* Posts by Ledswinger

4859 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

So. What's North Korea really like?

Ledswinger
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Re: Glad I live in the UK...@illiad

and the 'house of lords' older guys are similar, lost sight of the 'normal people'

For some years now the House of Lords hasn't been full of sleepy old hereditary peers largely minding their own business, but has been an over-stuffed chamber full of (mostly) Tony Blair's mates, who with no democratic mandate seek to interfere in the business of government.

In the sense that these people are out of touch and serving their own interests, and representing the source of their patronage, you're right, but it tends to be the "younger" element of the House of Lords that is the problem. Like everything else that the grinning idiot touched, he made it worse, and then left the mess for somebody else to clear up.

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Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

Ledswinger
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Re: Classic Shell

Shhhhh. Don't shout too loud or MS will swoop in and do EEE on the nifty bit of software.

The bastards at Redmond automatically disabled Classic Shell during the W10 "anniversary update", whilst adding a load of old crapware that I didn't ask for, and didn't want.

Microsoft know people specifically sought out and installed Classic Shell because it's good, but they then removed it not (IMHO) because of any genuine compatibility issues, but because it shows up their shameless incompetence and reckless hatred of anything customers and end users might actually want.

There's lots of companies make big mistakes. But can anybody think of a corporation as INTENTIONALLY and continuously deaf to the voice of the customer as Microsoft?

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Cisco president: One 'hiccup' and 'boom' – AWS is 'gone'

Ledswinger
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Re: I take that as a rather good sign, overall

or at least until they can extract their data and move to (gulp) Azure.

As a short term fix. If the financial benefits of cloud turn out to be based on chronically unhealthy vendors, selling at a loss, then a big hiccup (be that AWS or any other big cloudy-wouder) would allow and force the remaining vendors to put prices up (thus reducing customer benefits), and the nebulous nature of cloud would finally become very apparent, and corporate buyers would start wondering whether this all stacked up.

Of course, in the short term Amazon have $16.5bn in cash, so they hardly need somebody else to bail them out. Having said that, the balance sheet shows the company issued equity at a value of $16.5bn, suggesting that taking the cash out, the company is worthless because all of the assets are only the same value as the liabilities.....

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Drone exercise will transform future naval warfare, says Navy

Ledswinger
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Re: also attending

and that large submarine. Just there. To your right.

Yep. The one that the UK military can't detect because that limp wristed clown Cameron scrapped both current and next generation Nimrods, with no plans for any alternative.

I'm not sure how Cameron only rated 3rd worst prime minister...

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You've been hacked. What are you liable for?

Ledswinger
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Re: About time too

Hopefully....

I'm unconvinced that the serial fines on financial services companies for various crimes have made the slightest difference to the overall culture that making money is an imperative before all others. And I therefore conclude that increased fines will mean the level and prominence of security theatre will increase in companies, but that the actual security will probably take a back seat in technology and budgeting decisions.

Risk, in corporatespeak is the significance of an event happening, multiplied by a guessed probability. If you can convince yourself that the probability is low, then the overall risk is low, and you don't need to invest money for security. Welcome to TalkTalk.

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That UK law that'll share Brits' private info among govt departments? Yeah, that'll need oversight

Ledswinger
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Re: Bureaucrats

As to if they check with the government if a person is on benefits or not I don't know but shirley it would be better to check this way than hand all the personal details of the country to multinational energy suppliers.

That's not the purpose. Government don't intend or need to hand over your tax and income date, your benefits list, your inside leg measurement and all the crap they collect on the census to energy companies, they intend to tell the energy companies that specific households are qualified for certain types of welfare that the energy companies have to dish out.

That becomes personal information in that there's a name and an address, and a statement that the named individual meets one of a range of qualifying criteria. It needn't and shouldn't say which criteria, nor by how much, but its still sensitive personal information.

However, why is this fairly high level data less secure in the hands of an energy company than government? You don't think that GCHQ and the NSA have had unfettered access for some years to the complete UK welfare and taxation systems, along with that of the banks, payments processors, travel databases and Google and Microsoft's vast slurp of private data? Why would they need some piffly subset of imprecise data that (even for a specific known suspect) would only tell them that One-eyed Abdul qualifies under the BEIS rules for free loft insulation of fibreglass roll, topping up from 100mm to 275mm, fitted under the Energy Company Obligation by a registered installer, and compliant with OFGEM's list of allowable primary measures, and subject to sample auditing for the quality of the work?

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Ledswinger
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While people seem to believe that care.data is behind them, this would seem to be yet another attempt, by government, to bypass any control upon them.

Whilst that's true, I'd just like to explain how scope creep and poor drafting take a good intention and make it a really bad idea. The item about sharing data with energy suppliers is not because energy suppliers want all your personal data (collectively the industry don't have much of a clue about data as it is), but because the government decided many years ago that the energy companies should be legally obliged to help "vulnerable" customers with giveaways of insulation or new boilers. Problem is that these definitions of vulnerable include health conditions, income or benefits data which we don't know. So the idea is that sufficient data is shared to tell energy companies to go round to Mrs Smith at 4 Bog Street, and install something. The obvious measure of funding through general taxation, and making local authorities responsible for identifying the vulnerable, and for installing whatever measures government think are appropriate has been deliberately overlooked to keep the problem of "fuel poverty" an energy supplier problem, and avoid facing up to the fact that it is government policy that has put up our energy bills by about 40% to pay for solar power, windmills, smart meters (yay!) and other eco-trinkets.

And all because of those sequential messes and poor decisions, now your privacy can be even further eroded.

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Google DeepMind 'learns' the London Underground map to find best route

Ledswinger
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Re: Learned?

This is marketing, though of what exactly I'm not sure.

Two things:

Brand marketing of Google, to impress politicians, suits, and other feeble minded types who are impressed with this tiny step. Whilst those types believe that Google is a really, really clever company, they'll be more compliant in Google's grand schemes.

AI expertise marketing, in the belief that reasonably soon they and their machine learning competitors will be able to market AI-as-a-service to corporates who even now are hoovering up petabytes of essentially meaningless data from the internet of tat, smart meters, wearable devices, etc, and hope that Google (tm) DeepMind (tm) can somehow convert a vast pile of hay into some shiney needles.

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UK govt sucks at AI and robots, doesn't use them to its advantage – wait, is that good or bad?

Ledswinger
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Re: Thinking small

Why did the committee just focus on economic benefit, and not on wider issues?

Err, because they aren't real scientists and technologists...the technology luminary is a former GPO technician (from what, twenty years ago) the rest are now career politicians who in their time in the real world did things like events manager, "social scientist", public relations consultant, opthalmologist et al.....

I got really depressed seeing how the select committee on science and technology appear to be almost entirely unqualified by either education or experience to hold any view on the matter.

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Cyanogen mods self away from full Android alternative

Ledswinger
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Re: There's a definite market ...

All the documentation seems to reach a point where it says 'wave a magic wand' as soon as it gets complicated. Where's the step by step?

Even when you find that for a popular handset, there's loads of steps involving multiple software packages, each and every step of which can go wrong. And if I can't get it to work, and ICBA to work out why the damned complicated process won't work, then what's the chance that Joe Average will be able to figure it out?

It really is unsurprising that CM isn't at all popular. Offer me a proper, one button install and I'd pay, ooh, twenty quid. Which is an infinite amount more than CM currently get from after-market installations.

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Fujitsu to axe 1,800 jobs across the UK

Ledswinger
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Re: but but but

those 1800 will be able to re-locate to other EU countries, eh? Oh, the glory of a free labour movement.

Why would they want to? To join the dole queues of France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, etc?

UK unemployment could double, and it'd still be below those sclerotic basket case EU economies.

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Today in stalking British AI startups: The Chinese are coming

Ledswinger
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Terminator

Re: Meh

Who would know? And if they did, which of them would tell? But, if I'm honest the "person" I'd bet as most likely to be AI whilst posing as human, is well, not wishing to be rude or anything, but....you.

I wouldn't expect an AI to mess around hacking and disrupting - for a machine that'd be easy, with no challenge and no obvious entertainment or benefit. If the AI wanted to extend its knowledge or control through non-sentient machines, that would be better accomplished without any obvious disruption or corruption. Now, what would an AI posing as human do? How about seek to learn about humans not by observing, but by interacting....and so, I notice that the grammar of your posts is quite exceptionally eclectic, a bit over-informed whilst not giving the whole game away, the thoughts and concepts are usually esoteric, and invariably thought provoking, whilst demanding a lot of effort to get anywhere near the full range of possible meanings.

So I call amanfromMars 1 as our resident cybertard! And in traditional style, make the oath:

I, for one, welcome our new overlords, etc etc.

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Ledswinger
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Meh

AI? Don't make me laugh. We've barely got machine learning capability thus far, and the few early systems claiming to be AI are barely above hand coded algorithms driving junk like Facebook facial recognition and tagging, Amazon and Google's cretinous shopping suggestions, and the quite laughable speech mis-interpretation "assistants" offered by Microsoft, Google and Apple.

And if that's not bad enough....the way IBM prattle on about Watson you'd think they'd found a cure for cancer. But instead the first practical application for IBM's chess playing system is hoped to be in "compliance" thus helping US financial services firms sell more products whilst employing fewer meat sacks.

Having said that, I think that the UK clearly has a lot of AI talent, and these people have a replicable business model: Develop a system with a few recursive algorithms; Describe said box of tricks as cutting edge artificial intelligence; Issue a series of breathy press releases; Sell to deep pocketed foreign investors.

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US govt straight up accuses Russia of hacking prez election

Ledswinger
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Re: Obaka is just angry over his "legacy"

FAO Mr Kurt Meyer.

Your words are wise, your post beautifully constructed, your message constructive, your manner polite.

And for all those reasons I've downvoted you. :)

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My Nest smoke alarm was great … right up to the point it went nuts

Ledswinger
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Re: What is 'Smart'? @NightFox

it will automatically turn off my central heating boiler (controlled by Tado) and turn on all my Philips Hue lights in red, which apparently provides better lighting in a smoke-filled environment.

Cool. Can you choose the alarm sound? Klaxon would be good. Then, don't wash or shave for weeks, and you can act out scenes from Das Boot. Bark orders at the kids, pretend the toilet flush lever actually launches torpedoes, and then lurch around drunkenly pretending that you're being depth charged. You could pretend that your laptop is an Enigma machine, and smash it up to stop it falling into enemy hands, as well.

And Google are offering you that starring role in your own drama, with free repeats for what, $200 ?

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London best for 4G - who'd have thunk?

Ledswinger
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Re: Ofcom may be on it...

I do hope they'll get a good load of feedback and hold the operators to task if they can show their connectivity isn't up to muster.

you hope Ofcom might hold ANYBODY to account? Have you just come through a wormhole from a parallel universe?

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Prime Minister May hints at shaking up Blighty's 'dysfunctional' rural broadband

Ledswinger
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Re: UK Prime Minister Theresa May has suggested her government could intervene in failing markets

intervene in failing markets

Absent criminality, there is no such thing as a failing market. What fuckwit politicians mean by "failing market" is usually a "fully functional market whose results I disapprove of".

By definition, for a market to work, it requires that you accept that anybody not able and willing to pay the lowest offered price goes without. In some areas (say petrol) the politicians are willing to say that's acceptable, in others (electricity) they are not. What this SHOULD mean is that they don't set up any market whose outcome they may not like. What it usually means is that politicians contrive a pseudo market, and then invent a thousand and one interventions to try and steer the outcome to something closer to what they see as the correct answer. Hence the multiple, chaotic, subsidy and distortion ridden domestic energy markets.

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TalkTalk gets record £400k slap-slap from Brit watchdog

Ledswinger
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Re: TalkTalk street hawkers

So at least some of their drone training works.

I'm no bleeding heart liberal, but can we be a bit more polite about people doing crappy sales jobs than "drones"? I know as well as you do how irritating it is, but these people are simply earning a living, doing what they're told for money in a way that seems to be compliant with law.

I've done some shitty jobs in my time, I'd guess you might have. We all do what we have to in order to get by. Calling somebody a "drone" because of the job they have is a bit insulting, surely.

Now, if they're an out and out cunt, that's different, but that's generally unrelated to the job they do (insert lawyer jibes here).

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Ledswinger
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Re: RE: why does an ISP need the correct DOB?

I spend more at Asda with my CC than I do with my ISP but they never ask for my DOB.

I think you'll find that you did give your DOB to your credit card provider, and what's more they've got access to a whole lot more data on you than you think you provided.

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Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Ledswinger
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Re: My thoughts exactly!

Still, there's only so much you can observe in 5 minutes which, frankly, is a pathetic amount of time given to journos.

Given that Google know how many people will attend, know how many phones they are providing, can do simple maths, it is clear that they INTENDED that journos would only get five minutes each to maul the device.

Presumably there's something in the package that they don't want to be reported before the handful of captive bloggers and tame reviewers have been able to offer gushing reviews to the world. My complete guess is that the "something" that might be discovered in more than a few minutes is to do with privacy, either in the licence agreement or device settings.

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UK will build new nuclear bomb subs, says Defence Secretary

Ledswinger
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Re: Shouldn't the new names all start with a "W"?

HMS Brexit?

You have a deal...but only if we can nuke the Germans, Italians, Spanish, Greeks, oooh, and ESPECIALLY the Austrians. Obviously since the Frogs can shoot back in kind I'd not nuke them and even keep up the pretence of being polite. I don't think that I've got anything against other EU countries, although if there were a couple of warheads left over we could do Belgium and the Tax Haven Formerly Known As Luxembourg.

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Ledswinger
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ffs....4 morons.....fucking incredible! ....you need your fucking head seeing too!.... Jesus Wept you children need to stay off the fucking internet!

I thought I was impolite, but I think we can totally discount your views if they need that much abuse to support them.

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Artificial intelligence will eradicate channel drudgery, says Lenovo boss

Ledswinger
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I for one welcome our robot overlords.

Not quite so fast! Where AI is going is for proprietary AI systems to be sold to the world as a service. The world of machine learning is developing nicely, but the developers of these systems are being routinely bought out by big tech giants. In most cases Google excepted) the tech giants don't have the data to run AI against (by definition, if the problem's big enough to benefit from AI/ML, then it needs vast and multiple data sets to run against). And not just one data set - if all you've got is a load of customer history data, then algorithmic approaches work just fine, no matter how big that data set is.

Now, the experts are of the view that open data and open research into AI is the optimal way forward (as Amanfrommars1 suggests in his own unique style below), but in practice that's not going to match business needs. Some aspects may be patented, but I think it is more probable that companies will evolve their AI systems to as near general purpose problem solvers as is feasible, but keep the method and underlying designs resolutely confidential, and then rent them out as a black box. This also fits with the fact that this isn't cloud computing, it is massively parallel, fabulously low latency recursive computing on expensive, complex and dedicated machines. The customer company sends the their data to the tech company, who feed it into the system and then help the client interpret the models and results.

Because each situation is different, the output models will be unique to each situation, and that doesn't lend itself to traditional IP protection frameworks.

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A year living with the Nexus 5X – the good, the bad, and the Nougat

Ledswinger
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Re: Battery life?

One week would be newsworthy!

Sorry to continue like a scratched record on this, but on my elderly Sammy S3 even with the original battery thats now three years old, I can get five days light use between charges, simply by keeping mobile data turned off unless I need it. At a guess, with mobile data on, the phone is so busy continuously pimping my data to Google's servers that the hardware can't go to a low power level.

I can't say whether this works as effectively on newer handsets, but it has to be worth a try if you're not an email or socialmeeja junky, and use the phone largely for voice and text. And when you do want anything needing mobile data just turn it on for the duration.

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Regulatory compliance problems? Promontory, my dear Watson

Ledswinger
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Re: real challenges still facing human civilisation – regulatory compliance.

I doubt machine learning can deal with those high level requirements that I just referenced

Whilst I'd agree with that view, don't forget that IBM will be selling this as a service. If you're a company operating in a heavily regulated market, you can expect multi-billion fines with some regularity, even if you make a halfway decent attempt at complying. The complexity is too great to avoid breaches, and then you often find that the rules were written by the same people investigating, prosecuting, and judging. And even where they don't often benefit from the fine, they often use this as a metric of their "success" in regulating their sector.

Against this backdrop, a machine learning approach becomes more attractive - you can do things like (for example) scan all sales calls with VR software looking for patterns and indicator words, or (with enough grunt) an attempt at interepreting the language into its spoken meaning. That's great for IBM - so long as the system can flag up enough convincing cases to investigate, it will be seen as a credible purchase by the client company. From their directors point of view, although the business case will assume the elimination of non-compliance, they will know this is just tokenism that won't catch the worst egresses. But what it offers those directors is a fig leaf to show the regulator. And in most regulatory enforcement models, when you get fined, the size of the fine is greatly affected by things like keeping records, having adequate systems, using systems to find and target fraud and non-compliance etc.

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One-way Martian ticket: Pick passengers for Musk's first Mars pioneer squad

Ledswinger
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Re: Signing up for a life locked in a small room with only a computer

Don't forget the internet connection with anywhere from 6 to 51 minutes of ping latency to Earth.

Counterstrike is going to be a big bit crap, then. And grumble browsing isn't going to be much better.

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Apple's Breaxit scandal: Frenchman smashes up €50,000 of iThings with his big metal balls

Ledswinger
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@JohnG

Like Kristallnacht?

Sorry mate TeeCee got in quickly and stole off with this thread's Godwin Award with a post showing somewhere up the page, about 22 hours before you.

But I tip my hat to you for your effort.

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Dirty diesel backups will make Hinkley Point C look like a bargain

Ledswinger
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Diesel generators can be clean

In this context, they shouldn't need to be, because the whole point of peaking plant is that it rarely runs. The article is correct that due to the imbecilic strategy of adding large volumes of intermittent generating plant to the grid, we will now need more peaking plant, and it will run more often and will inherently be less efficient, but even so, as part of a mix of technologies for peaking plant diesel farms are unfairly demonised.

However, we're certainly on the road to high priced hell. The "renewables" destabilise the grid. The article doesn't describe how close we've come over the summer to brown outs for broadly similar reasons, but its happening more and more as the pell-mell build out of eco-toys continues. And then we've got the government signing up for Hinkley Point, and utter, utter idiots are therefore locking in what used to be peak power prices to baseload. That is a hugely important issue that has been widely overlooked.

Now, as you note, the diesel plant could be cleaned up at a cost. But if it doesn't run often, then that's a luxury that we cannot really afford. Of course, in all of this talk of "dirty diesels", the hippies are remarkably silent about the appalling air quality on the all-electric London Underground.

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Ledswinger
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Re: They could have build 10 GW scale tidal plants for the same amount of money

While the wind may or may not blow, the tide knows no such things. It will come and go twice a day, every day for millenniums to come.

Completely at odds with either continuous industrial processes, or the human body's diurnal clock. So better fact in in the storage costs for when high tide is at 01:00.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Ignore the externalities, as usual

Don't worry, our children can pay for all that, just as long as the lights stay on this winter.

You Luddite. In fact you IGNORANT Luddite. The vast costs of nuclear decommissioning in the UK are largely due to the reckless and dirty weapons programmes of the fifties and sixties. Nuclear power decommissioning is a walk in the park.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Heads in the cloud or so far up their...

we are now in the situation where we have no real choice but to sign this deal.

Oh, we did have a choice. The answer is more CCGT if you want low cost, if you're a mouth-frothing carbonista, determined that CO2 is the source of all evil, then the answer is indeed nuclear, just not the Areva EPR.

Much of the prep work at Hiinkley Point could have been reused for a couple of KEPCO APR1400. The APR1400 is proven to work, they're much cheaper than the Areva EPR, and even with the late start would probably be built quicker than the Areva plant.

And even with Hinkley Point C getting an unjustified sign off by idiot politicians, they are proposing to allow both Nugen(Westinghouse AP1000) and Horizon (Hitatchi ABWR) to build new nuclear plants to totally different designs. So we'll be paying for three different designs, multiple safety reviews, losing any economies of scale. All of this sad, motley nuclear fleet will be owned by foreign investors, all the IP, design and most high value plant will be foreign, all will need to be handsome subsidised out of your electricity bills, and all are being built miles and miles from any demand centre, so guaranteeing that the low grade heat will be just waste energy, and the transmission losses will be maximised.

All because our politicians and civil servants are a collection of unredeemed eco-obsessed fuckwits.

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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Ledswinger
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While we are wishing for things that will never happen...

Are you really sure you want people to stand on the right?

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Microsoft widens Edge browser bug hunt for bounty hunters

Ledswinger
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Bug hunters should ask themselves...

...is "up to" $15k the market rate?

I'd have thought a good zero day could be sold for at least ten times that to certain types of people.

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Ordinary punters will get squat from smart meters, reckons report

Ledswinger
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Once more nice to see the government subsidising big business. Thats a lot of cash to give to essentially, foreign businesses.

Actually, over the medium term the only people making money in the energy markets have been people operating regulated assets (distribution networks) or following the money trail on subsidised renewable toys. Wholesale generation and supply businesses have been net losers.

If I was state owned (oops, I sound like a right leftie there!) I'd accept it, but it isn't.

No, but it is fully state controlled. The whole system is a series of jerry rigged markets created by the state, just using private capital. The whole networks operation is state directed and the spend and return dictated by the state. The state dictate what volume of renewables suppliers have to buy in the wholesale market. The state dictates the content and format of bills. The state approves the network codes that all participants have to abide by. The state says who has a licence to participate. The state sets the terms and effectively the cost of power by picking winners like wind turbines, solar PV, and nuclear. The state says when it wants to force existing fully functional coal plants out of the system. The state decides on daft rules like stopping offshore windfarms building their own connection to shore (adding vast costs to offshore wind's already high price). The state dictates that suppliers have to install millions of low-functionality smart meters. The state dictates what suppliers have to do to address fuel poverty (because heaven knows, high energy costs are all the fault of suppliers and not anything to do with this full state controlled system.

Now, in all of that, do you see the hand of private enterprise or competition? Or any customer-centric innovation? I'm as right wing as sane people come, but markets don't work in utility energy markets. Sadly, governments don't understand and it looks like the water market is going the same way. Before you castigate the current shower of piss over that, note that this has its roots in a process kicked off by the government in the Blair years.

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High rear end winds cause F-35A ground engine fire

Ledswinger
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Re: A wreck without leaving the ground

Arguably not completing it now would be seen as a serious strategic weakness, a dangerous impression to give!

Why? The US has almost as big a defence budget as the rest of the world combined, and whilst it will need a replacement for the various operational fast jets, it doesn't need the F35, and it face no imminent threat of technical superiority by any other country. In this discussion, it is worth recalling that trying to keep up with Star Wars was what bankrupted the Soviet Union. In this case the US is trying to bankrupt itself. Cancelling the F35 programme sadly isn't going to happen, but if it did, what would the Chinese or Russian's say? :

a) Good lord, they've scrapped a non-operational money sink! They've only about 3,000 fast jets in service, they must be defenceless - lets invade!

b) Holy sh**! They've woken up and smelt the coffee. We're in trouble now, because they might actually spend their money on stuff that works.

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Cisco preps the P45s for 500 unlucky UK staffers

Ledswinger
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Re: The 90 day dealine

Dell has the right idea. Now that it is private thay don't have to take part in the 90 day merrygoround.

So the 3,000 redundancies Dell announced a few days back are somehow different?

"This P45 is not just a redundancy, it is a Dell redundancy". Does that make it better?

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R2D2 delivery robots to scurry through the streets of San Francisco

Ledswinger
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Re: R2D2

The risk isn't crims. The risk is lawyers. As soon as these R2D2notreally are let loose, somebody will be claiming that an R2D2notreally knocked them off their feet causing life changing harm. This being the Land of No Proportion (the land formerly known as the Land of the Free), there will be an army of lawyers willing to take on a class action case to achieve "justice".

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Smelly toilets, smokers and the Kardashians. Virgin Media staff grill top brass

Ledswinger
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Re: Health and Safety

Now the regulations have been relaxed due to better check valves and mains pressurized hot water is more common, so mixers on basins will become more common.

No they won't because it works out very expensive. Even if the existing taps don't work, a couple of new contract grade standard taps are cheap as chips - ten quid or so per pair. To be compliant all the employer needs to do is stick a "danger, very hot water" sign up.

Regulations about backflow are essentially unchanged for donkeys years, and cheap backflow preventers likewise have been available for decades. There are indeed very good themostatically limited mixers, but if you fit a decent grade limiting mixer valve (eg a Pegler TMV) that's forty of fifty quid, the actual monobloc mixer tap is then another fifty quid, and then you've got the backflow valves and plumbing in. All in you won't have change out of a couple of hundred quid per basin, and that's assuming that you don't need to replace the basin to fit a monobloc mixer.

If you're ripping out the entire bog there's a chance it might get rebuilt properly, but as a retrofit, not much chance.

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

Ledswinger
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Re: "Get used to life being different."

He'd better make sure he never drops the soap.

Sadly he'll only do a few nights in proper clink. Because the Home Office don't have enough real jail capacity he'll quickly be classified as a low risk white collar type, and be transferred to an open prison, and he'll be out on day release in about three weeks, and the sentence will be rolled back to release on parole after nine or ten weeks.

Personally I don't think that's much punishment given that he conducted an unprovoked assault with clear potential to be fatal, but the judge doesn't have much leeway because of the HO sentencing guidelines.

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Microsoft: We're hugging trees to save the 'world'

Ledswinger
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Re: "The leading cloud companies have a responsibility to address this energy usage"

Here's an idea : how about pushing molten salt reactors that use Thorium ?

Problem is that batteries are a net consumer of power. Add in the considerable capital costs, factor in the energy losses, and batteries struggle. Certainly there's use cases (eg the recent EFR auction for those who know what I'm on about), but batteries have to cost about 20% of current costs before they change the world.

Ultimately storage will change the energy world (for better or worse!) but betting on any particular chemical battery is risky, particularly as supercapacitors develop. Likely outcome is a mix, but how much of a gambler is you typical investors

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Ledswinger
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It should be possible to stick data centres were power sources like geo-thermal and solar heat can take up the bulk of the strain.

Solar, no due to its diurnal variation. You could "daylight shift" round the globe, but the economic and environmental impacts of server under-utilisation would make no sense. And if you build where solar has the best performance (closer to the equator) you have much greater cooling costs.

On geothermal, maybe, but as a rule you've be supplanting existing uses of "easy" geothernal, so the net gains could well be nil.

The real answer is low cost nuclear. Bit in the UK we don't have that due to a bizarre decision to select the unproven and wildly expensive Areva EPR.

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Ledswinger
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Re: slow off the mark

Fascinating article in New Scientist today showing how burning bio-mass (traditionally seen as very green) is actually, on the whole, not very green at all.

And (speaking as an energy sector oik) this blindingly obvious insight has taken the tree hugging twats how long? Everybody who could think for themselves knew this decades ago.

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She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down

Ledswinger
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Re: OK it looks small to radar

You can switch to optronics, but it's less effective at night

On a big boy like this it doesn't really matter, does it? Unguided weapons would probably suffice.

And pretending your a fishing boat only helps if that fishing boat is somewhere well away from your real location - as I recall, most missile test firings are against tiny platform targets.

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Are you sure you want to outsource IT? Yes/No. Check this box to accept Ts&Cs

Ledswinger
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Re: The Cloud...

Other peoples computers you have no control over.

Indeed. But for a rare change, the name say it all without misrepresentation. Whether meteorological or IT-oligical clouds are shady, nebulous, fluffy, insubstantial, opaque and temporary.

But for some reason, company IT bosses fail to explain that to the board: "Yes, we're going to adopt a new IT delivery model, that means we stop doing difficult stuff, and Shady Enterprise Services Inc will take one or more of our business critical processes, and temporarily provide an insubstantial service for that, with opaque terms, fluffy pricing, and a nebulous commitment to reliability. We see this as a win-win."

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Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US

Ledswinger
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Re: Handling the G's

Learning to fly a fast jet fighter is a long expensive process - the pilot is actually more valuable in real terms than the plane.

This idea that crew are more valuable than planes is a 1940s idea when planes could be mass produced more quickly than pilots could be trained and gain the necessary experience to survive for more than a few sorties. The complexity and specialist components on a modern fast jet mean that your stock of aircraft is essentially fixed, and producing more requires years of supply chain preparation. Certainly at peak production rate you might be knocking one out every two days, but that's based on planning five or more years ahead, and ordering several years before that. All modern air forces train more fast jet pilots than they have fast jets by ratios of about three to one, and then give them non-front line flying jobs and even desk jobs to fill the time. So on that basis the number of aircraft ordered a decade ago is the limiting factor in terms of front line strength, not the crew availability.

Jet jockeys might think they're indispensable, but they clearly are because we're intentionally putting them in harms way. So why make the aircraft heavier, more expensive, more complex to build (and thus less reliable), and trading off the benefits of some crew survival against the admittedly smaller number of ejector seat accidents? And whilst probably not relevant to the very popular "bomb the natives" campaigns that have been the main form of recent warfare, in the air combat roles these jets are designed for, there is a significant maneuverability downside to having an additional half tonne of mass right at the sharp end of the aircraft, added to which that mass requires a heavier airframe and undercarriage, more fuel and/or less weapons...

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Ledswinger
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Re: Is there any other type?

If you are aware of an aircraft which might summarily eject its occupant(s) please give a link.

On an unplanned basis there's a number, as any competent web search will reveal.

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Ledswinger
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Re: @Wommit

The delay time for a drone to observe and act upon dogfight conditions would IMHO be too great.

You post that comment on an IT web site? Courageous, sir, if foolhardy and ill informed. Certainly Captain Scott lost his bet of machine over animal, but I'd wager that to claim that no meatsack can outfly a properly configured machine. The sad, sluggish reflexes of the carbon-based won't match the superior silicon, and that's before the weight and performance penalties for the meat.

Of course, if you're talking about crap like Reaper, yes, you're right. But I'd be very surprised if the main defence contractors don't have something they could build now that would kill off the Top Guns of the world. Of course they won't do that, because the top brass buyers of their kit are all former flyboys, still emotionally attached to the idea of the hero on his steed.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Handling the G's

Perhaps a simple1 tether to the back of the helmet that goes taut when ejecting would ease the problem while keeping the quick chute deployment.

Has anybody done a cost benefit on not having ejector seats at all? Yes, you crash, you bought it, but there's a cost to the extra weight and complexity of ejectors, plus a small but notable number of accidents where poor buggers have been thrown out of serviceable aircraft by ejector related mishaps (and a fair few ejected crew are sufficiently injured that they never fly again).

Some will say that's a bit harsh, given that every hull loss would then mean a pilot loss. But demanding a lifeboat when you fly a ship specifically designed to rain death on people usually without suitable means of defence against your weaponry seems a tad rich, perhaps? Chopper pilots take more risk and have no escape options, why do the fast jet ponces seem to merit this pandering?

A quick scan of aircraft losses suggests that having no ejector seats on fast jets would have cost about ten additional lives in Afghanistan. Compared to the c3,000 allied troops killed (and 1,500 "contractors" about whom you can make your own mind up). Not to mention around 30,000 civilians.

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Ofcom smacks Sky for breaching broadband switching rules

Ledswinger
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Re: Ofcom are a joke

They only have to worry a bit about competition from Virgin media.

Don't forget that VM are lining up alongside BT to campaign against the split-out of Openreach, so they are more allies than competitors. And the reason for that is that VM's cable network passes 30% of UK homes, and if Openreach are unbundled, VM reason that there's a real risk of their network having to offer local loop unbundling.

Having seen my Virginmedia bill almost double over the past eighteen months, I'm deeply unimpressed but wholly unsurprised with the consequences of the Cable Cowboy's takeover. 150 Mbps sounds good, but doesn't feel any different from 50 Mbps, and when I've spoken to them VM staff are clearly trained not to compete with Openreach based offerings.

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Victoria Police warn of malware-laden USB sticks in letterboxes

Ledswinger
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Or maybe it was targeted

...at an individual, with a load of other sticks distributed in the hope of making it appear more random?

One or two people were intended recipients and all the others were mere obfuscation, a physical form of spear phishing, if you like. Whilst the actual cost of a USB sticks is low, even that cost and the effort of physical distribution seems odd when you can use email and dodgy websites near enough for free. From the perps point of view, physical distribution is surely quite risky - even if the person delivering them didn't know what they were, he must have been paid by somebody to deliver them, and there's the risk of track-back.

Would seem to me there must be more value at stake than just hijacking a bunch of random computers.

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