* Posts by Maurice Shakeshaft

127 publicly visible posts • joined 11 May 2007


Smart meters: Nothing can possibly go wrong, says gov

Maurice Shakeshaft

This is such a bad idea.

I already have a meter for my electricity supply. It is simple - like me. It works 24/7/52. It is very tamper evident and so fairly secure.

Please can someone explain why the government, which has no mandate for this, is spending large amounts of MY/our/your hard-earned taxes on subsidising something that, if necessary by the power companies, I should be paying for through my electricity bill?

I'm really angry. I suspect there is not one electable political party out there that has either the vision or the bollocks to tell the civil Servants and power suppliers to come up with their own adequately secure solution if they really want one and then offer it to customers but make it optional for them to take it on.

Details of all internet traffic should be logged – MEP

Maurice Shakeshaft


Anyone supporting this proposal should be aware they have helped tilt the slippery slope just a bit more.

There will be a bureaucracy associated with this and it will need continual feeding with taxpayer funds.

By all means try and find a way to manage down the effects of porn and child/adult abuse but check whether this is the most effective way, first

What is the cost/benefit - and don't cry 'think of the children', because I am. I am looking for a 'better' solution with less negatives!

Amazon's Silk looks creepily Phorm-ulaic

Maurice Shakeshaft

I trully don't understand why...

Our regulators and politicians tolerate this.

Even if there are no votes or £'s in it surely there is a moral and personal intrusion/privacy aspect to this. Have we suspended principled action in favour of expediency and pragmatism?

'There is no point in fighting this battle because we can't win and the electorate don't really care, even if we think that in the long run the company is acting dangerously and in bad faith".

Clearly I'm approaching this simplistically or I live in a different world. What have I missed, please?

MPs: 999 HQ revamp FAIL cost £469m

Maurice Shakeshaft

I'm sure I heard reports of this project going off the rails...

back in 2007.

There will be projects in hand at the moment going the same way - not as spectacularly, perhaps - but still wasting taxpayers hard earned money.

When an how will the message get through that taxpaying is not a discretionary activity and money deployed from it merits a proper level of scrutiny. Clearly it hasn't yet.

I've been working with computers in Industry for nearly 35 years and never cease to be amazed that bright young things (like I once was??) fail to learn from history that if you don't involve the right folks at the beginning then you will end up with a pigs ear.

Scrutiny happens in the private (and frequently corporate) sector because expenditure is derived from profit and that is harder to get than taxes. The private sector contractors in this case may have been either a tad unscrupulous or maybe just incompetent when they allowed their customer to waste so much of their fellow taxpayers money but I confess I don't know.

BBC explains 'All your Twitter pics are belong to us' gaffe

Maurice Shakeshaft

Am I wrong but...

Isn't it one of the BBC's T&C's that if you make a submission to them of text, audio or video it becomes their's to use as they see fit? If you write in or send a comment then the BBC can use it without attribution?

Isn't the same true of a letter or photo submitted to a newspaper or other media?

If I slap 'copyright protected' on it then the chances of it being published are nil. Unless it happens to be exceptional and unique.

Will the looters 'loose' their benefits?

Maurice Shakeshaft

Add me as well...

if that is your view.

If a person has duplicated somebody else's property and made it available to me to down load and make a copy for myself am I not, effectively, stealing it if I take a copy without payment?

Free will tells me I don't have to steal. I can go and buy a copy, resentfully paying what to many is an abusive premium, and use that within the law.

Maybe, and I don't know, but the proliferation of web sites were folks can place and access, with almost untrammeled impunity, stolen material is a contributor to an attitude that was evidenced over the weekend.

Are you from the 'Thatchers Children' generation? Maybe, I am just too old or ignorant to understand the illegal argument?

However, The media companies and their backers in high places had better wake up soon and find a better way of distributing their product or the only people who will benefit are lawyers and thieves - or are they one and the same.....

DARPA drops another HTV-2

Maurice Shakeshaft

they'd probably fail an audit and have certification withdrawn

Procedures for corrective action and continuous improvement seem not to have been followed and requirements met. But I may be being pedantic...

Bankers plot telco bypass for payments

Maurice Shakeshaft

why is this even an "issue"?

If I make a payment over the phone The teleco only gets the call charge.

If I make a payment through the post The PO only gets the stamp charge.

If I make a payment in person only the cobbler benefits.

I'm stupid, I know, but what have I missed here?

Film studios thrash BT in Newzbin site-block test case

Maurice Shakeshaft

A thought or two

Why consider banning portable players, CDs, cassette tapes and vinyl? If I want to make a recording for my own use from the radio or other medium I'm permitted, by law, to do this. If I want to access and download material out of copyright I'm permitted to do this, legally. What I'm not permitted to do is infringe copyright and this case appears to me to be all about that. Two profit making organisations are stealing or aiding and abetting the theft from law abiding citizens.

What have I missed?

The music, print and film industry should innovate in their delivery processes. They definitely wont while wholesale thieves are out there. Why should they? Were is their incentive? They innovate and somebody steals their next solution. They cock up the innovation as Sony did with their rooting of PCs and they get screwed. They have the law on their side as has just been shown by this ruling. While they can continue to access and influence feckless politicians and 'civil servant' the law must be applied. What did BT expect??!! Clowns!

I've no idea how to change the law but that is one strand of the solution. It is certainly not acceptable to condone or support theft by BT, NewzBin or whoever. Show/prove the Media are stealing and then you might have the beginings of a change plan?

Google infringes copyright by displaying and linking to news site content

Maurice Shakeshaft

one thing Belgians aren't is 'Stupid'

I suspect this has been thought through or they wouldn't have gone this far?

What is the end game here? If it is about money then it opens up another strand in financial debate on how content owners get paid fairly for their work.

A lawyer might reasonably argue that their client doesn't need to introduce any tools into their website code to prevent copyrighted material being 'stolen'? The thief must simply not knowingly do it. Obviously, I'm no lawyer!

IPCC report: Renewables can never meet energy demand

Maurice Shakeshaft

I guess your figure is about right.

I understood the figure to be about 10kW/m2 at geostationary orbit with about a 95% loss in the atmosphere.

For equilibrium we radiate what we receive less (what we use + what we store). As a planet, we're in marginal equilibrium?

As you note, if we capture and convert a small proportion of the received energy then we're in business - so to speak - and we don't need to go down a nuclear route. However, the big issue/problem is getting governments and enterprises to take seriously the idea of solar power in its various forms. Unfortunately the nuclear lobby and fossil fuel lobby employ far more people who are 'taken seriously". They've been at it much longer....

Why is the hand grenade a bit of a dud here.

No, iPhone location tracking isn't harmless and here's why

Maurice Shakeshaft
Big Brother

Sad, very sad! and dangerous as well.

Nothing more to be said, really.

Big Brother Icon because they can, more easily now with this attitude.

Site-saving workers evacuated from Japanese reactor disaster

Maurice Shakeshaft

Wave, Tidal and Solar furnace spring rapidly to mind for the UK

Any for your next smug comment....

Maurice Shakeshaft


The accident at the Rainhill Trials didn't prevent Potters Bar, Hatfield or Kings Cross. Yes, I know they're in a different industry and in a different time but the 'Human effect' is the common factor.

Just don't go down the nuclear route (yet) when there are economically and technologically better or equivalent solutions that would probably solve energy needs more effectively.

Fukushima update: No chance cooling fuel can breach vessels

Maurice Shakeshaft

Were is the scarasm?

That's all?

Eurofighter Typhoon: It's EVEN WORSE than we thought

Maurice Shakeshaft

In a real world you'd be right....

However, our Politicians and Civil don't live in a our real world they live in Westminster and Whitehall. They will be quite prepared (and have demonstrated several times recently) to drag us into a war for which we are un or poorly equipped.

We have Chinooks planned over a decade ago waiting to go into service... and this is just one more example.

Not one person in Whitehall or Westminster will be substantially reprimanded or lose their job or pension over this but there will be a significant number of working folks who will or have. The bigger the cock up the closer the defense lines. Draw swords, repel borders, fire grapeshot...

Boffins demand: Cull bogus A-Levels, hire brainier teachers

Maurice Shakeshaft

In a different world...

As an Engineering Graduate I agree, in part.

However, University shouldn't be just about a 'Meal ticket' which is what you seem, in part, to imply. Unless you have a passion and interest then you wont make a very good Engineer/Doctor/Dentist/Lawyer/Scientist/plumber/mechanic/electrician.... and that is what we want. Yes, you'll get buy and make a living but you may also be attracted for the wrong reasons. Some teachers continue in their chosen profession even though they could get more outside because its a vocation and they happen to be acknowledged as being very good at their job by industry, their pupils and their peers.

We have to find a better way than the crap system at the moment but while society continues to accept less we'll get less (unless we're talking taxes.. that is...)

Police hit delete on DNA profiles

Maurice Shakeshaft

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is....

Why do I have a nagging doubt that this is either a bit of sophistry or there is something else going on that I will like even less than DNA profile storage and this is an attempted sop to keep me off balance.....

I'm just too cynical? It must be my age!

I'll be happy and amazed if it goes through in anything like the form outlined.

Cambridge boffins rebuff banking industry take down request

Maurice Shakeshaft


For institutions that have, over the years, made fortunes from a marginally secure process to complain in this way is pathetic.

'But we don't have the money to invest' (unless we raise our charges) will be the cry. "To do more at this time will impair our competitiveness" .... Enough!!!

Get a proper system, in place without further delay, that secures your customers funds and privacy or get out because you are incompetent. Do not pass Go, Do not collect a big fat golden goodbye!

If you are really as smart as you claim then your marketeers will be able to help you steal a march on your competitors by selling how good and secure your systems really are. A little bit of trust might be restored in the competence of the Banks.

Mozilla exposes 44,000 passwords

Maurice Shakeshaft

At least it appears they were up front and open

A bit better than some other companies out there....

Councils show true grit in the face of ... FOI requests

Maurice Shakeshaft

Checking is not the issue

Transparency is.

If the Government, councils or other body funded from taxes - which the majority have no option but to pay - have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear. (so they tell us, anyway)

I recognise that there may be inefficiencies and that excessive cost may be incurred. What I don't accept is that expensive incompetence be permitted to be covered up.

It may be that they have bought well and can justify the processes in this case. If so then there should be no issue at all. If the clever dicks who run councils/other bodies attempt to disguise or hide what they are doing because they dont want to answer, or worse believe they don't have to answer valid questions from enquirers then they had better think again.

What is worse than declining FoI requests is denying the information to elected public officials. It takes a very robust representative to fight the battle with administrations especially when the relevant Chief executive gives them a bollocking for even asking the question - and that happens!!

UK.gov braces for possible Wikileaks hacklash

Maurice Shakeshaft

And you think CAP Gemini wont be rubbing their hands...?

Given the unscrupulous nature of big business it would not surprise me in the least if it the big IT suppliers didn't see this as a way to drum up business...

'We've specially hardened our switches to limit cyber attacks and they are available to you, with our bespoke, hardened, software, for the one time offer price of £7250 ea." Buy now because we have a big order from 'Province A' - or some other place.....

Top secret payload fired into orbit aboard private rocket

Maurice Shakeshaft


It wont have aged much - relatively?

EU will change e-signatures laws to boost electronic invoice usage

Maurice Shakeshaft

What is the problem that eSignatures wil solve?

I don't understand what the real problem is here. Can somebody enlighten me, please.

If it cost effectively solves a business problem or cost effectively opens up future opportunities then that is, possibly, a wise use of TAXPAYER! funds. If not then stop it now, please.

I'm not interested in supporting State-based "talking shops".

Councils 'spend shedloads on CCTV'

Maurice Shakeshaft

Ahhh, but...

If so much money needs to be spent on securing buildings, materials & locations then maybe fewer and less is indicated rather than spend more on ineffective CCTV. Especially given that many of the images are inadequate for legal purposes and the cameras may not be working.

As noted in the article, the capital cost is large but the maintenance cost is also large. It is just the same as 'Street Furniture' How many posts do you see going up along road sides with signs on them when there is a perfectly servicable post adjacent? Each post costs hundreds of pounds to install, document and maintain. It is then on the asset list to be accounted for...

Many, and this goes for CCTV as well, are a complete waste of time, add nothing to anything other than visual pollution and become obsolete and an eyesore in doubt quick time...

It is just too easy for Public Officers to convince the elected representatives to spend taxpayer cash. If you don't spend the budget you wont get it next year... So let's spend it on .....

Boffins mount campaign against France's official kilogramme

Maurice Shakeshaft

I understood the Planck constant wasn't...

and that it varied depending upon your location in space...? I'm as thick as one though - a plank, that is - so may be feeling the sword point at my back.

Perhaps it is adequately specific and accurate for local purposes but then again so may be the mass in Paris.

Sound like a lot of effort for nothing dramatically important. Or have I missed the fundamental point at debate here? Is this the most important 'Standards' issue or just the one that will catch the most headlines and earn the most grants?

Three is voted the best UK network

Maurice Shakeshaft

A bit of a Curates Egg here.

When connected 3's broadband mobile is very good and I can get connected in all places in UK and abroad were it matters to me.

However, their software periodically crashes my Mac and I've not been able to get any support to sort it out - ever.... Are you listening, 3??!!!!

Also, phone coverage and stability is, at best, variable.

That being said, the folks are nice and helpful if you can stand the wait and are prepared to be patient with their call centre staff.

5/10 from me.

UK arms industry 'same as striking coal miners' - Army head

Maurice Shakeshaft

And that is the right place to start....

If we are intending to fight another war (and some would say we are in another type of war already) we need to know what force configurations might be appropriate. At one time English Bowmen ruled battle fields, then came the musket, followed by ships with cannons and marines, then Tanks then planes, then nuclear weapons and 'Smart' bombs. Spying and Information technology has been a continuing element. A clever General once said something along the the lines of "a battle is only fought after it has been won". Will 3 separate, and in some ways competitive armed forces, give us a better chance of wining the battle? Why isn't GCHQ part of the MoD if it's purpose is to help avoid the fighting of internal and external wars?

Brussels declares war on web virgins

Maurice Shakeshaft


"Information and communications technology is credited with half of all productivity growth"

I think that is a very tendentious statement. In my, sadly limited, experience ICT does little to add to 'productivity growth" - in my world at least. Who and how is "productivity" measured.

I spend inordinate amounts of time dealing with electronic correspondence that is only not irrelevant because it comes from people who can adversely affect my life. The content is, almost invariably TBlx, but "must" be responded to. If these f**kwits didn't have access to ICT then they would have to think before writing the shit they write and then maybe they wouldn't. Equally, they may become engaged in more productive enterprises.

I have to fight with poorly developed and incomplete "office productivity tools" because the team has been deployed by some product marketing youth onto the Next Big Thing.

Bahhh Humbug, I say, pass me my quill & parchment I need to write a letter...

Germans plan to make 'synthetic natural' gas from CO2

Maurice Shakeshaft

Points about RoI taken.

However, our Government/banks are quite prepared to invest/spend £Billions on NHS IT, identity cards and some aspects of road and air transport infrastructure and PPP & PFI projects were a very dubious case for RoI is made yet, because they technically can't or wont understand the importance of Energy independence in the 21 century, are quite prepared to buy in solutions from abroad. The "duck" and "snake" and "tidal power" ideas have been developed and would not be being exploited in Scandinavian if they kept breaking. They may need refinement but that is just what the Japanese did to UK car designs and industrial processes and we now have no significant UK owned indigenous road vehicle manufacturing (racing cars aside! and we do make some important components).

There is a strong argument for improving the UK engineers approach to business management if we are to fully exploit the UK technological developments but this is a chicken and egg situation, surely?

If we don't make the investment in developing and trying to commercialise engineering in the UK then we will be condemning future generations to a '3rd world' economics because we will have little intellectual property to exploit into commercial ideas.

Vote Lib Dem, doom humanity to extinction

Maurice Shakeshaft

The invariably serious and well informed Mr Page is having a laugh?


Johnson: ID cards will pay for themselves

Maurice Shakeshaft

Revealed, at last.

ID Cards will be mandatory.

There is no way, without effective compulsion, that the ID card and NID can be made to be consumer cost neutral. It should be called an "ID Tax" not and ID Card. The compulsion will come in the form of denial of access to public and private services. Public services you pay, and have paid, for through your taxes and private services that you need to live such as bank account access.

I look forward to some honesty from the Conservative and New Labour politicians now. I'm ever the optimist.

It is very hard for me to say this but ID Cards and The NIDB may be why I change my vote on 5 May.

Transport for London gobbles up Oyster

Maurice Shakeshaft
Big Brother


I've never had an Oyster card and wouldn't know what to do with one if it was thrust upon me. I'm in London infrequently enough to not have to need one - I suspect. The disparity in cost must be down to either the money the system owners make out of selling Oyster card users details or it is just too much hastle for people like me challenge the theft.

Northerners give up ID cards for Lent figures suggest

Maurice Shakeshaft

Why is an ID Card and the NIDB needed?

Just a simple question.

I've read all the stuff about a "one stop shop" & "protection from Terrorists" and "ease of access"..... and the like but they are facile, simplistic & rubbish reasons. What is the real reason(s).

I might consider an ID Card at some point in the distant future but even then not until I have a sensible answer to the question.

I refuse to allow "The State" to define me this way.

ISA chairman assures nation: Your data is safe

Maurice Shakeshaft

The most telling point for me was

The ISA is all about protecting the "agency" by making sure that those employed/used have been vetted according to the procedure. The database and system is about protecting the bureaucrats from rebuke. "We only followed the system that no right thinking person could have/did objected to" will be the cry.

It is not about making children or the vulnerable safe from people who will do them harm. If it protects the vulnerable then that is, and should, be a bonus. That it has the very obvious and real potential to place massive amounts of sensitive data in the public arena is no concern of the ISA. "Not my job, govna".

Many volunteers - like me - do not see it as an advance in safety of young people and will be withdrawing. I will not have the state define me in this instance.

Defra tenders for sheep tracking database

Maurice Shakeshaft

Were is Brian Rix when you need him!

Even he couldn't script this farce.

Is it expected that the Greeks, and other European states were sheep are a major livestock component, will buy the database applications and processes we develop for our industry? I doubt they even have any intention of monitoring sheep & goat movement let alone electronically or automatically or involving a database.

The next step will be to have scanners at markets and abbatoirs so that the sheep can be automatically registered.

And, pre tell, let me guess who will pay for all this extra supervision - The EU? Of course, I should have known! And were will the money come from? Well, hit me with a wet fish, it must be the Farming budget! No, no, really, who will pay.... Well, actually, the taxpayer(s) in the leading economies. Well not the UK then, phew! Well actually, yes.

All this will do will add to the costs of farming and food in this country and will not add one iota to food safety. Bad food is like a terrorist bomber - only one needs to get through. And this database wont stop one. Meanwhile we will have an expensive and growing database, complete with civil servants to maintain it, with valueless intellectual property.

Were is our leadership when it is needed to tell those who would bankrupt Britain on the alter of process and procedure to just ...... GO!

HMRC warned on wrong tax codes

Maurice Shakeshaft

Hang on a minute, ...

Didn't they test this change before it was made live? If they did, why did it go wrong

Didn't they train the folks to enter data correctly? If not, WHY!

Is the failure rate within the specified limits - it certainly doesn't appear to be within acceptable limits!?

As with any change, didn't they anticipate there might be problems and plan for enhanced support? (or are we talking 'Monday mornings' here)

Sorry, I've just made a change to the way I charge customers. I wont check it thoroughly, I'll rely on them to tell me if I'm overcharging them. Ooops were have all my customers gone...

This doesn't happen with HMRC and rarely with Utilities were there is low capacity for customers to change so it is not unreasonable for customers to expect a higher standard of V&V and associated planning and project management. Or am I being unreasonable here?

MPs frozen out of super-secret copyright talks

Maurice Shakeshaft

Sounds like we're in a bit of bother.

Allegedly, they wont/can't tell us (the General Public, consumers and taxpayers!) what our negotiating partners don't want us to know what they're negotiating about - but the lobbyists do get an inside track. And they claim open Government! We must trust them to come to the right decission and they'll work on our behalf to secure the best deal. They will love you in the morning and the cheque is in the post!

I'm tempted to the view of "sack the blighters" but I know the next lot will be no better. Until we have a change in attitude a change of Government will make almost no difference.

Time to get active.

Home Office advises Police to break the law

Maurice Shakeshaft

It is as sad as it is deplorable

Hundreds of thousands of Britains and folk of other Nations have given their lives and more in the past 100 years to defend the liberties of this countries populace against tyrannical forces from abroad and here we are now relying on tyrannical forces from abroad to protect the lives and liberties of Britains.

A sage once said - I believe - "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance". If this infringement is allowed to stand we in Britain will truly have become the "Big Brother" generation were we are prepared to look on and take vicarious, distracted interest rather than become involved and take control of our society - and we will deserve it. But not our forbears or our offspring.

Almost none of the political establishment (MPs and Civil Servants) are working against it because Turkeys don't vote for Christmas - just as the political establishment wont vote for a power and budget cut even if there is another solution to a non-problem. Will they, Sir Humphrey?

New mega offshore windfarms could supply 2% of UK energy

Maurice Shakeshaft

Some thoughts...

There is nothing wrong, per se, with wind power. I like wind power. It's nice and woooshi. Not exceptionally effective or efficient, but still nice and wooshi.

I suspect, however, that the Crown Estates interest in this is the site license and tolling revenue. It certainly can't be technical or commercial.

If electricity is to be generated effectively and economically with modest pollution a mixture of onshore and offshore windfarms, Ponded tidal barrages, wave energy, and PE solar and Solar furnaces is required. In Britain we're not really well equipped for the last two (at the moment - but lets see what climate change does for us...) but as an Island nation on the edge of a continent we can certainly do the rest very effectively. The more electricity we use the more the economies of scale will work to the advantage of large capital investment but ONLY a Government is capable of financing at economic rates the capital investment required. PPP & PFI not required here and doesn't generally work anyway.

If we start to invest in Pumping gas or water into sealed holes like gas and Oil wells then the excess energy can be held temporarily for load balancing (- a bit like Dinorwig?) If there is major excess then electrolyse seawater hydrogen and chlorine? Both are valuable chemicals.

Nuclear is a dangerous joke in the short, medium or long term - IMHO.

Johnson reveals ID register linked to NI numbers

Maurice Shakeshaft

NI Number - in case another hasn't made the comment.

Wasn't there a furore recently about NI numbers? Something along the lines of circa 100 million issued, 85 million population (inc those who've died) - what about the balance....!!!??

If NI Number is to be linked to ID Card then it is more about 'entitlement' to services and failure to produce an ID card - not an NI Card! - will mean no service, even though you've made a lifetime's contributions.

The Conservatives wont row back on ID Cards when they need to 'manage down' UK PLC's costs. Labour - New or Old - wont row back as it is about control. Lib Dems appear to have no rudder but they do have a big oar and as long as we paddle towards Europe "Super State" and we're compatible with that then "that will do Pig".

Stop ID Cards! You know it makes sense.

RAF's new military airlifter finally lumbers into the air

Maurice Shakeshaft

And why has it desended to this state?

As the contributors above note, we (Britain!) had good technology and people. Why have many of our Engineers and Scientists gone and to were? Firstly, when Britain stopped developing interesting stuff, they "Brain Drained" to the USA. Then when we stopped building interesting stuff they went to America and Europe. We have niches (like motor racing) but seem destined to lose them as well if we're not careful.

Why did we stop developing and building? "Oh, our Engineers and Scientist were too exacting and made it too expensive and we were told by our allies not to compete..." and "Foreign Engineers are so much better at designing and building to cost than us....." If these ideas are the excuses used then our Civil servants, Accountants, Bankers and "City" leaders have a great deal to answer for as nether of the sentiments reflect the truth completely or accurately and do a disgraceful dis-service.

No one in the Political class seems keen to attack and cast out these incompetent wretches because they do not consider it is in their interests to do so. The author is a notable and cogent critic but he has only a little voice, regrettably. Would that others would do a service to British forces, subjects and taxpayers by amplifying his voice.

Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy

Maurice Shakeshaft

I have nothing to hide but I do want my privacy.

The two things are not the same and the man is being disingenuous if he doesn't see the difference.

Unless, of course, he is saying that once you've used his companies service then your interests are his companies for sale and that this is an embedded assumption in both the Google business model and in the Google terms and conditions of service.

The truth of the matter is that he is not being disingenuous and does believe that users info on his service is his to use as he wishes. He just doesn't see this as wrong. He wont use it "wrongly" and if there is nothing "wrong" in it then it should be quite acceptable for it to be used. Never mind abuse of privilege - you don't have any.

He and his ilk are just the same sort of imperialist evangelists who thought it acceptable to ride on the back of explorers and pillage nations in earlier years. It seems they either don't care or don't recognise that other people might not be as appreciative as they would want them to be.

Home Office staff offered early bird ID cards

Maurice Shakeshaft

If it is such a damned good idea....

Why not make it a requirement that:

All members of parliament and representative bodies (Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament & Westminster Parliament & Lords) have to have one before they can take their seat after the next Westminster parliament election.

All senior Civil Servant in local and national governments require one to access their offices.

There would be two benefits. We would have a massive increase in efficiency because the parliamentarians and civil servants couldn't access their places of work and or the ID Cards and database would stop in its tracks.

Silly me... The only people who could make this happen are the MPs and the Senior Civil servants and I've not heard of turkeys voting for Christmas.

One of the main reasons Legislators and Civil servants will be amongst the last to sign up is they know how insecure and poorly implemented the whole idea is. When/if it all gets working they might sign up if they can't get and exemption. Meanwhile Joe public has been reamed multiple times by the identity thieves and nerdowell rogues with the government saying 'Oh, its just teething troubles....'

And our Politicians wonder why the electorate is cynical and disengaged! Thank you Mr Blair, you dissembling, insane sophist!

US govt cash to fund Tesla minivan?

Maurice Shakeshaft


Milk floats were introduced because in there day they were cheap, more reliable and much more quiet (at 3:30-7am!) than combustion engined equivalents. They died out 'cos of economics. Vans improved and we consumers changed our milk purchasing habits.

The electricity delivery infrastructure, in the main (sic), exists but may need uprating unless habits and consumption don't change - so there may be a cost..... (as yet unaccounted for?) in electric domestic vehicles and light vans.

Electric power generation currently relies on, in the main, fossil fuel. (Yes, the French have Nuclear power stations but they also have Renaults and Citroens!) Change to solar furnace, Tidal, Wave and other effective renewable power and then come back to me about electric vehicle economies and regulating market forces...

Also, and now we're back to Milk floats, find me some battery technologies that wont rape the environment of the first and 3rd world in there manufacture.

H2 generated from renewables and distributed like LPG might work but that will also cost a lot.

What was the joke about number of psychologists to change a light bulb.... None, the light bulb has to want to change. A bit like humans then?

Euro project to arrest us for what they think we will do

Maurice Shakeshaft
Big Brother

While I'm sure the article is not tongue in cheek

Who are the paymasters of these misguided souls?

When we know who they are we can cut off the money supply because, in truth, that is what it is about.

The internet may have been conceived to be a democratic tool for information exchange but what it has become is a glorified 'porn line'. The more effectively Ms/Mr Public can be sold/bought then the more attractive it will be for those in 'Authority' to access and control the process and find out about us.

If we don't want that to happen we have to stop them - they wont stop themselves, it is not in their nature...

To do so we must firstly control the money supply and then change the culture. The former is much easier than the latter and must happen first or the greedy blighters will keep at it like rabbits!

Authors ask court to delay Googlebooks hearing

Maurice Shakeshaft
Big Brother

Call me a bit of a Ludite here

Google are taking, and have taken, without consent the (intellectual) property of others.

They are now trying to reach a settlement with organisations who may have rights to be recognised on behalf of some of the folks who have had their property stolen for profit now and in the future by Google. The court has stepped in and said... 'Hang on a minute...'

In a different world the police have arrested folks for stealing "un-owned" items and then passing them off. The law establishes that you must have rights to an item before you do anything materially with it. Google are attempting, after the fact and at a reduced (gift) rate, to regularise the situation to their benefit. (I believe some of our MPs tried something similar recently when they were found out with their 'expences'!)

What have I missed.

Stop them, prosecute them and if appropriate punish them to a deterent level. A shame, I know, given that their mantra is 'Do no Harm' but the gravy train of private theft has to stop some time, some way. Losers have the privilege of being nice. I don't look to justice systems to be losers.

Why teachers fear Callum, Chelsea, Connor and Crystal

Maurice Shakeshaft

slow news day?

In my day Adolf was likely to be a badun while Winston was alway a good girl.

The fears may, or may not, be true for the first year in primary or secondary education but after that they have a track record and the teaching staff will be aware of it by report or reputation. The Professional Teacher may have ideas/prejudices but they will also be informed by the childs family name and address. Any inner fear they may have are just that.

Self evidently - Education is not a beauty contest. Badly behaved children are a PIA to the Teacher and other pupils and stand in the way of effective education & learning for the majority. If the parents haven't started them off with appropriate social skills then it is improper to burden the Teacher and other children with them. Or am I being a bit harsh here?

Music industry cooks UK government's piracy stats

Maurice Shakeshaft

If the statistics are so dubious - and they are!

Why do other (ostensibly) responsible media, journalists and editors prepare and report them without any form of health warning?

It is up to the reader, to a large extent, to apply critical thinking but with the presentational techniques and sophistry available today it is probable (in my opinion) only the most well informed (and a minority of the rest) will spot the statistical slights of hand. That is unhelpful and a contributor to mass cynicism about mathematics and statistics in general.

So, why do they do it? Lazy, ignorant, malign, stupid, unable, deadlines, commercial interests?

In any event TVM to you guys for trying to level the field a bit.

Germany says 'nein' to Google book deal

Maurice Shakeshaft


Have the British Government filed a similar missive with the court in New York? Would be nice but, sadly, I doubt it..

Might get even more weight behind it if our European legislator could get of their collective backsides and follow the German approach - why haven't they? Or have they but it's all quiet?