@Craig Vaughton: You are not alone
The UK isn't the only country to have a TV license. Germany has one too.
31 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Oct 2007
> Cool! I guess it's the extra 10 volts that make those data centres so very expensive.
Assuming you're in the UK ...
Have you actually measured your mains supply recently? Do you really believe that the grid operators went out and replaced all their expensive step-down transformers overnight when the spec for the mains voltage was changed from 240V +/-5% to 230V +/-10% to "harmonise" with most of the rest of Europe, who also changed from their former 220V +/-5% to 230V +/-10%. No, I thought not.
What actually happened was ... nothing.
240V +5% is 252V, which is less than 230V +10% (253V). Similarly, 220V -5% is 209V, which is greater than 230V -10% (207V). So the whole of the ranges permitted under the two previous standards fits neatly into the single range of the shiny new EU harmonised standard and nobody has to do anything. Magic, innit?
Of course, now somebody will prove me wrong and show that new substations actually do generate a nominal 230V, but I doubt it. The power distribution companies probably use the extra range to permit a substation to supply a wider area, since the power drop between substation and consumer is proportional to the length of the cables.
Interesting that here in Germany lightbulbs seem to last a lot longer than they did back in Blighty. http://members.misty.com/don/bulb1.html#mll
Had a PC installed at a customer's site once (a prototype system, which is why we developers were looking after it) that started rebooting for no apparent reason at night. But not every night. Turned out that the cleaning staff had decided that the power outlet the PC was plugged into was more convenient than the one just outside the door that they were supposed to use, and simply unplugged the machine when they wanted to clean the floor.
An then there was the mainboard that was afraid of the dark. The PC failed one day - just wouldn't start, no lights, nothing. Onto the bench, case off - works fine. Reassemble - won't start. After a couple of cycles of this (making sure that no connectors were getting disturbed during reassembly) we decided to reassamble under power to see at what point it failed. Simply putting the cover on caused it to fail. Lifting the back of the cover to let a bit of light in - starts working again. One of the guys came to the conclusion that the machine was afraid of the dark ;-) ... Turned out that an LED in the front panel had got one of its legs bent at some stage, and the insulation had gradually chafed away. Unfortunately that leg of the LED carried the 5V rail of the mainboard and a short to the case took out the whole system, but the short was only present when the cover was fully pushed home.
... because you can't get approx. 0.8 hectares by being kicked by a cow.
Never mind, though - I'm sure the term won't die out for a long time. Here in Germany they still have:
Zentner --- 50kg (hundredweight, near as dammit)
Tonne --- 1000kg (ton, near as dammit)
Pfund --- 500g (pound, near as dammit)
Zoll --- inch (used for screen sizes and, curiously, threaded pipe fittings)
Woche --- (week - still has 7 days) ;-)
Not to mention degrees, hours, minutes etc. Expect them to be decimalised next.
How possible would it be to find out the ISP and IP address for any of these so-called politicians? If that's at all possible, the remedy might simply be to complain to their ISP that you suspect them of infringing your copyrights. If enough people do it (it only needs 3) then they're out, and we'll see how fast the law gets changed,
> Does this mean that any forum or website that requires you to complete a captcha and also enter a password also violates this patent?
Maybe. And if so, DEC also violated the patent in the mid 1980s by having a dual-password feature to log in. So when will DEC^H^H^HCompa^H^H^H^HHewlett Packard get sued?