* Posts by Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

69 posts • joined 17 Oct 2011


How big is the UK space industry? It hauled in £14.8bn for 2016/2017 – report

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Sky Broadcasting

I also saw the headline figures - and thought they seemed very impressively high. Then I read the line about Satellite Broadcasting, and concluded the rest of the article/report was probably not worth the paper it is written on.

If some consultants/numpties need to include Sky TV as part of our space programme/R+D then they must be clueless idiots. Perhaps in 1988/89 when Satellite TV was cutting edge, and a lot of the R+D/manufacutring was in the UK (Marconi, Amstrad, Pace, MAC, et al), the technology aspect could be included as part of advanced space research. But now a satellite TV reciever is as common as muck, hardly cutting edge or advanced (ok, some pretty nifty software) and even Sky are slowly pushing everything towards online delivery. The satellite bit was only a means to an end in 1988 as the only way Murdoch and co could circumvent existing UK broadcast regulations to build their empire. That was 30 years ago. Pressing satellite TV dishs out of a sheet of steel is about as relevent to space as pressing parts of a bicycle in the same factory.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

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Re: Wild West Days

A beer for you Cliff. Thanks for having the insight to open up the internet for us all way back when. You probably helped launch more careers than you could imagine.

I graduated with degree in electronics/communications in 1990 and there was not a single mention of the looming internet or IP throughout the entire course.

How quickly things were to change and develop.

European fibre lobby calls for end to fake fibre broadband ads

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Hardly the first time

Sadly, there seems to be a lot of complicit lying and duping of the public at the moment, particularly from a technology point of view. By marketing hype, vested interests and politicians.

Just a few examples, I'm sure the list could be a lot longer.....

Smart Meters - Not any more likely to save money than dumb meter. In fact, the cost of the meter will hardly pay for itself within its lifetime. Being rolled out primarily so that time-of-day billing can be introduced, thus moving peak consumption around and reducing the need for industry to invest in new power stations.

Gas/Electricity tariffs - as complicated and confusing as possible to make comparisons difficult.

Broadband - fibre/no-fibre, upto, unrestricted - well debated here on El Reg.

Zero Pollution Electric Vehicles - no such things as zero pollution, unanswered questions about battery life and replacement cost, recycling, toxic chemicals, rare earth minerals, etc.

Smart Cars - Hardly a utopian dream - plenty of obsfuscation of real issues, etc. Again, often well debated here on El Reg.

DAB radio - again often debated here on El Reg, Again, not all that it has been promised to be. Increased energy consumption, recycling of old equipment....

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Re: The ASA are shills, not consumer protection folk

I would guess then "pure fibre" means it is to the latest specification, with less inpurities and dispersion, than say, 20 or 30 year old fibre, which would be "impure fibre".

As an earlier commentard suggested, all internet connections are fibre then, 'cos that's what connects all the local exchanges back to telehouse and the like......

I also had an interesting conversation with a virgin media sales bod about fibre - asking how it would be terminated into my house and what access they needed. When I pointed out the the router/modem they supplied had a coax cable connector on the back and not a fibre interface in sight it just went over their head. "It's fibre broadband" they kept telling me. No, It's docsis coax copper broadband I kept telling them to no avail.

Take my advice and stop using Rubik's Cubes to prove your intelligence

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Magpie vs Blue Peter

No, no, no.

It was parents who thought their kids should be watching Noel Edmunds on Swap Shop, and the cool kids who wanted to watch Sally James in leather and denims on Tiswas.

I still have a thing about custard pies, 40 years later......

Peers to HMRC: Digital tax reforms 3 days after Brexit? Hold your horses, how 'bout 3 years...

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: what a mess...

And I should have mentioned in the above that the spreadsheet is most definitely not in Excel... HMRC obviously realise that there are other spreadsheet packages available, which process data in openly defined and supported formats.... don't they?

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

what a mess...

This is only the second time I have heard of this. The first was last week when casually chatting to another small business owner....

I think It will affect me/us (3 of us in company, VAT registered, c. 200k p/a turnover), but in what way I have no idea.

If we need to run mandated software (rather than the existing relatively friendly webpage), then I would hope HMRC will supply suitable software free-of-charge to us, but from above comments, it seems not. I assume HMRC will also supply a suitable computer to us to run this software on - or is that wishful thinking? Why should I have to provide a machine to do HMRC's job?

Spreadsheets have to be in a form they deem acceptable? Well, after 10 years doing this job, I have developed a nice spreadsheet which produces VAT figures, and produces all the other figures which are useful to me. Do I need to abandon this because a bunch of civil servant beancounters deem it non compliant? Are they going to pay me (sorry, I don't have the time as I'm too busy running the business) or pay someone else to rebuild the spreadsheet?

As I say, I have had absolutely no correspondence from HMRC about this - maybe it doesn't affect me..... Or there again, maybe they are a bunch of clueless feckwits who think small businesses sit around with their fingers up their @sses all day long and have all the time and resources in the world to do their job for them,,,,,,

Actually, I feel a letter to my MP coming on.... This could be fun...

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

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Re: A tricky balance between worthy and recognition

You would need to balance that one out.....

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Terrance

"There's also Pterry - where the P is silent as in snow"

There is no P in snow....... and if it were, it would be yellow. (which you are advised not to eat)

What could be more embarrassing for a Russian spy: Their info splashed online – or that they drive a Lada?

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

No - they usually park them sideways in the ditch at the side of the road - next to the mercedes.

How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Customer Feedback

I hope you fully appreciate that all images from the tablets are uploaded in real time to the papal cloud server, so that the powers that be can use the latest adaptive AI to carefully analyse exactly what the tourists are looking at in close detail in order to enhance the customer expereince....

'Can you just pop in to the office and hit the power button?' 'Not really... the G8 is on'

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Does a running gun battle to the airport count?

Sometimes I think I have had some varied and awful jobs, but I take my hat off to you !

Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

mechanical sympathy....

An old-school grey haired mechanic friend of mine has, on the wall of his workship, the biggest spanner you've probably ever seen. It's about 6 feet long and probably takes two men to lift it. It looks like it could unscrew the propeller from a battleship (I think it actually came from a ship).

One time I casually asked what he uses it for. His reply - "I keep it there to scare those little but stubborn nuts/bolts/screws into submission - you know, the ones that just won't shift no matter how much WD40 or leverage you put on them. Just show them the size of that thing and they know you mean business and then they'll surrender and let go"

Scissors cut paper. Paper wraps rock. Lab-made enzyme eats plastic

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: shipping it around

25 odd years ago when I started to get involved with largescale replacement of PC's and printers and stuff I initially thought that sending them to Africa and the developing world was a fine solution and gave them a newlife. Didn't take long to find that they were thrown into containers so most of them arrived smashed and trashed, and ultimately, when they were scrapped, they were just dumped, or left for kids to break up. Back then, with CRT's and the like, there was little regulation on mercury, cadmium and other toxic stuff which was contained therein.

The only way to dispose of stuff created in the first world is to dispose of it in the first world. Whilst WEEE regulations can be a pain, making manufacturers have to think about the costs of disposal means they put some thought into the design process.

Single use plastics and the war on plastic bags may be an inconvenience for us all, but ultimately it is the right thing to do.

What was wrong with old fashioned paper bags anyway?

The Register Opera Company presents: The Pirates of Penzance, Sysadmin edition

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Ooh, tempting

Mary had a little lamb.

A spokesperson for the hospital said mother and baby were doing well, but the doctor and midwife were under heavy sedation.

Merry Christmas all!

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Lost count...

Japanese? Americans?

I once worked for an American company in the UK. Wasn't unusual to get a call from stateside to someone in the UK along the lines of "I'm trying to get hold of Hermen in the Berlin office but he's not answering - do you know if he is in today?"

It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Sign me up for one

I was thinking along the lines of gas and electricity salespeople.......

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward


A term I have not heard for many years. May I raise you a pint for adding to the pool of El Reg approved vocabulalry?

Indian call centre scammers are targeting BT customers

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Several BT Calls of late

I've had several "BT bvroadband" support calls of late, which is interesting as I don't have BT broadband. If I'm in the mood for a laugh and not pushed for time I like to play along with their game.

One caller tried to tell me there was a problem with my BB running slow and we got as far as them telling me there was a problem at the exchnage and they had replaced the DLM module. As a result my router was now still on its default channel of 936 and I needed to change it to channel 875 to get it working properly. (yes, i did write it all down!) It had taken about 20 minutes to get this far into the conversation and I was fascinated to see where it was going, but the line got dropped from their end....

Another time I was told there was a problem with my router and could i look at the front to see what LED's were lit. "Five" i said (I couldn't be bothered to go into the cupboard to look, but I think it normally has 5). She sounded a bit confused then, and asked what colour they were, which was a strange question as they are all green. When I replied green, she was even more confused and said she would have to pass me to a supervisor. That's when we got cut off. I thought it was strange that they would ask how many lights were on my router as they had no idea what router I have - but realised afterwards most folks on BT probably have whatever router it is that BT supply by default.

On another occasion I was told there was a problem with my computer. I managed to string them a long quite abit, and when I asked which computer, I was continually told its was "my computer", which later became "my windows computer". Eventually he asked me how many computers I had connected and switched on, to which I said 17 (*rough guess, may not be accurate), and he hung up.

And another who was asking me what kind of computer I had. "A black one" I kept saying, eventually he said it will say something like "HP" or "Acer" or "Dell" on it. Ah - I said, it says "Raspberry Pi" on the case. After a few seconds I got a very confused "Raspberry Pi?" Yes, I replied, "It's like an Apple Pie, but with raspberries". Ah, he said, you have an Apple? "No - A Raspberry Pi, probably more like a banana pie than an Apple Pie". At which point he hung up.

A few years ago it was "Microsoft Support" or "Windows Support", but now it always seems to be "BT Support"

It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

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Lets hope they are as well built, long lasting, and as indestructible as the proper ones were.

And for real authenticity can we have them made in Greenock, not China, please?

Coming soon to a Parliament near you – UK's Data Protection Bill

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Laymans terms..

This is quite a well discussed and anticipated piece of legislation which has the potential to affect many of us commentards. Would the team at El Reg consider putting together an article, or series of articles, written by an appropriate person, detailing the act in laymans terms? I'm sure it would be appreciated by the many of us who are self-employed, or small operators who don't have the luxury of corporate training departmenmts.

Does anyone else agree?

'Odour' from AnalTech ramming leads to hazmat team callout

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Not a biometric ID thing then

"suggesting that arse-prints could be unique identifiers"

In which case we need to correlate all the results into one location for easy identifcation. We could call it arse-book........

Top tip: Unplug your WD My Cloud boxen – now

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

More IOT Madness......

And this time from a company who should know better,,,,,,,,,

BT splurges £1.2bn on securing Champions League rights, Sky heads for an early bath

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: "But he added that the latest move could result in costs being transferred to consumers"

I've been seriously looking at moving from BT phone and A.N.Other ADSL for my home/soho service and moving to Virgin. I was hesitant to do so as I want/need a static IP which VM do not offer for residential - however they have now said if I take out business broadband I can have one. I still have reservations having read their support forums for their supplied router/modem (which I don't have much choice in, unlike an ADSL one) as it appears somewhat disfunctional.

However, if BT insist on taking my money to give it to some overpaid half-wits whose only skill in life is to kick a ball round a field, then the VM offer starts to look more attractive by the day.

Nice own goal BT.

Networks in 2016: A full fibre diet for UK.gov

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: An easy first step

Indeed - it should be compulsory for all new developments (housing or commercial) to have empty ducts or whatever to each premises, back to a central kerbisde point where multiple operators can install their cabinets onto their backhaul. Developers have to provide water, power, sewage, etc.,as part of the development so it is simple and cheap for them to do at the build time, but unless it becomes a requisite it will not happen. And no-one wants to dig up new streets a few months later... The Building Regulations (if anyone has ever had cause to read) are full of some unbelievable fluff (for instance - you are required to have a flushing toilet and running water in a bathroom!) but no mention of what is quickly becoming an essential feature of peoples lives (and probably will be for the next 50-100 years).

Elsewhere, there are plenty of little industrial units and places (such as converted farm buildings) where there is sweet FA connectivity, and I have seen quotes of £20,000+ to get 100mb/s connections into such premises, yet cities are to get gigbit FTTP. We all know that cities are congested polluted gritty places to live and work and are only going to get worse unless we can get business in rural areas connected onto a decent backbone. In some of these small business premises, even a 10meg connections needs to have 4 or 5 bonded pairs back to the exchange as the line lnegths and cable quality are so poor - and there is probably only a 20 pair cable to the site, installed 50 years ago, so once a few companies take up broadvand and phone lines, the capacity is all gone.

Extension to blue light services' Airwave network is on the cards

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

I'm still struggling with getting my head round the concept that the blue light services are even considering using a public, commercial network for their comms.

If they are now thinking around the middle of the next decade for completion will 4G not be rather obsolete by then and in danger of being switched off within a few years?

And will a commercial network ever have coverage into all the nooks and crannies around the country where emeregency services need to operate?

Lincolnshire council shuts down all IT after alleged 0-day breach

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

G drive

indeed, nice bit of useful info there.

Though a G drive sounds more like someones USB stick.....

Grim-faced cosmonaut in ISS manual docking nail-biter

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Wot, no beer?

Can't believe none of my fellow commentards have yet raised a pint of festive beer to the lucky trio and all the guys and gals that got them there. Long may they inspire future generations into the worlds of science and technology. In an age when space launches get little publicity except when things go wrong it's good to see the mainstream media having a field day on this one.

Even my 91 y.o. "not quite with it anymore" father in law was intently watching his TV yesterday.....

E.ON fined £7m for smart meter fail

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Hang on...say that again....

"E.ON has also gained financially by avoiding the costs of installing and operating the new meters."

So, the government regulator admits that these devices cost money to install and operate, and that a "conventional" meter is cheaper? Does that means we have been fed a pack of lies by the politicians and power companies about how these dastardly things will save us money and be more cost-effective for all? Well, blow me down......

Trebles all round: The BBC's won this licence fee showdown

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

"The number of households has increased enormously, up 55 per cent since 1961. The BBC does a lot more with that money, of course, but arguably not 55 per cent more."

In 1961 the BBC provided one black and white television service, available to approx 90% of the UK, and 3 radio services (which as proved 3 years later were not really in touch with what a large chunk of the population wanted).

In 2015 the BBC provides something like 8 TV channels, available to something 99.9% of the population, 6-8 national radio services, a plethora of local/regional/provincial radio services, one of the countries (worlds?) most popular websites, a major export market of programming, plus loads more.

How on earth is that not 55% more?

A computer/broadband tax though is the thin end of the wedge........

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

55% more?

"The number of households has increased enormously, up 55 per cent since 1961. The BBC does a lot more with that money, of course, but arguably not 55 per cent more."

In 1961 the BBC provided one black and white television service, available to approx 90% of the UK, and 3 radio services (which as proved 3 years later were not really in touch with what a large chunk of the population wanted).

In 2015 the BBC provides something like 8 TV channels, available to something 99.9% of the population, 6-8 national radio services, a plethora of local/regional/provincial radio services, one of the countries (worlds?) most popular websites, a major export market of programming, plus loads more.

How on earth is that not 55% more?

A computer/broadband tax though is the thin end of the wedge........

Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape

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Re: Lust.....

"Bizarrely we were able to get away with watching TOTP, until Sister Mags learnt the truth about Boy George (we'd played along with her naïveté and told her that George was short for Georgina. She never questioned the 'Boy' bit, weirdly)."

Thanks for that - you've got my lovely sunny Sunday morning to a happy start with a room full of laughter. :o) And that was in an age of Marc Almond, Frankie, etc.

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward


"and have always lusted after the Technics SL1200, then Audio-Technica's other offerings may appeal to you too"

Nope, one has always lusted after an LP12 Sondek - been on my "to do" list for best part of 20 years, so Kudos for including the photo and mention. Shame I wasn't aware of record store day before hand otherwise I might have gone out and found a record store rather than tile the bathroom....

ISIS: You bomb us, we’ll interrupt your TV transmissions

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dear, oh dear, El Reg

"The earliest known broadcast signal intrusion dates back to 1977, when an audio message purporting to come from outer space was broadcast on ITN."

Please try and research before publishing, ever heard of Aspidistra? British counter intelligence was rather proficient at intruding/hijacking/emulating German domestic broadcasts during WW2. When an enemy air-raid was imminent both sides would silence all localised radio transmitters to prevent their use for direction finding. But we had a rather large (in fact the largest in the world) frequency agile transmitter in the sussex woods that would, within milliseconds, open up on whatever channel the Germans had just switched off and broadcast some confusing "grey" propaganda. "This is a false air-raid alarm, please go about your business as normal" kind of thing, or "ignore any messages you hear on other radio stations, the enemy have hijacked our frequencies"

It was by all accounts, rather successful, though I am sure broadcast hijacking happened even before then.

Saturn's rings, radio waves ... poetry? At home with Scotland's Mr Physics

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Whilst in the area....

Should you be making the trip from further afield to spend some time in Auld Reekie (Edinburgh) then you are missing a geek-treat if you do not take a trip over the water to Fife to visit the excellent Museum of Communications in Burntisland. Rather conveniently, take the train from Edinburgh and you'll get to cross the Forth Bridge, which may placate other-halfs and kids too....


Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Olympic Sized Swimming Pool

"The microwaves reached a receiver 55 metres (or 170 feet) away – which is a little bigger than the typical length of an Olympic-sized swimming pool."

Yes, but how many kettle-fulls are in an OSSP, and how long would it take 1.8kilowatts to heat them all? The article does seem very short of useful facts and figures.....

Firefox 36 swats bugs, adds HTTP2 and gets certifiably serious

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Problems with XP?

Until I saw El Reg article this morning I had not even given a moments thought that Firefox may have been the cause of the problem. I had assumed it was a local computer problem and went down that avenue of attack. After reading the article and commenting I too have done some searching so have a few options open for the weekend.

And yes, I know it's an XP box, but as an artistic.creative type she has a lot of bespoke software installed, all of which would need re-installing, upgrading, re-licencing, etc, at great cost and effort, not to mention loads of phone calls for the next 6 months - where has this option gone - why can't I do this anymore, etc...... For a roughly 10 year old machine, dual core 3gig processor, 4 gig ram and about 5 terabyte of storage it's still pretty hot and there are no painless routes to upgrade....

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Problems with XP?

Have FF performed an auto-update for peeps? My g/f rang last night to say her FF had died - just comes up with "fire fox has encountered a problem and has to close" message. Spent 2 1/2 hours on the phone trying to upgrade, re-install, uninstall, reinstall, all with same result.

Not sure what version she had as I don't run FF, but it apparently worked fine the night before, the only version their website provided easy access to was 36, and I had no idea that it was brand new. Will now look for an older version to install over the weekend and make sure auto-update is off.

Yes, i hate auto-updates and manufacturers who are consistently "fiddling" with things like UI just because they think it "looks" better in theior PFY world - I spend years tweaking UI's to get them as I like and they just go and trash that in one swift move - yes Opera I'm looking at you (amongst others)

NERDS KICK PUPPY 'bot in brutal attack

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Sticks and Balls

Very impressive, but if you throw it a stick or ball will it retrieve it and bring it back, unlike my g/f's dumb hound?

Would have been cute to have seen it balance on three legs next to one of those tress though.

World's largest ship swallows 900 MEGATINS of baked beans

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Re: What's the fuel economy?

The engines are daft though, they redline at 100rpm...

Umm, but think of all that lovely torque......

SLOW DOWN: Insecure-by-design software on road

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Internet of Things

So....if these signs are on the Internet of Things, as is my fridge, can the fridge tell the sign to put up a message reminding me not to forget to buy some milk on the way home?

Now that would be useful.

Urinating teen polluted 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools - cops

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Over reaction?

Is this an over reaction by officialdom?

Assuming this was an open reservoir, then it contains raw untreated water. A miniscule amount of human pee is hardly significant. Considering the reservoir is open (ie not covered) birds can pee and sh!t in it as much as they like, and it is fed by rivers, into which the perp could easily have pee'd unnoticed. Indeed I am sure the sheep, cows and rabbits upstream have no concerns about pee'ing in the river at all. And the reservoir no doubt contains fish, all of whom sh!t and pee with no regard for the environment. Good grief, the fish even have sex in that water!

All these contaminents will be filtered out or neutralised by the subsequent treatment process.

However, if this was a closed reservoir (ie. sealed, containing treated "potable" water) then it is a whole different kettle of fish. Members of the public should never have access to sealed reservoirs, and he deserves everything they can throw at him. As does whatever process (or failure of process) which allowed him access to the reservoir.

Surf's up near Saturn as boffins spot waves on Titan

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I tip my hat to the scientists and boffins who have managed to measure/observe, or whatever they did, to something 2cm in size at that kind of distance. An incredible feat of technology.

NASA opens its Jupiter photo album to honour Pioneer 10

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Re: Last pic

Not that good - I don't see David Cameron bombing in the side......

When the lights went out: My 'leccy-induced, bog floor crawling HORROR

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Two Anecdotes to this...

I'm a bit late chipping in but here are two comments.....

1) About 15 years back, the company I was working for took on a new recruit. A networking guy in his early 30's, who had come from the power industry, and work on "safety critical" systems. During the first few weeks/months whilst fitting in with the team, he would chat about his previous employment. Even back then he was commenting that the power industry was heading into a huge black hole (which the power companies were all aware of), and that by 2015-2020 the UK would be in a major power crisis: - old power stations (30-40 years old) were being or were scheduled for shutdown, coal was coming to an end, "green pressure" was starting to bite on all fossil fuels, the UK had not researched or kept up with nuclear development since the 60's, etc, etc, etc, and meanwhile our appetite for electricity was forever growing - not just at home, but our business in those days of the mid/late 90's was data centres and PoP's which were starting to appear and munch through kilowatt hours at an alarming rate.

2) At around the same time, give or take 5 years or so I was driving one morning up the M6. I was stabbing the buttons on the car radio and ended up on some local station somewhere. There was an article on the news about a power cut the night before which had left umpteen thousands of homes in the area with no power all night. After the news the DJ stepped in to have a little "backchat" with the newsreader and commented that he was one of the homes that had been blacked out. He and his wife had to fumble around in the dark to find if they had some candles and matches somewhere, whilst his kids thought it was really exciting and spooky with no power, and thought that candles were only for birthday cakes and couldn't actually be used to produce "real" light. He then went on to say, that after five - ten minutes the kids started to realise there was no TV, no DVD, no computer, no cordless phone, no microwave, no warm food, no light in the fridge, no heating, no light to see anything by anywhere except a couple of solitary candles, and then started to get really stressed about the lack of electrcity. The DJ/newsreader then went on to comment about how reliant we were now on electricity compared to when they were youngsters (aka in the 70's) when such things were relatively frequent and how we are not prepared for it, and how his kids had never ever experienced a power cut or had any concept that such things happened.

I'm not sure why I remember both anecdotes so clearly after all this time, but there was obviously a connection between them, and I guess it started to make me think about what to do if the power is off for more than 15 minutes every five years, or whatever we take for granted these days.

Top comet-watcher pens ISON's emotional obituary

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Nice touch...

I was looking forward to a nice bright streak across the sky on a crisp winters night, but alas...

That's a nice and thoughtful touch he put on the end.

"In ISON's memory," he writes, "donations are encouraged to your local astronomy club, observatory or charity that supports STEM and science outreach programs for children."

If this doesn't terrify you... Google's computers OUTWIT their humans

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Show me pictures of my dog.....

I just asked google to show me pictures of my dog on the beach at sunset, and it was an epic fail.

There were lots of pictures of dogs I don't recognise, and none of mine.

Mind you, I don't have a dog.

So, by that test, I think think humans are safe from the rise of the google machine for at least a while yet.

Broadband rivals 'pleased' over Ofcom's market shake-up plans. Maybe too pleased

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

OFCOM seem obsessed with attempting to drive down the cost of broadband, and presumably squeezing everyones margins along the way. Why can't they just accept that's how much it costs for a broadband connection? Personally, I think £20 per month for my 16mb/s (upto 20) service is amongst the best £20 a month I spend, for what I get in return and what it gives access to. If I needed to save £20 a month, there are plenty of things I would sacrifice before my internet connection.

The people I feel sorry for are those also paying £20 or whatever, and getting a pittance of a service, or no service at all (though obviously not paying £20 in that case!). If OFCOM had some balls they would "price cap" at the wholesale or retail point, and make the amount they charge dependent on the speed they actually deliver. ie £20 for upto 20mb/s, but if they can only deliver 5mb/s, then they only get to charge £5. That might actutally make some of the ISP's pull their fingers our and invest in getting a better network.

By continually squeezing everyones margins, they are making it even more difficult for an ISP to justify giving punters better speeds, or for those who live in a black-spot/have-not, any prospect of service at all.

Just my tuppence worth.....

How City IT is under attack from politicians, diesel bugs, HR

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Diesel Bug

Diesel bugs exits in both mineral diesel and biodiesel (which is, roughly speaking, a blend of mineral diesel and vegetable oils).

It's not a critical issue with cars and general transport as the fuel is pretty fresh, ie. from refinery to your tank in a week or two, and re-filled in your tank every few days/weeks. It can be a problem with standby generators as the fuel may have been sitting in the tank for years. And I mean years. If you have a standby genset at work, when was the last time anyone ran the tank to the red-line or until the little light came on, and refilled it? Sure, you might "top up" a few hudred litres each year after routine testing, but the bulk of the fuel may have been there 5 or 10 years or more.

It's not unusual for a genset to fire up during a power failure, run for a hour or so, then cough and splutter to a halt as the sludge and stuff get drawn through the filters.

NORKS harbouring 3,000-strong cyber army, claims Seoul

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Black Helicopters

Re: This always makes me wonder...

Good points there, lglethal. My question would be that is it possible to "highly train" someone to be a world class hacker, or even a script kiddie? Or is that particular skill something you develop a skill/passion for by being exposed to these computery thingmybobs at a very young age and firstly teaching yourself how to fiddle, then growing from there? Is it really posible to take someone who has never seen a computer or the internet until, say teenage or university age, then give them such exposure to use it for malicious purposes? It would need some very good professors and lecturers, who in turn must have been trained very well and given a lot of internet exposure. And could a country the size of NoK come up with 3000 such persons?

Or is this just another round of sabre rattling? Another WMD and 45 minutes to hit London claim to "sex up" South Koreas and the wests paranoia?


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