* Posts by Ellis Birt 1

50 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Aug 2009

Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Ellis Birt 1

UBI is great for the "third sector"

The so-called third sector would be the big winners.

Currently, doing charity work can lose you your JSL.

With UBI, you could afford to choose to do voluntary work, much of which would be supporting our over-stretched public services.

Society as a whole could be much better off under UBI.

Even being a representative for your neighbours in your local council or the House of Commons could be a voluntary role without lack of wealth being a bar to entry.

Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'

Ellis Birt 1

Not just Google!

I am sure I am not the only attendee at Microsoft build that noticed that women presenting accounted for far more than the 20% proportion they occupy in the industry workforce.

One session was painful after the obviously experienced presenter handed over to his female sub-ordinate who then struggled through the bulk of the session, periodically looking back for some help and re-assurance that he looked like he wanted to give but could not.

Call it "affirmative action" if you want, but it is just another form of discrimination in disguise and all discrimination is negative

HMS Windows XP: Britain's newest warship running Swiss Cheese OS

Ellis Birt 1

Windows XP may have some vulnerabilities but most, if not all affect its use as part of a general-use, connected system.

I occasionally use a PS that still runs XP. I has not been connected to a network (or had updates) for years. Consequently it provides a stable platform to play back sound effects on cue. Although it runs on a re-purposed desktop PC and has start-up errors (the RTC & BIOS battery expired long ago), it is essentially an embedded system in the sound box.

The systems seen in the Flight Control Room of HMS Queen Elizabeth are probably similarly isolated and, consequently just as secure as a fully patched Windows 10 PC. The difference being that it is am older, simpler technology that has stood the test of time - just what you need when a F35B is hurtling toward the end of the flight deck, flying on fumes with only half a wing.

Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue

Ellis Birt 1

Caveat Emptor! (In UK and EU at least)

Unrepairable... 1 year warranty... Is that reasonable for a £1000 consumer laptop?

Under EU consumer protection rules, a consumer is likely to have comeback against whoever sold them the device - even beyond the 1 year warranty.

The measure is how long a reasonable person would expect a product to last.

If they are not careful, retailers could find themselves replacing a lot of 2-3 year old laptops at their own expense!

Migrating to Microsoft's cloud: What they won't tell you, what you need to know

Ellis Birt 1

I used to work for a small business.

We successfully deployed a hybrid Exchange/Office 365 system (with real people's mailboxes in the cloud). The MX changeover was seamless because the on prem exchange routed mails to the cloud.

Migration was not painless but the upgrade to the latest exchange was more problematic.

We were still using MS Source Safe for some older projects. Our plan was to migrate our file server to One Drive for Business. VSS scuppered that plan because of the the OneDrive naming restrictions. It turns out that One Drive for business uses SharePoint (at least in part) behind the scenes.

We ended up having a QNAP NAS box for such files and hosting the vestigial Exchange server with its test mailboxes.

America 'will ban carry-on laptops on flights from UK, Europe to US'

Ellis Birt 1

Windows on a thumb-drive

That's the answer!

With flash drives having the same capacity as the average laptop available and Windows capable of being installed on one, regular travellers can switch to using a thumb-drive.

The smarter airlines will replace the seat entertainment computer with a PC in every First class seat (then extend it to business) and executives will continue to travel.

With a laptop costing less than a first-class seat, you can either throw it in the hold and hope for the best or buy/rent/borrow one at the other end.

Do we need Windows patch legislation?

Ellis Birt 1

Every product has a design lifetime.

That should be clearly stated before the product is sold - including consumer products. During that time, parts, drivers, consumables, security updates etc availability should be guaranteed - with an insurance policy covering consumers in the event of supplier failure.

When a product incorporates another product, the integrator should be responsible for ensuring continuity of support for all components for the life of their product (including drivers and interfaces to other products).

Then, if someone uses a product beyond its design lifetime it is their problem when it fails.

You cannot assume that a general-purpose computer (or its operating system) will go on forever.

You have the right to be informed: Write to UK.gov, save El Reg

Ellis Birt 1

Impress is currently the only approved regulator - mainly because the newspaper bosses don't want any regulator.

Impress may not be perfect, but I cannot see how El Reg. would suffer from signing up to them. In the case you mentioned, reporting court proceedings, Impress would not prevent you from doing so.

If you are a responsible publisher and check your facts properly, what do you have to fear from a regulator?

Six car-makers team to build European 'leccy car charge bar network

Ellis Birt 1

Re: I can't see the point.

Remember that the safety experts recommend taking a break every 2 hours.

The 30kWH Nissan Leaf is almost up to that range on a full charge (155 miles in theory), the Tesla is well over that. The 2018 model leaf is rumoured to build on that (possibly pushing it to the magical 2 hours @70mph on 80% charge)

Rather than rushing around, driving 7 hours straight, you'll drive a little more slowly, take 3 half-hour breaks along the way and get there almost as quickly and probably a little more refreshed.

For those journeys when you really must tag-team, you can rent a (more comfortable) car, go by train, or fly out of your savings on fuel for local journeys (at UK & EU Prices anyway)!

Remember: BA and Air France scrapped their Concord services because taking your time to travel became the luxury, rather than getting there quickly, meaning that the number of people willing to pay had fallen.

Ellis Birt 1

Brilliant, let's choose a system incompatible with over 60% of the EVs currently able to rapid charge in the UK!

Ofcom to force a legal separation of Openreach

Ellis Birt 1

Be careful what you wish for!

FTTC and FTTP has required, and still requires significant investment.

For all its faults, BT have a good credit rating and can borrow money far more cheaply than an independent Openreach could.

Saddled with the debt incurred rolling out the superfast broadband infrastructure, Openreach will be beholden to shareholders and banks with a much shorter-term outlook than myopic BT. The result will be higher access costs for all customers and a reduced appetite for further investment.

152k cameras in 990Gbps record-breaking dual DDoS

Ellis Birt 1

Re: Smart meters

Smart meters are not internet connected.

They have a private low power local network with a GSM modem in the leccy meter to connect back to the energy supplier's systems.

Not sure how secure the local network is, but I doubt whether there is scope for a large-scale coordinated attack.

TV industry gets its own 'dieselgate' over 'leccy consumption tests

Ellis Birt 1

Another example of manufacturers wrking around unrealistic environMENTAL regulations.

Surely the savvy consumer would prefer to see real-world figures and decide to buy a smaller product if they really are concerned how much it will cost to run.

Microsoft's Service Fabric for Linux hits public preview

Ellis Birt 1

Our crystal-ball gazers have seen a day when consumers of data will be using a whole host of devices from many vendors. Some will even dispense with keyboards and mice and, god forbid, Windows.

Eventually, even offices will start to use non-Microsoft systems.

They say that going forward, investment in our own consumer operating system will diverge from that of our server operating system, which will necessarily become more expensive. The only way will be to cut support for all but a restricted set of hardware that will support our hosted systems, but will make on-premise systems prohibitive.

We think our own hosted systems are great and will take us forward as a market leading PaaS provider, but there are still luddites in major organisations that would rather re-develop their systems on another vendors platform than put their data out in the anarchic world of the Internet.

If we make our PaaS infrastructure work on Linux, the on-premise luddites can have their own cloud, meaning that the "Microsoft Stack" will continue to be the technology stack of choice for many developers, most of whom will be happy to use our PaaS.

If it works, we could even save money by phasing out Windows NT from our hosting platform.

Floods hit India's IT hubs, wash away some credibility

Ellis Birt 1

Blame game

When you outsource, you also introduce a third party into every every application installation/upgrade/support call.

You end up with:

* The company wants the application up and running ASAP

* The application vendor wants to get the application up and running quickly so they can move on to the next customer.

* The IT outsourcing provider want to make as much money out of it as they can without spending a penny. AKA without diverting anyone with the necessary skills from fee-earning consultancy

"Select * From..."

"I cannot see a checkbox to select anything"

BT customers hit by broadband outage ... again

Ellis Birt 1

It's about money!

Both 'outages' have been the loss of part of their diverse network infrastructure.

They have highlighted that while their network is diverse, there is not enough bandwidth when one major location goes down to handle all their peering traffic.

That is down to investment in redundancy. They took the gamble and lost - twice in two days!

Even if they were to compensate customers, it would probably cost less than having the redundant bandwidth so their FD and shareholders will still be happy!

UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

Ellis Birt 1

Re: Consumer benefits are not falling!

The wholesale price of electricity varies throughout the day and each day, depending on spot demand. Large consumers can choose to shut down power-hungry plant when electricity is at its most expensive.

They can go further than that and give control to the National Grid in return for discounts. A cold-store, for example may switch their chiller off during half time of an international football match.

The effect of a 'free' period will be that some consumers do their washing, baking, car charging, etc during their free period, reducing overall demand during the week.

Going forward, smart meters could be combined with smart appliances, stopping the washing, or allowing the fridge to warm up a little more during peaks of demand and rewarding us for doing so. One consumer drawing 500W less cannot make much difference, but 10,000 drawing 500W less each is 5 Megawatts, more than Didcot B power station generates.

Without smart meters, home owners cannot benefit from such measures, meaning we have to build more power stations.

Ellis Birt 1

Consumer benefits are not falling!

"...while the consumer benefits are falling."

Have they not seen the Gritish Bas 'free electricity' adverts on the TV?

Smart meters allow such 'demand control' measures which will only increase as more homes get smart meters.

Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom

Ellis Birt 1

Re: RAYNET still exists? Who knew?

Good point.

Handheld radios have a range of at best a few miles because their power levels must remain within safe limits. Vehicle PMR radios are usually limited to allow operators in different areas to use the same frequency.

To increase range, base stations are added, either on a site or a hilltop location. The range of these is, again, limited to what is necessary to free the channel to users in other areas. Tetra and mobile networks all rely on base-station to mobile operations. Due to planning restrictions, these base stations tend be grouped together.

PMR/Tetra & mobile networks also have a fixed capacity that can become overloaded at times of high traffic..After the 1997 M42 pile-up the mobile networks were over-whelmed by survivors trying to tell their loved-ones they were okay. This prevented the rest-centre staff calling back to their control centre to report their arrival.

Consider an emergency situation: comms. traffic is likely to be high at times, meaning that lower priority messages never get through. After an incident in 1998 that RAYNET attended, the feedback from the emergency rest centre staff was that it was the first time they knew what was going on, allowing them to better prepare for arrivals. This is the contribution that RAYNET is most likely to be in a called on to provide in an emergency. Encryption in such circumstances would be required if they were passing personal information such as casualty or survivor lists.

Now consider an incident that coincides the loss of one or more base stations. Networks are designed to provide coverage efficiently. They are not designed to provide redundancy over their entire coverage area so there can be large 'dark areas' as there were in 1953 when the emergency serviced relied on fixed telephones. Radio amateurs are in many cases best equipped to provide communications in such areas, just as they were in 1953. If encryption were essential during such an incident, I am sure it would be overlooked by OffCom.

One further point: We are already allowed to permit a member of a user service to operate our radios under supervision.

Ellis Birt 1

Re: Anything goes?

Good point about the privacy issue.

I was once on a RAYNET Exercise providing communications on behalf of a user service on an equestrian endurance trial. A horse participating in the leisure ride was kicked by another and had to be destroyed.

The rider was in a vehicle with a RAYNET operator when the control station needed to communicate the imminent arrival of the knacker's van to user service personnel on site. The message sent, something like "A recovery vehicle is en-route and will be with you within 30 minutes" was close to breaking licence terms at the time.

Ellis Birt 1

Re: "Currently, encryption is forbidden"

BR68 is a widely recognised name for the document known as "UK AMATEUR RADIO LICENCE, Section 2, Terms, conditions and limitations", something I, a mere G7, recognised immediately.

For those still looking at a document bearing the reference BR68, the current version of the document (http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/spectrum/amateur-radio/guidance-for-licensees/amateur-terms.pdf) sates:

"11(3) The Licensee may use codes and abbreviations for communications as long as they do

not obscure or confuse the meaning of the Message."

EU referendum frenzy bazookas online voter registration. It's another #GovtDigiShambles

Ellis Birt 1

Did they use the same consultants as HMRC?

Sounds like the annual tax return deadline debarcle!

Maybe gov.uk should think about using containers and dynamically spinning up instances in services like Azure and AWS when demand dictates.

Stop resetting your passwords, says UK govt's spy network

Ellis Birt 1

Re: the real issue is GCHQ is too busy to keep guessing your new ones

While CESG are located in the GCHQ complex in Cheltenham, their role is to advise the rest of Government on information systems security.

So this advice was issued to government departments and published for the convenience of the wider audience.

They are not the first to make this suggestion and they will not be the last. Passwords are an imperfect security mechanism for protecting against all but a casual miscreant.

It is better to physically secure your offices (and that Cat 5 between buildings) and use more secure access controls like two-factor authentication when remote access is necessary.

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

Ellis Birt 1

Re: Passwords and disaster recovery.

generator didn't kick

Northgate's generators did them no good when Buncefield went up. In fact, they were unseated from their mounting against the Bumcefield fence and ended up embedded n the building.

Never assume power is uninteruptable!

Intel tock blocked for good: Tick-tock now an oom-pah-pah waltz

Ellis Birt 1

Re: As long as Windows dominant on the desktop ...

Recent developments from Redmond are continuing to move away from wintel.

With ASP.Net 5 Core and now sql server potentially being equally happy on Linux, and Redmond even having their own distro, Microsoft may let windows fade slowly.

Even on the desktop, they have abandoned he concept of selling OS upgrades. And let's not forget Win-RT. It may not have take off, but the code-base still exists. As more application software becomes architecture-agnostic, ARM, or another technology may well end up ruling supreme - even in Redmond!

Finally, Mozilla looks at moving away from 'insecure' HTTP. Maybe

Ellis Birt 1

Re: Thawte et al, hand-rubbing

It's unsurprising that Mozilla are sponsors of https://letsencrypt.org/

When letsencrypt launches, everyone will be able to host HTTPS for free, only having to pay if they want/need more detailed identity checking of the people controlling their site(s)

Should spectrum hog TV give up its seat for broadband? You tell us – EU

Ellis Birt 1

Sounds like putting the cart before the horse

Freeing up more UHF bandwidth for mobile broadband is a very short-sighted way to go, especially at lower frequencies that will travel further.

There are relatively few places where it is entirely necessary to use LTE/UMTS to get your data. At home, a wired broadband connection and short-range wireless data is far less bandwidth hungry.

As wired high-speed broadband networks spread further, the back-haul is upgraded to support the usage and ISPs embrace multicast rather than forbidding it, IPTV will begin to rival, and even better DTTV for quality and people will naturally switch, and as usage falls, commercial channels will abandon DTTV, leaving room for a few, basic channels to remain in a reduced set of multiplexes, freeing up bandwidth for other, as yet unthought-of purposes.

Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

Ellis Birt 1

When you buy a book, CD, DVD, car etc, you also buy a transferable licence to use that product, whether implied or more formally written.

In these days of ephemeral media, many licences are sold as non-transferable. This may well be unenforceable in the EU [Court of Justice of the European Union in the case of UsedSoft GmbH v. Oracle International Corp. (3 July 2012).] As for providing the service to allow the media to be downloaded, as the principle of exhaustion does not apply to a service agreement.

So, the music on your iPad, iPhone, pc, ... can be left to one person (per album/track as bought), but if the devices are shared out, there should eventually be just one copy. If a company used DRM to link media to your account, meaning that the media became unplayable on your demise, that would probably fall foul of EU law.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the long run. One thing for sure, IT companies and lawyers will make a lot of money before it is sorted.

Brit balloon bod Bodnar circumnavigates planet

Ellis Birt 1

434.500MHz is a spot frequency in the 70cm Amateur band (430-440 Mhz in ITU Region 1 and 420-450 in regions 2 & 3).

The 2m Amateur band is 144-146MHz in ITU region 1 (144-148 in regions 2 & 3). The actual transmission frequency on 2m changes as the balloon passes through different APRS regions.

LogMeIn: We're stopping our free offering from now

Ellis Birt 1

Uninstall started

It's as easy as that. There are other, better, premium services out there.

Got it taped: The business of tape-based disaster recovery

Ellis Birt 1

Northgate's DR did not go without its hiccups. The biggest problem was getting the communications links (leased lines from customer premeses) transferred from Hemel to SunGard in Heathrow.

The communications link suppliers decided they would continue to work at their usual snail's pace, taking days to act.

First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

Ellis Birt 1

Don't write airships off too quickly.

How many human beings and their luggage would weigh 250 tonnes. If we assume a passenger weighing 120kg (to allow for Americans) plus 30kg luggage

That is about 1667 passengers. If you had another 100kg of fixtures to accommodate the passengers, that would bring it down to a capacity of 1000.

Looking at the travel time, at the 125km/h cruising speed of the Hindenberg London to Brussels would take a little over 2 1/2 hours(similar to Eurostar). An Airbus worker travelling from Bristol to Toulouse could chose between a flight of a little under 7 1/2 hours or a 13 hour train journey.

This is starting to sound more realistic than HS2!

Longer Haul, London to New York would take 44 hours, the thought of cooping kids up for that time is appalling, probably enough for parents to choose to fly in a jet, leaving child-free, leisurely flights for people who are happy to relax, maybe work or read a book or four.

It might not be essential for a pilot to be on board and physically in control of the airship for the whole time. Ground-based pilots and autopilots taking commands directly from ATC with just one crew on board, resting but available in case of emergency could be enough cover.

As for cargo, there are a number of high value cargoes that currently travel by air, not because they need to arrive within 24 hours, but because they need to arrive within a few days.

A good example is fine beans or chilis from Kenya (check out the origin of fresh supermarket veg sometime). An airship might also be able to make multiple pick-ups removing the need for long, unrefrigerated ground transfers to the airport and would take something like 60 hours.

We should not forget that surface cargo transport is vulnerable to hijack and pirates and is limited in where it can go. An airship that can efficiently fly high enough to not be vulnerable to all but military attack and in a straight line could be appealing to many shippers.

As fuel prices soar, they really could come into their own!

Now we know why UK spooks simply shrugged at SSL encryption

Ellis Birt 1

And this is news?

It has been no secret that with the resources that only a major intelligence organisation could muster the encryption we are using today is crackable.

Does anyone else think that the timing of this 'revelation' is suspicious?

NSA & GCHQ happy in the knowledge that they can snoop most internet traffic and selectively crack the encryption on the rest in a timely manner.

Snowdens leaks tell world+dog that they are being snooped, encrypted traffic increases substantially, NSA & GCHQ realise they now don't have the capacity to crack all the traffic identified as suspicious by proper intelligence so they try to discredit SSL in the hope that world+dog switch back to HTTP for their email,social networking and general browsing.

WIN a RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms module

Ellis Birt 1







Another 170,000 Freeview homes to be freed from reality TV - possibly

Ellis Birt 1

Time to become an aerial installer! When LTE goes live and complaints pour in, it will be down to the householder to demonstrate that their external antenna, any amplifiers and receiver are in good condition. Only then will there be any investigation. It's the same process regardless of whether it is a telco, the radio ham with massive antennas on the roof down the road or a CBer with a linear amplifier and antenna in the loft.

ITU suggests replaceable cables for power supplies

Ellis Birt 1

With EU support, this could be a runner.

Careful design of the DC output connector would be required to support different voltages, single and double-ended, maybe communicate the required voltage and current limit to the brick.

A new market in universal power supplies could be born, devices shipping with just the cable. One 8-way brick on the charging table at home, portable single-way for mobile use, power out socket in you car...

Brains behind Kazaa and Morpheus unleash patent storm

Ellis Birt 1

There will only be two groups of winners...

... both in the legal profession!

The US patent system is broken beyond repair, with prior art (I'm sure I learned about hash tables in the 1980s), and the blatantly obvious being rubber-stamped as a matter of course.

You might think that the lawyers created the problem deliberately!

Yes, yes, the Olympics are near. But what'll happen to its IT afterwards?

Ellis Birt 1

Re: I smell some sport!

Not quite - no events in Brum!

Europe's prang-phone-in-every-car to cost €5m per life saved

Ellis Birt 1

Re: Wrong numbers

Not only will it need to be a separate box, it will need to be completely self-contained with a back-up power supply and completely ruggedised and fire-proof (while maintaining a transparency to RF signals).

It cannot use existing GPS or sensors because they, or the wiring may be damaged in the accident. Locating the device might also prove difficult. It will need to be able to see as much of the sky as possible whatever orientation the car is in. Mounting on or near the roof will be useless if the car ends up upside-down.

And what about the areas of Europe that have no cellular coverage?

Nothing less than an EPIRB with its Satellite monitoring infrastructure will really fit the bill. Okay, when Gallileo is active, that may be able to support such an emergency call system, but I, for one, would rather see that reserved for maritime distress!

War On Standby: Do the figures actually stack up?

Ellis Birt 1

Re: CHP is a snare! @ Horsham sparky

"The thing I like about the CHP fuel cell units is that you're not in fact using any more gas than you normally would to heat your home. You're getting some free* electricity in the bargain."

Not quite - look at the CHP efficiency as a central heating boiler alone. The outlet gasses of a modern 'A' rated condensing boiler are remarkably cool, barely warmer than body heat. Any electricity generated will be at the expense of heating efficiency.

Anything else would be running into the limits imposed by the first law of thermodynamics.

Overall, the only benefit of domestic CHP is that the reduction in heating efficiency is less than the energy wasted as heat at a power station. But remember that we are past peak oil and these use a dwindling resource as their fuel. In the long term, alternative sources of electricity will reduce the benefits of any domestic CHP systems.

Ellis Birt 1

Re: We need to invent light switches!

For those trying (and those disappointed by) LED GU10s or MR16s, go for the warm white versions.

It is down to how we perceive the light. The same intensity of a 'warm white' will appear brighter than a 'cool white'.

Someone took this advice with some scepticism and changed the GU10 LEDs in a lift car - the difference was substantial - looking even brighter than the original halogens.

Apple 'iTV' looks like Cinema Display, says Throat

Ellis Birt 1

I can imagine this exchange:

User: "Siri, BBC Two Please"

Siri: "Sorry, I can only select TV Stations in the USA"

Dell's rapier-thin PowerEdge M420 to render Hobbits?

Ellis Birt 1

It looks like Dell UK temporarily had a spec sheet available

Thanks to Google's cached page:

"Enjoy remarkable computational density with the PowerEdge M420, capable of deploying 32 server nodes in just 10U of rack space. Scaling up to 16 processor cores and 192GB of RAM, each M420 couples processing power and memory capacity with tremendous I/O throughput, with up to four ports of 10Gb ethernet available in an exceptionally compact, individually serviceable form factor."

Apple TV stock shortage sparks new gadget rumour fever

Ellis Birt 1

Come on Google, get Google TV out!

This would be the ideal opportunity to steal Apple's thunder by launching a new, competing platform.

LOHAN lifts skirt on 3D printed parts

Ellis Birt 1

Will you be posting the designs on Pirate Bay so everyone with a 3D printer can make one?

And so Reg Hacks can continue to use that joke!

Educating Verity the OU way

Ellis Birt 1

Where are your references?

Come on verity, after four years, you must have learned about the Harvard referencing system. Where are you references (after all, you don't want to run the risk of fallign foul of the plagarism police!)

Got a website? Pay attention, Cookie Law will come

Ellis Birt 1

Most of uw will have longer than just a year of grace.


Even then, they will only act when there is a complaint.

New regulations = empty words.

Ellis Birt 1

direct.gov.uk does not comply! Who does and who does not might be surprising!

direct.gov.uk is in breach of the directive!

as is the UK's largest employer www.nhs.uk

as for www.number10.gov.uk, they have had nearly a month

Come to think of it can www.parliament.uk claim parliamentry privilege to carry on storing those ever-so intrusive Google Analytics tracking cookies?

at least when we go online to complain about all this Government prying into our privacy, the ICO will ask for permission to use cookies!

Surprisingly, GCHQ and CESG do comply because they don't use analytics (is it that they already know who you are and what you are about to think?)

So I thougfht i'd trot down to my Local (tory) MP's web site to lodge a complaint. But I come across yet another illegal tracking cookie on www.conservatives.com, just to be fair, I check out the other main parties. Reknowned for their attitudes to personal privacy, www.labour.org.uk don't fail to meet expectations with the all too familiar Google Analytics javascript.

Oh Well, surely the Lib. Dems will be championing the cause for Europw and our privacy. Yet another disappointment... _gat._getTracker("UA-xxxxxx-x") but no sign of anyrequest for my permission.

Oh Well, I'm sure my privacy will be safe when I go and see where this directive came from - safe in the knowledge that I won't find a cooke named something like "ec_exit_survey" without beuing asked - oh, it does exist!

Well, I'm sure we can find somewher that the law is obeyed, maybe where it was passed www.europarl.europa.eu (right click, page Information) ... surely the cookie called __utmz must be there in error - but it contains my search terms - FAIL

Disgusted! I think I'll have to get back to work and just forget all this scaremongering!

UK white space could fill up fast

Ellis Birt 1

Why can't they just leave it for PMSE

We all want out telly programmes without unsightly wires and our singers dancing around freely with out tripping over loudspeakers - all this takes bandwidth - a huge chunk of which is being taken away in 2012.

I have heard it said that X-Factor uses over 45 radio microphones, plus in-ear monitors. In the west end, the bands are so loud that everyone on the stage has to have a radio mic with a channel that is not in use in any other theatre up the road.

Then, when someone wants to organise something in Trafalgar square - a celebration over winning the right to host a sporting event, that's more channels needed - then some for the world's press.

The numbers are staggering and with the existing users being forced onto lower frequencies with a greater range, it's not going to be pretty.

A quarter of Brits packing multiple mobiles

Ellis Birt 1

Like an employer is going to buy a dual SIM phone? and other reasons for multiple phones

So, you get a mobile for work, but you are not allowed to use it for personal calls. In order to cut costs, the phone is several years old or the bottom of the range - they would never buy a dual-SIM phone to allow their staff to use their own account! PHONE 1

Then you look at getting a dual SIM personal phone to use your work SIM in too - NO SUBSIDY. A personal phone on contract is far cheaper because the contract is no cheaper if you buy the phone outright. PHONE 2

Then there is 'Line Two' Probably the biggest missed opportunity. Many phones can support it, but the networks have never pushed it very well. For example, you could never get line two on a separate contract so no chance of adding line two to your company SIM and what company wants the admin overhead of recharging line two calls?

And then there's employment agencies who refuse to use email because they cannot do hard sell! As soon as you make your CV available, the phoone rtings off the hook. Don't they understand that the reason you are a 'hot property' is because you still have a job that your would really like to keep until the right job comes along. Would they be allowed to take a 20 minute personal call every half hour while they are at work? The only option is to get a PAYG phone, give them that number and leave it on silent! PHONE 3