2871 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012
"Although it may not go entirely peacefully - question of having the best beer and the best chocolate may well merit a vicious battle or two."
I raise a glass to you, sir!
" the MBTs these days only have room for about 20 shells"
Can you think of any scenario where a Western MBT would encounter enough targets to use 20 shells? The most pressing concern with MBTs is that we haven't found anybody to fight with them in the past fifty odd years. Entire generations of Western MBT's have come and gone without firing a single shell in anger, and even in the various Gulf Wars, by the time Western tanks arrived their opponents were pushing up the daisies from a smoking hole courtesy of the flyboys.
I say we should have a war, by prior agreement, with a friendly country to keep both sides hands in, show the youngsters of today what a proper war with tanks is, but keep the duration short to avoid any later accusations of senseless slaughter. Have the Swiss act as referees and score keepers, hold it somewhere that doesn't matter (Belgium has always been popular in this respect), maybe Britain versus Germany for a period of two months, and the loser has to pay for the beers afterwards. What's not to like?
"what humanity really needs, at this critical stage of our evolution, is a colossal hypersonic cannon"
I wouldn't worry, this continues the trend to fewer and fewer unfeasibly expensive weapons. The procurement cuts to (say) the F22 programme show what happens. Originally USAF had a "kiddy in the sweetshop" procurement plan, that called for 750 jets, which was progressively cut back as costs rose, until only 188 were built, with cost per aircraft climbing from under $150m to over $400m. This unsustainable cost escalation and reduction in hardware has been seen in all services, in all Western countries, and as a result fewer weapons get bought, but governments still incur vast increases in public debt, and their capacity to indulge themselves in hobby wars decreases.
Our colonial cousins still have enough poke to keep interfering in foreigners affairs, but the UK, with it's twenty ship navy, seven combat squadron air force, and increasingly part time army show how this pans out. Our armed services could probably defend us against a Danish attack, for example, but we'd struggle with anybody bigger.
From a logical perspective if the politicians don't have the resources to fight anybody, then they won't be able to, but as we've seen time and again our leaders are more than happy to start purposeless wars which our military are ill equipped for. Luckily we don't have a Nimrod fleet any more, so we won't be embarassed by Russian submarines in our territorial waters as we won't know they're there.
So, pacifists everywhere should be supporting rail gun development, exo-skeletons, laser cannons and all the other madcap ideas of military suppliers as the best hope for global peace.
Re: Wrong platform?
"and not have the associated risks of carrying explosives or explosive fuel"
You think that the risks of incoming fire to either a truck sized nuke or fusion reactor would be any more preferrable to chemical propellants?
Re: Wrong platform?
"So, what's this Bradley with the railgun supposed to use it for? Isn't this what main battle tanks are for, heavy hitting?"
I would guess that one of the primary advantages is that due to its short time in flight a rail gun projectile should be far less subject to atmospheric and gravity, and require less correction against fast moving targets. Which might translate to far greater accuracy, with out the risk of jamming or other interference that guided weapons may be increasingly subject to in future wars.
And with drones becoming off-the-shelf technology, you have the prospect of Western forces being ranged against small, nimble, disposable weapons even in "dirt wars", and against relatively small supersonic drones in combat against mid-tech countries. Missiles will struggle with smaller drones particularly at lower levels, and drawing a bead with a slow kinetic weapon will be difficult.
"Budget LEDs tend to either have light "hot spots", more pronounced flickering or more likely are just not bright enough to be usable replacements for the bulbs they replaced"
The old (cardboard cubed) Tesco own brand GU10 LEDs were excellent, particularly the dimmable 250 lm versions. Using 6W they aren't as efficient as newer models, but I'd happily trust Tesco as a supplier on my experience of 20 odd LED bulbs with accumulated run time approaching 2,000 hours per light.
The issue about hot spotting (or too narrow beam focus) can be somewhat improved by using a fine grained emery cloth on the plastic lens - frost it up a bit and the focus is diffused, the beam angle widened. If you're not really using GU10s as "spot" lights (as most I've seen are not) then this is worth doing by default.
Re: Lightbulbs are perceived to have a short life
"Look for Europe, with their incredibly pricey "green" power, to lead the growth of LEDs."
The main rationale for LEDs is replacement of halogen reflectors. In that case the cost of reputable GU10 is around £5-7, for a bulb that will last 20-30 times the lifetime of a halogen. At 25 * £2 (for branded GU10 halogen bulbs), it is a no brainer to replace the halogen with LED even if electricity were free, and even if the LED only lasted for a third of its rated lifetime.
Factor in that heat can be a real problem in a lot of halogen installations (eg ten fifty watt GU10 in a kitchen is quite normal, but has an effect like a 500W heater on continuously), allow only modestly for the circa seven fold reduction in electricity use, and Europe's energy prices are only a small bit player in the argument for LEDs.
"I think, as a whole, the entire LED segment of electronics is on a spiral to the cheapest possible way to do things, and that doesn't generate a lot of profit for anybody."
Maybe, but I think a bigger problem is that good quality LEDs last so long that there's no replacement market. Not quite the everlasting lightbulb, but near enough in commercial terms as to make no difference.
Re: Useless, expensive AND inconvenient, a genius idea
"Other more expensive Swiss ones were better of course"
And the cost of a genuine Swiss watch is now approaching what I'd consider car money. However for any sadsters currently dependent upon their smartphone to tell them the time, they might consider upgrading to a Seiko 5. That's a lovely piece of self winding mechanical precision (from Singapore last time I looked) offered in a range of cases and dial designs for around the fifty quid mark.
Useless, expensive AND inconvenient, a genius idea
I'd have thought that kinetic charging as the user moved wouldn't be beyond the technology of today,. Obviously such advanced ideas are alien to Apple.
Good luck with that, Tim.
Re: Adam Smith
"Well i guess its a morale thing. "
It's more than that. There's a fairly clear correlation between worker productivity and wage rates (often observable today in BPO productivity, where you'd need more offshore workers to replace a given number of higher cost per head onshore people). Logically, at an particular price point you could forcibly keep people's noses to the grindstone, and make the productivity equal higher paid workers, but that's rarely sustainable unless the workforce have no other options.
In developed markets like the UK or Germany, if you're paying low rates, then you get the least skilled, least motivated people who want to work, but can't find anything better. The implicit lack of respect that often goes hand in hand with low pay jobs leads to higher absence rates and shorter stays with the employer. And all it needs is somebody offering minimum wage plus 20p an hour, and these people will be off. Unlike higher skilled and higher paid jobs, the transactional "costs" of changing job are far lower. There's no crummy recruitment consultant to have to pander to, no need to polish up a glossy CV full of buzzwords, no two or three round employer interviews, no psychological or skills tests.
Also interesting to note that Tesco (who don't appear to give a stuff about productivity) pay poorly, Aldi (who have total cost in mind, and want high productivity) pay much better for comparable jobs.
Are the strikes the reason...
...for Amazon's rubbish delivery performance in the UK of late? Or is that down to the fact that they're already paying peanuts and getting monkeys in these parts?
Re: I can second the fuel prices.
"We all came to the same conlusion, their "gas" price was about half our petrol. And they still had the gall to complain about their "gas prices"."
Americans pay similar overall levels of tax as we do, just that their government squeeze it out in different ways, and waste it in different ways. Since the US taxes on road fuels are lower, they Merkins feel the pain of any global petroleum prices increases far more than we do.
In rough terms the impact of a 10% increase in global crude prices would only increase pump prices by 5% in the UK because fuel duty is a flat rate of around half the full retail price (whereas VAT/sales tax is an ad valorum tax, so varies depending on the sale price).
Re: I don't like Google buying Nest
The Nest acquisition was part of what is now emerging as a clear strategy of "owning" energy customers in their own homes. You may (or not) recall that Google have had a Federal licence to trade energy wholesale, and to supply it to residential customers in the US for several years now.
The purchase and immediate killing of the Revolv product shows that Google didn't want the brand, nor the current product, they wanted the team that developed it. And they'd only do that to develop their own home automation, control and monitoring hub. So we might expect a new version of Nest that integrates a Revolv-style home hub. All that lovely, lovely data on everything you do will be streamed back to the Googleplex to be used for their benefit (and I'd guess they'd really want to know more about media consumption, so what TV and radio is consumed if they can get that data).
And ideally for Google, you'll sign up for them to supply you energy, which gets Google a $1-2,000 revenue stream per home. Combine (potentially) real time data on energy use, by device, throw in a some load control to give Google the ability to remotely control some element of demand (demand response services are very profitable), add in some Google trading algorithms in the wholesale power market, and suddenly Google controls your home, knows where you are, what you do, what you watch and listen to. And you pay them thousands of dollars a year, whilst they subtly manage your heating, aircon and devices to make Google even more money. Throw in electric vehicle charging and there's even higher power demand and even more opportunity to manage demand.
"OK, so you three don't like the new Doctor Who"
No sane person does. HoFuCTAS.
Re: It is a pity that there's no "watchdog" for web services.
" At the least, the 3rd party service should have been fined. "
No. The duty of care was on the companies collecting the data. The 3rd party provider should face redress for (at most) breach of contract. And that assumes that the telcos wrote the security requirements into the contract. If they didn't bother to check the contracted security arrangements, it may be rather bold to assume that they did indeed write them into the contract.
Re: Economics 101
"But the companies have to make money somehow if they are to stay in business - so now they sell access to your phone number to anyone who will pay."
If you think that selling spam-call lists to dodgy companies is a big earner, then you know nothing about the economics of cold calling (even though any intelligent person can estimate these for themselves), and I'd presume nothing about either the technology or economics of a telco.
A very poor legacy
"His legacy? BAe Systems, the successor to those early firms: an £18bn global colossus employing 88,000 people....."
Not much of a legacy for a commercial and technical pioneer. BAe hasn't designed any aircraft in their entirety since the Hawker Siddeley initiated the 146 and the Hawk in the 1960s using slide rules and paper. And BAe has never even got involved with any aircraft development at commercial risk, choosing to run away from civil air transport, and wait for the clowns of the MoD to pass them vast sums of money for follies like Nimrod AEW3, MRA4, or to continue to make Cold War relics like the Typhoon, and then do daft things like strap bombs to jet fighters, because neither the useless, useless MoD, not BAe's management had bothered to think that we might need strike aircraft as the antiquated Tornadoes came to the end of their useful lives.
If anybody wants to get a real feeling for Britain's aviation heritage, then instead of looking to BAe, they should take a trip to the Shuttleworth Collection (which I assure you is a fantastic day out, far more engaging than the impressive but sterile RAF museums).
"By collaborating they are effectively giving the go ahead to create the largest governement(s) botnet ever created."
What bigger than the WIndows or Android assets of the US government?
Re: @ AC - Rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic
"As these phones do more and more the more locked in to the ecosystem users will become and they won't bother switching as a result."
For business users, ever fearful of a need to train employees, you're right. Private users are much less fearful of swapping, and buy what suits them at the time. The kidz swapping from BB to Lumias without even stopping to consider Android shows how quickly consumer sentiment can shift Personally I can't stand the WP interface and all that "tiles" sh1te, so I won't buy a Lumia now, but that's aversion to Microsoft's "like it or lump it" interface not any loyalty to Android. If the UI on WinPho were made less garish, in-your-face, WIndows8-like, then I'd happily consider a Lumia next time round. Likewise Apple. I don't like the price, but I'd be happy to tolerate the UI. In principle it's Apple's decision on pricing that mean another Android is a probable purchase, not any USP of Android.
And Google and Android makers are actively tilting the playing field in favour of other phone OS by the fragmented update and weak post-production support, by pre-installed non-deletable apps, and by the dubious privacy of anything associated with Google. I'd happily consider Sailfish, Tizen, Firefox, or Ubuntu phones if they work well enough and can offer the few basic apps I'd use.
For home users, far from being locked in, I'm seeing less lock in, and more opportunity for OS-makers to get it right, although that's an opportunity where Google, Microsoft, Apple and the rest seem to be falling over themselves to seize defeat from the jaws of victory. In large part that's because in different ways these three businesses are committed to creating products and foisting them on the market without really listening to the market.
Re: "Worst one-night stand EVER"
"A one night stand that founded a people that went to the motherfucking moon. I'd say it was pretty successful."
But for that drunken bit of hokey pokey we'd be on Mars now.
More seriously, I wonder if there were negative behavioural traits that are legacies of our "minority ancestor"?
Re: The media strikes again!
"Maybe this isn't so with the news on the other side of the pond,"
Oh, it is. And we have the same sort of gap between reality and perception of crime and risks.
Re: Another bunch of mugs swallow the vendor's Koolaid
though I doubt the margin numbers are right upfront (I suspect outsourcers make most of their money in the later years of contracts when IT costs have gone down but clients are too tied in to move. A year one saving of anything big would be a bit scary).
Agreed that the normal BPO/ITO model is based on backloading the returns to the outsourcer, but the way this translates is that the vendor usually promises year 1 savings, and takes a loss in years one and two of the contract. It's a rotten business model, but it works a treat because corporate managers fall for it time after time.
Their IT staff are mostly German and impossible to directly get rid of, whereas IBM are planning to move the work elsewhere.
This is usually a big part of the deal, with the salesmen promising vast, risk free savings from outsourcing and offshoring. The redundancy payments are I guess the big cost Lufthansa quote for the setup costs. Unfortunately, when you take into account the lower productivity of most cheap labour, high turnover in key outsource destinations, and the big fat vendor margin, those savings evaporate.
They are really planning to get rid of a bunch of projects as you hypothesise they'll need to do, but German law won't allow them to get rid of the people,
This is a common fallacy outside Germany, that you can't get rid of people. But its not true. A German company I worked for recently got rid of around 10,000 German employees, and the UK based company I worked for before that rationalised its German business from 3,000+ down to 1,600. It does cost a bit more, and it takes a bit longer than in the UK, but German companies can certainly get rid of people if they want to. The German psyche that says that companies should look after employees is rather stronger protection than German law these days.
IBM have enough reusable systems and processes that they can genuinely do things sufficiently more efficiently to make the desired profit (which seems unlikely at the scale Lufthansa must operate).
That's a favourite from the management consultants who write gushing papers about the benefits of outsourcing. But it makes a typical consultant error, in that it assumes that cost savings for the vendor (from re-use of existing systems or code) translate to savings for the buyer. IT departments of all people should understand that the whole point of code, IP and processes is to reduce the cost for the owner, whilst still charging the user as much as they can afford to pay.
In my experience of looking at such matters, the outsourcers allude to such efficiencies and "best practice" all through the pitch, but don't actually have any such systems or code up their sleeve. The business model works best when the customer has broken or inefficient processes, because the game is a margin one. When you make 40% GM, why on earth would you want to make things run at lower cost for your customer by offering them a brilliant, lean system that reduces cost by (say) 35%, and thus reduces vendor profits by a similar figure? In reality the outourcers want to take on whatever shitty processes the customer has, and then charge the customer through the nose to make a few basic changes that don't materially reduce the operating costs.
Another bunch of mugs swallow the vendor's Koolaid
A pity that Lufthansa didn't do a bit more research before believing that an outsourcer is going to do the job better or cheaper than they will themselves. WIth around 115,000 employees I don't buy the argument that Lufthansa lack the scale.
A more pressing concern is that IBM made (4Q13) made gross margins of 40% on technology outsourcing. Let's assume Lufthansa have been made promises about a 20% cost saving (that's the magic number most outsourcers seem to fixate on). If Lufthansa are going to save that money, and IBM are to avoid diluting GTS division results, then IBM need to be able to operate what will be fairly heavily dedicated IT infrastructure for an operating cost fully 60% lower than Lufthansa are currently incurring. Can't see that myself.
Mind you, my employer's board swallowed similar promises, and it did result in IT costs going down. But only because all routine IT costs went up after we outsourced (along with a reciprocal decline in service standards), and desperate IT managers reacted by slashing operationally-needed projects and new systems from the IT investment budget, and called the resultant net effect a "saving". That's not the view of the operating units, but who asked them?
Oh, and another word of advice for the directors of Lufthansa: You know that long, long, detailed SLA you signed, that commits the vendor to deliver all the promises they made? You might as well wipe your German backsides on that. Outsourcers have large, heavily resourced teams who work all day, every day on writing these agreements, and have big bonuses tied to a successful outcome (which includes the vendor not having to pay up when said vendor messes up). You, on the other hand, had a small and under-pressure team of procurement generalists who write agreements like these once every few years at most, accompanied by a team of IT people already under the cosh for being "too expensive", and most of whom actually had an operational role.
Maybe I'm being unfair. But it seems that either Lufthansa's people didn't do their research properly in the matter of IBM versus Cable & Wireless, or alternatively they chose to believe the salesmen's assurance that the leopard had changed its spots. And salesmen, they always tell the truth.
Re: Mightier than the sword
"why don't we disband the british armed services and merely make it a crime for foreigners to invade the UK"
That's already been done, under the guise of various successive "strategic defence reviews" that have left us with no credible land, air, or sea capabilities. And whilst it is easy to argue that projecting force overseas has rarely ended well, we're now at a position where our armed services couldn't defend the UK, and we rely on the assertion that nobody (other than migrants in Calais) wishes to invade us.
Re: joke maybe, but you have a point@ illiad
"if your equipment isnt clean enough to function properly, its no good to anyone..."
That was my point. How will an undergraduate wank into a sock that's as rigid as a carbon nanotube, and as flat as graphene? And in that case grease probably isn't going to do as good a job as a quick cycle in a cheap washing machine.
Re: It definitely makes sense
"pygmys or people suffering of dwarfism "
Why pick on them? That Warwick Wossname seems like a decent chap, I don't want him sending to Mars. And pygmies, can't say I've met many, but I've no particular reason to think they deserve to be sent i a tin can to Mars.
But if we're looking for short people that we'd like to send off into space, what about Bono? And Tom Cruise. Prince. Woody Allen......
Re: Some logic to the discussion...
"The point is that, regardless of gender, we will end up with the best crew."
Is this the mission they don't come back from, or is that a different one? I'm just thinking that if it's a one way trip then we don't want to send the best people, and we should be looking for "second tier" applicants. And if it's the one way trip, this is going to be reality TV, so you want some eye candy, and people who will entertain.
Or alternatively send a hand picked crew of Ched Evans, Oscar Pistorius, White Dee, and Shrien Dewani. That'd tick the boxes for any diversity survey, whilst being a collection of people many of the rest of us wouldn't miss.
Re: joke maybe, but you have a point
"Real men only need; Something that cleans when things get too dirty."
You're not a true man if you recognise the concept of "too dirty". If for whatever reason, the dirt interferes with the functional properties of something, you're allowed to clean it, but in isolation, dirt of itself is no reason to clean. Take a sock, that (for whatever dubious reason) has got rather revolting and gone hard, the reason for cleaning is only to remove the hardness that makes it difficult to put to any particular use.
Re: 5th time warning or else
" Whereas the UK has 3 universities in the world top-five, Germany’s highest is a miserable 49th."
Some very selective stats there, my son. I'm a reactionary UKIP supporter, and I attended one of the top UK universities, but even I will (on the basis of experience) accept that Germany has an amazingly good education system, amongst the highest levels of productivity in the world, and better standards of living than the UK, and probably in most terms the US. Your selective comparisons that favour the UK and Mercania also ignore the fact that Germany has far more stable and balanced public finances than either country, with the US and UK addled with debt. The UK's lead in graduate numbers is based on offering degrees in hairdressing, media studies and similar shite.
Consider this: Who buys a British car for its engineering?
I'd really like things to be different, but they aren't.
Re: 5th time warning or else
"she will write a very, very, very angry letter to say that the 6th warning is imminent."
Given that the German economy is by far and away the largest and healthiest in Europe, and that Germany's net contribution to the EU budget is 3x that of the parasites of France, I'd suggest that Steelie Neelie's gunpowder is very wet indeed.
Re: 5 Warnings?
"And "we" want to leave the EU and be left at the mercy of our own government's Quango's to "manage" pricing."
In case you hadn't noticed, it's Germany that might end up in the dock, not the UK, where the rules appear to have been zealously implemented. You might also stop to consider that the majority of EU competition and regulation approaches have been heavily influenced by the UK's pioneering approach to competition in utility markets.
But hey, if you want to go back to "big state" policies that ultimately amount to state-provided services, then feel free to move to Venezuela, or Cuba. Some of us are old enough to remember the shockingly poor, expensive "services" that government provided when it directly controlled the vast majority of UK water, electricity, gas, telecommunications, road haulage, bus services, railways, air transport, airports, ferries, docks (not to mention the state's "scorched earth" policy in manufacturing industry).
And perhaps you should reflect whether Brussels is really pro-competition and free enterprise, or is merely a shadow state looking to micro-manage all economic activity (a bit like France, with it's mangled and unproductive economy).
Re: Yeah yeah
"Trust is dead, and I hope you spend long hours during your retirement reflecting on your part in its demise."
That would be nice, but Sir Iain will spend his retirement reflecting on the fact that like many senior civil servants who did the wrong thing by persuading themselves that black was white, doing the wrong thing, he's got a knighthood and you probably haven't, and he's got a very generous, index linked, tax-payer guaranteed, minimal contribution pension of vast proportions (and again, you probably haven't).
The dog f*ckers who have made an epic mess of energy policy, with a raised risk of blackouts in future years, and a need to nearly double prices from current levels will likewise be heading into retirement with similar wealth and status, and every other bungling government department is led by similar people.
Re: The Mind Boggles
"No, you're thinking of the other group of xenophobic old white dudes...."
What, like 'bama boy?
"And I really find it funny that someone who declines to use their real name is making a fuss about using 'real names'."
OK, I'll but the idea that using a comedy title doesn't matter.
How about the idea that the "house of lords" is a simply a posh, taxpayer funded club for placemen of whatever revolting prime minister nominated them for a peerage? And that as a wholly unelected bunch of tossers, many openly affiliated to the political party that sponsored them, they shouldn't be involved in any shape or form in law-making?
Personally I'd fire all the "new" lords, reinstate the old hereditary peers (for reasons that will become obvious below), strip their right to do anything meaningful with legislation whilst keeping them in the palace of Westminster, and then I'd sell membership (along with a non-hereditary title) as the world's most expensive club. As they'd have no power, I'd happily take the money of every c*nt of an Australian publishing tycoon, Russian criminal oligarch, African dictator, Chinese noveau-riche billionaire, Indian chewing-gum magnate, and the rest. I reckon that you could easily sell 200 seats at something like £100m a year each (there's around 2,000 billionaires globally, they're not going to miss small change like £100m a year). The resulting £20bn income would go a good way to reducing the government's borrowing, and the lords would be no less of a waste of space than they are at the moment.
What's not to like?
Re: War. What is it good for?
" I'd also like to think that looking your enemy in the eye makes you reflect on the horror of conflict. If not in the heat of battle, at least afterwards."
Yes, that's called PTSD.
Given that the horror of war has not resulted in any loss of enthusiasm amongst those starting wars, and given that those fighting the wars are never the people who make the decisions to go to war, I'd suggest trying to keep our soldiers out of harms way is a good thing. Even if it's a dodgy war we've started on made up evidence, or one that we've stupidly contributed too.
Of course, if you want to go back to man-to-man knife fights as a noble quest, then you feel free to get yourself a sword, travel to some fly-blown god-forsaken dump and take on an IED with your trusty blade.
Re: That had me worried@ Irongut
"This is the company that fixed a broken cockpit window with duct tape."
This is a tech site, I thought all readers would know that duct tape fixes anything.
Well, maybe Didcot B is now somewhat beyond the salvation offered by gaffer tape, but that's probably because the owners didn't use enough of it in the first place.
Re: Manchester is not northen
"And did you eventually grow up ?"
We both know the answer to that!
Re: Manchester is not northen
"And I say that as a poncey southerner who braved life on the windswept peaks of Carrbrook for many years."
I'll back that, having moved from the pleasant and civilised south to the uncouth north for my growing up years. By God! It was like being a missionary amongst savages! Or a legionary atop Hadrian's wall. There was I sole speaker of the Queen's English for a hundred miles, and all around the Yorkshire vermin were spitting in the gutter and bah't tatting before setting off to Ilkley Moor with whippets in tow and cloth cap upon head. It was only as we passed Watford Gap on the way south that mum would let me turn the Brownings to safety and come out of the Cortina's rear turret.
Looking on the bright side, thanks to Blair, most of the BBC and their middle class Guardian reading liberals have been exiled to the Manchester Gulag. Before the native Mancs know it they'll have been gentrified and become the people they currently loathe in the less grim suburbs. And then the Glaswegians will have undisputed title of the expression "northerners".
Re: Article crap. Try this instead.
Skipton, best place to live?
I can remember childhoods in Yorkshire not many miles away, playing on ten foot snowdrifts in winter, wallowing in the miserable isolation and backwardness. So apart from the weather, the locals, and the fact that it's the official Middle Of *ucking Nowhere (MOFN) perhaps it is a good place to live if you're a bored London journo scraping up some contracted copy for the Huff post.
" and origin of the Black Pudding"
Luckily the recipe is now widely known, so if Bury slips back to the stone age we'll still be able to fry it good and crisp. And if feeling charitable to send some back to Bury in Red Cross parcels if we haven't eaten it ourselves.
Re: Thanks for all the fish!
"Why that show and no others?"
Because for many of us, it was our first taste of scifi, and we grew up with it. Cardboard sets, comedy monsters and all, but of late appreciatively growing into Ecceleston and then Tennant's contributions.
Sadly the current palava is caused by the fact that having updated the programme to acceptable graphics, good camera work and good acting, the BBC have thrown it all away by turning the whole thing into a shitty soap opera. The rot started under Matt Smith, who was always too effete for the role, but the storylines had caught a does of something nasty at the same tine. And now, well, it's Holby Fucking City in Time and Space (HoFuCTAS).
So, HoFuCTAS? I'll tell you who, the knob ends of the BBC. And the c*nts at BBC Worldwide don't help, always badgering to have UK-focused content dumbed down for the international market.
I can remember when the Beeb did not just good stuff, but brilliant, world class stuff. Now they've thrown away all the orgasmically beautifully filmed nature programmes, they shat on their previously fabulous costume dramas (1), and worst of all they've messed with Dr Who. Bastards, every last one of them, navel gazing from the inside, because they're up their own arse.
(1) Not my bag, but I know a good thing when I get an hour or two to myself on Sunday evening.
"I was born in a water moon. Some people, especially its inhabitants, called it a planet, but as it was only a little over two hundred kilometres in diameter ‘moon’ seems the more accurate term. The moon was made entirely of water, by which I mean it was a globe that not only had no land, but no rock either, a sphere with no solid core at all, just liquid water, all the way down to the very centre of the globe...."
If you know, you know. And if you don't you need to find the book and read it.
Re: @Lamont Cranston
"if you're shown the Bake Off and don't enjoy it, you're promptly deported to somewhere far less British"
What, like how we used to transport people who didn't share Britain's law abiding values? Look where that got us: Bloody crims' descendants are living it up in Oz, whilst we sit in our poxy little houses in our overcrowded, damp and grey country. And in the meanwhile some arseholes in Westminster have made things worse by hitching our cart to the plodding three legged donkey that is the EU, so we get freedom of trade for European criminals, and to share in the wasteful, backward, statist, and bureaucratic values that are central to the heart of every true European.
I do agree that it is quintessentially British to make a programme in which uninteresting people bake a cake, and then uninteresting but slightly dislikeable people criticise them, but it is equally quintessentially for only the oldest, most bewildered and most be-cardiganed to actually watch such cheap schedule filling crap. People still pay to watch or buy Dad's Army from almost fifty years ago, but I can't see people fifty years hence marvelling at the talent and wit of the Great British Bake Off.
Re: I can handle a couple more subscriptions.
"Canada here. I'd like to pay the License Fee and have full access to all BBC programming. "
No! No! You really want all of the gems the Beeb foists on us, and you want to pay?
Strictly Come Dancing? The Voice? Antiques *ucking Roadshow. Songs of *ucking Praise? East Enders? Holby City? The Great British Bake Off? The effete and increasingly soapy Doctor Who? The Graham Norton Show. Watchdog. Even the BBC news is now a dumbed down, non-investigative, timid government mouthpiece. And it comes with a shed-load of government encouraged climate change doom.
Any time they look like they're backing a winner (eg the BBC Wales scifi/drama stuff) they throw it away so they can stick with Songs of Praise and Antiques Roadshow. Previous glories of period drama were thrown away, and all sets, actors and writers dumped at sea, so that Holby City could continue to be made and spewed forth. And as for comedy, there's precious little of merit going back to the 1970's.
Canada, you're welcome to this pile of state produced ordure, but I say you'd get better value cracking open a beer, and streaming yourself some grumble.
Re: I wish they could
"In order to do that we will have to stop buying oil and gas from them first."
I have a simpler solution: Instead of telling the rest of the world how to run the web, the Arabs could just turn off all digital telecommunicatons, and do without the internet.
Re: Utopian drivel
"Unless they're going to issue everyone of voting age with a basic internet connection "
A more pressing concern is that not voting is a valid choice. I didn't have any acceptable choices for MP at the last general election, so I didn't cast a vote for any of the candidates. If Martha is too stupid to see how important the right to not vote is, then she's evidently fully qualified to be a member of the house of lords. Presumably serial stupidist Lord Vaz will be joining her soon, as he's demonstrated the necessary hypocrisy and dim-ness.
The interesting aspect of this is that under the previous hereditary system the Lords were great - a chamber of sleeping old codgers who allowed us to sell the idea of being governed by a class system to tourists, but who never interfered with the bungling stupidity of the lower chamber, other than a few irrelevant speeches about the need to hunt foxes, badgers and peasants. Following the "reforms" by that village idiot Blair, we can now see that we don't need two chambers, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify the House of Patronage.
I say shut the doors and gas 'em.
Re: "Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"
"I live in one of the flattest parts of the UK but ALL mobile providers services are totally shit."
It applies everywhere, as far as I can see. Personally I blame OFCOM. They've created a licensing system that (along with capital requirements) means that there's huge barriers to entry in the infrastructure part of the value chain.
It isn't beyond the wit of man to mandate "common carriage" arrangements where the market can't provide coverage in low population densities (even the French have managed it). But sadly what is not beyond the wit of man is clearly beyond the wit of OFCOM.
And a question for those who know about such things, is 4G going to be the same pathetic shambles as 3G? All this talk of ludicrous speeds is surely going to depend in the real world on mast capacity and backhaul, and those appear to be the bits the MNOs have thus far refused to invest in beyond the barest minimum, leading to all this 2G fall back and half data rate nonsense (along with the absolute notspots with no coverage of any kind).
"Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"
"Vodafone research shows that customers value a consistent, high-speed 4G service in-building as well as outside "
If Vodafone's research is any good it should also show that most customers don't give a shit about 4G services targeted at a few urban hipsters with the latest handsets, but would give their left bollock (or their partner's left bollock) for decent near universal H+ 3G.
Re: Cross Country Trains, Virgin, too.
"Those decade-old rolling stock from Italy (the ones with slidey does and smelly loos) have some kind of miracle signal attenuation."
I suspect it's the design, which has far smaller windows than older inter-city and suburban carriages. The huge area of metal presumably acts as a leaky Faraday cage.
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