* Posts by Ledswinger

5842 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Capgemini: We love our 'flexible, flowing' spade

Ledswinger
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Re: And they paid for this ?

Not yet. But they will in due course.

Probably some "creative" agency has walked away with half a million quid for the deflated spade. But for a large company, the real costs are changing all the signs, logos, employee uniforms, reworking the Powerpoint style, the ad campaign to broadcast to the world the vital news of the new melted logo, the internal propaganda videos and materials etc. Altogether the costs of changing a dull blue logo to a dull blue logo will easily reach several million quid.

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IT at sea makes data too easy to see: Ships are basically big floating security nightmares

Ledswinger
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Re: How current is this? @ Charles 9

Phalanxes are pretty small shipwise so can be put on many ships, INCLUDING the ships on the edge of your group. Heck, put a few on ALL the ships in your group and you have defense in depth.

To reiterate something you've overlooked, Phalanx have a range of just over 2 miles. In a battlegroup under combat conditions you'd have all the ships much further apart than that unless you want to present a nice, tight target to your enemy. You can scatter Phalanx onto your entire fleet like confetti, chances are only the target ship will see a high speed missile come within range of the Phalanx.

You are in denial. Almost 30 years ago the Cato Policy Institute concluded that the carrier battle group was an utterly outmoded means of offence, because so much of the force is there to protect itself. Its on the web, search it out, read it. The only thing that has changed is that UAV, missile and torpedo technology has advanced, and that weakens the case for a huge floating target.

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Ledswinger
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Re: "but there's no convincing defence systems."

Light travels faster than an hypersonic missile....

Lets see them take down a hypersonic missile in combat-representative conditions with a laser. I'll believe that when I see it. If you had a hypersonic sea skimmer, the laser control system has a whole 13 seconds to detect a tiny target a few feet above the sea after it appears over the horizon, get a fix, and put in sufficient energy to destroy it. Actually, make that 10 seconds, because at short range you can hit the missile but it will hit the target anyway. If I might suggest, you seem to have unbounded optimism in people like DARPA.

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Ledswinger
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Re: How current is this? @ Charles 9

But dumb missiles lends itself to "dumb" defenses like the Phalanx, which is gun-based so is much easier to keep stocked with ammunition and harder to evade since slugs are dumber then missiles

Sorry, mate, you need to think more about the weapons and tactics, which was my point. Phalanx is a last ditch defence, because it is short range, max 2.2 miles. As fire controller for an escort ship, you'd want to knock out all incoming missiles as far away as possible, and only rely on the Phalanx at the last moment for missiles that get through your outer defences - don't forget that at short range you might hit the missile, but if you don't trigger the warhead, chances are still high that it will hit and detonate. Imagine you're weapons controller, you're looking at what might be a swarm attack, you've got two incoming missiles showing as doing 600+ knots. They might be ancient Exocets - but how confident would you be that Phalanx will get them? Would you hold back your anti-missile missiles. and risk a carrier by hoping that Phalanx will stop both, or even one? How would that play out afterwards if you got it wrong?

Now move on to the cream of the crop weapons, and think about the fact that although 4,500 rounds per minute sounds great, a Ruskie Zircon moves at 5,300 mph. How good is your radar, your gun control motors, your barrel accuracy etc? At those sorts of speed, meatsacks are out of the equation. You think that the head on angle helps? Nope, it's the tracking speed and accuracy that counts. Your Phalanx has about 1.5 seconds of firing time when the missile is in range, say 115 rounds spread across an assumed linear path of 2.2 miles. Chances are that it'll splash the water behind the missile a treat. Even if you score a hit, if the warhead doesn't detonate then you've got a (guessing) 2 tonne mass including something like a 300 kg warhead closing on your carrier at over a mile a second. Mass x velocity squared (with a warhead as well)......By the time any Tomahawks arrive to spread democracy in the world, the real sea battle would be long over. Now play out a more complex scenario where an adversary mixes a few hypersonic, supersonic, and subsonic missiles from different angles, to arrive at similar times. That needs a mere three weapons platforms - 3 aircraft, or 2 aircraft and one ship, or one aircraft and two missile boats etc. As your adversary I expend six missiles, and probably lose all three platforms - but you're down an 80,000 tonne aircraft carrier, and the aircraft that destroyed my weapons platforms don't have a carrier to come home to any more. And we haven't even discussed supercavitation torpedos, which amount to underwater missiles, nor maritime drones.

The day of the carrier as a ship of the line is over, just as the day of the dreadnought was over, as is the day of the battleship. Carriers are great for relief operations, for bombing third world nutcases, or showing the flag, but no use as a first rate military asset. Too big, too slow, too easy to hit.

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Ledswinger
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Re: How current is this?

Large ballistic missiles tend to be used against fixed targets.

That's true. The real missile threat to carriers is swarm attacks, or hypersonic anti-ship missiles. A swarm attack needn't have to overwhelm the defence radar systems by force of numbers - it merely needs to exhaust the (usually) cassette based missile defence systems, using relatively cheap, old tech missiles until the escort vessels are out. Hypersonic missiles are something where we've yet to see them proven in combat, but there's no convincing defence systems.

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Ledswinger
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Re: How current is this?

Funny how the Brits, the US, the Chinese, the Indians, the Italians, the South Koreans and the Turks all have carriers currently under construction and Russia and Brazil have announced plans for further carriers.

An aircraft carrier is (to admirals and politicians) a big, floating codpiece. They think it makes them look big and hard, projects the idea of vast military strength, even though they've always been vulnerable.

In WW2 26 aircraft & escort carriers were sunk out of about 125 actually in service. Since the majority were only commissioned in the period 1943-45, that's not very good odds. Now consider that there was no air to air refueling to extend land based aircraft range, radar was primitive, AEW non-existent, no homing or guided missiles, few homing torpedos, bombs were all dumb. Thinking what weapons are widely available now, and any realistic assessment would conclude that in the modern threat environment, aircraft carriers only have a use as a floating airfield against an enemy with no credible air force or sea power.

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Never mind the WPA2 drama... Details emerge of TPM key cockup that hits tonnes of devices

Ledswinger
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who else has the funds to pursue this kind of attack?

$40-60k is easily within the "investment" budget for organised crime.

Their main problem is how to convert the attack into some form of blockchain currency or cash, but some form of attack on banks, money transfer operators, or corporate treasury departments would seem the obvious way. That requires diverting money transfers to different destinations, making fraudulent transfers directly, or nobbling the commercial systems to grant loans that will then be cashed out, never to be seen again.

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Ernst & Young slapped with £1.8 MEEEELLION fine for crap accounting

Ledswinger
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Re: The Big 4

For a more meaningful comparison the £1.8m should be put in perspective to EY UK's revenue. It's still not going to ruin EY UK as in 2016 it was somewhere north of £2bn.

To take the precision down a further decimal place, EY Accountants LLP had (according to Companies House) turnover of £445m, and a profit available for distribution of £62.5m. Which tells us that the margin on accountancy services is about 14%, and the fine is therefore approaching 3% of last year's profit. That'll come out of the pocket of all partners, and they won't be happy, being a bunch of mercenary skinflints.

Regarding the quality aspect, the whole point of audit is to please the client, who pay the fee. Accordingly the auditors look to find some technical points for improvement to show they've done a great job, but really try and avoid looking too hard for toxic stuff. I can recall being asked to sign something that looked (to me) like dishonest reporting by a senior manager, and I queried it, and was told "<insert a big three letter accountancy firm> have agreed this with the director". I refused to comply and said "You won't mind signing it, then". Said senior manager gave me a sour look, but signed it (this was before PIDA, although fat lot of use that is). A few years later that company were fined £37m for fraudulent reporting. But the auditors were never named and shamed, or held to account.

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Brit intel fingers Iran for brute-force attacks on UK.gov email accounts

Ledswinger
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A kind reminder, the bend-over posture is the standard one to be assumed every time your overseas overlord is interested in your services.

You are Harvey Wankstein, and I claim my five pounds.

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Grant Shapps of coup shame fame stands by 'broadbad' research

Ledswinger
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Coup shame fame?

The only shame is that the dimwits of the Tory party didn't support the attempt to oust her, presumably because they can't see how useless and unelectable Theresa May is.

And the staggering thing is that having thrown away her parliamentary majority a few months back because of suicidal policies that pissed off people who would otherwise have been core votes, her idiot chancellor is currently trailing a budget to piss off even more of the Conservative voting base. Some people never learn.

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Beardy Branson chucks cash at His Muskiness' Hyperloop idea

Ledswinger
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stick the Virgin name on something...but get all his investment back in name licencing fees.

Lucky he didn't call his outfit BeardedBellEnd, that might not have been so lucrative, even if more accurate.

"The train approaching platform 6 is the late running 17:05 BeardedBellEnd Trains service to Manchester Piccadilly, calling at Milton Keynes Central, Crewe, Macclesfield and some other shite place."

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Ledswinger
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because a pair of iron rails is a hell of a lot cheaper.

If done properly. HS2 has been reported as costing over £400m per mile. For the 140m between London and Brum, that's £56bn (before the inevitable overspend). Assuming that we call interest at a mere 3%, and recover the depreciation over 50 years, that requires repayments of £2.1bn a year, Even if the London to Brum cost were recovered across all WCML intercity traffic (Virgin WC) of c10m journeys, that's an AVERAGE fare of £210.

Ignoring the pretend economics of HS2 traffic, extrapolate those costs to Hyperloop. Lets say it is only 50% more expensive, and we're looking at over £300 average fare, and that's for the busy bit between London and Birmingham. The remaining 250 miles to Glasgow, including the difficult geography north of Crewe is going to cost twice as much as a minimum, over the same number of journeys then your average fare is going to be in excess of £900. Obviously they'd try and match fares to journey length, but that means lower fares London-Brum, higher fares north of that - and on lower passenger volumes.

I think we can already say that this will never work financially.

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Ledswinger
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If English isn't your first language then forgiveness might just be available.

This dispensation is also be available to Merkins. But not Aussies, Kiwis, or Canucks, as you all know better. Well, apart from Maoris, Aboriginals, or other "indigenous peoples".

Québécois don't know better, but they get no dispensation on the grounds of being too French.

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Facebook, Twitter slammed for deleting evidence of Russia's US election mischief

Ledswinger
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Re: obligatory 1984 quote

They released an album in May of this year, they're still going.

Are you right?

Are you wrong?

Or are you just dreaming?

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Essex drone snapper dealt with by police for steamy train photos

Ledswinger
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@ DropBear

F*** you mate.

People working on the railway (or anywhere) should be entitled to go about their daily job without any ADDITIONAL risk of death or injury over and above the aspects that are inherent and unavoidable, and even then their employer has a very clear duty of care.

Sorry if that seems a bit aggressive, but I feel really strongly about this. I'm pretty right wing, even reactionary, but the day to day jobs that keep the human world tuning are done by people on low salaries and crap wages. The people who bash railway ballast back under the line, the people who scrape white collar workers' toilets clean, the people who maintain armco on the highways, why should they have to risk injury or death just doing a pretty poorly rewarded job?

I'm not asking you to socialise with these people (I don't), but at least accept that they should not be additionally endangered in their job by twat-head drone operators - or for that matter people speeding through roadworks, or other incremental hazard behaviours.

Alright. I retract and apologise for the "f*** you", but perhaps you might display a bit more humility about inflicting additional risk on other people? Please?

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Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

Ledswinger
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Re: Every day's a school day

do these people have five thumbs and one opposable finger?

There's always some people like this. But as a variation on the upside down screen, you can do that with many laptops (even when they are on a docking station with a proper keyboard and external monitor). CTRL ALT <down arrow> often flips the screen image through 180 degrees. An absolute joy when you find a machine somebody has walked away from without locking, if they don't know how to undo that.

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Screw the badgers! Irish High Court dismisses Apple bit barn appeals

Ledswinger
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Re: Not environmentally-friendly high-tech jobs! Anything but that!

But feck it, say it's for tax avoidance. That's much easier than actually doing any research.

Its for tax avoidance purposes. If cool climate cooling and availability of wind power were any form of deciding factor, they'd have built it in Scotland which is colder, windier, and has much better developed wind generating assets. Or they could have chosen Iceland and used geothermal electricity, or Norway, which has a cooler climate and a hell of a lot of hydro power. Denmark has similar wind resources to Ireland, and is colder, and wouldn't need to use the submarine cables for most EU traffic, and has better interconnects to the US than Ireland.

Let me run that by you again, it's for tax avoidance. Operationally there's no reason at all to select Ireland as a DC location to serve the UK or mainland Europe.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not environmentally-friendly high-tech jobs! Anything but that!

Not all data centres are created equal

They most certainly are not. But the handful of Nordic DCs that this applies to are not much help for the many locations where there's no surplus of hydropower and cooling water.

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Ledswinger
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Re: @DougS - you sure have a high bar for green energy

I've worked in the energy industry for many years, these "offset" arrangements are a con. Under grid operation rules, energy generated at the lowest marginal cost is used first, and all generating plant is ranked in a "merit curve" of marginal cost. This means wind and solar always get used unless there's a grid restriction. So if it gets built, it gets used. A customer saying they've bought an offset contract doesn't mean anything, it just means that the wind generator gets paid by that customer rather than another customer, or offloading on the wholesale market. Rarely is any new wind power brought to market because of the contracts, because few companies will actually pay the real cost of windpower, which is being built due to government rules and subsidies. Even if they do buy a windfarm, because design, development and construction of wind farms is a specialist skills set, it will either already be built or in development for the purposes of trade sale, so there's no incremental gain against a counterfactual case.

So if now new wind power is brought to market, and all available windpower is going to be used anyway, where's the gain? I'll say it again, offsetting is a con on the hard of thinking, and you would appear to be utterly clueless about how the energy system actually functions.

Your comment about using waste heat from a DC might have some merit if the DC weren't being built in the middle of nowhere, but it ignores the huge capital costs of heat networks, the significant premium for low temperature heating systems, and the dismal efficiency of low temperature heat transfers (I could write a thesis on those matters, but this isn't the place). So technically it can be done, in cost terms it is very expensive, and because of the very peaky seasonal and diurnal loads for heat, the asset utilisation is very poor. And therefore you still need to build all the cooling and heat dump capabilities into the DC.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not environmentally-friendly high-tech jobs! Anything but that!

As the centre runs on Electricity and given Apple's commitment to renewables I can only thing that the greenhouse emissions must come from the outside lavvy.

Whilst I'm sure your concerns about Daly's motives are well founded, Apple's commitment to renewables is mere marketing tripe. Absent some truly immense battery storage system (about a week's worth of total DC demand), and significant over-provision of the renewable generation capacity, any DC will be using fossil fuel power all through the winter nights, AND even when running on renewable electricity, the grid will be reliant upon fossil fuel back up, as will be the DC for its on site power backup.

Usually, sanctimonious companies pretending to be "green" contract with a wind or solar power provider for a nominally similar total volume of power, but a completely different time profile. They then claim that makes them 100% renewable, but it isn't, because where the renewable power does not match the demand profile, they are in fact dependent upon fossil fuels. A bit like certain energy companies in the UK, claiming that they supply 100% renewable energy to households.

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Scouse marketing scamps scalped £70k for 100,000+ nuisance calls

Ledswinger
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Sorry, I didn't catch that

They must take responsibility and, ultimately accept the consequences if they break the law."

What consequences?

As far as I can see, winding up a company, declaring it insolvent, or having it struck off are business as usual for criminals, yet I see no evidence that the ICO, Companies House, or the Insolvency Service do anything about this. All they do is mumble that it isn't their job. But I spot an inefficiency here - there's lots of different mumblers, duplication, gaps in provision, and a lack of equality amongst the mumblers. So, I propose Mumbled Apologies As A Shared Service (MAaaSS). I'd be willing to join the Civil Service as a Director General of Mumbled Excuses and CEO of MAaaSS). It'd pay well, great pension, no responsibility. And I'd put my heart and soul into it - I'd mumble my excuses with a pitiful tone, and even wring my hands as I mumbled. On camera or in public I'd adopt a pained, regretful expression, along with a nodding dog sympathy gesture. What could be better?

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More and more websites are mining crypto-coins in your browser to pay their bills, line pockets

Ledswinger
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Re: This post is a work of satire and should not be taken seriously

the UK has cheaper power than Germany, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Austria, Portugal and Sweden.

That's true when you look at domestic customers, and include taxes. In many other EU countries, the costs of energy policies are recovered through specific taxes added to bills. In the UK, most policy costs are imposed in different ways on energy companies, and recovered through pricing, so it appears that UK energy taxes are a lot lower, and rising prices aren't all the government's fault. In practice, people end up paying for all of the politician's climate change toys, so what counts is those final costs including taxes.

However, there is one area where the UK has by far the highest energy costs in the EU, and that's for large energy users. UK electricity prices for large users are roughly double those in France.

As with all UK government policy, employers are frowned upon, and there's no concern about the fact that the UK is pricing itself out of business.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Advertisers won't be happy.

You guys clearly missed the memo.

Well done, I'd forgotten about that. Interesting thing is that the Reg publish that as an April fool's joke, and a few months later there's people actually doing it.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Advertisers won't be happy.

Me too. C'mon Reg, how does the maths work out? Can cryptomining generate enough to profitably run a website? You know many of your readers run script and adblockers, that hurts you - yet its not because we're freeloaders, its for security and because of the bloated and intrusive shite that advertisers seem to love.

What are the CPU load and user implications? Can it scale, or do the economics fail if most web sites tried it? How difficult would it be to trial it on The Register? Offer readers running an adblocker the choice of paying their way with cryptomining, and see how that works. I'm up fot it.

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Beware the GDPR 'no win, no fee ambulance chasers' – experts

Ledswinger
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Re: Waiting......

I suspect they're looking at other UK regulatory actions and fines against similar "10% of turnover" rules, and concluding that a big data breach is going to cost £4-10m in fines, so probably less than 20% of the clean up costs after the event, and ten to twenty times the ICO's current mosquito bite fines. Those sort of fines are a BAU cost for most big business.

And the other thing is that the mindset exists in most companies that, having asked themselves a set of easy questions, been given reassuring answers that it is all under control, undertaken some token low cost measures, they conclude that they've done their bit, they are compliant, they are safe, and the directors can doze off again. Take the Equifax breach - they actually had in post a head of IT Security, they had patched most of their systems, they had a big IT budget, they used external advisers and security services. Unfortunately they hadn't patched Struts in the two months the patch was available (and how many big organisations would have a "patch first, ask questions later" regime?). I suspect Equifax would have passed a fairly thorough data security audit. In this respect, data protection is a bit like stopping terrorism - anything you stop or deter is just doing your job, but you have a vast attack surface, and it only takes one to get through.

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Malware again checks into Hyatt's hotels, again checks out months later with victims' credit cards

Ledswinger
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Re: internal verification code

Or is the % they pay you worth more than the cost to you and cardholders?

PCI Security Standards Council set the rules, but is anybody responsible for the retroactive enforcement of PCI DSS? And have that body ever barred a major corporation?

Realistically, although the industry should issue Hyatt with a ban, I don't believe they've got the will to do that. Even if they did, it would be tantamount to putting Hyatt out of business if the ban were for more than a few weeks, and I'm sure the owners and managers of Hyatt would be shielded by the US authorities stopping such a move.

For all the brave words, I can't think of any jurisdiction that takes data security seriously. Even the likely scale of GDPR fines will be trivial compared to the typical clean up costs of a data breach, so the new rules are concentrating minds briefly, but come next May, I'm not sure we'll see any slowdown in reported breaches.

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OnePlus privacy shock: So, the cool Chinese smartphones slurp an alarming amount of data

Ledswinger
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Re: And?

That's exactly the attitude that repressive governments want you to have.

What, like the UK government with all their shitty snooping laws? I'm in the UK, so I'd far rather that the Chinese government were poking their nose into my business than my own government. I'd prefer that nobody did, but since there's no mileage and no leverage for the Chinese (or other non-Western governments) they are preferrable to my own government or its allies choosing that they should have my data.

Obviously, if I were doing a role that the Chinese were interested in, then I wouldn't be using a Chinese designed phone (although arguably, in that situation I shouldn't even have any smartphone).

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Ledswinger
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Re: And?

I've got a Chinese brand smartphone. I don't notice it, but presume that it will do exactly what Microsoft, Apple and Google do, and send data home. As a personal phone I'm not too worried what the People's Liberation Army collect, because it isn't used for serious web browsing, and it isn't used for business purposes. If the PLA have got the time to worry about where I go, and the texts I exchange with the family, then I'll have usefully tied up some of their resources, and they'll be very bored indeed.

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Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit

Ledswinger
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They can't get the code for their own app?

Amateurs. Total bloody amateurs.

I don't blame them for outsourcing development. On the other hand if Pure commissioned it, the contract should have stipulated that Pure hold the full copyright, all relevant source code and documentation, and a prohibition on any proprietary tools, techniques or libraries that might be used to make it difficult to get a new developer to amend the code.

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Give us cash and think about the kids, UK tells Facebook and Twitter

Ledswinger
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Re: undeniable suffering

I think the best way forward would be to take a punt that Gove can win an election. He'd make a great PM.

What? You think Smeagol Gove would be good at anything? He has sounded very credible quite a few times in radio discussions, which should be expected from a journalist. But he's yet another Oxbridge arts twat, and as education minister he interfered and in one fell swoop, turned the educational clock back to Tom Brown's School Days. That's unforgiveable. And that Fluck & Law face is not going to ever be elected as PM.

I'd rather see Sajid Javid given a clear run at it. He's a lot less tainted than most of the Tory bigwigs. He is a bit sullied by having a degree in politics and economics. and he was a banker, although on the plus side he's got some good international commercial experience, he worked his way up, and he doesn't come from the ghastly Tory blue-rinse or silver-spoon ranks.

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Ledswinger
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Re: undeniable suffering

Cameron .... I even respected him grudgingly because he got the Labour party out of power.

But because he stood for nothing other than his own toffee nosed views, and had no clear vision, he was unable to win a majority in 2010 against the ramshackle remnants of the Labour party. He scraped a bare majority against Fidel Corbyn....and then The Woman Who Knows Nothing managed to throw even that thin majority away.

All of this, I think comes back to a total lack of a compelling vision that voters can identify with. And there is little chance that they'll come up with anything anytime soon because they are all completely out of touch with voters. There's not even the attempt to engage, or take an interest in what matters to voters, and all policy and planning is desk study thinking, the endless battle for the "centre ground" is driven by a handful of focus groups asked loaded questions, and by special advisors who know less than the square root of bugger all.

Even if the feckless Mrs May were thrown out, are there any visionaries within the Conservative party? Nope. Davis would probably be the most competent set of hands but lacks flair, Rudd is worryingly useless in all respects, Rees-Mogg is a frightening throwback to Victorian values, and Johnson is a clown whose skills are in Latin and after dinner speaking. Ruth Davidson might be a surprisingly strong candidate amongst MPs, but has the charm and voter appeal of an 8x4 30 tonne tipper.

And therein is the problem. Too many arts graduates and career politicians, no vision, no good pool of candidates, and most of them obsessed with equality agendas started off by Tony Blair. They can't organise or fund the NHS, they can't organise or fund the military, they don't know anything about commerce, technology or industry and do nothing to make the UK a better place to employ people, they stand and watch idly whilst US tech companies avoid billions in UK taxes, they are committed to intensely illiberal mass spying programmes, their energy policy is one of the most expensive and farcical disasters ever seen in the UK, and they don't have a scooby where the £2bn a day the government spend goes. Corbyn may be worse, but on current progress he's more likely to be elected in 2020 because he promotes a vision of "everything for free, paid from the pockets of the rich", whereas nobody knows what the Tories stand for, including themselves. The Conservative party's woes come from the fact that they have a disastrous lack of objective, professional strategic vision, no skills in leadership or management, and as a consequence instead of forming a vision based around what voters want, they rely on their parliamentary leader's diktats and poor judgement, and the continuing obsession of Tory "reformers" over equality.

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Sniffing substations will solve 'leccy car charging woes, reckons upstart

Ledswinger
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Using an 11kW charger would take six hours to fully charge a Tesla Model S, ... from the 25 per cent full state.

That takes the way we run ICE cars, and assumes that you'd do the same with an EV, but many of these calculations are around worst case scenarios that are easily avoided. Why deep discharge your EV battery, and then be panicking to do a 75% recharge overnight at home? That's daft for most users. The logical way to charge your car is to do top up charging every night of use (or every other night), and then, across the electricity system the system only needs to supply one day's EV use. For the average company car that's about 50 miles a day (for non-company cars about 30 miles per day). Each kWh gets about 2.5 miles of range, so a business user would need to take 20 kWh (or 40 kWh every other night), and over say an eight hour charging period, that's either 2.5 kW or 5 kW load, easily within the capacity of most electrical supply connections to the home. The 3.5kW chargers are bit puny, the 11 kW too meaty for most domestic use, but a 7 kW charger would be a better compromise for the electricity distribution system.

Obviously road warriors doing 30k-50k miles a year will have a problem, but they'd need to use something like the Tesla superchargers anyway, because it wouldn't be practical for those users to try and plan a daily itinerary around battery charge state because every day they would be doing a full discharge of an 80-100 kWh battery.

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Ledswinger
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Re: EV GSM and metering?

Anyway, if HMG start charging me an extra energy tax to charge my EV at home,

Not the preferred model. Government have already looked at and (in effect) chosen road pricing as their future model, although they're not sure how they will actually do it. I expect it'll be GPS real time tracking, possibly using the e-call capability (you remember they said there wouldn't be any scope creep? Not that anybody believed them). Because GPS isn't always that accurate they might struggle with road specific charges, though time of use would be easy. Busy or trunk roads might see higher pricing by using ANPR in parallel with the GPS tracking. Additional great benefits for government include charging you more when it suits them, a vast database of everybody's movements, the ability to issue speeding and parking tickets automatically.

But regardless of that, your EV charging costs will at least double anyway, for two reasons - first the continuing "climate change panic" changes to the energy systems, and all the subsidy fuelled PV, wind, and network changes, that's putting up your charges every year for the next decade as a minimium, and second because with the emergence of EV charging demand and static battery storage for peak loads, the idea of really cheap off peak electricity is doomed, because as off peak demand rises significantly, so will overnight power prices.

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Apple's iPhone X won't experience the joy of 6...

Ledswinger
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Re: Numbers

I guess it’s like buying a Dacia vs a mini or bmw something

No. Dacia's are wilfully devised to be as cheap as possible without challenging the owning company (Renault). Many of the challenger brands in phones don't have a parent with a premium brand, or they segment the market differently.

My next car may be a Skoda

I think that makes my point. Certainly VW Group try and make sure that their challenger brands Skoda & Seat don't compete with VW (or in any way with Audi, or Porsche, or Bentley). But I drive a Skoda, (Octavia 1.4 TSI 150) and it is a fabulous car. In many ways better than cars I've owned before costing twice as much, If you want all the frippery and trimmings, look away. If you want a quite exquisitely balanced engine, body shell and transmission, look no further. Seats are great, but (in my cheapo variant) not leather, the ICE is really basic by modern day standards.

And that's where we are with phones. For less than £200 you can have a really good octa-core 5.5inch display Android phone, 4,000 mAh battery, nice screen. You don't get wireless charging, USB-C, or waterproofing, but you do get SD compatibility or dual SIM.

Apple are cruising, relying on the inertia of their customer base. How long that will last I really wouldn't want to predict, because other incumbent companies have exploited their customer for decades, but what I would say is that the maths of justifying share price on ever-incremental product price rises simply doesn't work. My hunch is that either iPhone X or 11 will be the ones that wipe out the myth. Maybe they can create a multi-tiered offer around models 7, 8, X, and the plus variants, and segment the market for success. But as a reluctant Jobs admirer, I think the "one Coke" idea really matters. The cracks are there. When they rupture I really can't say.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Numbers

You're right. But the interesting thing will be if Apple have misjudged their own market by a bigger measure. That's the elephant in the room. Analysts rarely go out on a limb (for a range of reasons) so they stick with the herd. And no bank or analyst wants to be blackballed by Cupertino in future, so they all keep close to the myth. The only really substantive thing Apple have done is take the display out to the edge of the phone (cos wireless charging and 5.5" display can be had on an 8+), and its barely much of an advance on the Galaxy S8, which is £300 quid or more cheaper.

Maybe this will be the iPhone that's just too expensive, and flops. But if it isn't, the Apple strategy of making each new phone more expensive than before will eventually reach that point, for reasons of simple maths. If a £1,000-£1,300 phone sells, what will the iPhone 11 have to be priced at? If that reaches £1,200-1,500, will that actually sell? Then what of the iPhone 12? At some point the market will say "Far out! This is the price of a second hand car, and I can get 90% of the experience with a £200 Android". Then "pop", the Cupertino bubble bursts.

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Et tu Accenture? Then fall S3er: Consultancy giant leaks private keys, emails and more online

Ledswinger
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Re: One More Holey Bucket

Don't forget that the cloud providers, bit barn landlords and outsourcers make all sorts of rash and half-true promises, but what REALLY differentiates them from in house, is

1) A marketing budget and greasy, heavily incentivised salesmen. What is the in house team's marketing budget? And how many professional salesmen can it deploy with your own directors?

2) Even if that weren't a problem, the outsource team have more access to your directors than you'll ever get. Faced with dull senior manager Bob from IT coming to demand another bucket of cash for a server refresh, or the offer of golf and a free lunch with Scumbaghost's Galactic President of Customer Service EMEA (or a free "fact finding" visit to Prague), where will your CTO, FD, CEO invest their time?

3) They are New. Fresh. Clean. Everybody knows about the challenges, costs and problems of what you have in house today. But like an external job applicant, the outsource team don't have any baggage, and nobody ever looks very hard to find the (often ample) dirt of their failures at other companies.

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Samsung rings death knell for disk, gears up for QLC flash production

Ledswinger
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Rings the death knell for storage, more like

On your (excellent) QLC primer, the table at the bottom shows circa 100 P/E cycles for QLC NAND. What effing use is that? All the downsides of rewritable media (eg vulnerable to ransomware), but durability similar to the paper hat in a party cracker. All the clever algorithms in the world aren't going to persuade me that's a sensible form of storage.

Oi! Samsung! Bugger off back to the drawing board, and come back when you've got something worth my time.

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Star Wars: Big Euro cinema group can't handle demand for tickets to new flick

Ledswinger
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What about the Odeon Kinobi?

"These are not the smelly, popcorn rustling riff-raff that you are looking for."

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Cortana, please finish my sentences in Skype texts for me

Ledswinger
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Re: I hate eloquence

I hate all grey animals with large ears.

I only hate some of them

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Ledswinger
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Re: 'Redmond's not-at-all creepy service'

after a few billion epochs, it will be so set in its ways

Why so long? Microsoft is resolutely set in its ways, and its only taken how many years? 42.

Honestly, that is the answer.

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Stealthy storage startup wants to fly read-write heads closer to disks

Ledswinger
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Re: Too little, too late

Flash is outpacing HDD drive capacity increases

But largely at the expense of endurance. Unless flash makers can break the inverse relationship between flash storage density and endurance, then HDDs will continue to be an important technology.

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BlackBerry's new Motion will move you neither to tears of joy nor sadness

Ledswinger
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why can't you Motorola put one in a more expensive phone ?

Because Lenovo don't want to undermine the more expensive Moto X and Z offerings. It's just the same as car makers option availability - everything is crafted to give a reason to go to the next package up, that way you make the most money.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the EU Moto G's do have a magnetometer chip built in, but disabled at the firmware or driver level.

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Hitting 3 nanometers to cost chipmaker TSMC at least US$20 billion

Ledswinger
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Re: Well at 3nm it's a case of...

At 3nm... Dunno... If it is regularly running at 70C+ (fairly common in a CPU under load) I have some doubts it will survive for more than 5-6 years.

I would guess (from a position of ignorance) that once you get down to 3 nm, there would be a lack of resilience to imperfections that currently do not cause too many problems, and even before they end up in devices, production yields at the fab would fall dramatically.

Any thoughts from those with knowledge of these matters?

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Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

Ledswinger
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Re: What the market wants...

and for these people it will be alright to pay that price,....I know I will at least

I do soooo want it to succeed. But €50? And even if you're willing to pay the cash, that has to be for a supported phone, of which there is only one at present. Now, got to start somewhere, but when app makers struggle to persuade people to part with a couple of €, what's the chance that a viable number of punters will pay €50 to replace an OS on a phone that already has one, and then how many different phones can Sailfish support? Personally, in their situation I'd look to build a sizeable presence in the Chinese mid range market, just to get the volume and to interest Chinese phone market leaders, but those customers won't pay anything near fifty euro.

You can of course root your device and load a community image of Sailfish for free - with no guarantees that it will all work, and the risk of bricking your phone in the rooting process. Great for tinkerers, for the rest of the world this (sadly) has as much relevance as Cyanogenmod and LineageOS. And even then, you have to use third party app stores, like Yandex. Now, would any sane person load software found on Yandex?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Microsoft is suffering from a desperate mind-set of locking people in

I think Microsoft should have persevered. Stuck with mobiles and slowly create the brand - but they seem too petulant.

Looking at their market share in new sales, how could they create a brand when they've got no differentiation now, and when this news merely confirms what everybody else believed years ago, that MS were not in phones with a long game? In the consumer and enterprise markets, they'd need some utterly compelling new feature that Apple and Google haven't thought of, and can't easily replicate, and in all likelihood, the enterprise and consumers wouldn't be captivated by the same USP, so they need two stonking new features.

In the enterprise space, Continuum was going to be that USP, except that it was never clear that the enterprise customers wanted it, and it hasn't delivered. Microsoft also undermined that potential market with its business tablets. In the consumer space...well, there's nothing. All the old Nokia USP's (better audio quality, better maps, better cameras) were dropped other than for a couple of "show off" models, and now every phonemaker is trying to carve out some profit by focusing on those quality hardware elements (including the reborn Nokia) so doing it now would be too late and undifferentiated. Microsoft could have tried to differentiate on (eg) hardware durability, battery life, enterprise security, consumer privacy, but they didn't, they just made "me too" handsets that offered nothing new, nothing novel, and carried an OS that nobody really wanted.

Nadella is right, but deserves no kudos for that - all he's done is admit what the rest of the world knew years ago. After spending what, $10-15 billion, MS achieved 0.1% global market share of new phone sales in Q1 2017. For every Microsoft phone pushed largely onto unwilling corporate users, 800 Android phones and 200 Apple phones were sold. I can't see that they'd ever rebuild a brand with such low sales figures - even basic stuff like manufacturing economies of scale are out of their reach on those sales figures, so all the hardware has to be sold at a loss. All the overheads of R&D, marketing, software maintenance all spread out over fewer and fewer phones. Third party phone makers won't touch the OS now, so they are and would be limited to what they could make themselves.

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Ledswinger
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Re: What the market wants...

Jolla is releasing his Sailfixh X OS the 11 october

Interesting idea of selling a supported image for selected phones at €50 a throw. I hope I'm wrong, but I really can't see this selling in sufficient numbers to make it worthwhile.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Hand up...

Indecision and lack of commitment killed it, not the OS /Hardware.

Au contraire, EVERYTHING killed it:

- Microsoft didn't have a plan, didn't know or care to find out what customers really wanted

- Microsoft pissed everybody off by repeatedly abandoning older mobile platforms

- MS/Nokia didn't help themselves by abandoning everything that had gone before in Nokia

- Microsoft were spending huge amounts on acquisitions that they didn't understand and then struggled to integrate - between 2008 and 2016, they bought about 76 businesses. Microsoft's purpose was nothing more nor less than buying companies, and hoping for the best

- Buying a hardware maker when you know nothing about hardware is a big bit daft

- The hardware was mostly crap - particularly the low end stuff bought by IT departments, and even compared to similar priced dogs like the Samsung Galaxy Ace models

- The OS and UI followed the failed Windows 8 look, and were different for the sake of difference

- MS failed to understand and offer the Enterprise segment what they wanted, and that was the one area where MS could have profitably owned a worthwhile segment without needing to be a major force in consumer phones.

There's plenty of other things, many known, some that we can only infer, but I think its clear that when it came to phones, MS made every mistake that was available to be made, and not just in phones. Even today, they're buying up more companies like Altspace VR, which looks to be more of the same "if it moves, buy it, if it doesn't move buy it". And Altspace VR is yet another crap distraction - worth doing a search to see the 1998 educational software graphics.

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Ghost in Musk's machines: Software bugs' autonomous joy ride

Ledswinger
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Re: Really??

60g is survivable.

Its also an average across the 0.05 second time the car decelerates. At the first moment of impact, zero deceleration, zero G, the airbags have yet to be triggered, fired and inflate. Realistically the G it is going to spike to a much higher value. And in such a fast crash, if the car stops in four feet and 0.05 of a second, then by the time the airbag is fully inflated (say 45 milliseconds from the crash sensor being triggered to full inflation of the airbag), the initial impact is almost over. If it stops in five feet, the car's gone under more than half the trailer width and although the G force may be lower, the loadbed of the trailer's probably come through the windshield and connected with the driver's head as they flop forward on the seatbelt.

You get to the point where survival is a possible outcome

I don't dispute that side under-run bars ought to be mandatory. A quick looks supports my expectation that they offer protection up to 40 mph (Angelwing). A lighter car might be protected at higher speeds, but I'd be surprised if the kinetic energy of a two ton car would be stopped above 40 before the cabin is penetrated (look at the test pictures, and you'll see that at 40 a large car only just gets stopped before the A pillars get sliced). Now consider the two ton car in a perpendicular 74 mph impact - that's got 3.5x the kinetic energy of the same car at 40, so the impact is way beyond the design parameters of even a notably stronger than average under-run protector. The A pillars will never be strong enough to lift a trailer and buy more time. Look at the pics of the crash in question, and you can see that they left marks on the trailer, but clearly weren't able to lift it.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Really??

You could more reasonably attribute the death to the lack of safety features required by law in US HGVs

I doubt that. JB's two tonne car was doing 74 mph when it hit the truck, it'd be a very impressive side under-run bumper that'd stop that. Even if it had, to avoid a similar fate, the vehicle has to stop in about four feet - which means that even if the bumper, the car body, and the airbags spread the deceleration evenly during the circa 0.05 seconds of the impact (which I doubt) then the driver would be subject to a minimum of about 60 G.

JB and his car had a part to play in his demise, but I'm unconvinced that a different trailer design could have saved him. However, the real root cause of this accident is the poor primary safety of US roads, often designed with uncontrolled flat 90 degree junctions on high speed roads (to save on the cost of alternative, safer layouts). These mix high speed through traffic with slow moving traffic crossing at right angles, and thus set up regular high risk conflict movements, regardless of whether a vehicle is self driving, or meatsack controlled. Anywhere in the world where there are this toxic (and cheap) mix of high speed and flat junctions, there's a history of high damage accidents. There's three choices here, all have nothing to do with self driving cars:

1) Do nothing, live with the risks and consequences of a cheap road design.

2) Pay to build or retrofit road layouts with better primary safety.

3) Pay a bit less for controls such as traffic lights, along with more enforcement at flat junctions, and accept that there's still some risk, and a modest check on through traffic volumes and speed.

22
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SCARY SPICE: Pumpkin air freshener sparks school evacuation

Ledswinger
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Re: Impossible!

They are especially nasty in small areas like toilets, chock! They should be banned,

We need to teach people to enjoy biological aromas, that'd fix it. Get them to savour that bile-laden whiff of really loose diarrhoea, the sophisticated whiff of mercaptans and sulphides in a rich, hot fart. The smell of stale vomit in the back of a cab, the exquisitely deep, cumin like scent of a cab driver who hasn't bathed for ten days, the heady, distinctive niff of dog shit on a nearby shoe. The ripe, cheese-ammonia-leaf mould pong of sweaty feet. The distinctive beef + cheese + shit hum of a sweaty, unwashed arse crack (talking of which, was anybody here a commuter out of Marylebone in the mid 2000s, and do they remember "The High Wycombe Sweater", who stank the front carriage out with that distinctive fragrance?).

If we can get people to ENJOY these, then there will be no need for hazardous artificial odours.

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