* Posts by Ledswinger

4465 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Phone-fondling docs, nurses sling patient info around willy-nilly

Ledswinger
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my hospital trust had an enterprise-wide phone system with secure SMS and voicemail

Wow SMS and voicemail. The NHS enters the early 1990s. And that included easy to use, high quality photo messaging, and all client devices were photo-capable and to the same high standard for the troops as well as the bosses?

IME any corporate implementation invariably involves premium smartphones for the big swinging dicks, and the hoi polloi get to use some cheap shit that doesn't work properly "to save money". My employers (a c£7bn turnover UK operation) are not uncommon in this respect and expect the peasants to use Sammy Galaxy Ace 4's, which is a piece of unfit-for-purpose shit in a corporate environment. In fact, I wouldn't even give it to my kids.

I suppose this comes down to priorities. If I was in hospital, I really wouldn't give a tinker's cuss about medical staff using private mobile devices to seek second opinions, or communicate information about my care. If some ne'r do well hacked in and found a picture of my wound, symptoms, or care plan, I'd not give a shit.

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Online VAT fraud: Calls for government crackdown grow louder

Ledswinger
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Re: Ordering 'stuff' from outside the EU

Sorted, if I was kind of the world it would be so much simpler.

Maybe so, but you can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, and in this case the eggs to be broken include all of the EU laws, conventions and agreements that support cross border trade, all of the bilateral trading agreements reached with various countries, plus you'd need to close loopholes that would exist from or through (eg) Isle of Man, Channel Islands. And you'd need a new and very effective system to monitor and administer all incoming air mail, all trucks, containers, post, courier etc etc.

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US Treasury: How did ISIS get your trucks? Toyota: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Ledswinger
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Re: Hmmm

Big problem is that middle east and gulf have lots of oil, so they have lots of cash to splash on weapons.

There's certainly no shortage of dodgy money, but the reality on the ground is that weaponry is cheap. IS may have captured a lot of US kit (in addiiton to stuff the Yanks supplied to groups that then joined IS), but the bulk of their strength is beaten up pickups, cheap-as-chips AK47s, and suicide bombers.

If the market for oil vanished overnight, and the sovereign wealth funds of oil exporters mysteriously shrivelled, the middle east would still be an uncivilised, smelly, seething, fighting mass.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Stones and Glass Houses

do they have more Landcruisers than Humvees?

According to press reports, IS captured something around 2,300 Humvees when the Iraqi army ran away, so I'm guessing that the answer to your question is no.

You've got to hand it to the US military industrial complex, they came upon a winning business model when they armed, bankrolled and trained the Taliban back in the 1980s. For these people, beardy terrorists (BTs) are the gift that keeps on giving:

1) you can make the arms to be sent to them directly when you thought BTs were on your side,

2) you can make the arms to be used in invading the BT's country when you decide to unseat a government that you don't like,

3) you can make the arms to be given to weak "allies" who then hand them over to the BTs,

4) you can make the arms to then be used destroying all the stuff the BT's have acquired,

5) you can make the arms to join in a ten-way civil war, then after that has been "won" and a puppet government installed...

6) you can (again) make the arms to give to the puppet government's cowardly military,

7 <GOTO STEP 4>

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Ledswinger
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Re: Err...geeee... I dunno??? Get detective Steakout on the case!

Don't forget that Texas plumber's pickup, that found its way to Syria, and had a gun mounted on the back, whilst still carrying the original paintwork. Which begs the question of how the Yanks are allowing secondhand vehicles off of their own roads to end up with the beardos.

Mind you far better to point the finger at Toyota than fess up to their own incompetence.

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French hacks go after new surveillance law … with the help of the ECHR

Ledswinger
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Re: Why dont they just cut the bullshit already

"It's not very cost effective for everyone to build their own slurping contraption, the maintenance efforts are enormous, so lets be pragmatic about it"

The costs don't matter, because from the perspective of politicians, bureaucrats or the Stasi themselves, it's only taxpayers money being spent, and that's free, doesn't have to be earned, and the spending of it involves no accountability whatsoever.

Why be pragmatic (or even rational) when there's no need to? Defence procurement has followed the "kid in a sweetshop" approach for years, the intelligence services have now realised that waffling about major new threats can give them access to the same bottomless pit of cash.

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Microsoft, Tesla, build battery that knows how much (energy) you suck

Ledswinger
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Don't get your hopes up

.....Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and google's Now, as those programs already have an understanding of user behaviour

And there was me thinking that these programs were just a coder's joke, intended to show the limits of voice recognition and user-grade AI.

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White House 'deeply disappointed' by Europe outlawing Silicon Valley

Ledswinger
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Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

In the past, it came in handy to rescue the Brits from the Germans....

Au contraire, the RN (doing a sterling job) contained the Germans, but didn't rescue us or defeat them. And I say that as somebody proud of the fact that a great uncle served on the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

There is a clear Responsibility to Protect here.

I don't think many of the commentariat understand. Which is a pity, because you're right.

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THIS is MASSIVE! Less-Masslessness neutrino boffins bag Physics Nobel

Ledswinger
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Makes particle physics sound like climate science

"We couldn't find what we were looking for, so obviously what we found had to be the thing we were looking for, and it had clearly transubstantiated as it came into the lab."

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If you wanted Windows 10, it looks like you've already installed it

Ledswinger
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Re: Are Win7 users not upgrading because of Win8/10's tiles?

Oddly ms seem to have mostly given up on phones and tablets, so I don't know why they are still trying.

A couple of reasons. The first is that Microsoft never, ever listen to customers, and never see the world from the customer's perspective. So although there's no real market pull for Windows phones, they think that if they keep on, eventually world + dog will cave in and buy them. I don't agree, but as a customer of Microsoft they're hardly going to credit my opinion.

The second reason is that (notwithstanding the huge writedowns on the failed Nokia phones acquisition), they'd have further writedowns on all of the investments in phone software and IP. That wouldn't land well with investors, nor would the immediate realisation that Microsoft is handcuffed to the desktop. Without a cloud offer, nothing to pitch for in IoT, no mobile presence, nothing in ad-serving and tracking (remember the huge and failed AQuantive acquisition?) where are they going? It'd kill their share price, and the value of the obscenely overpaid executives share options.

And even in desktop and related areas, they've done nothing to add real user value - other than a series of f***ed up UI changes, Microsoft haven't written much new code for years, so all the crap bits of Server, Office and Windows are still there. They wasted their money and time buying Minecraft, in a doomed bid to get down and groovy with the kids. And meanwhile people like AWS own the cloud, Google own ad-serving, Google and Apple divide the phone market between them, and the IoT will be exploited by somebody not called Microsoft.

As an investment case, Microsoft only has value to a patent troll, but for the execs to extract their pound of flesh they need to avoid the world realising that, and that's why they are still trying with phones.

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Only a CNUT would hold back the waves of the sharing economy

Ledswinger
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Re: There's a little more at stake here

EBay style in service ratings systems have already been shown to be an effective way to manage and help filter out charlatans. So while there will be teething problems,

Your confidence in online ratings is most touching, but rather your wife/girlfriend be the "teething problem" than mine.

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Microsoft gobbles Chipzilla's Havok 3D physics unit in cloud gaming play

Ledswinger
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Re: Microsoft's new battle cry?

What about

"Buy Havok and watch as it shrivels to nothing like most of our previous acquisitions"

Not very poetic, I'll grant you, but probably accurate.

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Watch out VW – French prosecutors are pulling on the rubber gloves

Ledswinger
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Re: Remapped ecus?

Having a turbo diesel remapped is reasonably common in the UK..

.....as is not informing the vehicle's insurers that the vehicle has been performance modified.

FTFY

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Ledswinger
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Re: Let he that is without sin...

Maybe, but what chance that the Frogs will conduct a robust, balanced investigation into their own car makers? I'd suggest this French investigation is about doing some damage to VW Group on behalf of the French "national champions".

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15 MILLION T-Mobile US customer records swiped by hackers

Ledswinger
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Re: I call BS on Experian's claims

If Experian doesn't stay ahead of the game, they know it will cost them dearly.

If they know that, why was their security so poor as to let sensitive data like this get hacked?

I say that Experian don't really care. Yes, there's probably a lot of good practice going on there, but when your sole job is handling sensitive data that's not enough. If that's your day job, you need to be bullet proof. Mind you, the turds at a UK mobile retailer (an incompetent division of Dixons Carphone) recently managed to achieve the same outcome without obvious assistance from Experian.

Unfortunately (for the UK at least) the penalties for data protection breaches are minimal, because all of the regulation is designed around the assumption that data protection is only about stopping spam marketing.

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IT supplier? Got a customer who won't pay? Dob them in to the Insolvency Service

Ledswinger
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Re: Extended ripoff

I don#t think you're forced to unless you use the insolvency process.

I'm unclear (thanks, Reg) why anybody would invoke this process. If the bills prior to insolvency process remain at risk, far better to walk away. And refuse to do anything for the administrators unless they pay an amount ex gratia that just happens to clear the outstanding bills.

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Microsoft sabotages own Lumia smartmobe flagship launch

Ledswinger
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Re: No comments an hour after posting.

if I have a regret it is that I should have jumped before

Imagine the similar regrets of Microsoft shareholders, who saw them pay $10bn for Nokia's phone business two years ago, and now have something that is worth diddly squat. And in 2014 alone, the key executives trousered $152m for their "services".

I suppose you do have to pay the going rate to get the best talent, and with the likes of HP and IBM also looking for obscenely over-paid, incompetent squanderers it's a tight C level labour market.

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175,000 whinge to Microsoft about phone tech support scams

Ledswinger
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Re: Education...but by who?

Education is the way to go

No, the way to go is to make payments processors responsible for reimbursing fraud victims. It is the lazy, greedy vermin at (amongst others) Mastercard and VIsa who happily act as a payment conduit for criminals and even keep 2.5% or whatever for themselves.

The only reason this form of crime exists is because these payments processors happily transact illegal business across borders, and then pretend they didn't know it was going on. In the UK I have to show my passport before I can open a savings account, get a numberplate made, or merely consult a lawyer, all "to prevent money laundering and fraud", but it seems that the payments processors evidently are allowed to do business with any two bit crook anywhere in the world.

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MYSTERY PARTICLE BLASTS from Ceres strike NASA probe Dawn

Ledswinger
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Re: Slump?

looks more like a giant sinkhole than an impact crater. I've no idea how that could work...

That's St Albans, not Ceres!

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Solar panel spammer hit by UK’s biggest ever nuisance calls fine

Ledswinger
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Re: Wot, no names?

since Companies House made provision for crooks to hide.

IIRC, directors were allowed to use non-residential addresses only after changes made in response to the criminal misbehaviour of animal rights extremists against the homes of company directors. So it was precisely this sort of vigilantism that means you usually find mailing addresses, nothing to do with "allowing crooks to hide".

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Ledswinger
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Is there some website you can get that info?

Yes, Companies House is the UK registry for all companies in mainland UK, and they hold all the details of shareholders, directors, and statutory accounts of all limited companies.

https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-a-company

Use the beta service that the web page links to, it's actually rather good, despite commentards round here moaning incessantly how poor government IT is. If you use the old and fugly Companies House website, they want a quid or so to download documents, but the beta service works better and sets them all free (Hurrah!). The only notable deficiency of both new and old services is that they don't make it easy to see a corporate family tree.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Ignorance of the rules

If this lot were part of a Government Green Initiative then why the hell weren't they audited to ensure that they DID know the rules and were going to abide by them?

There is a Green Deal Code of Conduct (that forbids cold calling, and mandates DPA compliance), and there is a Green Deal "Oversight & Registration Body" (GDORB) that claims to undertake audit and compliance work. Despite this HELM are still a registered Green Deal provider, for what this is now worth.

DECC spent almost £6m of your money on paying Gemserv Ltd to provide the GDORB service, looks like the taxpayer got shafted again. But when that tool Cameron has just promised £6bn of our money to foreigners to "combat climate change", what's the point in worrying about the waste of a mere £6m?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Fine was not big enough to serve as any sort of deterrent

The directors should be held liable, that would put a stop to it.

It's a privately held company, with the two directors being the sole shareholders. In this case the guilty do cop the fine, because it's 25% of last year's profit after tax.

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Ledswinger
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HELM was part of the Government Green Deal initiative

Don't worry, DECC and DCLG are currently cooking up a replacement scheme, and you can be sure that where there's government creation of a "market" there will soon be bottom feeders.

Which is a pity, because in addition to the unlamented death of Green Deal, the under-consultation cuts to feed in tariffs will be the thing that really put a stake through the heart of HELM's solar PV business.

I suspect the future is grim for PV installers in general, and for HELM staff, but the management of HELM will be back to milk whatever ghastly scheme DECC conjure up to combat climate change.

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Ledswinger
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In cases like these I'd like to know whether the fine is greater or less than the profit made unlawfully.

Latest accounts for HELMS were just lodged with Companies House, and they show that they had sales of £22m, and made profit after tax of £813k in 2014. So in net terms they have still benefited from their illegal behaviour, but a fine of £200k will sting.

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Met at 'huge risk' of botching its Sopra Steria outsourcing contract

Ledswinger
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are the people in Steria British nationals - can Steria guarantee this ?.

No, and no. Steria is a French company, but under the various idiotic free trade agreements that the British government have signed, there's little they can or will do to ensure that the work stays in the UK.

I know that they use offshore people a lot - as it is cheaper.

No, the oiks just get paid less. Lower factor productivity and the need of the vendor to recover the vast amounts of goodwill on their balance sheets (plus backloaded offers, aborted bid costs etc) mean that the savings of offshoring are illusory.

Why are no UK with UK based firms being asked to tender ?

It will have been publicly tendered. But anybody competent and with any sense of ethics wouldn't touch it, because they'll know that the desired savings can't be delivered for the client. Meanwhile, the buyer will listen to the snake oil salesmen explaining how much they can save by an efficient mixed sourcing model, and believe the lies. Why bid for a contract that you won't win? So long as the public sector rewards and encourages poor procurement practice, and fails to brutally punish failing suppliers, they guarantee that they'll always be taken for a ride.

how safe is the data that will be managed by the contract ?.

The outsourcer will promise whatever is required to secure the deal. But as UK newspapers found out some years ago, what a salesmen promises in the UK means nothing when you offer a few crisp notes to poorly paid offshore employees.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 60K per IT bod

Steria India's pay scales are reported on wage comparison web sites, and mid point for a basic "software engineer" is about 500,000 Rs which translates to about £5k. That's a lot cheaper than the implied average gross pay of £45k that the figures quoted mention.

Of course, by outsourcing to Steria, and by Steria funneling the work to illiterate, non-English speaking beggars in India (who'll spend 11 months in the job), the public sector hopes to avoid those inconveniences that they have mandated for UK employers, like NI, mandatory pension enrolment, minimium and in future "living" wage, high energy costs etc etc.

We all know it's going to end in tears (but only for the taxpayer).

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It's the white heat of the tech revolution, again!

Ledswinger
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Re: Government’s role is @Esme

I'm now fairly firmly in the 'the trouble with politics is that no matter whom you vote for, the damned politicians get in' camp.

We both are. You may dislike that useless, blue-blood, effete, Etonian lightweight we have for a PM at the moment, but I assure you that your distaste is as nothing compared to the views of most traditional Conservatives.

But I think the mistake you make is seeing Corbyn as different to either Farage or that Scotch woman. They're all representing people disaffected with the ghastly Yin and Yang of Labour/Liberal/Conservative parties who won't listen to their own constituencies, or the national mood.

But anyway +1 for the soapboxing! Oi! Reg editors! It's about time we had a given supply of upvotes that we could choose how many to award per post.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Changing goal posts

our new mini- (but maxi-priced) carriers aren't big enough to fly F35Cs from them without catapults, which they weren't fitted with because they're not nuclear powered.

The whole design concept for the two new RN aircraft-crappiers was misbegotten. Notwithstanding the cost overuns and problems the Yanks are having with the Ford class carriers, we'd still have been better joining the queue to buy two of those, given that the out-turn costs for our new carriers will undoubtedly be in double digit billions each. That way at least we'd have a decent asset (if we have to have carriers at all), and they'd be a standardised asset between us and the US.

Too late now. The cretins under Gordon Brown signed the country up for the rubbish we're getting purely in a wasted attempt to buy votes in the arse end of Glasgow. Corbyn must admire Brown sooooo much.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Government’s role is to provide the opportunity for massive advances in technology [..]

Government's work is already cut out for it,

So you and I think. The unfortunate thing is that the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition* has now got five years of normalising the idea that the state can and should spend even more of my money on doing things that evidence proves it can't even regulate. People of my generation** remember the appalling indifferent service of nationalised industries (still available today from BT), remember that the crooks and incompetents of the Labour party had to be bailed out by the IMF because they bankrupted the country, remember the indulgence of lazy, bolshy unions producing third rate cars only when they could be bothered, remember sitting in the dark because the state owned electricity sector was on strike.

But by the next election more two generations of voters will have joined the electorate who don't know any of that. They'll just have seen that nice Mr Corbyn repeatedly telling them that there is a free, well cooked lunch on offer, paid for by other people. If he gets in, we'll be reduced to the economic and political status, of, well.......France.

* In more than one sense.

** Owld and grizzled. And particularly grizzly.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Changing goal posts

The Harrier jet was a success story.

If success is creating a remarkable (and fabulously noisy) aircraft, then yes. But as a practical proposition VTOL and even STOL airframes are complicated, technically challenging, have very high costs in fuel, design weight and capability, and high accident rates. For those rare occasions you need a moderately fast jet to take off from a container ship carrying a tiny weapons load and limited fuel, the Harrier was the answer. For everything else VTOL is always inferior to the runway launched. The vast cost and many problems of the F35B show this. And that's why the USN opted (as should the bunglers of Westminster) for the F35C.

I love the Harrier, I've worked for MoD, I was born on and brought up on RAF stations, but let's be clear that just because you can do something doesn't make it a good idea.

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Massive global cooling process discovered as Paris climate deal looms

Ledswinger
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Re: VOCs

White Gloss that doesn't turn yellow after a week.

IME it's the high VOC stuff that turns yellow, the water based low VOC stuff is much whiter and stays that way. Against which the low VOC paint is only more marginally glossy than a "silk", and apparently for the best finish you need a good alkyd primer, even over old oil based gloss.

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Has the UK Uber crackdown begun? TfL opens consultation on private car biz

Ledswinger
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Surely the sat nav has long since done away with the need for The Knowledge,

I'd rather risk a gob5hite cabby with The Knowledge at higher cost, than some untrained bloke totally reliant on gimcrack software and cheap IT hardware. But that's in The Smoke, where you generally get a proper vehicle designed for the purpose. Where I actually live, all the local taxis are umpteenth hand cr@pheaps, with shared driving by foreigners with a poor command of both English language and road law, and wholly reliant on satnavs. If you don't know the post code of your destination you may never get there.

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Vodafone left the lonely singleton as Liberty deal kiboshed

Ledswinger
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Coat

Re: Vodafone

Liberty Global said "Buy everything everywhere or nothing".

Which caused the most dreadful misunderstanding, and the consequent collapse of the deal. I'll too will get my coat.

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Audi, Seat, Skoda admit they've been fiddling car pollution tests as well

Ledswinger
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I doubt the trucks have this sort of issue.

Some decades ago I worked for a large truck maker. I can assure you that meeting the regulatory standards of the time did involve that "special" sort of creativity, albeit then of a less technical nature than environment aware ECU remapping or similar.

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Ledswinger
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Never mind the fines, think of the SAVINGS

€7bn in provisions looks quite modest, when you consider the savings across the VW Group, as all those subsidiaries were able to access the group Centre of Competence in Fraud & Dishonesty. German companies love the idea of centralisation (so long as its in Germany) and deduplication, and here we see the full benefits of the system.

If each VW group company had been forced to have innovated their own unique designs, the costs of establishing eight different methods of cheating would have been astronomical.

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Has SeaMeWe-3 been cut again?

Ledswinger
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Re: Botch job?

Just finding the cable far enough out at sea for the operation to go undetected can't be easy.

For traditional "drop a trawl in the right place, tow and hope" approaches that's true. For state actors, backed by the limitless of pocket of you and I, plus free access to all manner of military grade hardware, I'd suggest that that isn't much of a problem at all.

I would conclude that given the relatively modest number of really important cables, the various state intelligence agencies already have a much better idea of exactly where those cables are than those who laid them.

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'We can handle politicos, OUR ISSUE IS JUDGES', shout GCHQ docs

Ledswinger
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Re: You Can't Rely on Politicians

Labour might be unelectable for a few good years so it might be longer

Regardless of their electoral appeal, or even manifesto promises, what makes you think for one tiny moment that the Labour party will address this? They've always been even more enthusiastic for the big state, snooper's charters, surveillance, identity cards and all the other things that GCHQ maintain they need.

And if you go back a few short years, it was the last Labour government that initiated the very concept of "interception modernisation".

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Dear do-gooders, you can't get rid of child labour just by banning it

Ledswinger
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Re: so

Where are all the sensible micro-economists actually advising GovtsG of this?

There are none. Politicians and their evil half twins, the civil service bureaucrats love to impose their structures and ideas, and the job of their "advisers" is to support whatever misbegotten schemes and rules the elite want to push through. In the UK, look at HS2, as a perfect example, but elsewhere it can be well meaning laws and rules as the intended output, because those passing them aren't really concerned with the underlying issue, but want (eg) to claim compliance with some UN treaty that intends to forbid child labour: "Look, we did something to protect the poor".

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'Steve Jobs filmmakers opportunistic? Apple, you've got a factory of children making phones'

Ledswinger
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Re: Looking at the money I am inclined to agree

Consider it a form of recycling, and it seems better.

But Cook is worth billions on the back of Jobs' obsessive innovation, and brings nothing to the Apple party other than the lipless smile of a procurement guy, so I'm struggling to see his point.

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US eco watchdog's shock warning: Fresh engine pollution cheatware tests coming

Ledswinger
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Re: Laws broken ??

How on earth are the makers going to be able to sell a car which can't be sold in five years' time?

This just pushes them more to electric vehicles. Which do still pollute, but they make it somebody else's problem, somewhere else, and if hippy simpletons believe that "zero emissions" crap, so everybody can be happy.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Suggestion for the 'greater good' approach...

defrauding the public and the regulator

A tiny subset of the public that care about the NOx their car emits, I would suggest. I don't drive a VW diesel, but if I did, I wouldn't give a hoot about what came out of the exhaust. I accept some people are, but nobody I know lies sleepless at night fretting over their emissions.

But I suspect this is the end of diesel cars. The marginally better economy and much greater torque is now offset by much greater cost and complexity. Diesels always needed a heavier, stiffer block, then they needed turbochargers, intercoolers, high pressure injectors, then we had particulate filters, now they'll need urea dispensers (or detuning). Add in the pain of real world testing (so the good old days of makers removing the wing mirrors on test cars, taping the intakes, dumping the spare wheel, etc, etc) and the diesel game looks to be up.

It's a pity - in terms of tractability and real world performance a good turbo diesel is delight to drive, and for years the hippytwats have been insisting that CO2 is the great satan, but now apparently things have to change, over fairly trivial NOx emissions. Bloody Germans.

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NOxious Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal: Chief falls on sword

Ledswinger
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Re: Not all need to be recalled.

There's something wrong with it, if it blows a cloud of soot. Get it fixed.

The soot is caused by a combination of driving style and injector effectiveness. As the injectors wear, the fuel dispersion gets worse, leading to incomplete combustion and more soot (although there's an element of soot even with new injectors), but unless you have a gentle right foot this soot doesn't accumulate in the exhaust. When it accumulates, that's when hard acceleration and faster exhaust gas flow ejects the soot in a plume.

Injectors are very expensive to replace at £200-400 per injector, so there's no reason to change it if you're happy with the performance, and if you normally drive with a gentle right foot, you'll have an exhaust pre-loaded so that you can lay smoke like a destroyer when passing cyclists. What's not to like?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Industry spokesperson

That might work over the on the right side of the pond. Do the cars ever get re-tested?

It's a widely known issue that European "official" economy figures bear no relation to the real world figures or those measured by consumer groups in testing, and it's been widely noticed that the "official" improvements in emissions hasn't been reflected in measured urban air quality. The various consumer's associations across Europe have certainly raised the issue of economy, and the green groups have complained about the air quality.

The European Commission (Europe's not very elected "cabinet") have been strangely ineffective in reacting to this, probably due to lobbying by the German government. For years the Germans have resisted tighter emissions control for fear it will harm their large and powerful car industry (which makes large, powerful, polluting cars).

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Ledswinger
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This will probably cost them $50B or more in the end, $100B isn't far fetched.

I was thinking along similar lines. And those sort of numbers wipe out the equity shareholders interest and possibly the debt holders.

Nice one VW. Major Ivan Hirst saved you from the ashes, and then you flush yourselves down the toilet like this!

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EE is UK's biggest loser on customer broadband gripes – AGAIN

Ledswinger
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Re: @ AndrueC

but not sure how much it will save you

IME not much when you've allowed for the supposed multi-product discount. And the very modest resultant saving made me conclude that I couldn't be bothered to put up with the equally modest inconveniences of third party VOIP, even if the VM offer is (underneath everything) a type of VOIP.

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Wanted alive: $1m for an iOS 9 bug to hijack, er, jailbreak iThings

Ledswinger
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you uncover an exploit and criminals are going to pay you a million dollars for it. And your confidence in receiving the money is how high?

I think the crims in question are the Five Spies network. They'll pay, so long as Zerodium have qualified as a framework supplier, filled in the NDA, carried out a health & safety assessment, completed a carbon emissions report etc etc.

But even if they were selling to less official criminals, I'd still expect those people to pay, because crims never trust anyone, and so long as no bullets are exchanged that means escrow accounts, proof of merchandise, and trusted intermediaries. If Zerodium have anything about them, of course they'll be selling the same exploits to Five Spies, China, Russia, and an assortment of piss-pot third world dictatorships. Then they'll sell the same stuff to hacker groups. And once they've done those, then they offer it to Apple.

In this respect, the intellectual property of code exploits enjoys a separate life to the software upon which it lives, although the business model is the same - develop the IP once, sell repeatedly.

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Transport for London’s new crash map immediately crashes

Ledswinger
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Where's the base datum?

Why ask the rest of us? You could follow the link to the map, and move the slider from 2014 gradually back to 2005 and following the borough level colour coding you'll have your answer. It's fairly clear cut, the answer, as well.

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BT boss: If Ofcom backs us, we promise to speed up UK broadband

Ledswinger
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Re: Blackmail

openreach may be "independent of" and "walled off from" BT wholesale and BT retail,

That's what BT claim, but actually there isn't even a separate legal entity for Openreach. Any competent regulator would have made them move the assets, staff and operations of Openreach into a separate company, with its own statutory accounts.

At the moment OFCOM have to rely on management accounts, which simply means the regulator only sees what BT choose to tell them. Admittedly of no net consequence whilst OFCOM remain a useless shower of ineffectual piss, but in some hypothetical world where OFCOM were competent and consumer focused, they'd struggle to find out what's really happening from management accounts.

Note that the reason BT don't want to split Openreach out is not merely that it is a cash cow with little competition, but Openreach has a huge fixed asset base. By securing BT group's £10bn of debt on monopolistic assets with a supposedly regulated return, the costs of debt are far lower than if BT group told investors that the debt was being deployed on a crummy TV aggregator, or the crap BT Global Services operation.

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