reasonable doubt about climate change anymore. It is happening. "

You should read what I have written more carefully before leaping in with your own opinions. When did I deny that climate change has and continues to happen? It always has changed, always will change. Just because (as per the Climategate emails) the high priests of this new religion seek to disparage, discourage and discredit those hold different views doesn't make them right. The targeted funding of research will inevitably find evidence in a complex system that matches what the funding issuers want to hear, particularly since fools seem to have already decided that the case is proven. If you think this is proven, then you're not much of a scientist, since your mind is not open to alternative theories. Maybe you've forgotten the mad, inaccurate plagiarism of the IPCC? If they can't be relied upon, who should we trust?

Let's park AGW for a moment, and look towards the longer term: Fossil fuels are not likely to be sufficient to power our societies. We therefore need alternatives, and renewables or fission/fusion technologies may have a part to play, along with making more efficient use of energy. But the short term, panicky Canute like response to Thermogeddon is not a sensible policy. Globally, emissions are higher because Europe has pushed industry offshore to less efficient and "dirtier" parts of the world. Society is poorer because of the unproductive investment in renewables - so we've spent £30bn in the UK on windmills, but because of the panic, that's been on immature technologies and rubbish assets - small generators, low hub heights, crummy onshore locations, primitive materials, unreliable and short lived hardware. If instead of that (which I'm taking from your tone you think is a grand thing) we'd replaced all UK coal with CCGT at a cost of £6bn then we'd have done far more to reduce emissions than our fleet of subsidy-harvesting windmills, we could have still spent £4bn on reasearch into energy storage, or advancing wind turbine performance and reliability, or fission & fusion, and still be £20bn richer as a nation. And from such a policy we'd have had lower emissions than we will do in the near future, and we'd have been able to make much more effective future investments in non-fossil technologies. Even if that was common or garden nuclear, the 3x cost over-runs on EPR show that either the underlying technology, or the basics of construction needed a lot more work before trying to build the things. Meanwhile, the UK government are desperate to bribe EdF to build an EPR at Hinckley Point, in order to meet their own spurious "climate" goals.

So my proposal is not based on burning coal forever. It isn't based on denying climate change. It simply involves looking at what you need to achieve, doing so efficiently, and not having panic-driven policies inspired by suspect theories and the European Calvinist guilt ethic.

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Ledswinger
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Re:@FatGerman

"I was starting to think you were talking sense, and then you went and did the energy supplier thing of calling climate change "claptrap", thus proving you're full of shit."

Well, my teutonic friend, I've studied the subjects at hand to graduate level, so I think I've got a valid degree of education to doubt the claptrap. But taking your moniker at face value, who's government is phasing out CO2 light nuclear in favour of gas and coal?

From my point of view that's common sense, from the point of view of AGW conformists, well.........

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Ledswinger
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Re: "a £265 piece of kit"

"How exactly does a smart meter cost £265? "

Total programme costs divided by number of installations.

I would guess that at least half the total costs arise because of the inefficient install programme that is inevitable.

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