* Posts by Ledswinger

3301 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Confused about 5G? So are we, say carriers

Ledswinger
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Re: 3G anyone?

"I was hoping that some good would come from PM Cameron finding out that his mobile was practically useless in the South West."

You are an incorrigible optimist. The problem with your Cameron-logic is that the man's a fucking simpleton, a home counties blue blood inbred. He wouldn't know how to turn a phone on, never mind answer it. And therefore if it doesn't ring (for a flunky to answer on his behalf), it must simply mean that nothing urgent has happened, rather than that it isn't working.

Or maybe at Eton they teach all students to avoid mobile phones and mobile phone coverage. That served fellow old boy bin Laden well for at least ten years. Do you think the USN Seals could be persuaded to renact their raid against Britain's current old-Etonian public enemy number 1?

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Ledswinger
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Re: five nines@ Cliff

"It's also a handy shortcut to knowing a project is poorly defined and doomed to failure."

You're on form today, sir!

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Ledswinger
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"Or is, (as i expect is the case) the whole 5g thing just marketing bollocks to squeeze more money from us mugs?"

You and I know the answer already. For reasons of simple economics, geographic coverage will be about the same as the current network. Ditto, the actual 5G versus 4G and other legacy standards (that despite plans to the contrary will probably not be turned off and networks upgraded). Expect crap like 2G, half data rate connections and intermittent connections for the next fifty odd years at least. At least the much delayed and over budget HS2 will eventually run to the same soundtrack as the trains of today: "Hello! HELLO! I'm on the train. I SAID I'M ON THE TRAIN. Look, can't hear you, I'LL CALL YOU BACK LATER".

All the "investment" in 5G will be EE's Kevin Bacon's fees, O2's Sean Bean soundalike fees, and marketing expense (but if you call it "brand" you can capitalise it).

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DoJ's extra-territorial data demands: now Ireland is baulking

Ledswinger
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Re: "...never again lay a foot out of the USA without fear of being arrested..."

"I can only admire from afar those nations which face up to their moral failures with a modicum of honesty and resolve."

Well that'll be a bloody short list, won't it?

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Ledswinger
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" and MS Ireland could also be prosecuted and the executives could face prison"

And how likely is that? US globo-corps aren't tied to Ireland by anything other than cheap and accommodating tax arrangements. Ireland needs their money and their jobs far more than they need Ireland.

On the other hand the Franco-German axis of Europe would be delighted to see the Irish starve as punishment for their low tax rates and lack of alignment with the European statist model. Moreover some ghastly little nobody (by the name of Juncker) set up an alternative tax haven a few years back in Luxembourg. I'm sure the new president of the European Commission would look favourably on tax dodgers moving to that country.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Surprisingly Late To The Party?

"To be fair, we taught them how to do it, and then the US used WW2 to dismantle the British sphere of influence and acquire its assets. "

But we taught them well, and they bone-headedly replicated the lessons in full. As a result they've then crammed three hundred years of British style empire building, hubris, over-reach, followed by debt-addled decline into just seventy.

And just as the last gasp of the British Empire was in the sands of Egypt, Iraq, Aden, and Iran, well..............

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Put me through to Buffy's room, please. Sony hackers leak stars' numbers, travel aliases

Ledswinger
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Re: Just wondering

"You should see the the looks of disappointment when I turn up."

Imagine the ear to ear grins if SMG starts to turn up places after booking in as "Evil Graham". Yin and Yang, balance of the universe, and all that!

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Satyam Computing Services founder jailed over $1.4 BILLION fraud

Ledswinger
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Re: Crims today - no forward thinking.

The Satyam tale of woe was not that the head honcho defrauded the company of $1.4bn to his own benefit, but that the board deliberately mis-stated the financial results one quarter to meet earnings expectations. Unfortunately, as various others (Worldcom, Enron and many others) have found, the starting assumption of the board is always wrong: "we'll pay it back in next quarter's results, and nobody will be any the wiser", and then they found themselves missing next quarters expectations and making up some extra sales to fill in that hole. Each time they did it, it became exponentially more difficult that they could ever set the books right, and so it went on until the wheels fell off.

This is because if you were 5% down in the first quarter and "bring forward" some sales to make target, then not only do you need to make higher growth expectations next quarter (both because investors believe you're already growing faster than you are, and also their starting baseline assumption is now too high) but you've got to recover that 5% you borrowed as well. As soon as you start on this road you're doomed. Remember this guy's quote about managing expectations (after he was caught) "it was like riding a tiger, we just didn't know how to get off".

So he made a few million dollars in bonuses and salary, with perhaps as little as $1-5m actually his personal benefit from the fraud compared to the slightly reduced bonus he'd have made playing a straight bat. The $1.4bn was the implied lost value to shareholders because any buyer of a company that has suffered accounting fraud will never pay fair value because they don't know what they're buying.

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Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

Ledswinger
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Re: "The first being that it's their money to waste" - are you sure?

"What I do not like are investor that borrows money, or lure banks and the like to back their very risky and often absurd investments"

I find even more troubling the extent to which Too Big To Fail (and even previously bailed out banks) are busy with their own private equity arms, which are simply using bail out money, central bank QE, and public guarantees to underwrite their own direct gambling in the private equity space, in much the same way that these same banks engage in proprietary trading that privatises the gains whilst socialising any major losses.

Of course, if the investments in Uber, European property, or tulips goes bad, then the Fed, BoE or ECB will take the now worthless "collateral" and hand out a big wadge of fresh cash to the idiots to waste on something new.

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97% of UK gets 'basic' 2Mbps broadband. 'Typical households' need 10Mbps – Ofcom

Ledswinger
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@skipper409

"All these services are necessary to have a modern home life, so the Government needs to get off its collective backside & provide it, or force the utilities to invest"

No these services are not "necessary" to have a modern life, they are nice to have. If you can't stream HD grumble or ten concurrent cat videos then your quality of life won't be harmed. Your mobile service is about the same as I enjoy living in a large town, and I find that my quality of life is not unduly ruined. Septic tanks in my experience are not much more expensive than water company charges (and you shouldn't by the sound of it be paying the "surface water drainage charges" that most urban dwellers cannot avoid). And if there's no gas grid, you've got a range of alternatives including oil, coal, propane, wood/biomass, or even a heat pump (the last two attract fat government subsidies).

If you want the services available in a town, maybe YOU have to get off YOUR backside, and move somewhere these services can be provided economically, instead of demanding that the rest of us subsidise your choice of career and home. OR you can continue to enjoy the many benefits of rural living (and possibly working) and accept that the cost of that is limited provision of infrastructure and slightly higher cost of living.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Typical households need 10Mbps

"Scotland has generous grants to rural areas"

Good to see that the Scots government was flush for cash before the promises to throw even more money over the border if the Scots would vote "no".

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Ledswinger
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Re: very misleading headline.

" just because I don't want to pay a small fortune for 120Mbps cable"

Well I've just renewed my VM contract for 100 Mbps cable at around £25 a month (excluding my phone and extras). That may be a small fortune to you, but I think its reasonable value.

Total monthly bill is around £40, including phone line, broadband, unlimited geographic calls (incl daytime) and "discount" tariff for mobile calls.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Typical households need 10Mbps

"I'm sure there were arguing the same when they built 3-lane motorways."

They most certainly were. I recall one of the public consultation meeting prior to construction of the north west quadrant from Maple Cross to the M1. My father had a very heated discussion with some DfT flunkies, who insisted that the data really didn't justify building even three lanes, but they were being generous providing three. The DfT also couldn't see the logic of building a tunnel under Leavesden Airfield. That would have cut two miles off the route, and the fuel savings would have balanced the books in around 18 months IIRC, but as usual, government's poor solution had been pre-selected, and the consultation was a sham.

Now the successors to those DfT knobs are doing the same thing in reverse with HS2, of making up the traffic numbers, raising the fictitious traffic numbers to the power of imaginary benefits, all to justify something which isn't needed.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Typical households need 10Mbps

"sewage wasn't available to all,"

No, sewerage wasn't available to all. Sewage, on the other hand, has always been available free of charge and regardless of income, on a SIY basis.

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'I don't NEED to pay' to watch football, thunders EU digi-czar

Ledswinger
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Re: Good luck on that one.@ Mister Justin

"Oh, this old canard. Isn't this what every "individualist" complains about wrt taxes? "

This is called a straw man, and is a popular argument of the hard of thinking.

The rights do not belong to government to assign, because they aren't paying for the industry. It's paid for by sponsors and advertisers, and to a lesser extent fans. It is owned (often) by foreign oligarchs, and it's their collective choice as to who they sell the rights to. Geolocation blocking is a legitimate way of maximising the property rights of the owners, in exactly the same way that luxury goods makers are legally allowed to block grey imports. I'm particularly impressed at your bizarre logic that says "if there is a tax on a good, you should have access to it regardless of your location". What are you smoking?

You might not like the outcome, but you must be particularly stupid if you think that it is the place of government to demand that you have access to FTA premier league football.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Good luck on that one.

"It's a bloody outrageous situation which NEVER should have been permitted to happen."

Why not? I don't want to pay for sport that I don't watch, so I'm quite happy that it is available to you via subscription services. I'd be equally happy if it was Free To Air on one of the commercial channels, but as it isn't that presumably reflects the fact that the effective PAYG advertising revenues on terrestrial FTA broadcasts aren't sufficient to match the sports industry's costs.

The low levels of government funding for sport hardly put it in a position to mandate that the sports industry should either give its content away for free, nor do the levels of interest justify adding the bill to the telly-tax and then force-feeding the content to all and sundry.

You want it, you pay for it. And ideally we'd have a similar approach to BBC shit like Antiques Roadshow and Songs of Praise.

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Take your number when you leave.

" I'm not sure of the full details, but something about the network charging GBP150 to allow this - it's not like the number was in the middle of a block of numbers matching our DDI or something."

It's typically a small print stitch up by the telco's SLA team and the company's dim procurement team. In return for (supposedly, hahahahaha!) favourable rates on all the business critical stuff the company's IT and procurement guys can remember to list, everything else falls into a very expensive bucket labelled "non standard requests" (NSR), for which the telco (or ITO if its a bundled deal) can shaft the company for whatever it dares ask.

In my company's case the thieves at T-Mobile demand the fat end of £600 for each and every NSR, plus all additional direct costs of the request. That £600 applies to NSR like porting a single mobile number from the company contract via a PAC code (which for a retail customer they'd have to do for free). This NSR is in addition to a deemed two year minimum use period for all company phones, so if the employee leaves after a year the company has to pay around £180 for early "termination".

Arguably it is weak procurement by the company that is as much at fault as the greed of the telco, but neither justify £600 plus costs.

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

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not so sure about this one

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Free?

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: To be fair

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: is it not easier@Flatpackhamster

"To teach in Finland requires a Masters' degree"

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: is it not easier

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: POP!!!!!

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Actions speak loader than words

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Yay - nothing like...

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

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

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Competition probe opens door to Canal+ Spain for Rupert Murdoch

Ledswinger
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Re: Turdoch

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: The more interesting question

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: It's a pity

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Security concern?

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: 50 million @ ZanzibarRastapopulous

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

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

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

Consider yourself honoured.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Compatible with all suppliers?

New meter every time I change?

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

What's that going to cost us as consumers?

£11bn if you choose to believe government.

This has to be the worst idea ever.

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: 50 million @ ZanzibarRastapopulous

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: save how much ?@ a_mu

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

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Meanwhile....

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

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

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

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

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Ledswinger
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Re: Garland of Flowers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Really Hard Living in London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Enabling mobile phone shouters

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

Proven and effective.

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

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Ledswinger
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Re: Garland of Flowers

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

What utter fucking rot!

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

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

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

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

And rightly so.

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

Ledswinger
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Obsolete for whom?

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Crown is correct@ m0rt

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

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

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: I'm confused...

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

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

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

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

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

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Iranian CLEAVER hacks through airport security, Cisco boxen

Ledswinger
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Re: Interesting

I'm unconvinced by the blaming of Iran.

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

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

Ledswinger
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Re: @Lee D

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

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

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