* Posts by Roland6

9822 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Apr 2010

How is this problem mine, techie asked, while cleaning underground computer

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Dirt

Early on with CoViD I got involved with a client who had to deep clean everything, I was glad the particular HP keyboard they used most had been designed to be disassembled and the plastic dishwasher cleaned. But as you note, need to go carefully with the detergent and heat settings.

EE touts next-gen broadband Smart Hub with Wi-Fi 7 for 2024

Roland6 Silver badge

If your walls are stone etc. (ie. actually block signal) then a set of powerline plug based WiFi APs is probably going to give better results than a WiFi mesh.

Roland6 Silver badge

The Speedtest.net results need to be taken with a large pinch of salt - they only represent a particular subset of Speedtest results and thus are not representative of the wider population's experience.

I'm also wary of reading too much into the results as insufficient information is provided to give any real background context to the headline figure.

Lawsuit claims Google Maps led dad of two over collapsed bridge to his death

Roland6 Silver badge

Interestingly, there is a big unsupported assumption that the deceased was actually using Google Maps. I assume the phone was recovered from the river and forensically examined to determine Google Maps was the foreground running application; without this level of evidence the use of Google Maps is circumstantial or even supposition.

Roland6 Silver badge

Disagree, they were using Google Maps...

Yes it does have some route navigation functionality, however, it is in the same category as using the OS Maps in the UK or Rand McNally maps in the US ie. its a map and having a person giving directions off the map without looking out the windscreen.

If, however they were using Waze, a navigation app owned by Google and uses Google Maps data, that would be a different matter.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: So answer this.

After 9/11 I was in New England using a current Rand McNally Map, the map showed a crossroads and the main road we were travelling along continuing straight ahead...

We went straight ahead and on the other side of the cross road the tarmac stopped and was replaced by bare cinders, after a couple of miles the tarmac resumed..

Authors Guild sues OpenAI for using Game of Thrones and other novels to train ChatGPT

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: A Song Of Ice and Fire

A real test of AI would be for it to complete Knuth's seven volume epic - The Art of Computer Programming ...

Textbook publishers sue shadow library LibGen for copyright infringement

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Welcome to the new corporate Register

Welcome to the new “the US is the world Register”

I missed it on the first reading the key to this piece is the sentence: “ The filing said that according to similarweb.com, the sites collectively were visited by 9 million people from the US each month from March to May 2023.”

This isn’t about us in the world outside of the USA - yet, it’s about US citizens behaving like commies and needing to be saved from themselves.

So the intended outcome is for the corporates to get US based DNS providers or more likely universities, to block these domains.

A concern has to be the words used to prefix the list of domains in the court filing, namely: “without limitation”.

So if a judge is to accept the takedown, joule seem it would give the corporations the power to shutdown any site they claim to be part of LibGen…

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Welcome to the new corporate Register

This “ownership” of published works is quite interesting.

I’ve often found academics have published a paper in some journal which others will formally reference, however, they will present cut down versions at various conferences and symposiums, plus retain a lightly revised version of the (formally) published paper on their university website. Hence with a little web searching and understanding of the different ways English phrasing can be used to title each version slightly differently but actually say the same thing, it is possible to read the findings and gain sufficient to apply, but if you want the full data because you wish to replicate and prove/disprove the papers findings you obviously need the full published paper.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Surrender the domain names

I note the domains aren’t US controlled, so beyond the reach of US courts….

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: I use it as a preview service

Nationwide Student account has an interesting perk - free membership of an online textbook library.

According to my students it is useful, but it doesn’t fully replace the uni. Library or need to purchase some core books.

Perhaps the publishers contesting this case need to take the lead of iTunes, Netflix, etc. and deliver to market a student friendly subscription course book library service. If they were particularly “creative” they would call it “Bookshelf” or “Encarta” and get Microsoft to offer it as a component of M365…

Roland6 Silver badge

>” When a not atypical, required textbook is 50 quid a pop”

I got a shock a couple of years back, the new fully revised edition of a (highly useful) computing book I had used at uni. was published with Amazon pricing it at £156 (and Elsevier wasn’t the publisher).

Back in 1980 the first edition cost £30, according to the Bank of England inflation calculator my edition cost circa £130 in todays money.

From memory many of my core textbooks were around £30, with my yearly (unadjusted for inflation) book spend being a little under £400 - slightly more than 80% of one term’s grant.

So what if China has 7nm chips now, there's no Huawei it can make them 'at scale'

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Lay off guys

This has been brewing for a few years, before Trump started his (first) campaign for the White House - China’s economy was starting to challenge the US’s status as the worlds largest economy. The shock has turned to outrage and as so much is dependent upon Computer technology, the pushback has gained a focus.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: We've seen this before

Yet Ukraine prefers to source its drones from China rather than the US…

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Ah, I see

The change in building regulations for new builds only came into effect in June 2022. Like all things, it only applies to developments commenced after this date, but expect much wiggle room: if initial plans for 5,000 homes were submitted prior to this date, it is not clear whether detailed planning for releases of homes within this outline plan are new build or simply a continuation of an existing build given the infrastructure sign off would have happened prior to the June date…

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: another idea

So has Huawei submitted (US) patent applications for its 7nm chip production….

Would not be surprised; one of the little reported facts about the Wuhan lab some claim was the source of CoViD, was that it’s research partner was a US university…

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: I thought the ban is because of national security

I suggest it goes back further, McCarthy being one example and Salem another…

You could almost say it is deeply embedded in the (white) American psychi…

Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: The three-finger salute

A lot depends on the keyboard in my short survey the smaller keyboards that adhere to the 12 function key IBM PC layout, typically desktops, generally require less contortion . Laptops depending on where they put the del key are much more problematic.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: "posh motor maker BMW"

The badge and the price tag, plus the BMW “Mondeo” had less usable boot capacity than the Ford Volvo V70 based Mondeo estate.

I think Ford’s take over of Volvo, followed by them having the Volvo engineers upgrade the quality of Ford production lines, was a really good move.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Moving House

All sounds great until the monthly payslip suddenly stops…

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Let me put it this way

>” How would you feel if you discovered the instructions for the dealer to perform the "upgrade"…”

Depends on when I found this out.

If it was before I had a dealer do the upgrade then realising I could do it myself - joy

If however it was after the dealer did the upgrade - p*ssed off..

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: don't forget

For it be a nudge to other drivers, the Tesla really needs to activate the hazard lights, so other drivers are warned the Tesla driver/autopilot is being inattentive.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: don't forget

>” Some left-handed design engineer (No, not me!) designed a test rig so that it was nigh on impossible for a right-hander to avoid setting an invalid and destructive switch combination”

As a lefty! It amazes me how many assumptions about handedness people make.(*)

I remember my partner as part of her psychology studies doing some textbook test involved the use of scissors, I substituted the assumed right handed scissors with my left handed scissors… the test authors had not realised scissors were handed. I suspect even today there are psychology students running the same test unaware of the fundamental flaw in its design.

My current bugbear is cntl-alt-del , designed to require two hands, because the majority have two hands, however, if for various reason your only functional hand is you left hand… the problem is even more of a challenge to those who either have small hands or were previously right handed…

(*)This is often a hidden benefit of playing golf left-handed as many courses are designed to be hard for right handlers….

BT confirms it's switching off 3G in UK from Jan next year

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Drat - I will need a new 'phone

Android 15 Vanilla due for release 2024…

Power grids tremble as electric vehicle growth set to accelerate 19% next year

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

>” I'm trying to think of ways to reduce the amount of accounting overhead.”

As you note taxes need to be simple and easy to collect. The simplest being a single annual charge, however who has a savings account for taxes?

Hence the simple way to get taxes paid is to collect them more frequently, which also has the effect of increasing costs. HMRC are encouraging this by increasingly doing things digitally and requiring businesses to do “real time” tax accounting.

Following the free market philosophy that has been dominant for many decades, it makes sense to the government to outsource the tax collection to “for profit” businesses, which provides even more ways for money to circulate though pockets and so raise even more tax revenues.

The regular charging events EVs require seem to be a sensible point at which to apply charges/taxes. Whether these usage charges should take account of more factors than just the kWh taken from the grid is up for discussion. Given we already have fuel duty, it is a simple concept to apply fuel duty to electricity used for EVs.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

>” The actual charging network should charge the same amount regardless of location”

Not thinking straight or utopian thinking.

What is actually needed is a clear unit of charge pricing that enables comparison, just as we can today compare petrol/diesel pricing.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

Motorway petrol stations have to comply with more regulations than those in town, for example being open 24x7.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

>” I say that as it means a whole bunch of accounting to assess the tax on every charging session.”

That’s exactly how it works today; a charging session is simply a purchase.

The only problem is the major utilities billing systems are ancient and so don’t do transactional billing at this scale.

Solution is for EV chargers to be attached to dedicated providers who will have the appropriate IT systems to authorise and manage charging and do the transactional billing etc. which is basically what we have in the UK.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: GridWatch

>” (and even that might be an over estimate looking at recent MOT data)”

CoViD / lockdown effect possibly?

Although with 2 at uni. now, it looks like I will be doing an additional 10k miles per annum, destroying my “green” credentials…

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: GridWatch

methane is a lot less explosive than hydrogen.

When the gas network was switched over to natural gas, all the boiler, fire and cooker burners had to be changed to support a different gas air mix. I suspect a switch to hydrogen will require a similar project but at a much larger scale due to the massive increase in homes since the 1960s.

It is perhaps notable that serious attempts are being made to do community scale trials of a switchover to hydrogen, I don’t remember there being any such trials before the switch to natural gas/ methane.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Cost of refining oil

>” I need to have my roof redone and when that happens, I'll have them install rail standoffs at the same time so I can install solar panels.”

Just fit solar panels and avoid the cost of new slates/tiles.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: If have the extra power to refine more petrol...

With the death of ICE, the refineries will have plenty of gasoline - a fracking by product, to burn.

The advantage the refinery has over a car is it is large scale which simplifies the installation of carbon capture technology.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

Surely, the car maintains a (possibly basic) log of recent charging events, just like existing engine management systems retain the last 20’ish fault codes. So should be relatively easy to upload as part of smart charging or via the GSM spy recent charging history…

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

In the UK the infrastructure is largely in place:

Vehicle tax: just change EV category from zero to whatever.

Fuel duty: can be applied through the existing EV charging networks to which all home wall warts and public charging points are connected to.

Just needs the politician will; given the agenda to end new ICE sales, I anticipate the next Westminster government will start the ball rolling with steep increases after 2030 as fossil fuel revenues begin to fall (I expect also duties on fossil fuels to also increase).

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

>” Whereas I conclude that a major build out and re-engineering of the grid to allow more the energy efficient future, which is going to happen”

History and reality says it isn’t going to happen anytime soon, particularly given the extra load EVs would put on the grid was easily calculable back in 2010. We’ve had 10+ years and very little has been done to prepare for a re-engineer of the national grid, so as you note if we start today it’s probably going to be 25 years before it’s ready…

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

Need to investigate the mains cost of EV electricity, as I expect this will be on a different tariff to general domestic. I suspect your game changer is the solar panels and having sufficient to charge from these.

I would treat the free charging as a bonus as I expect as numbers increase charging will be introduced - it’s costing the shopping centre to provide “free” charging and the government is going to want to shift revenues gained from petrol/diesel fuel onto EV fuel.

The only real question is going to be your lifestyle and can it adapt to your local EV charging constraints.

37 Signals says cloud repatriation plan has already saved it $1 million

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Ops Team

The same size doesn’t mean the same skills set.

Interesting to know the size of the team, I note it was only 6 people in 2012 and in 2022 the entire company was 80 people [ https://world.hey.com/jason/on-company-size-8095488d ].

Would not be surprised if the team has lost “racking and stacking” staff (outsourced) and gained more business systems management and operations staff. Ie. What is considered “ops” has changed.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: for most usecases cloud delivery is lower cost and a more responsive service

And as 37 Signals are demonstrating simple outsourcing of a “well understood and stable demand” can be even cheaper than cloud.

Meet Honda's latest electric vehicle: A rideable suitcase

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Dysfunctionally conservative

I suspect many will have problems and risk back injury, lifting this out of the boot shown in the film.

As Kevin notes many will try and slide it in and out, whilst the damage to the boot may be minimal, the case will rapidly accumulate scuff marks…

Roland6 Silver badge

From the video I noted the absence of handles when in the luggage configuration.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: How dare Honda have fun with an idea?!

There is the Trunki, albeit for kids, so looks like Honda played around to come up with an adult version.

Roland6 Silver badge


Twelve surely?


Used cars? Try used car accounts: 15,000 up for grabs online at just $2 a pop

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Dealership questions....

For used vehicles Customers should be asking

- how do I take over the existing account?

It was a learning experience trying to do this for a Vauxhall I purchased outside of the Vauxhall dealer network, possessing the V5C was not sufficient…

Ford, BMW, Honda to steer bidirectional EV charging standard

Roland6 Silver badge


The challenge is going to be to make this compatible with the existing charging interfaces so that, when it is finally agreed, it does not require a complete replacement of the thousands of charging points currently being deployed.

Obviously, for this V2G to work charging points will need to be upgraded, however, this should only be those charging points where this is desired.

Portable Large Language Models – not the iPhone 15 – are the future of the smartphone

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Sure, it's possible, but why would you want it?

You clearly don’t understand what a LLM is and thus what it is and isn’t capable of.

Your doctor made a diagnostic and treatment error. If you had Googled “heart attack” or “chest pains” you would know from reliable medical sources the diagnostic steps a medical expert (with access to the right equipment) will take.

Even asking a random person (ie. Not a medical expert) in to the street would most probably got you the answer: do you want me to call you an ambulance?

An answer the LLM is highly unlikely to provide.

Local governments aren't businesses – so why are they force-fed business software?

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Biting the hand that feeds IT

The “why” from my experience would seem to be because of politicians…

In the early 90s many local government systems came due for renewal, for various reasons: changing business demands, changing legislation and obsolete hardware. Because local government was a small market the cost of systems development were a big component of the price ticket. The politicians were obsessed with public sector: overspend, over specification, spend of delivery/change, and decided if COTS products could deliver to business then as local government were effectively businesses they could use COTS products rather than the bespoke systems used previously…

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Lobbying.

To me “public code” is where the source is available to all with no access qualifying precondition - remember the issue with RedHat and “free software” is that the licensing model only requires distribution of source to customers ie. Public code is freely open source not just “free software”.

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Confused

This is Microsoft, so can expect the current “open” Windows print services to be depreciated - why have a print service that can be extended by third-party (non-MS store) drivers when you restrict it to UWP and Microsoft’s variant of Mopria.(*)

(*) Given previous performance with Standards: PDF, Office document formats, HTML, we can expect MS to vary from the agreed Standard.

We'll show you our patents if you show us yours, say Huawei and Ericsson

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: I should imagine

Suspect that depends on whether the Orange one returns to the White House.

22 million Brits suffer broadband outage blues and are paying a premium for it

Roland6 Silver badge

Plan A - fixed line ISP - Full service to whole house

Plan B - mobile data ISP - Email and web service to whole house

Plan C - get in car and visit friends/relations in neighbouring villages - fixed line full service to individual(s) who make the journey…

Plan B is two providers, the EE 4G mast backhaul uses the same duct as the fixed line - twice in the last two years 400+ metres of this duct has been emptied of cables taking over a week for service to be restored. The Other provider (Three) I have a directional (3G) antenna on the roof to their mast which has a differently routed backhaul…