* Posts by Ledswinger

5849 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

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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Ledswinger
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radars passively detect people.....Wonder how that would play with this system?

Over-complication, surely? Simply phasing successive traffic lights usually works well enough, and I can think of a number of places where this has been done for years. In either case you need to make it widely known that the lights don't reward speeding in order to have your desired effect, so there's not much point in being clever and stealthy.

That of course assumes that councils want transport to run smoothly. Observation suggests that many regard buses as the only acceptable form of transport, and see cars as the work of satan, to be actively obstructed, slowed and hindered.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 200PB by 2021..

It certainly is, but they will also be collecting a lot of the data about vehicle, engine and systems performance for CVE warranty and new design purposes. Speeds, gears, fuel use, oil and water temps, electrical loads, possibly acceleration and deceleration rates, entertainment systems use, lights, windows, cabin temperature, ambient temperature, aircon use etc. On an EV there's different data to collect, like traction battery charge state, ancillary battery state, rate of discharge, temperature, loss of capacity, motor power & torque, regeneration gains etc.

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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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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

Ledswinger
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Re: Which which is which...

"they should use both, and pi** off as many minorities as possible"

Agreed. And if I were in charge every note would be rubbed in ground nuts. Oooh, and I'd make sure the tallow is a mix of beef and pork, plus some used car oil. And not forgetting Old Testament Christians, I'd find some basis for using chitin from shellfish, and mixed fabric fibres.

Religions, vegetarians, allergists, cyclists...fundamentalist b@stards the lot of them

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Robo-AI jobs doomsday may, er... not actually happen, say boffins

Ledswinger
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Re: Inverting the pyramid

For most companies, human employees are something they'd want to get rid of, even if cash costs of automation were a bit higher.

Automation can give less quality variations, doesn't chuck sick days, doesn't go on strike, doesn't get all emotionally "needy" from time to time, doesn't need entire departments to administer and pay it, doesn't embezzle, doesn't need rest breaks, washrooms, canteens, pensions, doesn't need a parking space, doesn't switch company every few years taking all its tacit knowledge and skills with it, doesn't need training in safe lifting or competition law for oiks, etc

The only companies who wouldn't want to automate away their staff to the greatest possible extent are those where human interaction with customers or product is part of the proposition, so things like front of house hospitality, or where "hand made" is key to the offer.

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Samsung Galaxy S8: Slimmer bezels, a desktop mode – and yet another me-too AI pal

Ledswinger
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Re: Lg G6 dead already?

Hardly surprising, though, is it? LG have produced some really good G series handsets, but they've never made it far enough up the best seller list to actually make any money. And without the profits, the cost of country customisation and marketing has to be constrained.

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UK's 'homebrew firmware' Chinooks set to be usable a mere 16 years late

Ledswinger
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Re: Of all time?

heads roll that's a good one

Parachute all MoD employees (and secondees from the military) into Mosul, with "I love Tony Blair" tattooed on their foreheads. That'd involve heads rolling.

Fucking MoD twats. I hate them with a passion I'd otherwise reserve for terrorists. Everything the MoD touch turns instantly to fresh, steaming dog excrement, and they never learn, never admit their errors.

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IBM: Those 2 redundancy schemes? We need to 'improve margins' and right quick

Ledswinger
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Re: Cut staff levels to zero for maximum profit with no costs!!

Start by cutting the hundreds of millions of $$ from the Execs salary

Sadly it isn't that simple. IBM is in the wrong business here. Cutting the fat cat salaries (and fatcatcount) would be entirely just, but they don't make much difference to the fact that outsourcing is about cost, not quality. Unless you're the world's cheapest (and thus crappest) provider, you're going to fight that company and lose.

Companies claim to outsource for reasons of efficiency as well as cost. That's never true, they outsource things that they simply cannot be arsed to do themselves, and they don't care if the resultant service is poor. IBM thought this market was a goldmine, and as they've found out, market prices are set by people with no standards or principles, using slaves, bots, or trained hamsters. And sadly for IBM shareholders, that means that even when the magic 80% of employees are offshored, they still won't make any money.

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Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

Ledswinger
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Re: London part of France?

Apparently, if you go by the headcount of

I'd guess it's probably Turkey's third largest city on that basis, Nigeria's fourth, Pakistan's fifth, Ireland's largest, and so forth.

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

Ledswinger
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Terminator

Re: Non-obsolescence

I bought my Miele dishwasher, washer, and dryer 17 years ago. They work great and never waste time on the Internet.

Hah! Your next one will be busy cruising the IoT web and downloading machine-porn instead of working.

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iPhone-havers think they're safe. But they're not

Ledswinger
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Black Helicopters

Re: Security through obscurity

Works well from me on Windows Phone!

So you think. There's certainly a "not rich enough to care about them" branch of Windows phone customers (not suggesting you're one of them, of course), but I suspect Windows phone is actually a high value target because there's a small but worthwhile number of corporates who have "Windows phones only" policies. If you can get through the phone OS, there's a good chance you can get email and network login credentials, and then the corporate network is yours.

And the sort of people who would be doing that - well, they're state sponsored actors, and they'd only leave a footprint if they wanted to. So you don't have any security through obscurity, but you do have a much better quality of hacker.

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UK digital minister Matt Hancock praises 'crucial role' of encryption

Ledswinger
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Re: I think they genuinely don't see the problem.

I suppose PPEs from Oxford have a magical thinking module.

PPE is the degree course for posh fuckwits. They can't think for themselves at all.

I wonder if we'd do better with Parliament chosen by random ballot, as a form of compulsory national service? At least the various skills sets and opinions of society would represented far better than the current system or rich tossers and career politicians with no expertise in anything.

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Toshiba's nuclear power plant business runs out of steam

Ledswinger
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Surely they should flog the nuclear business instead?

Nobody will buy it until they've rinsed away the liabilities through Chapter 11. Even then, there's a risk that other things come out of the woodwork on future contracts - would you risk your money?

Internationally, Areva have to all intents and purposed gone bust and been nationalised because of cost over-run problems on EPR, so it isn't a US or Westinghouse specific problem. And there's a further downside that those liabilities don't disappear just because Chapter 11 moves them off of Westinghouse - they simply have to be covered by utilities, insurers or taxpayers.

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Sources: Misco sold to Hilco Capital, care home for the distressed

Ledswinger
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More asset stripping. It's the modern way.

It's the sensible way. Misco UK accounts show a company with net assets of £25m made of largely of cash or cash-convertible assets but the company has been burning through its balance sheet for several years now, with no obvious sign of recovery. So the current owners gave it a go, it didn't work out, they're hoping to get out before there's nowt left.

Hilco hope that by nailing together the dog-eared Misco business with the equally dog-eared Staples business they'll be able to crop off a few loss making bits and then have something magically profitable that they can resell to some complete mug. This is akin to taking two mongrels, docking their tails, then breeding them and hoping for the offspring to be a pedigree labrador. Then again, it isn't our money on the line - until the taxpayer has to bail out any unpaid employee liabilities, like we did with Comet.

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Ever visited a land now under Islamic State rule? And you want to see America? Hand over that Facebook, Twitter, pal

Ledswinger
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Saudi Arabia is getting free passes all the time.

That's because it's a decent law abiding state with good democratic values, respect for women and minority religions, and hasn't been a source of either infamous terrorists or funding for IS.

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UK.gov confirms it won't be buying V-22 Ospreys for new aircraft carriers

Ledswinger
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Re: Jumbo Harrier

Couldn't they just make a really big Harrier? Just double everything up

Would be a complete new design, but the F35B is only about four feet longer than a Harrier, and about six feet wider across wing tips. It could certainly be done without doubling the size. As for speed, before the Harrier, Hawkers designed the P1154, which was a supersonic VTOL aircraft. It was cancelled by the great British traitor, Harold Wilson in November 1964, and shortly after that we had to buy F4 Phantoms to provide the required strike capability.

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Amazon dodges $1.5bn US tax bill: It's OK to run sales through Europe out of IRS reach – court

Ledswinger
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Re: parts of its technology and the trademark

One contra-intuitive solution is to abolish Corporation tax. Also abolish fines and lawsuits against corporations.

A nice, and rather purist idea that I like. I fear there are three reasons that won't work:

1) Most shares are owned by other corporations, banks, insurers etc. Follow through to the beneficial human owners and the majority of personal ownership that you'd tax on would be the world's richest people. That will mean some huge swings in which countries get to keep the tax income, meaning a windfall for places like Switzerland and Bermuda, and loss of tax income for countries where the corporation tax arises now.

2) Even if you say "let the beneficial owner be taxed in the country of incorporation of the dividend payer" that wouldn't be feasible because of the complexity of international and inter-company shareholdings. If you own shares in Aviva here in the UK, they own direct and indirect shareholdings in every country in the world where assets can be formally traded. Consider how would the Bolivians get you to pay personal tax on your share of a dividend paid by a Bolivian mining JV, 50% owned by an Mexican mining company, where the Australian Macquarie group have a 5% stake in the Mexican company, and Aviva happen to have a 2% shareholding in Macquarie as part of a global portfolio allocation out of (making all this up) their Singapore office's emerging markets fund?

3) And the main thing: Governments will never let it happen. The rich and powerful, and fat cat corporations made up of the same people will never allow changes to a system so weak and easily gamed. Will Trump really go after tax dodging corporations, when he's running the White House with family members like the best third world despots, and his cabinet is dripping with billionaires? And sadly, he's the only person with the bloody minded drive to actually do anything - the EU and the remaining Anglophone world are timid and ineffectual when it comes to corporate tax reform.

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Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

Ledswinger
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Re: Dear Lloyds Bank

so I am currently researching where I will out-source my banking requirements to

All the commercial banks do it. Even, I regret to say, Nationwide Building Society are enthusiastic outsourcers. If you want a bank account with somebody who just might not have outsourced and offhored operations, I suspect the list is very short. Ignoring Nationwide (who have gone all "fat cat City slicker bastards"), the only mutual I could see offering a current account was Cumberland BS.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Welcome LBG staff.....

In essence, it means the contract with the old employer is deemed to be the contract of the new one - starting date included.

Outsourcing firms are past masters at the art of ensuring that employee rights get reduced over time. TUPE is only worth the paper it is written on if you;re dealing with a decent and honourable firm. If you ever find a company that fits that description, let me know.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Outsourcing to India? What could possibly go wrong!?

Sadly, the ITO and BPO companies have very slick sales operations. The decision makers at LBG will have been flown somewhere nice, wined and dined, introduced to young, intelligent, good looking, well qualified IBM employees, and the talk will have been on continuous improvement, and the opportunity that IBM offer to combine big cost cuts and miraculously offer better service along with contributing to improving and refining LBG's processes. It's a partnership after all!

Then as soon as the blood is dry on the contract, the sales team and the pretty employees disappear, and LBG's work is shipped out to some rat infested barn in Bangalore, where dissatisfied wage slaves are pressured to do the job as quickly as possible. And all that continuous improvement and quality talk turns out to be rat-shit on the floor of the barn, but by then its too late. And then, a couple of years later, IBM start to squeeze LBG's balls by charging through the nose for all the variations, change and "non-standard" orders.

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