* Posts by AndyC

71 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Nov 2009


Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station


Great place and fascinating

Having spent quite a bit of time up in Thurso (birthplace of Sir William A. Smith) I can say that the cinema is great, the people are all really friendly and the astronomy you can do there is fabulous!

If you get the chance, I would urge you to go and take a look. It might be 2 hours to Inverness, but the scenery is wonderful. And if any of you nuc types get the chance, work there. The work is fascinating, challenging and you will remember what you do with pride!

Okay, so I'm trying to sell Caithness, Thurso and Dounreay, but it is a great place to be.

'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'


Have to say, when I was comparing the two reactor designs a number of years ago, I was very impressed with the AP1000.

I still think BNFL should have kept hold of Westinghouse!


Re: Nuclear expensive? Are you joking?

Hmmm, 70%? Where did you get that 'information' from?

I agree, the AGRs are probably that efficient, but if we look at the one modern reactor in this country, Sizewell, I think you'll find that it has a greater than 85% load factor.

Brit gun nut builds working sniper rifle at home out of scrap metal


Re: That's the way to build a gun properly

That made me laugh.

For anyone that doesn't know, the 'mad minute' is 15 aimed rounds in 1 minute.

Doable and very very good fun!

Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9


Re: Remember when "Windows NT" was the KILLER OF EVERYTHING™??

Hmmmm, I hate MS as much as anyone, but what about the two biggest bugs to bite the IT world in recent months, Heartbleed and that recent bash one? Weren't they Linux/OSX only?

I know I'm going to get downvoted for this, but, unfortunately for us Linux fanbois, MS is pretty good on security now.

I regularly use Win 8.1. I deliberately chose it for my laptop (God alone knows why) and I hate it! As soon as I was able to, I set it to boot to the desktop. I've even got a Yoga, with an intermittent fault on the touchscreen, and I mostly use that in the laptop mode.

Metro? I see it when I'm searching for Control Panel, or Paint.

I'm just about to get a new office setup, that will be running CentOS and will have a Linux loving HP printer. No MS in that system!

But, back to the main point. MS is very good on security now, and the latest bug to strike Linux and OSX will only help MS sell it's version of security to businesses, large and small. We may not like it, but no-one ever got sacked for choosing Microsoft.

Nexus 5 dropped calls problem

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Nexus 5 dropped calls problem

Hi all. I've had my Nexus 5 for nearly a week now and I don't think I've managed to make or receive a phone call longer than 10 minutes before the phone drops the call. Today, for example, I had a call in work that lasted just over 7 minutes before the call was dropped (phone had WiFi turned off). Tonight, I managed 6 minutes (call dropped) and then 2 minutes (call dropped). Android forums seem to say that it is a hardware problem.

Has anyone else had this happen with a nexus 5? I'm on T-Mobile after being with o2.

Gates chokes up, WEEPS to Microsoft shareholders amid talk of CEO hunt


Agree in part...

Yes, MS have been marketing and legal scumbags, but, they *helped* bring computing to the masses.

What was it like in the early 90's?

There were competing OSs (MS-DOS, O/S2, Windows, UNIX (of various flavours itself), VMS etc), productivity suites (MS Office, although it was separate programs in the early 90s, WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3 Wordstar etc) and no unified way to do anything.

MS and their very clever strategies effectively killed the competition but let the masses get their hands on cheap(ish) easy to use computers with a common UI.

I know, I know. Most of what they did was pure evil, but do you really think that we would have the computing environment we have today if it wasn't for the single mindedness of Gates?

In the 2000s MS seemed to stand still. Yes, they still released newer versions of their software, but most of it was rubbish (even XP needed two service packs to become good). Linux gained ground and seemed poised to take over, but the SCO <del>investment by MS</del> controversy tainted Linux, so many corporations didn't give it a first thought, let alone a second.

Now MS is realising, possibly too late, that the new wave of computing is leaving it behind.

Corporate buyers will still buy MS, but BYOD may well kill that off in the next 10 years or so. MS may just become the new Novell.

Samsung pulls Galaxy S3 update as users moan: It's PANTS


Only one update you say? Hmmm...

Strange comment considering that my Note was originally on Gingerbread and got an update to ICS with no problems and just last week had another update (don't know what for) that has improved battery life.

So, only one update?

Don't think so.

Price rises and power cuts by 2016? Thank the EU's energy policy


Re: It all started with...

Okay, I stand corrected on that one (ill informed... sadly)

However, I still believe that the gov should look into restarting something like the CEGB. After all, from what I understand, it wasn't until they were looking to privatise the CEGB that they decided that SXC HPC and WYB shouldn't get built.

Oh, and I've never voted Labour in my life :)


It all started with...

Thatcher. She privatised the CEGB (for those of you not old enough to remember, that's the Central Electricity Generating Board). They had control of the National Grid and the generators. Ever since they were privatised, the cost of electricity has gone through the roof.

Utilities should never have been privatised. The government has no control over what they do, how much they charge (who owns the generators? The utility companies for the most part) and whether they invest in the long term energy security of the country or whether they invest to make a quick profit.

Blair was so Tory he did want to nationalise anything. Had John Smith still been alive, and won the election, the CEGB may even now have built Sizewell C, Hinkley Point C and Wylfa B and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

The government can moan all it wants, but it can do bugger all about it and we are left in the dark.

Looking for the candles.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Once, twice, three times - a Very Large Phone™


Note to Note 3, no thanks!

My contract is up in January too, but I won't be going from my Note to the Note 3. I ran into the "Insufficient Storage available" error once too often for my liking.

All those Samsung apps needing updating meant that I couldn't update the apps I actually used. I deleted over half the downloaded apps and ceased updating any apps I didn't use (including the Samsung ones).

I now have a Note that only has 48 installed apps instead of the previous 80+. Some of those apps I deleted I actually used.

So, no, I'm going for a Nexus 5 (probably) in January. I'll miss the screen but nothing else.

Oh, and don't get me started on the stylus. It is rubbish. When I hover over the screen, it thinks I'm writing. It is far too sensitive. No more. Standard google phone for me. (Wife has an iphone5, she likes it, but I think it's far too small).

Brit inventor Dyson challenges EU ruling on his hoover's energy efficiency ratings


Re: Dear Dyson

Hmmm, speaking as someone who used to try and sell Kirby hoovers (I actually got people to buy *that* overpriced piece of American rubbish!) I can categorically state that Henry hoovers were brilliant.

I never got a sale in a house with a Henry. They were cheap and very good at hoovering.

Dysons, on the other hand, were the most traded in hoover we ever had. We had rooms full of the things. They may look nice in the shop, are very loud (so must be powerful, right?) but they are sh*t at hoovering.

Style over substance.


Samsung Galaxy Note 3 region-locking saga CLEAR AS MUD


Loads of vitriol flung at Samsung...

But do any of the other manufacturers do this?

I mean, can you get a MS/Nokia handset in the US and use it in Australia?

What about an iphone 5s?

I was toying with upgrading my Note for the Note III, but I think I'll take a look at the Nexus 5 instead.


Re: Imagine if the Enterprise landing party comm badges worked like this...

They're the comm badges they give to the red shirt of the week...

Mine's the one with the gold pressed latinum in the side pocket.

Green German gov battles to keep fossil powerplants running


Re: Dounreay

Erm... try again. DFR shut down in 1977, but PFR (also at Dounreay and was a 250MWe plant) was shut down by the Tories in 1992 for NO reason at all, apart from they thought it would get them the green vote.

And Dounreay will be decommissioned to an interim end state (all but the sphere and a couple of buildings) by 2025/6. Yes, the sphere and those other buildings will remain for a few hundred years, but they require virtually no maintenance and are not a drain on resources that you seem to imply.

Actually, thinking about it, I'm not sure that the sphere will last even that long before they tear it down.

As to the cost, decommissioning is factored in to every single design these days. And it isn't just "well, in 50 years we'll be able to do THIS!", it is a case of "we can decommission these stations with current techniques and it will cost ££ now and £££ in 50-80 years time." So the price of the leccy that the stations produce ha sthe decommissioning cost factored in. It gets paid to the producer who then puts it into a special decommissioning fund. We used to have one like that run by the government, but Gordon Brown decided that it was a waste to have that money lying there, he spent it instead.

Probation officer gets TINY fine for spilling domestic violence victim's ADDRESS


Re: No perp???

Actually, yes. My mother-in-law works with the victims of domestic violence, so I have seen the stats, and they are even worse than 1 per week. It just doesn't get reported unless there is a 'police knew but did nothing' angle for the press.

So get off the 'wimmins aid are bollocks' high horse and actually do some research.


No perp???

Erm, no. She had been rehoused, moved to a different location because of the abuse. To say that there was no perpetrator of the abuse is stupid.

The victim was living in fear. Hardly a week goes by without a victim of Domestic Violence winding up dead. Most of them were already known to the police. Most of the perpetrators already had restraining Orders against them.

Most victims of domestic violence are so afraid of their abusers that they don't report the crimes.

I agree with the OP, the follow up story will probably be that her body has been found...

The woman who gave out the details should then be charged with being an accessory to murder.

Does the RSPCA have your gun licence or car registration? NOBODY knows


Check out Radio 4...

Seriously. They ran a piece last week about the RSPCA and the fact that it has increased the level of prosecutions by at least a factor of 2 in the last 3 years. This is, according to the Chief Exec because of the 'increased levels of cruelty to animals that is occurring'. up by a factor of 2 in 3 years, give me a break!

As stated in the interview, there is a link between funding and prosecutions. More prosecutions = increased donations.

The fact that some of these raids and prosecutions are 'spurious' is brushed off.

One of the raids was officially acknowledged as being based upon a report, fabricated by the RSPCA, of a cat in distress (this was at an animal sanctuary that had no issues at all and was dragged through the gutter by the press).

And woe betide you if you are a lawyer or vet who dares to stand up for the defence in court. The RSPCA will try and get you blacklisted or worse, just for daring to defy them.

Don't get me started on how they treat the families of peopel who give them a donation in their wills...

Bunch of terrorists hiding behind a thin veil of legitimacy = RSPCA

The facts on Trident 'cuts': What the Lib Dems want is disarmament


The article missed one vital point....

When you see an ICBM rising out of the ocean, you know what is going to happen (BIG BOOM), when you see a cruise missile/plane/drone coming at you, you don't know what is going to happen (could be a small bang, or a BIG BOOM).

The one thing that states want is certainty. That's why the Soviets were so mad at Reagan for Star Wars. True, it was deliberatly designed to bankrupt the USSR, but, had it worked, the whole notion of certainty would have gone out of the window. They would not be certain that a missile fired by them could have got through. That makes people very frightened.

Getting back to the point, if you have an ICBM coming at you, you know to fire your own (should you have them) back. If you see anything else coming at you, what do you do if you can't shoot it down? Do you know it hasn't got a nuclear warhead on it? Is it just conventional? In the absence of knowing, you then take the worst case scenario and lob your nukes at the enemy.

Rightly or wrongly, you've just started a nuclear war. THAT's why nation states need the certainty of ICBMs. A fact that is lost on most commentators. (Maybe not El Reg commentators, but we'll see).

Sun sets on Oracle VDI products


Sun Rays were fantastic...

It's just a pity that people couldn't get past the power they *had* to have on their desks to increase their FPS in Word!

Sun Rays were secure, instantly on and cut down the power requirements of the office. I set up a small (5 node) network running off a single 500MHz UltraSPARC Sun blade 100. It worked just fine as a terminal and allowed us to remote into the servers to do the real number crunching.

I think Sun were ahead of their time.

-Card access

-transferrable sessions

-low power requirements (<5W)


About the only thing they didn't have was a CD player for people to install their pirated games onto the network. (A bonus from my point of view). They even had headphone and microphone jacks and USB ports.

A sad loss in my book.

Seven snazzy smartphones for seven sorts of shoppers


I wouldn't recommend an Android...

Not now. Not after all of the problems I've had with the "Insufficient Storage Available" error. Google solution (in a telephone conversation with them), contact Samsung.

Why should I? The problem is Android, not Samsung. HTC, Motorola and even the Nexus 4 have the same problem.

Online solution, delete some apps. Delete some data.

Why should I? Just sort it out Google!

Prankster 'Superhero' takes on robot traffic warden AND WINS


Employed by the BPA perchance?

The message above sounds like someone who wants us to believe that what the parking companies do is legal.

Quick fact: when you park on any private land, any debt is with the LAND OWNER, not their agent. In this case, the parking company are the AGENT and have no legal standing to chase the debt.

I doubt a supermarket would chase after someone for overstaying in a free car park.

Not if they wanted to retain any customers that is...

Windows 8 'sales' barely half as good as Microsoft claims


I agree...

I've got a non-touch Windows 8 laptop (high spec cos I perform Monte carlo calcs on it) and I wish I had bought W7 instead.

I really miss the Start menu. It was my single port of call for all my programs. I listed them all. Now I have to open a search box and type in the name (if I remember what it was) to get to my program (especially the former built in ones, like calc or paint!)

Viewing photographs is also a pain. I open the photo, and get the metro application opening. I minimise it, and it's gone! Nothing in the task bar, so I have to go to Explorer and open the photo again.

Sometimes, and I don't know whether this is the computer itself, or Windows, but I am using the trackpad and I suddenly get the widget/gadget/whatever thing appearing at the side of the screen. WTF? All I did was move teh mouse pointer to another part of the screen (and not the corner either!).

All in all, I find Windows 8 to be very frustrating. I can't find anything and the reliance on a Microsoft account is also annoying.

Not impressed.

Review: Samsung Galaxy S4


I give it a couple of months...

and then we'll have the dreaded "Insufficient Storage Available" error.

Thanks to all the crap that Samsung have installed over Android, this may happen faster, depending on how many updates there are to the installed crapware.

I got 6 months out of my Note before I got this error. I regularly have to delete apps to update others. I now can't update anything because of this error, yet my phone is inisting that it has 240MB device memory available, 5.14GB available on internal memory and 11.16GB available on the 16GB SD card.

Yes, I'm moaning about my phone, but because Google's engineers are stupid, the S4 will fall foul of this error.

Coke? Windows 8 is Microsoft's 'Vista moment'. Again


Re: Licenses 'sold'.

I'm one of those who has bought a license for Windows 8 Pro. I bought a shiny new laptop (and I had the choice, Windows 7 or Windows 8) oodles of memory, a fast processor and Windows 8.

What a mistake.

As soon as I log in, I press 'Win+D' to get to the desktop.

My wireless doesn't log in to the network unless I'm at the desktop, I can't find some of the programs I used to use, like Paint or the calculator unless I type the names into the search bar, the damn touchpad thinks that I want to open the settings widget or whatever it is that brings up the clock whenever I swipe my finger across the pad...

Need I go on?

The Start screen is a hodge podge of different sized tiles, with every program I've installed appearing there, most of the time, more than once. No apps seem to work when I download them from the Windows store (to be fair, that may be my fault)

I've tried to like Win 8. I got it deliberately to try and like it, but it is just a mess. I'm now 4 months into Windows 8 and I wish I'd stayed with 7.

Oh, the laptop doesn't havea touchscreen, and will soon be connected to a telly as my monitor. Tell me again how good Win 8 is as a touch driven device when I'm 10 feet away from my telly?

Movie review: Star Trek Into Darkness


Re: The first movie of the reboot did it for me....

You could create a singularity (or black hole) out of the earth and the moon and other planets would all still orbit at the same distance they did before.

It's not the singularity that is the problem, it is the mass of the thing that became the singularity that is the issue.

Going back to the earth, according to NASA, if we compress all of it's mass into a sphere the saize of a marble, it would become a black hole. The moon and all the satellites orbiting the earth would carry on their merry way, with no ill effects whatsoever.

Us on the other hand...

Insufficient Storage Available - El Reg should investigate!


Re: Addtionally

Sorry for the long period between posts.

Anyway, I have had to delete more apps now, just to update a couple more apps on the phone. Internal storage is saying 243MB free out of a total space of 1.97GB, USB storage (internal memory) is 5.84GB free and the flash card has 11.22GB free. So why do I have to keep on deleting apps just to update others???

I've seen other posts asking about this error and I don't see why I, as a user, should have to root my phone to fix something that shouldn't be broken in the first place.

Just Google for "Insufficient storage available" and see how many hits you get. Then see how many Google engineers respond to those calls for help (answer: NONE that I've seen!)

My wife has just got an iPhone 5. THAT knows how to install apps when there is space on the device to do it.


Epic Google Fail!

Rebooting doesn't fix it and I don't see why I should have to root my phone or run another app just to free up some space to update my existing apps.

The phone should just work! I shouldn't have to do anything special just to update an app.

It's just shoddy coding. Why none of the tech websites have investigated this I don't know.

Maybe they're afraid of Google removing their page rankings privelidges or something.


Insufficient Storage Available - El Reg should investigate!

Those of you with Android phones will have probably seen this at one point or another, generally when you are updating one of your apps. I used to have 80+ apps installed on my Galaxy Note, but, due to this error, I have had to reduce it to just under 60. Yet, when I look at my usage of the storage on the phone, out of the 1.97GB total space, I have 347MB available, and the 11.07GB 'USB storage', shows I have 6.58GB available. I'm not going to quibble about the 16GB I should have on the phone, but still, I shouldn't have to delete anything. I HAVE SPACE!

I'm no slouch when it comes to computers and Linux (hell, I used to be a RHCT) but I don't see why I should have to delete my apps, just to update some of them! As a consumer, I shouldn't have to delete anything if my phone has enough storage space (6GB FFS!!!!). From what I've read, this is down to the Google engineers partitioning of the OS only leaving a small amount of space for the Apps folder.

Is this an epic fail along the lines of Bill Gates and his '640k is enough for anyone'?

Everyone raves about how good Android is, yet they fail to mention this error. Surely a responsible publication, such as the Register, should conduct an investigation into this and give us some solutions that don't involve 'rooting' our devices or playing around with apps that mask the problem by moving installed apps around.

I hate to say it, but I may just get a Windows phone next time if this error isn't fixed (apparently Windows and iOS don't suffer from this problem).

Pirates scoff at games dev sim's in-game piracy lesson


What the article doesn't say...

is that the pirates who downloaded the crippled copy took to complaining,on the company forums no less, that they couldn't get any profits [i]because of piracy in the game[/i]!

Have a look at the article on arstechnica (sorry for the blatant plug) to get the full story.


P.S. I know that the italics don't work, they are there for emphasis...

Microsoft tries to sell home Office users on subscription pricing


Cloud storage? Not for me, or my company

Okay, so you've got your shiny subscription linked to your Microsoft account, and you need to do some work at home. No problem, I'll just pop it on my USB drive and take it home to work on.

Get home, open in your shiny version of Word 2013.

A copy gets saved in your MS account 'somewhere in the world'.

You get a knock at the door at 6am:

"I am arresting you for the transmittal of export controlled data to country XXX, you do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence..."

Think I'm joking? Many businesses allow you to work from home. Many of these companies are working with data that falls under the remit of "Export Control Regulations". You are personally liable for any data that you have, and your MS account stores files, metadata and other data on servers in various countries. So no more working from home (not a bad thing) for me at least.

Microsoft has no plans for a second Windows 7 Service Pack


Re: It's egg-on-face time again! - not

Unless home users give up on Windows altogether and go with a tablet that isn't Surface or Surface Pro, what else is there in your local PC World that isn't Windows?

What people on here seem to forget, is that the great mass of people out there, who use computers, couldn't give a flying wotsit about whether their computer runs Windows or not. All they care about is being able to connect to Facebook, check emails, do IM and play their games.

We may be moving away from the tower system towards laptops and tablets, but the vast majority of people in the world couldn't even tell you what an operating system is, let alone that Windows is the OS they use. They will just see Windows 8 and think that it is automatically better than Windows 7 and use it.

Here's a simple challenge for you. Find 20 people (maybe your less computer savvy work colleagues) and ask them what browser they use to connect to the internet. I bet over half would say "Windows".

I rest my case m'lud.

Mission to Pluto faces DEEP SPACE DEBRIS PERIL


Why so surprised?

When I was doing my degree (in Sheffield back in the early 90s - hell, I'm old!) our Astronomy professor postulated a theory that the planets in the solar system accreted material at different rates.

Thos in the inner solar system accreted material earlier than the outer solar system. His theory was that Pluto was a relatively young planet (at that time, it was still a planet) and may still have been actively, but slowly, accreting material. He also theorised that the Oort Cloud and Kuipier belts were simply going to form planets in millions of years time, they just hadn't had the time yet.

Looking at the gist of this report, simply lends a little more authority to his arguments. Maybe...

NASA's Cassini spacecraft turns 15 while spying on Saturn


Re: Nostradamus said!

So, when will we get the doomsayers predicting the END of the solar system, because of the plutonium in the RTG exploding and causing the hydrogen and helium in Saturn to explode in a HUGE THERMONUCULAR EXPLOSION?

I would get my coat, but it was toasted in the fireball...

British car parks start reading number plates


Parking Charge Notices - NOT fines

As another poster has said, there are not 'fines' just charges for parking on private property. If you haven't registered your details, then all they can do is issue speculative invoices based on some 'questionable' request to the DVLA to get the registered keepers details.

I for one will not be registering with them. If they want to try and chase me for some unenforcable Parking Charge Notice, then they can waste their money on postage.

Don't panic, but UK faces BLACKOUTS BY 2015


Re: The Guardians Solution

Loads of hot air on that 'debate' anyway. No wonder the planet is heating up!!

One comment caught my eye: 'Copy Germany' I almost had tea coming out of my nose at that one.

Plant windmills and rely on leccy from abroad? I'd think that our policy makers are more intelligent than that! Oh, wait....


Re: Who didn't know this was coming!?!

"The latest generation of nukes are overly complicated and overly expensive, as events in Finland and France have demonstrated, and personally I think the engineers need to be sent back to the drawing board to design a cheaper, simpler, genuinely failsafe system."

Only the French EPR is overly complex. Having reviewed both designs (EPR and AP1000), I came away very impressed by the AP1000's simplicity. The AP1000 uses passively safe systems. Basically, if the smelly stuff hits the fan, it is designed to automagically shut down and be safe, without any human or active control system intervention for 48 hours. The EPR requires multiple active safety systems to do the same thing.

Yes, the PBMR is a good design, but it is a Gen IV design, rather than a Gen III+, like the AP1000 or EPR. This basically means that the pilot studies have been done, the concept is proven in a laboratory setting, but they haven't sorted out how to make the commercially viable solution yet. The South Africans were trying, but decided to shut down their project through lack of cash.

Microsoft announces Office 2013, Office 365 pricing


Re: It's not a one off fee

Yeah, but if you've only got one computer, it is still $99 per year.

We have two, but I don't run Office on mine because I don't need to.

So it is not worth it for the one computer that runs Office in my house.

YMMV, but how many households have 5 computers that they USE Office on? I don't mean the media PC you have connected to the telly, but PCs actually used for Office-like tasks. At most, there are 2 or 3 (depends on how many kids you've got I suppose).

So, at $99 per year, MS would have to release the next version of Office in 2016 (likely), and not change the pricing, for it to be worth buying the subscription for 3 computers.

For me, it isn't worth it.


It's not a one off fee

The fee is $99 per year, not $20.

From what I've seen Office is $139 for the home version, so in less than 18 months, paying by subscription will cost you more than the shrinkwrapped version.

I also doubt there'll be many 'extras' thrown in either. Isn't that what MS said about Vista and 7 Ultimate? What extras did you get after you'd bought the product?

It's not just crap PC sales: Dell's storage revs are also slipping


Crystal ball?

2013 Q2 results? Have I just entered a temporal rift (yes I am a Trekker!) or is it el Reg?

O2, GiffGaff network goes titsup for unlucky punters


Emergency calls only, but the web works

On a Samsung Galaxy Note with no voice, no texts but data works fine.

Wifi is turned off and I don't enable bluetooth, so something is going on...

Oh, the phone is showing HSPDA:9 with a signal strength of -107dBm 3asu (whatever they mean).

Service state is out of service but I am connected to the network...

Go figure.

WD: HDD prices won't fall to pre-flood levels until 2013


SSDs? Too expensive for what you get...

I've just done a cost comparison between various SSDs and traditional hard drives available on Ebuyer.

Up to £50

250GB WD Hard drive - £49.05 (19.6p/GB)

60GB OCZ Agility 3 - £49.98 (83.3p/GB)

About the £250 mark (or 3TB)

3TB Seagate Barracuda HDD (1 year warranty) - £114.99 (3.8p/GB)

3TB Hitachi Ultrastar HDD (5 year warranty) - £276.65 (9.2p/GB)

240GB Kingston HyperX SSD (3 year warranty) - £275.15 (114.6p/GB)

If I want storage, then I'll go for the 3TB drives. Having to pay over 10 times the price per GB (compating the Hitachi with the Kingston) just for speedier access seems to me to be ridiculous! If I'm going to be playing a game for a few hours, what does an extra few seconds loading time matter?

Sorry, but SSDs don't offer me anything in the cost/benefit ratio that will convince me to change. Certainly, capacity wise, they are rubbish, and that is all I'm concerned about.


Vulture 2 trigger triggers serious head-scratching



Maybe this is going to offend the technophiles among you, but why not launch a (small) series of test baloons and see how long it takes to get up to launch (or burst) altitude.

You can then have a very simple timer set to go off at a few thousand feet below burst height to launch LOHAN.

It saves on having a relatively heavy pressure measuring instrument and use a cheap gold plated watch as the timing mechanism :)


GCSE, A-level science exams ARE dumbed down - watchdog


Exams ARE esier

I did my GCSEs in 1990 and A levels in 1992. Even then, we had to have extra maths lectures in the first year of University (Sheffield) to 'bring us up to the expected standard' for our Physics course.

A few years later, I tried my hand at being a physics teacher. The head of department had his own notebook, where he had done his plan for the A level physics syllabus when he first started teaching 25 years earlier. Over a quarter of the book had red crosses through it because it was no longer taught.

When I did my exams, the syllabus and the exams themselves were set by the Universities (JMB in my case). So there was a definite progression and you could see where they were going. GCSE->A Level->Degree etc. Now, it's all about the league tables.

Standards are falling, our politicians just don't want to admit it.

UK biz needs fattening up on gov IT contracts, says No10 bod


It's the same old problem

We develop a massive manufacturing base, then sell out the tech and the jobs to other countries.

Result: Trains are build in Germany/Italy wherever, car firms are bought by the Germans/Chinese and production shifted to those countries, our aerospace industry is 'encouraged' to become so bloated and lazy that the cheapest option is to merge them all and then kill off all investment in manned aircraft and airliners.

I could go on, but you see my drift.

The UK had the biggest manufacturing base in the world for a good few years in the years before the 20th Century, but we got lazy. The fat cats had 'silver service lunches', the unions decided that damaging the product, damaging the brand, and their own self interest was more important than getting the product out of the door. The result? Expensive, poorly produced products that the public turned their backs on. Why do we all drive foreign cars? Cos they are well built (generally), reliable and cheap.

I refer people to the book "Empire of the Clouds" for a good look at why our aero industry failed, just when it should have been prospering.

But, to come back to my earlier point, we always sell to the highest bidder, and that bidder doesn't have the UK's best interest at heart. Why else are the vast majority of our energy supplies held by foreign companies? We sell to make a quick buck and sod the consequences!

Windows 8 diet exposes Microsoft's weak ARM


Re: Are they?

I wonder whether MS are releasing RT just to try to kill the ARM tablet market.

We know it won't run anything apart from crippled MS apps, but Joe public will be looking to install their existing software on a tablet. The cry will become "but it's Windows, so it should work!"

To which the PC World drone will say, "Well sir, here is an Intel tablet which WILL load your software"

Windows RT is Microsoft's attempt to kill the ARM tablet marketplace.

Microsoft's free flight sim hits the clouds

Thumb Down

Not a flight sim

Okay, so this is going to get up people's noses, but on all of the marketing that MS has put out, there hasn't been mention of the 's' word - Simulator

It is being marketed as a game, pure and simple. If you want simulation, go with FSX or one of the other flight sims (read PCPilot for a list of the good ones).

Flight just seems to be a free game and MS will get the money back because everyone will want to fly around their house. Little realising that FSX has their house already loaded and lots of planes too.

Yes, I have downloaded it, but I was disappointed to find that it is only 32-bit. FSX was touching the limit of 32-bit systems and I was expecting the next flight game/sim from MS to be 64-bit.

Oh well, I guess that's what happens when you fire all of your best coders.

Space: 1999 returning to TV?



In the Marketing world, even standard laws of Maths have to take a back seat.

Real world: 1999 + 40 = 2039

Marketing world: 1999 + 40 = 2099


Nuke support in UK hits record high


So if the supervision was so bad, how are these problems being noticed?

Have you heard of the GDA process?

Ever looked at the HSE Nuclear website?

We (the UK) have one of the most rigorous inspection regimes in the world, because, instead of having to meet a standard to get a tick in the box, our regulators expect the manufacturers and operators to get the tick in the box and then justify why the tick is deserved. They then have to make the risk and consequence as low as reasonably practicable. A principle enshrined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Our nuclear regulators have the power to stop any and all operations at a nuclear site if the operations are not safe. A power they have threatened operators with on a few occasions (for an operating site, every day spent off-line means 1million in lost profit).


Have a look here: http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

It gives the current breakdown of the UK grid statistics.