* Posts by Ledswinger

5867 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

LG teases us with svelte V30 but refuses to say if it's coming to Blighty

Ledswinger
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Re: So £x100 for a phone. Battery fails, you're f**ked.

when their precious iPhone needs a battery change

Real Apple fans won't keep the phone long enough to need to change the battery.

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Ledswinger
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I'm gonna have to pick up an armful of older v20s and eek them out for years to come :/

I've finally come to terms with my "non-removeable battery rage", and accepted that they've gone, and they aren't coming back. However, when you start HAVING to think that a phone is a two-or-three year life product, it raises the question of why anybody would pay £450-£700 for upper mid range and flagship products. With few makers supporting devices older than two years anyway, thinking of keeping a phone longer than that starts to add extra risks, and you've got all the wear and tear that a well used phone is subject to. I hate to admit it, but maybe the makers were right to abandon user-replaceable batteries.

Because of this, I've just traded out of a decade of Samsung loyalty, and like the commentard above, bought a Xiaomi. Mine's a Redmi Note 4X, and for £150 I'm absolutely delighted. Sure, its not an S8 or iPhone 7 in every detail, but it's looks and feels impressive, an easy match in my book for last year's flagships in terms of the user experience, but YMMV. It's running Android 7, but if there's no updates ever, well, it was £150. If stolen or lost, well, it was £150. And in many ways, its nice having a "minority interest" phone, although that's only true in Europe, since Xiaomi are one of the top four phone brands in China.

Returning to the V30, its interesting to note that LG are trying to differentiate themselves on audio quality and optics. Exactly like the new Nokia brand devices. Sony are likely to do something similar if they haven't already - and suddenly those USPs lose their uniqueness. And with an estimated list price tag of €900, the V30 is just another high spec, short lived device with a (UK street) price likely to be around £700. I want good value, and spending the price of a useable second hand car on a phone....well, I can't do it.

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Police deny Notting Hill Carnival face recog tech led to wrongful arrest

Ledswinger
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Targeting a festival of black culture ...

Whilst I'm no fan of snake-oil technologies like facial recognition, I think you'll find that the police weren't "targeting the festival", but were in fact trying to maintain law and order at an event with a very long and very poor history for criminals trying to take advantage of the event, including selling and using drugs, theft, various assault and disorder offences, criminal damage, possession of weapons, and what looks like a strongly rising trend of sex offences.

Maybe you'd rather Plod weren't their at all?

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Nest cracks out cheaper spin of its thermostat

Ledswinger
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Re: Colour me surprised

That puzzled me too. I can buy that it's more efficient or has more features, but I don't see how it can be easier to use...

They don't mean compared to a simple dumb dial thermostat, they mean something with a credible degree of programmability to it, and to a considerable extent they include the (usually separate) heating timer in this comparison, because with a properly programmeable 'stat it functions as a timer.

I've had a programmeable stat on my wall for two decades now. It works very well, but Nest and the commentators are correct - it looks dull as ditchwater, its user interface is a crime against useability, and it doesn't have any learning, smart or remote management capability. OTOH it has a simple two or three wire connection and can very easily replace a dumb stat without needing extra power or data connections, and therefore cannot be hacked or spew my usage back to some data-hog.

And you can get a non-smart programmeable stat for half or even a quarter the price of the new "cheap" Nest,

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How does Apple chief Tim Cook's package look now? Like $89m

Ledswinger
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Okay, I need to pick you up on this. You're rating innovators over good managers, regardless of the dollar value they bring.

No, you're making that assumption. And you're ignoring the concept of leadership that is very different to managing. Cook probably is a good manager - ticks all the boxes, doesn't scream at the employees, sets realistic targets, all corporate, corporate, corporate. I know that, I work in that world, and I'm PART OF THAT WORLD. I don't innovate, I don't lead, I'm part of a corporate team that manage, and "managers" are effectively the follow up crew who are the stewards of the assets created by innovators, and the organisations fashioned by leaders. I have known and worked with many UK large company directors, and there's barely a single leader amongst them. Some good managers, some bad managers, many mediocre, but few leaders, no innovators. The leaders don't last in the corporate world because the profile of leadership doesn't tick the boxes of the corporate world, and the innovators don't stay because they are actively held back by corporate management.

Structuring a supply chain is corporate. It doesn't need leaders, it needs little real innovation - all about contracts, KPIs, and good organisation. Apple's market success is all about brand, and about product. All the rest, everything that Cook is good at is simply a hygiene factor (there's other markets where supply chain is a critical success factor, but not for Apple - Apple customers will wait, if they have to) . Arguably the current strength of Apple's bottom line is down to the lack of clear, credible product challenge in the high-margin premium segments (for which nobody in Apple can take any credit), and the bit of Apple that can take some credit is the marketing department, who have very capably supported some good yet lacklustre products since SJ shuffled off his mortal coil. Spending more on R&D is hardly a good thing, when there's so little to show for it. I think Cook feels pressured on the innovation side, and has been throwing more at R&D, hoping that something will turn up. That won't work unless Apple can back the mavericks, which I doubt. Remember how Motorola only came out with the V3 because the people doing it kept it secret from the rest of the company? But Motorola wouldn't learn, and thus have been sold on twice (Lenovo appear to be doing a good job, so far). Likewise Nokia, who a decade ago were fighting it out with Apple is THE phone company - where did their R&D investment get them?

So, perhaps you should have some courtesy for commentards who have considerable experience in managing large complex organisations in multiple sectors, and can make a fair and reasoned judgement on the performance of other companies?

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Ledswinger
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Surely they outperformed the bottom two-thirds?

The great thing about numbers is that they are so remarkably flexible. I suppose the unfortunate thing is that Cook is trousering almost $100m for being very ordinary. I'm not a Steve Jobs enthusiast, but he did stuff that kept Apple out in front within its niches, whereas Cook has presided over, not quite mediocrity, but a lack of genuine innovation. Maybe Jobs himself would have had writer's block, and wouldn't have done any different, but the company under Cook appears to be coasting. You can buy a decent phone of broadly similar spec to the latest iPhone 7 for about £150 - and Apple are still charging about £600. Sales are holding up, so why does Cook need to worry? In the short term he's good, Apple customers are mostly habitual, they upgrade religiously to each new model, they pay the Apple tax without complaint. But as the technology commoditises, the alternatives are getting better much faster than the top end offerings from Apple and Samsung. So what's happening here is that Cook is betting his entire company on the inertia of his customers, and upon iTunes.

Is placing that bet really something he should be paid for at all?

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NYPD head of IT doubles down on Windows smartphone idiocy

Ledswinger
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Re: Hold on, if I read this right

Was Microsoft really so desperate they made an offer to not only provide free Windows Phones, but buy 36K competitor phones in two years? Something about that sounds fishy.

I'm not so sure. Go back three years or so, and Slurp were indeed desperate to get traction in the enterprise market with their phones. At that point they still believed they'd be able to carve out a lucrative share of the phone market as the mythical "third ecosystem", but actual sales figures were poor. I suspect they'd have been sufficiently keen to win the NYPD contract that giving the phones away for free was seen as a good deal for Microsoft - and likewise the "buy the next one for you" promise. The $15-25m cost is chump change for MS, and they'd have hoped other police forces and public bodies would follow the NYPD lead, using the logic "if it's good enough for NYPD..."

Of course, what's actually happened is that it's all blown up in Microsoft's face, and all they've got to show for giving away the phones is some very potent brand damage for Windows Phone.

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US Navy develops underwater wireless battery-charging tech

Ledswinger
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Re: "From the headline..going to use chemistry based on sea water to charge itself."

Unfortunately they are single shot and can't be recharged.

In context that wouldn't matter. If the undersea drones that USN are thinking of could be powered by an ultra long-life seawater battery, then it doesn't matter that it periodically has to have the battery switched out - if the frequency of that is much lower than recharging a rechargeable battery.

The use in torpedoes implies relatively short operating life, and high power output if driving the motor, but whether that is endemic to seawater batteries I don't know.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Even in a sea of chemicals...

So you would need something to react with the seawater, then to replenish this.

The USN (and I'm sure others) did research a long time ago on batteries that used seawater as the electrolyte, in which case I'd assume the anode was sacrificed (and the cathode, eventually). Whilst you might assume that people have considered these, I suspect that the equipment suppliers use industrially available solutions based on lithium simply because that's what they can easily buy, and thus the USN have to recharge the things.

Perhaps a chemist could give us a view on the energy density and implied endurance of a seawater battery? If the endurance is a few hours, then there's no benefit over rechargeable sealed batteries, if you could get weeks out of it, then it becomes more interesting.

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We're not the 'world leader' in electric cars, Nissan insists

Ledswinger
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Re: Grammatical pedantry aside...

How are the Government going to claw back the BILLIONS that they will lose on fuel duty?

Road pricing. Search on that term, adding "Department for Transport" and you'll pull up all the made-up feasibility studies they've paid to have done. The great thing for government is that this will require detailed recording of everybody's movements, so loads and loads of data, fantastic snooping opportunities. The "ecall" chip in all cars from next year will mean all new cars have both GPS and mobile data capabilities whether you want them or not, and then despite the assurances that ecall wouldn't have any scope creep, suddenly it will be used to keep tabs on everybody. Any doubts over GPS accuracy will be ignored, and as is usual with public sector data-harvesting, it'll be possible for any numpty to interrogate regardless of real need, the data will be retained forever, and there will be sod all data protection.

Central to the "benefits" of road pricing is the opportunity to charge more at times of congestion, and thus pretend that traffic will magically self-optimise. The reality is that congestion occurs because at those times and locations, most of us have fuck-all choice. It will however, be effective at pricing the poor off the roads - a bit like the "congestion charge" in London.

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Chrome wants to remember which Websites to silence

Ledswinger
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Re: No text

Increasingly I find the BBC carries features that have no accompanying text. So much for accessibility

For the BBC, accessibility falls into the same category as diversity, equality, political bias, paying excessive salaries etc. All areas where the Beeb wring their hands endlessly, and accuse other institutions of failings, but believing these rules don't apply to them.

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Trump-hating Iranian is the new Uber CEO

Ledswinger
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Re: $95m @anothercynic

chances are that the options won't vest, and he won't be any the richer

I'm sure that's correct, but why is he walking away from $95m that if he simply keeps his arse in the big chair at Expedia, is all but banked? The curse of Uber shows that he's taking a very high risk job, in a company that doesn't appear to want to change, and has a huge list of really big problems to address. So even if they promise him $200m, that's just a promise without certainty.

I think I'm out-cynicing you today, because I think the man leapt before he could be pushed. Expedia's stock performance has been very good, but not sector leading, but I'm wondering if he knew something that outsiders don't, or if there's a boardroom coup in the offing (which rarely have much to do with corporate performance).

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SAP point-of-sale systems were totally hackable with $25 kit

Ledswinger
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most of these code issues could be avoided from the start with better planning, code review and paying programmers

The bigger code houses work in two ways - offshore new or maintenance coding to anywhere willing to write code for peanuts, or more commonly they buy other companies, and Borg the code into their ERP suite. Not sure which applied to SAP's POS, although I note SAP bought Canadian POS house Triversity back in 2005.

The problem with the purchased companies is that these were (at the time) mostly smaller, slow growing companies. The code was built to work at a basic level of functionality, often by a cash starved gang of five or six developers operating in a small shed, and shovelled out the door. By the time the big ERP house buys the company, it is a package of customer accounts with high switching cost (ready to be milked) and this sticky tarball of code. The ERP houses (not just SAP, Oracle, Infor, Epicor and others) get rid of all the acquired company staff. Usually quickly, sometimes slowly, but it always happens, and so there's this blob of code, for which some designs and documentation exist, but which soon nobody in the big ERP house understands. They don't know the design logic, the botches and bodges, the workarounds, they don't understand any commenting unless it is written in the English of a ten year old, they don't know WHY the code is the way it is. Factor in that doing proper error and pen-testing is expensive, and that proactively maintaining code is also expensive, and the big ERP house has no incentive to find all the holes and fix all this legacy code, other than the initial makeover to bolt it into the Frankenstein core ERP suite.

Obviously if something nasty crops up in the public domain, big ERP leap into action like a greased mammoth to avoid commercial or legal problems, But that's when they hand it all over to cheap code monkeys in developing countries, and hope for the best. Within months they've solved the original problem, and probably added a whole host more latent problems through low quality code.

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China to identify commentards with real‑name policy

Ledswinger
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Re: Scanning Utility bills.

Anywhere that has requested ID from me have been quite happy to take my printed bills as proof of address.

Home printed or mailed-out, it's quite bizarre that a decade or two after high quality cameras, scanners and printers became cheaply available, flunkies all over the globe take a sheet of paper purporting to be a utility bill as proof of anything.

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'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

Ledswinger
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Re: Positive externality

Iff it reduces congestion, it will benefit other road users, as well as reducing spending on building and widening roads.

If you watch trucks, you'll find they already moving in pods, because the better truck drivers know there's no time saving in overtaking, but lots more stress, and by slipstreaming they reduce their fuel use. You'll see a few tightwad car drivers doing the same - tucking in behind a briskly moving high HGV, and you'll get about 33% better fuel economy, at the risk of more stone chips.

So formalising the existing slipstreaming of trucks adds a lot of complexity, for bugger all real world advantage. Typical of the ideas of climate-saving politicians.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Who pays?

There's no advantage to truck makers - the additional sales price will be offset by additional complexity and warranty costs, possibly plus higher liability insurance. The claimed fuel savings could benefit customers, but would again be offset by the costs of the additional kit, so for the small savings that are likely, neither truck makers nor customers really want the technology enough to pay for it. Note as well that the first truck in the convoy males zero savings. How will that work with multiple operators - the savings will all disappear if you keep rotating the vehicles?

As usual, a stupid idea, picked as a winner by government bureaucrats and idiot politicians.

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Biometrics watchdog breaks cover, slams UK cops over facial recog

Ledswinger
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Business As Usual

Prof Miles might as well save his breath, the police will do what they want, because there is no oversight.

As always, ACPO continue to do their own unaccountable thing, like they have done with the ever-expanding ANPR system. I assume most commentards have seen how the ANPR units have been spreading like a fungus of late, with low profile units mounted on streetlights. Expect facial recognition software upgrades on those as soon as the makers can price it up.

It's to protect the children, you understand?

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Fancy talking to SAP about your indirect licensing concerns? Straw poll says no

Ledswinger
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"and it's clear to me that SAP really want to deal with this in a fair and reasonable way,"

Then don't post AC. Put your name to that bilge, and we can judge you by your previous posting credibility.

IM very HO, SAP may well be a bunch of rapacious bastards, ruthlessly exploiting the stranglehold they have on their customers' business, as the Diageo case might imply. But perhaps I'm wrong.

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IT worker used access privs to steal £1m from Scottish city council

Ledswinger
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"Even if it's only for the last payment, and you immediately dissolve it, that will stop most accountants from looking too closely at the previous payments"

I'm getting a bit worried about you, EveryTime. Is there anything you need to 'fess up?

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Ledswinger
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Seizing his pension?

How does that help the world? On the basis that he's 52 and got five years, he won't work again for the next few years, and because he's got more than four years, the conviction will never become "spent" in disclosure terms.

Realistically, he's never going to work again in anything other than a very junior position with a very forgiving employer. Or more likely, he's never going to work again. Ignoring whether he deserves it, my point is simply that one way or another the tax payer pays for his retirement, so seizing his pension merely means the welfare pot pays for his retirement.

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So what's in the new Windows Insider build? Bug fixes, an AR goof-around, and a font

Ledswinger
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Re: And when ?

Which is why you have to accept that after every update you're going to have to use ShutUp10 from those fine fellows at O&O.

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Fewer than half GCSE computing students got a B or higher this year

Ledswinger
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Re: Isn't C supposed to be average?

Isn't C supposed to be average?

Depends what you're trying to measure. In my view exam scores shouldn't be set to deliver a normal distribution across each year's cohort. In my opinion, that's very poor thinking, from academics who put their own "let's select the top 5%" interests above the practical needs of employers.

The most important thing for employers is that the grades should represent the same thing year on year, that individual "X" has achieved a level of competence "N". If improved teaching (or merely state schools aping any "unfair" practices of independent schools) results in rising average grades or changing distribution, that should be a good thing, not a reason for Daily Fail teeth gnashing. Look at the damage that Smeagol Gove has caused in trying to being back the days of Tom Brown, and everything resting on final exams. Obviously the man's been scarred by being a Scottish Tory, and the intellectual inferiority of having a degree in English.

Now, many will posit that exams ARE easier, and that a B in CompSci isn't worth the paper its written on, but both are separate questions to the distribution of results, and to the fact that improvements SHOULD occur from greater transparency, adoption of best practices, and culling of the weakest teachers.

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Cybersecurity world faces 'chronic shortage' of qualified staff

Ledswinger
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Re: So what is the solution?

PAY THEM WITH MONEY.

Actually, that doesn't solve the problem of a current and worsening skills shortage, all it does is raise your payroll costs. How quickly can we train ITSec specialists, and give them the necessary experience? I'm guessing we're talking years for good people, because the context, underlying technology and business needs have to be understood, and then IT security is a skill set built onto that, and you need experience, not just training.

Employers can stick their heads in the sand, or they can put in place long term training, development and retention programmes, which will inevitably require some tie in. Employees don't like the tie-ins, but otherwise it'll just be musical chairs, with the most disloyal employees paid most, and the higher pay encouraging people to jump ship. In the UK, I'd offer a fully funded degree apprenticeship (perhaps extending to an MSc) so that the employees are heavily incentivised to stay with the company.

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Can North Korean nukes hit US mainland? Maybe. But EMP blast threat is 'highly credible'

Ledswinger
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Re: Where?

No they didn't, spying is not 'innocent',

I think you're missing my meaning here. What the law or international agreements say has no meaning unless people abide by it regardless, or you can enforce it.

The point I was making was that nobody intended to comply with the rules on either side, and if you can get away with it, you do it. Even after the Powers incident, the US continued in the US case with the SR-71. In the era of electronic warfare, all sides aim for false flags and plausible deniability, so this continues unabated.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Why not just plant schrapnel in Satellite orbits?

Now - would the world sanction nuclear retaliation for such a nerdy but essentially non-nuclear attack..? Interesting dilemma.

China and Russia have space programmes and their own satellites. They wouldn't tolerate such a behaviour, and (unlike the US) they have the will to use special forces capability to go in and neutralise Fat Boy Kim and his weapons programme if needed. FBK knows that without Chinese protection, he'll be hanging from a lamp post, so he won't do anything to annoy the Chinese. Chinese sanctions to date are merely for show to the wider international community, and being China there's no way of knowing if they actually enforce the sanctions, so I don't read anything into those for the Norks, other than a message that FBK can annoy the Yanks, but will be clobbered if he threatens or embarrasses Beijing. And rather than nuke the Norks, China would merely want regime change if FBK gets out of hand - that's why FBK assassinated his own brother, and many family members have been executed - FBK thinks that he's less likley to be replaced if he kills all the obvious candidates.

I think that ultimately that's how this pans out, unless FBK quickly backs down. If he doesn't thing escalate, FBK becomes too dangerous to Beijing. So Chinese special forces and ethnic Korean divisions go in and kill all the current senior Nork leaders, at the same time as neutralising the nuclear weapons sites. Then China either introduces a puppet government, or declare Nork territory as a Chinese region. I think on balance I'd expect the absorbtion of Norkea into China, since in international law, possession is 10/10ths of the law if you're hard enough to hold what you've stolen, as Israel or Russia have shown (and many other countries before them). And that would frighten Vietnam into conceding the South China Sea to Beijing.

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Ledswinger
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Re: US Nuclear Retaliation Posture

A few of those [tactical nukes] on strategic sites might just do the trick without angering the Chinese too much.

I think the Chinese would be apoplectic about one of their "allies" on their own border being given the nuclear treatment, and they'd take the chance to do things like perhaps finalize their seizure of the South China Sea "for defensive reasons", possibly do something like arbitrarily extend Chinese territorial waters out to 200 nautical miles, maybe imposing an export embargo on a tiny number of industrial categories that would be intended to make life difficult for the US, enhance the exploitation of expropriated US intellectual property, etc Moreover, if the US toppled Fat Boy Kim, then what becomes of North Korea? China doesn't want reunification under Sork control, because that brings US influence right up to the Chinese border.

You have to then think, how much is Fat Boy Kim's belligerence currently harming China? The answer is not much at all. China don't care about the suffering of the Nork population. They're not threatened by FBK's homemade fireworks. But the Chinese are enjoying the huge difficulty that FBK is causing the USA, and probably want that to continue. And they're equally happy with the technology sharing between the Norks and other third rate powers that atagonise the Yanks (so Syria, Iran, and perhaps Pakistan). For the Chinese Communist Party, FBK is the gift that keeps on giving.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Where?

but that doesn't mean we can just fire a torpedo at it when he first shows up [in international waters, anyway]

Why not? Back in the days of the Cold War proper, before over-the-horizon radar, and when radio capabilities were less advanced, both sides would opportunistically or even deliberately plan-and-execute a shoot down of the other side's aircraft in remote locations to try and glean intelligence on flight, defence capabilities or to examine the wreckage. All in breach of various laws and treaties, but so long as you weren't caught, it didn't count. U2 spying flights in Soviet airspace fell into the same innocent-unless-caught category, until the Ruskies showed they could shoot them down.

In this case, if the USN destroyed a Nork submarine seventy miles of the US coast, publicly nobody would know, nor care. And if wreckage or bodies were found then it could be attributed to an on-board explosion caused by poor equipment. Obviously if the USN sank a Chinese sub in error there'd be some embarrassment, but with the Norks restricted to clanky old 1950's design Kilo class diesel electric subs, I think the USN wouldn't have that problem.

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Paris nightclub red-faced after booze-for-boobs offer exposed

Ledswinger
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Sounds more like a one-for-two offer to me.

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Spotify cleared of exposing kids to self-love innuendo in TV spot

Ledswinger
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Re: Obligatory

Have we really lost our sense of humour to that extent?

Not really; t'was ever thus, if not substantially worse. Remember that moralising, self-righteous, do-gooding old bat, Mary Whitehouse? There have always been a tiny minority of arseholes looking to take offence, intent on telling the rest of us what we should see. Arguably, many are still employed at DCMS, judging by recent legislation, although the degenerate hypocrites of Parliament need to stand up and admit their involvement too.

One positive outcome of these complaints: With such a large audience, we can put a good number on the proportion of cardigan-wearing, time-on-their-hands busybodies. Assuming both complaint sets don't overlap, one complaint per household, average 2.4 viewers per household, all "outraged" households have similarly outraged viewers, I calculate that we're talking about 0.003% of the population.

That's less than 1,800 people nationally. I suggest we round them up at gunpoint and expose them to whatever the BBFC consider to be the worst, filthiest, most degenerate film they've ever had to sit through. On looping repeat.

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US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

Ledswinger
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I wonder if Sub Lt Phillips, was on secondment to the American navy.

Or maybe that bloke who ran Astute aground on Skye? Or the herbert who steered Ambush into a merchant ship in the Med? Or the chappy who directed Vanguard into the French Triomphant? Or the one who drove Superb into the sea bed of the Red Sea?

Our much vaunted navy seem to feature disproportionately in the list of reported sub accidents. Obviously the non-Western operators probably keep as much quiet as possible, so we're not comparing to them, but Turkey, Israel, Japan and India all operate sub fleets larger than the RN. I can't be bothered to see if this is true of surface vessels. Any view, better informed commentards?

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Bizzby balls-up: Handyman app spams customer's details to world+dog

Ledswinger
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Re: Don't look behind the curtain!!

"Someone may want back what's left of their VC funds pretty soon."

Looking at Companies House data, appears they'd burned about £4.5m by the end of June last year, at a rate of about £1m a year. So assuming they're now at around £6m of cash frittered, at a rate of 1.3 that's $8m gone up in smoke.

A VC and his money are soon parted, it would seem.

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UK.gov to treat online abuse as seriously as IRL hate crime

Ledswinger
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Re: Indie

Croeso i Gymru - please bring a bulging wallet.

Visitors would, if the Welsh would try to make it attractive. Spent a couple of weeks in your neck of the woods recently, and over time have spent several cumulative years on holiday there. Facilities are poor, hospitality is weak, communications dreadful, food even worse. And the locals want people to come and spend money there?

A complete Cardigan bay highway (with esturial bridges) would not only dramatically improve the Welsh transport system., but also be a tourist-attracting, world class drive. The shipping-free Cardigan bay could be a watersports mecca, if there were sufficient marinas and the facilities to serve them. The clean waters and excellent livestock conditions give some of the best food opportunities in the world - but really good, friendly restaurants are rare as hen's teeth. Wales could have capitalised on up-market second homes and holiday cottages - but the extremist arm of the Welsh nationalists saw that off, and now all you've got is thousands of acres of low-spending caravan parks. Despite the opportunity for hotels with incredible cuisine and beautiful views, these remain few and far between. With weather that is inherently given to rain, where's the good quality indoor attractions? Where's the modern resort parks (eg Center Parcs - not everyone's cup of tea, but a good way of laundering middle class cash into the local economy)? Look at the prevalence of (dreadful, dreadful quality) chip shops, greasy spoon cafes, third rate B&Bs, vast caravan parks, cheap tat amusement arcades, really poor communications, utter dumps like Machynlleth, Towyn and Dolgellau.

Wales caters for the market segment who think that Marbella is up market and costly. It doesn't need to be like that, but absent any vision by the people "leading" Wales, nothing will change.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Indie

"Be nice to see some prosecutions of Putin's trolls and the more rabidly "I'm-not-a-racist-but" Brexiteers"

What about the xenophobic elements of Plaid Cymru?

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LG schtum over whether Europeans can get the powerhouse phablet V30

Ledswinger
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Re: Seems like it's LG's problem, not Europe's

Any manufacturer half-on-the ball

...and ABSOLUTELY confident they have NO issues at all, nor any likely in the next few months....

You'll have noticed how when the wolves were savaging the carcass of VW over diesel emissions fraud, none of the other makers sought to take advantage. There's a small range of very good reasons why they didn't.

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Energy firm slapped with £50k fine for making 1.5 million nuisance calls

Ledswinger
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Re: You have to question their intelligence...

If someone has gone to the trouble of registering with the TPS, what are the chances a cold call will result in a sale?

Logically that ought to be true, but the fact that these companies continue to do it says otherwise.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Spawn of Satan

No, but OFCOM will.

And therein lies the problem. Even amongst the tiny subset of people who'd like to complain, a tinier still subset know who to direct the complaint to. The regulators don't work well enough to provide automatic cross referrals to the responsible regulator when a complaint comes in to TPS, Ofcom, ICO, or whoever. And its the same in enforcement, that when a regulator issues a fine to a fly-by-night outfit, they don't automatically refer the director's behaviour to the Disclosure & Barring Service (to ban dodgy directors) and the Insolvency Service (to pursue any unpaid debts or fine through individuals or related companies).

We have in place a regulatory system of comprehensive coverage and immense powers, but because it is fragmented and the individual regulators and enforcers are incapable of working seamlessly with each other, the outcomes are far less successful than they might otherwise be.

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Elon Musk among 116 AI types calling on UN to nobble robo-weapons before they go all Skynet

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Hey reg

I admit it, we all want Teslas

Really? Really, really?

I want an EV when a proper car maker is building good quality EVs, when they don't cost an arm and a leg to insure, when spare parts and crash repairs are easily sorted, when they have 400+ mile range, and when the electricity system can support the charging demand. So that's about 2027, by my reckoning.

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Ledswinger
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Re: What about

Do you have any citations for these?

I think our AC friend has read articles about "proof of concept" espionage ideas (I've seen similar) but I'm wholly unconvinced that these could ever work outside the highly controlled conditions of a lab.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Nice in theory

"Or the UK or France"

Do you think that either the UK or France have the political will, the technological prowess, the desperate militaristic ambition, or the considerable sums of money to develop their own AI weapons systems?

I don't.

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Q: How many drones are we bombing ISIS with? A: That's secret, mmkay

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Interesting stuff

What are you, a Geneva Convention denier?

Not at all. But in reality the Geneva convention is a piece of paper that means little. It sometimes protected our PoWs in WW2, but there were many breaches. And not just on the Axis side.

By modern standards, WW2 carpet bombing would be a crime. Arguably, WW1 starvation strategies would be a war crime. There's plenty of weapons and tactics in all historic wars that twatty liberals now consider a "war crime". But that's because they don't understand war. War is about violence, brutality, death, reprisal, vengeance, destruction. Lawyers and academics don't get that.

""Forth, and fear no darkness. Arise, arise Riders of Théoden! Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered. A sword day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now! Ride now! Ride! Ride for ruin, and the world’s ending! Death! Death! Death! Forth Eorlingas! "

That's what war is about. Kill, or be killed, and fuck collateral damage.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Interesting stuff

With a manned aircraft there's a lot less oversight from lawyers, senior officers, etc

As it should be. And also with drones. If retard politicians want to have either the most senor officers press the button (or indeed lawyers), then lets take away the drone operators, we needn't have death-by- committee-of-uninvolved-fuckwits, decide whether brasshats or lawyers are in charge, then one person again does the deed.

I'm not sure how we ended up with the mess we have now of "battlefield lawyers" (who would shit their pants if actually asked to fight for real) but it seems the politicians, lawyers and bureaucrats don't understand war, and think that it is somehow codified, and it follows or should follow rules.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Interesting stuff

What I don't get it why does it matter?

I think you'll find that this does matter to certain parts of the political spectrum, specifically the liberal and extreme left. Many of the liberal left object to the idea of "death by videogame" (no, I don't follow their arguments either, but that's a view some hold and express). The extreme left object to us conducting wars full stop, and complaining about drones is simply an opportunity for cheap publicity.

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So, Nokia. What makes you think the world wants your phones?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Realism without differentiation

On the other hand, what really differentiates any of these phones? The article implies that its different "because its a Nokia", but what else? Zeiss optics are a nice marketing badge, but really its the camera module as a whole that counts, and Sony camera modules could give Nokia/Zeiss a damn run for their money. Not having a bloaty skin, yes, but Motorola and Nexus devices have been doing that for years, so still no difference. Better audio is probably irrelevant to most buyers.

And apart from that, we've got an identikit sealed handset. One thing you could say about old Nokia handsets, they lasted well. With a sealed battery this will be a two year life device (Sound effect: scratched record, of Ledswinger going on and on and on about sealed bloody batteries). Now, many if not most people don't care about my pet peeve, but if not the battery, shouldn't Nokia have some other USP? Part of the old Nokia failing was that they thought that being Nokia on its own was enough, and its looking like they've carried this over.

Open season: What would others really like to have seen as a differentiatior to the established mass of identikit mid-range Androids?

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FYI: Web ad fraud looks really bad. Like, really, really bad. Bigly bad

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Why am I not surprised?

Part of the price of every products rice is advertising,so see the ad or not, we are all being affected

Yes, but you have some choice to buy products from intensive advertisers, or from minimal advertisers. Take groceries - you could shop at Aldi (who a fairly modest amount of advertising compared to their sales), or you could shop at Tesco or Asda, both of whom are big advertisers in their own right, but then around half Tesco and Asda's sales are brand items, each backed by intensive brand advertising.

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Nokia's comeback is on: The flagship 8 emerges

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Same old, same old

Plenty of companies will replace a battery with a genuine OEM replacement for a very reasonable fee.

On a premium device that sort of deal is probably good value, although most owners will be hankering for the newest shiney by then anyway. But if you're buying a non-premium phone as a "keeper", why would you want to pay £40 to replace a £10 battery every couple of years? That rather undermines the value credentials in my book, although YMMV.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Same old, same old

Catering to the overwhelming majority of the market who hugely prefer the longer life, stronger construction and thinner profile of a sealed battery hardly makes someone a twat.

No? There's any number of credible, mid range phones with all the capabilities of Nokia's new handsets. "Me too" has never been a path to profit, so where's the differentiation? How do these fundamentally differ from the latest Moto handsets, or a legion of Chinese competitors? The Zeiss name means a lot to people who are interested in optics, but to the wider smartphone buying world, it means absolutely nothing. So come on then, where's Nokia's USP?

Oooh, and "longer life"? WTF are you on? A sealed battery device with a commodity battery has a circa 30 month lifespan. If it has an absolute premium battery (unlikely in the Android market) you might get 36 months, but to tout "longer life" as an advantage of a sealed handset.... well.

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Ledswinger
Silver badge

Same old, same old

"cheaper-than-flagship is an unforgiving place to be"

Particularly when "Nokia" decide to have the now de rigeur sealed battery. Twats. As a sub-premium buyer, I'm value conscious. A device I have to chuck away after two years because the battery has faded isn't good value, particularly if I've paid a few bob more for the camera and DAC.

The new Nokia phones tick all the boxes of my requirements (decent smartphone, screen quality, decent camera, good audio)....and then they throw it all way with a sealed in battery to save 1mm on the thickness.

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She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Worth it? @ Voyna i Mor

Re-reading my last post, it comes across as a whole lot ruder and far more patronising than intended. A bit of gentle ribbing was intended, but that was all.

Sorry mate!

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Ledswinger
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"Well the USN managed more aircraft over Afghan every day than the RAF had in country, so it certainly helped."

Helped what? The Taliban are resurgent, there is no genuine functioning Afghan civil infrastructure, and civilian casualties are at a 16 year high. Bombing unstable third world shit holes clearly produces unstable third world shit holes. And in that case, what does it matter how many jet jockeys are polishing their balls in the skies above?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Worth it?

For about 40 minutes at which point the ICBMs would make the whole thing rather irrelevant.

I'm sorry, my Welsh compatriot, but you clearly understand nothing of the principles of deterrence.If I can offer you a cheap and vaguely adequate precis:

Nobody launches ICBM in the first instance, and nobody goes nuclear over (eg) the sinking of a single naval vessel. So, starting from any small attack, anybody with nuclear pretensions need to be able to escalate at that (and every subsequent) level, so that they win each round unless the enemy escalate. If you can in principle keep that going until the prospect is Armageddon, then no sane enemy will attack as there's no victory.

To avoid the end of the world, we need to have an escalating tactical response at each level. Imagine a conflict with France. We start off with words. Then we accidentally sink a French trawler. They sink a British fisheries vessel. We torpedo a French corvette. They take out one of our frigates, we attack their carrier, they attack ours, and so forth...but the point of deterrence is that by having the weapons to do so, each "next step" is a feasible response.

That's why your comment about stopping buying arms from the US is nonsense, because it only through the possession of the escalatory weaponry that possession of a nuclear capability make sense. Buying the F35B is without doubt a waste of money as any form of tactical asset - but having invoked the ICBM argument you've shown the single reason why it could make some sense. As it happens, the UK is currently devoid of an important military asset in tactical nuclear weapons - the sort of thing to take out a tank division or a naval battlegroup. But with only one weak link in the chain, would you take the chance of starting a war with the UK?

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