1479 posts • joined 9 Sep 2006
Re: Oh dear
... at least use DHCP giving out reserved IP addresses based on MAC address
So every time one of your virtual server hosts gets rebooted, and the clients on it get a new IP address - since the default on some systems is to give clients a random MAC address. Oh what fun when the virtual server is a web server hosting hundreds of site, a significant number of which have their DNS hosted elsewhere.
As others have said, if you believe what you wrote then you clearly have had a very sheltered career !
Bigger question - why are you using static IPs on regular PC's?
Because sometimes you need them to be in a known location - not a known DNS address, but a known IP address. I cannot count the number of time I've had to "fix" a problem for a customer caused by PC changing address when it's hardcoded into something else - such as a door entry system or a copier/printer/scanner. Often these devices can only accept an IP(v4) address, and often the networks are not that well set up (I hate that) so DNS can't be used reliably anyway.
It seems that many people installing things like door entry systems and printers have this belief that PCs don't change address even when using DYNAMIC Host Configuration protocol. Among those that do realise what the D stands for, many seem to think that it's OK to get an address via DHCP and then statically configure that without doing anything on the DHCP server.
To be honest, even servers don't need a static IP
Really ? In a closed environment that may be the case, but once you consider the wider view then yes they most certainly DO need static IPs.
Take a web server for example. IF (and it's generally not the case) every site on it has the domain's DNS managed by the same people, then it would be possible to have the DNS updated every time it changes address - although the sites would go offline for a while between the IP change and DNS caches expiring). But also in the general case, DNS may be hosted elsewhere. And note that while www.example.co.uk could be a CNAME, example.co.uk (ie without the www) CANNOT be anything but an A record - I've had this discussion with supposedly professional website builders who've told their customers to have the DNS records both set to be CNAMEs.
Same applies to other services. For example, last year I had to change the IP address of a mail server at work - I was able to update it's canonical name in the DNS and almost all the customers didn't know anything had changed. But one was forwarding mail from another system which would only accept an IP address - and so their mail broke.
So a more accurate statement would be that in certain environments/setups, servers don't need static addresses.
Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution
the latest fast chargers are 120kW
OK, and how many of them can you run off a typical site supply ? A 200A 3phase suply only gives 150kW - so that's only one charger leaving just 30kW for the rest of the site. So fine, at the moment you stand a half decent chance of getting to the ONE charger such a site could support - now count the number of cars typically in the car park of a motorway service station and you'll see that a single charger (or even 2 or 3, which would mean slower charging) would have a very long queue if EVs became more than a tiny fraction of cars on the roads.
So the answer to that is usually "just upgrade the supply" - made by people with no idea of the technicalities involved in that. At the very minimum, it means putting in larger supply cable(s) - which quite likely means a lot of digging. But then the local substation may not have the capacity - so that's a transformer upgrade. And the (typically in the UK) 11kV feed to the substation probably doesn't have the capacity - so that's more (typically digging) cable upgrades.
So charge at home/work - problem solved for most. Err what ? Until I moved last year, I was lucky if I got to park on teh same street, let alone actually outside the house - so no charging there. At work it's pot luck in the car park - so no luck there. That's the reality for the vast majority of drivers - can't charge at home or work.
Charging at the supermarket has all the same problems as discussed above - fine if there are hardly any EVs around, not fine once there are enough that you have to queue for the charger.
And that's before we discuss where the lecky comes from. In this country, when you plug in an EV the additional load on the grid is taken up by a fossil fuelled station. That is only going to get worse as nuclear station (what's left of them) shut down. And unless the wind is blowing at just the right speed, and the sun is out, then we wouldn't have enough generation capacity anyway if enough EVs are added.
So yes, EVs do work for some people, while the numbers are low. They work for people who have the luxury of their own off street parking they can get lecky to and who are on a substation with enough capacity (not too many neighbours with EVs). Or they'll work for people who have a public charging point nearby - and not too many EVs so they are in use when you want to use them. Or they'll work for the commute if your employer spends sh*tloads of money on multiple charging points (again, as long as there aren't more EVs than charging points).
Re: For those who wonder...
Another advantage of using DC to transfer power is that you separate the line frequency controls on either end of the distribution.
Indeed, that is also a very important feature. AIUI over in North America they have the grid split into several sections connected only by DC links - thus avoiding having to try and run the whole continent as one huge frequency control zone. The bigger the area, the harder it is to control and keep stable.
Your local substation may be supplying 240V (or 220V) today. If that substation develops a fault and the electricity company were to replace the transformer with new ones tomorrow, then, the new supply voltage will be 230V, as when they went to purchase it, the market only offered 230V (and not 240 or 220V) transformers
Wrong on several counts.
Firstly, these are not things that they mass produce and put on the shelf, they tend to be made to order and different areas have different specs anyway. In any case, the difference in winding between 230 and 240V is not major.
And after that, at the substations they have devices called tap changers, the transformers actually have multiple connections at one end of the winding so you can add or remove a few turns to alter the output voltage. On your local substation (11kV down to 240/415V in the UK) these are manual, on the larger substations (132kV to 33kV and 33kV to 11kV) they are remotely controlled - allowing the control centre to adjust the taps according to power flows.
One of the problems caused by the increasing amount of embedded generation (specifically solar on house roofs) is that the power flows can change significantly, raising the supply voltage at the consumers' terminals. In many cases they've had to change tap setting to reduce the voltage generally - but they don't like doing this because ...
It's in the interest of the DNO (Distribution Network Operator) to keep the system voltages as high as they can within the limits imposed on them. The higher the voltage, the lower the current for a given amount of power delivered - and hence the I^2R losses are lower. Eg, roughly speaking, if you drop the voltage by 5%, the current required goes up by 5%, and the resistive losses increase by about 10%. As well as increasing the losses as a proportion of the power delivered to customers (and hence charged for), cables are limited by current rather than power - so if the cables are already approaching the limit, then reducing voltage would mean also having to reduce the power delivered, which can only be done by moving some load to a different supply (typically expensive) or upgrading the cable (almost always expensive). So keeping the supply voltage as high as possible means they can put off potential upgrades as demand grows.
Re: For those who wonder...
Renewables tend to be able to come on line very, very quickly to meet surges in demand. Thermal systems take time to build up a head of steam.
I think the reference was to "mass" renewables like wind and solar. Pump storage is really a big battery, not a source of power in itself.
The issues with sources like wind and solar is that due to politicians swallowing the green lobby lies hook line and sinker (not to mention the big trough with plenty of snouts guzzling from it), renewables get first pick of the load - so they are all generally running at whatever they can produce at the time. I nearly wrote "flat out", but windmills almost never reach their flat out capability !
Because of this, there are no renewables sitting there waiting to be called upon to manage short term variations in demand.
Instead they have highly variable output, thus adding massively to the control needed to keep the system in balance - with other sources (typically open cycle gas turbine) having to ramp up/down or stop/start completely in order to compensate for the variation in supply from the renewables AS WELL AS changes in demand.
There are also generators (mostly diesel) sat around doing nothing but waiting to keep the lights on when a drop in supply (no wind on those nice crisp winter days, and no solar outside the few short hours of daylight) corresponds with a peak in supply (such as on those same crisp winter days ! Search for articles on diesel generator farms - the green lobby won't tell you about the cost of paying standby subsidies to them as an externalised cost of their so called "cheap" and "green" electricity.
Re: You gets what you pays for with UPS
but if you work out sensible requirements and look round a bit you'll find a UPS that meets all of ESR's criteria and does what you want it to do, though not at a rock-bottom price.
Yup. not rock bottom price, but when I was looking for a larger UPS (in the 8-12kW range) a few years back I found it hard to find anything without basic deficiencies. I drew up a list of requirements, and one vendor said "no problem" - except that when the unit arrived, no it didn't !
SNMP reporting lacked certain vital measurements, or reported them in such coarse units as to be worthless, or has such offsets/span errors as to need correcting (seriously, load power 2kW out !). One of our requirements was to restrict battery charging power to suit our limited supply capacity - no point surviving a power cut if you then blow the power supply when the battery charger kicks in ! One vendor said "no problem" but had no such ability, APC just said we needed to upgrade our supply (not practical) to DOUBLE what we actually needed.
The first system we got failed after a few years - the power conversion modules starting packing in until we didn't have enough to power the load. So we picked up a second user APC Symmetra LX and got a whole new level of idiocy. Yes there was more information from the SNMP - but still with errors, missing values, coarse resolution, etc. And of course, the non-repairable battery packs !
Yes, the packs use standard batteries (12V 7Ah), but the UPS will not tell you the status of the batteries other than "this pack has failed" - won't tell you the charging current or estimated capacity remaining (even though they are available internally to the unit) so you can pre-empt one being flagged as failed. But when one is flagged, the in-pack flash memory is updated to show that it's failed so even when you fit new cells it will never go back to "working". Eventually it's power converters all stopped as well.
So I'm not sure that you can buy a "good" UPS. OK, my sample size is small, but even spending a fair bit of money doesn't seem to buy the right features or reliability.
Would it not be better to connect the UPS to the other side of the power supply?
At what voltage ? The 12V some of my equipment uses ? The 5V some of it uses ? The 7.5V one bit of kit uses ? The 24V some uses ? The 48V some uses ?
The theory is sound, IF all manufacturers made kit that would run off one standard DC voltage, AND all UPSs used that voltage of battery - but they don't and they don't (the two UPSs I have at home use 36V and 24V nominal batteries).
It's been an old debate about data centre power - AC or DC with arguments over which is better/more efficient. A lot of equipment runs off 48V nominal (actually 50-something V as it's float charged batteries) as used in the telecoms world - I suspect things might be changing, but traditionally a telephone exchange has a big battery room, some 'kin big busbars to distribute the power, and everything runs off 48V. But use (say) 48V rather than 240V and you (roughly) increase resistive losses in the cables by a factor of 25 - losses are proportional to current squared, and you're pulling 5 times the current. Ignoring losses, your cabling needs to be a lot bigger to handle the current.
But even if you distribute DC, there's still a power conversion down to the voltages used internally.
As an aside, while I was at university <cough> decades ago, I was in the computer club and got involved in running a stand at the freshers fair. We were told that we could use mains power (they even switched off the socket circuits) - but they did agree to us using batteries. I had a look inside my monitor and found it used 12V internally, so soldered a couple of wires in, and borrowed my car battery so we could have a working system (this was in the days when computer power supplies were also simple and the one we had could be made to run off 12V as well with a little fiddling). Not quite the sort of battery they probably had in mind ;-)
"Quite why Rutland has created such a complex corporate structure for Maplin is not immediately apparent, but I suspect it may have something to do with tax, or rather avoiding it."
Could it be a shell game - move lots of money (or debt) around, and hope that no-one can keep track of where it's all gone until it's too late. I can't help thinking that the purchase might have been funded with borrowing by the parent, but somehow that parent has borrowed money through the bought business and repaid it's own loans. So when the bought company goes titsup*, the debt is loaded onto that, and it's other creditors that lose out while the parent is laughing all the way to the bank.
In this case, total inability to support usual peddling (of electronics stuff).
Moreover, there seems to be a bit of "this guy is obviously rich and did something bad, why should he be able to buy justice". The undertone being that he shouldn't be allowed this right.
So this comes under the "no rights for people we don't think deserve them" banner. But that's the slippery slope to no-one having rights - because once you go down the route of deciding who should and shouldn't have rights, you are well on the way to the sort of thing that happened in Germany in the 1930s and many other things.
THE LAW in this country says that his conviction is spent and he has the right (as does anyone else) to have the conviction disregarded in future (for most purposes) - this case is about whether Google is bypassing that right by prominently putting results pointing to his convictions as the first results in a search on his name.
As others have already said, that right also allows someone who made an indiscretion during their youth to get over it and then continue with a normal life. Should shoplifting as a teenager (or a myriad of other things that young people do in their immaturity) permanently bar you from future employment ? IMO quite reasonably we do not - after some time period, and doing whatever punishment the courts decide is reasonable, the issue can be put away and the person get on with a normal life.
But once you start suggesting that this should selectively apply to "people we approve of", or "people without lots of money", or any other categorisation - then off we go down the route of pastor Martin Niemöller's poem ...
May I kindly suggest that if 34.6Mbit/s is not fast enough for you then you need to get a life?
It's not really about the actual speed that someone gets - it's about that person knowing in advance what they will get, and being able to leave without penalty if they don't get it. At the moment, you know what the pricelist says the cost is for a (for example) "up to 80M FTTC" connection, and they'll tell you what they think you are likely to get - but if you can't get anything even near that then you still end up paying for the 18/24 month contract, or paying penalties to leave early.
A bit like buying "a tub" of something online - and them not telling you whether that's a 100g tub or a 1kg tub, just that it's "up to" 1kg.
This new rule is like the seller of the something having to tell you the minimum amount you'll get in the tub. So for example you might be told that you'll get no less than 600g - and if you do get less then you have the right to cancel. So no more telling you that "you're likely to get 600g" and then delivering a tub with just 50g in it - and you having no recourse.
Re: "a comparatively costless and therefore puzzlingly rare decision"
Relatively few providers support this
I'll add PortFast who can handle multiple permutations. At my last place, we used them for our slaves while running our own master for around 500 domains - with a script that automatically added/removed domains from their system to match ours.
You can also use a local database on their system - ie using a web interface to manually manage records.
And you can specify a list of IPs allowed to do AXFRs, allowing you to use other slaves.
Amusingly, a few months after I was made redundant, the manager who thought he knew more than he did just turned off the master - part of ripping out all the well managed network I'd left them with. He's one of those who just changes things and waits to see what he's broken. Oh how I chuckled to myself when I heard what he'd done - and how they were panicking and rushing to get all the domains manually added to Heart Internet's hosting (not my choice !). Politics being what they are, there's no way he'd ever consider asking me - if he had done so in advance, I'd have told him that Postfast have a neat trick - you can configure a slave zone and it'll fetch all the records from your master; then you can change it to use a local database with an option to retain all the records, thus turning them into the master. This only works if you do it before the zone times out and all the records get deleted.
Needless to say, the customer problems and outages were blamed on everything but this person breaking things !
if they are only sharing info on people they are asked to share then it’s not as bad as just sending the HO everything
But, they will be sending everything so that the HO can trawl through it to see if anyone of interest is in it. But there's two problems falsely dimissed by the reply :
1) Even if the data is only what they say it is, and only used for what they say it will be, we have to assume that this will change. History tells us that if the data is there, then people will want to use it regardless of whether it's "right" or not.
2) Even if we trust that only the data and use is as described, the problem is caused by what people think might be shared and what it think be used for. No amount of official assurances will get round that problem, because too many people are conditioned to 1 above !
Me too ...
Like many of the others, been using Maplin for components for as long as I can remember. And I remember the old catalogue/reference library with it's awesome covers.
We've had a store near us for a few years - and I have to admit that I wondered how on earth they could make it pay, having some inkling of what they'd be paying in rent, rates, and staff pay. And yes, there's a very small components section and a lot of "stuff that everyone and his dog sells". Still, can be very useful when you need one off of something and you want it quickly.
I'm quietly hoping for this, just to see the carnage to our cloud migration project
I was made redundant last year, but they were already in the process of shoving all customer email accounts off our own server ("look, that's where your emails are located") off onto 365. I repeatedly raised the issue, and was told by our MD that "there's no problem, we've been assured by MS that it's OK". And I never got an answer as to whether they'd mentioned the potential issues to any of the customers.
AIUI (and I stand to be corrected), it's not possible to access MS services without using DNS and authentication services which are under the control of the US - access is via a convoluted chain of DNS pointers. AIUI an outage we experienced a year or two back was due to an auth server in the USA being down - and if the particular chain of DNS records led you to that one then you couldn't authenticate. So you might have an account with MS in Ireland and data stored in Ireland and not accessible to the US parent. So what if he US parent, because it's been told to by a court, directs the DNS such that you use a US based authentication server - which they can then fiddle with to give them access to your account ?
I never got an answer to that one either. Just an attitude of "MS says there's no problem, therefore there's no problem". Icon says what some of the customers might do when the worms start crawling out of the tin !
Slightly uneasy about any EU agency that uses the word 'Safety' in it's title: it usually means the exact opposite.
Don't know why you got so many downvotes - those of us who have followed things would agree with you. EASA started off from the position of "existing regulations weren't invented here - must have ALL new ones". And so for quite a few years they set about reinventing lots of wheels, with a mindset of "more regulation == better" - while seemingly oblivious to the fact that a 4 seat light aircraft (think Ford Ka) used for recreation doesn't need the same regulatory regime as the larger commercial transports (think inter-city trains). It's massively increased costs for almost everyone in GA, driven many businesses to the wall, and reduced flying hours for most which actively reduces safety by having pilots with less current practice.
They've also refused to adopt the UK's IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) rating for mostly political reasons - not wanting to have "country specific" ratings even though they adopted some (eg altiport ratings). Only recently have they considered anything remotely similar.
So yes, you are right to be sceptical - EASA have directly caused a reduction in safety in GA (General Aviation), the light end of the market.
Re: @ Charlie Clark
I guess he just "forgot" to note that the EU has already said that freedom of movement is non-negotiable.
Two outcomes :
1) We end up with some sort of arrangement that means things are much as they are now - free movement of people.
2) We don't have something like this - in which case WE decide who WE let in and under what terms (so we can easily set the rules to allow the required workers to come here), and the EU gets to decide who they let in and under what terms.
There's a similar situation with trade. The anti-brexit liars are saying that if we end up working under WTO rules then we'll put out own prices up through import duties. Not true, under WTO rules WE can choose what tariffs WE apply to imports, and that tariff can be zero - the main restriction is that we cannot set different rates for different sources. While in the EU, we get our prices inflated by import tariffs set by the EU and which we are not allowed to vary.
Re: Regulation FAIL
Attempts to regulate connectivity are always doomed to fail because telecom technology moves faster than the regulatory process
Except in this case, we see regulation happening without needing rules updated for the latest tech. Specifically, this case isn't about regulating what the provider provides, but simply regulating that they supply what the customer bought.
Ie, much the same as prosecuting a petrol station owner for tweaking the metering screw to over-report what's been delivered - but resetting it to be correct whenever anyone comes to check. Went to a talk a few years ago by a local Trading Standards officer - he said the very first thing they look at when checking a petrol station is to make sure their seals are still intact.
if the political will is there, a lot of "high tech" issues can be dealt without "high tech" laws.
Re: Never understood the dieselgate outrage bollocks
Both of you, have an upvote from me.
The rules say that "under condition X the emissions must not exceed Y". So AIUI the cars met the required standards - under condition X they didn't exceed Y emission. The problem is that the standards set don't measure what the regulators want to control - because it's essentially unmeasurable.
It doesn't help that they've made the emissions standards so tight these days that it's not really possible to truly meet them under actual driving conditions.
... should start to consider restricting the rights to appeal for large corporations
Ah, the old "people doing stuff we don't like should not have the same rights as us" argument. That's a very bad idea, the start of a slippery slope, the thin end of the wedge [SFX: riffling through a thesaurus], ...
You either give everyone protection - including those you don't like - or you give no-one protection. Once you start to pick and choose who should have protection/rights, then you start the creep that allows bad things to happen.
I refer you to pastor Martin Niemöller's poem
Re: Opt Out?
Not only that, but to have a FarceBork account you have to accept their T&Cs which remove some of the legal protections you have without accepting them. Thus, creating an account to set your preferences opens you up to them legally doing the stuff you want them to stop doing !
Re: What about collisions with spacecraft on the way to Mars
You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is
Ah, but you also have to remember that some space craft will be passing through every point in the universe during some instant. So you are 100% likely to meet another craft if you or it are using the infinite improbability drive.
Put the kettle on, I fancy a nice hot cup of tea :-)
Hmm, haven't we seen a few outfits make the "we can't see a need for these speeds" before in the past. I can remember when people were wondering what to do with 512k on ADSL !
ut of course, the former Olympic village must be one of the best places in the country to try this - massive new development with facilities for comms designed in from the start, unlike most developments new or old.
Re: Still looking for an electronic lock...
I think that would violate building codes in most places. There is, after all, a reason that all the commercially available ones fail open.
The requirement is that people can get out, not that the door unlocks - there's a difference.
I have a flat in a block of four, with a door intercom and entry system. It has a striker plate like the one I posted a link to, and the flap on that is unlocked by the entry system to allow the door to be opened to visitors.
Occupiers can use a key from the outside to retract the latch bolt, or from the inside use the thumb turn to do it.
So the door can be released by releasing the striker plate, or by retracting the latch bolt manually - the latter not being affected by the striker plate failing locked.
Re: Still looking for an electronic lock...
Since most similar locks do the opposite (fail open on power failure for fire escape reasons)...
All you need is any type of latch, and a magnetically controlled striker plate. The latch could be a cylinder rim night latch (often called a yale lock) or a regular door catch with no outside handle.
If the striker is configured to lock when not powered, then the latch will work just as though there is a fixed striker - just like a normal door latch. When electrically released, the flat can be pushed open allowing the latch to pass.
Single shared network ...
Well a national single network seems to be what Australia is trying to do. From reading the stories in ElReg it looks like it's not going as planned ...
But yes, if done correctly it would make sense. We could have a company who had lots of ducts, poles, cables, etc and in a position to sell capacity on that to all the ISPs. Win-win, one set of infrastructure - lower costs, better services. After all, we have one set of roads, one set of electricity cables, one set of water pipes, one set of drains, one set of gas pipes ...
The services would be open, and they'd reach (nearly) everyone - so perhaps call them OpenReach. Just as long as they are independent and not doing what suits a single player with a vested interest in tilting the market in their own favour. Ah, I see the problem now :-(
Well there was a series on the gogglebox called the real hustle - where they were demonstrating some of the real life hustles being used to separate people from their assets. In one, the presenter hung around a small parking space (someone had a yard in an area where parking was in shortage, rented out the yard for people to park) wearing high vis, carrying a clipboard, and taking random measurements and pretending to write them down - ie he was hiding in plain sight.
When the yard owner went for a break, he persuaded a punter that they'd now gone "valet parking" style - parked the punter's car, waited for him to leave, then left in the car.
Ring mark on windscreen - yup, sat-nav in glovebox. So he's got the guy's car, car keys, house keys (one assumes) on the keyring, and the sat nav programmed to tell you where he lives - safe in the knowledge that it'll be several hours (asked how long he'd need parking for) before he returns and finds anything amiss.
If real crims aren't doing that then I'd be very surprised.
If someone goes to "Home" on my satnav then they'll find themselves outside the local Police Station ;-)
People willingly give their data up, it's in the T&Cs that no one ever reads.
Go and read up on Shrems and his FarceBork case. It's is absolutely NOT just about what people give to them - willingly or through ignorance.
FarceBork build profiles on people who have NEVER EVER agreed to their Ts&Cs, and it's "quite surprising" just how much they do collect on those people who have NOT agreed to it. They collect information whenever you visit a site with their slurping code embedded in it, they collect it from people who respond to their nagging and upload their contacts list, and I imagine they'll use other techniques. So someone includes you in their contacts uploads - they now have some selection from your name, home and work addresses, emails, phone numbers. Given your work details, they can then link that with other people at the same company etc. Given their home details they can link you with other people at your house. And having linked your basic details in this way, they can continue building a profile on you - through tracking sites you visit (see tracking code mentioned above), what other people post about you, people tagging you in photos (and then they can use facial recognition to spot you in other photos even if you aren't tagged), and so on.
All this without informing you or getting your consent - first breach of data protection laws. And they export it to the USA which was declared illegal when "Safe Harbour" was found to be completely ineffective in protecting personal information.
It is this illegal collection, processing, export of personal data in complete defiance of EU law that his case was about.
And it's only a matter of time before Privacy
ShieldFigleaf gets struck down as well - because USA law is fundamentally incompatible with EU data protection law.
Those social networks only harvest what you choose to feed them
Err, not true. FarceBork builds a profile on you even if you have never visited their site or agreed to them doing it. This profile is "quite detailed". Ever noticed those sites with the FarceBork "F" on them ? Well they are one source of information for that profile.
What's more, that personal information is exported back to the USA without even informing the data subject let alone asking them. I suggest you look up the details of the Max Schrems vs Facebook case - yes the one that resulted in Safe Harbour getting ripped up and replaced with Privacy
FigleafShield, which will similarly get ripped up when the machinations of multiple levels of bureaucracy and courts get done with it.
Re: Answering a few points in the comments...
There are several, unrelated renewable sources. The chances that they all fail - 100% - is infinitesmal.
Ah, variation of the "wind is blowing somewhere" lie.
While it's true that having wind AND solar AND hydro all at (or close to) zero at the same time are quite slim - hydro is only a small amount and so can be ignored in practice.
So lets look at what happens in the UK in (typically) late december. Solar is doing naff all - the days are short, the sun is low, so for probably something like 18 hours of the day it'll be producing nothing worth considering. So that leaves wind ...
Contrary to what the wind lobby claim, there are often prolonged calms that cover, not just the whole of the UK, but the whole of north west Europe. I recall reading an article (in print (IEE), some years ago, no I can't find it now) where it was pointed out that we have had periods as long as TEN DAYS with effectively no wind across the whole of western Europe. Pumped storage hydro and batteries aren't going to help with that - they'll run out in a matter of hours.
So while the backup needed isn't actually 100%, it's not far off.
Re: I've been pointing this out for years.
If you are on a 100% renewable scheme and use 1000 kWh, then it guarantees that 1000 kWh of green power is put into the system instead of 1000 kWh of non-green.
That's what the greenwash vendors would have you believe - but there is ZERO truth in that. That 1000kWh would be put into the grid regardless - the rules on renewables mean that pretty well all renewables get "first bite of the cheery" in supplying demand.
So wind always puts in all that the windmills produce - and the energy companies will buy it (even though it's very expensive*) because the rules require them to. Ditto solar, hydro, etc.
So when you switch on your kettle with your greenwash tariff the result (since we do not have any excess of renewables over demand) is that the taps open ever so slightly on whatever generator is doing the dynamic load balancing at that point in time - typically it will be one of the CCGT stations. So your additional load will result in a matching additional generation from fossil fuel. The actual electrons you get will be from a mix of sources - exactly the same mix as EVERY other consumer in the country.
So seriously, there is absolutely no such thing as a true green tariff - they are all greenwash, getting you to pay ectra for nothing more than a warm fuzzy feeling.
* Wind IS very expensive. The operators will happily tell you how "cheap" wind is - but what they don't like to talk about are the direct cost (the 30-something pence/kWh subsidy**) or the indirect costs (the massive costs incurred by the rest of the supply industry in mitigating the effects of a highly variable/intermittence supply that has priority on supply).
Re: Capacitor, HAH !! I raise you 2 stories
The battery bank that supplied the training site ran a mini mechanical exchange and supplied power to all the buildings and could supply more than 600A without breaking a sweat.
That may have been it's "rated" capacity, but I bet it could supply considerably more (try adding a zero, or even 2 zeros) than that to a fault.
I did get told a story (so second hand, and unverifiable) about someone doing work in an exchange and dropping a crowbar across the DC buss bars. Before he could grab it, it turned dull red, bright red, bright orange, and then dripped onto the floor. For good measure, he got a bill from BT for recharging the batteries.
But given what I know about batteries, and the size of batteries used in large exchanges, the story is at least plausible.
How can A sue B, and win, resulting in B paying damages to C?
Indeed, WTF !
As I read it, it sounds like something that was intended for a situation where the court awards a payout to a class of people and the cash is put into trust to be paid out to the class of plaintiffs - so far, so good. Of course, where "class of persons" runs to hundred, thousands, ... then some won't come forward to collect - and that means there will be some money left in the kitty when the trustees decide that they've paid out to everyone they can.
So this rule allows that residual small amount can be given to charity. Which when used for it's original purpose seems perfectly sensible.
What's happened here though is that they're obviously taking the urine - paying out only to the named plaintiffs (to shut them up), paying out a token (null) amount to everyone else, and then declaring the rest as this "small residual amount" and giving it to "charity". Totally taking the urine.
Re: The most disturbing thing...
I have worked in places where there were two Simons in the same department
How about a small company (couple of dozen people in total) with 3 Simons, 3 Mikes, 2 Steves, 2 Adams. Caused a fair bit of confusion at times !
Tried to make a 12 Days of Christmas out of that lot but couldn't manage it - other than finishing with "and a PHB in the corner office".
Re: 'Don't use a router provided by an ISP'
... Wireshark will allow you to pull the ISP account username and password from a router ...
How do you use wireshark on a DSL connection ? It might well work where the ISP presents the interface as an ethernet port or provides a separate modem - but it won't help with an all-in-one router where the sniffing would have to be on the xDSL connection.
Re: DR Testing Failure
but the UPS is connected to the server so when battery level = x it shuts down safely
I bet it isn't in any large datacentre - with tens of thousands of servers it's just going to be a big hassle and create problems of it's own (false alarms causing shutdowns). Instead, they work on the basis of having UPSs sized to cover the gap till the gennys start up - and gennys to take over before the batteries run out. In principle, there should never be a need for low UPS battery to shut down the servers. Apart from these loss of mains events, most other faults won't give you any warning before the server loses power.
A chemistry lecturer I know used to wander around the hall whilst mixing up black powder in a mortar and pestle. Cue nervous students trying not to be near him.
One of my teachers many years ago recalled how he "cured" a student of being over inquisitive and always fiddling with stuff. He deliberately left a pestle and mortar on a side bench with something unstable in it. Needless to say, when the over inquisitive student came in for the next lesson, he couldn't resist giving it a bit of a grind ...
Mind you, we found that most of the cupboards in our form room (a physics lab) weren't locked - oh what fun we had with the Wimshurst machine. Could get some real sparks off that one ! Then one day someone said "what happens if you put a polo mint between the balls ?", so we tried it - put a polo mint in the gap, held by the balls which were adjusted to grip it and wound it up. There was the usual crack as it sparked - and we could find no trace of polo mint, no bits, no dust, we had no idea what happened to it.
Re: "Cut the red wire..."
You might wish to have a safe method of disarming the bomb in case your own aircraft has to land again without using it
No, because if you have a method of disarming it - then so does your enemy. And from watching varuous documentaries on TV, it's clear that the Germans did booby trap the detonators in the stuff they dropped on the UK. So we had to develop various methods of disarming the bombs without triggering them - one of which was to physically cut a hole in the bomb and take the explosives out (IIRC it was steamed out and then shovelled up off the floor or something like that).
If you have armed the bombs and then can't drop them on the target (or any secondary target) - you simply ditch them in the sea on the way home. I believe a heck of a lot of UK bombs were dropped in a specified zone in the Channel - and there was a theory that Glenn Miller was killed when his plane was hit by a bomb being dumped after an aborted raid, but it seems that theory has since been debunked.
Re: Wind Turbines & Fibre
I have been told that windturbines ... have a fibre connection for control use.
Don't believe everything you have been told ! Newer ones may well have, as pointed out a large part of the cost of installation will be the same for copper or fibre. But I know (from having worked very briefly on trying to diagnose a comms problem for a client at my last job) that in one local windfarm there's an old Hayes 2400bps modem hooked up to a phone line. And the machine side of that is hooked up to a copper serial cable between the 5 windmills.
From the practical PoV, to put a copper line in will almost certainly have only needed a cable from the nearest joint box - probably half a mile at most - while fibre would have been a whole run all the way back to the exchange which is a good few miles (much of which won't be in ducts or even on poles - there's a lot of direct buried steel wire armoured phone cable out in the sticks).
There is indeed a requirement for connectivity to the windfarm, and to each windmill in it - the speed doesn't actually have to be that fast. How it's delivered will depend on a whole list of factors.
You do realise that in practice, there isn't all that much of the network that was built with public money ? And what was publicly funded was SOLD to BT's shareholders on privatisation (whether the price was right is a different discussion).
The network as it is now is a very different beast from what was flogged off 3 decades ago. Yes they had a head start in that there was an existing networks of ducts, poles etc - but that's been expanded a lot since then.
There really isn't a viable model for competing "last mile" networks. You don't have two different companies digging up your street to offer electricity, or gas, or water, or drainage - that would just be madness. Not to mention, if taken to extreme, you'd have a choice of two (or more) different road networks to get to your house !
That's the reason we don't (for the majority of us) have such end connection competition. It's costs thousands of pounds per mile to dig up roads to lay a network of ducts. You have to put that infrastructure in place before you can connect a single customer. And then you have to persuade enough customers to switch to your service to repay all those costs (and loan interest). Meanwhile, your upper price on the service is more or less set by BT who have the economy of scale from having a network that's been built of many decades.
When you look around, you tend to see that alternative networks fall into about 3 categories :
1) There's Virgin Media with it's cable network which stands no chance of being extended into lots of low density areas. But that wasn't built by VM, it was bought for pennies in the pound from the liquidators of the many cable companies that started up, incurred the cost of building out the network, but just couldn't get enough return to pay back their loans and investors.
2) There's small specialists that service places BT won't - often on a "if X sign up now, we'll come and service you".
3) And there's "community projects" like B4RN which rely a lot of donated labour (ie volunteers) and favourable treatment from landowners to keep the install costs down to something affordable. Something like that project doesn't work in even small urban areas as the costs go up very considerably when the network has to go into public roads rather than (mostly) under someone's field.
It's notable that B4RN found a number of cases where they announced a plan to extend coverage to somewhere BT had refused to service - only to find BT "suddenly finding that it was now economic" and would service that area as a spoiling tactic. Other altnets have also reported the same problem.
Re: Ofcom is broken and out of touch with reality
make it more atractive for new entrants to fibre up the low density and rural areas
I doubt it. Those areas would still cost as much to fibre up, but the new entrant would face TWO additional dicincentives to do it :
1) Their pricing would have to be lower to be competitive as expectations would be lowered by lower prices in some areas. So less scope for recovering their investment from profits.
2) They would almost certainly get fewer customers in the "lower cost BT areas". So less customers to pay into the profits that would have to be used to cross-subsidise those low density and rural areas.
I do think that perhaps we'd have had a different outcome if "good" areas were all paired with "bad" areas and cable companies had been licenced on the basis that they could only have (and keep) a licence in the "good" areas if they also services the "bad" area paired with it - as in, you want to service (eg) Mayfair with it's wealthy (on average) residents who are most likely to take your service, well you have to also service this outlying Scottish island or remote bit of Cumbria. Chances are that the end result could be that the cable companies went bust even quicker than they did and the "bad" areas would still have not got cabled up - but it's interesting to conjecture how things might have panned out.
Re: He could have easily avoided being caught
what's to stop them from finding a hidden closet and sleeping all day
Story told by a mate who's been a sparky for many years, mostly on contract work for various large outfits. On one site there was a nice corner in the substation that was warm - but most importantly, impossible for the boss to find you without you hearing him coming first. I forget some of the details, but IIRC there was something about a paging system (aka Tannoy in the same way that vacuum cleaner are often called "hoovers") and being able to hear the announcements and call whoever wanted to speak to them using the phone conveniently located in the room - this was long before phone systems that told anyone the number that was calling !
One day someone got caught out. They answered a page and informed the boss that they were in a certain part of the site - only to have the boss walk in through the door brandishing one of the new fangled cordless phones that were just appearing.
Re: Typical backass governments
Downvote from me as we have some very strict privacy/date protection laws in the EU. Coming into force in a few months will be stronger rules under the EU GDPR. The US authorities might not GAS about privacy or fairness, but don't lump all countries in with them.
It will be "interesting" to follow this, and I strongly suspect Uber will find that the EU is "not as friendly" to their slapdash practices as their home country.
Re: The arrogance ..
I've read that sentence five times now, and still don't understand it myself
Yes, it's a corker isn't it. I've read it, and re-read it, and ... and I think that what it says is :
The medical experts can't state with 100% confidence that he will get worse, therefore you should not read their reports as saying that he will get worse.
The implication then being that as you are no longer reading the medical reports as saying that he will get worse, you should assume that he won't and ship him off for torture anyway.
Re: Gubmint investment
It's too important to leave in commercial hands. A world run entirely by business is not one in which I want to live.
I'm guessing you're too young to remember what Post Office Telephones were like. Just like the trains, when run by the government they were crap by today's standards. For all the faults in the current setup, it's far far better than before privatisation.
Yup, there's nothing so bad that government intervention (or ownership) can't make it worse !
So is keeping the VOA happy and paying the appropriate rates on lit fibre
Isn't a big part of the problem that the VOA wants to charge rates as if all parts of the infrastructure are fully utilised ? So if you need (say) 6 fibre cores now, but expect to need more in the mid term, you blow in a (say) 20 core - you only light up 6 cores, but pay rates on all 20. At my last job, we had people coming to us asking for options when their ISP told them "Sorry chaps, they've just changed the rates rules so we can't afford to keep you connected and are shutting down the network".
IIRC, in one case, there were something like 5 radio towers involved to service one customer at the end - but they were being told to pay rates as if each of those towers was fully utilised for dozen or even hundreds of customers. AIUI, BT/BTOR aren't taxed in the same way and have a financial advantage of competitors from this difference.
So there's the government asking why there's a problem, when for years people have been telling them that their own policies are part of the problem.
Re: Uh, "provides ... to any app that wants to measure your emotional reactions"?
You don't have to use any Google products, and can thus avoid their tracking. You don't have to use Facebook, and can avoid sharing your deep dark secrets with the world.
And that sums up a big part of the problem - you have demonstrated that you don't realise how bad it's got.
You think that Google and Facebook don't have a profile on you ? Think again.
You can be very sure that both of them do whether you have ever visited any of their own sites. Unless you have been incredibly lucky to have never ever visited any website with Google or Facebook tracking code on it (disguised as things like analytics) then they do have a profile on you. And can you be 100% certain that no-one has given Facebook your contact details - they shouldn't without you permission, but so many see no problem complying with the nagging to "just upload your contacts so we can join them to your circle of friends".
I suggest you lookup Max Schrems. Facebook were found guilty of illegally building profiles of people who had not consented - but they have not stopped doing that. We're just waiting for Privacy
Shield Figleaf to get the same treatment that Safe Harbour did when it was shown to be worthless. US law is fundamentally incompatible with EU privacy law, it's just that there are too many commercial interests for it to be dealt with ... yet.
... want to be able to leech off BT's investment
Surely you mean rent some of that investment ? It's not like they are saying BT has to provide it free, anyone wanting to use it will have to pay a market rate (however that ends up being determined) for it.