* Posts by Ledswinger

5118 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Sneaky 'fileless' malware flung at Israeli targets via booby-trapped Word docs

Ledswinger
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Pint

Re: Well, we'll look for the house with no numbers.

I think that having that black hat on for too long has affected my brain

Maybe, but I'd just like to say thank you for such an enlightening post.

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Another career suicide as reporter leaves The Register for broadcaster

Ledswinger
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Do you think a vile, lazy nepotistic behemoth like Sky even know of the existence of the Commentariat? And if they did, would they give a flying fuck?

I'm reckoning "no" and "no" respectively.

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Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

Ledswinger
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or at least create a pressure differential sufficient to expel people from the room

With the right fuel, I can achieve that without any IoT nonsense. Although I prefer to put the pressure on olfactory nerves, rather than using simple pressure differentials.

Mind you, all that interactive crapvertising still isn't as bad as somethings we already have to endure. There's something of a fad for "back of the cubicle door" propaganda from internal communications departments, often featuring pictures of smiley, happy workers. As one female colleague commented, its a bit hard to concentrate when there's the life size face of one of your own team staring back at you as you try and squeeze one out.

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Facebook and Google gobble '99 per cent of new digital ad cash'

Ledswinger
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Re: Value for money??

Never. Advertising buyers have always been beholden first to their ad agency, who in turn were beholden to the owners of advertising space, be that in publications, cinemas, or on hoardings. At the high volume high value end of the market there wasn't much competition between the big agencies, and less for advertising space, and most advertising spend since forever has been wasted.

All that's changed is that the ad agencies are being pushed back along the value chain to focus on the "creative" stuff, and the ad placement and access market has been slurped by Google and Facebook. Advertising budgets aren't materially different to before, the accuracy and outcome are no better, its just that a smaller number of companies are hogging the cash. But if you're a marketing director, your job is to spend your ad budget, to prattle on about click conversions etc, and so long as the board think you're "doing marketing" nobody cares about the vast inefficiency of the whole advertising sector.

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Last year's ICO fines would be 79 times higher under GDPR

Ledswinger
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Re: Not quite fake news but...

and it's dependent upon whether or not our toothless tiger decides to fine companies that much

There is a well established principle for UK regulators to have an indicative value of the fine, usually based upon the deemed "harm to consumers", and then apply tests against mitigating and aggravating circumstances. In practical terms this will revolve around the assumed value of harm of what was done. So failing to protect data, without a material (known) leakage of data wouldn't be as serious as losing data. Losing data depends on the volume, exactly what data was lost, and over what time period. Aggravating circumstances would include evidence of failure to put in place proper security controls and testing, lack of patching, failure to notify the regulator and customers promptly.

Of course, the big companies will try and drive a horse and cart through the implementation of both GDPR and any UK legislation, not merely by challenging the letter of the law, but challenging the assumed value of harm, and then asking for every (pretend) mitigation allowed. I've seen this in the energy sector. E.ON got fined £7.7m for failing to install 7,000 business smart meters, they admitted their guilt up front, didn't try for mitigation other than the admission, so that was a fine of about £1,100 per meter not fitted. British Gas failed the same deadline to the tune of 10,000 meters, but only got fined £4.5m, so £450 per meter not fitted. That was because they played a good defensive game, used good advisors to make their defensive case, and were able to apply all the mitigating circumstances they possibly could.

There's another reason current data protection fines are so low - because Google, Facebook et al made sure the maximum fine was immaterial to them, even if it could really sting an SME or a cash strapped health trust. In the same way that the newly raised "income related" speed fines are up to 150% of weekly income up to a maximum of £1,000 - meaning that for footballers, company directors, MPs with multiple jobs, the impact will be far less than for (say) a mid grade employee on £35-45k. All such top limits are about abandoning the principle to favour a rich vested interest, and I'm sure we'll see this continue.

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Series of Seagate missteps as revenue generator spins down

Ledswinger
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Hard drives are pretty much dead for anything but backup.....Shingled drives? You would trust your data to not enough butter scrapped over too much bread? Overlapping tracks?

Not really any good for back up, I'd suggest. The one thing that could have kept spinning rust alive (durability) the makers have given way on. They won't get that edge back.

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FYI: You can blow Intel-powered broadband modems off the 'net with a 'trivial' packet stream

Ledswinger
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Re: I almost feel sorry for VM

Guess what arrived in the post yesterday, another unasked for Hub3. I'll add it to the pile.

How much would you get on Ebay for it? Seriously.

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Mysterious Hajime botnet has pwned 300,000 IoT devices

Ledswinger
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Re: Hajime discovers devices on TCP port 23

No one in their right mind has telnet with default passwords running on a device connected to the Internet.

That's because you're thinking sysadmin, software, or just old fashioned sensible.

Stop all that, and think manufacturing. No such thing as pentesting, no such thing as UAT, just a simple test for readiness to ship: Was it cheap to build, and does the f***er basically work? Now think Shenzen no-brand IoT manufacturer, working in a market where consumer protection is merely an alien concept....and there you have the origins of IoT.

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iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Ledswinger
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Re: Dear William 3

If Apple was the one writing these laws, you'd have a point. As they don't, you seem very misguided at best,

The law has little bearing on the outcome in all high value legal cases. That's why top footballers get off speeding tickets that you wouldn't, why influential figures get away with wife beating that would have you in jail, why megacorps dodge taxes that SMEs and contractors can't, and why the chances of winning a legal battle against a bank are very, very low indeed.

In this case, a tiddly company has again been trampled by the handsomely paid army of lawyers fielded by Apple. If you really think that is "how the law is written", then you really aren't paying much attention to the world.

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Spotify seeks hardware boffins

Ledswinger
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Re: Volume knobs!

pushing a button or turning a Barbie-sized knob just isn't as satisfying.

A very valid point, and I think more so than you make. In the days before crappy touchscreenydigitiallyshit, most car makers had the art and science of audio control down to a "T". You could operate the device with barely a glance, it offered no distraction, and all the controls were well sized, clearly marked and logical. Third party and aftermarket stereos were not - even from people like Sony they were covered in a bazillion tiny buttons, mixing obscure control with impenetrable hieroplyphics. With the advent of the in car digital entertainment setup, most car makers have sadly forgotten all common sense, and put in rubbishy over-complex touch screens that need grit, determination, skill AND luck to operate on the move.

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IT error at Great Western Railway charging £10k for 63-mile journey ticket

Ledswinger
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Re: Great News!@ wolfetone

Insurance? Why would I want that on a "burner" car? Admittedly the filth might take a dim view if I were caught on the road without insurance, but these days they do little real road policing, preferring to rely on cameras and back office flunkies to issue tickets. Even were I caught on a speed camera, by the time the ticket arrives my disposable ride will be a mixture of ashes and crushed metal in a scrappies yard, and I'll be saying, "wasn't me driving it gov'nr, was some yoof that twocked it".

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Ledswinger
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Can I recommend rush hour journeys on Southern Rail?

Not materially worse than my recollection of the old Southern Region at peak time. Of course, back in those days you used to get Lillibolero played at Waterloo to keep everything moving along smartly, and I'll wager they don't do that any more. However, fans of the good old days of nationalisation will presumably be approving of the 1970s industrial relations that appear to have been reintroduced on Southern Rail.

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Ledswinger
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Given the current state of the railways, British Rail and their legendary sandwiches look like a never to be repeated golden age.

OK, lets go back to a state owned railway system using ancient, slow and dirty rolling stock, providing half the number of journeys as our current system, and run apparently as a job creation scheme for the indolent and surly. I can recall the days of British Rail very well, and anybody who thinks things were better has clearly got their head wedged in the back pages of Socialist Worker.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Great News!

currently has an RRP starting from £5185

Almost low enough to buy two. Presumably the proper thing to do would be torch the outbound one on arrival to avoid paying for parking, and then buy a brand new one for the return journey.

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Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files

Ledswinger
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Re: a crowning moment of AWESOME!

companies can choose to implement a safe surfing approach

Only against the obvious NSFW sites. Unfortunately safer-surfing and white-listing won't protect a company from watering hole attacks, and I'd suspect that the main corporate threat is from well organised crims who won't be relying on some dumbo looking at that sort of content.

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While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Ledswinger
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Re: Flying cars? Pft.

Most people can't drive properly, why would you want them flying?

Not quite a car, but probably a lot more fun: Admit you want it, regardless of the risk

Now, El Reg, what were you saying about Silicon Valley not coming up with the goods?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Tomorrow's World

"30 years": Fusion power, the Second Coming, contact with alien life, and honest, competent politicians. In that order.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I wouldn't mind a flying car

I just don't want all the other idiots to have one.

Given the reported gender bias of (prospective) demand, I'd expect the idiots to be dropping out of the sky as foretold in the Weather Girls' 1982 song.

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Give 'bots a chance: Driverless cars to be trialled between London and Oxford

Ledswinger
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Re: There's a great deal

I don't think we'll be able to replace ICE vehicles with electric ones without some involvement from the UKAEA.

Probably true. But the required involvement from UKAEA is in the electricity generation sector, not having them waste their time and my money dabbling in cars.

Even then, the problems at Westinghouse, and the unfeasibly expensive Hinkley Point suggest that civil nuclear power - as currently practiced - will never be an affordable energy source.

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Nokia plans comeback on back of virtual reality

Ledswinger
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Earth to Nokia, we don't want this

So having established there's no real artistic or retail user demand, Nokia think they can flog this to the advertisers that most of us are fighting a (fairly successful) battle against.

Paul Melin, VP of Digital Media, Nokia Technologies, commented on the announcement, "We are developing new innovations that work together to empower storytellers, enable audiences to participate in content anywhere on any platform, and deliver on the promise of transformative experiences that help the human family feel more together.

Does the man have a master's degree in speaking bullshit? Adverts are shitty, timewasting adverts. I don't want f***ing "storytelling", I don't want to "participate" in their crapola content, and I'm most certainly not going to "feel more together" with the whole of human kind, just because of some crappy VR advert being spammed at me.

Mind you, at least Nokia have worked out that during the gold rush, the only people to make money sold shovels and gold pans. And in this context, Nokia have decided that scummy, over-budgeted advertisers (car makers, this means you in particular) will fall over themselves to try and convert their glossy yet tedious propaganda into some form of "transformative experience" of mind control. No thank you.

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Is it just me?

I really don't get why Trading Standards doesn't do random testing of stuff off of the shelf to see if it meets appropriate standards.

Even the infamous Note 7 had only around 100 reported fires out of about 1.9 million made. If you're suggesting testing (as opposed to analysis) you'd need to test rather a lot of devices to have any statistical validity. If you're proposing teardown and risk analysis, can you really see any Trading Standards or contract lab having the skills to diagnose the specific risks that made the Note 7 dangerous and the Samsung S7 adequately safe?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Is it just me?

Is it just me, or does there seem to be a seriously crap tat being pushed into peoples homes these days?

'Twas ever thus. I think all that's changed is that we buy more electronic stuff, with a side order of wanting it cheap as chips as quickly as possible. It isn't limited to electronics - look at the real duffers of cars launched on an unsuspecting public going back many decades. Assorted tumble dryers have been a fire hazard for over a decade, one maker sold a range of fire-causing fridge freezers, a certain reputable German maker has a problem with self-igniting dishwashers.

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New satellites could cause catastrophic space junk collisions

Ledswinger
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Re: The real worry is cascade collisions, where debris from one hits a bunch of others.

LEO is quite crowded.

I'd have thought that unintentional collisions were the least of anybody's worries. Looking at the loons in power all round the world, several have got either nothing to lose, or a lot less than the Americans by floating up some ball bearings and an explosive charge, and I'd wager that the technology to actively pollute LEO is easily within the grasp of Iran, Nork, Pakistan. The US have played with various types of anti-satellite missiles since the 1950s, and even had an F15 launched version successfully trialled three decades ago.

And with a certain amount of effort, such a weapon might even be developed from a high altitude anti-aircraft missile at the sort of cost possibly within the realms of proxy war actors, some organised terrorist groups or even drug cartel funding. If you were Fat Boy Kim, what would you have to lose by polluting LEO to make life more difficult for the major powers? Or if you were the Iranians looking to make life difficult for the US, maybe offering technological help to somebody else wanting to do the deed?

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Blighty's £1.2bn space industry could lend itself to tourism – report

Ledswinger
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Re: The annoying thing

we'd get the money back many times over in a boost to the economy

No we wouldn't. Whilst Keynesian stimulus has been misapplied to the point that it looks like it doesn't work, the simple and rather unattractive reality is that mixed-to-low tech physical infrastructure projects give the best effect for the economy.

If you pour the money into science and technology, you create the sort of opportunities that the UK has persistently been poor at monetising, you need to focus on top global talent, at the first line you're employing people with higher propensities to save (good in the historic longer term, but bad if you want to stimulate the economy now). HS2 is a misbegotten mess, but it will employ tens of thousands of manual and blue collar workers, as well as engineers and white collar experts. Spending the same money on "pure tech" might get you a few fancy buildings in expensive locations, but otherwise does nothing for the majority of people in the labour market.

The best approach would be more structured support for the tech sector, but not willy-nilly "investment" because that always involves civil servants picking winners and subsequent failure, and then an infrastructure programme in the stuff we actually need and use, so road investment rather than a third rail route between London and the Midlands. It might also make sense for government to start building houses given that the current system is failing to keep up with need. And we could save money by canning vanity Eco projects like Hinkley Point C, and just building a heap of new, low cost CCGT.

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Toshiba conglomerate: Can we keep going? We don't know

Ledswinger
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Re: PWC again eh?

There's something odd about PwC in Japan

You may be right about Japan-specifics, but it is now fairly common for most large "professional services" firms to create a virtual global business in which the regional or national entities do not have right of recourse to the parent body or other regional operations. That's specifically and intentionally to give the impression to customers that they're dealing with a global business, whilst ensuring that a single market specific failure can't result in either failure of the global network, nor even other businesses being held liable for losses that the regional unit can't cover.

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April proves to be the cruellest month again as Fujitsu staff down tools

Ledswinger
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Re: Wankers

Last one out, turn off the lights! Although I fear that names like Fujitsu, IBM, HPE and many others are wholly interchangeable. Our "democratically elected" governments have made doing business in the UK expensive, and imposed a raft of UK labour on-costs, signed trade agreements that allow piss-pot service providers to offshore to third world locations at will, and provided a particularly pathetic statutory minimum for redundancy payments. There's an evil brew that does nothing for UK employment or employees, and all political parties are fully accountable for that situation.

And meanwhile, these (mostly) tax dodging foreign corporations continue to write their UK contracts under English law, expecting the full service and protection of the English legal system as they ship more and more UK jobs to the third world.

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Boeing 737 turns 50

Ledswinger
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Re: But what about...

it would be perfectly possible to keep a Vulcan in flying condition,but parts are almost impossible to find

IIRC, the reason for retirement of XH558 was primarily that BAe, RR and Marshalls were no longer willing to act as the design authority for the aircraft. Without a design authority (or type approval arrangements), the CAA won't permit a civilian aircraft to fly. I suspect that all and any spares needed could have been found or made anew if the will was there, but I don't see any way round the DA question. Even if you tried to set yourself up as the DA, I suspect insurers would be very reluctant to provide insurance, and you'd be taking on huge responsibilities, obligations and potential liabilities in respect of a near-70 year old design concept.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Retire the 737 already!

Why? If airlines are still happily ordering 737s, then introducing a new design creates new risks, huge front loaded development costs. Far better to go for incremental but signifcant improvements. Boeing have been toying with a complete new design for years now, but clearly have yet to conclude that the game is worth the candle.

Other than the design concept and outward appearance, I wonder how much in common there really is between a 737-100 and today's production aircraft? Wings are different, engines are different, avionics and controls are different, stabiliser and tail aerodynamics are different, many of the materials are different, production methods are different. At some stage since 1967 Boing would have had to put all the designs into a digital system, and I'd guess that they have then optimised things that we can't see like the fuselage structure and things we don't notice like the undercarriage design.

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Ledswinger
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Re: You Sure about those numbers?

Back order probably includes options, which amount to an airline saying "we might order X more, we m might not". Not sure what the option to order conversion ratio is, but I'd guess it isn't very high.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Tsk, tsk

A quick web search tuns up list prices from $80m-$117m or so. If you're a large fleet operator you'd get perhaps 10% discount, or more with a high value long term maintenace contract agreed at the same time. Bigger discounts will also be on offer when Boeing really need orders, of for unique "trend-setter" customers, but if they sell any aircraft at a loss, somebody else has to pay more to keep Boeing in business.

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Ledswinger
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Re: if it ain't broken

but you have to wonder how many of those where human error rather than design flaws?

Surely we already know for the accident reports that the vast majority were human error? Design flaws rarely cause a hull-loss accident without some serious additional human input in some area of flight control or maintenance.

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Dieting cannibals: At last, a scientist has calculated calories for human body parts

Ledswinger
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Smoking/curing/cooking a 65kg human is going to take you longer than it takes to go off, if you're on your own with no resources.

I'm rather worried that you either know this, or have at least been giving it this much thought.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 65kg human?

and the rest

Well your average American is 80.7 kg, apparently (unfashionable thought it may be, I'm trusting Wikipedia). Assuming that's about 15 kg of additional lard, we're talking an extra 135,000 calories.

Cannibals today, they have it easy, I tell you.

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The beast is back: Reborn ekranoplan heads for the Arctic

Ledswinger
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Re: service ceiling of 25,000 feet in normal aircraft mode

So did those have pressurized cabins?

I don't know, but I doubt the single Lun class one was. It looks more like a ship with stubby wings than a jet airliner, and clearly wasn't built for high altitude cruising. I'd guess you'd manage up to 25,000 feet with oxygen masks, like WW2 aircraft did, although purely on the basis of appearance I'm not wholly convinced that the wings would generate sufficient lift to go much above 15,000 feet, particularly given the poor aerodynamics.

The newer, smaller one looks like it could have a pressurised cabin more readily, but as you suggest, there doesn't seem much point in trying to combine ground effect and high altitude capabilities.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Hmm..

According to Wikipedia, the one that the Ruskies had operational had a service ceiling of 25,000 feet in normal aircraft mode

You clearly could design one of these to be only ground effect, but as you point out, that'd be a touch restrictive. I'd assume that you get very limited range when not flying ground effect, but at least the option is there. And it must be sooooo cool in calm conditions, batting across the sea 350 mph at fifteen feet alititude.....

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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

Ledswinger
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Unless batteries vastly improve, it'll never take off.

No matter, airliners full of planet saving vegan cyclists will be able to taxi all the way to their destination, knowing that no polar bear cubs were drowned.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Reality check time?

energy requirements will be slightly higher.

Probably a lot higher.

You know when you see something and think "sh!t, that's a deal breaker"? I think DJO has just done that for electric aviation. I'd started thinking, "hey, maybe lithium sulphur batteries could get the energy density for air travel", but that doesn't work when you realise that 40% of takeoff weight even with avtur is fuel.

If you're having to carry forty percent more weight in batteries, and for the entire flight, it simply isn't going to work.

Simple reality is that "renewable" aviation is going to have to run on synthetic paraffin. And that is going to be VERY expensive.

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Outsourcers blamed for cocking up programmes at one in three big firms

Ledswinger
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Re: Outsourcing only works...

Outsourcing only works...If you understand the small print.

When you look down the forums at what the Commentariat know between us, it's a tragedy that we aren't the world's leading IT and business change consultancy.

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Ledswinger
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Re: It's the contract.....

Another key thing is that if the outsourcing business is of any appreciable scale, the chances are that the outsource vendor cannot do the work any cheaper. Whilst typically the vendor has better access to cheap offshore labour, productivity is usually lower in those markets due to things like unsocial hours working, high staff turnover, focus on low salaries even in the low cost location, limited language skills, and reluctance to train staff who will shortly move on. After all that, offshore may still have a lower cycle cost in direct labour terms, but the real killer is that the vendor has to charge higher margins than most client organisations would need to "pay themselves" to cover capital employed, has a balance sheet dripping with goodwill that has to be paid off by the clients, they incur significant setup costs, and not always cheap bid costs and ongoing account management by onshore staff. In aggregate, somebody else doing your processes will cost more than you doing them yourself.

As the vendor needs to be cheaper per transaction when the new arrangement launches, they are then incurring a net loss, and they have to backload those losses and the additional costs mentioned above, and the way they do that is through variations, changes, and non-standard order costs. That is the vendor's model in ITO and BPO. They know that cost-reflective pricing up front would result in zero sales, so every deal is a loss leader, with the certain knowledge that every organisation will find needs for significant change over a five to seven time period, and that's when they start to fill their boots. Also, because businesses have very short term organisational memory, within three years everybody will have forgotten the costs of in-house delivery, the standards of service of in-house, and the business case for the outsource will have been shredded or lost. I speak from experience in a European organisation in exactly this position, being reemed out by a large US based IT outsourcer.

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Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

Ledswinger
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Re: Fighting back?

You really need an external safeguard to block that telemetry,

Anybody reading the Reg should be able to configure their router to block the telemetry servers, surely?

and that's not assuming Microsoft potholes the telemetry into the same IP as Windows Update

That would be a challenge. But if they did that they will have gone sufficiently far that their over-reach will be their undoing, because privacy developers and activists will take them on. The obvious tactic is to understand what's being Slurped, and find a way of making the OS spews loads of useless data back to Microsoft, thus increasing their bandwidth and storage costs for no change in "value" of what they collect.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Fighting back?

It would be nice if one or more of the anti-malware companies could implement a 'Windows slurp' block as an enhancement

Why would anybody pay? O&O offer an excellent product ShutUp10 (I think you can make a voluntary payment), specified for the privacy sensitive German market. You need to redownload and rerun every time Slurp excrete a big update, but it works really well. Due to the deafness of Microsoft, to make Windows safe and useable most of us need add ons now, like Classic Shell, TinyWall, so adding ShutUp10 is no big deal?

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Ledswinger
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A privacy policy is a vendor's self-justification for however much of your privacy they take away

A modest rewriting and we have Syntax' law.

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Jailed biz coach accused of $17.5m HPE fraud writes to fans saying 'join me'

Ledswinger
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Oh, and I like the fact AdSense chooses HPE for my viewing pleasure. I didn't click.

I did. Not because I would buy anything from the scrofulus company that is HPE, but simply to pay my tithe to the Reg. Now go back and click on it, would you?

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Ledswinger
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Re: He Got Money For The Servers?

It would seem that HPE supplied 42,000 servers worth (to HPE) $17.5M;

I thought that was the value of the fraud, in which case it's presumably the difference between what HPE would have to price them to wholesalers to sell on in third world markets, and the price HPE would like to rip off UK customers. To max out the court case HPE's legal beagles would probably be basing this on the full UK list price, not what anybody actually paid.

I would guess that $416 difference between achieved wholesale price from Jailbird Sage and UK full retail list for direct sales seems quite feasible, even if it isn't a wholly realistic comparison?

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Huawei mystery memo (and phone strategy) confirmed

Ledswinger
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Re: Words to live by

it’s not marketing that makes your success. It’s product and service: There are quite a few companies that should adopt this paradigm.

Why? Evidence from many markets is that it is a case of "feel the width, not the quality". I work in the energy sector, where supplier standards are lousy, there is (contrary to what most people assume) a clear and measurable difference in service standards, but that won't trump low prices. So investing in service and quality puts your costs up, but above a basic minimum doesn't reduce churn. And if your service is rubbish (eg npower) then you just run a marketing campaign and a loss-leading tariff to sign up a few 100k customers because they value low price over service.

Same with phones, and just as Huawei are eating Samsung's profits from the bottom up, so some other Chinese maker will soon eat Huawei's business bottom up. You'd be correct that quality product and service are a differentiated proposition, but they are difficult to make a success of unless you're the only one offering it in the market. like Apple, and even then you need to try and ring fence your proposition and maximise the switch-out costs.

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Ledswinger
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I can only hope that....

..the phones are a lot better than that utterly rubbish "proverb" that is informing their business strategy.

As far as I could tell, it seems to be "when you're in a hole, keep digging".

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Hundreds of millions 'wasted' on UK court digitisation scheme

Ledswinger
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Re: Agile Experts

Agile Experts ....like "Loveday Ryder"?

FFS, what did they expect? That has to be a madeup name - and I believe there's a convention for that. So, should I be searching IMDB?

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Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly

Ledswinger
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Re: There have been planes like this before.

They've re-invented Kamikaze planes.

No, they've reinvented the fabled multi-role combat aircraft. Since military aircraft were made of string and paper, senior fools have fantasised about one combat aircraft being able to do more than one thing. I can't think of any that truly excelled all round - a few came close, but for all, the compromises always meant that there were far better dedicated airframes. Just think of the compromises needed on a multi-role aircraft between the attributes needed for low level versus high altitude, dogfight versus strike, stand-off versus close support, speed versus strength, endurance versus performance, carrier versus land ops, SVTOL versus runways, stealth versus aerodynamics and control....

That is why the F35 is a pile of junk, because of overreach in the specifications. They will iron out many of the shortcoming over time and at vast expense, but F35 will never excel in any of its roles. The Tornado shows the same thing - never as good at strike and low level as a Buccaneer, never a match for a proper interceptor fighter, never very good as a pure weapons platform.

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Ford to build own data centre to store connected car data

Ledswinger
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Re: How many racks?

So the other $197m is probably being spent on equipment,

Land, grid power connection, mutiply redundant power backup, backhaul & comms, the barn itself, site security, servers to do the data processing in addition to the storage racks (this is big data, there's going to need to be some serious processing clout). $197m is consistent with reported costs for other enormo DCs.

If you're using AWS or any competent hosting provider you get all of those at their cost averaged across mutiple users, or maybe even their marginal cost if there's an anchor client for whose use the DC was actually built, so you get those far, far cheaper than you could do them yourself. But that means you're dependent upon the host, and requires trust, adds some counterparty risk and has low transparency for the data owner. Insource it all (as Ford appear to be) and they incur the full cost, but they also have a lot more control. Whether a car company will be any good at managing a DC, and managing data securely and effectively we'll see, but in their place I suspect I'd conclude that £200m is chump change when each new car model has development costs of around $5 billion.

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Financial fraud losses in the UK last year topped £20m a day – report

Ledswinger
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Re: I'm sure how much contactless fraud is

I'm not sure how much contactless fraud is ....

...because I didn't follow the link and then look at the report itself?

Figures are £6.9m losses against spending of £25.2bn, across both contactless cards and devices. So that's about one third of the losses per £ spent when compared to all other UK payment card fraud. And compared to 2015, the losses per £ spent went down by 25%, with total contactless fraud represented a mere 1.1% of overall card fraud.

I'd say the risks of contactless cards appear to be rather less than the tinfoil hatters would make out.

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