* Posts by anothercynic

1611 posts • joined 4 Dec 2014

Good news for UK tech contractors as govt repeals IR35 tax rules

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Excellent

Sorry, *what* are you smoking?

The UK is anything *but* a flat simple tax economy. If that was the case, there wouldn't be a tax law bible of several volumes (11 IIRC), and a lot of people would be a damn sight happier than they are.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Let me get this straight

IR35 is *not* being revoked. The rule changes applicable in April 2022, and the ones before that in 2017, are.

So... IR35 is effectively being rolled back 2 revisions to the changes before the 2017 ones.

Boeing to pay SEC $200m to settle charges it misled investors over 737 MAX safety

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Boeing takes it in the shorts

They cut corners to make it work for their customers. They knew MCAS was needed. They should've gone back to Southwest, American and the others and said "sorry folks, but without MCAS it doesn't fly the way the old ones did, so you *will* have to do some more training to make your pilots aware of the system and how to fix things if they go wrong".

They didn't. They continued to lie. They even deceived their customers about it all because they tried to hide MCAS and not mention it at all to anyone.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Normal misleading

Oh no, no no... They misled people. They are fully aware of what they were doing. They tried to cut corners to catch up to Airbus. They compromised safety. They knew it. They hid it. It backfired and bit them in the ass.

And now they're paying piddly amounts to make it go away.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: "Reimbursing investors"

Tupolevs and Ilyushins are not being flown (or manufactured) by any company under the SEC's purview.

And the SEC is not the agency responsible for prosecuting the company for that either. If anything, that's the US government's job. They've failed so far to do it.

'I Don't Care About Cookies' extension sold to Avast

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Good in combination with another extension

Yes, very true that. Cookie Autodelete is a great little extension too!

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Or

Yes, I switched to Consent-o-Matic after this IDCAC-being-sold-to-Avast news became known (not via El Reg).

I think CoM looks a lot more appropriate :-)

Emissions-slashing hybrid trains to hit tracks in Europe

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Wow thats new

No they don't.

GWR does not run electrics up to Oxford. They run hybrids. The trains between Didcot and the north (i.e. Bicester, Worcester, Cheltenham) are all diesel-powered. The trains from Paddington heading to Oxford switch to diesel as they approach the Didcot junction where they turn north. The line north of Didcot was *meant* to be electrified, but it is *not*. That was part of something called the Electric Spine, which was canned when the costs overran on the Great Western Line electrification.

That's also why Cardiff to Swansea is diesel-powered. They decided that to stop Wales complaining about how they were always ignored (see above comment somewhere where a Welsh person's just done that about Cardiff-Swansea), they'd run the electrics to Cardiff at least. The line from Chippenham approaching Bath is also diesel (and when they leave Bath, they switch back to electric), because Network Rail was unable to agree a catenary design to fit into Bath's (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) Regency feel. Slapping up massive steel cross beams would've cost Bath its status, and the city is very much protective of it. So, diesel it is. The line from Swindon to Bristol Parkway is fully electric, as is the Severn Tunnel (with the aforementioned fixed-rail electrics in the roof space).

At least the good news of that fiasco of an electrification has taught Network Rail to do a lot more groundwork ahead of time to plan things out properly. A lot of the overruns were due to the fact that the overhead wire carriers were heavier than was originally planned (because someone did planning with older specs, and the newer spec required stronger material) and many of the piles that those carriers were meant to be mounted on had to either be abandoned (after being hammered into the ground) or had to be hammered even deeper to provide ground support.

And JET has its own power supply. It wouldn't be on the same line as rail would be.

Keeping printers quiet broke disk drives, thanks to very fuzzy logic

anothercynic Silver badge


Ahh, fond memories of getting my Epson LX-400 to print TTF-font rendered stuff... Cue the noise that echoed along the res corridors... :-/

Uber reels from 'security incident' in which cloud systems seemingly hijacked

anothercynic Silver badge

Slow clap

Well done Uber. Well done. *very very slow clap*

China's single aisle passenger jet – the C919 – likely to be certified next week

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: That's how Airbus started

Those that say Boeing disappeared are right... most of senior management at Boeing are either ex-McDonnell Douglas, ex-GE, or of their management style... It's an ugly thing.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Russian market?

Every single jet flown on European, US, or Far East registers will have been checked to yazoo.

That's why some airlines are banned from European and US airspace, because they either have lax maintenance records (or none at all), or their organisation is not being very forthcoming (or compliant) with ICAO and IATA standards.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Russian market?

Lessors like BOC Aviation have already written off or written down most of their lease inventory that was based in or around Russia. They won't even want the planes back, they're a loss.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: That's how Airbus started

No. Boeing got started building mail planes in the early 20th century, and then bombers for the US Air Force for the second World War. *THAT* was their bread and butter, not passenger traffic. They then took some of their bombers, and just like the Brits converted them to passenger use. Their first clean sheet design for a passenger jet came from something they designed for the USAF (model 367).

They built other jets, but they were for military use (the B-47 Stratojet being one of the first).

Airbus on the other hand started with a wide-body twin-aisle because that's what airlines said they were looking for... things that were better than the 707 (narrowbody, single-aisle, four engines), DC-8 (same), or their later contemporaries (like the DC-10 and the L-1011). It was a growing market, so it made sense for Airbus to start there.

COMAC knows that the short-haul single-aisle regional market is where most of the pressure is right now (see waiting lists for Airbus A32x and Boeing 737 aircraft - they're *huge*), so stepping in with a domestic model for the domestic airlines makes sense. The Sukhoi Superjet was for a similar market, and it'll get refined with American parts designed out because of anti-Russian sanctions. And the MC-21 is also heading for commercial service, sooo...

HP pays $1.3m to settle dispute over printer security chip

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: €95 is easily not enough

It's better than the crummy $13.44 that the lawyers settling the 'replacement Apple device' lawsuit with Apple paid me and a few other tens of millions of others...

I can't even cash the cheque given it's in USD and my bank'll charge me an arm and a leg (oh, and because the bloody idiots misspelled my name, it's not going to be cleared anyway).

I'll take your €95 any day of the week.

Musk seeks yet another excuse to get out of Twitter buyout: This time it's Mudge's severance check

anothercynic Silver badge

Grasping at straws...

... The man is *desperate* to get out of this deal.

US state of Virginia has more datacenter capacity than Europe or China

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: MAE East

The days of checking if MAE East or MAE West were causing hiccups! :-)

I remember those days fondly.

South Korea takes massive step toward sustainable nuclear fusion reactions

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Very impressive!

Ditto! :-)

Nicely done!

Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth II – Britain's first high-tech monarch

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: ta ta Liz

The 'process' is that the non-QR coded stamps need to be exchanged for stamps that have a QR code on them. The '1st class', '2nd class' and '1st class Large' stamps as they stand are all invalid from January onwards.


Bye bye BoJo: Liz Truss named new UK prime minister

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Lol...

Except Dorries won't be there to catch it...

Nadine Dorries promotes 'Brexit rewards' of proposed UK data protection law

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Good god...

The good news coming out of the change of PM is that Dorries has quit government. She apparently wants to go back to writing rubbish books, no doubt because no-one challenges her there...

But yeah, sadly she was apparently offered a job, but she's turned it down and said literally that she wanted to return to being an author.

Good riddance, I say.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: GDPR teeth

Ireland just has - They've fined Instagram (part of the FB collective known as Meta) 400 million smackers (can't remember now if it was EU or US currency) for mishandling the data of minors.

DoE digs up molten salt nuclear reactor tech, taps Los Alamos to lead the way back

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: REstart?

You keep the stuff hot. That's how.

USB-C to hit 80Gbps under updated USB4 v. 2.0 spec

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: EU will love this

Same here... Same with mobile cables (nowadays just the lightning cable). Look after it and it'll work for a lot longer than you would expect.

Terminal downgrade saves the day after a client/server heist

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Satellite tech

The days of bonded (or even just single-channel) ISDN... *happy sigh* It was incredible what you could get done from halfway across the planet (literally) by dialing into an ISDN number in the US... The

California asks people not to charge EVs during heatwave

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Does this apply to everyone?

I suspect that they would be the ones to do it, but others won't on the basis that "I wonder if the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Prince Harry will be...". The extreme cynicism people have towards this instead of just doing the right thing scuppers initiatives a lot.

Although, to be fair, I find this somewhat amusing (not in a funny way) given that California knows that they are a hot state, that everyone relies on air conditioning (and much of Southern California relying on exorbitant amounts of water to keep things green), and that electricity usage will go through the roof when you make people buy leccy cars and then experience a heatwave.

Underwater datacenter will open for business this year

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: At 700ft Nobody can hear your data scream...

I believe nitrogen is being used by Microsoft, so I would not be surprised if this lot do the same.

Japan to change laws that require use of floppy disks

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Time to modernise: magneto-optical disks

I think I have a SCSI interface card for the JAZ, if you should need one.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Time to modernise: magneto-optical disks

No, @bombastic, the ZIP disks were 100MB and 250MB (depending on the edition). The 16MB disks were for the Bernoulli drive, a predecessor of the ZIP, by the same company (Iomega). The Jaz drive on the other hand was 1GB.

Zip was available in PP or IDE, Jaz on PP or SCSI.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: It's pervasive.

Pagers still exist and are still used widely, especially in on-call environments, although in the NHS it's the clip-phone that inevitably beeps. A friend is nuclear safety officer for a certain organisation in the country (can't go into detail for obvious reasons) and there's been the inevitable 'beep-beep' of the pager going off over an incident during dinners before...

Left-wing campaign group throws weight behind BT strikes

anothercynic Silver badge

Because they can't afford to pay their rent, pay their energy bills *and* feed themselves and/or their children.

Food banks are meant to be an emergency measure, but it appears that some organisations and one party in particular believe that they're just there for the taking. Unfortunately, Trussell Trust, who run a whole network of them, are pointing out that while usage has gone up a lot, those donating to TT to be able to run their food banks has gone down too as people tighten their own belts.

California to try tackling drought with canal-top solar panels

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: 13GW

Solar hot water is brilliant... we had this in the eighties a couple of thousand kilometres north west of you ;-)

The panels designed at the time were heavy as hell because they actually used glass and steel plating, but it provided some seriously hot water even in winter (although there we still had to backfill with an electric tank heater once the sun set).

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: How about floating on reservoirs?

Yes, this one's a great thing to spot when you depart westwards from Heathrow, or if you are being brought into the airport from the west. :-)

You can never have too many backups. Also, you can never have too many backups

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Stack popped reading that procedure....

11) remove and store B1 in the data safe. It is the backup copy of R.

Shirley you mean 'It is the backup copy of F'. :-)

But yeah, a glorious Tower of Hanoi problem and easily cocked up... Poor Boyle.

NASA scrubs Artemis SLS Moon rocket launch

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Fireworks

Especially with the latter two... Neither hydrazine nor N2O4 are nice things.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: One of the things not tested

SLS makes the machinery of the US government independent of the Russian one (Roskosmos). It's just like Europe who wanted independence from the US launch complex and founded things that eventually became Arianespace. And yes, having multiple different organisations build heavy lifters is a good thing.

This is why the Chinese are developing their own heavy-lift capability, why Japan does, why India does... they all don't want to be beholden to one of three nations/nation-blocs on the planet who can lift heavy stuff to orbit, as is their right to.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Its a prototype

A friend of mine worked on Orion. He's sadly no longer with us. But the enthusiasm the guy had for rocket engineering was... boundless. He really wanted to see SLS fly. When that colossus lifts off, I'll raise a glass to Steve.

Germany orders Sept 1 shutdown of digital ad displays to save gas

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Pointless laws are pointless

Forced to pay in the sense that the *government* negotiated the strike price for energy from Hinkley Point C, which saddles *everyone* in the country with that strike price regardless of whether they'd like that or not.

Although, to be fair here, when you start building a £25 billion piece of power infrastructure, you'll want to know that you'll get a guaranteed price for what it'll generate so that you know whether it'll make a profit (of sorts) or not. And currently, the nuclear strike price set is something like £110/MWh (at 2021 prices), which, based on some of the other strike pricing I've looked at, is pretty much in the low end of what is currently being charged for wind energy from the Beatrice, Walney and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farms, and also what Drax and Lynemouth (both biomass) charge, although it's twice as expensive as the Doggerbank Offshore Wind Farms.

Given that all gas-based power generation will head for Mount Everest, I think it's a fair strike price.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Pointless laws are pointless

@VoiceofTruth, but that's where you're wrong. Supporters of nuclear power do not deny Chernobyl happened. They do not deny Fukushima happened. But they look at both as things everyone learned from and improved on what they did.

Chernobyl only happened because a) every safety mechanism was disabled, and b) the RBMK reactor design used at Chernobyl was *not* self-regulating. It is an unstable design. It allows the reaction to 'run away'. Russia is the only country that still really relies on that unstable design in its facilities, although they addressed some of the failures of the design in later iterations.

Modern pressurised water reactors, such as the ones pioneered by the US Navy for their submarines and then exported to the rest of the world as safe designs by Westinghouse, Toshiba, Areva (and its predecessors) etc, do not allow that to happen. Even the modern Russian design that is at the heart of the Ukrainian nuclear power station (Zaporizhzhia) currently under Russian control is of the design that if you don't bombard it with missiles or other armament and damage the reactor vessel, chances of a nuclear meltdown of epic Chernobyl-style proportions is not possible.

And Fukushima (of a boiling water reactor design) only happened because all the pumps and electrical equipment, which were not mounted high up, were drowned by sea water when the tsunami overtopped the sea wall, and no other infrastructure survived. The safety mechanisms largely worked, which is why you only had hydrogen explosions with the subsequent release of radioactivity (and the irradiation of the water then used to cool the molten-down cores), not a full-scale fire that blasted radioactive materials into the air and spread it over thousands of square miles like it happened at Chernobyl.

Hell, and even the nuclear accidents that are required to be reported by regulators across the world (which is why you know about them in the first place) are not nearly of the scale that are catastrophic. Everyone in the nuclear industry agrees that if you want to talk about catastrophic incidents, there are only 3, ever, in 60 years. You've already mentioned two. Three Mile Island is the third, and even *it* didn't even come close to what Chernobyl managed to achieve.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Pointless laws are pointless

Unfortunately, a lot of this radiophobia comes courtesy of the UK, ironically. CND has a *lot* to answer for, as I've discovered (after starting to watch a lot of the archive that ZDF, one of the German public broadcasters, has started to put online). A lot of anti-nuclear campaigners in Germany got their inspiration from CND.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: FRA airport is very nearly in compliance with this law....

55C is considered to be a good temperature to keep Legionnaire's at bay if you have a lagged hot water tank.

If you have a condensing boiler, reducing the flow temperature will help your gas usage, more so if you have a condensing *combi*-boiler (i.e. you don't use the boiler to heat a tank of water), since your water will be at a lower temperature that you don't need to mix cold water back into (this is the irony of having your flow temperature too hot - you burn a lot of gas to get your water from 7C to 55-60C, only to mix more 7C water back in to get it back to 45C that you wash with).

Apparently many boiler manufacturers set a flow temperature default of 60C and many installers don't mess with it because, well, "the manufacturer knows best". Setting it to 55C is more appropriate.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: FRA airport is very nearly in compliance with this law....

Yes, this irritates me a lot in winter in Europe (and to a degree in the US/Canada) - heat turned up to max. You come in from the freezing cold, you get blasted by furnace temperatures, you undo all your insulation (read coat, undercoat, cardigan, scarf etc) to not die of heatstroke or drown in your own sweat whilst in the shop/mall/whatever, only to have to hastily redo it on exit whilst in the weird double-door vestibule thing.

Turn the heat down to 19C, the amount of people wandering about will *not* freeze but it will be cool, and yes, the staff will have to wear an extra cardigan or pullover to stay reasonably warm.

At least in greater conurbations in Canada, the underground shopping streets (read, tunnels between the different stores/malls) are a Godsend - they're not hot, but they are warmer than the glacial/arctic temperatures outside.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: FRA airport is very nearly in compliance with this law....

It happens everywhere... not just rural areas. Areas around football/sports stadiums, anything that is noisy... estate agents will go out of their way to finish the sale with zero thought to what happens after. The Home Information Packs were supposed to resolve some of this, but there we are.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: FRA airport is very nearly in compliance with this law....

Well, given Schiphol (AMS) is surrounded by Amsterdam, Haarlem and to a lesser degree Hoofddorp and Utrecht, and the flight paths into and out of AMS cross those cities, and the airport has four runways, I think that it is justified to ask the airport to be more judicious with its aircraft movements.

I've stood in Het Amsterdamse Bos (which as you probably know is the forest to the east of the airport) early in the morning and heard and seen jets come in for runway 27 or runway 24, and I've *been* on planes heading in on those two runways. Those two cross over Amsterdam and Amstelveen (and thankfully, turn over the IJmeer, which reduces the noise impact somewhat). I've also stood in the same forest late at night hearing the rumblings of jets spooling up for the other two runways, Runways 18/36 L and R. And the Polderbaan primarily, which like its sister runway is north/south, but which is more popular, hits Haarlem and Aalsmeer with direct noise. The Netherlands is *flat* and noise travels (even in Het Amsterdamse Bos).

Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is lucky in the sense that it only really has Goussainville (and maybe Gonesse and a smattering of Paris/Saint Denis's suburbs) to the west to deal with. They're judicious with their runway uses and can get away with night operations. Brussels Zaventem (BRU) is in a similar situation to AMS, which is why all major freight operators head for Liège, which has a south-westerly approach into runways 4L/R over farmland. Leipzig-Halle (another major freight airport) also lies primarily in farmland and has deal with only Schkopau or Merseburg to the west in terms of noise while the east is clear.

And Heathrow... well... I've sat in a hotel not too far from LHR where I've had to pause my conversation to let a jet pass in order to be audible. They're already under a noise curfew because I can understand the feelings of those in Harlington and Hounslow when they are constantly bombarded with jets coming in overhead up to 20 hours a day. To a degree I also commiserate with those in Mortlake and Richmond/Isleworth; I've stood on Chiswick Bridge with some really loud f***ers coming in overhead (surprise, surprise, usually the 747 or the 777). The A380 was again surprisingly quiet with more a rumble than a piercing whistling noise. If LHR's third runway ever happens, expect the noise curfew to be extended further with less aircraft movements allowed than they would like.

However, given I aviate (*cough*) regularly and have a vested interest in the industry, I fully understand the conundrum and the consternation as to why people are suddenly ganging up on airports and airfields. GA airfields (if they host only prop planes) I fully commiserate with; it's unfair given that those planes are not really all that noisy - hell, I have Oxford Airport just up the road). GA airfields with jets (the small-noisy-bastard business kind) are somewhat in between (*cough* OXF). As a comparison, I was at the industry day of one of the previous Farnborough Shows pre-pandemic where the A380 was a display plane. It trundled onto the runway *after* one of the little business jets that are Farnborough Airport's bread and butter was departing. The difference in noise profile was striking. The A380 was, despite its size and its giant Trent 900s, perceived as quieter by a significant margin! Ditto for the 787 that did its display that day too. The piercing howl of the small diameter turbofans would be an irritation at night or at times you'd probably want to relax, even for someone with a distinct aviation bent.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: FRA airport is very nearly in compliance with this law....

Not entirely correct. FRA wanted another runway (to go to four runways). The only way to get that extra runway was to agree to close for overnight traffic. They then tried to appeal the planning requirement. They lost, twice (first in Kassel, then in Leipzig).

They're allowed a certain number of movements a night, but in general it means no flights overnight.

LastPass source code, blueprints stolen by intruder

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Just the FAQs, Ma'am

If you run any browser extensions, those extensions will be able to get your password, yes...

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Why should they have those master passwords?

My point stands. Because inevitably PEOPLE. WILL. ASK. THE. OBVIOUS. QUESTION.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Why should they have those master passwords?

Because inevitably someone will ask that question... "Will my passwords still be safe".

Japan reverses course on post-Fukushima nuclear ban

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Wind and solar

Sorry to have to poo-pooh your little rant there...

Yes, the low river levels are a big concern in France and they have forced EDF to reduce output from the plants that are online - but it's hardly making nuclear power unsafe. Coal would have a similar problem - you can't really run superheated steam turbines when your coal power station can't get any water to cool that spent steam. But I suppose you can get away with using air cooling to a degree.

Nuclear power is not unsafe. It requires more fine-tuning, but in its modern incarnation in pressurised water reactors, it is not unsafe. For a country like Japan, which has little in terms of gas, oil or coal resources, nuclear power was and still is a decent choice, provided the power station is built to modern standards, and after Fukushima, with upgraded tsunami defences. The thing is that Fukushima wouldn't have failed (and melted down) if the generators that were to provide power in an emergency hadn't drowned in sea water that inundated the facility. That's a design mistake the Japanese won't make again.

UK's largest water company investigates datacenters' use as drought hits

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Hosepipe bans

Indeed. I lived in Warwickshire for a time where I was required to pay Severn Water an extortionate amount of money based on a standing charge. I hated every year of it. When I then ended up in Hertfordshire (where it was a standing charge again), I demanded that Three Valleys Water (as they were called back then) install a meter (which they took 2 years to arrange). It was somewhat ironic that their letter to confirm a date of installation arrived several weeks after I relocated to more sensible Oxfordshire where water meters are a thing. ;-)

I think a lot of people are concerned that their actual metered water bill is going to be a *lot* more than the standing charge, but if that's what they feel, that pretty much would indicate to me that they *know* they are likely wasting water and don't really care... unless of course it hits their pocket.


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