How about a certain Satellite TV company, with whom I managed to reduce my bill by £29 per month by upgrading to their latest "platform". Only happened because I spoke with someone in their call centre (who was really helpful), the website "offer" would have had me paying more!!
61 posts • joined 11 Apr 2007
Ofcom asks networks, ISPs: Hey, wouldn't it be nice if you let customers know the best deal once their contract's up?
Re: Consumer or business, no difference in our village
I now have a FTTC connection so no longer suffer this, however...
Back when I was running an ADSL broadband connection to the local exchange, I used to VPN into work, but if anyone called me (only incoming calls) then the vpn would drop and the system would take a few minutes to recover. As I lost any unsaved work, I became paranoid about saving and very angry as I knew my home setup was OK.
After much to-ing and fro-ing and a couple of emails to the boss of Openreach, an engineer visited, fixed a noisy connection and went to check the exchange. Came back and told me there was a known fault with the DSLAM, they all did it in small exchanges and they were all installed about the same time.
After another set of emails to ISP, Openreach and MP, the offending DSLAM was replaced. My ISP was amazed that the change happened so quickly -- and I was told that Openreach would ignore any future emails -- didn't care, I achieved what I needed to do.
Final note after all that Openreach tried to charge my ISP for the engineers time, they were told in no uncertain terms that payment would not be forthcoming
Very sloppy in fact.
Solar Radiation comes from the sun (hence Solar), while the comment "The amount of solar radiation has increased from previous solar cycles, according to new measurements made by a team of researchers." would make you think that it's the sun, the next comment "now face higher doses of radiation from the onslaught of highly energetic particles in cosmic rays "
Cosmic rays come from deep space and the increase in the number getting to us is due to the sun's cycle slowing (energetically speaking) sunspot cycle. This produces a less powerful solar wind, which, when stronger, helps prevent cosmic rays getting to far into the Sol system, currently it's weak and therefore more cosmic rays can get through to the inner solar system.
Have a look at the Oulu neutron detector here http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/ , it's a proxy for the number of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere. It shows that there is always and increase in Cosmic rays as a Solar Cycle ends and the next one starts, it's just that this cycle was weak to start with so we've had a consistently higher amount of cosmic rays during the last cycle
Re: Trigger's Broom
I had a conversation with a pilot a few years ago and he made exactly that point, even some of the dials in the cabin were left in place even though they were redundant as it avoided a "Type" change. If a Type change was required full FAA testing needed, a "Note to file" on the other hand, a few tests, otherwise, easy peasy. By changing them incrementally, the dials can be removed and you end up with "Glass" cockpits, which would have been impossible when the 737 launched
The Grob? Your readers experience was in the Chipmunk, doing aerobatics near the Severn Bridge having flown out of Filton, back in the late 60's and early 70's.
As for Gliding, the Kirby T31 was what I went solo on -- flew like a brick outhouse (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slingsby_Tandem_Tutor).
But I was also lucky enough to get so much height off a winch launch in a T21 Seburgh (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slingsby_T.21) the pilot did a loop and a Chandelle (stick Back hard and as she starts to stall push the stick hard left and forward with plenty of left rudder -- glider ends up with wings vertical and then you use the stick and rudder to level out as you dive -- basically drop sideways on with the ailerons and rudder turning you to a recoverable position a you gain speed) in a Glider with no canopy That was FUN.
With Flight Sim, back in the day... I flew Munich to Milan in the sailplane in real time 6.25 hours I was sat there.....
As stated above, it's messier that a pig in sh1t. My wife composes and we've found out the hard way that getting something published makes the publisher rich, not the composer
Royalties paid to songwriters and artists when music is sold (think CD or vinyl) but also when music is streamed (streaming mechanicals) “on-demand” (like Spotify). Songwriting mechanical royalties are set by government through what’s called a compulsory license, which right now is set to about 9 cents of every dollar earned via sale.
Current copyright regulation wasn’t created at a time when services like Spotify or Beats existed, (which are kind of a hybrid of ‘performance’ and a ‘sale’) so they pay both performance royalties and mechanical royalties to songwriters and artists.
Spotify pays about 10% of its revenue to songwriters (split between mechanical and performance royalties) and about 60% to the artists. Services like Spotify don’t have to negotiate with songwriters, because the government sets the rates – through the consent decree for PROs and a compulsory license for mechanical licenses.
Mechanical royalties for songwriting are usually paid by labels or artists to a third party, (traditionally for the major publisher it’s been HFA (the Harry Fox Agency), who pay the publishers.
(Source: American Songwriter)
Ahh, the days of CDE (Common Desktop Environment) where the screen was a uniform grey and you had to figure out how to get anything to run.
The change from KDE3 to KDE4 was a real mess, but that's years ago and KDE has been good for donkeys ages, I have both KDE and Gnome on my machine, almost always use KDE, sometimes look at Gnome to see what's new, but prefer KDE.
Someone earlier mentioned Konqueror, it's a brilliant program does browsing, File Management, allows multiple split screen operation, superb program.
Re: nice to see...
That said, outside of my Pis (and I have several dozen between home and work) I tend to use OpenSuse. A decent 32-bit OS might make me revive my EeePC, which was latterly running 32 bit Mint, but was retired from frontline use about a year ago.
I've used OpenSuse for years, in fact from when it was just SuSE Linux, I think the first version I installed was 6.2. Always liked it, have tried Slackware, Red Hat/Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint and several others, now it's easy to try something new, just stick it in a VM, back in the day I had an old PC I'd try a new distro on. Always gone back to Suse (OpenSuse as is now), easy to install easy to change and YaST is a brilliant "Control Panel" that works with or without the GUI
How many times have I heard a "Windowsphile" say that? It would have a greater attack vector, that I would agree with, BUT (notice it's a BIG but) the basic design differences would require MUCH more work from miscreants.
The problem with Windows are multifaceted,
1) Closed Code
2) Reused code from years gone by
3) An architecture that never had any form of Security consideration when it was conceived
as this states for XP (for win 7 and above just prepend Windows Vista/7/8/10 64 bit extensions are.....)
Windows XP 32 bit extensions are a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor, written by a 2 bit company, that can't stand 1 bit of competition.
Re: This is only one example of BI's benefits
"We need everyone's contribution. I'm not in favour of workfare, there should be an entirely free choice of occupation - but for the sake of everyone's self-esteem, a general perception of fairness and helping to cover all those things that commerce and the state can't, people should work."
Sorry if this sounds sarcastic, it's not meant to be. But we cannot all be Reality TV Stars (which seems to be the "Hope" of a considerable number of people now.
"BI has a big problem of perception to overcome, in that it requires a large amount of money to be shovelled through taxation and back out to the citizenry; a lot of thought needs to be given to this. Rationally, it cannot be “too expensive” as it is a redistribution scheme, where gains and losses across the population balance out."
But what it hands out is always less than it takes in, and, from that, who do you want to decide how you spend the money you earn? Politicians? Very Brave of you to believe they have your welfare at heart and that the power of being in "control" isn't their drive
Finally, I always wonder at "The Law of unintended consequences" merging with "The devil makes work for idle hands"
\surely the USO would be on Openreach as the infrastructure provider? BT as a company made sure that they got "Superfast" into areas just as competition was starting, thus killing it. A relative put a lot of work and a considerable amount of money in getting costings to set up an ISP not too far from Cambridge where -- at the time -- there was no (known) plan to upgrade the exchange. Within a month of BT being asked about the use of ducts and poles in the area, there was an announcement that the exchange would be upgraded within 18 months, after that the bank wouldn't loan to the business, whereas previously they were keen as they saw the possibility of a profit and a growing business.
BT? Too keen to watch their bottom line and crush small business
Photos never give the scale justice!
I was lucky enough to go to Electric Mountain in a work related capacity. I still have a hand drawn diagram of the way it works and a (very) professional document detailing what the generators are capable of. The turbine hall sports 2 X 200T overhead cranes that have to be used in tandem to remove a turbine (weighing 350T).
It is also one of the grids "Black Start" power stations, used to restore the grid if there is a regional or national blackout. The generation of the AC phase (50Hz) is very precise as other stations coming on need to be "pulled" into phase by the reference station.
Fantastic bit of kit and amazing engineering
It's very erratic, working, gone, working again, gone again.
I think DDOS is the most likely cause, and if I was looking to bring the "Mighty" BBC down, I'd try it in the Christmas holidays. Some sysadmins on duty, but the majority I imagine will be off preparing for the change of the year.
Don't envy those working or those on call, I would imagine they are up to their necks in the mire.
+1 for that.
Openreach is a cash cow, the costs of renting their ducts and space in exchanges is much higher than it would be if Openreach did not have to pay its way (and more ) as part of BT
Interestingly BT are trying to put in fibre in my locality, it's (surpise surprise) behind schedule. Why? Many of the ducts carrying the current cable have collapsed (due to lack of investment). others are up to 10 meters away from where the BT maps show them to be
I remeber Demon in the old days swinging from great service to crap to good again as the servers and lines were improved. Was still with them until Thus just destroyed them.
Since then have both my phone and BB with ICUK, they aren't perfect, but they helped me resolve a problem in the BT (Tier 1) exhange that ended with the DSLAM being changed to something modern and, I think, speeded the change from 20 to 21CN. Just waiting for my "Superfast BB" now, programmed for March -- we shall see
A possible alternative to Roaming
As El Reg is so opposed to Network roaming (and I still do not buy the reasons they put forward) how about something slightly different?
Let's assume you are a country dweller like myself. My phone is on all the time, the networks can see what the capability of the mast I'm connecting to is. If I pay for a 3G plan, but the network is incapable of providing it, the network should rebate some of the (Network not Phone) charges associated with the account, that would mean that there is at least some incentive to upgrade services in rural areas
If you have a Suresignal or a Boostbox (Voda or O2 other suppliers exist) then you have a pseudo 3G connection using a picocell and your own broadband, but at least you have a signal, so, in places where there is minimum 2Mb broadband, the networks should be persuaded (forced) to give out the picocells free of charge, they should also allow the registration of any (same Network) mobile the contract owner wants ( usually fiends or family who pay their own way) irrespective of whether they are PAYG or Contract
Re: Gateway drug
Pulling together a couple of other memes on this thread.
I switched to Suse at Suse 7.0, had a few problems getting it going but been with it since. Just gone to Opensuse 13.2 and it's very, very good. There are a few things I have to run in Windows, as a result I've just virtualised my Windows using Virtualbox (pre Oracle) and still use it tothis day, but quite a bit less than I used to.
The good things? It's pretty if you want it to be, but you still have the power to control every part of the system at the command line if you want to.
The bad things, Sound -- PulseAudio is only just getting there, but at least it works out of the box now.
Re: Would UMA help
As a "bumpkin" that owns a smartphone (actually 2 on different networks) I think UMA is a wonderful idea, however, we end up back at the problem where a Mobile "Not Spot" is also a broadband "Not Spot".
Someone's suggestion of making the "national" MNO's actually be national is a good idea
How do my smartphones work? by sucking 25% of my broadband capacity -- Voda Suresignal and O2 Boostbox, but at least I can make a call.
Apparently next year BT will finally let me get a BB connection in excess of 20Mb
Is a good tool, but to bet the best out of it you need t add the extpack (otherwise only USB1.1 will work) and Box once installed you need to add the Virtual Tools on the distro, should have all resolution screens then.
But I use windows in OpenSuse, not OpenSuse in Windows.
I still think it's a great distro ( and 12.3 was one I had problems with)
I've used openSuse as my primary desktop (and laptop) since openSuse 11.0, had a couple of problems early on, but has been rock solid for years. I will admit to being slightly underwhelmed when I installed 13.1, looked exactly the same, then I noticed the increase in speed, quite a bit faster.
I have to use windows 7 for my work environment and running that in Virtualbox has been as easy as pie.
Great distribution, I'd recommend it to anyone, both for Desktop and Laptop
Re: lies, damned lies and then statistics (and then PR campaigns by telecom companies)
b) for the population it is better to have a service that works, even if it is slightly more expensive to make it more efficient (so that our telecoms companies aren't all providing 1g services, while hoarding spectrum, because there is no incentive to invest to do stuff with that spectrum)...
I'm one of the people who choose to live in the country, a 1G service would mean a usable mobile signal from any of the big carriers (O2, Voda or EE). Is there one? No there isn't, O2 Boostbox or Voda Suresignal systems work, but use your own Broadband (at 3Mbps) to connect. Compare this with Albania where I got a 3G signal when "Out in the sticks" on a day trip this year.
The Telcos are all laughing at us
But if you are on an exchange "out in the sticks" no matter who your ISP is the actual people managing it is Openreach.
I had a problem with a VPN connection in that every time the phone rang the broadband ( and hence the VPN) dropped.My ISP (also my phone provider) sent a BT engineer round who tested the line and declared "no problem with the line",, but would recommend that the DSLAM in the exchange was changed.
VPN Still dropped
I forced my ISP to send round an Openreach Broadband engineer (and that was hard work as Openreach AUTOMATICALLY invoice the ISP for a BB engineer EVEN if they are in the wrong, so I had to agree that if no fault was found I'd pay for the visit.
I also sent a mail to the woman in charge of Openreach explaining that an engineer had said that he thought the DSLAM should be changed -- and received a reply telling me my ISP must own the problem, I further explained that IF the equipment in the exchange was changed neither I or my ISP would have any visibility of the change -- at which point she agreed to escalate it within Openreach in order to inform me.
To cut a long story short, after that escalation, an Openreach engineer came out on a Sunday and I overheard his conversation with the main BT Helpdesk. They told him there was a problem with the DSLAM -- that had ALWAYS existed--and the ONLY way to fix it was to replace it.
A couple of emails later, one to Openreach and one to my ISP and (magically, it was fixed the following Wednesday, new DSLAM so fixed for everyone who would want to use VPN on the exchange.
Fianl point is that Openreach STILL tried to invoice the ISP for the work they had done -- even though the equipment was faulty.
The ISP told them where to go.....
Re: Ffestiniog and Dinorwig
I was lucky enough to go to Dinorwig for business reasons and had an individual tour of the plant by a very enthusiastic member of staff. I didn't even know what a "Black Start" power station was until that tour, the surge pond is the most impressive thing in my mind, when they shut the valves that allow water to flow to the turbines a back pressure flows up towards the top lake. But the top of the pipe that lets the water flow to the turbines is open, and water from the back pressure cascades up into the air before settling in the surge pond.
Re: kit that works would help
A phone, not broadband, engineer checked the line and then rang me from the exchange to say he was going to request that the equipment in the exchange be changed. When I asked my isp whether it had been done they said they had no visibility, so I emailed the ceo of Openreach. After a few emails it got me a broadband engineer on a Sunday. They should have changed the DSLAM yesterday. Will find out when I get home.
kit that works would help
Get BT to install kit that works would be a start. I have an ADSL connection that fails every time the phone rings. It's been traced to exchange equipment with a fault that has been known for 2 years. It's only because I've got stroppy that I'm managing to get something done about it.
Superfast?? Can I have a stable Broadband first?
Rural North Norfolk,, an idyllic part of the world except when you need to use VPN to work. I've had a problem for a long time with my Broadband disconnecting if I have an incoming phone call, not a problem if you are just browsing, but using a vpn means that you lose your connection and any unsaved work. As I've been working from home these last 10 days this problem has forced me to get in touch with my communications provider and try to get it sorted.
After numerous attempts, a broadband engineer from Openreach came yesterday (Yes -- on a Sunday) and spent just under 3 hours both at my home and at the exchange. Did he manage to fix it? No, but not through any fault of his own. When talking with the BT Helpdesk he was informed that there is a known hardware fault with the type of DSLAM in use at our exchange and the problem could not be fixed. There was another problem that he did fix which means that now the failure rate for the ADSL line is only between 33 and 50% instead of 100% when a call comes in, depending on how the DSLAM 'feels' when the call initiates. I don't even have to answer for the line to go down, just to get a call.
In the past 6 months I have bought 3 ADSL routers to try to resolve this, only to be told that it's BT's fault. Angry? Bloody furious!!
Re: Ever wondered if...
You are right about everything (and every element) other than Lithium. There is not a method of manufacturing Lithium in the fusion process and the people who look at supernovae think that heavier elements are made when they occur, not lighter ones. So almost ALL the Lithium in the universe comes from the Big Bang itself
Or at least that's what it said in a book I read a few years ago
Just gets better
I've used openSUSE as my main OS for about 4 years, using MS windows (when I need to ) in a VM. I've seen good and bad releases, this one looks good, installed it on the desktop yesterday and it "just worked". Looks very good in KDE mode, haven't tested Gnome yet, or put it on the laptop. Will back EVERYTHING up before the laptop upgrade, better safe than sorry
I'm impressed that they have recovered from the problems of last year with what looks to be a very professional polished upgrade
Re: Appel one..
Funny that, my daughter had a 3GS and had no end of problems with it, so when her contract came up went for an S2. Her first comments were that it was "very different" but within weeks she was sayinng (and still says, "It's the best phone I've ever had".
On the strength of her comments I got an S3 when it came out, and yes, it's the best phone I've ever had. And I remember Samsung as a mobile phone upstart being beaten in all areas, except price, by Nokia.
Finally a work collegue recently swapped from iPhone 4 to Galaxy SIII and he rates it as miles better than the iPhone.
Note to Apple, get back to innovating, it's where you were best, litigating only makes you look foolish
My daughter moved off the iPhone a few months back to the Galaxy SII, her iPhone was continually crashing and had to be taken back to the Apple stor eseveral times when the IOS Updates came out -- each time, from a user POV they bricked the phone, the people in the local Apple Store fixed it each time, but it's fair to say she wasn't a happy customer. With the SII not a single crash.
This week at work a collegue at work has turned up with an SIII having moved from the iPhone 4S, his comparison between the two? The Samsung is quicker (understandably given it's a quad core), More intuitive ( that's a kick in the nuts for Apple) and much easier to use.
No wonder Apple are trying to get it banned
Or even better
Hope they are not like the aliens in Galaxy Quest.
Imagine some aliens rocking up to take a geriatric Kirk to defeat the nasty Alien overlord, only to find he will not even leave the ground in a Virgin spaceship
p.s. Quoting E.E. (Doc) Smith is seriously sad, there will be references to Arisians next!!
TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) may only vary by that amount, but extreme Ultraviolet varies by almost 20% trough to peak, the Solar wind also varies by about 15%, as evidenced by the increase in galactic cosmic rays during the trough, increased cosmic rays are thought to increase the planets albedo, stopping the heat even reaching the surface and leading to a cooling due to Black Body radiation
So TSI in the visible spectrum is not the only output to consider