1816 posts • joined Friday 1st June 2012 10:28 GMT
The modern day Clearance
From Wikipedia: "On 23 July 2007, the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond unveiled a 10 ft-high bronze "Exiles" statue in Helmsdale, Sutherland, which commemorates the people who were cleared from the area by landowners and left their homeland to begin new lives overseas."
Maybe the clown can now unveil a big bronze statue to the modern day clearances, depicting those cleared from the land by the failure or the Scottish Parliament to subsidise roll out of free rural broadband, piping red-hot grumble into every remote croft?
The new statue could feature a frustrated highlander, kilt akimbo, sitting in front of a PC connected by a dial up modem featuring the flag of St George. A box of tissues is next to the keyboard, but it is symbolically unopened. This poignant work of art would be installed at the mouth of Glencoe, depicting to the world how even today all suffering in Scotland is the fault of the English.
"I guess the UK must have it's own Guantanamo Bay somewhere else in the world where the terrorists are interrogated,tried and executed,"
My money's on Rhyl.
"Thank god somebody is protecting is from the imminent threat of Brazilian invasion"
Too late for that. Every bird in London has a Brazilian, so that's about three and a half million.
Re: The problem is
"The reason we don't have the IRA blowing up bombs is simple. We *negotiated* with them, and discovered that there was enough common ground to move forwards."
No, the leadership (as opposed ot the thugs at the bottom) were ensnared with the promise of power sharing, and sucked into the foul bureaucracy that passes for democracy. And as a result c**ts who previously spent their days plotting to murder civilians now spend their time arguing about the minutes of the last meeting, and feeling slighted if non-attendees or a meeting don't send apologies.
Let's not pretend this is about concensus. There is no common ground, but the outcome for those in Norn Iron who don't wish to murder or be murdered is a good one.
A fine idea. Would you see a range of phones to accomodate variations?
Galaxy Curve Athlete: Very right curve for the pert buttocks of a fit body
Galaxy Curve Slack: Slightly less curved for more everyday behinds that could do with a bit of exercise
Galaxy Curve Hambeast: I think that one speaks for itself.
Galaxy Curve Waterproof V: WIth a V shaped back, this sits firmly in the cleft, and is water proofed to prevent sweat damage.
Galaxy Curve Anorexia: A normal flatphone but enabling the excessively thin to buy into the Curve brand (you can see I'd have been great in marketing).
Re: Once upon a time......
From the Book Of Ledswinger, verses 14-15
14:1 "Then a miracle happened. Someone made displays out of hardened glass. No scratches, no stick on placcy layers, no ruined LCD bits."
14.2 And yay, the people did shout praise and thank god, turning away from Nokia's small but mighty 5800, and the people did make a great feast of burnt offering for the iPhone. But a new plague did spread across the land, when the miracle device did then get dropped but a single cubit onto unfertile earth. In that moment the work of satan was done, and the perfectness of the display was ruined forever.
15:1 The people wailed and rent their garments, and did yet gnash their teeth at the hundred quid plus bill for a new screen and digitiser. The prophets of the people's false idol that was called Apple were thus yet multipled, but the people were deceived still, and laughed yet at the thought of plastic screens.
15:2 Base and cursed with cartoony graphics was the iPhone, yet the people did worship King Steve and did demand yet more of the same. In return for tribute the false king did yet churn out more of the same, and the people did lap it up, and the king's house was full of silver. And even then the king did not pay his tithe to the US treasury.
15:2 The priests of expensive and undurable chattels did rub their hands and take the name of Nokia in vain, and poured scorn on those who claimed plastic might yet serve the will of god. And the wicked continued to insist that all should buy flat glass slabs from the temples of Orange and O2, ignoring that one size does not fit all.
Re: Scratch resistance?
"This is why I think this whole thing is a bad idea. There is no plastic yet that does not get attract scratches."
Some more than others. CR39 used for sunglasses is fairly scratch resistant, and that's real commodity grade stuff these days. I'd wager that there are plastics that don't scratch too badly. In fact my old Nokia 5800 survived two years of use by me, and then two years of use by my son with no significant scratching. Of course, being a resistive screen the UX was horrible, but in terms of durability there were no major concerns.
As anybody who's had to fork out to replace a cracked screen on a smartphone knows, there's a price for the brittleness of glass touchscreens.
I might like this
Seems a great idea. A gently curved phone could better fit in many pockets than big rectangular flat slabs, being plastic it won't shatter as easily when dropped, and being curved (concave side being the touch side, I'm assuming) it won't be subject to as much scratching from being slid along tables. So long as the curve isn't too great I can't see that there's too much impact on viewing the screen.
The main downsides are that this will undoubtedly be another phone with a non-user changeable battery, (but I seem to be in a minority of one on that subject) and a question mark over how well the screen resists scratching from touch use. For the fans of solid build I'd guess that this won't have a solid alloy chassis, so it's going to creak a bit, but personally I can live with that.
Whether the market will accept novelty from a company like LG rather than the likes of Apple we'll have to wait and see.
Re: Steve Jobs
"So don't just blame the bankers, a huge % of the western population cause this shit and as sorry as I am to say this, our collective greed will, without doubt, mean it will happen all over again. Give it about 15 - 20 years."
15-20 years? You've not heard of the UK government's help to buy scheme, then?
And sadly it isn't just Joe Public addicted to the Kreditade, it's the goverments of most developed countries. In that case it is instructive to observe how the solution to excess public borrowing and spending in the Eurozone, UK, Japan, and US is to borrow more and keep spending, which then feeds the consumer credit bubble because these governments need to keep interest rates low to avoid bankrupting themselves, thus they create cheap credit for banks, inflating asset prices, and encouraging risky lending.
Re: Average Consumer
"You're just not going to hear the difference with all the background noise while on the daily commute/treadmill/etc."
At any decent bit rate people will struggle to tell the difference when run through a top notch hi fi.
I play 256kbps MP3s from my phone into a Quad system fronted by electrostatic speakers. Listening to anything from classical choral through 70's rock to an assortment of today's music, the limiting factor is invariably the original recording, production and editing.
"Needs to have ultra high resolution"
For who's benefit? You have an owl listening to your music for you?
"they will be obliged to aggressively monetize their users. Will the users all stick around for that?"
It works for Google. All depends on how agressively, and how much they want to make. Looking at reported numbers they need to quadruple revenues or more to support the valuation, so that's a whole lot more advertising on average.
But one way of helping achieve that is simply to earn as much from non-US tw*tters as they earn from Yank tw*tters, as the limited data they have disclosed suggests US users generate six times the revenue. There's plenty of things they could expand - premium subscriptions, higher business charges, more advertising, more data sales, progressively reduced standard service, etc
"With storage, bandwidth and silicon ever cheaper, why not?"
As noted by earlier contributors, beacause nobody cares.
Storage, bandwidth and silicon have got ever cheaper over the years, and still you will struggle to find any decent lossless catalogue available for download. And that will continue until you can offer the masses hi-fidelity music without in anyway impinging on (for example) the speed of the download/stream, without compromising the amount they can store, and without them paying any more. The sad record of digital failure that passes for the music industry would seem likely to torpedo any prospect of hifi downloads even if the technology were able to offer it without any compromises.
And then there's the demand side: Those who claim to care about sound quality are split by more schisms than the church, with true believers still at war over analogue versus digitial, semiconductor versus valve amplification, every form of equipment and interconnect, the true range of frequency response needed for fidelity, sampling rates, codecs, error correction, etc etc etc. Arguably the people who don't care about the quality, but just want to listen to the music are in a stronger position both for enjoyment and their pilosophical integrity than the hi-fidelity mob.
Re: Of declining importance for power generation
"the survival issue is there's only so much oil(gas/coal) in the ground, what needs to change to make the market economics reflect the real world of two/five/ten/fifty years (or more) from now?"
The economics reflect the short term market structures, because the longer term stuff gets discounted (as in discount rate, not as in ignored). But the point of shale gas is that although there's only so much in the ground, there's far more than the declared reserves of the energy companies. Shale gas could be supplanted in its economic significance by better means of extracting shale oil and tar sands. Certain countries have vast shale gas reserves (eg France) but are currently opposed to extracting them). When all the shale gas is gone, and the tight oil and tar is in decline, there's gas hydrates.
Eventually it all has to move away from fossil fuels. But the raw availability of fossil fuels won't be a limiting factor for a couple of hundred years, long beyond the asset life of the extraction and power generation plant.
Re: I used to thump them
"Seriously there are still shops in the UK hiring nazis? in uniform as well? haven't they heard of a little event called world war II? "
People get far too hung up on WW2. Surely instead of remembering the bad things that went on seventy years ago, we should just remember the good things. Obviously there's not that much that the nazis did that was good, but autobahns, uniforms and Volkswagen must be high up on the list. And rallies, they did them well too, although best not to dwell on the speeches. And standing up in the back of open top cars, long before the pope got round to doing it.
Re: Tesco are the worst
"(*) There ought to be a word created for this "clumping" behaviour. When I drive a van I make a point of parking in the middle of nowhere. It's only a matter of time before all the adjacent spaces have been filled by badly parked morons. Yet the surrounding spaces remain empty."
Strange, isn't it. There's that unwritten urinal etiquette that everybody (apart from the mad) know innately, and follow precisely without complaints. Why can't people do that when parking?
Re: "Any assassination could be seriously damaging to this nascent diplomacy"
"It would be equally convenient for the more hawkish types in Washington and Jerusalem. So there's that. Machiavelliean scheming is not limited to the ME, in case you hadn't noticed."
You're right on that. But the previous assassinations which we can surmise are foreign planned had a purpose in themselves, and usually involved a degree of public open space. Shooting some near-nobody in the woods is a bit pointless when if you want to stir things up you could continue popping at their nuclear scientists, or waste some minor politician or senior government administrator. Look at how the Taliban destabilise Afghanistan by rubbing out district governors, their deputies, judges, or moderate tribal leaders.
Re: I used to thump them
"I no longer slap the ones in my favourite local Sainsbury, but I still do so anywhere else I think I can get away with it....BTW You do know that in Sainsburys you can elect to 'use your own bags' and enter up to 9 'own bags' to gain 9 extra nectar points credit."
You are a vandal and a fraudster. And on that basis I have upvoted you.
Re: Which is worse...
" or standing behind a woman buying 50 fiddly objects who finally realizes she actually has to pay for it all and proceeds to dig through a bag the size of a duvet for ...."
They all do that. But if swimming pools can do "ladies only" sessions, then maybe those expensive bastards at Tesco could do us "bloke shopping Thursday". No kids, no women (and no old blokes - sorry, if you're over 60 you're not wanted unless you pass a test of basic bloke shopping competence).
And then we can all wander round not speaking to each other, getting what we want quickly and efficiently, cursing and swearing to our hearts content. Bliss.
Re: They are evil
"Wait, you actually found a supermarket with POLITE and FRIENDLY staff??!!"
Speaking for myself I don't go to the supermarket for social contact, so they can be as rude and miserable as they like. What I draw the line at is excessively foul BO, or worse still BEING FUCKING SLOW.
In fact, I'll revise my views on the fly: Never mind the pong, the wise shopper picks the till with the smelly, surly faced ADHD sufferer who is standing up and fidgeting. He won't engage with you or other shoppers in front of you, and he'll whizz your stuff through quick as shit, not regarding the risk to your eggs, and give you tons of bags without the sniffy "I'd prefer to look after the planet" look some cashiers give you when you ask for your five hundreth bag.
Re: Waitrose FTW
"It was exactly the same when Safeway tried this in the mid 90's. "
Here too. But I've beaten the auto tills by going to Aldi. Much cheaper, most of the quality is well up to scratch, with a few exceptions. Nice small stores that you're in and out of in not time, rather than our local Tesco, which is so bloody big you can see the curvature of the earth along the till line.
Interesting thing is that Aldi employ people rather than machines, and they're privately owned, so it's the owner's money on the line. Everything else about Aldi is done on the cheap, so this tends to suggest that self scan and robo-tills are sold by "retail consultancies" and EPOS makers to talentless big-corp retailers who can't spot how crap these system are.
Mind you, we've still got a load of those green Safeway self scan crates, used for all manner of storage round the house.
Re: Of declining importance for power generation
"I for one would be interested in whether this could be used to improve efficiency of peak support in addition to base load (maybe by making CCGT more efficient in a support role?) "
I doubt it. The issue is that you use OCGT for frequent or unpredictable peaking. Hitherto in the UK the peaks have been fairly predictable, so we were able to run inflexible legacy coal further down the merit curve as your peaking plant and use CCGT as mid merit.
In the largely post coal world after LCPD closures, gas becomes the marginal plant, but it isn't economic to maintain and run marginal gas plant as combined cycle if the demand becomes unpredictable (that's why the renewables bashing is important - they cause the problem) hence the proposals for downgrading good CCGT to OCGT. If efficiency were the sole issue rather than cost, then you would already be operating the gas turbines as combined cycle for peaking.
So improving the efficiency of the condensors on a gas turbine in combined cycle doesn't have much bearing on the choice of OCGT versus CCGT, because the technology in question probably still won't mitigate the extra O&M costs of the combined cycle plant given the expected future duty cycles.
Re: Don't use these evil things ever!
"Maybe we all need to consider the larger consequences of using automated checkout tellers at grocery or other stores."
Where do you stop on that road? Will you ban ATM's for putting bank clerks out of a job? Computers for making HR administrators and accounts clerks surplus commodities? Car factories for making artisan customer builders unemployable (and them in turn for reducing the employment prospects of grooms and stable boys)?
You are Ned Ludd, and I claim my five pounds.
"The last time I shopped regularly in the Co-op the assistant served you with everything you wanted. Then your money was put into a little container on an overhead cable"
My god, you must be old! Have you transitioned to an Elder race, or even Sublimed? What are the supermarkets like in the sublime?
Re: Automated till hell ...
"Absolutely - I make use of the services of a trained operative every time."
Same here. But the unfortunate thing is that this is a tech site, and it's people like us that built these things.. C'mon, somebody round here is responsible for this! Own up, and accept the good kicking you deserve.
Re: Nothing will make airships viable.
"So...never say never."
Alright. "Not in our lifetimes" then.
The wonder properties of graphene have yet to be scaled up, and I've likewise seen no progress on other wonder materials like artificial spider's thread, which in theory could be as strong as high grade steel and a fraction of the weight.
Re: Of declining importance for power generation
"Excuse Me....do not confuse a "peaker plant" quick remote start generation with normal CCGT operation(s)."
Excuse you indeed. I work with the planners who are looking at this day in day out, and the UK will see CCGT to OCGT conversion specifically because of the short cycles and unpredictable negative demand that renewables represent.
At present there's virtually no OCGT on the UK grid even for the peaking plant (have a look at DECC DUKES data to see the detail if you doubt this) and we use CCGT of varying merit largely dependant upon age. In other countries it is more common to have a mix of OCGT for peaking and CCGT for mid merit, but with the smoothing that a truly national grid allows there's less requirement than say some regional grids in the US, that also have more variable diurnal loads.
Re: "Any assassination could be seriously damaging to this nascent diplomacy"
"I'd be more inclined to believe he said the wrong thing or spoke to the wrong people, perhaps in a hushed whisper,"
Maybe, but this is Iran, where making people disappear isn't a problem for the authorities, so if they just wanted him dead there'd be no need for it to make the newspaper. The people around him would know he'd been "disappeared" so the deterrent effect is still there.
With their control of the press they could have hushed this up even it were a foreign act, so the authorities wanted this to be public knowledge, and that implies they want the population to believe somebody is attacking them.
Re: Thank God
"Land of the free for a given value of free"
I think you're onto a winner with that. And it would avoid confusion with Belize, whose national anthem is "Land of the free".
"Clearly, individuals are now making sophisticated risk assessments of the benefits and dangers of fracking, and coming to their own conclusion"
Whilst agreeing that the public have got bored of hippy doomsayers, I think it's fairer to say they're making an uneducated guess about the benefits and dangers, both of which have been over-played. So the potential resource is probably not great enough to materially alter our need for and dependence on gas imports, likewise the risk of water contamination is hugely hyped (being both unlikely, but also fairly easily treated).
A sophisticated assessment leads to a resounding "meh".
"Any assassination could be seriously damaging to this nascent diplomacy"
Which could be most convenient for those Iranian leaders who oppose any diplomacy. Rather convenient that it involves a relatively high profile victim, yet an area which isn't really seen as a cornerstone of Iranian defence or offence.
Given the Machiavellian scheming that passes for government in Iran (or much of the rest of the Middle East) this has to be one of the more likely explanations?
Re: Thank God
"The US Guvmint shutdown won't affect the NSA spying operations."
There's a delicious irony that there's no money to provide the services US citizens might want and might ask for, but plenty of their money to pay for them to be spied upon without their consent.
I think we can dispense with "Land of the Free" , but in future how would our colonial cousins like to refer to their fatherland?
"how can the spooks be certain which of the two places I may actually be for certain?"
There's always the chance of error.
In the UK they could just check up the CCTV or traffic cameras against a place and time that the phone has been tracked (common enough in serious criminal investigations). In countries less in love with surveillance cameras the limited coverage would make that more difficult, but theres other ways of cross matching people to locations. For example, you probably wouldn't hand your ATM card to somebody else with your PIN, so its a fair guess that an ATM withdrawal on your card is you, and a phone at the same place and time probably means you're carrying it.
Of declining importance for power generation
In the UK, and much of Europe, the obsession with subsidised intermittent renewables means that it is not cost effective to build new combined cycle plants, and in future it won't be cost effective to operate existing CCGT plant in combined cycle mode. So much of the industry are planning to downgrade the existing high efficiency CCGT to open cycle plants (cheaper to operate, quicker to respond from cold than CCGTs, but less efficient).
As a result this development will only be of interest to the fewer remaining plants run on combined cycle, and even they will probably be reluctant to invest given the uncertainty. In the US things are rather different, and I'd expect this to be explored with interest.
So our comedy energy policy will make fossil fuel plant less efficient. For comparison the electrical efficiency of an OCGT is around 40%, compared to a CCGT of 55% (thermal efficiencies are about 8% or so higher). In broad terms, this pushes the efficiency of gas back towards the higher end of the coal plants being forcibly retired under LCPD. Well done DECC and other tree huggers!
"Probably just buying to get hold of the IP"
No, this is the notoriously secretive Cerberus. Buyers of last resort, and scavengers, and they're after the still fairly strong balance sheet. The IP will be sold on, but it's Blackberry's cash and investments, saleable fixed assets, plus the residual service payments that make this worth the while.
You're right that the handset business will be thrown in the bin, unless they can find a rich mug willing to buy it. HP might fit the bill.
Re: A fundamental problem with this...
"That is fine if you are just looking at the Virgin West Coast services. It doesn't work so well if you also look at the Watford AC (London Midland), Watford DC (Overground) and Bakerloo Line Services that run alongside them."
Well, the same train length argument applies to the London Midland trains where more could be run as 12 coach formations than the handful that currently are, and that's a 50% capacity increase. You could also close some minor stations that constrain capacity by more seats than they fill - eg Apsley, maybe Kings Langley and so forth.
The DC services can be considered separately, since these are effectively isolated from the WCML equation. Arguably the answer is in part to make it all "underground", or all "overground", because solving capacity constraints is difficult with the mixed traffic.
Never mind the quality, feel the speed
Solving the speed problem would seem to be achievable, and it would be fantastic if they can make it work, but I have reservations that they will solve the speed issue, but then struggle with the quality of machine translation.
Untrained speech recognition software will get you perhaps 95% word recognition at best, possibly a whole lot less for real world on-the-fly commentary. In my experience the quality of speech recognition hasn't changed remarkably over the past decade. But when it does have a problem, it won't just create an error like a typo, it will typically insert grammatically correct words for the errors, that then feed into the translation software with interesting results. And that's before we consider the quality of software translation. If Google Translate is anything to go by, then I'd guess we're talking about 75% accuracy.
Any reason to believe that the recognition and translation accuracy will improve in time for 2020, other than vague hopes founded on Moore's Law?
"I've never brewed my own due to a lack of space, but I imagine I'd get a great deal of satisfaction from putting in the effort and eventually working out how to create a decent brew. You know, doing it properly and persevering until it's done right?"
Welcome to the world of country wines, my son. No need for hundreds of beer bottles, just a single demijohn, and six wine bottles. Cheap, compact, easy, and yet challenging. Rose petal wine is a personal favourite, but I'm also persevering in my efforts to make good wine from tetra pak juice, with some very good results from pineapple or orange juices.
Re: Shortcuts, shortcuts, shortcuts
"The hard part is the sterilization of the equipment. "
Bloody hell, what equipment are you using, rocks and wood? Sterilising plastics, glass, stainless steel and aluminium is a piece of pee - bleach, rinse, rinse, rinse and you're done.
Re: Real men drink real ale
"Boots used to do a home brew lager kit. Boil up the golden gloop with water, add yeast, ferment, bottle."
It's all still out there, but not from Boots. From the "one box and add sugar" kits (even sold in larger Tescos), up to some quite passably beers made with full malt extract. Not the real McCoy for one moment, but with a bit of care and a very modest investment you can prepare a home brew from a kit that you can serve to friends without shame. I've got a Tarwebier conditioning in bottles as I type.
As in the days of yore, the same rule applies: If you're adding sugar (sucrose, that is) then the end result will be piss.
"As a rule of thumb, the further you get from there the worse, but Britain has made it especially awful."
You've also experienced how Britain took the idea of fast food, and then eliminated the one single point of the product, then? Worst of all is when you get to a McD's and find the staff are all British natives. At least if they're all Polish or foreign students you stand a chance of getting your food quickly.
Re: A fundamental problem with this...
"Your anecdotes are not the same as a detailed analysis of the problem and the most cost-effective solution"
I'll state it again for the hard of thinking:
You could add 20% capacity to WCML services in about two months, at a cost running into a few hundred thousand pounds, just by the elimination of first class. That doesn't require "detailed analysis", it just requires morons like you to count the seats, and see the blindingly obvious:
Regarding your point on a daytime freight moratorium and speed, I've already offered you 45% extra capacity on the WCML, and probably more on the Chiltern line, within existing speed limits, timetabling and infrastructure. How much more do you want? Why this obsession with a conventional rail solution, that will actually place us 40 years behind the cutting edge, since that will be maglev or similar by the time this ridiculous scheme might finally be open?
I can only conclude that you're AC because you had a hand in the HS2 business case. In your case I think I'd hide in shame as well.
Re: Always a PC
"Even if they stop "growing" and just maintain current revenue for the next ten years, they are still making a shitpot full of money every 5 seconds."
That's what the boards of Nokia and Blackberry reckoned. And the board of HP are currently on the same hymn sheet. In tech, when people realise a company is in decline, they flee like passengers on a stricken cruise liner, and soon that incredible cash flow is waning, nobody wants to do business with you, and soon your yesterday's FT/WSJ headline.
In the corporate IT space, MS have a monopoly largely because nobody clever and agile challenged them. But I wouldn't want to be as MS shareholder if Google really meant business in enterprise, for example. Or even Apple. In the corporate space iPhones and iPads have cracked open the door. What if they got off their fat-margined bottoms, and started looking at what would make a secure, reliable enterprise client? MS are still hide-bound by the need to milk the cash cow. The company that defeats them won't be playing by the same rules.
Re: A fundamental problem with this...
"No it's not. A huge part of the benefit is the freeing up of capacity on existing overcrowded main lines."
Wheep! Wheep! Wheep! Train enthusiast alert! Head up arse £50bn solution to non-problem alert!
There's no shortage of intercity capacity between London and Birmingham, or anywhere else on the WCML. The West Coast Main Line could add 20% more capacity by the simple, cheap, and immediate measure of ripping out the first class Pendelino interiors and fitting all carriages out as standard class. So an 11 carriage Pendolino has 589 seats, but if we replaced all first class seating and the first class galley with standard class seats you'd add another 113 seats on every single train. And you could add another twelve-twenty five percent by the modest cost measure of one or two extra carriages in each Pendolino set and further extending the platforms. And that 20-45% increase in capacity could be delivered within existing timetables and at existing speeds. There's similarly straightforward solutions for the commuter routes at peak times, if the will is there, but whilst the idiotic HS2 scheme persists the industry is in denial about how to fix those as well.
And that's before we look at the Chiltern line to Birmingham which is nowhere near capacity. Within existing train timetabling we could easily see extended trains with existing platforms at most stations (the intercity stations mostly appear capable of handing twelve coaches, but rarely see more than eight, so there's a 50% capacity boost without running more trains, just adding carriages. And we've even got the spare carriages kicking around, as the retired Mk3's from the WCML and HSTs can be refurbed to a very high standard, as Chiltern's silver train sets demonstrate. The Chiltern line could without much stretch double its capacity between Birmingham and London without undue investment, particularly if they had a daylight moratorium on running freight trains. And the silver trains could all run at 125 mph if the signalling were addressed, further cutting journey times.
You've also conflated speed with capacity. If speed's the problem, then sort the signalling out on the WCML, regear the Pendelinos for 160 mph, straighten the curves at Weedon, Leighton Buzzard and Wolverton and you're done. Admittedly we might need SNCF to do the signalling work given the history, but cost overrun and technical failure are bigger threats to HS2 than to a further WCML upgrade.
So, maybe you think that £50bn is a good price for not disturbing the first class fat cats, and ignoring what we could achieve with existing infrastructure? I don't.
Re: Sounds crazy and backwards
"(*) Even on non-electric lines. The main cost there would be stabilising the voltage supplied in the carriages."
All the inter city trains I've been on for some years have had at seat 240V for passengers use even in peasant class. So at least you could charge your phone even if you couldn't get a reliable signal to use it. The problem with broadband will be the ones that bedevil Chiltern Railways free wifi - that you have to mess around and register, signal is often too weak in the carriages, the kit simply doesn't seem reliable, and not all trains are fitted out, so if the wrong set is put in service there's no wifi fitted. Then you've got the slow speed of the connection from train to backhaul, shared between everybody (with some optimists trying to stream movies with limited success, but using a fat share of the limited bandwidth).
You could overcome these problems at a cost of more and better equipment, but why should those who don't need or want continuous connectivity pay to subsidise those that do?
Re: 52 quid for a block of plastic?
£1,200:£52 Looks like a much better ratio than you get for the supplies on ink jets.
Re: bling blong!
"How much has this door cost in total?"
Don't consider the cost. It's a symbol.
Unfortunately it's a symbol that the company has lost its way, and cannot see that there is no market or shareholder value from patenting a revolving door a hundred years after such things were invented. In some ways removing the image of Saint Steve is quite fitting, because he was somebody who was hugely product and brand centric.
I'll buy one
But will they give me a refund if my mini-liberator explodes in my hand?
Re: how much skin do you need to have in the game ..
"Based on this, they are obviously seeking a chairman who would have pretty much no influence whatsoever."
That's how it should work. For complex, publicly listed companies the chairman (or head of the supervisory board if that's the local model) should not have much influence on the company's direction. That's what you pay the CEO for. The job of the chairman is to hold the CEO and the executives to account, assisted by the non-executive directors. In that respect Gates has failed, because it was investor pressure, not Billyboy who called time on Ballmer. We've had a string of bum acquisitions, two recent core software flops, we're still seeing security flaws in the OS and browser, we missed out on tablets, phones, the internet, and so forth.
This is part of a wider problem with corporate governance the world over, in the shape of the poor quality and/or low performance of the non-executive directors. All too often these people either don't voice their concerns. won't voice them, or aren't listened to. In US companies its not unusual to find non-execs with no valid experience in related industries, and the world over it is common to find cliques of rent-a-non-exec types taking a fat salary from umpteen different companies to whom they can devote no worthwhile energy.
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