* Posts by TRT

4678 posts • joined 11 Sep 2009

Auntie sh!tcans BBC Store after 18 months

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Re: Confused

You could stream it to a device, like an Apple TV or a Chromecast. I agree, it should have been part of the iPlayer system. Can't see why it wasn't.

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Re: State protected entertainment

Or pissing away money offering 10% extra in vouchers to people who used their service... it was a good service, like an online store version of the little BBC shop near Oxford Circus. Can't see why it wasn't integrated with iPlayer, though, as some form of "pass-holder area'.

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F*** you, BBC

I never saw why this wasn't part of the BBC Player anyway.

I've got four titles on there, Power of the Daleks ( & the colourised version), a Dr Who boxset and a Torchwood bundle. So... where the flaming heck do I get do I... Just WTF? Huh?

Hm.

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

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pier to pier encryption

So all you have to do is focus your hunt for terrorists to places like Brighton, Southend, Blackpool etc.

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There's a lot of chatter on here about weakening encryption...

but, thinking it through out loud here, I suspect that any legislation will be along the lines of:

It will be prohibited for any software, hardware or other digital computer mechanism to be supplied for use within the UK (excepting where such sale or supply has taken place under a contract approved by the home secretary) whereby such mechanism is either i) designed to prevent or ii) coincidentally through the manner of its operation prevent, compliance with requests from the security services of the UK, made under warrant, for the supply of human readable information processed, transmitted or otherwise handled by said mechanism.

The practical upshot of this will be some means of having the software return whatever key can be used to decrypt any message or transaction, probably itself in an encrypted form, along with that transaction, to be stripped off and stored at whatever intermediary server it passes through before it is relayed to the end point. Of course, due to territorial limitations on statutes, an asymmetric key used to encrypt a reply to an actor outside the UK would not necessarily have the corresponding private key sent with the reply, so presumably the client end would have to be designed to create a second, encrypted using the vendor's public key or the now known keys of the sender, version of the message to leave at the interception point.

Next would be a test case brought where software was bought or obtained overseas and brought in on a phone purchased outside the UK's legislative territory. So the legislation would be rewritten to prohibit the USE of a mechanism falling under that definition.

Then there would be a test case of a company that only triggered the "key leaking" routines of their software AFTER a surveillance warrant was issued for a subject. Packet inspection of the transmitted messages would then reveal the extra payload and flag up that the surveilled was on a warranted watch list.

The legislation would then mutate again such that either the storage of and supply of the data was warehoused until a warrant was issued, OR that the mechanism employed to ensure compliance with the act was undetectable to the sender or recipient, so dummy padding out of the payload.

And then it all becomes so messy that people will just hang up the lot of it, get fed up and ... do what? Anyway, it's ALL WRONG, May. Just forget it.

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Industrial Light & Magic: 40 years of Lucas's pioneering FX-wing

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You forgot...

the great debt that Lucas owes to Gerry Anderson's effects team, Derek Meddings and Brian Johnson, in shaping the look and feel of space miniatures work. Johnson was supposedly approached to go and work for Lucas on Star Wars, but declined the offer until he eventually went over to the dark side for Empire. I understand that the studios collaborated unofficially to solve some of the problems ILM were having.

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Huawei missed memo that PC's dead – so here are three new notebooks

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Why...

Do I keep reading that as Macbook?

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AI-powered dynamic pricing turns its gaze to the fuel pumps

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Re: The company says it isn't ripping off anyone.

You have a choice of three Shell garages...

What? You mean you don't know how to use the three shells? *snigger*

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Re: Also this is NOT AI

Oh AI, as in artificial intelligence. I thought it was A1 pricing, which is a bit like M25 pricing and M1 pricing, or Kensington High Street pricing. Now if petrol stations located just off the motorway where they can actually detect demand changes based on traffic loads, competitor pricing etc. ... that's scary. But then they can build AI into cars that works out if it's more advantageous, price wise, to fill up at an A road services near Milton Keynes rather than wait until you get to Watford and you're pushing the orange/reserve... coupled with your programmed Sat Nav destination, so it can work out the best fuelling stops... Might make a value added feature for a car - saves you £130 per year on average by gaming the fuel prices on programmed journeys using real-time data.

Ha... remember the "operator nobble" button?

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It's just 'Pro' now, guys: Microsoft gives Surface a subtle resurfacing

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Re: Odd.

I compared the closest specs I could, and of course what can you say about the relative efficiency of the code and the processors between an iPad's A9/A10 processor and an i5/i7 processor. But you are correct about the screen resolution and memory, of course. As others have indicated, the cost of a keyboard and pen / mouse is not included in the Microsoft figures. I've never used a Surface Pro, so I don't know if that premium is making a real difference. For my coding work, I could never use an iPad, so I have a MacBookPro. I agree there's some appeal to having a pad-like device that can also run coding tools quite happily, but it's not THAT much of a bonus.

You're right that where there ARE pretty much exact equivalents, then the prices are much closer, such as the i7/16/512.

You can't tell me that a higher resolution screen and an extra 8Gb RAM makes up £700? It was really down to the use case that one would be making a comparison. If there IS a use case for a tablet that runs like a laptop, and there's a large enough user base WITH that use case, then Apple are definitely missing a trick here, which the Surface Pro is filling in quite nicely. It would be hard to imagine Apple missing out on a significant market sector from which to suck revenue, though, when they have products either side of the gap. I expect we might see an iOS/OSX convergence soon specifically targeting the tablet side.

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Re: Odd.

Well, I've got on my screen now

MacBook Air i7/8/512 £1409

Surface Pro i7/16/512 £2149

iPad Pro 256/WiFi&Cell £1029

Surface Pro i5/8/256 £1249

iPad Pro 128/WiFi £819

Surface Pro m3/128 £799

MacBookPro i7/16/1Tb £2759

Surface Pro i7/16/1Tb £2699

So, I's say the budget end was comparable, but I wouldn't say a MacBookPro and a Surface Pro were competing head to head in terms of what the machine's target market is. The Air is the choice for portability, and that's a ~£700 difference.

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Odd.

Seems considerably more than an Apple device.

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London City airport swaps control tower for digital cameras

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Re: Why?

There's something comforting about knowing that the people responsible for ensuring that the metal box you are sharing with several thousand gallons of high octane fuel are guiding it down from a position very close indeed to where there will be a smokey yellowy-orange fireball if they get it wrong. ;)

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WannaCrypt: Roots, reasons and why scramble patching won't save you now

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Re: I work in a hospital / university...

The spare comes out every now and again and gets powered up when the engineers come to do a software upgrade of their application.

But I've not heard of electrolytics having a shorter shelf-life if left unpowered. Certainly not in the 5-10 year range. Is this a real thing?

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I work in a hospital / university...

and we have quite a number of older OS's, and it's not simply a matter of software compatibility.

An all too common scenario has been:

£450,000 budgeted spend on a microscope or other piece of equipment.

£320,000 of that is the actual hardware of the microscope, lenses, lasers, cameras, power supplies, cooling systems, heating systems, incubator enclosures, motorised stages etc.

£125,000 of that is a service contract for the next 10 years or so.

£5,000 is a PC (or two) to control it all, gather data etc, with the usual OEM markup. It's a Windows XP machine, custom built, no antivirus because that cocks up the timing and eats up clock cycles and you've bought it from the manufacturer and they've done everything in their power to find an anti-virus that works without stuttering when you're trying to count individual photons on some Intel Core CPU that was state-of-the-art at the time.

5 years later on, and XP is unsupported. The PC is showing signs of capacitor rot, and the storage is getting all filled up in a single experiment. Not only that, but the ISA slot that the custom built capture card fits into is getting as rare as unicorn shit. Can we get an updated PC please, Mr Microscopemaker? Yes, of course, comes the reply. If you get a new microscope at the same time. Because we do a Windows 7 PC, but we can't get hardware with ISA anymore, it's all PCI now, and the PCI version of the card has a different camera. And the camera has a different whatever which means you'll have to change the 'scope's nosepiece, which means a whole new incubator box, which means... etc etc

And if you CAN find an older PC with the right interface, it's got some form of incompatibility with a newer OS probably, or it's too slow for the bloatware OS.

Oh, what a joy it was when the cameras fitted to microscopes started using IEE1394 cables, and were all industry standard! You could fit a decent Firewire card, fire up some generic video program and see the camera output without having to start Zeisslympuskon Control V11. The control interface for moving the stage and switching objectives was still PCI or serial port or parallel port, but now you get PCI-e and PCI-x and PCI-whatevertimeswhatever... and if you CAN find a motherboard with a plain old PCI slot on it, it's usually just the one and bridged with a chip that introduces a few cycles delay, or hasn't got the full range of interrupts available. Or if it was RS232, or parallel try finding one of THOSE on a modern PC without having to compromise on some other part of it.

So then they started using USB for controller interfaces.

And then IEE1394 started to mutate.

And USB started to mutate.

And suddenly the lifecycle of a usable piece of equipment starts to shorten...

So now what we tend to do is to buy several PCs, put one into storage as a spare, put another outside the room on a dedicated link to the first and have that one sitting on two networks, and then push data from capture PC to process PC, run antivirus on the processing PC along with the manufacturers analysis software which ALSO runs on the capture PC, push from process PC onto a network share. It means TWO copies of the expensive software, and extra PCs at the time of initial purchase, but it's the only way I can see to actually being able to keep these rigs going for anything exceeding or even approaching 10 years.

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‪There's a ransom-free fix for WannaCry‬pt. Oh snap, you've rebooted your XP box

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Re: Help! - Win7 Ports 445 / 135 just wont die...

Trust Microsoft? Hm... Trust them that the patch fixes it properly, that is.

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

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I know that...

I can tell the difference between analogue and digital TV transmission very easily indeed. I loathed and detested Digital Terrestrial for the first 15 years. It was PANTS. Mpeg artefacts all over the show, picture breakup, stuttering, buffering, sports were especially bad, the colour was blocky and unrealistic.

It's not that much better now, to be honest, although it is somewhat improved. I've just got used to feeling the rage. And as for DAB / FM...

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Re: Listening to Vinyl is a bit like eating at a posh restaurant

I listen to music not to hear the music, but to be reminded of all the events surrounding the soundtrack of my life. The way my brain has encoded those engrams doesn't give a monkey's if it's MP3, vinyl, C90 super-chrome, Dolby(tm) compressed, Dolby B, C, SR, HX, AAC, FLAC or The Royal Philharmonic live.

Although it does draw the line at Woolworth's Ferric C90, which barely managed to hold any kind of a signal.

And if you needed any kind of a reminder regarding hipster-wankery-audio-phile-bollocks, yep, Type IV metal cassettes, never >60 minutes (or 85m or 280'), played on a Nakamichi 505 or 1000.

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What could go wrong? Delta to use facial recog to automate bag drop-off

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Don't they already use...

facial recognition to wave you through e.g. Stansted? I seem to recall having to wait in a massive long line just to grimace at a webcam that tried to match my face to me 9 years ago, only to fail and have the border chimp watching two lines wave me through. Compare that to Norway's log cabin at the edge of the runway, which deplaned and processed the whole lot in about 10 minutes flat...

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Re: Farcial recognition?

I'm going to Atlanta. My twin brother is heading to Dallas.

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we see a future where Delta agents will be freed up to seek...

alternative employment?

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WannaCrypt 'may be the work of North Korea' theory floated

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Re: Hmm... North Korea is a good scape goat

I don't mind if Trump shares "facts" with the Russians. That's what they used to call a disinformation campaign.

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Re: Unlatched

Unbatched refers to the standalone edition, unwatched refers to MS security team's scope of XP.

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Silicon Valley

I'd hardly group the low-fat, gluten-free, soya-milk "biscuits" that they peddle out there with anything that could even possibly be called a scone.

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Train station's giant screens showed web smut at peak hour

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Was it...

Red Tube?

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MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

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"The designers of the codec (AAC)...

obviously decided not to waste the limited bit budget by encoding information that would most probably not be heard even from the CD."

Funny. I wasn't aware of being able to hear DRM.

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Do we need Windows patch legislation?

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It's tricky...

because my answer would depend on the criticality of the issue being fixed. How do you define that? Is it a bug that will just cause the computer to keel over and BSOD, thus allowing DOS attacks, or is it a bug that could execute arbitrary code with full system privileges and permanently compromise a machine? What's the likelihood that this security issue is able to be weaponised? Has it been done already?

Not questions that have easy answers for the legislative machinery to grind its way through.

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Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry

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Re: If I had a Ford vehicle...

Some people seem to have missed this bit in my original post " ...wouldn't that really be a trigger for them to NOT differentiate between paying support customers and non-paying customers?"

Well the question was really, if a company developed a fix for a problem, and the deployment of that fix is at zero cost to them really, you know for like even cheaper than "bring a USB stick to your local dealer and we'll put the smart lock software on it for you to upgrade yourself", knowing that there's a tool out there that could lock the car's steering and cause consequential damage potentially loss of life, should you then withhold that fix except from people who paid for it (plus the other support that an annual fee buys you)? As people have pointed out, the cost of the consequences compared to the cost if the fix. Cost of the fix is next to nothing, because it's already been paid for by the people paying the support contracts. On top of that, it's a flaw present in the product as originally sold.

So, if you HAVE a fix, and you know it's a fix for something pretty damned serious, and even if you know that there's no question of you being held liable for the failure of or flaw in the software, is there any reason for NOT supplying a CRITICAL security fix to all systems, paying customer or not?

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If I had a Ford vehicle...

say, that I purchased in 2002, and there was a flaw in the door loc... oh wait. Not a good analogy.

Anyway, yes, the train of thought I was having then was, for a flaw of a critical nature, with a weaponised exploit just sat there, waiting for some script kiddy to turn it into a WMD (Windows Malware Doomsday), wouldn't that really be a trigger for them to NOT differentiate between paying support customers and non-paying customers? I mean, would a car manufacturer fix a flaw that allowed an attacker access to your vehicle but ONLY if you bought the extended service deal? Despite the fact that the cost of fixing that flaw was (1) nil in real terms and (2) the unknown potential loss of paying extended support customers?

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Google DeepMind's use of 1.6m Brits' medical records to test app was 'legally inappropriate'

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Re: ratfox

Surely, though, you need some sort of feedback into the AI in order to train it? And if the only way to test the quality of the AI's predictive ability is to conduct further tests on those patients identified by the AI as at risk but where they were not picked up by the medics, then you'll only end up with an AI as good as the medics, not better than them.

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Shadow Brokers resurface, offer to sell fresh 'wine of month' club exploits

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Re: Language analysis

Getting a bit "Swordfish" here, aren't we?

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WannaCrypt ransomware snatches NSA exploit, fscks over Telefónica, other orgs in Spain

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Re: Antivirus?

MS Security Essentials would auto-run certain viral payloads for you, with elevated privileges to boot!

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UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

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It's using an exploit leaked by the CIA whistleblower. Cheers, pal.

Very effective against NHS systems because they've left older SMB protocol versions running in order to service XP-based clients, and there's a lot of digital real-estate not updated to 7 or above, for very good reasons.

So, this highlights the danger of running un-supported Operating Systems, does it? Perhaps it highlights the disadvantage of continuously changing operating systems in this rapid release format that Microsoft have switched to. Will there be a version of Windows 10 in, say, 10 years time that is deemed 'unsupported'? We heard a while back that Windows 10 was the last version of Windows you'll ever get, because they're ditching that idea of releasing versions. Yet within 2 years we are onto 'Creators edition', potentially back to how it was. Good or bad? We've yet to see.

Will this be a lesson for developers to produce something that is "buy once"?

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Spanish flu?

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Re: Using Windows?

User's WINE was that you said?

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Re: Surprises?

It's not just IP telephony. When the KCL system went down, it took out the virtual machine that was running the mapping of the circuit switching I/O cards in the exchange to the telephone number being dialled. The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.

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Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests

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Re: DYSUN is like TRUMP

Dyson is like Trump, as Hoover is like Hoover.

Hm...

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At least the competition isn't...

from Microsoft. If they made a vacuum cleaner, you can bet it would be the only thing they made that didn't suck.

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Huge flying arse makes successful test flight

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I'm glad...

they put some extra airbags on there. I wouldn't want my cockpit crushed again after an unexpected cable collision incident.

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Well this is awkward. As Microsoft was bragging about Office at Build, Office 365 went down

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Re: Rebranding

I thought the number was referring to the number of directions that the applications could be approached from, you know, like the current trend for performance feedback. It provides 365 degree coverage, i.e. a complete circle (did they ever get that floating point bug fixed?)

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Re: Cloud just means...

Cloud is more swings and roundabouts; it shouldn't be your belt and braces. What are the advantages, disadvantages and rationales behind using Cloud for your business? Is it appropriate? If it's an advantage, appropriate, apposite and not business critical, it's a no brainer, go for it, it's not going to kill you, and it will probably help you. If it's critical to your business, not apposite, not appropriate and confers no advantage, do it on-prem - that's also a no-brainer.

The real sticking point is when the advantages are small but present, it could be achieved either on-prem OR in-cloud with relatively little difference in cost, and where there's ambiguity about appropriateness. The key deciding factor then is how critical is that function to your business?

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Take a sneak peek at Google's Android replacement, Fuchsia

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Re: Old joke

Is that a relative of the foxglove?

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Re: Old joke

That's pronounced Fooks - long O. And Shia pronounced see-ah.With a tiny, tiny vibrating expiration on the 'S', like the ZH sound of Asia.

So, Fooks-see-ah.

But even though I know how it should be said, I still say "Few-shia".

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Re: Old joke

The Fuchsia's bright...

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London app dev wants to 'reinvent the bus'

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Re: So they're going to be big

Apart from that trains now are made up of multiple-unit sets, so you'd have to add 2, 3 or 4 carriages or more to a train in order for it to function. Each carriage in a set may have a particular function, such as being a driving unit, a compressor car, or a power-pickup car or a driving unit or a non-driving unit.

Bonus fact... did you know that many trains, being operated as they are by a train operating company but using electricity from the grid supplied via Network Rail, have on on-board electricity meter which broadcasts the time of day, reporting number, train/car serial number, electricity meter reading and GPS fix etc to fixed wayside transceivers? Thus an electricity bill can be generated for each individual pick-up car / train and the TOC can be charged accurately.

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Re: So they're going to be big

There are two working units up at Leavesden. Or were, anyway. You could see them on the backlot from the bridge up to the A41.

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Re: Ummmm

Sounds like perfect management to me. Unmovable confirmation bias at all points, dynamism as a concrete realty (that's concrete as in "you'll never shift that lot mate"), and an almost, but not quite, total agnosia about anything that's actually important down on the coal face.

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"...inefficient old dot matrix..."

I thought they were very efficient, tbh. Relatively low power consumption, highly reliable, versatile. But not as efficient as the old rubber hose along the roof of the bus that blows a lightly sprung plunger onto a brass bell in the driver's cab. Now THAT was very energy efficient.

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Re: So they're going to be big

Inflammable models?

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Virgin Media scales back Project Lightning target in first quarter results

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I frequently have periods of around 5-10 minutes...

where the connection drops out completely, or grinds to a crawl akin to dialup days. Can happen any time of the day or night. My SuperHub 2 is in modem-only mode because I basically have a lovely little Cisco VPN router / firewall, small business class, and a whopping great big Cisco WiFi AP, which has a capacity for 100s of simultaneous WiFi connections, and it's all just for myself and my flat mate.

Can't understand why it does what it does. Usually in the middle of a game of Battlefront, or when I'm uploading a revision to the work website. I've got a 70M package, and I get that most of the time, it's just these annoying blips.

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