* Posts by Ledswinger

4339 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Intel loses its ARM wrestling match, kicks out Atom mobe chips

Ledswinger
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"The best thing that financial regulation could do would be to forbid the publication of quarterly results,."

That'll never happen

Already has in London. Listing rules used to require a minimum of half yearly financials, and at least a trading update every quarter, the quarterly updates are now entirely optional. Some companies choose to do this, but there's no requirement, and a company can be compliant with two sets of results a year.

AC is correct that this reduces visibility, and some companies (including one I worked for) can go from boom to bust in less than six months. But quarterly reporting didn't make that any more obvious. If management are clear and communicate well, I don't think anybody will sell out just because there's no quarterly results. If they aren't clear and don't communicate well, would you then trust their more frequent updates?

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Daft draft anti-car-hack law could put innocent drivers away for life

Ledswinger
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Re: Car lobby?

A quick trip to the junk yard and I can buy the missing components for a pittance....

For a car using yesterday's technology yes. But modern cars increasingly use Canbus electrical systems. This controls how things work, and it does stop retrofit of certain parts. So I can buy the car new with LED lights as an expensive option, or Xenon headlights, but if I retrofit the parts (junkyard or brand new from the dealer) the system will as a minimum persistently nag me that I have a failed bulb, or simply refuse to operate the "unknown" piece of kit.

To be fair, there's some considerable upside in the overall package of the best modern cars (safer, faster, more economical, more reliable, more comfortable, less maintenance), but the price of that does appear to be that the owner has less opportunity to tinker. And coming back to the original point, you pay for something, but there's an extra charge to use it.

Another example is the ECU mapping. More than a few vehicles use ECU mapping to offer different performance from the same engine. The buyer of the cheap variants aren't allowed to access the higher performance. On older models you could have the car "chipped" to remap the ECU, but now that's far more difficult as the electronics are more complex and more integrated. You might say that chipping was a bad thing (insurance, emissions, safety) but that's not the issue - I'm just pointing up another example where you pay for something, but you only get to use it if you've paid extra for it to be configured as "on".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Car lobby?

let's cripple the scope for creativity & innovation in the automotive software sector ....

The driver for this is (as you'd expect) money. Even now, there's optional extras that are enabled through software (such as those rather pointless "steering" foglights. My VW group car has foglights, all the necessary sensors and switching, but because I didn't pay for that option, the configuration file has something along the lines of "steeringfoglighten=nicht". Some enthusiasts have hacked the software and it can be made to turn on this facility, and other things that VW want people to pay for. My favourite absurdity is that the rear foglights are in the clusters on eacdh side. But even though the wiring is there, the reflector is there, even a bulb is fitted, the nearside foglight is disabled through software on the cheaper variants.

And the car makers are worried that in future more and more capability will be standard on the car (to reduce component count and production complexity) and enabled or disabled through software configuration. But even though the buyers will have paid for all the parts, if they haven't "paid" for the right to have the capability turned on, the makers want to make sure they can't enable it.

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Google AI gains access to 1.2m confidential NHS patient records

Ledswinger
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Re: The spotting of another iceberg tip

Work makes one free.

You are Ken Livingstone, and I claim my £5.

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Ledswinger
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Re: The spotting of another iceberg tip

Hey! Gnufrontier! Looks like you've caught Amanfrommars1itis. I'll bet the Royal Free can't cure that.

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It's 2016 and now your internet-connected bathroom scales can be hacked

Ledswinger
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Re: I have just realised I now love the IOT despite its pointlessness.

this broken branch of technological evolution

If only it were, mate! The Internet of tat is going to be shoved down our throats with a rough and shitty stick. Sooner of later most domestic routers will be configured to allow IoT devices unauthenticated access (in the name of "ease of use"), and everything we buy will be "cloud enabled".

For the technically literate there will be solutions to this dystopian future, but for the masses.....

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Ledswinger
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Re: only another....

Ah, a waffle man.

No, he's here

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Ledswinger
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Re: What's the worst that could happen?

What's the worst that could happen?

That is the most dangerous phrase in the English language. I'd guess it was probably what the inventors of the atomic bomb said before the first test, when they thought they'd just get a modestly big bang and a crater 100 feet across.

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Ledswinger
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"we just wanted scales to weigh the kids"

Do you have too many to count?

I doubt it. At 45 minutes plus 20 minutes per pound he'll need to know their weight.

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UK's GDS to hire 300 folk. Silver lining: They'll be evicted from Holborn

Ledswinger
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Re: "last year it won £450m to deliver savings of £3.4bn during this Parliament"

Wow!! With that kind of return....

Out of boredom, a few months back I tried to round up all of the "<insert problem here> costs the British economy X billion pounds a year and if we invested Y we could solve that problem" statements I could find. All the usual stuff - government incompetence, environmental harms, congestion & transport, energy, health, housing etc.

I gave up the exercise when a relatively brief set of problems gave a supposed avoidable cost to the UK totalling about half of GDP.

But it doesn't matter. The civil service conjure up business cases on made up numbers, ministers make sweeping decisions to waste billions on daft projects (HS2, smart meters, Hinkley Point C, etc), and the National Audit Office weep and beat their brow.

Talking of which, I hold NAO in quite high regard, but imagine what a Sisyphian task it is! Time after time after time the poor blighters of NAO dissect yet another misbegotten, wasteful, inefficient, bungled idea, pointing out the failure, the waste, the flaws, and the lessons that should be learned. But they never are. I would guess that NAO is a living hell for accountants and analysts, who see their good work ignored time and again. If the Buddhists are right, then the explanation must be that every NAO employee was a prison camp guard or torturer in a former life.

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Ledswinger
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Might have less time to comment on El Reg though.

Why? The incremental "work" of your GDS post surely isn't going to be more than a few minutes a day.

Altogether now:

We're busy doing nothing, working the whole day through,

trying to find lots of things not to do....etc

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Revealed: The revolving door between Google and the US govt – in pictures

Ledswinger
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Oh go on then!

Let's be evil, because that's where the money is.

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E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians

Ledswinger
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Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

This is all very very new so ....

...somebody should have to walk in front of vaping pedestrians with a red flag. And pedestrians using phones. Or thinking..that's particularly dangerous - who knows what they might invent? And what about electric cars? The only long term evidence base is milk floats, so we'd better restrict Teslas (again, walking pace, man with red flag). Ebola drugs! They've not been tested, we'd better have twenty long term randomised large scale tests.....

Lusty, man, GET A GRIP!

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise: Wanna walk the plank voluntarily? You got it

Ledswinger
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Your comment has what to do with this story?

If I might answer for the original poster, everything.

HPE leach jobs and skills from the public (and corporate) sector. For HPE to make money they have to operate at lower cost, so the usual "value" lever is to get rid of TUPE victims and heap their work on the increasingly small band that remain. Ultimately that's never enough, so the jobs get sent to crappy third world locations that provide poorer service and productivity, but do so cheaply per arse-on-seat.

The government's role in this is their idiotic role over decades of signing free trade deals without "balance of trade" clauses. So when DoH outsource payroll jobs to Steria, or DWP outsource IT to HPE, who then move them to South Africa, India or wherever, the UK jobs disappear, the demand for the administrative, systems and mangement skills reduces, and the exchequer lose employee and and employer payroll taxes.

When government, or a company use an offshore provider, they import the labour. When you import things, you have two options - export an equivalent amount of work, assets or services. Or just borrow and hope that the problem goes away, or rather that you'll have retired on a fat public sector pension before it all goes badly wrong. Guess which successive governments have done?

So that's why offshoring is mostly evil, and why government has a central role. At the very least, they should apply the same payroll taxes to imported labour as they foist on UK employers. If HPE were paying employer's NI, and obligated to pay a decent pension to offshore workers, and employ them under UK conditions, I suspect the financial case for offshoring would disappear.

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Google Loon balloon crash lands in Chile

Ledswinger
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Re: Thornton's Special Toffee

The cat then spins and you have no need for a balloon.

What about the 1,400 Jack Russells? Ghastly little vermin. And their owners.

And there's another flaw in the be-staticed cat plan. From the sort of altitude they'd be falling, temperatures would be minus 20 or so. And the forces that would neutralise the cat-static are associated with a convection cell, so we're talking about cat-hail. A sodden cut will be about, what?, 4kg? It'd be like a rain of frozen chickens.

That's going to fuck a whole of stuff. And you'd need more than an umbrella if you're out.

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Ledswinger
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Re: tie thier tails together

Less reliance on assumption and more on the behaviour of one's balls when excited by the Van Der Graaf Generator would stand every young lad in good stead.

When I was taught physics (a real, old fashioned O level, none of your GCSE piffle) I recall the esteemed teacher, Mr Astwood standing class twerp (Lusher) in a plastic dustbin, with a hand on the VdGG. Lusher had long hair, which obliging stood out in perpendicular lengths from his heat, making him look a proper freak. After this successful demonstration of static to the class's immense joy, Mr Astwood gained further credibility by demonstrating lightning, by instructing the other class twerp (Wardle) to give Lusher a hand climbing out of the bin. All with his traditional caustic commentary.

You don't get lessons like that these days.

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Ledswinger
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Re: tie thier tails together

The correct method is to rub each cat's fur vigorously with an ebonite rod

The ascending balloon will encounter charged particles that will eventually counteract the be-staticed cats, causing them to lose charge and fall off. For reasons of balance you'd be obliged to use a mix of dogs as well, because everybody's heard of it raining cats and dogs, but nobody has ever heard of it JUST raining cats.

But, if you're no good knotting cat tails, rather than complicated electrical ideas that also need you to procure an additional 1,400 Jack Russells, the best solution is surely silicone mastic? With a shear strength in excess of 6kg/cm^2 for 0.24mm thickness on a good substrate, one tube carefully applied would hold all 1,400 cats (subject to the substrate's own strength). And that's 3M premium marine grade sealant, so it'd still be within spec at temperatures down to -40C, so you'd probably be OK up to 10km of altitude. And it'll be waterproof, so if it rains the only worry is the greater weight of cats.

And if that doesn't work, you could try Thornton's Special Toffee, which has world class shear strength and adhesion, proven by its ability to rip out fillings and pull teeth from sockets. But it might become a bit brittle at altitude, or be weakened by rain.

What on earth are they teaching in schools today?

Creative problem solving?

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Ledswinger
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and I'm sure there would be some structure needed to actually hold all those cats.

Errr, no? Just tie their tails together, and the uppermost cat can hold onto the balloon with its claws. And that's probably why the gas came out of this one and it came down.

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What do you call an old, unpatched and easily hacked PC? An ATM

Ledswinger
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You don't f***ing say?

criminals can potentially install a specially programmed microcomputer (a so-called black box),

Without wishing to be too accusatory, this is The Reg. And you've published an article containing this gem. Do you think our average knowledge and intellect is somewhere around that of the average Daily Mail/Mirror reader?

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IBM says no, non, nein to Brexit

Ledswinger
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Re: £1 in every 10 to the local economy

If, as a country, we don't care about closing the loopholes, then it's about time we stopped whining about them.

I think you'll find that "we" the population at large do care. Its successive idiots in government (of all colours) and in HMRC who have cut sweetheart deals, failed to enforce existing rules on transfer pricing, and failed to simplify the tax code to prevent abuse.

I'm doing my bit - I haven't voted for a party that has won a national election for about thirty years.

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Ledswinger
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£1 in every 10 to the local economy

Proposed translation: Tech companies like IBM suck 90% of the value out of the local economy, before funneling that 90% through complex tax avoidance schemes to the benefit of their US shareholders and avoid paying corporation tax on the grounds that compliance with the spirit of the law is only optional for big wealthy multinationals

Although if your dad was a wealthy, tax dodging City barrow boy, then tax is also optional for your inheritance, to judge by the fine example Cameron has set.

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US intercepts Bermuda Triangle bubble podule

Ledswinger
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Re: This definitely does sound inherently unsafe.

They should have used a chopper's downdraught to blow him back to shore. He'd have had a ride like being inside a washing machine, and after half an hour being tumbled in a mix of salt water and vomit he might have started to realise there's a downside to being a knob end.

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Remain in the EU and help me snoop on the world, says Theresa May

Ledswinger
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Re: What does it say about a country that wants to leave EHCR?

I'm sure it is not 'ideal' but to actually have the aim of removing that protection from your own citizens?

I must say that we seemed to have one of the world's best justice systems and top tier civil liberties long before EHCR. The way some people are prattling on, I could conclude they think that the European courts are the only thing between them and breaking rocks in a Scottish gulag.

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What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

Ledswinger
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Re: But just how much of the fines has actually been collected?

But just how much of the fines has actually been collected?

We did this a while back. The answer is about 70%. Problem is that the people who do pay up are usually those who didn't intend to breach the law, and those who intentionally flout the law are the fly-by-nights who the ICO is unsuccessful in collecting from.

Closing down a company to avoid a debt or fine would count as fraud. It isn't the ICO's skill set or duty to chase non-payers, but what they should do, but apparently don't is report the non-paying "shut-downs" to the Insolvency Service and the police, as it is their job to address these situations.

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El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse spared chickpea ordeal

Ledswinger
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I'm here for a good time, then i'll die.

And commenting round here counts as a good time in your planned Life of Selfish Indulgence?

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Ledswinger
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Still, I've lost half a stone. That will help with my diesel usage.

If you're living on pulses, perhaps you could capture your own methane, and drive on that. Of course, it won't help until you put in a proper engine. You know, a spark ignition one.

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Jaron Lanier: Big Tech is worse than Big Oil

Ledswinger
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Re: Employment: well, yes and no.

I think some people have the idea that industrial automation means no people are needed.

I doubt many people thought that. Most, I would posit, believe that automation means far, far fewer people are needed. Orders of magnitude fewer. And they're right. Nissan recently declared that they had beaten the level of 100 cars per employee per year at their Sunderland plant. That's not because car's are simpler to build or have fewer parts, it's down to automation (and automation of the process engineering). The same applies to everything from food processing to sewage treatment, with processes that can operate automatically and be monitored by machines. Places that formally buzzed with employees can now operate without the lights on.

You're right that when maintenance is needed or things go wrong, the machines have to call a meatsack. But looking at the trends, for how much longer?

Western countries foolishly outsourced their industry to China is a bid to save money and pretend they didn't pollute. The outcome has been fewer jobs, and vast volumes of debt (where these Western countries consume more than they create, and have to borrow the difference). Now, the same idiot governments are looking to "embrace automation", and get rid of even more jobs without thinking whether this is a good thing. A balanced level of automation is a really, really good thing. But who, for one moment thinks we'll see balance?

I work for a company that operates a lot of call centres. These are expensive and customer satisfaction is low. The solution all call centre operators have is on-line self service - automate the process, get the customer to do it themselves. That's process automation. But what of the one million UK call centre employees, and the quarter of a million that support them? They won't be writing SCADA code, or maintaining machines. What will they do for a job?

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What the world needs now is... not disk drives

Ledswinger
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Re: SSD outrageous premium

Unless significant performance increases come in the near future

For what purpose? Admittedly in the "enterprise" market where corporate IT procurement buy whatever low performing shit is cheap there's a need for more performance to counteract their cheap spec and corporate bloatware. But in the personal user space I've not seen the ghastly spinning circle for years.

Any corporate IT types reading this may care to reflect on the contempt their users have for them. But if you want to pay me to watch a crap graphic of a spinning circle to save a trivial amount on your low spec IT hardware, you feel free.

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RIP Prince: You were the soundtrack of my youth

Ledswinger
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Re: Unexpected

Iggy Pop was 69 this week.

Respect to the man, but I'll guess that he won't be getting good odds at William Hill. Or maybe he will in person, if they expect that his estate won't collect.

Yeah, yeah, I know it is bad taste. But that is as NOTHING to what I was pulled up for today by a colleague. I wince just to think what I said.

Mind you, this is one of the best comment columns for a long while, so there's a silver lining for all?

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Ledswinger
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Re: I've

Or maybe I just need to retune my radio again and clean out some of the presets.

Planet Rock haven't played any Prince that I've heard. On the other hand they've been a bit shit since they borged Kerrrang.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Seems to be a mass die-off of celebrities at the moment

Either that, or we'll get Logan's Run type euthanasia, or people will transferred their <edit> consciousness into robots.

What would we be left with if Katie Price did that?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Seems to be a mass die-off of celebrities at the moment

This was covered by the BBC radio programme 'More or Less' which, in conjunction with the Open University, looks at statistics in public life.

A Top Programme, which should be mandatory listening for all commentards.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qshd

I often pound the Beeb within these hallowed e-halls, but More or Less is the sort of thing that on its own (well, as a series) justifies the entire licence fee.

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Ledswinger
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Seems to be a mass die-off of celebrities at the moment

Will this count as an extinction event?

Clearly global warming is the cause.

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Mitsubishi 'fesses up: We lied in fuel tests to make our cars look great

Ledswinger
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Re: Only 10%?

How about using emoji for the rating system?

Why? Nobody cares what comes out of their cars exhaust.

Actually, mea culpa, that's not true. I cared when I drove a big Euro 3 diesel. By nursing the engine, keeping revs and turbo boost low most of the time, I could keep the particulate emissions really low. Of course, that meant a soot build up in the exhaust, and a generous well timed acceleration would release it all. Man, I was a hero! I could lay smoke like a destroyer shielding the Grand Fleet! Admiral Beatty would have been proud

And I could put it down where it was needed. Like overtaking a pack of cyclists.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Energy in = energy out

And I don't think the Napier Delic is that fuel efficient, just very light and compact for the power.

In which case my Deltic engined car will outperform your Mirlees, as well as being a lot smaller. And it will sound far more impressive.

I think VW have also demonstrated that drivers don't give a hoot about emissions or efficiency.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Energy in = energy out

The last Mirlees straight 12 I worked on (300kW) was 2.5m high and 4 metres long with a 6 ton flywheel. I guess you could put a wheel on each corner but the compressed air starter might be a tad difficult

You're barking up the wrong tree with a slow spinning straight 12. Any right thinking person will immediately know that the answer is to fold the engine up a bit. We could have opposed stroke pistons, and then wrap them in a triangle with three crankshafts......I'll get my coat, its the anorak.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Only 10%?

My last 3 cars, lab mpg Vs real life mpg

2007 Octy VRS TFSI - 35.7 / 38

2010 Honda Accord - 2.2d - 45 / 52

2015 Mazda 3 2.2d - 70 / 53

How the mighty are fallen!

Incidentally, my new 2016 Octy 1.4 TSi claims 53, I can get 52 in everyday driving, so the Skoda consumption figures still appear achievable.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Self Testing

I can assure you both that "independent" labs will produce the results the paymaster requires. I base this on experience many years ago concerning the homologation process for the products of a world famous automotive group by a world famous engineering laboratory.

If the state wants things tested, then it should commission the tests and pay the bill. Given the billions most states rake in from automotive taxation, a few hundred million on objective testing wouldn't break the bank.

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Larry Ellison's Brit consortium in 'advanced talks' to buy Aston Villa

Ledswinger
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Aston Villa don't have much talent, but they've also made a series of spectacularly bad managerial choices.

Surely Larry's well suited? Clearly knows nothing about the beautiful game, and buys a run down club in an area best described as an urban shit hole.

On the positive side, I suppose he can park his super-yacht in Gas Street Basin, kick his way through the drifts of spent hippy crack cylinders on Holiday Street as he walks down to New Street Station, and pick up a WMPTE number 7 bus to Villa Park. So it's pretty convenient.

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Kent Police handed domestic abuse victim's data to alleged abuser – a Kent cop

Ledswinger
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Re: Fine? What fine?

That may well change when the GDPR comes in of course.

Only for the private sector, and "expendable" public sector bodies.

You can be sure the UK government to write a law that uses the GDPR exemption clauses to keep its own bureaucracy immune. Small time public sector (local authorities, NHS) probably will still be hit, but people like the police will hide behind a blanket exemption, as will all aspects of Snooper's Charter, and every aspect of Civil Service malfeasance.

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HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

Ledswinger
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Re: Meh

If it works well enough to give directions while driving and make you go "Awww!" over a baby sloth video that's good enough.

Only if you're aiming at the commodity market, where there's little money to be made. HTC are specifically positioning this phone to contend with other high end handsets, and it needs something distinctive. Being nice to hold is now partly commoditised. High res displays and cameras are commoditised. Like them or not, the S7 is distinctive, the G5 is distinctive, and IOS is distinctive. What's on offer here that would persuade you or me to pay the fat end of £600? Possibly nothing because by the sound of it we're both skinflints, but for a price insensitive early adopter, what's here for them? There's no show off factor, and absent that this won't achieve much for HTC because nobody will buy it?

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How innocent people 'of no security interest' are mere keystrokes away in UK's spy databases

Ledswinger
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Re: I know I'm suppose to be outraged by this BUT...

And seriously, some of the tinfoil hat wearing in this thread is beyond ridiculous.

Why? A few short years ago you'd probably have been happy to believe that there was no vast data-scooping by SIS. Snowden put an end to that happy belief. But since then the revelations have continued to come. But still some people think that this is OK, that the increasing loss of their privacy is an acceptable cost for some perceived "protection".

Give it a couple of years, and the the e-call system will be added to the abused data list. Your every motoring movement permanently recorded for the perusal of government, and probably visible in real time. Add in ACPO's ambitions on facial recognition and even if you're on foot and without your phone, then you'll be tracked and recorded by CCTV. The Bank of England's chief economist has called for an end to cash. Smart meters and Internet of Tat will be funneling even more data in GCHQ's vast scoop over the next few years. With the extremists of government wanting backdoors and breakable encryption, it won't be a case that government could know everything about you, it will be the case that they will know everything about you.

How much do you trust GCHQ in their official capacity? How much do you trust their staff? How much do you trust the lying halfwits of Westminster, their business mates, or (in their official capacity) all other government departments, local government, and government agencies like HMRC? I don't trust any of them as far as I could throw the lot of them.

But if you think that's a tinfoil hat belief, at least you're (currently) free to hold whatever opinion you want

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Intel told Irish council all was well just before 12k job cuts announced

Ledswinger
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Re: Why does this always come as a surprise to politicians?

When it comes to promises about keeping jobs and factorys, companies should be assumed ot be lying

Listed companies are obliged by law to release "price sensitive" information to the markets in a controlled manner, and as specified by the listing rules for the exchanges the company trades on. Had Intel let on to the Irish council that the plant was either doomed or guaranteed a safe future, they'd be in breach of the listing rules, and potentially face legal action shareholders and fines by regulators.

If anybody asks what is going on before a big announcement, be they a shareholder, customer, employee or local government, they'll not get a straight answer. The only exception is where you have a statutory works council who may be entitled to pre-decision consultation, but even they will have to operate under absolute secrecy.

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Intel literally decimates workforce: 12,000 will be axed, CFO shifts to sales

Ledswinger
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Re: Profits over a billion and they cut staff?

You have to wonder what is really going on.

Do you? They enjoy clear technology and market leadership in many of their product lines, but there's storm clouds on the horizon (global economy, increasingly "good enough" technologies, rise of mobile tech where they're relatively weak). As a shareholder owned corporation, it makes sense to plan and execute cuts now, rather than wait for things to become difficult. It's the job of government to run make-work schemes, not companies (well, unless you're somebody like Crapita in the UK, or Haliburton in the US).

It is of course purely coincidental that the executives' bonuses will be fattened up by sacking 12,000 peons, and their rewards further enhanced if the promise of juicy cost cuts makes their stock options worth more.

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5G is looming, but network innovations are needed far more urgently

Ledswinger
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Re: TDD is Test Driven Development to me

Thank you for that. But I suspect that the OP was thinking about the whole article, which seemed to me over-burdened with acronyms and jargon at the expense of clarity. I suspect the content is very good, but it seems the author needs a journalist between him and even reasonably interested lay people.

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Hey, Britain! Meet Mr Maxwell, our new National Tech Advisor

Ledswinger
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Whoope feckin do, it's not CERN.

Maybe not, but with clueless old Etonians filling the senior ranks of the Tory, where else would they turn?

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Furious customers tear into 123-reg after firm's mass deletion woes

Ledswinger
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Re: I can't believe this.

A company could just not be this incompetent. It just doesn't compute in my brain.

Oh it does compute in my brain. But maybe that's because I believe that dark energy and stupidity are one and the same. The very force that appears least organised and most chaotic, most elusive is yet the most prevalent in the universe, and the very thing that holds it altogether. I think a small white cartoon dog beat me to this important theorem, though:

http://dilbert.com/strip/1996-07-21

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Facebook's big trouble in its little world domination plan: China

Ledswinger
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And every Facebook user is a willing part of it.

Well, I find half the value of The Register is in the comment sections. And that means that you and I are working for free. It's an outrage!

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Ledswinger
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I'll back Zuck over Gates on this

if you're dying of diarrhea....then internet access is fairly low down on your list of priorities.

Whilst correct, that ignores the fact that most gastro-intestinal infections are easily preventable with relatively low tech solutions, but a critical barrier is knowledge.

Keeping sewage out of local water supplies is an essentially manual labour task (if you know that you need to do that). Basic water treatment if you have no control over your drinking water quality is essentially low tech, with advice from (eg) Wateraid readily accessible online (again you need to know to look for it). Or if you've got safe drinking water, then there's the issue of knowledge on basic personal hygiene.

The Victorians worked much of this out and solved it with no modern technology. If you give these populations better access to the rest of the world's knowledge, they can find out how to solve many of their own problems, and both their own governments and international agencies can direct knowledge and advice at them.

Zuck's "free internet for the poor" can be challenged on many levels, and I'm no fan of Facebook. But rather than shoot it down for its flaws, why not see it for its opportunities? And lets see the naysayers come up with better, credible, funded plans to give these people access to the remarkable communication tool that the internet is, and to the huge amounts of knowledge and good advice that are linked to it and could improve their lives.

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Web backup biz Monster Cloud monstered after monster price hike

Ledswinger
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Re: Another dot com manager @ Pascal M

You have to be a dot com idiot to go tout unlimited anything for a fixed, yearly price and expect to generate profit.

Isn't the same true of their customers? Without doing any maths, anybody capable of rational thought can work out that there's a loss from offering unlimited backup (or is that just "storage") for less than a quid a week.

If something's free (or as near free in this context as makes no difference), you take it only on the basis that either you'll shortly get reamed out when they finally need to make some money, or you expect the "backup" to be as secure and professional as anything else people give away. Or both. Even Google are charging $120 a year for up to 1TB, and that's just storage rather than a formal backup service, so I can guess that Monster Cloud would be losing quite a lot per account per year, and £50 a year unlimited, they would not be financially sustainable. So where do their customers for backup think their data will be when the power company have cut the electricity, the rack host has evicted Monster Cloud, and the creditors have sold the disks to a recycler? Do the whining customers think that contractual rights and consumer law will help them if a provider goes bust?

I'm sorry, but public or private customer, I've no sympathy. Poor, unprofessional tactics by Monster Cloud, but if it looks and sounds too good to be true, that's ALWAYS because it is too good to be true.

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