4349 posts • joined 23 Apr 2010
Re: I suspect that there will come a time
>I don't recall a time when anyone offered a defined benefit scheme. Maybe I'm too young,
Or don't work for the government...
Re: I suspect that there will come a time
> they are all required to transfer to a DC scheme for the rest of their working lives with reduced retirement benefits.
A friend was due to qualify for his DB pension at 60, but he still had a mortgage and wanted to carry on working until 65. For him switching meant he got a further 5 years of employer pension contributions that he wouldn't have got under the DB scheme...
Personally, working in IT and hence having a variety of pension pots, my DC pot from the 1980's has performed rather well and currently will deliver a better pension than if it had been a DB pot... I have my fingers crossed with respect to some of my DB pots as the funds are underfunded (fund covers less than 40% of liabilities) and hence hope the parent company continues trading (at least until I retire) so it can make up the shortfall...
Re: AA rechargeable batteries were always good value
>Aren't most rechargeable AA and AAA batteries 1.2V instead of the 1.5V from disposable batteries?
Yes, this can cause problems, there are various articles around the web, below is one I found from a quick search.
I actually found the big issue was that rechargeable AA's tended to be slightly larger than disposable so were either a tighter fit in the battery compartment or didn't fit it at all.
Given how long rechargeables have been around, I suspect very few gadgets designed in the last 15 years exhibit this problem. Certainly, I've not encountered any devices that won't work with rechargeables, including those the manufacturer say aren't suitable for rechargeables.
One thing I've noted more with rechargeables is with the flashgun (uses 4xAA). If I haven't used the flashgun for a while, with rechargeables, I can expect the first set to drain very quickly. However, with the disposables, because of the different discharge characteristics the first set seems to last longer, until you measure the flash cycle time and realise that it has grown longer. Additionally, with rechargeables, I get greater consistency of cycles - useful when taking pictures in rapid succession, before they quickly die.
Re: One last trip down memory lane
>Went in to take a wander around and see what deals they had. Quickly got that feeling of what a waste of time and walked out again.
Funny that - I get the same feeling when I pass the Apple store in Covent Garden...
This isn't because the product isn't any good, just that there is nothing on display and sale that isn't available to view elsewhere...
>//The maplin near me is next door to a PC world, Last year I needed a new external drive *same day* I saved £20 by walking next door (And PC world still ripped me off compared to the price online!)//
I've tended to do it the other way round! See it cheaper in PC World/Tescos/Asda and ask Maplin to price match, in part because Maplin do sell some stuff you can't get at PC World etc. and hence I didn't really want to go back and purchase what I could in one store from three stores...
Naturally, I make full use of the on-line click&collect service, that way I can get the online price before I walk into a store and see what store specific offers they may have.
Also following the logic "if you don't use it, lose it", I help Maplin get some revenue rather than zero revenue, whereas there are plenty of customers already giving money to PC World etc. (as this shutdown proves).
Re: AA rechargeable batteries were always good value
>The problem was getting them to keep apart the newly charged and the ones that have lost charge by not having been charged for a few weeks or having been drained by heavy use.
This problem... :)
For the very young it is handy the battery compartment tends to have a fiddly screw lock requiring Dad's attention...
For the not so young, my son has discovered the importance of not mixing used and charged batteries in the Xbox controllers and thus labelled two clip top containers: Charged & Dead...
Also a 4 battery fast recharger doesn't take up much space - important when Christmas has to fit in the car as it is spent at the grandparents :)
FYI I think the investment I made in AA rechargeables back in 2004 was the correct one - for the pocket and ease of use when shops are closed or I can't be bothered to go out, given how frequently the charger is on...
One thing I did omit, none of the C sized rechargeable batteries have stood the test of time, probably because they weren't used as much. Neither have the AAA sized, in part because whilst they work in telephone handsets they don't seem to last in toys or other appliances (eg. TV remotes) where they aren't constantly being recharged. So for battery sizes other than AA, I still buy conventional batteries...
Re: AA rechargeable batteries were always good value
Given I've not purchased any batteries since 2010, they were cheap compared to quality rechargeables such as Hahnel. Although in my box of circa 50 AA batteries(*), I do note that about 50% of the Maplin batteries have failed compared to ~10% of the Hahnel ones, 30% of the Ansmann & Jessop own label and ~80% of the more widely known high street brands (eg. Uniross, Energiser).
(*) Large number due to using flashguns that eat rechargeables and having kids who toys could also eat batteries.
> While I respect your attempts to avoid disposable batteries, considering your lossy use case you'd probably be better off with the disposable ones in the kiddie toys?
Been there, no comparison: especially at Christmas, there is no real comparison between a 2800mAh rechargeable and a cheap multipack of Duracells from the discount shop.
Re: What about Companies House
> but won't Companies House become the first target of GDPR attorneys?
The EU itself?
This is going to be interesting, HMRC only permits individuals to be VAT registered. So for example whilst Vodafone UK's vat number is currently GB 569953277, the number is actually assigned to a person who is personally responsible and liable for Vodafone's VAT. So firstly is the VAT data that of a legal person or that of a legal entity. Secondly, where, in the sign-up is the opt-in allowing personal data to be published on the Internet by the EU?
Re: Israeli security startup CTS-Labs
>For many years the only way to flash BIOS was to boot from a floppy disk with a minimal OS
And before that, the only way was to physically replace the BIOS EPROM.
Re: Minimum wage?
>Who says crime doesn't pay?
Well I was a little surprised just how small the profits were - was it really worth circa $15,000 pa?
Joined up government?
Do you think the various regulatory authorities are sharing information...
Re: A Soft Border
I do think Brexiteers will be rather less complacent about matters if they paused and thought about all those people wishing to cross Europe and get to the UK. Currently, the EU27 have to abide by EU rules; post-Brexit, well simply provide them passage to the soft as a ripe French Brie border...
Re: Oink, oink, flap, flap.
> like moving headquarters and jobs out of the UK, if anyone tries this they lose their whole UK operation to nationalisation with ZERO compensation
So remind me, what does Unilever UK have that will enable it to be nationalised and continue as a business that exports stuff? Remember the 'UK' brands are simply brands, soon to be owned by a Dutch HQ'd company, production is highly mobile...
Re: No need for the government.
>let market decide.
Not paid attention to those El Reg commenters from the US about how that has worked out in the US with respect to DSL services, mobile charges etc. ...
Electric cars need a state subsidy says David Wong...
Whilst David Wong does raise some important points, however, fundamentally once you cut through everything, what he is asking for is a state subsidy...
There is nothing preventing the electric vehicle manufacturers getting together, agreeing a common set of standards and build out a charging infrastructure and include the cost of that capital investment in the cost of the vehicle. Additionally, I think we need to set up Ofroad who can then auction access to the UKs state owned highways. etc. etc.
Remember you and I pay in our monthly bills for the infrastructure that delivers mobile phones/data, fixed line telecoms, gas network, water network, domestic electricity network...
Re: It's a feature !
Best keep a lookout! I presume (this being Windows) there will be Server 2012 and 2016 variants of this patch coming down the Windows Update pipeline...
Re: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton.
And in the hands of Little Britain, a Stephen Hawking twist...
There is a good rundown of Stephen Hawking's various cameos on the BBC:
Re: Just the usual then ....
@Daniel - The only thing where they succeeded was in killing any sucker that bet on the platform for their hardware
Not quite, back at the beginning (mid 90's) MS also succeeded in their hype campaign in destroying the (non-MS) mobile platform. Until MS started hyping the yet to be released Windows Mobile/CE whatever there was a growing market in mobile platforms and (non-MS) OS's. MS's approach effectively made many put off purchasing decisions and wait for MS to launch their product...
Interestingly, MS's failure to really deliver with Windows Mobile/CE probably contributed to Apple's much later successful launch of iOS...
Re: Boring old Microsoft
>Microsoft is the company that makes Windows and Office. We like them that way: boring and stodgy.
Trouble is that MS, look enviously at Apple and want their success and share of the limelight; failing to understand that being "boring and stodgy" hasn't stopped the stalwarts of traditional enterprise IT (eg. IBM , Oracle, SAP etc) from being very successful bluechip businesses...
>Moving windows between them is a resizing hassle.
It is things like this that make you wonder just what the developers have been doing at MS these last 20+ years; clearly they don't spend time either using the product for real-world work or talking to people in the world of real-work.
Mind you MacOS and Linux aren't that much better...
>Makes sense on a lot of levels to only allow rideshares & airlines to own them
Because they are probably the only one's who can potentially justify having space and facilities necessary for landing's and take-off's; I can't see this working on any typical high street (too many people and vehicles and overhead obstructions), or even retail park - watching people trying to get their Toys-r-us or DIY/Ikea purchase in their car's and you'll soon understand the problem...
So this effectively becomes an air limo used by busy executives who need to get from the centre of London say to Heathrow or Stansted without mixing with the hoi polloi...
Re: Not again! - Gliders don't fly, they simply fall with style
I thought the art to flying was “in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”
>So will Broadcom move to the US now? Don't see much reason to.
In fact I see good reason to pull the plug on the move...
Re: You gets what you pays for with UPS
>I see the issue as can you then easily hook up more batteries to that system to extend the life of your network if the outage were to be 4 to 8 hours. I know that could be a large battery pack but getting a whole work day out of a UPS set up would be fantastic.
Well given the home environment, consideration has to be given to the frequency of such outages and the extent to which they impact you. Personally, if the power is out for more than a couple of hours, I simply pack the 'desk' and go visit some friends or a local library; but then having carried my work in a backpack and hot-desked for most of my working life I'm used to this style of working.
>Tesla's powerwall runs at upwards of 144V ... HVDC
Agreed, however, I was hand waving at avoiding the DC/AC/DC conversion- suggesting it might be more efficient to directly convert HVDC to LVDC, particularly if it enables the battery to provide power for longer...
@Alan Brown re: ATX-Power-Supply-with-UPS-Function
Good find - who stocks these?
Only catch seems to be no management interface, only a basic repurposed RS-232C port: Batt_Low, AC_Fail, Shutdown...
[ http://www.berger-stromversorgungen.de/verteiler/berger/dokumente/eNSP3_450P_berger_web.pdf ]
I can find several manufacturers offering this PSU, but I can't find anyone actually selling individually - I assume the OEMs only deal in bulk orders...
Re: ATX connector?
>And if the UPS output can supply the voltages and currents an ATX mobo requires, what would be the problem?
Sorry, I wasn't totally clear. I picked up on your point about additional/auxillary feeds and thought that some might simply take the physical ATX connector and re-assign 'unused' pins to provide the additional feeds rather than use a separate connector...
However, if the UPS can fully support the ATX plug compatible interface I would agree with you.
Re: ATX connector?
>so why not an actual ATX connector with some auxiliary ones for whatever else you're hooking up
Because someone is bound to try and connect the ups directly to a motherboard's ATC socket...
However, not a totally daft idea, you only need to look in the typical car's electrical system to see similar connectors, just different shapes.
>Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Agree, having looked at my home and the entire issue of using solar panels, batteries, low voltage lighting etc. However, I'm sure some balance can be achieved, given that for many people a system capable of running off a 12v 90w power brick is good enough. So there might be some mileage in your idea of having an adaptor capable of delivering the typical (modern) motherboard power requirements...
Re: Cheapo UPS?
>The real point of "smart meters."
There is another interesting side effect of complex and dynamic tariffs: it becomes practically impossible to compare tariffs and thus pretty much destroy the energy supplier switching market...
>Having a UPS that replicates the ATX interface is an interesting idea
I wasn't suggesting replicating the ATC interface, just providing the voltages the ATX interface supports.
Whilst the 12v supply is probably the easiest, I'm not so certain about the 5v and 3.3v rails (ie. cable and distance constraints on getting a usable supply out of a 1~1.5m cable).
> I'm not sure too many users would be happy if their monitor suddenly went dark each time the UPS kicked in even for just a few seconds...
Never seen that issue, for the 15+ years I've run the home office PC off the UPS, but then as UPS's currently output 240v...
However, yes currently most monitors do directly take a 240v feed and so just like PC's some redesign would be necessary to provide an external low voltage socket that would enable the transformer to be bypassed.
I think from the conversations here, there are several broad groups of UPS: Home ie. single PC (plus DSL router), small office/single rack, datacenter. Splitting the problem into domains helps to simplify things, because you can then solve a simpler problem set before worrying about the complexity of the general case. Also if the idea of home batteries, as extolled by Telsa and their Powerwall gets taken up, then being able to plug equipment directly into a 12v supply might be helpful.
>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 ?
Doesn't really matter, just create a standard, just as we have with USB charging and universal laptop PSUs that use 'intelligent' adaptors to modify the output voltage!
The point is that by having the UPS delivering the standard ATX connector motherboard voltages, you can avoid the double conversion we currently have where the UPS delivers 240v to the computers PSU for it to convert into ATX voltages.
The ATX interface standard would satisfy the vast majority of desktop/server use cases. Yes, some investigation will be necessary to determine if the UPS should deliver all the ATX voltages (12v, 5v & 3.3v) or wither it should simply supply 12v and let the computer's PSU sort the rest out.
Re: Nice charity you got there, shame if your Windows got broken.....
In some respects, this decision is consistent with MS's decision a few years back discontinuing the SMB Server offering.
The NFPs that qualify/benefit the most from the MS donations are in the sub circa 25 user bracket, ie. NFP equivalent to those SMB's who benefited from SMB Server. So it would seem that at one level this is simply a tidying up of licencing. At another, it reduces the MS donation to a similar level of tokenism as other tt-exchange.org (UK representative of TechSoup) partners.
What is interesting is seeing MS pursuing the 80:20 rule: pushing large numbers of low-value users into the take-it-or-leave it offering where it hopes to leverage their numbers through advertising etc. to turn these into a reasonably steady revenue stream. However, I've yet to see any real effort being exerted on keeping the 20% of high-value corporate customers who generate most of the profit...
Re: No internet or phone access on New build
Suggest you start talking to your new neighbours.
- Individual letters are more effective than a petition.
- Residents with banners on the pavement outside of and on the route to the show house will be effective, as the builder wants to sell and so release tied up capital. FYI Easter is coming and spring bank holidays are prime time for builders to show off their products to prospective buyers...
- Letters to the council are also effective as these have two impacts, firstly on local authority is going to adopt highways etc. that will immediately need to be dug up to lay standard utility services, secondly, councillors have a say on whether the builder can get planning permission on further sites within the area and whether such permission carries caveats...
- As you've just moved in, you are within your 2 year warranty and so the absence of the landline should be on your snagging list, you should have notified the builder in writing, also it doesn't do any harm to cc such correspondence to the NHBC - who will probably not be interested until the builders guarantee period elapses and they take on the outstanding snagging...
I suggest that you get a solicitor to draw up an appropriate set of words to get PERSIMMON to pay for mobile phone and broadband to every occupied home on your development until such time as an FTTP landline is installed (the size of development satisfies BT's criteria). Obivously, this might involve getting EE (*) to locate one of their temporary masts/APs in your development, at PERSIMMON's expense.
So basically, if you want a landline and broadband, you and your neighbours need to get proactive and organised.
(*) Remember EE did publise their temporary APs recently: http://newsroom.ee.co.uk/ee-pioneers-air-mast-technology-for-rural-mobile-coverage-and-disaster-recovery/
Re: in 1993 ...
>Not only that, but the building company charge high access fees to allow contractors in to run the connections.
Good point and one I overlooked. It surprises many people that my development, completed 10+ years ago the roads have yet to be adopted by the local council, until then everything has to go via the original developer. So I suspect one of reasons BT don't have any plans to upgrade the Phase 1 cabinet is because additional costs will be incurred, which won't be when the roads are adopted... Hence more reason for residents to bring pressure to bear on Bloor Homes...
Re: Ofcom, Comreg and other greedy regulators.
But the pico cell still requires decent backhaul. I seem to remember seeing a network offering for such a cell, but discounted it on reading the details as phones had to be pre-registered to be able to make use of it.
Basically, thanks to the daftness of the government's structuring of the BDUK project; solutions other than a BT cable in the ground, have remained niche, difficult to deploy and expensive.
Re: Too right, here here
>So Britain unify your backbones, get some grit and role out a national communications backbone
Well currently we effectively have two national mobile network backbones, both privately owned. [Aside: I'm ignoring the national Tetra backbone that is due to be switched off.]
I suspect they work because of vested interests of the network operators and minimal interference from Ofcom...
"The clear lesson here is the critical importance of maintaining up-to-date offline backups."
Err whilst this is a nice sounding soundbite, aren't people are forgetting about how ransomware (that has been dissected) works; namely, it quietly encrypts files behind the scenes before it reveals itself (although I have seen some ransomware that simply puts up a demand in the expectation that people will panic and simply pay up). It is not sufficient to simply have offline backups, it is necessary to have backups that either predate the ransomware infestation or have been able to backup files (from an infected system) before the ransomware has encrypted them.
Restoring a system that has had ransomware back to both a clean state and ensuring all data files are unencrypted and clean, is non-trival.
Re: No thanks, I am staying with Windows 7
>So, I will be finally moving my main development machine to Windows 10 soon.
Suggest you keep that Win7 programmer's workbench system safe, as I expect you will be returning to it when you discover just how much effort it is taking to keep your Win10 workbench stable.
You know something is very wrong when a vanilla Win10 system corrupts itself and so is unable to auto install Windows updates and requires a full manual re-install...
Re: Whatever happened to meaningful error messages
> They should be logged somewhere, of course, but showing them to the user adds no value in nearly all cases.
Not had to fault find Windows in a while? Having problems currently with Win10 where the only error message with any information in is the one displayed to the user by a system tray icon, nothing at all in the event logs...
Re: Microsoft’s business models require stealing and reselling personal data.
Maybe those of you bringing your legacy, non-touchscreen devices into Win10, and having a less than fruitful experience, need to try it on the hardware it was designed for?
Win10 sucks with or without a touchscreen, as did Win8.
If you really believe that Win10 needs a touchscreen, then what you are effectively saying is that Win10 is unsuitable for the majority of enterprise deployments that MS need to make the books balance...
Re: And if you are trying to sync to gmail, Outlook can do that:
Funny how others have managed to make gmail sync from non-google platforms (including Outlook) a simple wizard: enter username, password, tick boxes for the services you want sync'd and click "Okay"...
Re: Curious about Three's tethering
Agree, it is going to be interesting what Ofcom has to say about Three.
Firstly, Three make it very obvious when you buy a SIM/Plan it is either for a phone or for mobile broadband and they will detect and politely tell you if you accidentally put the SIM in the wrong device and have done so since 2008 or prior. So I can't see Ofcom how can say much other than to rule that a SIM/Plan should be usable in any device and thus with Three if you realy want to use a data SIM in a phone, expect to pay £££ for phone calls.
Secondly, with respect to tethering caps being different to the data cap, which only applies to some old plans and the current All-you-can-eat data plans, the only area I can see that Ofcom can have any real complaint is where a tethering cap was imposed where the plan was originally sold without an explicit tethering cap.
Interestingly, I see that some PAYG plans have a 12GB cap on "Feel at Home".
However, as far as I can see none of the above has any bearing on the EUs net neutrality rules, as they are all about the service you are buying, so if my plan includes 4GB of tethering then as long as my tethered traffic within my allowance is treated no differently to non-tethered traffic (within contract) then net neutrality has been delivered.
>There is a very obvious yellow clock icon at the top of the screen when there is an update waiting to be installed.
Yes Windows can be quite persistent and obvious that updates are waiting, as can iOS and the iStore. However, it is surprising just how many people can ignore such visual prompts for a surprisingly long period of time.
It is because of this that I believe in the regular (although not too frequent) servicing/housekeeping action. ie. planned outage, so that outstanding issues can be addressed. Not ideal, but it gets the job done, hence why car manufacturers recommend at least annual service intervals and the government demands an annual MOT inspection.
Re: OTA Updates for Cars
Lots of "I imagine" going on in this thread.
How do you think Software Devs write software? Requirements specifications only take you so far...
Re: Well it's obvious
Well, they could be simply treating the building like a modern UI/UX. Remember many modern UI conventions are to have totally flat interfaces with no real indication of what is a clickable icon/link etc. - the designers assume (and expect) users will simply click/touch everywhere until something happens - I think they call it "exploring" or "discovery", because having clearly defined buttons and menus that were readily understandable was so yesterday....
Re: Just wondering
>Is this very expensive glass that is super-smooth and very transparent and always very clean?
No just new glass.
Give it a few years and the glass will warp.
Asdie: in the 1980's there was a new glass-faced building on the Euston road in London, much loved by photographers because of the mirror-like reflections across multiple panes of glass, I was passing a few years back and now the glass has warped the reflections don't impress.
Re: What about the manifestations?
>Blend some egg and smear it on.
Its amazing what you can do with a diamond ring...
Re: Well it's obvious
>Mind you, at least MS didn't run into any doors along the way.
But they did have some problems with a trashcan..
Re: Going for the customers who previously purchased gold-plated ethernet cables?
>How much more upmarket (ridiculously expensive) do you need to get for headphones?
Suspect Apple are envious of handbag designers such as Hermes; trouble is that the secondhand ones go for more than the new ones...
Re: Fact or opinion
>Of course, much depends on ....
>And whether you use...
Well with all digital sources, much depends on the quality of the A-D chipset and clock.
But in all cases valve amplification plays a big part...