* Posts by Joel 1

156 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jun 2009


Shocking: UK electricity tariffs are among world's most expensive

Joel 1

Re: Electric should be cheaper, gas more expensive

>Out of interest, which cars? I know it's an idea that's been floated, but AFAIK, not implemented.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 for one - available now, and also has the ability to charge to 80% full in <20 minutes if you can find a fast enough charger.

It is true that you do need to have isolators if you have power generation onsite - solar inverters cut off if there isn't grid power unless set up as an off-grid system. What I'm not sure about is whether it would be possible to isolate the house from the mains circuit, and have the solar power working with the EV power supply - put surplus back into the EV.

Joel 1

Re: Electric should be cheaper, gas more expensive

>Obviously they would also need to have an inverter lying around

If you get the right car, it comes with the inverter built in, and just spits 240V out a socket. Presumably you would need to be careful plugging it into your mains system, as otherwise you will be trying to feed power for the whole neighbourhood, and the amount of power in the battery doesn't seem so great....

Joel 1

Re: Electric should be cheaper, gas more expensive

>Ooop north, they're currently without leccy. If they were all in electric cars, they'd be utterly screwed.

Not necessarily - if you get the right car, you can also run them in reverse and provide 240V from the car to what you plug in to it. And with a battery of ~75KWh, that could keep you going for quite a while, with the other advantage that if the battery starts to go down and power still isn't back, you can drive it off to charge it somewhere which has power, and then bring that stored power back home for the next few days.

I grant you that your consumption might need to change for a while to maximise the time the battery can supply, but some power is better than none (and LED lights could run for a LONG time, plus enough power to keep the boiler running).

Crypto for cryptographers! Infosec types revolt against use of ancient abbreviation by Bitcoin and NFT devotees

Joel 1

Re: Hidden or secret

I remember many decades ago when people referred to political views being crypto-fascist meaning that they were hiding their genuine fascistic viewpoint behind an acceptable veneer.

Ah, the halcyon days of youth, when people still thought that having an acceptable veneer was important...

Slack serves up out-of-order messages, shaky comms as world goes back to work

Joel 1


Wide ranging differences in opinion...

At work have to use Slack, Teams, and also Zoom on occasion.

Teams seems dismal for chat and keeping up with what's happening in wide range of differing conversations. Would hate to have any sorts of alert notifications coming through Teams.

Slack has been working much better overall, particularly in a distributed WFH setup as we are currently in. Mind you, it could be related to the sorts of conversations that happen in each option. Working in Teams during the outage has been painful, but again, might be because we are trying some of the conversations that would normally happen under Slack.

One of the other painful bits around Teams is that it is tied in to the Office365 authentication, which gets painful when you have multiple clients with different domains that want you to authenticate to different Office365 accounts. I might be using it wrong, but it doesn't seem obvious to manage the differing authentications as easily as Slack workspaces.

Still, someone pays some money and you get less choice...

Nationwide UK court IT failure farce 'not the result of a cyber attack' – Justice Ministry

Joel 1

Re: UK?

>Although post Brexit a United Kingdom of England and Wales looks increasingly possible

no, not possible - Wales is a principality, not a kingdom, so therefore you can't have a United Kingdom of one kingdom. The kingdoms that are united are England, Scotland and Ireland (which I suppose you can maintain as the kingdom being Northern Ireland, as that is the only part with a monarch). If Scotland and Ireland go their own way, we will be left with the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Scotland, and the Kingdom of Ireland (assuming they don't join the republic).

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Joel 1

Re: Partly our own fault - or our bosses'

I remember the time when I was shown by a customer how all the tapes were kept securely organised with an old style telephone sat on top - one of the old ones which had loud bell ringers - you know, the ones with a hammer that is pulled by rapidly alternately pulsing electromagnets to pull the hammer alternately into each bell...

rapidly pulsing magnetic fields on top of backups on magnetic media...


New Horizons eyeballs Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, its next flyby goal

Joel 1

Re: 'Since' - or 'ever'?

"The snaps are the most distant images taken from the Sun since "Pale Blue Dot" "

I think it's neither - the images weren't taken from the Sun, but from the spacecraft New Horizons which is currently a long way from the Sun....

Oh, you meant "the images taken, most distant from the Sun"... I see

We've found another problem with IPv6: It's sparked a punch-up between top networks

Joel 1

Re: The cake

Now that was a heartfelt plea...

Huawei elbows aside Apple to claim number-two phone maker spot

Joel 1

Re: Lifetime ...

"If you buy a high end handset that's shipped with Oreo then updates aren't dependant on binary blobs from silicon vendors any more."

I thought high end handsets were shipped with iOS...

<ducks into trench with bucket of popcorn>

Criminals a bit less interested in nicking Brits' identities this year

Joel 1

Need your details?

>Fraudsters need access to their victim’s personal information such as name, date of birth, address, existing bank account etc in order to impersonate victims

Nope - only time I've ever had a CIFAS record entered was from a fraud perpetrated on very.co.uk - their credit checks were so great that they managed to accept a fraudulent application from someone who was not even using my name at my address.

We had never used them, and it was only later on that I discovered that very's entire business model was based on bait and switch to try and encourage people in to opening a credit account. My wife thought recently that she was doing some online shopping, but it appeared that the only way to buy said product was to open a credit account. She was waiting for the bit when they asked for CC details...

With 'credit' providers like them, who needs fraudsters?

Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

Joel 1

Re: HS2 and the Galileo replacement

"It is as if 48% are the clever ones, and 52% are the stupid ones."

It is as if 34.74% chose one thing, 37.46% chose the other, and the remaining 27.80% were unconvinced by either side's argument.

NetHack to drop support for floppy disks, Amiga, 16-bit DOS and OS/2

Joel 1

Best graphics of any game

Far better graphics than any other game - interfaces directly to the imagination. The things I have seen...

Well done, UK.gov. You hit superfast broadband target (by handing almost the entire project to BT)

Joel 1

Re: Exchange-only lines?

@Neil44 I was on an exchange connected line in rural North Yorkshire (in fact only 300 or so cable feet from the exchange from what I can remember from the old number you used to be able to dial that would tell you). However, North Yorkshire county council was one of the first authorities to do a deal with BT to enable fast broadband to the every exchange in the county. One of the provisions of this deal was that there had to be provision for exchange connected lines (over a third of the premises served by my exchange).

The solution BT came up with, was to install a cabinet outside the exchange to connect all the lines to, so that they could then utilise their FTTC product. Why they couldn't just put a rack in the exchange, and call it a cabinet, and mount the equipment there, I don't know. However, I did end up with 70Mbs actually delivered, so happy enough with the solution.

So, don't believe BT if they say there is no solution available. It might be that they don't chose to enact it when not contractually obliged. Point them to the Pateley Bridge exchange, which had this problem, and they resolved it there.

Cabinet Office losing grip on UK government departments – report

Joel 1


'Spin has been at the centre of ALL UK Governments' communications strategy since Blair's tenure (and Campbell's media management) in 1997'

Have you forgotten Sir Bernard Ingham in the Thatcher years? Spin has been around as long as the media...

Post Unity 8 Ubuntu shock? Relax, Linux has been here before

Joel 1


...we do - Ubuntu works well for our development pipeline - same OS installed and controlled via puppet on Vagrant builds on developer laptops, Dev, UAT, and Live on VMs and hardware. HPE has Ubuntu as a supported OS on physical kit (and not Debian), and Canonical push very frequent updates to their official Vagrant boxes. Works very nicely in the pipeline.

As to the desktop flavour? What's that for again?

2014: El Reg booze lab proves Bluetooth breathalyzers are crap. 2017: US govt agrees

Joel 1

Re: "We chose to settle in order to focus on our mission,"

I think you mean "alternative fact stater"

Tesla books over $8bn in overnight sales claims Elon Musk

Joel 1

Re: 500,000

@MachDiamond The point is that it was an existing car factory, so required minimal additional investment beyond the tooling specific for their production line. With a new production line, I would expect the line to be largely automated. Consequently, the workers you require might be more along the lines of computer engineers than the workers Henry Ford used to look for. Ford also used to pay his workers more than the standard going rate. Might not be as stupid as you think.

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Joel 1

Re: Good.


"Have an upvote for the correct use of PPS!"

Parliamentary Private Secretary?

You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

Joel 1

Re: Civil service

Absolutely! If someone wants me to have a secure desk, give me a rolltop desk.Covers all the requirements of securing laptops, PCs etc, and anything on my desk is secure.

If they don't want to get me a rolltop desk, then clearly the policy isn't that important...

There is always the option of the lockable workspace - I believe they used to be called offices...

Hapless Virgin Media customers face ongoing email block woes

Joel 1

SPF woes

The problem with hard SPF policies is if you have email which is forwarded via an alias expansion from a different domain.

eg - I have a domain foo.com with correct SPF headers applied.

I send an email to distributed@bar.com which is an alias which expands to numerous addresses, one of which is hapless@blueyonder.com.

This email is therefore forwarded on by the mailserver at bar.com.

The mailserver at blueyonder.com checks the SPF records for foo.com, which says that mail should come from mailserver.foo.com. However, this email is being delivered from bar.com. If you have a hard SPF policy, this legitimate email will fail.

The problem is that no one email provider controls the whole chain, and forwarding could come from many locations.

SPF is useful as an indicator for spam filtering, but if you implement a hard rule, you will have false positives that you can't work around - they never even reach the spam filter of the recipient.

Nice idea, but doesn't cope with the way that legacy systems work. And much of the internet email infrastructure is legacy.

'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

Joel 1

@gazthejourno Re: Downvotes

"Did you tell us about that ad at the time?

We're pretty hot on nixing crappy ads like that precisely because it narks everyone and encourages readers to de-whitelist us from their adblockers."

Looking through past comments, I complained about it in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Are you telling me someone finally listened? Do I dare trust El Reg enough to whitelist? Can someone who isn't blocking give an opinion about whether they are behaving themselves?

Joel 1

Re: Downvotes

Oddly enough, it was El Reg which caused me to install AdBlock in the first place. Do you remember that annoying ad a while back which had some animated woman push back her office chair and slide out from the "ad box" confines and all over the screen?

Previously I had been happy to have the ads served to support the site, but when they start getting in the way of the content of the site, it had gone too far. AdBlock gets installed (but with a fairly minimal set of rules).

"You're not paying any attention to my ad - I'll show you! Stop looking at that article and pay attention to me!" <block>

Sheesh, it's worse than the cats sitting on my newspaper when I'm reading it. And they have claws I respect!

Joel 1

Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

Does no-one understand the meaning of "theft"? Theft involves taking something such that the original possessor no longer has use of it. Blocking ads in no way prevents the site from being used by anyone else.

Oh, and if you think that copyright infringement is piracy, I would suggest that the media moguls head to Somalia, as I hear that there is a lot of piracy going on in that neck of the woods, and clearly some angry lawyers letters could sort things out nicely.

Volkswagen enlarges emissions scandal probe: 'Millions' more cars may have cheated

Joel 1


"and when to fire the spark, to achieve the burn characteristics desired (power / emissions etc)."

Umm - we're talking about diesels here... there is no spark...

Millions of people forget to cancel Apple Music subscription

Joel 1

Re: Audio quality is king

This reminds me of when I posted to a forum asking if it was possible to run some speakers in the kitchen (note, a set of parcel shelf cheap car speakers) using cat5 cable from my stereo. I was wiring up my house and wondering whether to put a socket on top of the kitchen cupboards. The alternative was running some dedicated bell wire.

The replies I got were of the variety that I couldn't possibly live with anything less than a maximum of 1 metre of solid gold bars connecting £2000 quid speakers to my amplifier, or else ears would bleed and everyone would take their own life rather than put up with the torture of such sub-standard audio reproduction.

In the end I thought that there was more copper in the cat5 than the bell wire, and as I was wiring everything anyway, why not give it a go.

It worked fine.

Sometimes audiophiles aren't able to see the world in the way that the rest of the world do. Many people are happy with "good enough". Transistor AM radios did very well throughout the 60's, 70's and 80's...

VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies

Joel 1


"Provided one factors-in the energy used / pollutants emitted, during the manufacture & replacement of equipment which has only half the life of old 'inefficient' boilers."

I had my condensing boiler installed in 1999 as an extra in my newbuild house. The neighbours went with whatever was standard. I'm just looking at replacing mine now (16.5 yrs later) because of a logic board issue (not because the guts were rotted out). The neighbours (identical house) have been averaging 33.5MWh of gas annually over the past 3 years. We've been averaging 21.5MWh of gas. It does make a difference!

Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole

Joel 1

Satisficers rather than Maximisers

The big question is to whom do the returns of increased productivity accrue?

Many people would prefer to work less - if you have sufficient income, why not work a 4 day week? Or half time? That doesn't necessarily mean that you actually work less, just that you don't have to do work that someone is prepared to pay you for. There is a reason that many people find that they do far more in retirement than they did in employment.

But this is the assumption that your financial needs are met.

With increasing automation, it is possible for the hourly labour rate to increase, or for the increased productivity to be viewed as entirely due to the returns on capital. Interestingly, the increase in minimum wage might be the impetus needed to drive better automation. Do more with what you have. Yes, it might lead to the loss of some jobs, but the ones that remain might well be better.

For some time people have been noting the fact that the French have better productivity, but that they also have a 35hr working week. Do the extra hours the British work actually achieve anything? Rather than giving pay rises, why not keep the wages the same per week, but reduce the working hours per week? Cut the hours per week, and you can look at a substantial hourly pay rise for no extra cost.

The big problem for capitalism is that robots don't buy things. People need disposable income to be able to buy what they don't need, but want. If you increase productivity, some of that increase needs to accrue to labour or you won't be able to sell your shit.

Today's smart home devices are too dumb to succeed

Joel 1


"Bulbs grow, lamps glow."

Lamps glow if they have a source of illumination inside them - you can plug in your electric lamps and turn them on as much as you like, but without a lightbulb, they will glow not at all.

If you are looking at oil lamps (or lanterns) then substitute wick and oil for bulb and electricity...

HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Joel 1

Stand out from the crowd

In an environment where everyone is wearing T-shirts and jeans, shake things up a bit and come in wearing Edwardian shirts and waistcoats. Or maybe Nehru suit - no tie required. Dressing up in a dress down environment can be more fun than the other way around. Plus, management thinking you might be going to an interview keeps them on their toes.

All smartwatches are insecure, reveals unsurprising research

Joel 1

This isn't a report

They don't report on which devices they tested. They also don't even say if they tested the iWatch, just that they tested "10 of the top smartwatches" not the top 10 smartwatches. Did they test the Pebble? Did they test any of the Swiss Chronograph with smart functionality?

This is PR guff and doesn't give any details which might allow you to draw some conclusions. They don't even say when they conducted the research, or which versions of the various OS's were used. Was the iWatch even released at this point?

And the Reg article is shoddy as well - it says 100% of smartwatches have flaws. 10 is not 100%. A touch of sampling bias methinks as a minimum. Alexander Martin should be ridiculed in the same articles mocking the credulity of journalists reporting that Chocolate helps you lose weight.

There might well be vulnerabilities across the board. I think someone should research this issue, as there doesn't appear to be any extant research published.


The Great Barrier Relief – Inside London's heavy metal and concrete defence act

Joel 1

Re: Soooo ermmm

Still got golfballs at Menwith Hill....

Attention dunderheads: Taxpayers are NOT giving businesses £93bn

Joel 1

@James Anderton

"Incidentally if you are plowghing a field, pottering about on a canal, digging a hole, fishing for herring, consuming gin on your floating palace then you will also be receiving this "gift" from the taxman."

Actually, if you are pottering about on a canal, you now have to pay duty on the diesel you use. If you also use diesel for heating, then you get that without the diesel - you have to allocate a percentage of your fuel that you use for heating.

Thus, liveaboards pay little duty, but cruisers pay much more.

Subaru Outback Lineartronic: The thinking person’s 4x4

Joel 1

Re: Subary servicing

Diesel outback came out in '08, so his experience pre-dates it. A world of difference between the petrol and diesel models, and the US version is effectively a different car with the same name...

Joel 1
Thumb Up

Re: Questions

Absolutely. I bought mine for the higher ride height (to deal with flooded bits of roads) and the ability to negotiate farm tracks and a bit of crossing fields. In fact, as we then proceded to have large dumps of snow just after I bought it, I can verify that it handles snow in the Yorkshire Dales far better than many "4x4s". There is a reason why they have a strong following amongst farmers...

Currently on 160k miles on an 09 plate, and it has been very reliable. I'm beginning to have to swap out wheel bearings, but I think that is acceptable on this sort of mileage. Economy on the diesel is good (in 2009 it was class leading) running at 45.9mpg (measured) over the 160k miles, and stretching to 48 or so on a long run. And it looks like a standard estate, rather than an SUV, and behaves well on the road.

Mind you, the price has increased 50% or so since I got mine, when it was c.20k rather than c.30k now. But you don't get hosed on "options" - the price of the trim levels pretty much includes everything. Might well look at another when this one retires, but that's probably in another 100k miles or so. Probably the favourite car I've had so far.

Joel 1

Re: Subary servicing

Diesel Outback has a cam chain - no replacement required (160,000 miles and counting)

Online gov services are mostly time-wasting duplicates, says EU

Joel 1

@Kubla Cant

"Yes, but there are a significant number of sites where some bastard UI developer from hell has gone to the trouble of disabling copy and paste in these fields"

Not only that, but numerous sites try and tell me that my email address incorporating +siteidentifier is not a valid address (which it is). Why can't they read the RFCs to find out what is valid, instead of randomly guessing?

The insidious danger of the lone wolf control freak sysadmin

Joel 1

Re: Internal wikis - do they ever live up to expectations?

Yes, internal wikis can very definitely live up to expectations. But the first thing to emphasise is that sharepoint ≠ wiki.

Particularly with managed service or on-call, a good way to build up your wiki is to put your new engineers into the oncall rota early on, but with an experienced engineer to also be on call if the newbie gets stuck. First port of call is the wiki. Then, if still not sure how to deal with the alert, call the experienced engineer. Nothing like that for giving the experienced engineer an incentive to update the wiki!

Get your new engineers to document anything that they have had to ask about. Makes it easier for next time.

Employ engineers in their 40's - need to wiki everything as you want to remember the next time you have to deal with an alert at 3am, and the memory is not what it was!

Move people between teams - again an incentive for making the wiki better while you try and get up to speed.

Make the wiki easily searchable - if it is easier to search than ask, people use the resource. The more useful it is, the more people are likely to update the wiki.

Change the culture to one of expectation that it will be on the wiki. As a sysadmin, get fed up of answering the same question, and wiki it - then point people to the wiki.

Ideally you make it into a resource that people use in the same way they do Google. Why not use it?

Elon Musk pours more Kool-Aid into Powerwall

Joel 1


I'm assuming you are not UK based. In the UK, there are a number of factors which can make a smaller install preferable.

The first issue is roof size - can you fit >4KWp on your roof? The majority of UK installations (by number) are <4KWp. Most houses won't fit >4KWp.

Secondly, you can install up to 4KWp without having to ask the power company for approval - beyond 4KWp the power distribution company has to consider if the grid is appropriately sized to take the power (assuming you are grid-tied).

Thirdly, the FIT in the UK reduces the rates for installations >4KWp. So for many people, 4KWp is the sweet spot for installation, assuming your roof can take it.

Also consider that the best return is when you are substituting for your own electricity use. Most households have base loads below 1KWp <http://www.mpoweruk.com/electricity_demand.htm>, so it is only when you throw on the kettle, or electric oven etc that you get to use all your own power, even with a smaller system. And it would be rare to run a kettle all day...

Don't panic. Stupid smart meters are still 50 years away

Joel 1


"A smart meter data describes in detail your usage pattern so it is a perfect tool to deduce are you at home"

Nope, it would give the information about whether the sun was shining - at the moment during the day the energy flows the other way.

However, I'm more than happy to stick with my old analogue meter, as it spins backwards when my panels are producing more than I'm using - I've informed the electricity company, and submit monthly meter readings that are negative in summer, but no-one seems to be bothered.

My meter is actually a reconditioned one that is 19 years older than my house - I thought they were supposed to swap them out every 15 years, but 16 years and still no sign of it. Maybe they are holding off for the smart meter rollout...

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

Joel 1

Re: @Boltar...A lot I could live with...

"Besides which a Subaru outlander estate is a favourite with farmers who really do need proper offroad vehicles."

If you check out the title of the article we are commenting on, you will see that the Outlander is by Mitsubishi.

The Subaru Outback (of which I have one at c.156k miles) has been a joy, one of the major pluses being that it looks and behaves like an estate rather than an SUV, but has better AWD than most SUVs.

Tesla Powerwall: Not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Joel 1

Re: Inverter?

The Nedap Powerrouter has this functionality - indeed, many of the inverters designed for the German market now do this, as the market there is moving away from FIT. The householder wants to use as much self-generated power as possible.


They also do a retrofit model...


The Tesla batteries also aren't hugely revolutionary - alternatives already exist:


A Nedap setup will allow 5KW or 3.7KW peak loads (according to model).

A lot of the cost is tied in to the intelligence of how to handle the charge/discharge, particularly when electricity is charged at different rates at different times (which includes self-generated power). What you really want is something which can determine when you are generating more than you are using, and only store that electricity. The problem with the Nedap solution (in this country) is that the power is stored directly, and doesn't pass through the inverter to go through the generation meter. Thus you don't get your FIT payments until it comes out of your battery. Thus you pay for any inefficiencies.

Mind you, it does open up the possibilities of charging batteries elsewhere and putting them into the system fully charged to then be used and pass through the generation meter at full FIT earning potential. Seems like a lot of effort for a small return...

High on bath salts, alleged Norse god attempts tree love

Joel 1

Re: Did the copper shout

Since the Tasering failed twice, he must have been providing too much resistance...

First HSBC, now the ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR dodges tax

Joel 1


"Similarly, why are government staff subject to income tax on government salaries? Surely an equivalent value to net should be paid and so you eliminate the need to calculate tax and all the staffing needed to handle it."

Doesn't work for employee's tax, as not everyone has the same tax code - will vary based on other earnings, child benefit, owing tax, pension contributions, Gift Aid etc. Very difficult to work out what the net value would be.

The only part which does apply is the employer's NI - why does the public sector have to pay employer's NI? I remember seeing a headline that the increase in employer's NI was putting a strain on School and NHS budgets. Seems crackers to me - complaining about increased public expenditure due to an increase in public taxation...

Enough is enough: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

Joel 1

@Manu T

Now if only we can get malware authors to use apps the way they were intended, instead of using undocumented and unintended functions. Because that's just malicious...

BYOD is NOT the Next Biggest Thing™: Bring me Ye Olde Lappetoppe

Joel 1


It is not unknown for skilled workers to supply their own tools - joiners/stonemasons will often supply their own tools.

My concern is that often the company budget for IT is far lower than what I would prefer to pay. I use the equipment day in/day out, and I am more than happy to pay out to have the spec of machine I want, rather than that deemed necessary by the bean counters.

Many times in the past I have paid out myself to max the RAM on the company machine rather than go through the pain of trying to push the justification through the purchase system. RAM is too cheap to worry about. When you can double the RAM for under £50, why worry?

No-one has yet complained that the inventory software reports too much RAM. No security issues either.

It is always disappointing as a contractor to be working on the supplied system that has 25% of the performance of my own system. But there you go. They pay enough for me to put up with it (although I did sneak in an extra 4Gb stick of RAM I had lying around - one has some standards).

LEAKED: Samsung's iPhone 6 killer... the Samsung Galaxy S6

Joel 1

Re: Why should Apple be worried?


After today's announcement, I really don't think Apple will be bothered by Android eating "more and more of Apple's lunch". Apple just seems to be getting bigger and bigger platefuls, so I'm not sure what Android is eating - the plates and napkins perhaps? Apple certainly doesn't seem to be going hungry.

Perhaps there are two separate markets developing? The Android one is certainly bigger by volume, but the lunch that is being eaten is that of feature phones. Android at the low end has certainly supplanted that. At the high end, both Android and Apple are growing, and possibly disconnected. Growth in one doesn't necessarily cannibalise the other - the growth can come from the low end feature phones as people decide that actually they want more than something to make phone calls with (do people still do that?)

Which country has 2nd largest social welfare system in the world?

Joel 1

Re: Sorta - Stalinist?

"Private rail isn't a great comparison, as they didn't actually allow for any competition (if I want to go to London, I have to use a Southern train), plus they are required to run the trains throughout the day, even mostly empty."

Not completely true (although I grant you, mostly true).

Grand Central is an open access rail company providing a few additional direct routes to London from Sunderland and Bradford. This is in competition to East Coast. If you want to travel York to London, you have the choice of East Coast or Grand Central (although there are only a few GC trains a day). So, they allow for competition, just there mostly isn't any.

UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

Joel 1

Re: I'm confused...@AC

"And by the way the British Empire INVENTED imperialism."

I think the Romans might have something to say about that... and the Persians ...and the Chinese

Oh, Ming the Merciless also wants a word. And I hear that a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...