* Posts by Alan

11 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jun 2008

Gov 'smart meter' plans: Sky box in charge of your house

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Communication with the smart meter would probably be over the power lines supplying the premises, not using the customers' phone line.

No, I don't want a smart meter with a remote cut off switch, I could do without a power cut due to the thing suffering a BSOD or at the whim of a script kiddie!

I had my meter moved to a box outside the house so readers can get access when I'm not at home but in fact I still get estimated bills, the meter is only read once a year.


Electronics giants raise ruckus over Project Canvas


@ Chronos

Actually, couldn't agree more, I have a perfectly good DVR to record programs for viewing later -- it can even record a whole series automatically if neccessary. Programs that I miss are usually available on some of the other digital freeview channels anyway, I don't see the need for clogging up the net with repeat TV programs.

IWF denies wielding Pirate Bay banhammer


Sorry Title Blocked

I wonder if this explains why I often cannot get sites like universities and colleges, even parts of The Reg are not found. I can get the home page but not some articles, they give either timeout errors or not found errors.

I'm on 3 mobile broadband and this has been happening intermittantly for some weeks now. Last night I was only able to get google and The Reg (home page and very few articles) just about everything else timed out. It seems to be OK. today -- are they experimenting with filtering? (or have they just got crappy DNS servers).


Brussels: Old-school lightbulbs to be gone by 2012


Low Energy but Short Life

I've been using CFLs for years, I have to use three 18W ones to get decent light in the living room, get the right colour temp ones and the light is good enough (after the warm up period which gets longer as the lamps age) but the thing that goes against all the hype about these things is that I usually only get about a year out of them. It's not the electronics that go, its the fluorescent tube itself that simply wears out. After several months use the light output is reduced, the difference is obvious if I replace one lamp in the three light fitting you see how dim the others have become.

It is correct that you can't use them in an outdoor fitting, they don't like sub zero temps and may not light at all, also damp goes for the electronics usually resulting in a bang and a puff of smoke (same thing can happen if you use one in a bathroom). Hopefully LED lighting will not suffer from these limitations.

Texting peer released from prison


Standards of Driving

This thing reminds me of one clear sunny morning when I was driving to work. I noticed cars sitting in odd positions about half a mile down the road, there was a filling station there and it looked like there had been an accident. I took my foot off the gas and let the car slow down, cars were still overtaking at high speed, some running into cars already stopped.

As I got closer (now down to a few mph) cars were still flying past and adding to the carnage. As I was wondering how I could get my car out of the way (as both lanes were now blocked) another car came flying past with all wheels locked -- he piled into the cars and actually knocked some out of the way -- I was able to slowly drive through to safety. More cars were still piling into the wreckage while an announcement came over the radio saying the road was now completely blocked.

My point is what the **** were those drivers thinking about? -- the weather was clear and dry with good visibility, due to the layout of the road you could see the accident from a good bit away, more than enough time to respond but they didn't -- they just ignored it until too late.

Fortunately despite the carnage nobody was seriously hurt.

With driving standards like that I'm not surprised a stationery car on the motorway at night was hit, it wouldn't be a question of if but when.


It's a lot safer to reverse into your drive, it's never a good idea to reverse out into traffic.

Industry’s behavioural ad guidelines criticised


No Title

"Secondly, users must have a choice about whether they receive the advertising or not"

Funny, no mention of the fact that your data is still being snooped (in the case of ISP level snooping) even if you "opt out" from receiving the ads. I don't see most ads anyway (Happy Firefox / No-Script / Adblock user) unless I choose to.

Using cookies virtually guarantees that everyone will eventually be opted in whether they want to or not (someone else in the family using the computer, clearing cookies, using another browser and forgetting to opt out, etc. etc. etc.) I should have to opt in if I want this nonsense otherwise my connection should not be profiled. End Of.

Prime Minister's health records breached in database attack


Is a title needed


The letter goes on to say, "If you would like to have a Summary Care Record, and the added protection it can offer, you do not need to do anything - your GP will automatically create your new record on or just after 22nd June 2009." Brief details are then given on how to opt out.

This sounds a bit like p***m --- surely if you want to opt out, the record should not be created at all, if it is you are already in whether you like it or not! No, it should be opt IN then if you say no, no record is created.

The letter should say

"If you would like to have a Summary Care Record, and the added protection it can offer, see your GP who will automatically create your new record on or just after 22nd June 2009."

Info chief slaps Met on CCTV in pubs


We Are Being Watched -- Constantly

Walk into most shops -- you are on camera, walk down the street you are on camera, walk into a bank you are certainly on camera, in your workplace you are likely to be on camera -- why should pubs be any different ?

Welcome to the surveillance society!

'Interfering' BT Vision attracts campaigner glares


@ Richard

DRM (Digital Radio Mondale) won't work if interference levels are high either, this stuff will probably mean the end of long distance radio as Ofcom certainly won't take an interest in short wave listening either digital or analogue. The only time they will investigate is if you cannot receive TV or DAB as that's what your licence entitles you to receive, nothing else matters.

Funnily enough I have had to try for ages to send this as my 3G internet connection has given up -- it seems to get very unreliable about this time of day--- interference problem? unfortunately I can't get wired broadband -- exchange oversubscribed apparently

One hour later -- still no-go ---- trying again one an' a half hour later -- let's see


Ofcom will do nothing

Analogue radio is going to be shut down in a few years, why would they bother doing anything about interference to reception of it. As long as DAB is not affected they will be happy.

Of course there are many radio hams (myself included) that will not agree with this -- I often listen to short wave broadcasts and would be very annoyed if I was prevented from doing so due to "legal" interference. At the moment there is no problem in my area as BT can't even provide broadband let alone vision!

Bus-spotting paedo terror bust: Shock CCTV image


Must Have A Title

Trust The Reg to give me a good laugh on a rainy Wednesday