* Posts by Ledswinger

3565 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Scot Nationalists' march on Westminster may be GOOD for UK IT

Ledswinger
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"a certain German party"

Godwin strikes again, but I may as well go with the theme:

I'm sure Sturgeon will make a nice little Fuhrette, although that dreadful 1980's dress sense will have to be attended to. Anybody who's been watching the Beeb's "Dark Charisma of AH" series will have realised that true national socialism is all about pomp, presentation, image and really, really good uniforms. Would Ms Sturgeon look good in a uniform with jodhpurs?

Ooh, and a really shouty leader telling people what they want to hear.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Nukes

"We really should look at relocating these anyway"

I'd agree with all the points you make, and add another one, which is simply to question whether we need a submarine based deterrent, and would be better served by cheaper distributed land based (final) solutions?

Submarines have low serviceability (which is why we need three or four to maintain one on station) and this makes them expensive. With no maritime patrol capability courtesy of the last "strategic" "defence" review, we've no way of knowing that they aren't already routinely tailed by foreign powers, dramatically reducing the invulnerability claims of the boat jockeys. And the original Cold War mk 1 theory of deterrence and MAD has been proven to be cobblers in Ukraine. First of all, the Russians no longer have an ideological drive to invade Western Europe. And if they were to nibble off bits of Poland or the Baltics, would we all want to die a nuclear death over those bits of Eastern Europe?

All we need these days is a deterrent capable of wiping out a second tier attacker with one or a handful of nukes, who wouldn't have the capability to plaster the entire UK, but might consider that they could wave a stick at London. And that potential retaliation could be delivered by cruise missile, land launched ICBM, or internationally based air launched cruise missiles.

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Forced sale of Openreach division would put BT broadband investment at risk, says CEO

Ledswinger
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If the board of BT plc won't invest in a demerged Openreach....

...there's plenty of other companies and financial investors who would be delighted. The successful private ownership under regulation, of water and sewerage networks, gas and electricity grids shows that the required results can be delivered, with both adequate returns for private investors, and adequate delivery of legal and social needs. I'd happily agree there's been some mess ups, but overall the system works very well.

So maybe that's the problem. Not that a demerged and full regulated fixed line broadband and voice network can't operate successfully. But that, by their own CEO's admission, BT plc are the wrong owners.

That's fine by me. A simple demerger that separates the equity of Openreach from BT would leave investors with exactly the same assets they currently own, but under separate management. If any investors don't want to own a regulated monopoly, then they can sell their shares in Openreach plc, but the fatcat roadblock that is the board of BT plc get completely bypassed.

Make it so, number 1!

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Chill, luvvies. The ‘unsustainable’ BBC Telly Tax stays – for now

Ledswinger
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"which have just won a smashing democratic endorsement"

I take it that's sarcasm?

Lightweight Dave won simply because he wasn't Ed Miiliband. Nobody knew what either parties' actual policies would be in any detail, nobody had a scooby about what their plans would cost, nor how those plans would be paid for.

To give credit where is due: I'm sure that nobody on the left of the political spectrum likes anything about Cameron, and in that respect he has united the nation, because everybody I know of a right wing persuasion feels quite similarly.

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Gaze upon the desirable Son of Alpha: Samsung Galaxy A5

Ledswinger
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Re: Had it for a couple of months

"nice battery life"

For a year or so, at any rate.

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Fox gives Minority Report the nod – precog goes primetime on tellybox

Ledswinger
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"Minority Report is a seriously whacky and underrated film IMO."

But sadly the premise for the series is merely about one of the characters. It'll be handed over to the lightweights of Amblin, get little input or love from Spielberg, and then be crafted to fit the interests of the commissioning network.

Every week Agatha will have some premonition of some dreadful occurrence, and then have to find some way of saving the day. But her talents will rouse a bit of popular resentment plus a suspicious sheriff, and she'll have to move along swiftly. Lassie on steroids, all designed for the easily pleased, packaged and sold to the highest bidder.

It's simply a cash-in to pay some of Spielberg's bills.

This has got my juices going

You're a Fox executive, then?

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The next Nest? We talk to Ring, the doorbell-come-security system

Ledswinger
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Re: A general problem with IoT devices

"If your doorbell gets stolen, don’t worry - we’ll replace it. For free."

If that's a winning business model, I'm sure phone and car makers will copy it. Having said that, I presume the business model is

Stage 1: Burn VC cash at frightening rate whilst rushing halfway decent solution to market and selling at or below breakeven;

Stage 2: Before cash runs out, sell company to bigger corporation hooked on IoT startups.

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OECD nations gang up on internet retailers, tax dodgers

Ledswinger
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Re: And a good thing too

"This proposal to force them to actually provide support for the countries they are feeding from is totally justified"

The problem that the politicians claim to be solving is one of their own making, having happily rubber stamped immensely long, poorly drafted, complex tax laws, and then idiotically signed tax and trading treaties that enable international corporations to engage in tax arbitrage. And since almost all countries prohibit profit shifting through transfer pricing, I've no doubt some of the rules already exist to prohibit dodgy licensing or reseller schemes - apparently the Ozthorities can't or won't enforce them, so its not really clear how more rules will solve anything.

Of course, adding another complicated tax law overlay won't solve the structural problems. This (as with the UK's similar ambitions) is the worst sort of gesture politics, since with the structural issues still in place, they're just squeezing the balloon at one end, and the tax dodging globocorps will come up with a new wheeze that puffs it up at the other end.

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All-Russian 'Elbrus' PCs and servers go on sale

Ledswinger
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Re: A decent market

"Outsourcing inevitably raises the espionage risk."

There is that. But the Yanks having all but confirmed that theory, they invite the Russians and Chinese to conclude that no US companies or technology can be trusted. So, the NSA have worked diligently to freeze US corporations out of the half of the world that don't get on with the US. Go team NSA!

Meanwhile, the Europeans continue to play nicely with Uncle Sam, happily paying extortionate sums for the "services" of untrustworthy US IT and BPO corporations, and (because that's not enough) then letting their own intelligence agencies hand over all and any data the US ask for, including commercial secrets, citizens personal data, and head of state phone calls.

The answer would appear to be "Europeans", in which case the question must be "who's the patsy?"

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Malfunctioning Russian supply podule EXPLODES above Pacific

Ledswinger
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"well at least you can enjoy burnt and broken pieces of Labour of Scottish origin. "

I'm looking forward to the inevitable single party Scottish Soviet Socialists Republic. It's going to be great fun watching them learn the hard way. The Scots will be better off than in the Union, but only after seven years of Grecian decline, and then fourteen years hard slog of recovery.

Now, I'm torn whether England should offer Scottish Unionists asylum, or whether the reverse should be the case with forcible repatriation of ethnic Scots. I think the latter is fairer (we wouldn't want to starve their economy of skills), and it has the benefit of reducing English unemployment, the only downside is Her Maj would need to find an alternative pad to Balmoral. And in the meanwhile we need to find a way of persuading the Welsh to take their football away.......

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Why carrier neutrality matters for 'proper hosting'

Ledswinger
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Carrier neutrality

Isn't that where you have carriers you're too afraid to put in harms way (like the US), or is it where you have a carrier or two, but they don't have any aircraft, making them as useful as a £6bn chocolate teapot (like the UK)? Or is where you have a carrier, but you don't join in the regular "bomb the savages on made up evidence" parties held by the international community (France, I'm looking at you)?

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Rent a door lock?

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Won't work in England.

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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...seems like Mr Bean was defending.

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

Ledswinger
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Re: I presume consent has been given...

"I presume consent has been given"

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Sitting Ducks

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: There were many...

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

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

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

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

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Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

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

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: 4,192 KWh

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

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

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

Some interesting and relevant points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not tried an induction hob@ phuzz

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Surplus power@ Hairy Spod

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Surplus power

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

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Think I'll wait...

" that 10yr guarantee seems hard to take seriously"

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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@YetAnotherLocksmith

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Huhuhu

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

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

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JP Morgan bank bod accused of flogging customer account info

Ledswinger
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Re: Who would have known?

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Want to bet on an entrapment defense?

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

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

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

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Brits send Star Wars X-wing fighter to the stratosphere

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is that so?

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

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

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

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

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UK exam board wants kids to be able to Google answers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Do no evil

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Hangon a moment

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: The reason it goes to landfill

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Odd materials

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: When I was a kid

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: The call of political parties everywhere...

"Vote for us."

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

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

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Sweden releases human genome under Creative Commons licence

Ledswinger
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Re: the more we learn...

" it is clear we need more genomes."

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Wotcha driving Simon?

"I do. That's pretty quick."

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

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

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Romanian rozzers round up alleged $15 MILLION ATM cybercrim gang

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

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

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

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Why recruiters are looking beyond IT's traditional talent pool

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

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

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

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Euroboffins want EU to achieve techno-independence

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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@ MGJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Late to the party

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

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

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

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China tackles vital strippers-at-funeral problem

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

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

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

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SUPERVOLCANIC MAGMA reservoir BUBBLING under Yellowstone Park

Ledswinger
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Re: Geothermal energy?

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

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

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

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