* Posts by Ledswinger

4946 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

Ledswinger
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If you want the sound of the Vulcan vote Concorde, both used Rolls Royce Olympus variants

But they sounded completely different. I know this from my own ears, the sadly uneducated may need to take a trip to Youtube.

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A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Ledswinger
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Re: last step of the journey

Like Sendo?

I think that for the most part those days have gone. WileyFox aren't big enough to be that much of a threat or an opportunity, the brand is very niche (and loses its "crafty British challenger" appeal as soon as acquired by a bumbling incumbent), and what are WFx doing that the majors could do but choose not to?

Surely the only people this would make sense for would be Cyanogenmod themselves, since they're making no money from their software at the moment, and they might see WileyFox either as their main route to market, or as their "reference" design in the manner of the Nexus devices. But as a US company I'd have thought there's a range of US-based Shenzen-vetters who are doing the same sort of thing as WFx, and CM would culturally be a better fit with another US business.

The other thing is that whilst we often bemoan the sale of UK start ups, what those sales actually reflect is the sense of proportion of UK entrepreneurs. Why put the years of extra work in, and take the risks to build a half-a-billion pound corporate business, if you can sell out much earlier for £15m, and either retire somewhere pleasant, or start again in the rule-free world of the start-up? Building a big corporate enterprise (successfully) would make them very rich indeed, but it means moving from anarchic energy and innovation to a world of process, compliance, policies, board meetings, corporate finance, suits and PHBs. And to get the benefits, you've still got to go through a hair-raising trade sale, or worse still an IPO, where you'll initially be a key man, but then be squeezed out of "your own" company by the suits.

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Survey finds 75% of security execs believe they are INVINCIBLE

Ledswinger
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Re: If things suck, change them. @amanfromMars 1

Well I demand you go back to how you were.

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Amazon guarantees bitterly contested Ohio wind farm project

Ledswinger
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Facepalm

Maybe urban f***kwits should face up to the despoilatory nature of their need for power?

On reflection, I apologise to the world and the previous poster for my intemperate wording.

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Ledswinger
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Well, people like to live in rural areas where they can enjoy landscapes unspoiled...

Get off your high horse, and notice that the majority of large coal, nuclear, and gas plants have been located in rural areas for donkey's years (plus the fugly transmission networks spreading the visual pox across the countryside). Not to mention the crime of ground mount solar arrays, sterilising prime agricultural land for quarter of a century as fat cat financiers milk the subsidies.

Maybe urban fuckwits should face up to the despoilatory nature of their need for power?

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Ledswinger
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The only argument I've heard which I could technically accept is that they spoil the scenery.

Then you've not being paying much attention? At modest distances they can be noisy, they do tend to smack birds out of the sky, and also very effective at exploding bats who fly behind the blades where the low pressure. But the main problem is that intermittency.

As a near random power source, when you build a wind farm that acquires a near "must run" status (not bothering with the technicalities, that's good enough for now), then that wind turbine gets paid when the wind blows. Problem is that the system (and therefore customers) need to pay for the assets that provide power when the wind doesn't blow, so those assets either need additional subsidies ("capacity payments") or they need vastly higher wholesale prices to pay their high standing costs. Either way, renewables put total system costs up. All the prattle about "grid parity" that their makers claim is against prevailing wholesale prices, not for a system approach that provides adequate capacity. So wind and solar providers are vastly over-rewarded for their low quality power output, and expect customers to pick up the tab for the inadequacy of their assets.

We'd all like cheap, clean energy. Sadly wind and solar only provide that within very narrow definitions that externalise all costs relating to how you and I wish to use energy. Battery storage will make that a little bit better, but not much, because it can't offer intra-seasonal storage at any viable cost (and the same goes for pumped storage, CAES and P2G technologies).

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UK.gov's pricey Five Year Plan to see off cyber thugs still in place

Ledswinger
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Re: Muppet

I call you as the muppet

Maybe "just another employee" should have read "just another public sector employee", and lives in a world where bureaucrats conjure up fines with all the finesse and evidence base of climate science: "ooh, X% of turnover should do it, Sir Humphrey!"

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UK will retaliate against state-sponsored cyber attacks, Chancellor warns

Ledswinger
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Re: England will be forced to surrender

England will be forced to surrender

A popular thought amongst short-arse po-faced dictators throughout history (Napoleon, Hitler, Putin, Sturgeon to name a few).

But here we are, still bobbing along quite merrily.

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Ledswinger
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Send all that Huawei kit bck to the Reed Army and ask for a refund?

Is that the army of temps from Reed the employment agency, or the army of shop assistants at Austin Reed?

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Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

Ledswinger
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Re: Gaz and Leccy... hio ho ho....

I like the way the advert says "You're entitled to claim a smart meter from your supplier at no extra cost" as if it were some kind of prize...

A stroke of genius, if you're trying to roll out anything, surely? The great British public are complete suckers for "free". It is almost as though there's a very common gene that means whenever afflicted people hear or read the word "free" it triggers the total suspension of all critical faculties.

A "free" web browser? Wow! Why pay for Netscape!

A "free" phone OS? Fab! And no downside.

A "free" upgrade to WIndows 10? Fill your boots!

A "free" rooftop PV installation? And free electricity too!

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Ledswinger
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Re: Free?

They don't work with them as they can't handle reverse power feeds.

If you're talking about a UK smart meter compliant with the mandatory SMETS2 specification, it most certainly can handle export power, as specified in the SMETS2 standard, various places, but starting at item 5.5.9.2. Whether all the intermediary systems are in place to make this work in a practical way is another matter, but the meters are all required to have the capability.

At the moment most PV export payments are "deemed", which means they guess that PV owners export 50% of their power, but with smart meters this will change, and people who use more than 50% of their PV generation will get lower export payments, people who use less than 50% will get more. In the real world this redsitribution effect will only be worth ten or fifteen quid a year, so the usual UK energy policy outcome - a costly, complicated change that helps nobody.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Shafted at both ends

And the electric one is just another meter where the original one was - with no external panel of info.

Phone up and complain if that matters to you. It is a licence condition that all smart meters are offered with an "in home display", and if they haven't offered you one they are in breach of that.

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NASA's asteroid orbit calculator spots a hot rock zipping past

Ledswinger
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Re: Good to know that we're improving our prediction speed

In the 5 day period enough people would be adopting enough of a 'go out with a bang' mentality to completely screw up the world. Imaging the effect on the global economy of a "we're all going to die...oh, hang on, we're still here" event

Do you think the denizens of the Middle East would stop the ever popular local hobby of fighting each other over nothing, at least for the party period, and join the global knees up?

Nope, I don't either.

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Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

Ledswinger
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Mushroom

Re: Only 96 batteries

it took other road users to point out that my lower half was basically a moving fireball.....A battery would not do that.

Nope, of course not

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Ledswinger
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Re: It's a bomb. RoboSimian? Yes. Tesla? Not so much.

No conceivable scenario leads to a bomb.

Depends on your definition of a bomb. The NASA incident looks very much like a small but powerful incendiary device, as do all of the videos I've seen of scientifically monitored lithium cell failures. A lithium cell constrained within a metal can (eg packaging like a typical alkaline) will cause modest fragmentation and projectile flaming debris when thermal runaway occurs, I've seen this instrumented. In a car battery that's unlikley to be severe enough to puncture the body shell and injure passengers, but in many installations it is an effective means of further spreading the fire.

And when things REALLY go wrong, all bets are off. A recent test of a modest sized cell by my national safety regulator managed to explosively deform the test chamber because the gases formed faster than the blast and fume vent was able to cope with - the deformed chamber was a 20 foot ISO shipping container, so not exactly a flimsy structure.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Only 96 batteries

In any case, it's a fair bet that NASA batteries have the highest possible density since they are intended to be launched into space, and rocket fuel is expensive.

They'll not be much better than the energy density of similar commercial products, because the chemistry is much the same. And even if they vary it, there's still not that much to choose. The other day I was at an industry conference on battery storage, and I asked the chief scientist of a leading cell maker whether there was that much to choose even between alternative chemistries, and she said "no", as the deciding factor is the potential energy stored. Failure modes can be slightly different, but if you've got a battery built to store energy and deliver a lot of power, then that energy is itching to find a quick way out. You can pretend things are different, but all fuels are compressed energy, and the more you compress them the more dramatic the failure mode it. If anything, (having at the same event watched a series of controlled battery failure videos, courtesy of my national safety regulator), the NASA battery fire was surprisingly small and well contained. I'd wonder if not all of the cells actually combusted.

I'll repeat the point, that the individual probability of a decent product failure is very small - the problem is that IF it does fail, you REALLY don't want to be asleep upstairs.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Only 96 batteries

ISTR that the available thermal energy in the event of a battery fire of a Tesla was on the order of two gallons of gasoline (or somewhere around 8 liters of petrol ).

Errmm, that's litres, if you please. Of course, I'm an imperialist myself, using proper imperial measures. None of your Yankee short measures, here, please.

But coming back to the point. This discussion was about domestic batteries, so no matter how few gallons of petrol, how many would you be happy to store under your stairs,in your loft or basement, with a load of electrical circuits around them?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Only 96 batteries

Its a bomb!!

Sometimes it is, certainly. And to think that people are already happily marketing and installing similar size domestic energy storage systems to owners of PV panels "to maximise their income through self consumption". Fitted outside and well away from anything else combustible, a manageable risk, but people are fitting these in under-stair cupboards, or lofts.

Actual probability of a battery fire is low, the difficulty is the intensity when a runaway starts, that it may be a cell fault, charging circuit fault, physical damage, incorrect installation, or even an unrelated thermal event that triggers a cell into runaway. So it WILL happen sooner or later, and then you've not just got the fire and smoke risk, but the acutely toxic fumes includng Hydrogen Fluoride, Carbonyl Sulphde, .Acrolein, Syrene, Toluene, and assorted other nasties, including cobalt fumes (all varying according to battery chemistry).

NASA have good reasons for taking these risks. But would you have a similar sized battery under your stairs to save a few shekels on your electricity bill?

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Uber drivers entitled to UK minimum wage, London tribunal rules

Ledswinger
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Re: Will this do anything...

How is that enforceable?

See Lee D's post above. Tech companies (and many non-tech US companies) think they can write any old shit in their T&Cs regardless of prevailing statute.

Interestingly, the egregious use of legitimate but unintended tax loopholes has now seen that practice coming under harsh scrutiny and changes made (eg EU proposals on common tax rates, various moves on withholding taxes), and if the Globocorps continue to try and ignore statute law in their contracts, that too will become not merely unenforceable at the individual contract level, but a criminal act in itself.

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EU announces common corporate tax plan

Ledswinger
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Re: finally a brexit benefit (for EU) Oi! Lars! Do pay attention

What makes you so upset when the EU tries to do something about the tax avoidance.

Where am I upset in the comment in this thread? I made a number of observations about the rational and impact of these proposed changes. I even observed for that remaining EU nations, presumably they will be in favour of such a centralisation of fiscal powers.

Far from being upset, I'm delighted that the EU takes this next step forward on the journey to a single nation state of Europe - common currency, centrally set fiscal policy, no internal borders, common foreign policy, its own military, centrally set environmental standards, a single energy market etc.

And I'm even more delighted that that UK won't be part of it.

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Ledswinger
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Re: finally a brexit benefit (for EU)

sounds like it's a Brexit benefit for both the EU and the UK.

Well, its a start on a single set of tax regulations set in Brussels - and by using "regulations" Brussels can actually set these as law, without the individual nations having any say on the detail (and fair enough, those people in the EU presumably want to see this). This has two important components - the French and Germans have always hated Ireland's tax arrangements, and the Apple case was only ever going to have one important outcome, and that was centralisation of taxation powers in Brussels. This will certainly end badly for Ireland if it goes ahead.

The second important element (and probably the one uppermost in the minds of the Eurocrats) will be that the rules will be carefully drafted to try and stop the UK being able to offer lower tax benefits to companies based here and doing business in the EU. In reality, this won't cause UK based corporates to relocate - it will just increase the cost of products sold in the EU - and as bunch of ageing economies with circled wagons, the EU don't mind at all if the little people see their costs go up.

The EU officialdom preside over a collection of disjointed, sclerotic economies with eye watering unemployment, high taxes, and permanently locked in internal exchange rate imbalances. They now think that they can decide to (in effect) raise tax rates, and undertake more of the deeply unsuccessful centralisation that has so far yielded no benefits other than a customs union (which the original EEC could have offered without half the pain). To be fair, the customs union element was a major achievement - but then the self important fuckers sacrificed all of that on the alter of politcal and financial integration and control.

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Digital minister Matt Hancock promises 'full fibre' eating plan for Blighty

Ledswinger
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to get 100% connectivity that will be a hell of a lot of road digging.

If the existing cables are on telegraph poles or in ducts, then there's not so much expensive digging required, which makes a big difference. You'll have to hope one of these two apply, because with all the madcap, unwarranted, and economically unjustified infrastructure schemes that the government have signed up to, there not much chance of finding enough people capable or pouring concrete or laying tarmac...

A partial list includes Hinkley Point C, Heathrow R3, HS2, Thames Tideway, HS3, CrossRail 2, Moorside, Wylfa B, Oldbury B, Bradwell B, Sizewell C, not to mention many tens of billions on water AMP6, Ofgem's c£40bn of RIIO programme's, billions on some notably unambitious road schemes, token flood defences etc, and that's before we consider the impact of government promises of new towns, and 200k+ new houses built each year. That little lot totals something around half a trillion quid, over and above the existing asset renewal needs.

Now, with vast budget and balance of payments deficits, rising private sector debt, yet investment plans formulated using the "kiddy in the sweetshop" model, you really have to wonder why the Labour party are so busy whining about "austerity".

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Ledswinger
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Re: What's in a name?

Windscale is now Sellafield

Don't forget its new alter-ego, "Moorside". Doesn't that sound better? Brings forth thoughts of salt-of-the-earth Lancashire farmers coming home after a hard days graft to a tea of hot buttered scones.

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Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

Ledswinger
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How about I buy you a couple of pints which should be ample compensation for your share of 'taxpayer's money' that went into this mission, and you just shut up?

Perhaps unintentionally, you make yourself sound like a thin-skinned millennial, unable to deal with views contradicting your own narrow personal view.

How about I offer you a skinny soya latte and a goatee trim, and you accept that I'm entitled to observe that I don't agree with ESA concept "oh well, shit happens on Mars, can we have another quarter of a billion euro please?"

After sneering at Beagle 2, and having seen the previous problems that NASA have had to address on Mars, the ESA have no excuse for it not working.

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Ledswinger
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Mushroom

Europeans call it a "scientific mission"

The Europeans were just envious that Beagle 2 had been a glorious, glorious British failure, and wanted to show that they could do that too.

Of course, being a pan-European pork project, the €230m cost of the Schiaparelli lander is about double the (rebased) £66m that Beagle 2 cost, proving that the Europeans can do anything anybody else can, just twenty years later and at double the cost.

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Ledswinger
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thick enough to heat up objects....At the same time it's too tenuous to allow a soft landing by parachutes.

Which they've known for a loooonngg time.

Lucky they're only spending taxpayer's money, eh?

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Hapless Network Rail contractors KO broadband in Uxbridge

Ledswinger
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Re: 6 days to fix?

Virgin (I hate them)

Deserving of a hundred upvotes on its own.

Memo to world: No matter how shite LLU servicers are, never, ever sign up for Virginmedia, who are useless, price gouging turds.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Interesting point...

which it (Openreach) might be disinclined to do in the absence of a closely specified and enforced SLA, which of course would have to be paid for.

The incompetence of Ofcom is a worry in enforcing standards of service, but having worked for a range of dedicated infrastructure businesses I can assure you that they are generally very good at this sort of thing, and would have far more focus as a standalone business compared to being a vertically integrated operation. As a bundled infrastructure monopoly, Openreach are a weakly regulated cash cow that BT group merely want to cut costs at.

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Despite best efforts, fewer and fewer women are working in tech

Ledswinger
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Re: The guys have a point

Apply to the foreign office, say you want to take back the middle east and will provide your own robes.

Mmmm. I like the idea of robes. Maybe not mixed with motorbikes, though. And, I was thinking more Arizona desert. Or Atacama desert. Or 99% of Australia.

The Middle East is a bit crowded with multiple groups trying to serially "take back", and I'd rather wait until it has quietened down a big bit.

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Ledswinger
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Re: If you don't know how, we'll teach you. If you don't want to, we'll make you.

But the "politically correct" attempt to force square blocks into round holes is profoundly anti-libertarian and un-British.

Rubbish. Being observational rather than judgemental, we persecuted an assortment of minorities over the centurys, and the British "sense of fair play" is only within the rules that the establishment set. I'd characterise Britain as enlightened, but not in the slightest bit libertarian. Skirting around the evidence of history and socially contentious issues, just look at either drugs, or assisted suicide - Britain is still firmly rooted in Victorian religious paternalism, with no regard to the rights of the individual. Look at the enthusiastic attempts to regulate and ideally stamp out vaping. The zealous control of tobacco and increasingly alcohol, the whole War on Pubs, the ongoing War on Free Speech.

I'd say we're still better off than 95%+ of the world, and equal to almost all other Western democracies, but lets be clear that as an entity, Britain does want to force square pegs into round holes.

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Ledswinger
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Re: The guys have a point

Now I ride a motorcycle in the desert. The sound of the machine and the open vistas with nary a human in view.

If that's a job, I'd like to apply.

Even though he was a Frog, that Jean Paul Sartre was right that hell is other people. He'd have done alright in IT, I reckon. Does backing him on this one make me a French Existentialist? Better add that to my CV for the motorbike in the desert role.

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Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

Ledswinger
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Re: I am astonished

I am astonished that no one has rebooted the beloved Citroen 2CV.

I'm sure they've thought about it. But it would be a REAL challenge to replicate the narrow body and flat sides and still achieve side impact protection standards.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Are you saying the mini revamp was a success?

my current car, a leased VW Tiguan, has front seats so wide - to accommodate contemporary fat bastards, I assume - that they're uncomfortable for my relatively slim self and diminutive wife.

Gorge yourselves until you fit. Simples.

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Britain's fight to get its F-35 aircraft carriers operational turns legal

Ledswinger
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Re: Britannia Rules the......oh

FWIW minus an engineering cockup we're doing pretty good in all fairness. Fleet might be smaller but it's arguably more capable than ever.

If you measure capability by cost and complexity then yes.

In real world terms the RN has too few ships to either project force globally, or do basics like ASW in domestic waters (and the RAF and Army aren't in any better shape strategically). This is then compounded by weapons fit out that a pacifist would approve of.

As was proven about thirty five years ago (and many times before), naval technology is only a partial substitute for having sufficient ships that you can afford to lose some, and all the technology in the world doesn't provide protection against yesterday's weapons, never mind today's.

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Virgin Media boss warns Brexit could hamstring broadband investment

Ledswinger
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Re: "Hamstring investment"

Registered interest in their Cable my Street site and got a we'll be in touch response.

As an unhappy VM customer who has seen the costs go up and up and up, I'd say avoid the horrible, expensive company. The difference between (say) 30 Mb/s and 150 b/s is not really noticeable for most uses, so you end up paying a lot for speed you rarely use.

I've little time for Sky, BT and most LLU resellers, but Virginmedia is one company I'd specifically recommend people stay away from purely on account of the poor value for money.

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Apple's car is driving nowhere

Ledswinger
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On Google's car - with A-pillars that thick, you're going to need help seeing out in front, especially coming up to junctions.

That's the problem with copying the design inspiration so closely.

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Google: We look forward to running non-Intel processors in our cloud

Ledswinger
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Re: AMD?

Which given google's scale surprises me that they wouldn't have some in there

Shouldn't do. Google are a 99% Intel shop. The purpose of this little flurry of news is to try and gain some leeway in (I suspect) another round of framework purchasing negotiations. Until ARM, IBM, AMD have some credible market share in server chips, and the prospect of Google defecting is real, this won't have too much effect on Intel - it's just a long term threat.

And if server makers don't start actually buying those alternatives in volume, then the makers won't develop their technology (like AMD haven't), and the Intel monopoly will continue.

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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
Silver badge

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
Silver badge

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
Silver badge

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
Silver badge
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
Silver badge

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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