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* Posts by Commswonk

1257 posts • joined 3 Sep 2015

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Git it girl! Academy tries to tempt women into coding with free course

Commswonk
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Re: Schools need to step up to the plate

...step up to the plate

That is a cliché, and should therefore be avoided like the plague.

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Guess who's still in charge of your gas safety, Brits? Capita

Commswonk
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I'm Sorry I'll Write That Again...

HSE director of regulation Philip White claimed the winning bid was the “strongest on cost and quality”

should have read

HSE director of regulation Philip White claimed the winning bid was the cheapest

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Benchmark smartphone drama: We wouldn't call it cheating, says Huawei, but look, everyone's at it

Commswonk
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Re: App Neutrality

Even though I work in the valley of the shadow of tech, I will trust no benchmark, for bias and big money surrounds me. Only in real world testing, will I take comfort.

Now that really is exquisite . Have an upvote; would award more if I could.

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UK.gov flings £95m at public sector superfast broadband rollouts

Commswonk
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Re: Yeah, right

@ steelpillow: We need legislation to force telcos to deliver at a fixed price.

I think you may be confusing "at a fixed price" with "cheaply".

At the risk of stating the obvious they do not mean the same thing.

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Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim

Commswonk
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Re: Why city planners love autonomous vehicles

Fewer car parking spaces means more for living, which either means higher densities and potentially lower rents.

Still a flawed case, I fear. If we start with the assumption that people will still travel to work by car (now "autonomous") because - if nothing else - the rail transport system is incapable of providing sufficient additional space then if there is no local parking the cars will have to take themselves to some location that isn't local.

Where exactly? We now have a situation whereby a vehicle has to travel empty perhaps almost as far as it travelled with its passenger(s) which is hopelessly inefficient in fuel usage (the vehicle will need more charging than it would have done if it had parked close to its daytime destination) and will actually add to congestion, not reduce it. At least at the moment commuter cars are out of the way once they are at their destination; take away the daytime parking and they will have to remain on the road, which doesn't look all that sensible.

The solution to a problem must not involve creating an even bigger one, and IMHO your "solution" would do just that.

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Commswonk
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Re: Why city planners love autonomous vehicles

… it means they won't have to devote as much space to car-parking. (etc)

Oh dear; think of all the things that people leave in their cars because they might or will need them later. (Example: an umbrella) If the car is going to bugger off all on its own, probably to be used by someone else, everything an individual takes will have to be unloaded and reloaded later into possibly a different vehicle.

Anyone thinking that AVs are going to be the dawn of a New Utopia hasn't really thought about it all that much, if at all.

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Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

Commswonk
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I wrote: I have one more phone call to try tomorrow;

I know tomorrow never comes but this update might be worthwhile:

I 'phoned BG Homecare's published "Complaints" number; OK it still hit a voice recognition system but only one word was required to get things moving, if a 10 minutes wait for someone to actually speak to me qualifies as "moving". (In that 10 minutes I got rather bored with the annoying nauzac and exhortations to do things on - line) I was eventually answered by a Welsh name with a Welsh accent which was a promising step. 5 or 10 minutes later the relevant booking was made so - on the face of it - the matter is resolved.

He also agreed (yeah right) that the voice recognition system wasn't entirely perfect.

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Commswonk
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I think I can see where your problem is. BG (or any other big organisation) and boiler service. Get a good local tradesman...

Can't I'm afraid; elderly relative has a Homecare contract with BG so there is no option. :(

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Commswonk
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Can we set ASA on 'Smart' devices, 'Self driving' and 'Artificial Intelligence' next - If sellers of useless tat get smacked down hard and often enough when misrepresenting their plastic chipped junk they might actually start behaving with some sense eventually.

That is the triumph of hope over experience IMHO. In respect of "smart" meters they are more smart from the supply company's point of view than they are from the end user's, and I am currently doing battle with the supposed "AI" of BG's voice recognition system in trying to sort out a boiler service for an elderly relative. I have one more phone call to try tomorrow; if that presents me with voice recognition (after umpteen other numbers that have done just that) it will be back to snail mail with a blistering letter.

And it will be blistering.

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Commswonk
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It's a con, always has been.

Twice now I have found myself signed up for Prime even when (a) I didn't want it and (b) I went out of my way not to sign up for it. Speaking to others I found that they had similarly been caught out.

It's not just a con; it's an active and aggressive one to boot.

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Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

Commswonk
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Re: Mailing list fail

The guy I was taking to told me a couple of fun little anecdotes.

Bit of a Freudian Slip, that.

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Talk about left Field: Apple lures back Tesla engineering guru

Commswonk
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They have a great need for autonomouse vehicles.

Nah; you're just taking the Mickey...

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Rights groups challenge UK cops over refusal to hand over info on IMSI catchers

Commswonk
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An AC wrote: What if they gather a piece of evidence proving your innocence but keep it secret to convict you?

Alan Brown then wrote: Actually you don't need a 'what if', because this has happened on multiple occasions and cited several "historical" instances.

Think about more recent news, reporting numerous trials (mainly for rape IIRC) that have collapsed with "Not Guilty" being awarded by the Judge because the Prosecution (as embodied by both the Police and the CPS) have failed to follow the required Advanced Disclosure procedures; not just "failing" but wilfully (it would seem) sidestepping them and denying the existence of any undisclosed material when challenged, right up to the point where the Defence has managed to track down the existence and substance of undisclosed material while a trial is actually in progress. Whether that counts as Noble Cause Corruption or not is neither here nor there.

At the same time it is reported that detection and conviction rates are falling to a dismally low percentage, and I very much doubt if that situation would be improved even if every police officer had his own personal IMSI catcher to play with.

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Western Digital wonders why enterprise isn't keen on its solid-state drives

Commswonk
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Management Speak 101

From the article: "We've had some execution issues from a product development perspective."

I'd love to know what the above actually means. Is it as spectacular as I hope it is, or altogether more mundane?

Either way it seems to suggest "we make them but they don't work".

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'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

Commswonk
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Re: Is it important?

@ Halcin: Yes! This is yet another example of the reprehensible behavior of marketing skum. It is not acceptable to confuse, bamboozle, trick people into buying one thing by insinuating it's another.

Well put. Sadly with politicians working by the same principles there seems little chance of legislation being enacted to put a stop to it. For a politician it is acceptable to confuse, bamboozle, trick people into buying one thing by insinuating it's another.

What chance of a remedy when the words "pot, kettle, and black" are so apposite...

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Commswonk
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Re: Is it important?

@ TRT: Does if you're buying your own modem / router.

Yes, but... realistically how many broadband consumers do buy their own? I suspect that as a percentage of the total the number is quite small.

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No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Commswonk
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Devil

Re: ...why are you holding your phone like that?

@ Richard 81: Friends has a lot to answer for.

Part of me wants to correct that to "Friends have a lot to answer for", but I recognise that in this case that would be wrong.

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Commswonk
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...why are you holding your phone like that?

I have always assumed that it is because those doing it are pretentious poseurs who saw someone else doing it and decided that it was de rigeur to hold a phone that way.

Much like those who rather than ask "may I have a <choice of> coffee, please, ask if they can "get" one.

I have lost count of the number of times I have come close to being arrested for grabbing such twats and throwing them to the back of the queue; so far I have been able to resist, but the day fast cometh...

And I can always dream of course.

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Facebook sends lowly minions to placate Euro law makers over data-slurp scandal

Commswonk
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Re: I've said it before, I'll say it again.

forced to listen to Vogon poetry for the rest of their lives...

Ah the nostalgia. Thinking about it wouldn't Freddled Gruntbuggly and Foonting Turlingdromes (to mention but two) make superlative pseudonyms for posters on this esteemed site?

If anyone signs up with any of them now we'll all know who gave them the idea...

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Audi chief exec arrested over Dieselgate car emissions scandal

Commswonk
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Devil

"Stadler was arrested..."

Ach for you ze car is over...

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Former FBI boss Comey used private email for official business – DoJ

Commswonk
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@ Ledswinger:I hope you feel guilty, now because its people like you that create the demand for this stuff.

No; I don't - not even slightly. Why should I? I have no idea where you are, but I am in the UK where I have no access to US - based information that has not been "polluted" by others who probably have their own axes to grind.

Am I expected to form judgements on the basis of hearsay evidence? Or am I expected to fall into line with the prejudices of others in conformance with a herd mentality? Or am I expected to agree with an opinion (in this case yours) merely because you tell me to?

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Commswonk
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Comey does appear to have been a somewhat dangerous, out of control individual in a position of great power who abused his position.

It would certainly seem so. Having read his A Higher Loyalty recently this lapse seems to be at odds with his presentation of himself as pillar of rectitude, a claim that he makes more than once, almost to the point of tedium on the reader's part if not his own.

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BT announces Gavin Patterson to become ex-CEO

Commswonk
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...the man needs to be dragged to military barber's for a squaddie regulation haircut...

Ah yes; the famous tale (probably not aprocryphal) about the RSM inspecting some squaddies prior to some major parade: Am I hurting you laddie? I ought to be because I'm standing on your hair.

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Commswonk
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Re: I'm sure he's thinking...

"...I got a lot less hassle flogging shampoo for a living."

I'm sure he's hoping for something like this obligatory Dilbert: http://dilbert.com/strip/1992-08-27. All it needs is the name changing.

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You know who deserves more help from UK.gov? Startup investors, say policy wonks

Commswonk
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Facepalm

Common Typo

From the article: A Google-backed think tank report has called on UK.gov to, erm, help the local tech startup scene flourish in a post-Brexit Britain by agreeing to underwrite a newbie business' first customer contract.

Let's try again: A Google-backed think tank report has called on TAXPAYERS to help the local tech startup scene flourish in a post-Brexit Britain by agreeing to underwrite a newbie business' first customer contract.

I think taxpayers already have more than enough to pay for without anyone finding new ways of splurging their cash.

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NHS England fingered over failure to forward patient correspondence

Commswonk
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Re: "concerns over its debts owed to private equity parent, Rutland Partners"

Why should they?

Common sense.

Oh wait...

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Commswonk
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FAIL

Re: True story.

Half listening to Radio 4 earlier this morning it was reported that 3 health "think tanks" (Oh <deity> how I hate those two words) were recommending an annual increase in NHS funding of 4% above inflation.

Why should we be forced to pay more so that this level of incompetence and indifference can continue unabated?

The perpetrators of this sort of avoidable blunder (and there are far too many examples for comfort) should be out of work if not immediately at least after a formal warning to the effect that next time "you're out".

In the same programme (Today) it was reported that a doctor who had beheaded (unquote) a baby during birth was to be allowed to continue to practise.

We are all human, and thus vulnerable to making mistakes, but some mistakes are simply too big to permit those making them to remain employed. There is a simple catch - all for getting rid of people like that - bringing the organisation into disrepute, and it's high time that particular ban - hammer was used a bit more effectively.

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'Tesco probably knows more about me than GCHQ': Infosec boffins on surveillance capitalism

Commswonk
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Re: Tesco Does Not Know More About Me

But I bet they are tracking you via your phone.

Not when it's switched of, they aren't. And mine is switched off, because that's the way I live my life, not enslaved to a device. In any case it's a PAYG with no frills whatsoever; anything more than that would serve the needs of others rather than just mine.

Anyway, as it happens cellphone coverage in our nearest Tesco is utterly shit so what's the point in it being on?

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Your F-35s need spare bits? Computer says we'll have you sorted in... a couple of years

Commswonk
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Re: I'll have some of that business please

£23m includes the cost of the extended warranty and a premium rate phone call to the customer care team at Lockheed Martin.

"So that we can deal with your query properly please tell us in a few words about the problem you are experiencing."

...

...

...

"I'm sorry I didn't get that; so that we can deal with your query properly please tell us in a few words about the problem you are experiencing."

(repeat, ad nauseam)

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Remember that $5,000 you spent on Tesla's Autopilot and then sued when it didn't deliver? We have good news...

Commswonk
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Better Known As...

Meanwhile Tesla CEO Elon Musk continues to complain about news coverage of car crashes that may have been caused by the Autopilot system.

Is this not a simple case of shooting the messenger, or at least trying to? If this august publication is typical he seems to have succeeded; a thread on the subject a few days ago had more people commenting on the shortcomings of "the media" than the shortcomings of Tesla and its messianic leader.

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UK chancellor puts finger in air, promises 15 million full fibre connections by 2025

Commswonk
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Re: Market conditions

Are these the same "market conditions" that forced me to have and pay for a faster service than I actually need, as happened last year with BT? I (we) had about 56 Mb down which was quite enough; BT offered 72 Mb at an increased cost, but after a phone call they agreed to my paying the same as previously and staying with 56 Mb.

Only weeks later an enforced price rise came along and put me on 76 Mb anyway. I was not amused.

So... if BT suddenly comes along with FTTP in our area will I be forced to have it in place of the current FTTC? If yes then what market forces are going to be available to me to resist? I suspect none; it will be FTTP or nothing, I suspect. More money, please; look at the bandwidth we're giving you. But I don't need the bandwidth. Shut up and pay up...

The "digital divide" risks widening, not narrowing, if advancing technology is enforced at increased cost, and users without shedloads of spare money start to wonder if they can afford to contnue having broadband at all.

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10 social networks ignored UK government consultations

Commswonk
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Re: Is there something which..prevents these people..understanding how the internet functions?

And another "yes" from me.

If "it" wasn't on his PPE course (yes; Hancock studied the Politician's Favorite) then "it" simply doesn't exist.

I wonder whether we should read more into the following in his Wikipedia entry: After university, Hancock briefly worked for his family’s computer software company, such as "he left because he didn't understand it". I wonder just how short a time "briefly" actually means.

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Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

Commswonk
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Re: It's no good BT complaining 'WiFi'

@ Neil Barnes: Perhaps the majority of customers do connect via wi-fi, but even the "fastest wif-fi in the world" cannot overcome the problem of attenuation due to internal walls (etc) or the multipath propagation arising from the same walls and other reflecting surfaces in a domestic or other environment and guarantee to provide the same speed as a properly wired connection.

A search for "how far will my wi-fi go" will produce no sensible answers, because no manufacturer would be so silly as to specify a figure when they cannot control the environment in which their product will be used.

IIRC speedtesters tend to state that wi-fi should not be used, along with advising that whatever is used for the test should not have anything else running at the same time.

Complaining about wi-fi inclusive speedtests not achieving a certain supposed "up to" or any other target speed is a bit like complaining that a car does not achieve its rated acceleration or fuel consumption figures when towing a caravan.

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Commswonk
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Re: WiFi

...the boy has his PC wired into the router for whatever purposes teenaged boys use the internet - gaming I'd assume.

You might think that, I'm afraid I couldn't possibly comment.

I wouldn't want to be responsible for your disillusionment.

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Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

Commswonk
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Do you have a Men Only toilet at home?

No, which means I can't even get away with leaving the seat up. That abomination causes more trouble than anything physiological.

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Commswonk
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Re: Stop....

I need a vacation to over this outrage.

And they are holidays not vacations.

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Commswonk
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I was reminded of the toilet scene in one of The IT Crowd episodes...

Pah; nothing like as traumatic as what happened to me >25 years ago when I worked for <never mind>...

Nature called, so I took myself off to the Gents and, er, locked myself in. It is probable that the performance was accompanied by the usual sound and other effects.

I was mortified when I emerged to find a lady cleaning the place; my discombobulation was compounded by my boss thinking the whole thing was very funny.

Post Traumatic Shit Disorder set in immediately.

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Commswonk
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Re: It's not a sink

Old Joke Alert....

What's the difference between a bison and a buffalo?

You can't wash your hands in a buffalo.

(Well I did warn you...)

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TalkTalk ups the (dis)satisfaction ante as UK folk wake up to borked email

Commswonk
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Re: ISP email

...or BT which is provided by Yahoo!, which I suppose could almost be amalgamated into BooHoo?

Not entirely true. Some BT email is provided by Yahoo, some is not. Mine is in the latter category.

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Bowel down: Laxative brownies brought to colleague's leaving bash

Commswonk
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Further Advice...

Better avoid the "chocolate log" just in case...

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Openreach consults on shift of 16 MEEELLION phone lines to VoIP by 2025

Commswonk
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Re: Lancaster

Thanks for providing that link; I had not seen that previously. I would describe that as a report that was written to be read, not left gathering dust somewhere.

I was more than a little surprised when I looked at the list of participants; there are, IMHO, some "large gaps in the coverage". I would have expected a much more significant presence from the Emergency Services, but there seems to have been just a single PC from Lancashire Constabulary. Now it might have been that ES communication (TETRA / Airwave) was much more resilient than other communications systems, but if that was the case then I would have expected a report such as this to have highlighted that fact so that how and why it was better protected could have been the subject of comment.

Similarly BT appears not to have been represented, and only EE there to speak for MNOs. Perhaps they were invited but chose not to participate.

While it was (IMVHO) an excellent report I was left with the slight feeling of a golden opportunity having been missed. Doubtless other agencies will have conducted their own post mortems, but it would have been nice if there had been a bit more in this report for public awareness.

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MPs petition for legally binding target of 95% 4G coverage across UK

Commswonk
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Re: But Shirley...

@ Martin an gof: I think it is/was data capacity; you are right about the need for linear power amplifiers but I suspect that that is not really a major issue.

Of course one thing that TETRA was not is cheap, and the EE ESN supposedly comes in at a lot less that whatever TETRA is costing. Ha! - we will see. How on earth any bidder for the contract could put a price on things that had yet to be developed escapes me completely.

And of course there will be the problem that any data - hungry system tends to guzzle battery capacity, especially if it is having to transmit it.

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Commswonk
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Re: But Shirley...

They'll just use their devices in relay mode

By "their devices" I assume that you mean "users", in which case, er, they won't. Firstly handportable terminals cannot sensibly be made to act as repeaters, secondly... even if they could there would need to be one strategically located to act as a repeater for others*; unlikely... and thirdly, the last I heard Samsung hadn't even made a "vehicle" set work. Yes, vehicle sets can be made to act as repeaters, subject to their getting sufficient signal from the nearest base station, but how well that would fit the spec for 4G I don't know.

* In addition, portable to portable "direct" (DMO in TETRA - speak) gives rather disappointing ranges.

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Commswonk
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But Shirley...

...EE must have achieved that level of coverage as an integral part of its commitment to provide the new ESN.

</sarcasm>

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You've got pr0n: Yes, smut by email is latest workaround for UK's looming cock block

Commswonk
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Re: Probably mentioned already but

@ Simon Harris: My mother always threatened that if I misbehaved she'd 'pull my pants down and smack my bottom... even if we were in the middle of the shop'. (that was the early 1970s when that sort of thing was still allowed!)

Can you please assure us that you were under (say) 5 at the time and not rather older?

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Commswonk
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Re: Can we have porn by SMS next...

Ahh... ASCII Art. I have behind me an ASCII Art picture of the (then) Post Office Tower in London, printed off by a teleprinter. As readers may or may not be able to imagine the tape that generated it was rather long... the image itself is over 2' high, and was done on a Sagem teleprinter back in the late 60s or early 70s.

Correction; it isn't ASCII Art; that uses the 7 - bit ITA No 5; this was done with the 5 - bit ITA No 2 running at 50 Bauds. It was not a quick job.

<sigh>

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First SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket lobs comms sat into orbit

Commswonk
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Re: inches and pounds

Seeing all that tech documentation in inches and pounds just makes me want to cry.

...with joy.

(Likely Downvote Alert!)

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Zookeepers charged after Kodiak bear rides shotgun to Dairy Queen

Commswonk
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Re: Sense of humor

@ M. Poolman: Yeah, can't see why they needed the extra clause in their permit!

I assume you meant claws...

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Peak smartphone? Phone fatigue hits Western Europe hard

Commswonk
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Re: Why can I not...

Is that too much to ask?

Yes, I regret to say.

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Making calls? Ha, not what most peeps use phone for – Ofcom

Commswonk
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Was The Survey Big Enough...

...to quantify the people for whom a mobile phone is a purely utilitarian device used to make or receive occasional calls and send or receive occasional texts when away from home? Those who don't give a shit about Twitter or any other social medium, along with those who are perfectly capable of spending an entire day (or longer) without ordering something they don't need from the internet?

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