* Posts by Ledswinger

5867 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Genuine question

The Harrier had to ditch stores, the F-35B won't need to.

That's true. But on the downside, after each F-35B landing, the carrier needs to ditch its warped deck.

2
3
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Genuine question

in fact there's only about one instance of this happening when...

SkippyBing, don't you fell outnumbered here? There's a few people know their facts, history, have relevant experience (well, "few"="one", perhaps), and then there's the rest of the Commentariat, who if I'm honest aren't doing themselves proud today?

2
0

Revealed: The secret CEO texts that tell the tale of Uber-Waymo's self-driving tech spat

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Ottomotto Zero to Self Driving in 6 Months

Plus, that self driving truck stunt is starting to stink of mechanical turk. Apparently no one cares

Well, I suspect that after an initial puff of enthusiasm ("Great, now more wages, no more unions") the customers realise that the technology is decades away from being capable of doing the required job, even then it will only supplant fairly low paid employees, and until you can automate various other steps, particularly the receiving logistics, you can't run the truck for any longer operating hours.

1
0

Blighty’s beloved Big Ben bell ends, may break Brexit bargain

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"Ugly, decrepit, poorly built Victorian Gothic nightmare"...But a unique example of its kind. Which is the prime criteria for listing..

All part of the British obsession with preserving old shit, quite a bit of which should be demolished, and a good chunk of which is preserved in a way that loses 99% of the very essence of the original building. The listing and "preservation" of Battersea power station is a particularly pointless example - all they've done is preserve four walls and four chimneys as a shell for rich twats London luxury flats and swanky offices for tax dodging US companies Meanwhile the National Trust operate a vast fleet of identikit listed country houses, there's some gems, but many are barely distinguisable from each other.

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Why not build a new purpose built Parliament building somewhere in the north Midlands

the garden bridge is toast now....still no news who got the £48 million quid though...

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/apr/28/garden-bridge-dead-38m-public-money-repaid-boris-johnson

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Why not build a new purpose built Parliament building somewhere in the north Midlands

I'll have you know that there are few more shitty places in the UK than the great sprawl of the metropolis, and Westminster is its excremental centre of gravity

But not as far as politicians and senior civil servants are concerned. Being sent to somewhere shitty, impoverished, ugly, crime infested and scruffy such as Nottingham is not the main part of the punishment, it is the remoteness and the fact that the chosen dump is not the epicentre of everything in the UK.

Another possible solution, although you'd have to move: Build a hundred foot high wall round the M25, and then overnight pour concrete in until you get a level top.

2
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Why not build a new purpose built Parliament building somewhere in the north Midlands

Because the bastards wouldn't stay there, they'd vote for a big fat budget to build a new gin palace somewhere expensive in London. Look at the GLC/GLA for the example.

But I do like the idea of the vermin of parliament being consigned to some sh1t hole like Stoke, Derby, or Shittingham.

3
2
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: It's 2017

Given that it is due to 'elf 'n' safety red tape

Is it really? I'd suggest that the airside oiks at Heathrow have to endure far louder and more continuous noise. But maybe that's because they use new fangled ear defender wotsits?

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

And it's a listed building and world heritage site

Fuck knows why. Ugly, decrepit, poorly built Victorian Gothic nightmare, utterly unsuited to any purpose of government. At least it's such a mess that it detracts from the world class lack of imagination, talent and style that is Portcullis House next door.

I'd demolish the vile monstrosity, build something stylish and fit for purpose, and have only the clock and bells reinstated. Then again, why pander to the arseholes of parliament? Sell the Palace of Westminster to a US megabucks hotel and casino group (should get at least ten billion quid for it), and make Parliament meet in converted warehouse in Smethwick. Or let the inmates out of a Victorian jail, and make them meet there (Strangeways, perhaps).

13
5

HP Inc vows: We're not walking away from Continuum

Ledswinger
Silver badge
Pint

Re: "More evidence @ Pascal Monett

Just evidence that Microsoft is a tired behemoth...

That post was a superb piece of wordcraft, well done sir!

3
1

Police camera inaction? Civil liberties group questions forces' £23m body-cam spend

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Could save money ?

Oddly enough, going after serious and organised crime is more beneficial to society than arresting the druggies in the bearpit or moving them on.

Whilst I'd agree with the prioritisation, the simple reality is that there's little benefit to society of locking up a drug importer or distributor, because there's plenty of demand. So locking up one local drug baron achieves nothing, somebody else immediately steps in to take his place. The only logical solution is to legalise and regulate the supply of drugs, so that there's not the profits to attract serious organised criminals. Use pharmaceutical supply chains, regulate the hell out of the recreational drug business. That won't stop the harm of excess drug use, but if the addicts only have to commit one third of the number of burglaries to fund their addiction because the prices are much lower, then society wins. And by regulating the supply properly it would be possible to identify patterns of usage, who's utterly addicted, who's a casual user, who's moving onto harder drugs etc, and target some intervention. Free needles and syringes included with every pack of whatever, should reduce blood transmitted diseases.

We can easily fix the drug problem, and we could similarly easily reduce a lot of low level "habit-funding" crime. Since the drugs barons are inherently violent, criminal bastards, they'll look for alternative means of making money, and the police will have to follow them and stamp out those new "markets".

10
0

US prosecutors demand data to unmask every visitor to anti-Trump protest website

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I did my bit. Anyone else?

Maybe we can get it to a billion IP addresses?

IP addresses with no other information mean nothing, so I'd expect there to be time stamps and activity logging. Even the dumbest of NSA analysts would be able to sort the data and ignore everything after a given time. Ringleaders will not be the latecomers.

But you might find that they pass the foreign IP addresses of shit-stirring latecomers onto US immigration, in case you one day choose to visit The Land Formerly Known As The Land of the Free. And if you're living in a Five Spies country, your domestic security services will happily identify you to the Yanks.

11
0

Nosey ex-NHS staffer slapped with fine for illegally peeking at medical records

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: "The law is clear and the consequences of breaking it can be severe.”

Thirty quid a name plus legal costs means it isn't even severe for Jo Public to do it.

Whilst not wishing to minimise the severity of the crime, I suspect that £1,700 quid will sting the culprit quite a bit. A midwifery assistant will be on what, as a Band 3, £18k a year, so that's about a month and halfs take-home. As a proportion of disposal income it'll be a whole lot higher. And I would imagine that a criminal record and local publicity means she'll struggle to find a job for a few years yet (and possibly never in the NHS, depending on the role).

For somebody with (I assume) no previous convictions, this is a very significant penalty.

15
0

UK industry mouthpiece wants 'near-universal' broadband speeds of 30Mbps by 2020

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Use cases please?

>BT has a large pension scheme to service. "BT's problem, not mine."

If you're not a UK taxpayer, and not a customer of any of BT's assets that's true.

Otherwise it IS your problem, and a c£10 billion problem. The politicians agreed to backstop BT's pension deficit if BT went bust, in return for which BT agreed to probably not go bust, subject to some soft regulation in the Openreach "separation" from BT. That's why BT get soft treatment, why FTTP is a pipe dream for most, and why Ofcom couldn't do anything about it even if they had any balls.

So (assuming you're a UK taxpayer) your share is around £330. If you and every taxpayer pony up just over three hundred smackers, then Ofcom will be able to whack BT with impunity. C'mon, lets see the colour of your money.

4
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Use cases please?

A reliable FTTC that delivers 50Mb to everyone, with an extra cost option of FTTP for those who need more, should last us for quite a while.

Yes, but its a while until 2025 or 2030. Since the TechUK request is remarkable only for its low ambition, I presume you're railing against independent networks wanting to roll out FTTP by 2026? I'd agree most people don't need 1 Gbps now, and won't need it by 2026, but if there's one thing that IT history tells us is that you can never have enough speed or storage - and whilst some might say we could get to that, the advent of 4k suggests that a surplus of network speed is perhaps a decade away.

We'll continue to struggle if we rely on last mile copper, it is only logical to aim for FTTP capable of 1 Gbps, accepting that most users won't need that, and won't pay for the premium service either. Virginmedia (how I hate thee..) have a network claiming up to 200Mbps, but what tiny proportion of their customers actually pay for that? In the case of national FTTP roll out, you'd see tiered commercial offerings, with most people on the lower rungs of say 100 or 200 Mbps. If all they do is send a few emails, does that matter? Note as well that this generation of oldsters didn't grow up with IT and its potential. We're the next generation of retirees, and I don't know about you, but I don't intend to sit in an armchair, sucking a Werther's Original watching terrestrial repeats of "Cash in the Attic".

7
0

Brit firms warned over hidden costs of wiping data squeaky clean before privacy rules hit

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: More GDPR FUD

"the controller, taking account of available technology and the cost of implementation, shall take reasonable steps..."

Well, there's the cop out. If the technical difficulty and cost of implementation is judged by the organisation to be too great, then they can decide not to delete all or some personal data, and claim to be compliant with GDPR. Until (if ever) a test case reaches the courts, or the law if changed to be clearer, then there will be no clear definition of what exactly this phrase means, and what level of cost or technical difficulty will be a threshold.

5
0

Firmware update blunder bricks hundreds of home 'smart' locks

Ledswinger
Silver badge
Devil

Bwahahhahaaaa!

See above.

0
0

World's largest private submarine in mystery sink accident

Ledswinger
Silver badge

What's sixze got to do with it?

Article reads that the crushing depth is somehow less of a problem for a bigger vessel. I'd have thought that if anything, the relationship would be inverse. And the Trieste seems to back my case....

31
0

Good Lord: Former UK spy boss backs crypto

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Give that man a cookie

the Tories would surely not take a risk on having a leader with such a thin majority

What leads you to that conclusion? The Parliamentary Conservative party has decades of world class experience in selecting the least likeable, least capable leaders from short lists that weren't burgeoning with talent in the first place.

Ignoring the various political and apolitical leanings of my fellow commentards, imagine you wanted a good, Conservative prime minister (insert your own tired, snarky New Statesman joke here), who would you select to replace May? The woman's an unpopular failure, but look at the shower of piss that are on the Tory front bench?

19
0

Don't buy Microsoft Surface gear: 25% will break after 2 years, says Consumer Reports

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Surface is shit, quelle surprise

The users love the devices and they're really really reliable and the business is planning to roll them out as the standard device

Great. I presume you work for a cash rich business able to afford to replace these expensive devices when the li-ion battery capacity fades out? The businesses I've worked for have gone to four year and even five year replacement cycles because the hardware capability is fine, and with conventional laptops replacing a faded battery is a task that the user can do themselves.

Some users will work in a way that puts minimal strain on the battery, and those devices may be OK for five years. Others cook their batteries in a matter of months. And tfor those who can't afford throwaway computing hat's a problem, because the Surface Pro is a disposable computer, but at the price of a "keeper". Even if Microsoft didn't want the weight and complexity of a robust user-changeable battery, they could have made it lightweight and quickly replaceable by a competent service engineer (or capable tech savvy user) with a screwdriver. Like the compact but very effective Chromebook I'm using now. Officially its a sealed unit, but I could replace the battery using only a screwdriver in about ten minutes.

Give it two or three years and you'll be wanting to start offloading these corporate Surface Pros - lets see how much demand their is from the people currently paying good money for ex-corporate laptops. I can't see anybody wanting to buy a three year old Surface Pro.

3
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I could go postal!

The question is.... Do they deserve it?

Yes

47
3

TalkTalk fined £100k for exposing personal sensitive info

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Really!

The regulator needs to get a grip and fine about £200 per customer MINIMUM.

And paid to those affected, instead of being extra income for the Chancellor to waste.

3
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: No surprise

And if they appear at mine I'll explain loudly and at length...

Why? The herbert trying to sign you is just a temporary contractor trying to earn a modestly honest dollar. They don't know (or care) about Talk Talk's transgressions in past years. I suggest we leave the poor blighters alone.

If you want to have it out with Talk Talk, then do it on their official Twitter and Facebook feeds, and then everybody else can enjoy it, and it'll be in Talk Talk's face.

3
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

"the 70+yr old Father in law was a victim of this."

And that story is the sort of horrible, exploitative instance that the law (courtesy, Retards of Parliament) and the ICO aren't taking account of when calculating the fines On its own, I'd have fined Talk Talk £100k for this example alone (and forced them to pay it to your dad).

If I get some sub-continental crook phone me and try this on, I'd have some suitably rude verbiage back and hang up - that's a £10 fine per instance. But intimidating and frightening the vulnerable, that deserves not only a HUGE fine for Talk Talk, but also their CEO and chairman being given a ceremonial kick in the balls by an international rugby forward.

12
0

Jocks' USO block shock: BT's 10Mbps proposals risk 'rural monopoly'

Ledswinger
Silver badge

I wonder if Scottish L/As offered to put any money into the pot to provide services there, or did they sit back and wait for someone else to pay up.

A quick search will turn up a House of Commons library paper on the roll out of high speed broadband, and that lists who's put in what, but ICBA to read it on your behalf.

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

They can't be trusted. Regulate them to compliance.

That could work, but even with specific targets and regulation, the money has to come from somewhere. Where do you suggest a ballpark figure of £2bn for providing universal high speed broadband in Scotland would come from?

That's about £770 per working adult in Scotland (or about £3,900 per working adult in the rural areas that presumably would benefit). Mind you, there's 120,000 unemployed Scots, I've an idea that could use every last one of them....

3
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Not a problem

telecoms is an area that is reserved to the Westminster parliament

Doesn't have to stay that way. Water regulation is already different on either side of the border. Scotland has its own environmental regulator. Some energy policy is now devolved, even though there's a single GB regulator, charity and housing regulation is separate, I daresay there's others if you look. And as working example, Norniron do their own thing in most areas of regulation.

With May down to a coalition majority of one seat in the Commons, a modest amount of political horse trading could deliver quite a lot to anybody so minded. I suspect, though, that the SNP don't really have a scooby about what they'd do with telecoms (other than a nascent desire to renationalise everything), and this moaning is largely opportunist moaning from the comfortable position of having neither a better alternative, nor any actual responsibility.

6
2
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Not a problem

Instead of whining that this would entrench BT's position, just accept it, and deal with it like other monopolies - effective regulation. I can see that they might be underwhelmed by Ofcom, but the answer to that (absent any progress by the slugs of DCLG) is to have their own tame Scottish regulator, Scofcom, I assume.

3
10

DXC Franken-firm 'on track' to slash $1bn with deeper 'synergies' ahead

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: And those £18k grads are replacing those with 5+ years expereince

Pr(o)bally best just become a plumber, more lucrative :)

It would be. But given the endless crap treatment of junior and mid IT and process staff by large outsourcers, the unpleasant culture of large US firms, and their burning desire to move everything offshore, a plumber will have a lot more control over their own destiny, and far greater job satisfaction than working for some crapola outfit like DXC, IBM or the others.

Would you encourage your kids to get a degree (and £50k of debt), and then go and work for the soul-eaters of IT outsourcing?

1
0

So you're thinking about becoming an illegal hacker – what's your business plan?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Business model

A couple more complications for the budding evil hacker:

a) An exit strategy - specifically, when you're going to say, "that's enough, I've made sufficient, I think I've got away with it, now I'll destroy all the evidence I can, and give up my life of crime and become a mysteriously wealthy but law abiding citizen". This is a key failing for all types of criminal, they never know when to give up, and keep going until they get caught.

b) Money laundering capabilities. Easier said than done, and Bitcoin and other blockchain currencies are not as anonymous as Kadar and the masses may think. And even if you can anonymously collect your "earnings", how do you hide and then spend that sort of money without appearing on the Fed's radar?

21
0

Manchester firm shut down for pretending to be Google

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The lads from Lagos..

They will just start again under a new name

In the short term perhaps. But the Insolvency Service aren't a toothless tiger like Ofcom, they do investigate, they happily disqualify crooked directors (circa 600 so far this year). And once disqualified, the crooks can't be a director, can't be involved with forming companies, running them, or undertaking marketing. Breach the terms of a ban, and its chokey time. The INsolvency Service have their own criminal investigation team.

It's a real pity that the ICO don't work more closely with the Insolvency Service, because it seems like they deal with too many fraudsters who evade the penatlies of the ICO. Setting the Insolvency Service on these people would be a really good idea.

6
0

IBM CIO leaves for AWS – and Big Blue flings sueball to stop him

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Well, maybe they should have done more to keep Smith at IBM?

I'd imagine as a very senior manager he was handsomely rewarded, far more so than the poor cannon fodder that Ginny keeps firing. And for once, I think I'm with IBM (first time ever!) in that long "non-compete" clauses are part of the game for senior executives. If he wanted the salary, perks and the power, then he chose to sign up and play by their rules.

Complaining after the event that he doesn't think the rules should apply to him is just pathetic - if he didn't want to comply, he shouldn't have taken the role with IBM, or he should have chosen more wisely for his next career move.

The big question is this, though: What skills would somebody senior from the struggling, screwed up mess that is IBM be able to bring to AWS? AWS virtually wrote the manual on cloud, and its a shame that they aren't competent to train and develop their own talent. Moreover, anybody promising who has just been passed over will likely move on in a game of musical chairs, and AWS will have the instability from bringing in somebody that the remaining AWS staffers have zero confidence or trust in. Looking at IBM's performance, they're probably right.

11
0

Smart streetlight bods Telensa nearly double full-year revenues

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: CRI

Plus leds have at least double the effective lumens per watt.

Not if you want a claimed 100,000 hour operating life and a reasonable warranty they don't.

Discharge lamps are around 100 lumens per watt, so are most LED street light arrays. In the lab there's LEDs already doing 300+ lumens per watt, but those are nowhere near production yet for most applications. If you look at consumer grade devices like LED GU10s, you'll be lucky to find something achieving 90 lumens per watt, with most around half that.

Your claim about better colour rendering allowing reduced lumens might be technically true, but isn't shown in highway lighting practice - the 30W to 22W benefit of LED over gas discharge has nothing to do with the colour, but is because most old sodium fittings were designed with all the skill of fitting a candle in a pie tray, and spilled a quarter of their light skywards. The LED luminaires are generally much better designed to place the light where the designers think that it is needed, and to achieve the same light coverage on the road surface (to meet the relevant British Standard) they avoid wasting light upwards.

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Why?

the savings to be made in the decades-long lifespan of the controllers are highly likely to vastly out-weigh the purchase, installation and operating costs, even taking a conservative view of energy cost increases.

That's a maker's claim, but if you apply any sensible discount rate the business case becomes very dubious. Rising electricity costs are already a social problem, so the expectations of another two decades of increases to placate Greenpeace seem unwise, although I'd agree we'll see continued rises for the next few years. I'd also suggest that the "decades-long lifespan" is unlikely to be realised in the surprisingly hostile operating environment of the typical streetlamp. There's always a few manufacturing or installation faults, and then you've got accidental damage attrition (road accidents, construction and delivery vehicle damage, vandalism, natural hazards like snail infestations, water ingress, very high operating temperature requirements etc etc. The luminaire & LED assembly will get twenty years use at best before the light output degrades below British Standards for highways lighting.

Don't get me wrong, I like LED lighting, its a huge improvement on most gas discharge lamps and is the way to go. But the efficiency and life of the best gas discharge lamps gives LED a run for its money, "dimming and trimming" can be done on modern gas discharge lamps, the spectrum of the best gas discharge lamps is often better than LED. And the other thing is that if local authorities wait a few years, they'll have 300 lumens per watt units available, as opposed to the typical 100-125 lumens per watt of current market offerings. The early adopters of LED streetlights won't see much return other than pioneering the market for others, although that's true of many emerging technologies.

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Why?

I thought that the idea of LED streetlights was that using LED saved a shed load of money.

I had a look at this in relation to a business my employers owned. The savings are pretty marginal. Taking the traditional low pressure sodium deep orange lights used on side roads as an example, the old sodium lamps have a spec of 30 watts. Replacing them with an LED of not dissimilar luminous efficiency but better design will use 22 watts. Streelights are run for an average of about 4,000 hours a year, so at say 10p per kWh, the LED will save 32 kWh a year and £3.20 in energy bills. Now consider that the cost of replacing the post-head fitting and control gear (within the column usually) is about £250 a pop if you can avoid replacing the column, and the economics of LED streetlighting are poor. Admittedly you don't need to replace the lamps every 10,000 hours of running, but you can see the maths is not ideal even including the replacement cost - you still need to inspect LED lamps for function and accident or vandalism damage.

The next step should be to add solar panels to each lamppost plus a battery and then the council can say goodbye to mains leccy costs.

No, on so many levels of technology, practicality and cost. There's working products available off the shelf and have been for several years now, but the costs are high relative to the benefits, and in many urban areas you can't guarantee the panel will see enough sun. In rural Botswana where the grid is unreliable, power connections may not be available, and solar availability is high, maybe. In British towns and cities, mere eco-bling at the taxpayers expense.

5
0

Watch this nanochip reprogram cells to fix damaged body tissue

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I want a tail,

" I want a tail, a good prehensile tail like a spider monkey."

An admirable ambition. But on a sartorial note, how would you dress? Would the tail be clothed or nude? And if clothed, would it be shoved unceremoniously down a trouser leg (which might create a need for different sized trouser legs), or would you have a sleeve over the tail?

Of course, if you wanted the sort of tail that'll support your weight, and allow you to swing from branches, then it's going to be big and muscular, so we'd be talking more like a three legged pair of trousers with one leg shorter than the others. The AC wanting to endow his front trouser department might want to think on some of these style matters, too.

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Human clinical trials are planned for next year

I volunteer! Me! Me! Over here! Me! So long as they can grow me a new set of teeth, to replace the crappy, crumbling, misaligned mess I've got now.

Obviously a diet heavy in pork scratchings and Thornton's Special Toffee hasn't been ideal for my gnashers, but if I can just grow a fresh set, then I'll be able to live on those two products (and beer).

8
0

Tech giants warp eco standards to greenwash electronics, rake in cash

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Repair != Green

Maybe running out of landfill space?

All of the millions of tonnes of minerals used in infrastructure maintenance and construction are dug out of the ground, so there's no shortage of holes to fill, other than in places where they either don't mine the aggregates, or where they fill with water like the Netherlands. There's some minor local landfill shortages (eg South East of England), but even there there's another option, landrise. Which is where you keep on filling a landfill vertically, until you have a small hill. No different to the spoil heaps left by mining, except that these new ones are to much tighter environmental standards. A good example is the Packington landfill near Birmingham airport. That;s gone from a gravel pit to a 250 foot hill. Soon it'll be grassed over, and be returned to nature or leisure use, whilst still producing methane for power generation for the ext couple of decades as the site is now closed other than for the reinstatement.

would you really want your new home or childs school built on one - or on a nuclear waste dumping ground

No, but that's a weak and spurious argument. The total land area of landfills and nuclear waste sites is trivial compared to the UK land mass. Plenty of other land to build on.

2
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Repair != Green

Nothing to do with the companies wanting you to buy a new device when the battery predictably fails of course (probably just outside the warranty period), despite everything else still being fully serviceable.

That horse has long since left the stable, since the makers behaviour suggests that every person on the planet wants a unibody phone with a fixed battery. Even the likes of Samsung, LG and Motorola are succumbing to the fashion for sealed in batteries in almost all models. At the highest end, that may be a necessity, since those buyers are fashion/tech conscious, price insensitive, and like the modest benefits of (claimed) waterproofing, and a more rigid handset. But look how the sealed battery is percolating down to the mid-price. The latest Sammy J5 "upgrade" is a sealed battery, the newly announced Moto G5S is a sealed battery, etc.

I certainly accept that most buyers don't care, and are happy with a throwaway device. But there's a good minority that do care, and the extent to which removeable batteries are now as rare as hen's teeth shows that the makers are producing what suits them, rather than addressing the sizeable niche who want to buy a phone and keep it for four years or so. With model-on-model technology progress slowing down, there's fewer reasons to upgrade, and the only way that phone demand will hold up is if people are forced to upgrade - and that's the key driver for non-removeable batteries.

9
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Repair != Green

For example, you replace the battery. If you just chuck the old one into landfill, not exactly green.

Why do you think that? The minerals for the battery came out of the ground, in that case they've gone back into the ground. In a US or European context, landfill sites are heavily controlled by a whole range of of environmental regulators, where's the problem? Its been a very long time since landfill was simply a hole in the ground - now there's leachate prevention requirements involving membranes and non-permeable lining, gas collection systems for methane and other gases.

There's a common, but simplistic idea that recycling is always the right answer. It can be, but equally there's materials that are not rare, that are more expensive and polluting to collect and recycle than produce from high grade natural resources, and often have limited demand for the poor quality recycled product.

13
1

Virgin Media only adds another 127,000 homes to Project Lightning

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Would love to leave

Me, I'd sign up with them tomorrow,

One of the few.

The failure of Project Lightning to recruit vast numbers of new customers (and the poor ratio of properties passed to properties connected) is probably down to the poor value and reputation Virgnmedia have for ever-escalating prices. Just been told the thieves are putting up prices again by 5% of my total bill, making the price increases over the past three years 31%. I'll wager that VM staff haven't had a 30% pay rise in that period.

Obviously, if you have no other broadband alternative, you may feel compelled, but otherwise I'd recommend staying away from Virginmedia. Generally works well, but reliability can be patchy, support can be poor, but its the price that is the real killer. I'm phoning them up to give them notice, and going back to VDSL, where I can at least have some choice of provider.

4
1

Hackers could exploit solar power equipment flaws to cripple green grids, claims researcher

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: "My solar power inverter is directly connected to the internet of no thing."

You can bet all of those are remote monitored through the cheapest available data channel.

Remote metering of distributed assets is normal, but the meter is (for both technical and legal reasons) a separate piece of kit to the switching and inverter. There's some meters (eg UK "smart" meters) that have switching capability, but that's a different kettle of fish. In practical terms, you could cause a minor bureaucratic mess by screwing the data feeds, but it wouldn't be a grid problem, and most of those sites wouldn't have remote disconnection via the data feed.

For larger commercial sites there is often that capability, eg to work alongside battery storage and optimise export power prices, or to switch between on-site, private wire and grid export, but the threat there is the same SCADA security debate as we have on all infrastructure. In practice, it appears that threat is persistently over-stated, despite its theoretical potential.

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: To put this in perspective 90Gw is about 2x the entire UK generating capacity.

So yes shutting it down, or pulsing the Europe wide grid with it at "interesting" frequencies would be quite noticeable.

But unrealistic for the current systems. There's limited cross-border integration, the aggregation and control systems are diverse (and have incomplete penetration of the asset base) so it would be nigh on impossible to hit the entire output at once, and huge tranches of distributed renewables (eg most household PV arrays) aren't net connected at all. Good luck hacking an inverter that has no data connection!

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Lack of competence

Well, installers install. It really isn't a credible expectation that they should become ITSec configuration experts, and for smaller installations you can't expect that one should be brought along as another expensive body visiting the site.

As it happens, the grid can manage reasonably well (sailing close to the wind, I assure you) with the intermittency of renewables, so some artificial intermittency of hacked inverters on these devices would not actually do too much. There's plenty of systems in place for bringing in thermal plant to back up loss of renewables (remember that on solar you have this on a daily basis even before weather fluctuations). As for "flooding the grid with power", there's already some local saturation problems (eg SW England on a sunny weekend), but the grid operators have "constraint" systems to cut off excess supply. So all in all a bit of a nothing problem, for now.

However, in the longer term, with much higher levels of battery storage and electric vehicles, hacked control systems could become a problem. Due to network and generation constraints, these future loads will have to be centrally managed. And that means there is the potential to maliciously connect additional demand load to the network, far beyond the capabilities of generation - hack the central despatch system for a modest EV fleet of 200,000 cars (less than 1% of the total UK car fleet), even on 13 amp slow charging, and that would throw an instantaneous spike of 600 MW at the grid. Coping with that without notice at a bad time would be a real problem, but if the cars were on fast chargers, or the fleet bigger, then the problem becomes much, much worse. Bear in mind that the real threat here is not so much the casual cyber-vandal, or even ransomware scum, but well resourced nation-state grade actors, able to bide their time, build specific tools, use hoarded zero day flaws, test all of the "old tech" of phishing, SQL injection, bribery and coercion, attacks via trusted party systems etc. These people would choose their timing carefully.

In the UK context, for those who trust government, recent consultations on the future energy system and electric vehicles have had specific mention of the issue of IT security. But having been part of those consultations, I'm pretty sure that no proper ITSec expertise has been brought to bear. The emerging demand aggregation systems that are the focus of this threat are either from large "can't happen hear, we know best" energy industry dinosaurs, or from cash strapped, private equity funded startups where everything is about getting basic functionality out of the door ASAP, and immediate cash takes precedence over everything else.

2
0

HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD

Ledswinger
Silver badge

'You vastly underestimate the survivability of big ships with watertight compartments.'....Or even small ones...

If I could remind both of you gents, UK losses in the Falklands showed that modern ships are very vulnerable to single hits. We lost HMS Sheffield to a single missile strike that didn't explode. HMS Coventry was lost to three small dumb bombs in the same attack pass. HMS Antelope was lost to the explosion of a single dumb bomb during an attempt to defuse a UXB. Even Atlantic Conveyor was lost to "only" two Exocet strikes. The South Korean Cheonan was lost to a single dumb torpedo in 2010.

I'd suggest the evidence is that the survivability of modern naval vessels is really rather poor.

8
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Never mind the manpower

with the paltry number of frigates and destroyers available to act as escorts it'll essentially take the entire Royal Navy to protect the thing

Other than as a sacrificial wall, I can't see any likely battlegroup defending a carrier against advanced threats like hypersonic missiles or supercavitation torpedoes. And against a well planned swarm attack they'd struggle.

3
0

Re-identifying folks from anonymised data will be a crime in the UK

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: "...and share and process it as necessary"

How the UK's Act will be worded remains to be seen. The devil is in the detail.

Not just the wording of the relevant acts, but interpretation and enforcement by the regulator. The significant sounding fines under GDPR are a maximum, and the term "up to" usually includes the value of zero.

I expect post GDPR data protection to continue to be a concern for SMEs and mid-sized listed corporations, whilst the US-based mega corps are let off the hook time and again (or fined sums that are a flea bite in their enormous, tax-avoiding profits).

5
0

Openreach pegs full fibre overhaul anywhere between £3bn and £6bn

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Gubbermint

They can just fire up the printing presses like they did to stop house prices collapsing further in 2008

I think the economy is sufficiently Ponzi-like enough already, don't you? We could do a whole lot more by printing even more money, but as Callaghan found out when he had to ask the IMF to bail out the British economy in 1976, that doesn't end well. Or we could not invite the IMF to bail us out, and go down the Weimar route.....

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Wrong incentives

As for the companies to invest.. why would they?

Wow, you really know nothing of the UK's model of economic regulation, do you? Monopolist companies invest because they have to, as part of their licence to operate, and the targets are set by, and monitored by sector specific regulators.

Funnily enough, the reason why government privatised the water industry was specifically because when owned by the public sector, the industry had been cash starved for many decades (by both main parties), at the same time as the various governments signed up to expensive new water quality standards. The only reason those standards were met was because of the private sector investment to make it happen. In the ten years I spent working for the industry, it invested something of the order of £30 billion. And if they didn't meet the investment and performance standards they got fined by the regulator, if they didn't meet the quality standards they got prosecuted and fined by the Drinking Water Inspectorate or the Environment Agency.

3
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

What even is the point of a private monopoly.

If the monopoly is a private one, it can be regulated effectively. If you nationalise it, then the government are the policy setter, owner, operator and regulator. We've tried that combination repeatedly and it rarely works well, both due to simple conflict of interest, and because government couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery.

In the case of BT/Openreach, there's a couple of problems - the regulator is weak and incompetent, and BT have a huge stick to threaten government with, of c£11bn of unfunded pension liabilities on their balance sheet, which means government can't threaten to take the monopoly away from BT, which is always an ultimate option in other industries.

3
2

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017