* Posts by Bunbury

304 publicly visible posts • joined 3 May 2013


Court battle date set for £300m BT Cornwall termination dispute


Re: Wait for the evidence?

Couldn't agree more. There's nothing here but "he said, she said" and hot air.

Huge SUPERHENGE erection found near Blighty's Stonehenge


Fossil Furtlers

Bet the archeologists were miffed when the paleontologists took over...

BT commences trials of copper-to-the-home G.fast broadband tech


Re: I'm skeptical

Hmm, so an obligation to ensure that all lines in the UK are 8Mbps and enormous fines if not. Who will be paying for that? Let's say far flung scottish hamlets are ten times as expensive to provide such service to than, say Edinburgh suburbs. Will your universal service have a universal price? In which case, in a democracy, how do you convince the Ediburgh majority to pay a lot more to subsidise the crofting minority?

No doubt you first thought will be "BT must pay". Perhaps in capitals, and with some exclamation marks. But, since it is a commercial company, that in effect will pass on cost to customers. So in effect, any USO would still result in those that are cheap to serve subsidising those that are more costly.


Re: Silly...

@Aitor1 - putting aside the religion around FTTH, these GFast deployments are a step along that path. The GFast "DSLAMs" need to be close to the customer's house. So the fibre actually gets a good deal closer to the customer that in the fibre to cab deployments (on average anyway)


Re: Silly...

I believe the fibre to your house will actually be 330Mbps but sold as 300. GFast will be capable of significantly faster, but they've clearly picked on 330/300 just to have something to use in their trial.

Euro X-ray 'scope snaps Milky Way's 'tumultuous heart'


Re: Labels ?

The ESA article in full narrows it down a bit. See all the complicated tricksy lights in the middle? It seems it's the collection of bright bits on the right hand side of that, surrounded by the expanding ring of materials.

Colossus veteran flies a drone over Bletchley Park


Re: Rinky-dink musical accompaniment may grate on some

Dat moosic ain't rinky-dink! Dat moosic's ricky-tick!

Rinky dink origin is circa 1900; meaning cheap and not very nice - sometimes suggesting something sordid. Ricky-tick is from a similar era, meaning lightweight and repetitive music - perhaps the weaker exponents of ragtime.

BT hands £129m back to UK.gov after beating rural broadband targets



The quotation for the MoF suggests that taxpayers will get the £129m back - that's what "reimburse" implies. But What seems to be happening is a reuse of the funds to build out new areas. While sensible, and good to see that kind of clause in such a contract, it's not reimbusement at all.

Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping one per cent of EU energy


Re: Why's this a story?

""this wind farm will produce enough power for 10,000 homes" with the key word electrical power 'accidentally' omitted."

Well yes but I think most readers will assume that it means electrical power. In the same way that we can work out that the words "to dance the tango" haven't been omitted from the end of the sentence either.



Re: Bah!

Forte Group was a dreadful copy of American restaurant chains. Your fault.

Mathematician: sunspot could mean mini ice age from 2030


Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

"Every barrel of oil is going to be dug up"

You do know that the oil is not actually down there in barrels already, don't you? Rather than a drill bit we'd need a wider pipe and a lot of suction. FwwwwWWWUMPH!!! - and another one arrives...

Mighty CHASMS, craters FOUND ON MOON of Pluto


Circular, dark

Coins for the ferryman?

Sorry, say boffins, the LHC still hasn't sucked us into a black hole


Re: Wainscotting

"They mentioned us again!!!"

UK TV is getting worse as younglings shun the BBC et al, says Ofcom


Re: Hmm

"On the other hand, just look at how narrow BBC new programme risk making is? How many times has it "re-imagined" (I would love to kick the a**e of whoever it was that conjured that) Sherlock Holmes?"

It does do that a lot - but the ACD stories provide a good framework. Also, the old 'Basil Rathbone' portrayal of Holmes was far from the swashbuckling sleuth of the books.

But auntie also does new work; for example the recent series of Jonothan Strange and Mr Norrell, a book published in 2004, which I thought very good. But I would imagine the lack of title recognition would get it a smaller audience than Holmes.

Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May


Re: Exit plan?

Surely a planet IS a space habitat?


Re: So.

There's a few benefits to spotting, say five years out, that a rock is coming:

1. You can zap the fella. Yeah, sure, all sorts of options have been discounted. But in times of war things get done and developed really quickly.

2. The further out you spot them, the less deflection you need to make them miss.

3. If you can spot the big ones 5 years out you can spot the littler close ones too. Even if you can't stop them, you can advise local governments/people they are coming - like the one that hit Sudan a couple of years back - so they don't think it's enemy action.

Sky bangs on Ofcom's door – demands BT competition probe


The difficulty for the regulator in this field is that there are two "network effect" markets in collision here - TV delivery to viewers and terrestrial telecomms. Getting anything like a properly functioning free market in the classical sense is a big ask.

Sky has a very strong position in delivery of TV channels to customers - you need only look at the millions of homes with a sky dish, and satellite distribution is pretty much one big asset so that once you've covered that cost everything else is gravy.

I suspect if the regulator was starting with a clean sheet of paper both these companies would get a roughly similar amount of regulation. But because one comes from a nationalised background and one from free market they have very different levels of competition regulation. Otherwise, you'd have Sky having to open up it's satellites and receiving dishes (and VM it's cable) to competitor services in the way that BT has had to with it's lines, exchanges etc.

BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?


I never understand that argument. Surely you do use the landline if it carries your internet traffic? Yes it happens to come with an embedded telephony service but so what?

That's like me complaining that "I don't feel I should pay road tax because I have no need for the smell of tarmac, I just want to drive to work".

Get your WELLIES to MARS: Red Planet reveals its FROZEN BOTTOM


"Inactive geostationary satellites will last for rather longer"

They won't be geostationary usually - they'll have done their last fuel burn to move them up to the graveyard orbit. If you leave a satellite in geo orbit without fuel it tends to start doing a figure of 8 about the geostationary point as irregular earth gravity and nearby bodies pull it about a bit. Presumably after a while it might become an increasingly unstable orbit


Every inhabitant of Barsoom

Has had heard rumours of the so called First Men of Barsoom. They live below the lost Sea of Korus; on the Sea of Omean. Protected there from the fierce Green Men of Mars, Issus Goddess of Barsoom ruled, until the day that John Carter Warlord of Barsoom destroyed the temple and his queen, the incomparable Dejah Thoris, was imprisoned for a year in the temple of the sun.

It's all true I tell you!

MILLIONS of broadband punters aren't getting it fast enough – Which?


Isn't this a category error?

Let's say I run a broadbband service for 10,000 punters, and the absolute max my service will run at is 100Mbps. It's xDSL so degrades with cable distance. I want to advertise and check the rules. I need to say "up to" the speed that at least 10% of my customers synch at. I look at my records and discover that 1,000 synch at 92Meg+, and 9,000 at less than 92Meg. So I advertise as "up to 92Meg".

I don't wan't to go broke by providing private ciruits to all the customers (they wouldn't pay for that as my competitors offer dirt cheap broadband) so I put in enough network capacity that, in really busy times, the lines run at about half the synch speed. So my fastest 1,000 customers will runat 41-50Meg throughput.

So, if these guys get surved by Which? asking "who gets the advertised speeds?" and "who gets them at peak times?" surely I would expect the answers to be "10%" and "none" respectively. Whereas actually the performance seems better than this. So it seems a bit of a non story.

In fact, it seems to boil down to "most people don't get the 'up to' speed because by the design of the advertising rules 90% shouldn't be able to".


Re: Copper on new builds?

They were thinking "this building developer has contracted us to do it this way". The comms infrastructure is specified by the developer, who will typically go out to tender and select the cheapest option.

An analogy would be to look at the bricks they buil their house with and ask why the brick company didn't supply a better quality brick. They didn't because they were not paid to do so, and had they delivered a better brick, the developer would have rejected as that was not what was specified.

Airplane HACK PANIC! Hold on, it's surely a STORM in a TEACUP


I think the chappie is actually referring to an aero-craft; the aeroplane - technically speaking, don'tcha know? - is merely the plane of the wing...

Milking cow shot dead by police 'while trying to escape'


Re: Traffic

@AC "I do wonder how long this is going to get milked for"

For as long as we're in the MOOOOOOOOOOOd


We thought it was going for a gun

When it was actually just throwing away a stick

Astroboffins perplexed by QUADRUPLE QUASAR CLUSTER find


Re: I know this may not go over well.

Agreed. It's a particular issue with this sort of stuff because the scientists can only observe rather than experiment and the new discoveries are often at the edge of the capabilities of their instruments. On the other hand "it's our best current model but here are the things that don't quite fit" can be a much lengthier, if perhaps more accurate, set of words.

You're going to have stop calling people 'cold fish': THIS one is HOT-BLOODED


You're not alone there. Is it odd that my first reaction was to try and calculate whether it would fit up my jumpah?

Forced sale of Openreach division would put BT broadband investment at risk, says CEO


Re: New Builds

So your plan is to force Wimpey, Redrow, etc to (a) go to one specific company for all the telecomms everywhere and (b) specify the technology used? Who decides the price? At present developers get bids in from suppliers against a specification and then decide what happens on the land that they at that point own..

Perhaps while you're pushing that primary legislation through, you could specify the brick manufacturer (LBC?) and the dimensions (65mm) and type (Ironstone?) of brick.

Then you could pop round to all the home owners as they move in and explain to them why their homes cost a bit more because the developer had to comply with the national regulations you introduced.


@ Doctor Syntax

Eventually perhaps. But these corporate changes take a lot of time, during which there would perhaps be a risk of "investment blight"



Re: Ceres bright spots iluminate without sun light

Re "NASA please show us the factual evidence of the light spectrometer measurements from each photo to establish the claim of 100% reflected light as you claim!" I'm hoping that was rhetorical. I'm fairly sure that the chances of someone from NASA reading a comments post in the Reg, smacking head and thinking "of course, we must publish our figures early on in the mission so as to prove we are proper scientists" are somewhat slim.

In a galaxy far, far, far away ... Farthest ever star system discovered


If you look at the image quickly

It looks a bit...


Noodly, to be honest

Brits send Star Wars X-wing fighter to the stratosphere


These are not the F***wits we're looking for

Move along

Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse taunted with sausage sarnie snap


Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

I would concur with the inestimable ancestor.

My father was once going on a journey and had the following conversation with his daughter in law:

She:"would you like some sandwiches for the journey?" (being helpful)

He: "Yes please; but only one round will be enough" (being helpful)

She: "Oh.But I don't have any round bread." (mutual frustration and puzzlement)

Top Spanish minister shows citizens are thick as tortillas de ballenas


Re: Pedanting...

"The sun *does* orbit the Earth"

Well said Stephen. Some might say the earth orbits the sun, or their common gravitational point. But that is purely dependant upon frame of reference. And since the observer is usually standing on the earth, from that point of view, the sun orbits the earth.

Granted, our understanding of gravity is such that the heliocentric model is easier to explain, though perhaps less simple and stable than was once thought. I imagine an observer at the centre of the galaxy would suggest that the main orbit of the earth is around the galactic centre and there's a slight wobble around the sun as well.

If we had evolved on the moon, it would probably have been held at one pooint that the earth orbits the moon. Would it have taken longer to disabuse ourselves of that notion?

Astroboffins mine data in pursuit of lonely, homeless RUNAWAY GALAXIES


My little runaway

Unfortunately the article is paywalled. But reading this piece it seems to be saying that that IF these galaxies escaped from an averagely central position in an average cluster then the escape velocity would need to be about such and such.

But if you don't know where they've come from, then how can you tell if this has actually happened or not?

Something's missing in our universe: Boffins look into the SUPERVOID


Re: the answer

What is the reason for having the moon identified on this map? Is it some kind of Space 1999 of "you are here" reference?

Mine's the one that's part of a ghastly beige jump suit thing.


How are they defining the coldness?

So this is a region containing galaxies, albeit that they seem less densely populated than elsewhere. Galaxies have shiny hot bits. So when they say it's colder than elsewhere, do they mean there are less hot bits so on average it's colder? Or are they referring to the spaces between the galaxies?

NASA: We're gonna rip up an ASTEROID and make it ORBIT the MOON


Re: Next Story : NASA Smashes Asteroid in Earth

Of course it might be that all previous mass extinctions by asteroid were shortly after the species evolved sufficiently to build the technology to move asteroids about and decided to blatt their enemies...

BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks


Re: Where did the rural internet money go?

The money went to the county councils, who set up organisations to get the services provided. Plaistow is West Sussex, so http://www.westsussex-betterconnected.org.uk/check-availability is your guide.

Like most government funded stuff "we have made funding available" does not mean that the money has actually been used yet. But the council do seen to be grinding through their programme; But Plaistow is an area they've not go to yet.

If I were a cynic, I might suggest that a county council might do first the areas with lots of tax payers, and put a smaller village on the border (such that a lot of those who benefit pay their taxes to the county next door instead) lower down the list.

Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant


Re: Another announcement, another project of dubious worth

you could splice those genes into mammoths too. Spider silk rope! And an automatic means of preventing the mammoths wandering off*

*OK, we're going to need to splice the genes into the nasal glands for that one...


They mastadon it wrong



Well, if the picture in the article is anything to go on then it'll be Mexican. Hope they've got sunblock.


Re: Animal made from ancient degraded DNA released into the wild

Nah, it'll be OK. They've made them lysine deficient. Nature won't find a way round that.


I'm thinking that a mammoth is itself

"an enormous source of methane". This'll be just like cane toads. You introduce mammoths to control the tundra and before you know it you need smilodon to control the exploding mammoth population

Amazon fires rocket up FAA for dithering on drone approval


Re: Welcome to the real world...

Couldn't agree more. It might be frustrating for Amazon that the latest version is not approved but air safety needs to be a very cautious arena. The downside of getting it wrong is very large - an air accident. This is surely analagous to pharmaceutical companies who need to go through lengthy trials to make sure drugs are safe.

HUGE Aussie asteroid impact sent TREMORS towards the EARTH'S CORE


Re: Devonian? @ ~Spartacus



Re: Silly question .... how old is the moon?

well not exactly "spew forth". The theory is that early on in the solar systems the proto-earth collided with another planet, smashing and liquidising both and that the remains formed the earth/moon combo. But that is far, far earlier than this. The moon was then liberally clobbered by impacts in the period known as the late heavy bombardment. The earth would have been as well but that was circa 4,000 MY back.


Re: Devonian?

surprised that a biologist thinks that dinosaurs didn't have brains. Did they have another explanation for the big cavity in the skull?


Looks like the mother ship is still there...

"Geophysical modelling of the Cooper Basin, which overlies the eastern Warburton East Basin, suggests existence of a body of high-density (~ 2.9–3.0 gr/cm3) and high magnetic susceptibility (SI ~ 0.012–0.037) at a depth of ~ 6–10 km at the centre of the anomalies. "

Oxford boffins publish fine-scale regional genetic map of UK



Disappointing that these boffs refer to Kent as being invaded by Anglo-Saxons. Neither Angle, nor Saxon, but Jutes here mate. Git Offa moi laaand.