* Posts by Robert Baskerville

6 posts • joined 4 Sep 2007

IT error at Great Western Railway charging £10k for 63-mile journey ticket

Robert Baskerville

Re: small city

Sadly the presence of a University has no bearing on the modern legal definition of a city in the UK. If it has a royal charter to make it a city, then it is a city. Otherwise, it is not.

Take Guildford - University, Cathedral, decent size. City? No - it has no royal charter, thus it is not a city. In fact, there are no cities in the whole of Surrey (a county so strange that the County Council HQ is actually outside of the county!)

Take St Asaph in sleepy North Wales. Smallest cathedral in the country, no university, population of a large village (~3-4k). City? Yes - it was granted its royal charter for the most recent jubilee, and thus it is, quite laughably, a city. The only city in Denbighshire (Denbigh is not a city) so maybe it should be renamed St Asaphshire or Llanelwyshire / Sir Llanelwy?

F*ck you, thunders disgruntled fanboi Apple user

Robert Baskerville

"I can't jump because...."

...there's no (approved) App for that...

Beeb coughs to Panorama WiFi-scare travesty

Robert Baskerville


This was the worst Panorama I had ever seen.

I'm surprised that they were not given a good kicking for featuring so prominently the "scientist" who was also, co-incidentally, selling electromagnetic "detectors" (about as scientifically useful as L Ron Hubbard's "E-metre") - outrageous devices lacking all sense of calibration or scale, just a waggling needle shouting "oooh, be afraid". A veritable twunt if ever there was one.

You barely need A-Level Physics to comprehend that the effects of WiFi are many many many MANY orders of magnitude less than those of mobile phones due to the lower powers involved.


Ubuntu's latest OS not so Gutsy

Robert Baskerville

Probably not specific to Ubuntu...

If you have an IPv6 stack active on Linux without IPv6 connectivity, you may well run into problems.

This is because if you resolve the name of some DNS servers you get both IPv6 and IPv4 addresses:

ns1.ja.net. 127654 IN A

ns1.ja.net. 86375 IN AAAA 2001:630:0:44::e2

...and if you have both an IPv6 and an IPv4 stack, guess which one is used in preference? Even if you don't get a DHCP'd IPv6 address, you'll still have a "link-local" one. So you end up not getting a reply from that nameserver, until you either end up talking with one which does not have an IPv6 address too, or your OS falls back to using the IPv4 address.

The solution is not to enable the IPv6 unless you actually have IPv6 connectivity. This is a config issue IMHO...

ICANN dukes it out with the USSR in cold war rematch smackdown

Robert Baskerville


The migration to .uk from .gb was really down to a politically awkward situation concerning Northern Ireland.

Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland.

The United Kingdom is "Great Britain and Northern Ireland"

Using the .gb domain caused a problem: what domain should people in Northern Ireland use? Using .gb would have been inflammatory to one section of the population, using .ie (for Ireland) would have been equally so to another. Since poor old Ukraine was not using what (I seem to recall) was its original ISO 2 letter code of uk, we swiped it and left them with .ua

The retirement of .gb was long and slow. Actually, the .gb TLD is still there in the DNS - still has live nameservers and some TXT records. It has not changed since January 2003. It has some quaintly British attributes. Governmental entities were under hmg.gb (obvious to all non-Brits that eh? HMG = Her Majesty's Government). I remember last two organisations active under .gb were the DRA (now DERA/QinetiQ) and, oddly enough, the Malvern Bellringers. George Smiley would have been proud of that, although the reasons behind it were rather mundane.

The other TLD retirement I recall, which received little attention at the time, was when the .nato TLD was quietly moved to its more correct location of nato.int

As for .su, well it seems a shame to retire it. I was surprised to see that Fujitsu do not have the obvious domain there.

US in move towards GPS-based air traffic control

Robert Baskerville

Which centuary is this?

Get with the programme.... Go take a look at Fylingdales, where the golfballs (which contained the yee olde anciente spinning radar technology) are being removed. For many years there, a large and impressive static pyramid has replaced these functions using phased array radar technology. No moving parts, electronically "steered". You can track and scan at the same time, scan fast, scan slow, track multiple targets at once.

Far more accurate than GPS...

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