* Posts by G R Goslin

356 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007


We definitely don't need more towers, says new Vodafone boss scraping around for €8bn savings

G R Goslin

Re: How about some bloody staff?

Only two weeks. You should be so lucky. I gave up trying (And Vodafone) after seven months of total inaction on the part of Vodafone. And that was regarding a complaint that an issue which should have taken less than two weeks to resolve, took seven weeks to reach an unsatisfactory conclusion. Voda'a atttitude that losing a customer due to poor service doesn't matter, since there's plenty of other fools coming through the door. It's pretty typical with most of the service industry.

If you have inner peace, it's probably 'cos your broadband works: Zen Internet least whinged-about Brit ISP – survey

G R Goslin

Zen, efficient. Don't make me laugh.

I moved to Zen solely because my village was about to be one of the few to get fttp. My troubles began the moment I signed up. It took countless calls from me to Zen, to get them off their backsides to get BT off theirs. It took eight weeks to get a connection, even thought the termination unit was on a pole only about 30 feet away. When it was finally connected, I found that none of my emails was reaching me. I could send emails out, even to myself, but nothing came back. After many frustrating calls to their help desk, where they assured me that there was no problem, they finally came out with it and told me that they were not prepared to do anything about it. So, to get email, I had to go back to my previous ISP, with whom I had an excellent service, and take out an email only service. Much earlier, even before connection was made, I tried to back out, only to be told that I was locked in until the end of the contract period. Twelve months. I can hardly wait to move to a better service who do give the customer the service that he is paying for. The only thing they did on time, was to send me a modem/router, which was so cheap and nasty, that I put it back in the box and bought a proper one.

Send up a satellite to zap space junk if you want Earth's orbit to be clean, say boffins

G R Goslin

It all seems a bit far fetched, to me

I've three objections to this idea.

1. As far as I'm aware, applying a force to an obect in orbit, merely changes the orbit of that object. It does not "knock it out of orbit" A satellite launch comprises two burns, The first to get it to the right height, and the second to impart the required velocity that it has to have to orbit at that height.

2. Applying the force by a plasma jet has to apply that force exactly at the objects centre of mass, wherever that might be, or all it will impart is a spin. Given that the object is bound to be asymmetrical, finding the centre of mass might be a tad difficult.

3. The de-orbiter is essentially linked to the object, and without extra expenditure of fuel and mass will simply follow the object down to a matching fate

£1 in every fiver that UK biz, public sector spent on software in 2017 went to *drumroll* Microsoft

G R Goslin

Don't include me in that.

It's many years since I added money to MS's coffers. Or Apple's, for that matter

Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

G R Goslin

Re: Well!!

The 20% is largely non-Amazon sellers, who in many cases, indicate that the goods have been despatched (and can no longer be cancelled), when it is clear from the progress indicator, that the goods have NOT been despatched, but have been paid for. I'm incresingly moving away from goods on Amazon, that are not directly sourced from them. So, call that 98%, Amazon success rate.

G R Goslin


Well, I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon, and with almost no exceptions, the delivery is indeed the next day. I've looked through my order list and about 80 % is listed as delivery the next day. With some, it's the day after. But, on the other hand, those items tend to have been ordered late in the day, when the logistics of supply, sensibly, could not be co-ordinated with the days delivery. I'm impressed. Added to that, the delivery drivers are almost universally, pleasant, polite, friendly and efficient. A far cry from the old surly, late, and maybe, service from the country's courier services.

The age of hard drives is over as Samsung cranks out consumer QLC SSDs

G R Goslin

Ah, but

Is it cheaper? On a Terabyte year, basis. New technology is supposed to be better, cheaper, simpler, faster, or more reliable. Or all these. Difference is not a factor.

All that dust on Mars is coming from one weird giant alien structure

G R Goslin


Enough with this Pollution, already. Strictly, Pollution only refers to a result of, largely, human action, which results in a resource being denied to those same human beings, through their own actions. Applying the articles criteria, we could consider the seas polluted with salt, the Arctic polluted by ice. Again, strictly, the only major pollutant, on Earth, is Oxygen, a result of life processes. No other body in the entire Solar System, has Oxygen as more than a trace gas. As for Carbon Dioxide. Pah! a mere drop in the bucket, entirely due to those same biological processes. The red dust of mars, in no more a pollutant, than is the Loess of China, the sand isles of the East Australian coast, and many other situations all over the planet.

Gemini goes back to the '90s with Agenda, Data and mulls next steps

G R Goslin

Tut, tut

Tut, tut. So many negative vibes, Moriaty!!

As a great admirer of Data on the Psion, I'd love it on the Gemini. The Agenda, less so. If I couldn't remember an appointment, I'd be unlikely to look it up on the machine. But where are these two nostalgic utilities to be found? The Android Play Store is full of Android specific crap.

Audi chief exec arrested over Dieselgate car emissions scandal

G R Goslin

My sympathies....

My sympathies, to some extent lie with the manufacturers. Governments, generally not particularly gifted with intelligence, tend to enact laws, which are in conflict with the Natural Laws, on the basis that "You can always get round these, by research and design". As an example of this, I was once told that an American State (I've no idea whether this was true, or not), enacted a law declaring the the value of pi, would henceforth be 3, saving all those tedious calculations (Why they didn't pick 4, I've no idea, it would have been so much easier). The manufacturers were told, to make it like that. It's now the Law. The manufactures were also faced with other problems. More Laws stated that the cars must be more robust (heavier) to protect the occupants from the results of their actions, although not the unfortunate pedestrians/cyclists/etc they collided with. The buyers wanted more comfort (heavier), air conditioning, etc, etc.

In my younger days (so many days ago), as part of my Ordinary National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, I did Heat Engines. Our lecturer, and he was a very good lecturer explained that the process of extracting mechanical power from combustion was largely a matter of creating a mass of hot gas and extracting the mecanical enrgy by cooling it down. The higher the temperature you get at the start and the lowest temperaturte at the end would determine the amount of energy you would get. Ther were natural Laws which determined how much of the available energy you could extract. The rest had to be discarded. And there was always a lot which had to be thrown away. Large installations, like power stations could theoretically use some of this for district heating and other uses, but since nobody wanted to be near a power staion, the resutlatnt heat in the medium of hot water, was usually too far from any possible use to be economic. The New York steam heating, so beloved of film makers was one of these, I believe.

The lecturer told us that there were research projects into ceramic engines, capable of the required qualities at high temperatures. Later I went to work for Ruston and Hornsby, who did just that. They did not have a ceramic engine, but developed one which ran at much higher temperatures, and therefore extracted more power . It worked fine with pure fuels (Distillate fuels), but when they extended it to the more common residual oils, it failed. The wear rate under the high temperatures and the heavy metal contaminents in the fuel, was horrendous, and the project failed, and with it the Company.

The auto manufacturers, presumably left to their own devices to compile the test schedules, did what so, so many organisations have done throughout the history. They wrote the schedules to comply with the letter of the Law. Look back to all those road tests and fuel consumption figures, going back donkey's years, in cars stripped of all removeable weight, on new engines very carefully run-in, on tyres pumped up to brick hardness, and in weather noted to be good for fuel eficiency (the colder, the better). A similar situation is coming to light as a result of the Grenfell fires.

As a result, as someone has pointed out. You get adherence to the law (just), but oh, where has all that power gone. I once owned a motorcyle, a real powerful beast. It was happiest at about 80mph. It would have been happier faster, but the effort of hanging on against the power of the wind sapped ones energy. It regularly turned out 50 miles per gallon. On one occasion, for an extended period, I had to follow another vehicle at about 40-45 mph, and was surprised to find I was getting better than 70 miles per gallon.

It used to be said that The Law is an Ass. Nowadays, it's more like The Law is ALWAYS an Ass.

Drones thrown a bone: Americans can ask nicely to go where FAA says they can't roam

G R Goslin


Oddly, there seems to be no objections to hot air ballons, despite their lack of guidance, or avoidance, and I've yet to see one limiting it's elavation to 400 feet.

Tesla undecimates its workforce but Elon insists everything's absolutely fine

G R Goslin

Re: Also,

I doubt that semantically speaking, the Leaf is actually "made" in Sunderland. Strictly, it is more likely to be merely assembled in Sunderland, from parts made elsewhere. In many cases, "Made in Britain" is one of the 'weasel' phrases to get round national constraints on what may be imported. As someone who once worked in Britain's once proud commercial vehicle business, the assembly gang were considered to be a bunch of overpaid monkeys. The real skills were in the machine shops, the foundries and forges, where the parts were really "made"

G R Goslin

Nine percent

What surprises me is that the nine percent was taken from "Salaried" people, and that none of these worked in a productive capacity. Having spent a lifetime in manufacturing, I'm surprised that there are even nine percent of the workforce in a non production capacity. It was once said by a (Victorian) ship builder, "If I could hire twenty more shipwrights, I could build more ships. If I hired twenty more accountants, not a single extra plank would be fitted".

Vodafone signs deal with CityFibre to connect 5 million homes with full fibre

G R Goslin

Bloody Vodafone

The link-up seemed a good idea, until I read past City Fibre, to Vodafone. I was once a customer of Vodafone. In fact I was a customer of them three times. On each occasion that I left, I swore that I'd never go back. That I did was solely down to one product, Sure Signal, that Voda were selling. It was very good for people like me with no local signal, but then it was not made by Voda, so no plaudits for that. Now, I'd not go back to them, even if they were offering a service for 2p per month. Their Customer Service was dire, in every department, on every occasion.

'Clive, help us,' say empty-handed ZX Spectrum reboot buyers

G R Goslin

Oh, I dunno!

Sinclair's digital calculator, was, for it's time a wondrous piece of kit. I bought one for the drawing office I worked in, and it took hours off the time it used to take calculating the figures which we were to put down on paper. True, the battery life was pretty awful, but this was all down to the LED tech, of the time. It's only recently that I discovered the the mechanical pin wheel calculator that had been invented a hundred years before, would have done the same job, without batteries. But then, the accountants of the time would never have sanctioned the purchase of one of these marvellous machines, anyway. Even though the chief accountant probably had one of these, unused, on his desk, for swank.

PwC: More redundos at HQ of UK 'leccy stuff shop Maplin

G R Goslin

Re: Something about retailers ?????

Why on Earth would you want to froth milk? And for that matter, why would you want to put it into coffee, frothed or not?

G R Goslin

Re: Bummer....

I've no problems with Amazon, per se. When they say "delivery tomorrow", then it comes tomorrow. What I think is confusing people, is that much that apparently comes from Amazon, is in fact shipped and supplied from stores which have no logistical connection to Amazon. So, it's not Amazon who are saying "tomorrow", it's some trader that thinks thay you will be satisfied with a lie.

EU lawmakers seek coordinated hand-wringing over AI ethics

G R Goslin

Re: A starting point...

Don't you mean the 'subject' of that information?

Europe plans special tax for Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon

G R Goslin

Who pays the tax?

All this is a bit academic. It misses the point entirely, that it is the CUSTOMER that pays the tax, not the seller. If Amazon is dodging paying tax, their selling price reflects, at least, in part, that reduction. Everyone wants to pay less tax, and everyone wants that shortfall to be paid by someone else. Preferably by someone in another country. Governments are greedy for tax, and their record shows that spending that tax is seldom efficient. What we need is LESS tax and more sensible spending. Not that we're ever likely to see it.

The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

G R Goslin

Ah, but when?

As one of those waiting for the knock on the door, I'd appreciate a little more news as to how these things are being distributed. The wait is killing me!

Brit regulator pats self on back over nuisance call reduction: It's just 4 billion now!

G R Goslin

Well, I have it sorted.

I simply do not answer any incoming calls, and have turned the ringer down to near inadibility. I've alerted all my acquantences to my mobile number and use the mobile for outgoing calls, too. I need the landline for internet, so cannot cancel the service. My outgoing calls on the mobile I've worked out to be only 25% of the cost of a landline call, so, for me, it's win, win. And for BT, lose, lose.

Russian-monitoring Shetlands radar station was nearly sold off

G R Goslin

The good old days

I was a J/T Radar Fitter at the time of the ROTOR programme, in the late fifties. The unit I served with in North Germany, ran a type 80 radar. We were told that in the case of conflict, the site was only reckoned to have a life of 24 hours, so nothing was put underground. I was a bit surprised on Googling the site, to discover that the site is still a radar station, and that the Operations building is still as it was. Sadly, of the Type 80 and it's accompanying height finders, there's no trace. At the time we had another type 80 station, RAF Aird Uig in the Outer Hebrides. A friend of mine from radar training was posted there. Because of the high winds in the area, the 80 turning gear was powered by four 50HP motors, rather than the usual two.

Take a bow, TalkTalk, Post Office, Vodafone! You win most-whinged-about telcos award

G R Goslin

Complaints? What complaints?

As a very Ex Vodafone customer, I once spent seven months trying to make a complaint about bad customer service. When I finally gave up, my complaint had not even passed the first hurdle. In effect, it was still lying on the mat under the letter box.

US shoppers abandon PC makers in hour of need

G R Goslin


I'd have thought that, on the whole, the US would have rejoiced at the fall. Think of all those imports that no longer have to be matched with exports.

Exploding alien bodies' space death-rays gave Earth its radiation cloak

G R Goslin

Neutral atoms?

Neutral atoms? Where do these 'neutral' atoms come from? The atom, as a whole is neutral, because the orbiting electrons cancel out the charge on the nucleus The nucleus is always positively charged. So, the bit with the neutrons, is never neutral. A free neutron, and where do these come from, has a half life of only minutes, so there are none of those about. The theory may well be correct, but the article is not.

Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

G R Goslin

Re: 'tell us the 'data-monster' dies'

It rather reminds me of the National Cash Register (NCR) company, who sat complacently on their mechanical design and manufacture, as the digital age steamrollered them flat.

Breakfast at Jeffrey's: UK CEO admits Voda 'slightly lost its mojo'

G R Goslin

Service? What service

When I had an account with Vodafone, I learnt to my cost, that there were "some fairly well-understood customer service issues and so on.", but that those were only understood by the customers. As far as Voda was concerned it was "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.". I'm now with Three, and couldn't be happier.

US yanks staff from Cuban embassy over sonic death ray fears

G R Goslin

Old research

There was a lot of research done, some time ago, on the effects of infrasonics. Very Low Frequency sound effects, which gave the same symptoms as have been reported. The researchers found that the sounds, high amplitude, but low frequency were being generated by the effects of wind on structures. It was, at one time known as "the sick office" syndrome. Places where people felt ill working, but were ok if they moved away from the area. For myself, having spent many years working in factories, the general noise levels would have masked the effects, but made you deaf, instead. And, yes, it was promoted as a possible weapon. If only they could work out how generate it at will, and how to aim it.

EasyJet: We'll have electric airliners within the next decade

G R Goslin

The usual error

"electric motors are vastly more efficient, in power-in-power-out terms, than internal combustion engines of whatever type."

Mr Corfield makes the usual error of people pushing an opinion not backed by logic. Yes, the electric motor is efficient at power in- power out, but that power is derived by a process akin to the internal combustion engine, i.e., the conversion of Chemical Energy into Electrical Energy. The major, and unavoidable thermodynamic losses have already been made at the entry point of the electric motor. The further losses of the electric motor are added to the losses already made. There is no gain. Only a further loss, albeit a minor one

UK waves £45m cheque, charges scientists with battery tech boffinry

G R Goslin

Re: Supercapacitors...

And petrol/diesel comes in at about 13.2KW per kilogram. If I have to lug weight around, I'll go for the lightest "fuel".

Facebook gives itself mission to 'bring the world closer' by getting people off Facebook

G R Goslin

Well, as one of those thrown off Facebook.

I never understood it when it happened, and I've received no info as to why. I only joined after being pestered by my daughter. I hardly used it, and then only for stuff coming in. As far as I'm concerned, it was no loss, and I've taken no steps to get back in. My daughter is still annoyed, though. But at me, not Facebook.

Amazon pulls snouts from all-you-can-eat cloud storage buffet

G R Goslin

Why not?

Why not just bung in another HDD,? After all, installing a drive is not exactly rocket science. On the other hand, you can get a USB, 4TB external drive, plug in and go, for a few quid over 100. Not much more than a years subscription.

Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground

G R Goslin

Re: The usual baloney

Lord Marshall of Goring, was the name I was trying to recall. A gentleman in every respect.

G R Goslin

The usual baloney

I do wish reporters would get someone to read what they write. The laws of the Conservation of Matter indicate that you cannot make, or destroy matter, in any significance in our environment. So, you cannot 'form' or 'produce' uranium. You can break down its compounds and create new compounds, but the uranium you get was there before. Uranium is not particularly scarce. The one time head of the CEGB, ( I wish I could find the reference), Once invented the 'back yard unit' to put things into perspective. The 'back yard unit, was a volume of the soil in a typical housing plot. The plots in those days must have been a bit bigger than the present estate postage stamp sized plots. The average 'back yard unit', he said would hold about 2.5Kg of uranium, or a bit over 5lbs of the stuff. It's the reason for the past (and possibly present) rave against Radon emissions from soil. Bacterial sequestration is again, nothing new. I believe, at one time, the Japanese tried sequestration of uranium from sea water by nets of seaweed. Historically Iodine has been produced for years by burning seaweed. Reed beds are used to remove heavy metals from waste streams. The legumes (peas and beans sequester Nitrogen. The story goes on and on.

Earth resists NASA's attempts to make red and green clouds

G R Goslin


Surely at that height, clouds, condensed vapours would not exist. What people would see (if they could), however is concentrations of ionised gases. It's nothing new, at least, on paper. Many years ago Analog, the SF magazine, ran a story on the very same theme. In this case, it was to warm a freezing planet, by reflecting more energy back to the planet's atmosphere. The cause of the freezing was a period of lower than normal solar activity, oddly rather similar to the present forecasts of reduced solar activity from our own sun.

NASA Sun probe named for solar wind boffin Eugene Parker

G R Goslin

To put this into perspective....

....The high regions of the Earth's atmosphere exhibit similar temperatures. The thermosphere (80-600 kmetres up) has temperatures up to 1500C. A reflecting heatshield is all it takes.

Scientists are counting atoms to figure out when Mars last had volcanoes

G R Goslin

Is this for real?

leaving aside the obvious detail, that Mars, in Olympus Mons, still has an active volcano, I don't see how this can produce a significant sample. Statistics, in dating rely on the enormous sample size to eliminate errors, and a significant loss of one or more of the decay series to indicate a start date. Counting atoms one by one does not seem to me to be a viable route to a large sample size

America's drone owner database grounded: FAA rules blown out of sky

G R Goslin

The usual way out

The usual way out of these situations is to make some statutory requirement that cannot be provided. Like requiring a huge third party insurance provision, that no insurance company would cover. It's been done before.

Warm, wet, mysterious... sound familiar? Ah, yes, you've heard of this second Neptune, too

G R Goslin


I do wish that people would not talk of the weight of a planet. Jupiter has a high mass, not a high weight

Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

G R Goslin

For the UK?

Is this US only? My Alexa App hasn't been updated, and one thread I read said that it was coming on Wednesday. But neglected to say what Wednesday.

Try to sell stuff through Facebook Marketplace and get locked out for 72 hours – nice one, Zuck

G R Goslin

Is this.....?

Is this the 'ID's', thing? I tried to log into my facebook account after a lapse of a few weeks, and was rather surprised to find that it had been disabled. On searching for a reason, I got a long list of conditions I was accused of breaking. Not one of which remotely applied to me. I was notified that I could "appeal", but the appeals page had an entry for (ID's), for which no explanation as to what constituted a valid entry was indicated. . Since I was only reluctantly enticed onto facebook, it seemed a good point to part company with this appalling concoction.

Exploding femtocells: No need for a full recall, says Vodafone

G R Goslin

Re: are these different from the femto cells Three supply?

They're essentially just the same. Despite usually being called "booster", all they are are a low power mobile mast setup, but only receptive to registered 'phones. They use your modem router to send the signal to the supplier. The advantage of the Voda unit, was that it was of a much higher power. I could get a full power signal up to 30 metres away from the unit, and that through several thick walls. The Three unit by comparison is much less effective, the signal level notable dropping off in the next room. I changed simply because of the incredibly bad customer service. In my entire life, I've never come across such consistently bad service, which applied across the whole of the company.

G R Goslin

Vodafone? Nuff said

I had one of these units, when I had an account with Voda. It replaced a version 2 unit that was prone to losing contact. The first thing I noted, was that the unit became very hot. far hotter than experience said was good for an electronics package. I got rid and went back to the less than ideal ver 2. Shortly after that I gave Voda the heave-ho. Not from the reason of the femtocell units. The ver 2, when it worked had excellent range. No, the reason I changed supplier was the absolutely horrendous customer support service. Not just on one or two issues, but on EVERY issue. It didn't seem to matter where the issue was handled, England, Scotland, Sub Asia, User Forums, the results, or lack of results was just the same. I'm now with Three, and never a moments problem with support. How Voda holds onto its customers is totally beyond me.

Riddle of cannibal black hole pairs solved ... nearly: Astroboffins explain all to El Reg

G R Goslin


Saying "stars were probably formed almost completely from hydrogen and helium." is a bit pointless. That goes for all stars, ours included. The proportion of elements other than hydrogen and helium is very small. . The other elements are only significant to us, because virtually all the hydrogen and helium has gone from our environment

Wet, wild Mars stripped off by hot young star, left barren and red faced

G R Goslin

Ummmm 2

Adding to my previous post. The concept of the solar wind accellerating the atmospheric gas to escape velocity, seems valid enough, but that surely, would only apply to that part of the atmosphere at the edges of the planetary disk. Across the sun facing side, the kinetic energy would be directed downwards, not up into space. Adding to that, the solar wind is comprised of hydrogen nuclei, positively charged. In the absence, largely, of a magnetic field, they would not be divered, but would be added to the atmosphere

G R Goslin


Errr, The other elephant in the room is Earth, which does not seem to have suffered similar losses, despite being closer to the active sun. If you're going to create a hypothesis, then you should produce the effects of that hypothesis on other planetary objects with different mass and orbital characteristics. If your hypothisis does not explain their armosphere, then the hypothesis is not valid. But, no doubt, it probably pulled in a large slab of funding.

Vodafone to bring 2,100 customer service jobs in-house

G R Goslin

All change, but no change

As a VERY ex customer of Vodafone, who has been mauled by the Customer Service Department, on a number of occasions, I can assure you that the in-house support staff are every bit as inept and useless as the off shore staff. About the only improvement will be that you can understand what they say while they're fobbing you off.

Malware infecting Androids somewhere in the supply chain

G R Goslin


Why is it that only the bad guys seem to have system privileges? It puts the user (owner) in a totally helpless position, even if he knows that there is a problem

Volkswagen pleads guilty to three Dieselgate criminal charges

G R Goslin

Natural Law v Governmental Law

Much as I deplore Volkswagen's actions, My sympathies lie mostly with the car maker. Governmental Laws are often arbitrary and run counter to reality. The Emission Laws are one such. As part of my technical education, I did Heat Engines. What I learnt there was that to attain higher thermal efficiencies, you had to go to higher pressures and temperatures. Chemistry tells you that all molecular activity and chemical processes are easier at high temperature and pressure. So VW are in a cleft stick situation. They are required (by Law) to attain results that fail in either one case or the other, and cannot pass in both So they came over with tests that covered one set of conditions and hid the other. It has oft been said that human laws are always broken, and indeed are made to be broken, and that Natural Laws cannot be broken, ever.

Bring it BACK... with MODs! Psion 5 storms great tech revival poll

G R Goslin

Re: I still reckon...

I just reached out for my old 3MX, popped in two new AA cells and a new backup battery and 'beep' it was up and running. It still had the oldr Autoroute roadmap ard and a memory card with extra maps. With one of my purchases I got one of the free Psion official pocket cases, which came with two pockets for extra memory, or application cards, which the 3MX still lives in. I must see if the infra red comms port still works with the old HP laser printer. I shall have to search out my old backups and I'll be back in business.


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