* Posts by Ledswinger

2984 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Buy Your Own Device: No more shiny-shiny work mobe for you

Ledswinger
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"What utterly useless advice. Four fingers of kit kat are much more similar in shape and size to a modern mobile phone"

But those who refuse to carry a mobile in the first place will be far more at home with a Nokia-style candy bar format than an iPhone-esque Kit Kat.

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Ledswinger
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"I don't even own a phone to bring into work."

You needn't miss out on 99% of the fun and utility of a mobile phone: Buy a Mars bar, and when on the train periodically get it out, hold it to your ear and shout "I'm on the train, I'll call you back".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not so sure about this one

"Have a look at "Touchdown" if you're using Android."

I regularly have a look at it, as it is installed on my works phone, and from my perspective its a pile of rank, steaming shit.

Any employer who thinks they're installing that sort of crap on my personal device is badly mistaken. If a business mobile is a necessity, they provide it. I'm not spending my hard earned to save them a handful of shekels.

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EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

Ledswinger
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Re: Free?

"That's goverment-speak for "paid for by all citizens, whether they use it or not""

Isn't that also the definition of the "public services" that politicians dribble on about all the time?

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Ledswinger
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Re: To be fair

"if they require that the hardware only gathers location data once it is triggered, then it can't be used for tracking/recording. Will this be the case?"

Might be initially. But you have to consider that already 2% of new car registrations are pure electric vehicles or hybrids. That's comfortably ahead of DfT projections from last year, and despite high purchase costs and a fairly poor choice of vehicles. As better, cheaper cars come to market we can expect the takeup to increase. Initially the bunglers of government can simply up the tax on ICE vehicles to compensate for the loss of fuel duty, but that stops working well fairly quickly as the market share of EVs rises.

All of which point inexorably to road pricing as an inevitable government "solution". I'm sure some people won't mind the continuous tracking and record keeping by government (1), nor being charged more to use roads at certain times of day (roads we've already paid for), but can you now see what location tracking will be used for in practice? And the really great thing is this: Road pricing and universal tracking will be justified on the alters of two of the really important things government keep us safe from: Climate Change (tm) and Global Terrorist (tm).

(1) I know that ACPO currently have their own national ANPR system, but this is fairly basic and only covers trunk routes and a few key points

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A nation of CODERS? Yes, says UK.gov, and have some cash to do it

Ledswinger
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Re: is it not easier@Flatpackhamster

"To teach in Finland requires a Masters' degree"

And what of it? I've got a master's degree (like plenty of others round here) but that says nothing about my suitability to educate kids.

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Ledswinger
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Re: is it not easier

"Still think they are limiting themselves too much by sticking to 1st class degrees."

Typical government nonsense anyway. The real talent in teaching anything is not the difference between a 1st, a 2:1, a 2:2, or even non-honours. That merely measures a combination of aptitude, talent, application at degree level in the subject.

Teaching anything well is a surprisingly rare talent that is almost completely divorced from somebody's tertiary level achievement. I know people with doctorates that couldn't teach either their own research specialism well, nor even how to tie shoelaces. That doesn't devalue their doctorates, merely states the obvious that academic brilliance is the not the same as teaching ability.

Conversely a friend of mine is the head of subject (and of IT) at a school that is second in its county league tables, with 98% 5+ GCSE A*-C grades. He scraped a non-honours degree from a sub-university institution - apparently he's persona non grata in Shiney Faced Dave's brave new world of teaching.

So as usual, UK government waste my cash on rubbish that doesn't need doing (particularly so after encouraging big corporates to offshore the coding for the past two or three decades).

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Post Office: Here's £100m, Computacenter. Now get us up to date, for pity's sake

Ledswinger
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Re: POP!!!!!

"Mind you they'll be able to claw it back over the next few weeks by slicing open the Christmas cards and nicking the cash ment for our younger relations"

Naaahh. That's the staff that do that. The Post Office claw it back legally, by charging almost eleven fucking shillings to maybe deliver a letter two or three days later.

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MP caught playing Candy Crush at committee meeting: I'll ‘try’ not to do it again

Ledswinger
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Re: Actions speak loader than words

"being relieved that at least while he's wasting his days playing inconsequential little games, he's not doing what most politicians do: devising bad laws that neither achieve their intended purpose nor are tight enough to stop their loopholes being exploited"

Actually I think that this is incorrect. Most laws (including the myriad bad ones) are actually drafted (and therefore devised) by government departments - and thus by unelected civil servants. The politicians set a vague strategy, argue over a handful of key points, but then let the civil servants draft some turgid, overly complex rules in hundreds if not thousands of pages of legalistic claptrap, and then the pols rubber stamp it without reading or understanding it. That's why (for example) tax law runs to thousands of pages of impenetrable nonsense, and global multinationals can drive a cart and horses through the loopholes. Or another example is the 2006 Companies Act, around 700 pages, which was passed with no MPs admitting to knowing even the full scope of the act, never mind the detailed contents.

Whilst the evidence rather suggests that civil servants and politicians interact to ensure the worst possible outcome, what our Candy Crush playing friend should have been doing is paying attention so that whatever came out of the committee was at least relevant, and in particular trying to stop bad stuff becoming law without proper oversight. If ever a group collectively suffered from ADHD then it is the occupants of the palace of Westminster.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Yay - nothing like...

Come off it, it's what you'd expect. Obviously your and my pension aren't important matters for MPs because they have their own gold plated (and utterly undeserved) scheme. But if your and my pension don't matter, what does matter to our political elite?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11278246/Champagne-wars-grip-Parliament-as-peers-slam-Commons-vintage.html

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Competition probe opens door to Canal+ Spain for Rupert Murdoch

Ledswinger
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Re: Turdoch

I must admit it is a disappointment to wakeup each day and not read his obituary. But even then his ghastly offspring need to be ethnically cleansed from the world of media before the likes of Sky will become a company I'd do business with.

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Ledswinger
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Re: The more interesting question

"Does Telefonica has the money to buy it in the first place? "

In real terms no. But with £10bn in their pocket by selling O2 to BT they could reduce the €44bn debt pile by 8% and still have £5bn to play M&A with. And as any corporate fat cat knows, M&A is much more interesting than dull stuff like just making money or paying off debt.

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'Why do Register commentards get so frothy-mouthed?' Thus started WW3

Ledswinger
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Re: The comments section is mostly why I'm here

There are some proper nobs posting inaccurate, misleading and worst of all technically incorrect stuff. There are also, however, a goodly number of knowledgeable, open minded folk.

What about knowledgeable nobs with closed minds? I'd say there's plenty of them around these parts.

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Commish: Stop playing that Spanish jazz, Orange. Wait until we’ve done our homework

Ledswinger
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Re: It's a pity

I read the article hoping for a different kind of fruitiness. In my fetid mind, "Spanish jazz" conjured up fevered imaginings that involved an interesting practice of a non-musical nature.

I was most disappointed to find out it was some boring cobblers about corporate M&A.

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

Ledswinger
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Re: Security concern?

"Also, at a cost of £11bn, how far would that go reducing real demand by, say, switching street lights to LED or insulating more homes etc...?"

You're quite right that smart meters are a waste of money that could be better spent on insulation measures. £11bn would insulate every remaining cavity wall in the land, every under-insulated loft, and still leave enough over to insulate 700,000 solid wall homes with external wall insulation. Or, you could leave the cavity walls, and do two million solid wall homes and top up insulation in every loft.

LEDs save energy in buildings because they displace less efficient sources like halogens, CFLs and incandescent bulbs. But that's not true in streetlighting. LED streetlighting is certainly a big improvement over low pressure sodium lamps in terms of light quality and a bit of an improvement in bulb life, but in energy terms it is hardly any better - the luminous efficiency of sodium vapour lamps is around 100 lumens per watt, and that's about the same as most current generation LED streetlight luminaries (both technologies efficiency vary but within a similar range). The top LED makers have developed diodes capable of 300 lumens per watt, but it'll be several years before they reach service, because in streetlighting you need to have long life certainty, and that involves long testing, and not pushing performance envelopes. So expect the UK to spend billions on current generation LED streetlights, and then to replace them all again starting 2022 because the ones we've fitted are using three times as much energy as their replacements will.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 50 million @ ZanzibarRastapopulous

"You must be one of those socially dysfunctional geeks you used to get in the '80s."

That's about right, although given that there wasn't anything contentious in my OP, I'm presuming you're thinking that because of my recent spate of other, less polite posts? Re-reading them I think should reign my colourful language in for a while.

"I haven't seen any in a while."

Consider yourself honoured.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Compatible with all suppliers?

New meter every time I change?

In theory, no. Detailed rules and a standard specification (SMETS2) are supposed to mean that the new supplier simply uses the existing asset and pays to use it. Much like suppliers pay to use old style meters.

What's that going to cost us as consumers?

£11bn if you choose to believe government.

This has to be the worst idea ever.

I don't know. It's not a good or sensible idea. But HS2 is worse, and five times the cost (at least). And a holiday to the "Islamic State" sounds like an even worse idea, regardless of cost.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 50 million @ ZanzibarRastapopulous

"But there are only 25 million-ish households in the UK?"

Actually 27m (plus 0.15m per annum) And 85% of them have both a gas and an electric meter....

You can still delete your post and pretend you didn't ask that question?

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Ledswinger
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Re: save how much ?@ a_mu

"QED the price will have to go up to allow the share holders to get their returns and the directors to get their bonus's"

Oh, for god's sake, do you know NOTHING? I work for an energy supplier. We are legally mandated by the UK government to install smart meters, and they have passed that into UK law because that is their chosen interpretation of the rules from their uberfuhrers in Brussels.

We don't fucking want to have to install complex, untried electrickery in your house. We don't want the complexity of a bureaucratic, penalty laden scheme administered by the hostile fuckwits of the regulators at OFGEM. We don't want to have to find billions of extra capital to buy the sodding meters. We don't want to have to work with meter makers who don't understand the requirements. We don't want to have a long term programme based on the SMETS2 specifications that are already clearly well short of the technical potential that could be delivered. We don't want to install devices to not merely enable, but encourage time of use tariffs, geometrically increasing the complexity of billing.

GET THIS IN YOU LITTLE HEAD: Smart meters are an EU brainwave, and the UK government (of all persuasions) have enthusiastically rubber stamped it. As usual this involves them spending your money, other people (us) doing the work, whilst the cunts of Westminster and Brussels relaxing in expenses-claim heaven and congratulating themselves on a job well done.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Meanwhile....

"Some people have to pay for the amount of water they get through - and to make matters worse, they then have to pay again for that same amount of water to be taken away. Which is a bit of a piss take."

Alright then. Water's about £1.75 per cubic metre (or tonne) delivered, sewage about the same. So that's £4.50 for a tonne of water delivered and sewage returned, albeit varying by water company.

Try that with your builders merchant, then, whining shit heads. Phone 'em up, ask them to deliver a tonne of ANYTHING for £4.50, VAT and delivery included. And then check that after you've shat in it, they'll take it away for no extra charge.

Bloody water bill whiners. I fucking hate them. (For the avoidance of doubt, this wasn't against VinceH, merely a relevant response in the thread)

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Ledswinger
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Re: Garland of Flowers

"You seem not to understand what GDP is or how it is measured."

Err, excuse you, fuckwit. I have a degree level education in such matters, I work in an industry dominated by economics, and I'm firmly in the (supposed) target market for HS2, which is founded on similar nonsense arguments about raising GDP through either improving on-train productivity, or avoiding on-train non-productivity.

The simple reality is that better connectivity on trains won't raise GDP by any recognisable amount. Those who look out the window at the moment will continue to do so. Those relentlessly tapping away at mobile devices will be no more or less efficient. And people on calls will still be unable to do real business because (even with a reliable signal) because there's no privacy. Now, if you want to say that students using Spotify represents a measurable increase in GDP, you're entitled to that view, bollocks though it is.

But why let the big picture get in the way of an ad hominem attack? You clearly can't understand the argument though, so I suppose I should tip my hat to you for giving it your best shot.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Definitely make Luton a hub - and another thing

"Which is one reason why it's now proving viable to re-open closed lines, with modern rolling stock."

But the anti-Beeching crew fail to see that of the 5,000 miles closed, a trivial fraction have shown the potential for re-opening. Round my neck of the woods there's miles and miles that were closed under Beeching's recommendations, and which don't reflect any transport need in the past forty odd years.

And the anti-Beeching luddites equally fail to acknowledge that under their golden age of state ownership after the war and pre-Beeching, some 3,000 miles of line had been closed. Or that the modernisation of traction HAD BEEN TRIED AND HADN'T WORKED. The 1955 Modernisation Plan was supposed to make the railways profitably (being charitable, cost neutral) by 1962, and instead the losses had widened to the point that the government had to take radical action.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Really Hard Living in London

"I do wish the whiners in London would lift their eyes up from their newspapers or smart phones from time to time and join the rest of the UK!"

I've got my fingers crossed for half an inch of snow to fall across London. Then the BBC can breathlessly report that unprecedented weather triggered by climate change has caused gridlock across the south east, and that twerp Cameron can summon COBRA to plan the air drop of skinny mocha soya lattes to stranded urban hipsters, and flasks of warm milky tea to civil servants unable to get into the office and wreak their productivity on the nation.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Definitely make Luton a hub - and another thing

"Beeching deliberately changed the rail regulations ...."

What a load of old cock. The model railway enthusiasts are still bitter that Beeching closed so much of their 1:1 trainset, and wilfully ignore the tide of rising car ownership through the 1950s and 1960s, and the depopulation of rural areas as mechanisation and modernisation meant fewer rural jobs and more urban jobs.

Beeching was of course an outsider, and what would he know about railways, eh? The answer to that was explained years before in the rail "experts" own disastrous 1955 Modernisation Plan, that involved scrapping steam relatively new steam locomotives, introducing a large fleet of unreliable and expensive diesels from makers who often had no experience in making them (more than a few of these assets were also very short lived), which didn't do a thing to the fundamental problem of a changing and more wealthy population that didn't want or need as much rail transport as the industry was set up to deliver.

The laugh is that the anti-Beeching brigade still can't see that they are defending a network essentially built by Victorian entrepreneurs, many of whom went bust. So the underlying cost-justified economics weren't there even in the first place, and where routes survived it was because they reflected where people lived and worked in Victorian times, along with their lack of alternative.

Beeching did a good job in a bad situation. From memory railway losses continued to climb, but that reflected the societal issues mentioned above. Even modern day railway miracles like HS1 have managed to go bust despite the "benefits" of modern planning, and the case for HS2 is similarly farcical, and will result in big losses that will ultimately be underwritten by the tax payer.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Enabling mobile phone shouters

"the tunnel, the most massively useful structure ever invented for making hairless plains apes shut the fuck up"

Proven and effective.

Unlike mobile free carriages and "noise free" carriages, which are a natural magnet for noisey gobshites who are either illiterate, thick, or assume that rules/requests apply only to other people.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Garland of Flowers

"Improvements to our GDP would begin immediately, and would compund up nicely over time. "

What utter fucking rot!

Enabling mobile phone shouters to spend the entire journey saying "I'm on the train, can't talk in public, call you later" won't improve GDP by one brass farthing. Students being able to stream Spotify as they take their laundry home at weekends, again, not a razoo towards GDP. Commuters fielding emails from their bosses can already do that because they don't need a continuous connection, so again no net gain to GDP.

The telecoms infrastructure to enable this will on the other hand cost several billion quid. Now, if you take a cost of several billion quid, and extra benefit of zero, how's that going to help GDP? Unless (of course) you subscribe to the HS2 School of Fairytale Economics.

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Ledswinger
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"If they had thought of this back in Beeching's time it might be a bit different."

I doubt it. Had some knob-end said "I know that fewer and fewer people want to use the railways, but let's keep all these loss making lines open in case somebody needs a handful of route miles in half a century's time", I daresay they would have been laughed at.

And rightly so.

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Quantum computing is so powerful it takes two years to understand what happened

Ledswinger
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Obsolete for whom?

"the kind of quantum-based factorisation that would eventually obsolete current cryptography"

From the little in the public domain, it seems fairly evident that Global Terror (tm) and their predecessors have used idiot codes since time immemorial. So the end of cryptography is more a problem for governments than either real world mortals being spied on by their own governments (because back-dooring undoubtedly defeats most of our efforts), and because no amount of computing power will crack an idiot code.

Having had my privacy serially undermined by Western governments, I look forward to the day when they won't be able to keep anything like as much hidden

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Apple knob refusenik Sir Jony Ive handed award - for talking BOLLOCKS

Ledswinger
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Re: Crown is correct@ m0rt

"He wasn't interested but I bored him with it anyway"

I take my hat off to you, sir! What is the point in knowing stuff if you keep it to yourself?

In such situations I do likewise, but it does raise a philosophical conundrum, as to whether the people being involuntarily educated by the wise are cannon fodder, or collateral damage. Given that half of us round these parts are somewhere on the spectrum, I suppose the usual answer to that conundrum is "does it matter?"

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UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

Ledswinger
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Re: I'm confused...

The whole point is that this on "diverted profits". It's pretty clear that many of the arrangements in question are intentionally designed to divert profits to avoid paying tax. You can easily calculate what a company's cost of capital is, how much capital it uses, what its group margins are, what operating costs are, and therefore estimate with some accuracy the true profit that they will be making.

US multinationals are pretty imperialistic (to the point of pig headed stupidity) so I'm sure they'll contest any changes, but with almost every European government looking to increase the tax take, they're on to a loser in the long term.

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Ledswinger
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Bear in mind that they've just changed the Europe wide rules for VAT, so that instead of the rate prevailing at the place where the seller pretends to conduct business, it will soon need to be the rate applied in the country of the purchaser and will go to that country's coffers.

I would guess that the Germans, French and Italians are no more happy than the British government over multinational tax avoidance, so the bleating from piss-pot tax havens that benefit (such as Luxembourg) will not be heeded, and I'd guess Ireland's defence of its low corporation taxes will be similarly ignored.

This is a good move, belated by a decade or two.

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Iranian CLEAVER hacks through airport security, Cisco boxen

Ledswinger
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Re: Interesting

I'm unconvinced by the blaming of Iran.

The complete lack of UK instances seems most unlikely, because as the former colonial power, as a serial meddler in the Middle East, and as the 51st state, the UK is invariably being insulted and attacked by the Iranians. Add to that the combination of technical expertise, accompanied by signposts that are supposed to point to Iran, and this looks like a run of the mill false flag activity to me. Considering that this was an infrastructure attack, was allegedly so clever, is nobody astounded that other than files (supposedly) stolen, no worthwhile damage was done? We're always being warned that our critical infrastructure is vulnerable, so why weren't cities gridlocked? Why wasn't the water network turned off? What didn't the lights go out?

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UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

Ledswinger
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Re: @Lee D

"BT privatisation co-incided with the introduction of System X exchanges. Indeed, the perceived cost of the changeover was the original driver for privatisation."

But that's my point again - government will not invest (or perhaps, government cannot invest wisely). In THEORY they could have invested in new water assets (and telecoms, and electricity, and gas, and rail). But they never did. On the few occasions they tried to invest the results were often a mess (eg the part completed national trunk road network, or the 1955 rail modernisation plan, madcap 1960s and 1970s ideas for oil fired power stations Littlebrook, Grain, Tilbury and Fawley and so forth).

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Ledswinger
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Re: Doesn't Work?

" this "impossible" thing has been working for a UK ISP/telco for the last few years"

At small scales lots of things are wholly feasible but won't scale up, because they have potentially unbalancing influences are not large enough to cause problems whilst they remain a minority of system users. This is true for all forms of infrastructure and networks.

There seems to be a belief that Sajid Javid has put forward an idea with lots of problems as a final solution. In reality it is a useful threat to encourage the MNOs to come up with a better solution that is more to their liking.

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Ledswinger
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@Lee D

"But the trend over the last 50 years is to privatise even schools, so I can't see it happening."

Well, look at the standard of state schooling. In too many areas it's absolutely atrocious. With some experience of both I'd say that at their best the state schools are easily as good as independent schools, unfortunately that means that the other 95% of state schools are worse for no good reason, despite a near monopoly and "democratic" control by local authorities. The arguments about funding for state schools being worse don't hold water (a) because the state can decide what it wants to pay for education, and (b) the best state schools don't generally get preferential funding over the cr@p ones (if anything the reverse).

Now look at water. When state managed it was vastly over-manned, drinking water quality was low, and wastewater quality even worse. Investment was routinely curtailed (by the treasury) leading to a collection of ineffective and obsolete assets, even as the government signed up to agressive EU targets on water quality.

If the state penny pinches on example matters of water and education, why do you think for one moment that it would be competent steward of telecoms infrastructure? Last time it was state controlled it took forever to get a basic fixed line installed, you often had to share a line with neighbours due to under-investment, and you got a crummy bakelite phone that looked like something from the 1940s (because it was). If you passed the mobile infrastructure to government, they'd need to stump up many billions of additonal government debt (unless you know where an equivalent amount of cash is being wasted), and government would be even less inclined to invest in not-spots than the commercial operators. Next year the treasury would be looking to try and reduce the huge public borrowing costs, so investment would be slashed, and prices would go up because that would be income for the Treasury.

I'm staggered that you could believe that government would be a good steward of any asset. They have proven themselves utterly incompetent in fiscal policy, trade & industrial policy, energy policy, foreign policy, industrial policy, education, welfare, technology policy, and in all aspects of infrastructure planning, and still you think that they will be better than commercial operators at owning and operating anything?

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Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

Ledswinger
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Re: Physics.

"I still don't think it would work."

It doesn't need to. Somebody in Apple has just hit the incentivised target for registering patents, the company gets free publicity from a (largely) credulous press, and the adoring fanbois will now buy any Apple device and believe it includes this technology.

All of which is a lot better for Apple than the simpler approach of designing devices that are easy to disassemble or replace parts on. Where's the value in that? Next thing you know fanbois would be replacing batteries themselves, instead of upgrading to the next shiney because the last one goes flat in eight hours.

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Ledswinger
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"Samsung's patent will surely follow:"

Rotating the device is the best Apple can do 'cos it's all integrated.

Samsung could incorporate a battery launcher that fires the removeable battery at the floor momentarily slowing the phone before impact, so that the final free fall is a matter of a few cm. And they could also promote the kinetic battery launcher as a self defence tool.

Obviously mixing the sort of pyrotechnics used in a seat belt pretensioner with a lithium battery might have some downsides, particularly for Tesla drivers.

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Ledswinger
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Re: typically with a top and base of pastry

"As for criminal sanctions, aren't the prisons already full?"

Yes, but only for a given definition of "full". I'm quite relaxed if crims have to live six to a four bed cell, and the en suite is a bucket on the floor.

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Ledswinger
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Re: finally

""This is a nice weighty pie", I thought foolishly."

Which proves that fired ceramics are cheaper wholesale than proper food.

Quite remarkable that Chinamen can dig clay out of the ground, process the clay, dig coal out of the ground, use the coal to fire the clay in an oven, transport it halfway round the world, deliver it to the food processor, and it's STILL more profitable for the supermarket than just making a decent pie sans case.

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Ledswinger
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Re: @ Numpty Scrub

"Oi, cheval is pretty damn tasty. As is kudu, bison, wildebeest, and many other animals we don't normally get on UK shelves."

I wasn't complaining about horsemeat per se, merely about the fact that the horsemeat scandal showed that you couldn't trust industrial pie or burger makers. As it happens I'd be quite relaxed about eating horse so long as it is real meat (and Findus' customers didn't complain, so they obviously liked it).

FWIW Lidl are stocking ostrich steaks at the moment, and that's usually lovely.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Ah, New Zealand...

"Typical kiwi no-nonsense street naming, right there."

If councils in the UK adopted that approach most towns would have street names like:

Tumbleweed Plaza

Phoneshop Road

Chernobyl Street

Paydaynpawn Place

Hoodie Precinct

Wino Lane

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Ledswinger
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Re: @ I ain't Spartacus (let the flamewar begin)

"There's nothing wrong with not serving the best meat in pies."

I'm well aware that meat is a way of making more of the less attractive bits of meat (as are sausages and burgers), and I didn't suggest that fillet steak was mandated!

I did suggest that all too often the meat content was minimal, or stretched the definition of meat to cover bone, gristle, and big gobs of chewy fat. And that's where I wholly disagree with you that outsourcing pies to other people was ever a good idea (as proven by the UK horsemeat scandal). It's a bit like sausages - buy them from a good butcher and they are a world apart from the vile factory produced rubbish sold in supermarkets even under their "best of" brands, that appear to be solely made from udder, rectum, ears, lips, eyeballs, cartilage and sinew, dyed pink and injected into a twisted garden hose.

And so it is with commercially made pies - there's no connection between the accountant and meat buyer who "create" factory produced pies, and the sadly undiscerning customer who gets served one of their "pies". That is a route that leads to a bowl of weak, salty gravy laced with flavour enhancers and thickeners, and containing rancid donkey meat from Romania, plus a few dead badgers (from DEFRA's cupboard full of murdered badgers), and maybe an "unfit" cow carcass if you're lucky, topped off with a thin lid of tasteless commodity grade pastry.

So regardless of the faff involved in making your own, the best thing you can do as a pie lover it always to make your own at home wherever possible. I made a stonkingly good steak and homebrewed ale pie the other week, lightyears better than commercial rubbish. Where this petition should be headed is forcing the charlatans of commercial pie makers out of business over the fillings so that it is at least safe to choose a pie from the menu when you are eating out.

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SUPER-SUEBALL heading IBM's way in Australia

Ledswinger
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Re: Pentagon.

"On the other hand, are huge big data project failures really so improbable/"

No they aren't. The UK DoH wasted £10bn on a totally failed integrated IT project. But that was always wildly over-ambitious, ignored all the realties on the ground along with the cludgey part public part private design of the NHS (something inherent in its original design, and that the lefties still shut their eyes to).

What sets the Queensland Health Payroll project apart is that it wasn't a big data project. It was a need for a modest payroll project that should have been done and dusted for a few hundred thousand dollars if properly planned and executed. And in practice it could probably have been contracted to a neighbouring public sector organisation for half that up front cost.

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Boffins challenge Internet of Things' lust for power

Ledswinger
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Re: Not one IoTa of difference

"Never quite seen the difficulty with having a quick snout in the fridge if you know you're going to the shop..."

Well maybe a smart fridge could text me helpful messages like "Fridge to Ledswinger. You know that carton of custard that's been open in the fridge for 19.423 days? I'd suggest you put rubber gloves on, throw it in the outside dustbin without looking in it, and hold your breath whilst you do that. I've ordered some extra bleach on your next shopping list. Oh, and your iceberg lettuce is frozen to my heat exchanger, and will turn to sludge when it defrosts"

Who said the IoT was a complete waste of time and space?

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Huawei: 'Nobody made any money in Windows Phone'

Ledswinger
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Re: Warning: Rant incoming.-"They were the Triumph to Apple's Harley Davidson"

"A good part of the population don't know what Android is ("I thought I had a Samsung phone"). At least with Apple and BlackBerry the general public is unconfused, "

No, they are equally confused. In the case of Blackberry and Apple it is a mere coincidence for most buyers that the hardware designer is the owner of some of the OS IP. Looking at the history of phone designers or makers who develop their own operating system, with the exception of Apple it's not been good:

Nokia Symbian: Failed.

Nokia Maemo: Failed.

Blackberry: Failed and shrunk to insignificance.

Samsung Bada: Dead.

Palm: Who they?

LG/HP webOS: As successful as HP's M&A

Even looking at Google, it appears that they've dabbled in hardware primarily as reference devices rather than as an enduring commercial proposition. None of this bodes well for Microsoft.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Android for business?

"I, for one, cannot understand why any business would invest in an Android phone."

Because Winpho was missing in action for some years. As Blackberry dissolved in a small puddle, businesses had a choice of Apple or Android. Android was far cheaper than Apple, and the die was cast.

Moreover, with (in practice) a choice of a single hardware maker, and a not unrealistic concern that if the dismal takeup continues, WInPho could be "end of lifed" at any time, would you commit your company to WInPho? And even if WinPho is better, when did that every count for anything?

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Ledswinger
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Re: one way to get sales figures

""Windows" is becoming a millstone brand."

I hear whispers that the new WinPho release to be excreted in parallel with Windows 10 is being developed with the codename Albatross. And the parallel rebrand of the WinRT/WIndows Lite platform for tablets is Dodo.

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Ledswinger
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Re: A money burning exercise@ king of foo

" but you kept on dancing to Abba right through the 80s, 90s and 00s."

Oi! You! Leave Abba alone, mate. They were great in the 70's, the 80, the 90's and they're still great now. To sully their name by linking it to the "M" word is a crime round these parts.

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Brits conned out of nearly £24m in phone scams IN ONE YEAR

Ledswinger
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I suppose

...that given the inability of the criminal "justice" system to catch fraudsters and lock them up for a good long time, a publicity campaign is a good idea.

I imagine the scene at a top London "creative" agency. A bunch of hard nosed rozzers are looking suspiciously across the table at some weird looking "creatives". The atmosphere is tense, with the police having sat unblinking, and saying nothing for a good ten minutes.

Head creative: "So, you want us to create a compelling above the line campaign, with glossy and engaging imagery, with the subtext 'if you're a victim of fraud or identity crime, don't bother us, its your own fault'?

Head rozzer: "That's it. Just like those endless, agressive anti-piracy ads from FAST that bore everybody stupid at the beginning of films and DVDs."

Head creative: "But they clearly don't work, and they're targeting the wrong people, surely?"

Head rozzer: "You leave the thinking stuff to us, and just make the bl**ding adverts."

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Shin avoids boot: Samsung hangs onto mobile chief despite crappy Galaxy S5 sales

Ledswinger
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Re: The S2 S3 & S4 are too good and well made

"On the plus side it probably means that S5s will become pretty cheap when they need to shift volume next year."

I'm hoping so!

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