* Posts by bigiain

16 posts • joined 10 Feb 2011

'A sledgehammer to crack a nut': Charities slam UK voter ID trials


or need to use things like pre-paid power cards as you don't have enough income for a bank account


no its about a Conservative government dis-enfranchising poorer voters who tend not to vote Conservative

HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak and everyone's all a-tizzy


Be nice if folks were to get real with the "no aircraft" bull as well as the over-hyped leak.

The ship has only just joined the navy - they will need months to get the ship ready purely as a warship - damage control, weapons system testing, crew training etc.

Once they've done all that and the ship itself is judged operational, they can then start to work out aircraft handling procedures to certify the ship to handle the various types of helicopter and only then can they start to prepare for certification for F-35 - this is going to take until 2019 - by which time we will have the first operational aircraft - 12 is considered the minimum to defend the Carrier in normal operations.

Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind


Re: The story is ...

I think you'll find the scanner in the supermarket is way bulkier and more expensive than the scanner in the tape library.

The supermarket scanners have multiple beams coming in from multiple angles, with both a horizontal and vertical scanner.

Ex-EDS bod at DXC Technologies? Sign up to new pension scheme - or else...


Its not really a viable option to stay in the final salary scheme in these circumstances

The lack of pay rises hammers the final salary pension - while you could continue to build up the proportion of your final salary (probably by around 1/60th per year), the final salary will be sitting static.

If you leave the scheme, at least your final salary will be indexed up by CPI for your past contributions, you could be eligible for raises, bonuses etc (if any) and getting the company contributions to a defined contribution scheme.


HMS Queen Elizabeth is delayed, Ministry of Defence confesses


Re: Who cares

When are people going to get past the bull about carriers with no aircraft

The ship has still to complete sea trials, followed by work up as a ship before it gets to starting to work up with aircraft.

The first aircraft it will start working with are the helicopters - lynx, merlin, apache and chinook, then it can move onto aircraft TRIALS with the F-35s available now (we own around 3 aircraft), finally moving onto workup with more aircraft (up to 25) - US Marine will do if enough UK aircraft are not available - that will take until beyond 2020 - by which time we'll have the aircraft - 12 + helicopters are considered a sufficient normal load - only moving beyond that in an emergency situation - thus saving our taxes by not having more aircraft/pilots than needed floating about in a carrier.

Brexit makes life harder for an Internet of Things startup


so it boils down to nothing much changes and we won't be able to make up our own rules in the future as we need to keep them compatible with CE (which we'll have less influence on) so we haven't "taken back our sovereignty" in any way - if anything we've given some control away.

I suspect this will turn out to be the case in many more areas while in others we've taken a machine gun to both feet.

Go Brexit!!!!

Tim Cook’s 'One more thing': Apple TV rumor-stoker


Re: What would I do if I was running Apple's TV project

Joseph, I fully agree, building in tuners would require too much localisation.

However, then the problem for Apple is that the main interface people will use day-to-day is the cable/sat/freeview box - the only TV interaction will be volume, input select and occasional picture adjustments.

That means they're actually going up against the set-top box manufacturers. In this case, i would say its a much tougher fight for Apple - my Sky box's interface for example is much easier to use and more powerful than my TV interface - especially when its controlled by iPad.

Since the set-top boxes usually also control much of the content (Sky, Virgin) then i can't see the turkey's voting for Christmas by allowing Apple a slice of the cake.

Win8 tablets may cost MORE than iPads – AND LAPTOPS


Are these after the ipad?

These units are really going up against laptops - not directly against ipads, nexus etc.. Even the lower priced unit has a full keyboard and windowed OS so is still probably going up against laptops more than directly against tablets. If you stripped out the keyboard etc on the lower end model, then you start to get the costs down to compete with the ipad. however, that doesn't look like the aim with this particular range of units.

I would see these as a replacement for my laptop, with the added bonus that i can detach the keyboard and use it as a tablet, removing the need to fork out an extra £400 for a separate ipad, nexus etc. These devices are aimed as business users, where a tablet on its own is no use - you need a laptop, with a windowed OS for any serious work, cutting and pasting between multiple applications.

I used an HP TC4400 tablet for years - it was great - docked it was a full desktop PC (with dual monitors), un-docked, it was a small laptop, then folded into tablet mode, it was great for taking handwritten notes, noting down information while walking about or reading documents on the train or other locations where i didn't have a full table to use it in laptop mode. It was only the weight and lack of support for full touch in the OS that prevented it being an ipad-like tablet - these look to address those issues. I had a TC1100 for a while - too underpowered - shame they never took that form factor further.

Assange calls for help from … Quakers?


Manning vs Assange

Always gets me when people group Bradley Manning and Assange.

Bradley Manning signed the US equivalent of the official secrets acts and swore an oath to his country. He therefore should be prosecuted if he has revealed state secrets. Having said that, I do believe he has been grossly mis-treated while is custody.

Julian Assange published the stolen documents - he is not a US citizen and has not signed any oath to that country and therefore should not be subject to criminal charges - Bradley Manning committed the crime of stealing the documents. The most he could be pinned with is paying Manning to steal the documents - even then, I don't believe Manning was financially motivated.

Having said all the above - why won't the sniveling, self publicizing weasel have the guts to face up to his crimes. The ECHR prevents Sweden from extraditing him, unless he is to face a fair trial under the US justice system. I don't see the Us shooting themselves in the foot by trying to place him somewhere like Guantanamo (although their ability to harm their own appendages never ceases to amaze me). If they tried, I don't see either the UK or Swedish government allowing extradition - the backlash from their own people would be too strong - quite apart from the kicking from the ECHR.

Netflix lets Apple TV owners subscribe on screen


Who is paying the 30% Apple cut ?

I had better not have to pay it - I bought my Netflix subscription through my PS3 (paying directly via direct debit) - I'll be cancelling if they try to up my subscription by £2 to cover Apple's cut when i didn't use Apple to buy the service

Alternatively - if Netflix soak it up - do they really want to be pushing 30% of all their subscription revenue to Apple - especially as they'll still have to maintain all their non-Apple subscription mangement systems to cover the non-Apple subscribers.

Keep the utopians out of my fridge


I fully agree with you, as a techie user, you can do all sorts of things that would reduce power draw on a DIY homebased server to fraction of 45w (hacking routers, raspberrypi in today's article etc) - as a technical exercise for a keen techie, the cloud option would be a bad option.

However, non-techie users lack the desire and/or time to learn about this stuff, build the system and maintain it, so they would need to buy the proprietary home automation server unit or accept the power draw of running the software on a readily avialable home PC.

In any case - all the above options still require the broadband router to be powered - unless you want to incur the cost of the 3g dongle and data plan.

The cloud options may not reduce overall complexity - but it shifts that complexity away from the average non-techie user and onto the service provider(s) who (hopefully) have the technical skills. If they don't, the service won't be relaible and will fail as a commercial operation as no one will use it.

I'm aware that there is a cost to running the cloud service - powering the servers etc. but the data & processor demands on this application are relatively low, so the whole service could be run on very limited data centre based equipment. This would be much more efficient than thousands of individual power supplies running the individual home automation servers.

Current cloud services are reliable enough for this application - it would be very risky to use a cheap'n'cheerful home automation system running via home broadband or consumer 3G for critical functions (like monitoring Grandpa's pacemaker) whether cloud or home based.

Just cause you can't physically go and pull the plug yourself is not a reason not to place a degree of trust in it - Google Mail has yet to let me down in any way. That's not to say i 100% trust it - i just don't need a huge level of reliability and privacy for personal email.

Note that i did say "there are some ral advantages to using the cloud" I didn't say it's definitely the right answer - just one that should be carefuly considered.


Advantages of the Cloud

Seems to me there are some real advantages to using a cloud based service.

If the sensors are talking to a locally based server (even a small, low powered PC or laptop), that server is going to be constantly drawing power - even when the house is empty. even something as small as 45 watts is a lot when its on 24hrs a day.

You could offer a proprietary server unit with the ability to manage the system however, while this would reduce power demand over a PC based server, its going to add cost and its another piece of relatively complex kit that can crash/fail.

If you up the complexity of the sensor units and give them the ability to send out warnings etc themselves, you drive up the sensor unit cost (not good, when you are likley to want plenty of them) and drive up power consumption - either reducing battery life or requiring a mains plug. (reducing flexiblity and adding to power running costs) and adding lots of complexity as they all need programmed.

The advantage of cloud is you can allow the sensor units to communicate with the cloud server via your broadband router which many people leave on 100% of the time anyway, has a very low power draw, has already been paid for (or its been supplied by your ISP) and doesn't add another non standard piece of kit pushing up system complexity and opportunity for hardware failure.

Even with your own server, a proprietary server or a more complex sensor, the broadband router would need to be on anyway to allow comms - unless you want to add a 3G dongle, with the resulting complexity and the cost of a 3g data plan.

Japanese gov makes Fukushima evac zone compulsory


The compulsory evacuation is to stop looting

It said on PM on Radio 4 this evening that the reason for the compulsory evacuation was to prevent looting rather than because of any increased radiation risk. Mind you, they didn't say that until after 5 mins of scaremongering crap.

HP rocks Redmond with webOS PC play


What about Dalvik

seems to me this makes the recent Reg article on the Dalvik VM being made available on non android platforms very interesting: - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/08/alien_dalvik/

If HP get this running under WebOS, they've just made it easy for developers to support the platform at the same time as they cover all the other non Apple operating systems (I can't see Apple allowing Dalvik anywhere near their products)

Dalvik VM plus all these new operating systems capable of running the same apps could really blow the market apart and make your OS choice dependant purely on the hardware/OS and not the apps available for it.


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