1141 posts • joined Friday 1st June 2012 10:28 GMT
Re: FTTH is a waste of time
"Out here in the colonies....For "cultural and security reasons" we are limited to a choice of one telco and one cable company."
That'll teach your great grandad not to steal a loaf of bread, then, won't it? But to make amends I'll offer you a country swap. You come here, and have possible access to decent broadband, we'll go over there and have slow broadband, cheaper property, better weather, and lots of barbecues?
The population density thing is quite complicated, because in rural areas you have to go further per property, but you've got far more chances to dig in unmade ground (not concrete or tarmac), and that reduces the cost per metre of the cable and ducting by almost an order of magnitude if you've got the access and the rights. Then you've got any necessary repeaters and cabinets for the longer distances, and (possibly) fewer customers per cabinet which puts the cost up.
To chuck in some numbers - if you were putting some 125mm ducting into an urban environment under tarmac, then it can cost £300-£400 per metre. If you do this in a soft verge in the countryside it can be done for £40 a metre. But then you need to work out both the backhaul distance, plus the average duct length per property to see what the numbers come out at.
However, this £40 a metre isn't so clear cut for anybody but BT - they don't need much in the way of special permissions to replace existing damp string with fibre, whereas if you were a new entrant, then you've got to sort out the necessary access rights, and (yet again) you've got the BT threat that can bankrupt you when they suddenly deciding to "bring forward" a network upgrade.
Not sure he has the cruise option. The Iranians have distributed and hardened their assorted defence and nuclear sites, and it is by no means clear that even the sort of Iraq "shock and awe" campaign would derail the programme for any length of time. And in the meanwhile, the West would have stirred up anybody of moslem or Arab origins who wants to feel a victim, so the trouble spreads beyond the Iranian border (and trouble is now Iran's biggest export, because they forgot to place that on the sanctions list). We only have to look at the ridiculous response either to a handful of dull cartoons in middle-of-nowhere Denmark, or to a badly dubbed trailer on Youtube that most of the protesting berks have never even seen, to see what might happen.
For all the claims of US bunker busting technology, it hasn't been operationally proven, and US defence analysts doubt that a military strike is going to be productive. Note as well that any attack on Iran has to not merely sterilise their NBC capabilites, but to neutralise their conventional forces, and as well to degrade their asymmetric capabilities - all without committing any ground forces, given the lessons elsewhere. Even if the West achieved all three of those objectives, the Iranians could close the Straits of Hormuz with perhaps three torpedo launches, and I would wager plenty of money that the West could not guarantee against that.
At the moment the Yanks are trying to ratchet up the rhetoric to persuade the Iranians that the big stick is real, because the Iranians don't think that Obama would use it, particularly whilst he's fighting an election. The military suits have a more pressing concern that their strike option simply isn't as credible as it looks.
It'd be so much better if they all sat down over a few beers and had a chat about this, but that's not going to happen. And (as Syria shows) the Chinese and Russians will seek to cause trouble for the Yanks, regardless of the price in human lives or money, so they'll be encouraging the Iranians, albeit trying not to be seen to, and whilst secretly hoping that Iran doesn't get nuclear weapons.
Re: Dark fibre?@ Lee Dowling
Actually it is not too much work. Firstly councils don't own the sewers - the ten regional water and sewerage undertakers do, so you are dealing with one company per region. Second, the blockage factor is minimal - we're talking about "main sewer", not the branch pipes and shared connections where the blockages occur, and the connections to the houses don't come up through the toilets! Third the companies have a lot of experience of threading cables through pipes for reconditioning and survey work (and for that matter trenchless construction). New access holes needn't involve digging in the roads because the manholes already exist, and side connections to bring the fibre up to a cabinet can be made with trenchless methods if need be. Rats, corrosion etc aren't a major issue - the cable would run along the crown of the sewers, and most underground cable is already below the effective local water table because of sewer leakage, so there's not much difference there. The London Underground is rat infested, but you'll have noticed they usually manage to run a service of sorts, and there's a level of cabling complexity about two orders of magnitude greater.
Regarding the Thames Water plans, bear in mind that since Bazulgette built the sewers in Victorian times they've just been left because they have a century or so of service life. But having been largely built at the same time, they are needing remedial attention at much the same time. No point in starting to refurbish them in 1930, when (by civil engineering standards) they were nearly new.
Returning to Sewernet, the real problem is that there's a huge threat that BT, faced with competition, upgrade their network in that area, and that the business case for Sewernet falls apart. OFCOM could fix this by making BT give binding and public obligations about where, when and how it will upgrade its network, but they don't. That's why it isn't happening.
Re: She does know it's not quite a starship?
Hold on. If nobody can hear you scream, then how will we be able to hear her sing?
Re: Typical British clusterfuck@Lee Dowling
I'd guess your £100k figure is plucked loosely out of the air, but at £1000 per house served should be about the right order of magnitude for new ducting, cable and cabinets for that number of houses in an urban area. Assuming that the £20 per month equates to £16 a month charged for high speed infrastructure, then we're talking about a 20% internal rate of return if the project takes six months to complete. There's some finessing around any maintenance costs (lowers the returns) and tax benefits (raises), also any setup charges to households (raises). But in essence, the financial case works, and there's plenty of companies would like a piece of that on long life, low risk infrastructure. For comparison, OFCOM estimate BT's cost of capital at 8.8%, and that's only so high because of the regulatory risk from Westminster and Whitehall, otherwise it would be around 6%.
The reason that this fibre upgrade is happening so slowly is that BT are already getting most of this money at the moment, and from a near fully depreciated asset base. So why should they stretch themselves? For competitors, the problem is that if they move, the lazy dinosaur will swat them, as we've seen when interlopers propose to provide a fast alternative. That makes the risks and cost far higher for new providers, but with OFCOM providing such weak control, BT needn't pull their finger out. It's also why VM have been slow to speed up their network - because they do the minimum given that BT are slow in raising the stakes. So OFCOM's inadequacy benefits BT's investors, but dumps on customers.
To be fair, BT are upgrading the network - just very slowly, and in my view that is because they can treat the existing manky old assets as a cash cow. If OFCOM would pull their finger out, and stop them earning a return on life expired or obsolete assets, then we might see BT keener to invest, instead of wasting billions on sporting rights. There's certainly no shortage of money over at BT - their wholesale divison have recently committed to wasting £738 million quid on Premiership football in the next three years, which would have bought a lot of installed fibre. Instead it will be p1ssed into the pockets of the arrogant, overpaid, ill behaved t**ts who pass for Premiership footballers. Ask yourself, will either customers or investors get an enduring benefit from that, and would they have from its potential alternative deployment by Openreach?
Re: Copper is the current technology
"Sell of the NHS and use the money to buy back the rail, water, power and telco infrastructure."
There speaks an AC who doesn't remember (or chooses to forget) the shocking service that BR provided. Or the GPO. Or the water sector. Or the gas and electricity industries. Maybe you'd like to re-establish the NCB, whilst you are at it?
Because when the pols get their hands on these things, they stop investing (eg British Rail), they start pursing jobs at any price agendas (NCB, electricity), they start to treat customers as a nuisance (GPO), and they don't give a hoot about the standard of their product (water).
"A company daring to make a profit? Shock, horror. Whatever next. I guess you're too young "
Evidently you've not read many of my other comments, but do feel free to jump to unsupported conclusions. I believe it essential that businesses should aim to make a profit, and I'm certainly old enough to remember the sh1te service that the GPO provided. And I'm certain that state ownership is destined to destroy any credible industry.
The issue here is that Openreach look to me to be obfuscating their accounts to hide the generous margins that they make, rather than allowing the regulator to see and set a credible reward on what is largely a monopoly infrastructure, and should, on the basis of lower risk, earn fairly low profits. I very much doubt that Openreach could commit to universal FTTH, but there's a fairly strong smell of doing the absolute minimum that they want to do in both LLU and fibre connections. And speaking to a friend who works there, that's his view.
"What do Iran gain from telling the world about this alleged attack?"
They are rewarding and feeding their own sense of victimhood. As a regime with few mates, there's few will feel sympathy for them even if this was true. But it becomes nice self justification for their leaders oppressing their population.
It is such a pity. I'm happy to subscribe to a range of generalisations and even stereotypes, one of those is that Iran is full of clever, innovative, hard working people, but unfortunately they are ruled by a bunch of scheming incompetents and religious pseuds, aided by more than a few thugs.
Re: Limits.@Destroy All Monsters
"Do not hope to do impossible things. Hope to do feasible things"
Aim low to ensure disappointment, then?
In seventy years we went from the Wright flyer limping a few yards through the air, to reaching the Moon, but you're suggesting that in essence we know it all now, and should stop anything other than unambitious incremental improvement.
I hope my descendants have more to look forward to than a lighter, more easily emptied vacuum cleaner.
"given that national telco BT is committed, for PROFIT reasons, to rolling out most of its fibre cabling to its existing infrastructure"
There, fixed it for you.
Re: How they got £1.8Bn
"Anyone who thinks that it'll be able to actually look at (or even want to look at) the content of the messages is either an idiot or maybe just likes to make up wild accusations that have no basis in fact for what ever reason."
On the contrary, anyone who thinks that this is going to stop at IP addresses is an idiot. Once you've got access to who's been talking to whom, why stop there when you've got the bottomless pit of the taxpayer's purse at your disposal? Admittedly they can't read everything, but don't you think they are gawping at Google, and wondering what they could do to "protect us" with data mining techniques? And when they find that the "terrorists" aren't there, and the serious crims cover their tracks well, do you think they'll shut it all down?
Re: Cost estimates...
"I think that reviewing costs is sensible as the threat keeps changing. "
Please use capitals: "The Threat" as a minimum, or preferrably The THREAT".
Lets ignore the fact that this won't actually address any real threat to anything. The best you can hope for is to persuade the LEGIONS of TERRORISTS not to communicate in plain text via email, but I think you'll find that they don't anyway.
Spot on there.
The problem is that government set up policies, subsidies, taxes, without stopping to consider the consequences. There's usually a fundamental problem because pols and civil servants assume that economics gives them the answer that "Higher prices = lower demand" and to these people that means that higher prices makes everybody use a bit less. But life isn't like that, and the most significant means of aggregate demand reducing is not that everybody uses 2% less in response to a price rise, but that marginal buyers exit the market (in plain English, the poorest can't afford the good in question). Look at petrol - do you see people giving up their Range Rovers? No. Do you see them downsizing their Ford Focus to a Ka? Yes. Or just using the bus.
So raising domestic electricity prices with a 15% surcharge for DECC to play with, plus 5% VAT makes the poor cold - that does reduce demand, but then we have subsidies to reduce fuel poverty. Result no net change in demand, but higher fuel prices all round, and a lot more bureaucracy.
At the industrial level, we have exactly the scenario you describe, plus the migration of industrial activity to China, where *more* pollution is created than if the activity stayed in Europe. But hey! Moving steelmaking to China fulfils European ambitions to "reduce their carbon footprint" so it must be a good thing.
The sensible answer is indeed to do away with the complexity and subsidies. But what would the 424,000 useless dossers of the Civil Service do if they weren't inventing complex policies to achieve something, and then to unachieve it because they didn't like the result?
Re: Not to be a pedant, but...@moiety
Here, have an icon on me.
Re: Uninstalling@Bert 1
I haven't checked the latest AVG version, but after running it for some years abandoned it because it had become a bloatdog. Not as bad as McAffee and the like, but nothing like the lean beast it had been - slowed the machine, nagged to upgrade, and too large an install for my comfort. I'd suggest sticking with MSE, although YMMV.
Re: Is it just me
C'mon lyrictards, can we have a verson of Big Yellow Taxi?
"Geothermal is more reliable and efficient than solar and just as 'free' .... If I'm wrong, someone tell me how. Surely it's a no-brainer"
Well, for starters it isn't free, because you need quite a lot of energy to operate the heat exchangers and pump the fluids. GSHPs use relatively expensive grid electricity, and then eke perhaps 2.5 to 3x the benefit out of it compared to using it directly for heating. In rough terms that's still twice as expensive to run as a gas heating system, and there's additional compromises that make it a very expensive retrofit (eg lower water temperatures requires bigger radiators, and extra mains power used by an immersion heater to boost the how water storage tank to 60C needed to stop legionella etc). You can boost the hot water temperatures from the GSHP, but that means investing even more up front in the heat exchanger, and most systems don't bother. The GSHP enthusiasts will tell you that you can get better efficiencies, and higher temperatures, but such systems are not commonplace, in the same way that you could buy an Aston Martin, but most of us have to live with something more modest.
If you've not got the alternative of gas, then GSHP's can be a solution, but as per other comments they are expensive for what you get, and work best when you've got plenty of land for a long heat collector trench, cheaply dug in farmland by your mate in a second hand JCB. In urban areas the main problem is that you simply don't have the land area. Vertical boreholes can be used, but we're talking about holes around 100m deep, so you've then got drilling costs, spoil removal, different grades of heat collector hose.
Hence the other comments about expensive, and suitable for holiday homes and new builds in the country. Given that modern gas boilers can achieve 92% efficiencies (allegedly) the use of gas for heating isn't a problem - there's virtually no distribution losses, and few processing or extraction costs (ignoring LNG, which is very inefficient to liquify and regassify). End to end efficiency of the electricity system measured as end-use-to-fuel is about 36%, so in terms of emissions there's little to choose between a GSHP and gas boiler (usually marginally in favour of gas) and the costs are much higher for GSHP.
Re: Waste of words
"squandering a clean primary source which can be used much more effectively for direct heating of house and factories"
You don't need to choose. We currently have 20-30% of gross generating capacity is gas, and (you may have noticed) you've not had your domestic gas turned off even in winter. Even if we went to a 80% gas mix, there'd still be no shortage, because when a new CCGT is built the planners recognise that they can't disrupt the gas transmission system or hog the supplies (hence, for example, the LNG import terminals at Milford Haven and Grain, both with adjacent CCGT's).
Re: Nice find!
"But this one makes amber take on a whole new menace for insects"
Never mind insects - maybe the Ruskies could use it to help out with the problem of keeping Lenin in good shape. Pour a few gallons of tree resin round him, and let it set, and he'd be good for the next hundred million years, a bit like Plastikraft, but more organic.
Anyone else deserving of a dip?
"Medieval religion and persecution of heretics is popular everywhere"
Too right there. Look at the spread of the Cult of Climate Change (tm) and the persecution of non-believers.
Re: Who mentioned solar? @TheOtherHobbes
"Do you have any idea how insecure coal supplies are and how difficult it is to estimate or hedge prices in the medium term?"
If push came to shove we're sitting on 200 years supplies of coal in the UK, and that's ignoring the probably much larger reserves under the North Sea. However, in the medium term we'd stick to buying cheap coal from Poland, the US, Russia, Columbia, Indonesia, South Africa and even start buying from Australia if need be. Coal supplies aren't insecure, and only ever were when this country was beholden to Scargill and his idiot mates.
"Citation needed" I'll let you go an read the many published report and accounts of a range of energy companies, although if you've been too lazy to do this already, I see no reason that you'll change your ways. The banks are in there as co-funders and even developers, but they're a lot more reticent about what they're doing. If you haven't kept your eyes open then you'll have to take my word for it, or go and do some research of your own.
If you honestly believe that renewables aren't getting shit loads of subsidies, then you're talking out of your arse. I could post links illustrating how this all works, but I have done before in related debates, an I see no reason to indulge the stupid and lazy. As noted before, my employers are active in all of the fields that we're currently discussing, and we make money most effectively when we react to the feed in tarrifs, rigged markets, carbon certificate boondoggles, and other government interventions. There's currently no money in securing the electricity supply, and that's why it is being left to chance. You may also care to get your arse on over to the DECC website, where they proudly trumpet how much they are tilting the playing fields to renewables - but again, since you don't know, you'll need to do your own selection and reading, because I'm not spoon feeding you.
Now fuck off until you've got something useful to contribute.
Re: Who didn't know
@ Andy C: Agree with your views (my employers had come to the same conclusion re AP1000), although that's an area well away from what I do.
@H4rmony & Andy C: Having said that, the blackout business is an entirely artificial construct, caused by EU directives and the British bunglement's policies. Simply rip up the stupid rules, and we've got plenty of time, and then we can investigate what a Gen4 reactor could do, hopefully at lower cost rather than panic buying the least bad solution on the shelves today. As things stand we don't even have companies who want to invest in a Gen3 reactor (even EdF, cheer leaders for nuclear are looking for a co-investor to pump cash into the proposed Hinckley Point build).
The same is true of renewables - if we're going to have them, far better to have a proper slow long term plan, rather than the shambles we've got at the moment, where money is thrown at any crummy scheme that can claim to be "renewable". Given that DECC are only supposed to do "policy", it's incredible that they can't even do that properly. Or, in the light of the incomptence of MoD, DfT, et al, maybe it's not incredible at all.
Re: Who mentioned solar? A knob, that's who.
"For decades the very biggest energy users (such as the steel and aluminium industries) have had load-shedding arrangements"
Except that we don't have any worthwhile metals industry now. And to extend it would be pointless, because the mid sized users don't get the sort of cheap (interruptible) power prices that the big users were offered. So they'd have their businesses screwed up, yet see no cost savings. The output losses would dwarf the energy sector cost savings.
You are in principle right that you could try and incentivise people with price signals, but how many different periods and seasons would you like to be charged at? The industry works on daily half hour charging for a reason, but even if you simplified this from 48 to to 5 daily charging periods, and split summer and winter, then you've got ten different tariffs you're being charged, before anybody changes a price. Your bill would be incredibly complex (unless you'd trust them to bill you but not show you), and at anypoint in time most people wouldn't have a clue what they were being charged. If you actually charged the system marginal price, then consumers wouldn't have a clue what they were paying, and there would be a revolution when they saw how much they were being charged during a winter peak period.
To summarise: It's the bloody regulators and the 'leccy industry's job to meet demand at a competitive cost, not the job of customers to fit in around what it suits the 'leccy industry and bureaucrats to generate.
Re: Who mentioned solar? A knob, that's who.
The whole point here is that solar is unavailable at most Triad periods (peak demand), because these occur (surprise surprise) in winter, and in the evening. Even the thousands of crappy windmills despoiling the countryside are generally useless here, because onshore wind drops off at night, and the coldest periods of weather are associated with high pressure zones and low wind speeds both on and offshore.
So your choices are: Coal, Gas, Oil, Nuclear, or the Greenpeace preferred option, of sitting in the dark shivering. Also, the circa £20 billion so far frittered on renewables in this country can now be seen as part of the problem, not part of the solution. For that sort of money we could have built ten large 1.8 MW CCGTs, ensuring that we did have secure power supplies, but instead the gormless shitheads of DECC bravely fought the battle against climate change with my money. As a result fat cat banks and energy companies have earned big margins putting up subsidised wind farms, and stupid middle class plonkers have been rewarded for putting ineffectual eco-bling on their houses (all funded, at large, by the general populations, such that the poor pay for the toys of the rich).
Slashing the solar FIT was almost sensible, bit not as sensible as scrapping it altogether, and cancelling all the feed in tariffs already in place.
Re: Who didn't know this was coming!?!
"Agreed, but woth noting that worrying about Climate Change does not have to mean wasting money at wind power. If someone is worried about CO2 emissions, nuclear is a perfectly viable answer to that."
You'd be right if the "Cult of Climate Change" were logical. But they're often not as your FOE comment recognises, so they're frequently the same people opposed to nuclear power. For the rest of us, there's the minor problem that nuclear power plants cost five times as much as gas, of which there's no immediate shortage (likewise coal). Even the argument that nuclear fuel costs are low is spurious, because with rising Chinese and developing world demand, and with a diminshed surplus-military stockpile, the suppliers will in due course start pricing it for the embedded energy versus the alternatives that the buyer has (so coal, oil, gas).
The latest generation of nukes are overly complicated and overly expensive, as events in Finland and France have demonstrated, and personally I think the engineers need to be sent back to the drawing board to design a cheaper, simpler, genuinely failsafe system. PBMR was a system developed by the Germans to meet exactly this, but then (first time round) they decided to withdraw from nuclear power and didn't continue it. PBMR in particular might not be the answer, but there's other possible developments in low cost reactors that might be the answer.
Re: Who didn't know this was coming!?!
Everybody knew, except OFGEM. The forward projection of reserve margin in the UK (that's your % of gross secure generating capacity over your peak demand) has shown this coming down to nil by 2015, and that's been the case for the past five years, openly illustrated in energy company investor reports. From the point of view of the energy companies, reducing reserve margins is great, because it pushes prices up, although it is also the signal to start building new plant. Well done to OFGEM for waking up, yawning and panicking.
Ultimately the reason for this situation is that the bunglers of DECC, BIS and OFGEM have farted around for the past decade obsessed with "climate change", throwing vast sums at unreliable renewables, worrying about any scheme with words like climate, community, partnership in the title and ignored the basics. They should all be sacked.
However, it's not as bad as it looks because there's quite a lot of CCGT that is in the pipeline and will come on stream, many of the stations being shut down never run (eg Grain was completed in 1982ish, is now being closed but has rarely run because it is expensive and surplus to demand needs).
And if the government want to ensure security they simply pay the owners to hold plant in reserve capacity (and if need be they should tell the EU where to stuff their Large Combustion Plant Directive). And as the article notes, that's in the scheme to rejig the electricity market (expect the cretins of the civil service to screw it up, mind you).
The German government are having to address at the moment because they've got a similar situation, that renewables have hoovered up all the money, and the operators of thermal plant want to close the unprofitable plant down, so the German pols (having made the problem) now want to force the energy companies to keep open loss making plants.
Re: VM the solution?
"If I wanted to go down the BYOD route, it would be so I didn't have to use Windows."
But you are in the minority. Most of the peasantry that want to BTOD want to do so not for religious or technical reasons, but because (pay attention IT dictators) the stuff that they are provided with as standard is, not to put too fine a point on it, shit.
Companies happily let barely literate oiks drive company vans emblazoned with the corporate brand, costing £20k full fitted and tooled. Likewise, a £30k perk car for a middle manager is no problem. There is endless money for PITA DSE training. But when it comes to IT, you bastards start handing out dumb phones that normal people wouldn't expect their ten year old to tolerate. Or shite "smart" phones like the Orange San Diego, and real low end HTCs, all of them with crap screens, sluggish responses, and polices including usage restrictions that ban using the camera or music capabilities. Same with PC's. I have to lug a Lenovo brick around with me, loaded with corporate IT "security" bloatware that takes for fucking ever to start or resume from hibernation. It has shit battery life, low res screen, and no redeeming points at all. Cheapy third party docking stations, and keyboards out of a Christmas cracker complete the unhappy picture for the end user. Ooh, sorry, forgot to mention the diabolical cheap, crap mice you lot think adequate.
So, to all those who hate BYOD, I understand and sympathise with WHY you hate BYOD. In your shoes I would. But if you'd stop handing out SHITE, you will alleviate the BYOD pressure. Most of your users are paid many tens of thousands (and the company believe they earn their keep) so what's the big fat hairy deal with dishing out iPhones, Galaxy S3s, or close equivalents? Why can't we have a decent ultrabook with a good battery life and a sharp screen?
It's all in your hands.
Re: If we are no alone
"They won't be able to slurp us all, some of us will live to see the bigger universe"
That's what the dodos squawked to each other when they saw the first humans. I'm with LarsG on this - put the money into research on hiding from hungry aliens! Even if they're not hungry, there's no reason (based on Earth experience) to expect technological advancement to correlate with peaceful and benevolent behaviour.
"I come to the Register for - hopefully - informed comment from its journalists. Unfortunaly you don't generally get that with Lewis"
Well, don't stay round here then. You won't be missed.
Re: Perfect Friday reading..
Indeed, although when it comes down to it, and article that states that SIS is not at all interesting. Mind you, paid up cynics will recognise this as propoganda to try and persuade people to join SIS.
"Come on in, it's warm, you don't have to do much, and the pension's lovely" probably makes a better recruitment message than "It's very dangerous, and if Johnny Foreigner doesn't get you, then we might decide to fold you up and stuff you into a holdall"
Re: Could work - but not at the prices indicated
Lets take a benchmark of the FT, not because you lot are interested in it, but because it makes money (cf The Graun). £2.50 per paper copy, of which it is reasonable (based on a bit of googling) to assume that the printing and circulation element would be around 50% or more. So let's say their corporate, editorial and other non-physical costs are 75p per issue.
Out of the hundreds of articles per issue, lets say I read just 25. My non-physical cost per article is 3p per article, with a free option to read the other say 250. That would translate to any other news publication you like, and probably to all commercial magazine type publications. Yes, buyers do pay the cover price, and so that's 6p per article on the same volume basis, but bear with me for a minute, because I'm positing that the cost for them to produce on line content like for like would be around the 3p, including the present margins (not to mention the value in the other 250+ articles I could read if I wanted to.
Now let's see what Google's proposal looks like the other way round: I reckon I read perhaps ten new articles on the Reg each day, most working days. At 15p per article that's £7.50 a week, or £300+ per year (assuming its not read in holidays and the odd workday). I reckon El Reg would like a piece of that.
In principle I support the idea of micro-payments for content, but there's a greater than one order of magnitude disconnect between me and the publishers+Google as to what "micro" means. Like all industries facing change the publishers have got their heads stuck in the sand (or elsewhere) making muffled squealing noises that it isn't fair. Until the publishing industry gets real about pay per view pricing, PPV will never happen, and looking at the article, it isn't going to happen anytime soon.
Re: Pureview on Microsoft phones.... @Dave 15
"indeed ALL symbian based phones runs rings around all the other smart phone contenders."
Not really, on like for like usage. Symbian doesn't have any magic sauce when it comes to the efficiency of the semiconductors that the phone is assembled from, the screen, or the antenna. I see no material difference in battery life between my old Symbian powered N5800 and my SGS2, when subject to moderate use. However, the SGS2 is more capable, and nicer to use, and so gets used far more.
Certainly if you leave your phone in your pocket all day every day, then the Nokia has longer standby (though in the real world nothing like the 400 hours the makers claimed), but throw in a modest number of calls and a few other activities and there's very little in it.
Which is why people are happy to buy Andoid and IOS. "Good standby if you don't use it much" isn't a compelling proposition from Nokia, even though people do want better battery life.
Only today there's been another f*** up announced, and Nasqaq have cancelled a load of trades. Problem is, the kill switch is intended to manage the market, rather than accept that the market is there to trade. If Knight Capital f*** up and end up $400m out of pocket, then good! Serve the clumsy bu99ers right. Likewise all the other "fat finger" trades and systems problems. Look at how UBS whined when they lost $300m on the flotation of Farcebook because of the trading systems being down and they couldn't offload the shares on retail punters or commercial clients.
So what the "kill switch" is about is purely about protecting the city traders from things that cost them money. Would the scrotes at UBS be whining if they'd MADE $300m? No. Would said scrotes be whining if they'd offloaded the toxic Farcebook shares, and somebody else had been stuffed with $300m of losses? No. However, if I were a private day trader, had a fat finger moment, and bought a load of options I didn't intend to, and were going to cost me a packet, will I be allowed to say "Whoops, didn't mean that!". I doubt it.
I don't buy that risk keeps these people honest, but the purpose of the kill switch is precisely to protect the wrong people from their own incompetence, when they should be intimately exposed to the risks.
Re: Bit late aren't they?
"If any of you took the trouble to study and understand "
Accept my upvote for the bolshy tone, of which I heartily approve. Far too much politeness round here.
Re: Oh Noes! :(
"It'd make more far more sense in a joined-up nuclear-centric energy picture to pay people to drive battery-electric vehicles (not just cars but round-town delivery fleets etc) and use their batteries as a distributed energy dump overnight and energy source at peak times. Wouldn't it?"
No. Because the transport needs to have fairly well charged batteries prior to use, or has depleted batteries after use and those periods tend to be very close to peak power demand. You'd not be very happy if you walked out to your still-frozen G-Wiz on a winter's workday morning, and found that National Grid had helped themselves to all the charge, would you?
Obviously if you don't use the vehicle much relative to its battery capacity then you might have some headroom, but how much do you want to pay extra to carry around batteries for National Grid?
Re: It could also be...
Files like that are usually referred to as "dossiers".
Having said that, what's the surprise here? Iran are implacably opposed to the Taliban (because the Taliban operate against Shia moslems), but even so Iran are known to offer modest levels of support to the Taliban to attack US forces in Afghanistan. It would seem highly probable that although Al Qaeda are (like the Taliban) implacably opposed to Shia beliefs, the Iranians would maintain contacts with a view to stirring up trouble for the Americans should it suit them.
Re: Your tax money ...@Gr0nk
I'd say you're wrong. Not that your cynicism is misplaced, rather that you overlook that it doesn't matter what the voters think, because the control freaks of the Labour party always wanted to intercept everybody's communications and had a plan to do that, the Tories (once in government) have become similarly enthusiastic and merely resurrected the same scheme, so you won't be getting a choice at the next election, in the same way you didn't at previous ones.
But nothing changes, in terms of them doing things you didn't vote for:
Did we vote for war in Iraq?
Did we vote to waste a billion quid on regional fire control centres that never worked?
Did we vote for the most cack-handed defence review since the dawn of time?
Did we vote to give £14 billion a year in foreign aid?
Did we vote to hand British sovereignty to Brussels?
You are completely correct and presumably in the interests of brevity overlooked the many other billions wasted on things that don't work or aren't needed, but that doesn't make wasting a further £2m acceptable.
Oi! Cameron! You feckless twerp! Stop spending my money on CRAP!
"Government should ....get on with something useful, like calling an election"
For what point? So a different numpty can move into number ten, making the same vacuous noises, with exactly the same incompetent and sh1theaded policies, the same out-of-touch disregard for the workers and taxpayers of this country, and the same fatuous focus on "solving climate change". The "big society" becomes "one nation". Woohoo.
We tried having an election to get rid of Smiley Brown, and just got Tony Blair Mk2. Kicking this shallow, spineless twerp out sounds good, until you notice that the only possible replacement is no different. He's never done a proper job, is another Oxbridge toff and party hanger on ("I say! You rough looking fellows! We're all working class here in the Labour Party, what what!").
It's Guy Fawkes we need, not the sad panda.
Re: R&D is good.
"If I were a shareholder, I'd be happy if the consumer model printers stopped sucking "
Not sure there's much margin in making and selling consumer hardware, so not much point for shareholders in investing in the consumer product. Dell struggle to make money in consumer, all the consumer focused PC makers struggle, I can't see why HP would be different. There's also the legacy of poor products, where consumers won't give them a second chance. My last HP was a crappy 1100, years and years ago, and I was so angry at its crapness that I've resolutely bought Canon ever since, and they've never let me down. HP stuff gets decent reviews, comparable to Canon, but why should I trust HP again - it will take something quite special, like A3 printing from a printer physically no wider than a normal multi-function A4 printer, and barely any more expensive than competitors A4 machines (it could be done). But why invest for that, when there's so margin?
Re: oh really...
Devils advocate: If solar is important enough to justify domestic subsidies, and you want to tilt the playing field away from the coal industry, do I take it that you want Australia to stop exporting coal to China, stop developing your offshore gas reserves, and similarly stop exporting the minerals that require fossil energy to convert, such as bauxite?
Or is it good to reduce your emissions at home, but none of your business what China et al do with the circa AU$200 billion of minerals Oz exports?
Re: If you plan a seperate company
"If you plan to make Openreach a totally separate company, BT would need to be compensated for that."
No they wouldn't. A demerger would leave the shareholders owning the same proportionate chunk they always have done of both Openreach plc and BT plc, and they could then decide whether they wanted to own an infrastructure utility or a telecoms provider, or retain both. Some years ago Severn Trent plc decided to demerge the Biffa Waste Services business from the group in exactly this way, and there's plenty of other demergers where the shareholders own the equity in both demerged businesses.
If BT are going to be left with nothing having demerged Openreach, how come they've been spunking billions on sports broadcasting rights recently? How come they've told investors that their other divisions provided about two thirds of group EBITDA in 2011? How come you haven't done the slightest bit of checking your facts?
I haven't suggested renationalising BT or Openreach (indeed, the persistent failure of all forms of state ownership is a good reason not to). But that doesn't mean allowing BT to continue with its virtual monopoly of local loop, overseen by a toothless regulator.
Re: Your tax money ...
Our pols have worked tirelessly for the benefit of anybody not in this country for many years, so no surprise in the wasting of tax money.
What is surprising, given the persistent incompetence of the British government in all IT and communications matters, is why they think they have *any* qualifications to advise others on cyber security?
Re: Oh Meg
"Just a shame that they've got rid of everyone with a brain, in utterly relentless favour of "best-shoring" and redundancies."
Given the crappy performance over the past decade (or two), and the fact that HP will soon have no US employees on the payroll, isn't it about time they "best shored" the main board? Performance may not be any better, but it couldn't be much worse, and at least investors wouldn't be paying Silicon Valley salaries.
Where would be "best shore" for the directors past and present of HP? Yemen? Pakistan? Chechnya? Zimbabwe?