* Posts by Ledswinger

3586 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Brits send Star Wars X-wing fighter to the stratosphere

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

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

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

Is that so?

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

7
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

0
0

UK exam board wants kids to be able to Google answers

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

10
6

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

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

2
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Do no evil

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

7
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Hangon a moment

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

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

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

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

3
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The reason it goes to landfill

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

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

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

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Odd materials

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

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

1
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: When I was a kid

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

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

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

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

7
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The call of political parties everywhere...

"Vote for us."

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

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

3
0

Sweden releases human genome under Creative Commons licence

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: the more we learn...

" it is clear we need more genomes."

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

3
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Wotcha driving Simon?

"I do. That's pretty quick."

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

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

8
1

Romanian rozzers round up alleged $15 MILLION ATM cybercrim gang

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

5
0

Why recruiters are looking beyond IT's traditional talent pool

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

31
5

Euroboffins want EU to achieve techno-independence

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

6
7

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

@ MGJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

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

4
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: What about skills?

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

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

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

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

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

Straw man. Yawnn. Next please.

14
2
Ledswinger
Silver badge

What about skills?

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

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

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

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

28
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Late to the party

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

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

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

4
4

China tackles vital strippers-at-funeral problem

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

7
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

2
0

SUPERVOLCANIC MAGMA reservoir BUBBLING under Yellowstone Park

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Geothermal energy?

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

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

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

6
1

Costa Coffee Club members wake up and smell the data breach

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Contacting companies

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

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

0
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Nice picture ....

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

4
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Has Telefonica got money to lend?

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

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

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

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

8
1

Massive TalkTalk data breach STILL causing customer scam tsunami

This post has been deleted by a moderator

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

2
7

London man arrested over $40 MILLION HFT flash crash allegations

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Does not compute...

"This I cannot quite understand. "

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

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

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

17
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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

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

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

5
0

Japan showcases really, really fast … whoa, WTF was that?!

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Fast, but not that fast

"only 28.2kph faster than the record held by a French TGV"

Either way, the power demands of rail or maglev at high speeds is immense. The world record TGV was deploying about 20MW (the fat end of 30,000 hp), and for a shortened configuration IIRC.

Whilst these very high speeds approach the speed of short haul air, you also get close to the energy use per passenger km, and you need a "runway" that extends from start point to destination.

3
0

UN: E-waste's 42 MEELLLION tonnes represents 'valuable' (and ‘toxic’) urban mine

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Economics 101

"Therefore we got over the hurdle and ended up with a well functioning and financially viable capability for domestic recycling."

Ah yes, financially viable. I remember that, before the China-led super cycle came to an end, and the price of commodities and oil dropped through the floor. Now the plastic recyclers are all in trouble, along with scrap dealers, but the rules are set to continue to mandate this "valuable" recycling.

But why? The materials came out of the earth, if it is not inherently economic to recycle them without the "assistance" of lawmakers, why bother? In a modern landfill electrical waste is less of a problem than many naturally occurring minerals. If industry want to recycle things fine, but recycling for recycling's sake is more expensive for no obvious benefit.

0
1

Mortgage data splashed all over the net. Thanks HSBC Finance

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Oops...

"What HSBC will be doing, after all this has come out, is just what they are doing now. No action will be taken, and they will swan along as before."

Au contraire, they're a furrin company, and in the US that means that the machinations of the state and federal authorities will be loaded against them, when compared to the way a domestic company would be treated - or even investigated in the first place. It is unsurprising that there have been five major "money laundering" settlements in recent years with non-US banks (HSBC, Lloyds, ING, Standard Chartered, Credit Suisse) and only one against a US company (JP Morgan).

HSBC can expect to be clobbered for a moderate to large fine (even if this is a "settlement without admission of guilt") and they will then be hounded by class actions from lawyers pretending to represent customers, and separately from lawyers pretending to represent shareholders. The adverse publicity will not help their business. Overlay the costs of restitution and credit monitoring, and this works out expensive.

0
0

Trading Standards pokes Amazon over 'libellous' review

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Trading Standards

"The real route of recourse is a claim in defamation against Amazon. However this would be extremely expensive. I'm talking hundreds of thousands of pounds."

Amazon are being berks. They have the power to shove reviews at me that I don't trust (the Amazon Vine programme), but then won't do anything about factually inaccurate? Lazy twerps. They know that they can out-lawyer individuals and even middle sized companies, so they won't get sued in the UK, where class action is ineffective and losing a civil case incurs the other party's legal costs.

What they are overlooking is that if Trading Standards are demanding a clarification of intermediary responsibilities, there's a good chance this will get wrapped up into future policy making machinations (with possible support from the likes of CAB, Which? and others). I doubt Amazon want new legal obligations, but for the sake of idleness today they seem to be encouraging them tomorrow.

9
0

UH OH, it's MOBILEGEDDON! Your site may lose, well, PENNIES

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: "Mobile Friendly"

"So you want the internet to look generic? You want every site to have everything stacked in blocks?"

Better than the living hell of Flash, and all the ADHD inspired blinking, flashing, poppy-uppy sh** that web designers wallow in, whilst making the general UX poorer and more confusing, and making data and content subsidiary to self-aggrandising presentation. Just like the Graun has recently done.

How about we compromise? A few static pictures, embedded links, a small choice of fonts and colours would be all you're allowed.

12
0

America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: House prices

"I'm guessing that >50% of the UK population live in comutting distances to London?"

Broadly speaking yes. The train journey from the West Midlands to London is about an hour and ten, I'd say that's a practical limit of commuting when combined with the feeder/destination journeys. Taking the West Midlands and all closer regions (London, South East, East) and you have 46% of the mainland population. Those in the more outlying reaches of the West Midlands may complain that it can't be done, but that 46% doesn't include the nether reaches of the South West region (like Swindon) or or the East Midlands (like Leicester).

1
0

Lack of secure protocol puts US whistleblowers at risk, says ACLU

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The point?

"there is no need for the government to hack communications sent to the government."

There certainly is. The whole point is not to help and facilitate whistleblowers, but to facilitate the identification and subsequent hounding of whistleblowers. Government is a bureaucracy that runs for its own benefit. It does not desire people to let on to its own failings, and the purpose of whistleblower policies and communications channels is (a) primarily for appearances sake, and (b) to catch those who might embarass the bureaucracy.

6
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: It's really....

my bottom after a stonkingly hot curry:

"You know of what I speak, Commentard, a great hog's eye, lidless, wreathed in flame."

1
0

What's that THUD sound? It's your Lumia's best feature after unflashing Windows 10

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I know reality TV@ Hellcat

You're really selling it to me, the whole Windows phone/Nokia package.

1
0

Segway bought by former patent spat adversary Ninebot

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The segway always was a solution looking for a problem

"A lot of computing power utilitised to balance an unstable device for .... what reason? "

For the reason that riding a Segway is the most marvelous fun. The "off road" ones are particularly fab.

You remember fun, don't you?

0
1

Lib Dem manifesto: Spook slapdown, ban on teen-repelling Mosquitos

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: British politics in a nutshell

"It's been that way from the start and ain't gonna change any time soon."

That, sir, is where you are wrong. On a balance of very strong probabilities we'll end up with a Labour/SNP coalition. That'll keep Labour in power and happy to 2020, but they'll have to give something big away to the SNP to keep control. The vermin of the Labour party are determined at any cost to try to cling to power (see postal vote fraud, "open door" immigration, "carriers for votes" etc etc). Now, anything they give to the SNP strengthens the case for English votes for English laws - and that'd routinely keep the Labour party out of power in England & Scotland (SNP would supplant Labour, and Labour usually only gain power over England through the combination of Scots and Welsh socialism plus the over-representation of Scotland & Wales at Westminster.

Sooo,..... coming up to 2020, we can expect that on the basis that "coalitions are now the norm" the Labour party will attempt to stiff the country with a proportional representation system. All the smaller parties will support it, Labour will simply for short term expediency, and we'll end up with the sort of shit headed muddle the Belgians and Italians have.

So if 5 years is "soon", I'll wager you £5 that the system will change soon. I'll also wager that through self interest, the Labour party will find some way of making a system that is systematically worse than FPTP, and still favours a scenario that is biased towards the incumbents when the change is made.

5
9

In some ways, dating apps are the anti-internet

Ledswinger
Silver badge

""Survival of the fittest" is.... about the ability to out-breed your opponents by any means."

Those looking for evolutionary success should get down the sperm bank, then, rather than wasting their time with crummy dating apps.

3
0

It's 2015 and a RICH TEXT FILE or a HTTP request can own your Windows machine

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"Oh, wait, we'll be getting Service Pack X (Windows 10) soon."

Judging on past practice RTM and public release will be little more than extended beta testing. Enterprises will wait for the inevitable SP1, and still there will be regular Gb+ patch sessions. Of course Spartan will be vulnerable - even if (which I doubt) it were ground up new build, it is evident that Microsoft simply cannot design and write secure code.

I concur with the complaints of other commentards but project this forward to Windows 10: So for ten months time "How have Microsoft produced a package of such vulnerable code, when so much of it is recycled and has been around since what, Server 2003?"

1
0

Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Varmint?

" an armadillo decided to break into his grans house - it went in through the wood panelled walls"

So the problem with armadillos is simply that Merkins don't remember the tale of the three little pigs, the moral of which is that you make your house out of materials suitable for the purpose?

13
0

National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: White pylon

Re: Wind power: "Such places are not in the UK"

Don't believe the NZ propaganda! They're claiming a load factor of 32.4%, which is good for onshore units, but not so good compared to the 37-39% year round average achieved by UK offshore units. And whilst not universally true, as a general rule it is often impracticable to build decent size (5MW+) turbines on land, so you'll see the NZ site has poxy, short-bottomed 1.65 MW units - they're letting more than half the wind energy drift on by.

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: VAWT@ anothercynic

"I agree that a row of QR5s on their 14m stalks would be nicer to see than one massive 60m wind turbine quietly rotating in the wind"

But unfortunately the boundary layer effects mean you'll always get less output from any wind turbine closer the ground (or even sea surface). This really mitigates against VAWT, which lends itself to smaller scale units.

That's why the latest designs are offshore monsters HAWT up to 220m tall.

In theory VAWT could be built offshore, but nobody's done anything at any meaningful scale, despite some tens of millions of dollars thrown at research into offshore VAWT.

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: White pylon@ Pen-y-gors

"Our great-great-great-grandchildren will be able to shovel a couple of kilos of nuclear waste into their hot water bottle and keep the bed warm without wasting any hot water"

Managing nuclear waste is a fairly straightforward concept. It has a cost, but ultimately it came out the ground, you shove it back into the ground. I know this is challenging for the calvinist-guilt ethic that seems to be an essential for all "environmentalists".

The UK's spiralling decommissioning costs reflect 1950's designs that have more irradiated mass than modern designs, and in particular the appalling practices at the Sellafield plant primarily related to nuclear weapons development. Sellafield alone represents 74% of total UK decommissioning costs, and that's virtually all down to research and armaments. Nuclear power decommissioning costs will turn out around £40bn (undiscounted) including the sites not included in the NDA portfolio. Over their lifetime the assets concerned will have generated around 3.2 PWh of electricity, so the decommissioning costs for nuclear power are about 1.25 p/kWh, and modern designs would probably be less than a quarter of that. It'd be even cheaper if the bunglers of the civil service could be kept well away.

32
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: White pylon

"Here's a potential safer nuclear alternative....."

PBMR has been around for many years now. It's proven at concept level, it works, and it lends itself to much smaller scale plants than say the huge EPR plants that Areva are struggling to complete and commission in Europe.

There's certainly reason to believe it would be less prone to the sort of catastrophic meltdown of Chernobyl or Fukushima, but against this the proportionate overheads of smaller nuclear plants will be much higher, and certain operational, security and logistical details really don't work in favour of smaller nuclear plants. So as a result it has never really managed to make itself economically viable, and the idea has repeatedly been passed on.

7
0

Forums