* Posts by Ledswinger

3304 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Rent a door lock?

" Will you come take it out of the door? Or will you try to lock me out of my own house?"

The answer is easy. Put yourself in the position of the "lock provider". It is expensive and difficult to physically take the lock out. It's a press of a button (assuming you don't automate that) to lock 'em out.

Sign up to any cloud data storage service and see how it works if you card payment gets skipped.

I'm not sure what this guy's smoking, but it must be powerful stuff.

28
0

18-wheeler ROBOT JUGGERNAUT hits Nevada's highways. Cower, fleshies!

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Won't work in England.

"Hint: Maybe your speedo is telling you a different number to theirs?"

And? Many of of those driving HGVs appear to be dogf*ckers who need to read the highway code, or go back to carpet rolling and body stuffing school if they don't understand that it isn't the job of the driver in front to drive at a speed that suits the cretin in the truck behind.

Hint Two: Your speedo is deliberately designed to read HIGHER than you are actually going...

Some are, some aren't, and truck speedos are generally no more accurate than cars (I used to work for a major truck manufacturer). Either way doesn't alter the problem with some cretins who don't understand that a speed limit is (excepting rare circumstances) a maximum, not a minimum.

6
1

POW: Smut-seeding copyright troll slammed as 'extortionate'

Ledswinger
Silver badge

...seems like Mr Bean was defending.

6
0

Firm with 80 per cent of UK mobile numbers fails to monetise them, sold to O2

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I presume consent has been given...

"I presume consent has been given"

I doubt that (making the unlikely assumption that Weve had obtained your consent in the first place) they'd need to renew it for a change in ownership of Weve, in the same way Tesco don't seek new approval as their shareholder register changes.

Having said that, since it is something to do with telecoms, (a) they probably didn't have real consent, and just rely on a highly questionable if not outright illegal clause buried in very very small print of a very long contract nobody reads, and (b) the data processing was long since offshored somewhere with lower costs and even lower standards of data protection, again relying for their authority to ship the data out on some other dodgy clause or even dodgier contract amendment that they never sent to customers.

6
0

Why OH WHY is economics so bleedin' awful, then?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Sitting Ducks

"AC to comply with election rules 'cos I'm an election candidate."

A pox on you and all the other indistinguishable charlatans standing for election.

8
13
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: There were many...

"Thing is though, it hasn't really happened yet..."

Don't worry. Internationally debt levels are rising - largely because although the private sector has pulled its belt in somewhat, governments continue to spend beyond their means. My suggestion is to keep an eye on China and Japan. At the moment nobody wants to lend to Japan given their bonkers level of national debt, so their central bank is printing the money to lend to itself. This can't end well.

China on the other hand, is about where Japan was back at the millennium. Vast amounts of debt financed property and infrastructure development that will go sour, and a rush of speculative lemmings into the stock market. We've seen this sooooo many times before that we know how this ends. You can fend off the inevitable for a while with yet more debt, but ultimately you end up like Spain or Greece - a bankrupt economy that has to endure five to fifteen years of stagnation and mass unemployment. I don't like the idea of mass unemployment in China any more than the Chinese Communist party, albeit for different if related reasons. But once you've wasted good money on bad investments, you can't wind the clock back, the money's gone, the banks are insolvent, and the brown stuff is being flicked off the fan with every rotation.

If either Japan or China has a real economic shock, then that will cause problems in other fragile economies with too much debt - the UK, Europe, and ultimately the US. All those free trade agreements won't looks so good when China's desperately devaluing to try and keep export levels up.

9
3

Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I really don't want to go back to a gas oven.

"I think Musk's obsession with electricity only has prevented him from coming out with a really good vertically integrated solution. "

That really good vertically integrated system already exists. In the UK it's call the national grid, and it uses a network of wires to connect a vast range of alternative sources of power to a vast range of varying demands. This novel system enables users to benefit from the large economies of scale in power generation, to have a fair degree of redundancy and reserve capacity, and to have the system professionally managed 24/7.

Shame that the hippy dog-f*ckers want to throw all this away.

3
4
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: 4,192 KWh

"well batteries are coming close to 100% efficient (we'll call it 99% for the sake of argument)"

A lot better than they were, but probably more like 90% at best in the real world. Personally I don't see that gap closing any time soon. If 99% efficient energy storage were possible, I think 3.6 billion years of evolution would have sorted it out already.

1
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: A Great Innovation...But...@Caustic tWit

Some interesting and relevant points.

To clarify a couple of points, most boiler installations shouldn't be drawing combustion air from inside the house, they'd have a balanced flue or separate air intake. But your point is valid for vented tumble dryers, which should be banned with immediate effect (a good condensor works well, and all the heat stays in the thermal envelope of the house).

On energy efficiency, the majority of cavity wall houses have CWI, most lofts have at least a minimal level of insulation, and the remaining opportunity is therefore the 7m solid wall properties. Unfortunately solid wall insulation is expensive, and has a circa 20-40 year cash payback in most cases. You can subsidise it (as government do) but that's still a very expensive way of saving money or emissions.

As for air tightness, that's a real bug bear. Without expensive, well specified and installed heat recovery ventilation systems, greater air tightness leads to worse air quality, damp and mould, along with measurably worse health problems (some good Dutch studies available, published to the web in English if you want to look this up). In conceptual terms good air tightness is easy enough, in practice it is difficult to achieve, and requires a balance with air quality that reduces the initial benefits.

3
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

No. The price differential isn't enough to offset the cost of the battery. If the battery cost fell by 75% it might be, but then you'd rapidly see off peak demand rise and peak demand shrink as everybody did this, the price difference would shrink and thus it would become uneconomic after you'd invested in the battery.

Also, because the standing charges of the network and central generation wouldn't change by much, the regulator would need to step in and institute the sort of complex charging that businesses are subject to, so you'd have a standing charge, a maximum capacity charge, a maximum actual current charge, and a unit charge, and thus the variable element of the bill would fall and the fixed element creep up (again undermining the price arbitrage).

The underlying financial case for local battery storage relies on beneficiaries benefiting at the the expense of other users. This isn't apparent at low levels of market penetration, but when a lot of people do it becomes a real problem. In much the same way that poor people in flats currently pay higher electricity prices to subsidise wealth pensioners getting PV or "renewable heat" subsidies.

5
3
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Not tried an induction hob@ phuzz

"A large gas fired power station can be optimised for efficiency,"

In the old world yes. But in DECC's brave new world, few if any UK CCGT are covering their cost of capital plus running costs. And because they're regularly shut down at the whim of subsidy-driven solar and wind, it is uneconomic to run them in combined cycle mode. So they're being either mothballed, or downgraded to run as open cycle plant. What this means is that all those lovely wind turbines and PV plant reduce the efficiency of gas generation to that of a 1970s coal fired station.

Factor in 13% parasitic loads and grid losses, and distributing gas is far more efficient than electricity.

5
4
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Surplus power@ Hairy Spod

"actually link these to an economy 7 electricity tariff topping up overnight when a fair amount of generation capacity is currently wasted and these might actually make a lot more sense."

Problem is, if you increase overnight utilisation, then the generously low off peak prices disappear. This will happen as cars and heating shift to electrical power, but it has some very regressive implications for existing E7 heat customers. For early adopters (eg those swanning around in £85k's worth of Tesla Model S) this is hunky dory, but as the demand and daily price curves flatten you'll start to see relatively low income households paying higher heating prices to give rich EV drivers cheaper transport, as an inevitable but unintended outcome of a largely left wing set of "climate change" policies.

11
5
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Surplus power

"One of the problems with nuclear power is that it can't spin up quickly to meet demand, it's better at providing a steady, constant level of power."

If DECC and the eco-brigade get their way, then they will be adding many TWh of transport and heating demand to electricity demand, and because even a fossil grid can't support the instantaneous demand that implies, the grid will need to move from despatching generation to meet demand, to despatching demand to meet generation. This is absolutely inevitable if DECC's decarbonisation agenda is to be delivered. And in this low carbon nirvana, renewables will never be able to supply the additional circa 500 TWh/a of electrical energy (cf 360 TWh/a UK electricity demand at present).

Put simply, car charging would be remotely controlled overnight by a third party, as would heating, and we'll then be in a land where the network operator manages the demand profile. If you they do that, we will be able to easily get very close to a flat demand curve (albeit with seasonal variation on the heating load), and the logical solution is nuclear power, and to stuff the hippies' unreliable, subsidy dependent eco-toys.

You do then have household storage (the car battery and heat storage through a thermal store of thermal inertia effects, rather than battery storage for household use), but you'd not get the volume of additional energy from renewables. And running a grid with nice big nuke plants is a lot easier than managing a grid with poorly controlled and huge daily and seasonal swings in manky, asynchronous inputs. I would expect sometime in the next few years we'll see a major grid failure due the problems of balancing and synchronising the grid with all the crappy subsidy farms that have sprung up in response to DECC's misguided policies - this is probably a greater threat than winter blackouts due to lack of gross capacity.

8
4
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Think I'll wait...

" that 10yr guarantee seems hard to take seriously"

There's a tendency to judge industrial applications of li-ion by our experience of consumer devices, but that is a bit like trying to extrapolate the performance of an articulated lorry from the performance of a small family car.

The economics are certainly challenging, but the lifetime and guarantee is actually easily sorted - my employers have looked at this very seriously from a grid scale perspective. Firstly the maker needs to make the battery to the required standards, second they specify materials and design conservatively, and third they use control gear to very carefully control the charging and discharging regime to make sure that the battery is optimally managed for service life.

So to get that sort of service life you'd have limits on both charging current and discharge rates, you'd need to manage the cycling between too much and too little, and you'd need to adjust the management according to the temperature. Even with those extended warranties, the problem is that the value of a storage is fairly low, and the financial case only works in isolated high value situations and at small volumes. You can (for example) bid into the network operators ancillary services market, but the relatively low energy density makes batteries less competitive than a lot of other options, and where batteries win out is only really on their speed of response, rather than their ability to support extended outages (cf a diesel generator with enough fuel for five days running, say). If you think about a data centre, for example, you might well have a battery UPS, but that's only there to cover the few minutes until the big Caterpillars out the back have rumbled into life. Cheaper unit prices for batteries don't look likely to change that any time soon.

7
2
Ledswinger
Silver badge

@YetAnotherLocksmith

"Further, you will be insulated from power spikes, brown outs and cuts almost completely - how many household items will that save?"

Only if you're 100% off grid. A battery isn't a UPS or a surge protector, and in many (if not most) scenarios decentralised generation has to cut off when the grid power fails - partly for safety reasons, and partly because having unsynchronised local generation when mains power restores can cause interesting problems. You can fix both of these issues, but it'll cost even more, or you could take your chances if your grid operator has lax rules.

I'm all in favour of people doing their own thing, but on condition that they completely forgo the grid connection, or pay a fairly heft capacity charge for the standby option that they expect to be available. In some parts of the world you might be able to be grid independent and still enjoy a 21C lifestyle, but that will only be feasible for a small percentage of the population.

8
4

Airbus to sue NSA, German spies accused of swiping tech secrets

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Huhuhu

" You sure you don't want to buy a few more F-35? You might need them."

But not as much as Lockheed need to flog more F35s, as the costs have spiralled upwards, the US cuts the orders, and the clowns of the UK government back themselves into having only 8 per carrier.

4
1

JP Morgan bank bod accused of flogging customer account info

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Who would have known?

"who would have known that a banker could be unethical"

But this is small time unethical, and that's wrong and must be punished. If, however, you're in the Eccles Building, debasing the world's reserve currency and thus stealing billions from ordinary people to make the rich richer, then that's fine. And likewise, if you're so unethical in your pursuit of big bonuses that you bring the financial system to its knees by undue risk taking, and need bailing out at taxpayer expense, then that's fine too.

Moral of the story: Justice is for little people. In other news, Pope reportedly has balcony; Bears find use for woods.

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Want to bet on an entrapment defense?

"(2) It actually is some kind of entrapment and this guy was targeted for some reason."

If the article is correct, you have to wonder why the crim contacted an undercover FBI agent to sell the info. The odds of this happening by chance would seem to be vanishingly small.

He presumably believed he would get away scot free, and rather worryingly that says that he knew or believed that JPM's systems allowed access to all of the necessary data and wouldn't leave a digital footprint that audit systems would pick up, even if he'd not been trying to sell to the Feds.

0
0

Brits send Star Wars X-wing fighter to the stratosphere

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Here's an interesting poser that I have posed elsewhere.

"The Harrier's jet engines are fitted in VTOL configuration, where as the X-Wing's engines are fitted in a fixed-forward configuration."

Not really relevant to my point. When vectored for forward flight a Harrier has no vertical thrust component from the engine. What's more pertinent to the X Wing question is the relatively small wings relative to the brick-like aerodynamics, and to the weight of the aircraft, along with the anhedral configuration (drooping wings).

And there's quite a few aircraft with small wings that can fly - as others have commented, the F104 is particularly notable, along with the EE Lightning. Arguably even the Tornado has a very small wing area for its size.

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Here's an interesting poser that I have posed elsewhere.

"The afterburners were lit up and the ground shook as the Vulcan went up veritcally."

Is that so?

Perhaps this really isn't the sort of place to claim that Vulcans had afterburners (ignoring flying testbed configurations), as half of us are anoraks who know better. I doubt the airframe would have been strong enough for 50% more thrust from the engines.

6
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Here's an interesting poser that I have posed elsewhere.

"Given adequate funds, would it be possible to build a jet-engined full-size X-Wing that could fly like a normal aircraft? "

Given the improbable aerodynamics of the Harrier, or the SR-71, I would suggest that getting a modified X-Wing to fly would not be an insurmountable challenge, just an expensive one. At a guess you'd probably only want two rather than four engines, and you're then perhaps drifting towards and ARC-170.

0
0

UK exam board wants kids to be able to Google answers

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"with the aim of solving a problem which hasn't been proven to exist"

Actually, the problem has been demonstrated to exist, which is that a good proportion of exams favour those better at rote learning of facts than solving problems, and for many subjectively assessed subjects also favour those who can write quickly. Einstein comes to mind as the finest example of somebody who was not served well by such approaches to assessing ability, possibly because he was dyslexic.

I can see some value in both rote learning, fact retention, and the ability to write quickly and coherently, on the other hand it means that in most subjective assessments these capabilities will trump people of superior intellect and problem solving who can't write quickly or struggle to remember things you'd look up in the real world anyway.

10
6

France wants to make les citoyens' health data available to world+dog

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I was a little upset the other day...

"So how come I got a message tailored to back backs? "

Perhaps because (according to NHS numbers) around 45% of the adult population suffer from back pain in any one year, and the best and most accurate marketing approach would be to spam every email they realistically can. There's very few targeted marketing campaigns that might hope to see half their spam reach a potentially interested customer.

Not defending the crime of spam, just sayin.......

2
0

Google officially doubles EU lobbying – but true figure is surely higher

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Do no evil

...get others to do it on your behalf.

7
0

Give me POWER: How to keep working when the lights go out

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Hangon a moment

"If a company sees value in users' ability to work at home then the company would have to provide another computer for homes."

Still applies even if they have a laptop. From a business continuity perspective you plan for the worst case, but on a site by site basis. Obviously if staff are dead or injured, their job won't get done with or without IT, so the plan focuses on a scenario where the staff are intact, but have no kit and nowhere to work. If the fire alarm goes, then you're supposed to leave the building without your stuff, so the planning has to assume on a site by site basis that the staff are out, but all the desktops, all the laptops, and mobile phones are inside the flaming/bombed/contaminated/collapsed building.

Realistically not all staff would be on site, so you'd have some laptops available, but you then have to have a plan where the recovery manager takes posession of these and allocates on a basis of need. If you work in marketing, strategy, forward planning, etc then you can be off line for a few weeks before the effects show. If you're in hot seats in procurement, trading or sales, or AR/AP then you need to be back on the job in hours. So that means that all the marketing peeps on £60k a year might need to hand in their computers to keep the £20k a year accounts payable staff working. That is the sort of thinking that business continuity is about.

A proper business continuity plan is a right PITA, has costs and zero value until the day things go wrong.

3
0

UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The reason it goes to landfill

"As per the remark above this sounds like a rather big figure and I suspect this might be the total weight of electronic stuff which includes PCBs - anything with a transformer or which was in a steel case will be adding to that."

Or maybe they've included the CRT TV and monitor mountain as part of their waste sums? Even including the transformers, casings and components, we're talking about 43 kg of waste per household per year. Taking the entire unit weight, that's still either three 42" flat screen TV's per house per year, or an equivalent mass.

Not looking good for the NPL's ability to do maths.

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Odd materials

" I would have thought steel plate was more effective as armour."

It is. But the Navy forgot that after Belfast was built, and by the 1960s started making ships out of aluminium and formica (both found sadly wanting in the Falklands). However, given that the Royal Navy is now about ten ships, each with a popgun and two firework rockets, it no longer matters what they are made of, which is probably just as well.

1
0

Free markets aren't rubbish – in fact, they solve our rubbish woes

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: When I was a kid

"And yes, a proper analysis would include the costs of re-use against the costs of recycling or dumping."

Part of the problem is the focus on recycling. Look at those areas of the UK with seven or more different receptacles for sorted recycling (often that there's no market for, or where the cost of recycling requires a subsidy).

Councils should have waste sorted into combustible (including putrescible) materials (food waste, all plastics, vacuum cleaner dust, all forms of paper, wood, garden waste, plus liquids, oils, paints and solvents) and send that for incineration in an energy from waste plant, and all the rest would be dry waste, primarily glass, metals and consumer goods. Shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to design a sorter to remove the metals and glass. Glass should go into construction products if it isn't economic to recycle as containers (we've got a brick shortage, why not make construction blocks from sintered glass, or use it as a filler in other construction materials?), or use it in road materials or insulation products. Metals have by and large always had an economic market. And then you shred the end of life consumer products and recover or landfill the "computer cullet" as appropriate.

Easier for households (two bins), less waste to landfill, more construction materials, heat and power from all the combustibles.....And all you need to do is tear up the idea that "recycling" is a good thing for its own sake.

7
0

David Cameron 'guarantees' action on mobe not-spots. Honest

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The call of political parties everywhere...

"Vote for us."

Well at least the conclusion is known. I offer you not a prediction, nay even a forecast, bow down as I TELL YE THE TRUTH BEFORE IT HAPPENS:

On May the 8th, a smug, unattractive, gormless, talent free, rubber faced liar will become the next prime minister. Upon crossing the threshold of Downing Street to soil it with their presence, they will immediately forget all the vague half promises they made in the campaign, and proceed with the same pompous charlatantry of the current and previous showers, whilst sticking their fingers in their ears over anything the wider population care about. You didn't believe promises about mobile phone coverage, and you don't believe that any of them will resolve the deficit, get immigration under control, etc etc so you won't be disappointed.

3
0

Sweden releases human genome under Creative Commons licence

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: the more we learn...

" it is clear we need more genomes."

Is that why when you never find a garden with just one, it's either none or bloody hundreds, all with that Tony Blair Rictus Grin (tm), a fishing rod, and a garish red waistcoat?

3
0

Range Rover Sport: Like a cathedral on wheels, only with comfier pews

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Wotcha driving Simon?

"I do. That's pretty quick."

Didn't feel it when I took the bosses for long drive back to the dealer and picked another up. In fact, the over-riding impression I had was what a sludgey unpleasant drive it was, although being automatic there's some contribution from the gearbag. So definitely Lord of the Road, but a bit undignified doing that mincey half-hop to get down out of it, not much fun to drive, and on a thirty mile round trip I made 16 MPG.

But then again, this isn't a car for the likes of me, its a car for people with more money than sense to show the lesser mortals how much they can waste on a steel box to move them about. Kings of old used similar approaches with castles and crowns - in reality not of that much use, but great for demonstrating how far apart you are from the herd who actually create the wealth you're spending.

8
1

Romanian rozzers round up alleged $15 MILLION ATM cybercrim gang

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"why are European banks not using the technology they heavily invested in rolling out ?"

Maybe that's why the crooks targeted Puerto Rico and Omani banks, wouldn't you suspect? And the European banks would have withdrawal agreements with those banks that permit valid cards to withdraw money based on the magstripe and PIN.

In passing I'd like to offer a thumbs up to the Romanian authorities. Normally we hear more about Eastern European crims operating with impunity, and whilst I'm sure there is still plenty of ordure still in the stables, it's good to see some of the vermin are getting their collar felt.

5
0

Why recruiters are looking beyond IT's traditional talent pool

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"Or by IT did you mean "I can find the control panel in Windows"?"

Let me award Boltar the "Breathtakingly Patronising, Arrogant Tw@t of the Week" award. Hopefully he'll be proud that he's earned this title already and it is not even mid-day on Tuesday.

Do you look down on people who clean toilets and maintain road safety fences as well?

31
5

Euroboffins want EU to achieve techno-independence

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"That's not a phrase one associates with the EU."

No, but it's immaterial. Our own security agencies are in bed with the NSA, so there's no data independence even if they erect the great Firewall of Europe (and even in the unlikely event that it worked). But there's a bigger problem, that in terms of technological independence the US has such a lead on the core technologies, operating systems, application and web services, and indeed voluntarily surrendered data that there's nothing really to protect in Europe.

The EU and the US are similarly sized economic blocs. But the US is home to 80% of global technology by revenues of domiciled companies. Yes, there's a few diamonds in the EU clay, such as ARM, the origins of Linux, SAP (arguably), and so on. But the maths is simple, that the revenues EU tech firms are less than 10% of global tech sector revenues, and EU ownership of IP is particularly limited - all the leading web applications are US invented and controlled, there's no surviving and successful phone European commercial phone OS IP, no computer operating system commercial IP of any significance. The demise of Nokia was a purely private sector (and Finnish) disaster, but what might the EU have done to stop that? Protectionism breeds weak firms that don't survive in the market, and all of this EU prattle smells of a return to commercial nationalism and picking winners. We've tried this before with ICL (and in France with Groupe Bull), and it didn't work last time, it won;t work this time.

The best thing the EU could do would be to reduce its own regulations, and to require member countries to reduce their native regulations, but that's not going to happen. It's far too important to the bureaucrats that they can force companies to fill in their crappy forms like ESOS, make the companies responsible for providing employee pensions (ie transfer of the welfare state to companies), require them to sign up to "Climate Change Agreements", regulate the packaging they use, check the work status of their employees (because that's far too difficult for the UK Border Farce), etc etc.

You'd have to be mad to set up a new business in Europe.

6
7

Surveillance, broadband, zero hours: Tech policy in a UK hung Parliament

Ledswinger
Silver badge

@ MGJ

"The deficit is the growth in the national debt. The best way to pay off the national debt (and which the good Keynesian economists out there would recognise) is to do so when your economy is growing and there are more taxes coming in from workers and less benefits paid out to the unemployed."

Would that be real economic growth, or the sort of pretend growth where governments borrow more than the increase in GDP, and call that "growth"? I don't think the UK economy has seen any real growth (net of debt) since about 2000.

Given the spending promises made by the economic illiterates of all the major parties, there's no prospect of any of them turning the deficit to a surplus and paying down the debt. The Labour party (as unfit to run a whelk stall as they've always been) might at least try a taxation squeeze, but that would simply result in a 1970's style brain drain, and large numbers of UK domiciled companies going overseas (as HSBC are currently considering, in response to the bank levy). Add in their ambitions on a living wage or a higher minimum wage and the outlook is bleak. With all the talent, corporations, and high earners gone, tax revenues would fall, and we end up like France. A stagnant, statist economy, with higher and more persistent youth unemployment.

The Tories are now so close to the Labour position it makes no odds. Ring fenced spending on pensions, health (and obsessive about spending one pound in fifty of government spending as foreign aid), and they're in a position where they can't even afford the sorry state of our armed forces after their laughable 2010 strategic defence review (for which Cameron should be handed over to IS for some rest and rehabilitation). They're obsessed by big state shite like HS2. They stand no chance of balancing the books either.

Even on health where they've promised shedloads of money, Sir David Nicholson recently pointed out that they're all lying, that their plans make no sense and don't add up.

Unfortunately, painful though it will be, the only way out of this mess will be to unwind Gordon Brown's profligacy, step by bloody step. All those unemployed encouraged onto disability benefits need to be taken off. All the increases in public sector pay relative to private need to be reversed. The expansion in public sector workers fully reversed. The cancerous GP contract that the last government signed needs to be torn up in full. Energy policy (and all the green levies and related costs) needs to be undone.

I can't see that happening, so it seems likely that we will continue with the past fifteen or so years policy of "pretend and extend" as Dr Tim Morgan put it. Little has changed since this report was written:

http://www.tullettprebon.com/Documents/strategyinsights/Tim_Morgan_Report_007.pdf

3
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

"Or maybe because the morons out there felt it better to "punish" the Lib-dems for failing to hold back the Tory's education cuts & fees, than to make for a better and more representative future."

I think that the electorate actually did want a yin and yang between left and right, with near buggins turn for the two main parties. Since coalitions are a near certain outcome of PR, the mediocre performance of the current government is probably what they expected from coalitions, and shows why the majority preferred FPTP.

Unfortunately, both Labour and Conservative parties no longer have any clear vision, are both completely out of touch with the real world, and have ghastly, dislikeable, gormless leaders with faces they can only have found in the "rejected characters" bin at Ardmann Animations. Neither party are trusted on the economy, health services, immigration, defence, or anything else and so we've now reached a position where by trying to please everybody they please nobody, and even FPTP looks like resulting in coalitions from here on.

What we need is some proper mould breaking. That might be UKIP, but I doubt it. I can't see the greens or Plaid Cymru doing much other than reinforcing the worst policies and behaviours of the Labour party. The Libdems won't exist in a few months time (and good riddance to the party of Cyril Smith, "Lord" Rennard, and others). So on balance I'd be quite happy for the SNP to call the shots for a few short years under FPTP, because whilst that would lead to some temporarily grim economic mismanagement of the UK economy, the probably inevitable secession of Scotland would kick start democracy south of the border. North of the border they'd be stuck with a single party state in perpetuity, that would soon have an economy a bit like Venezuela, but I think that's what they do now want.

4
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: What about skills?

"And the number of those with physics degrees and 10years software development experience is ...?"

Minimal, but so is the number of jobs that require this. I might add that the graduate trainee working for me at the moment has a degree in maths from Imperial College, and the best offer he got jobwise was from an energy company as a dogsbody grad. We're not using that talent, and if the country is wasting its best mathematical minds in this way, I don't accept the implicit argument that the 300k immigrants we have are highly skilled specialists, essential to keeping this country running, whilst all the natives are thick, lazy slobs.

"So a company in the city needing to expand it's trading system can either:"

Well, from my point of view another option is that they can fuck off and die if they can't fix the problem with locally grown skills. I don't owe the over-paid fuckers of the City a living, and that includes not owing them the right to debase our employment market and inflate our housing market for their own fucking convenience. This country has bailed the profligate bastards out to the tune of £375bn (last time I looked, BoE QE figures), and if they want to expand their trading system, and they can't find the skills in this country, then they can go to the wall. And I'll laugh if they do. In reality, they want immigrant labour not because some other country has magically trained the ultra-skilled people they need, but because they're cheap and easier to find, and lower back office costs means higher bonuses.

"Take somebody unemployed and totally failed by the education system, educate them to post grad level...Up the paycheck to persuade somebody to leave an identical job....."

Straw man. Yawnn. Next please.

14
2
Ledswinger
Silver badge

What about skills?

"IT-reliant businesses often rely on skilled immigrants to fill gaps in their workforce"

...because they're too fucking mean, stupid and short sighted to train the staff they need.

We've got 1.9m officially unemployed, 0.9m not in education, employment or training, and about 1.5m disability benefit claimants not in work. And we've got 3m workers who were not working as much time as they wanted to - on a full time equivalent basis representing perhaps a further 0.8m unemployed. So that's a pool of around 5-6m potential workers, mostly dependent upon the state (or their parents/carers). Even allowing for the skivers, dossers and thickos, in over 5m people I'm sure I could find the necessary aptitude and talent.

Instead of rubber stamping business plans to import skilled labour, the manifestos ought to have mandatory training requirements for medium and large business where they don't employ enough apprentices or sponsor enough training and education. Unfortunately this is increasingly ceasing to be a tech sector issue, and needs to be a universal requirement.

28
0

Can't wait to bonk with Apple? Then try an Android phone

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Late to the party

Apple can smooth out the process as much as it wants. But I've already got a contactless payment card that works perfectly well, is fully integrated with my bank account, works on London Transport like an Oyster card. And when I use it, I don't have to give my data to Apple, nor give them a slice for the privilege of using it.

So the Android versus Apple NFC wars can rage all they want, I won't be using either. If phone makers of operators wanted to make NFC payments work, then it had to be simple, bonk-to-pay, fully integrated with my credit or current accounts, with widespread retailer acceptance, and it had to be three years ago.

I suppose Apple might be able to count on the willing victimhood of the more credulous fanbois, but Google, Vodafone and others might as well give up now.

4
4

China tackles vital strippers-at-funeral problem

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"There's an account of a Viking funeral (one of the few first-hand written accounts by an educated writer) by a 10th Century Arab traveller "

So the Arabs gave us numeracy and the cradle of civilisation, and in return we gave them the barbarity that is now so popular in Northern Iraq and Syria?

The World Trade Organisation has got some serious explaining to do.

7
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

"What do you mean, "still alive"? Let them out now!"

Well, if they've been interred for a few hundred years, then all I can say is "don't fancy yours".

2
0

SUPERVOLCANIC MAGMA reservoir BUBBLING under Yellowstone Park

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Geothermal energy?

"Isn't there a risk that could be a little like sticking a pin into a balloon?"

Doesn't seem to have resulted in the destruction of Iceland. However, every country has its Nimbys, and I'd guess that the tree huggers would object to the remote risk of losing Yellowstone's geysers, the national park authority would object under its "object to everything" mandate. Throw in the US' predilection for pork barrel politics, and the chances of anything happening are next to nil.

There's also the fly in the ointment that 12 miles below the surface might be relatively shallow, but it is sufficiently deep that it doesn't follow that you could easily get high volume power extraction to drive steam turbines.

6
1

Costa Coffee Club members wake up and smell the data breach

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I like Costa (Email Contact addresses should be required)

"Problem there is that spammers harvest published email addresses and sell them on to everybody. This renders your published address next to useless in short order"

I've had dealings with a number of companies that have had web-published customer service email addresses, and have responded quickly and effectively. Clearly they are managing to operate well despite the tsunami of spam, so I'm puzzled by those companies that aren't so competent.

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Contacting companies

"(Remington) ...replied they never read them, so I had to resupply them."

Well there's a hint as to who shouldn't be on your list when next buying a new razor, then.

0
0

Rackspace in Crawley: This is a local data centre for local people

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Nice picture ....

...which is why it is the most power efficient in the UK. A 12 MW grid connection, 6 MW of on site backup, but actual energy use about 3 kW for all the fluorescent tubes lighting up the empty space.

3
0

giffgaff riff-raff hacked off with lift-off of cash spaff

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Has Telefonica got money to lend?

Hold on, have you missed this bit: giffgaff will allow customers to take out a loan, using RateSetter to buy the handset with the mobile deal being SIM only

That doesn't sound like a bank at all, nor does it "hint that at ambitions to become a big lender". In practice this is an outcome of the fact that Telefonica has no money to lend, along with the challenger-business-within-an-incumbent-business model.

Giffgaff want to push sim only deals. They don't want to offer the same as O2, of two year contracts including an expensive handset on tick. By this model, giffgaff sim only customers can have a flashy new handset, are still on short term sim only contracts, and giffgaff don't have to find £400 to actually finance the handset. This also may help stop the churn out of sim-only as users' handsets break or reach end of life, and their only obvious option is to go back on contract with someone else. By using peer-to-peer they hope to avoid the toxicity of the financial services corporations, to avoid the restrictiveness of corporate credit checks, and overall to offer cheaper finance to the phone buyers.

It's not a stroke of genius, but it is actually a really, really well formed concept, and it's a pity that the existing customers don't seem to appreciate it - it's only one more option for them when they want or need to get a new handset.

8
1

Massive TalkTalk data breach STILL causing customer scam tsunami

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC

Ledswinger
Silver badge

The XPS 410 was current in 2007. I doubt his warranty was eight years. Which makes me wonder why he was so angry that such an old piece of kit was on the blink?

2
7

London man arrested over $40 MILLION HFT flash crash allegations

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Does not compute...

"This I cannot quite understand. "

Maybe because the Beeb don't understand it and have got their facts wrong. Or because the Feds' case is a load of old horse sh**. Or both.

In the wider scheme of things, you have to ask yourself whether you believe one day trader in a scummy part of London was able to bring down the financial might of the US of A, and to be smarter than than the crooks of Wall Street in turning nothing into money and manipulating markets?

My guess is that the flash crash was 100% prime American product, but the US regulators don't want to admit that their ineptitude and the greed of Wall Street are at fault. Far better to try and tar London (and if possible UK financial regulation). If some (relatively) ordinary joe has his life made hell, so what? Gary Mckinnon can talk to a similar story about the petty, enduring spite of Merkin bureaucrats, as can a whole assortment of US-based whistleblowers.

17
0

Evil Wi-Fi kills iPhones, iPods in range – 'No iOS Zone' SSL bug revealed

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"Thankfully ubiquitous, fast, unlimited 4G will probably ......."

...resolve this problem in some parallel universe where ubiquitous, fast, unlimited 4G stands some chance of becoming a reality.

In fact maybe that's what dark matter is: Simply a parallel universe scattered within our own, where they have this miraculous 4G of which you speak. Along with toasters that deliver evenly browned, unburned toast, self-loading dishwashers, self-wiping bottoms, and a host of other technical marvels.

5
0

Forums