* Posts by Jimmy2Cows

1916 posts • joined 6 Feb 2015

Clean up orbit first, then we can think about space factories, says FCC

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Re: How exactly is ... something in orbit going to help mitigate climate change ?

First thing that came to mind was solar climate engineering. Think Monte Burns' sunshade over Springfield, but on a planetary scale.

Digital Ocean customers back away from blockchains

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Re: Blockchain Hype Cycle --> Trough of Disillusionment

At least drones have some kind of viable, believable and remotely feasible use cases. NFTs are a gigantic steaming pile of festering bullshit designed to part even more fools from their money.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised about Gartner given the utter nonsense they come out with month after month, year after year, but that lunacy about getting your insurance payout 10 minutes after an accident because magic is, well... so obviously ridculous and detached from reality even by Gartner's low bar.

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Re: cooled on the distributed ledger tech

Finally realised it isn't the bestest magic bullet eva, and are focussing on stuff that is actually useful...?

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Re: Blockchain Hype Cycle --> Trough of Disillusionment

That's some fine hand-waving there with "other technologies".

Other technologies being some kind of time-dilation bubble giving your insurance assessor time to investigate, liase with other parties/witnesses/police, apportion responsibility, and calculate a settlement figure - all while you sit around for 10 minutes after the accident waiting for your payout.

Even for a Gartner analyst, this is a new level of complete ignorance about what actually happens.

FauxPilot: It's like GitHub Copilot but doesn't phone home to Microsoft

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The AI isn't understanding the spirit of the code and putting its own interpretation on it.

The AI is copying snippets of code verbatim, scraped from licence-controlled sources. Hence whatever the AI generates could well have some kind of onerous licensing requirments, attribution etc.

Enough with the notifications! Focus Assist will shut them u… 'But I'm too important!'

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Re: Does your neighbour have kids?

Years ago, I used to wonder the same thing about a laptop I borrowed from work. On the train home as the battery was about to croak, it let out a God-awful loud, shrill, repeating bleep.

And I thought at the time, apart from really annoying everyone around me, why the hell is it hastening the battery's demise when it should surely be doing all it can to preserve what little remains.

Stupid design choice.

Claims of AI sentience branded 'pure clickbait'

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Re: Is your dog sentient/conscious?

Sentient? By definition, yes.

Conscious? Possibly. Does a dog have awareness of self? Recent studies suggest they could well have.

Then we get into intelligence. Dogs have a level of intelligence. Not as intelligent as humans, but intelligent nonetheless.

Now, is a dog capable of higher reasoning...? Probably not. But that doesn't mean dogs are not sentient nor concious nor intelligent.

Anyway, back on the major topic... seems like an AI could still qualify as sentient without meeting the requirements of concious or actual intelligence.

Did LAMDA achieve this? No.

Could a different AI at some point in the future? Very likely yes, but it would be difficult to prove conclusively.

One to watch: Open-source code that measures your exposure to CCTV

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Re: Can't happen soon enough

Mutters something about those giving up freedom for security deserving neither...

Same thing applies to privacy, with the extension that your security still isn't guaranteed even when you've given up all privacy. You're probably worse for it.

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False positives

CCTV (and all) cameras have a useful field of view where you can actually make out someone's features enough to identify them, and a useless FOV outside the useful region where people are just a few dots. The useless region can cover a much larger area than the useful region.

Simply being able to see a camera is not really an adequate measure to understand if you've actually been recorded. And since camera FOV can vary considerably by camera model, such a broad-brush approach will lead to a lot of false positives.

South Korea's lunar orbiter launches and phones home happily

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Re: Nuke

Go on, bring out the big guns!

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Re: Nuke

Completely agree.

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Re: Nuke

Yeah, 'cause that's exactly what the world needs right now. More nukes. Brilliant.

</sarc> in case it's not obvious.

If their nuclear armed northern neighbour were truly intent on destroying them, and not just talking it up to make themselves feel good, why haven't they already done so? Friendship with China and Russia mean no one is likely to nuke them back. So what's stopping them?

The obvious answer is they just want a big stick so they can play with the big boys. They don't actually want to use it any more than we do.

US-funded breakthrough battery tech just simply handed over to China

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It's unclear if DoE's withdrawal of Rongke's license will stop it building the batteries


[pauses for breath]


Behave! This is firmly beyond the DoE's reach now, and ever shall be. Uncle Sam could protest diplomatically, it might even put Rongke's leadership on watchlists so they are arrested on spurious charges if they pass through US territories, but that horse has long since bolted.

Solana, Phantom blame Slope after millions in crypto-coins stolen from 8,000 wallets

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Re: why haven't people figured out the risks of the crypto-coin environment

Somehow I think the target audience of these articles does not intersect the set of gullible morons willing to swap their real cash for imaginary binary bollocks on a blockchain.

Pull jet fuel from thin air? We can do that, say scientists

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Re: The plan for the combustion fleet isn't to ban them from the roads

My primary point was that "the plan" should be for carbon neutrality in all areas. Just focussing on EVs is counterproductive, breeding tension and resentment among the vast majority who can't have an EV for myriad reasons.

That's the big trouble with all these mandates that start banning new ICE vehicles from 2030. People are being railroaded into unviable solutions. It does keep older, less efficient, less safe and more polluting vehciles on the road for much longer.

Rapidly scaling carbon neutral solutions like creating fuel from air will minimise these problems and stop people feeling like they're being forced into something that simply is viable for them.

Any mobility strategy that doesn't account for what is practical and required by the majority is destined for major social problems.

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Re: you focus on EVs were you can

No, you focus on carbon neutral and zero carbon. EVs are just one path, and you can't ignore the global fleet of combustion engine vehicles that most people cannot afford to replace.

If you want global anarchy, just tell the billions of car owners, millions of businesses, they can no longer run their car/van/truck unless they switch to EV.

Plus why scrap a perfectly good vehicle just because it's not an EV. That's hardly ecologically sound.

Boffins put supercomputer on the scent of a perfect landfill deodorizer

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Re: Waste to energy

Careful now. It's a great idea, meaning it will tweak ecoloon sensibilities because burning stuff creates CO2. Even though widespread implementations could help reduce fossil fuel dependencies, reduce our energy bills, and help the transition to a low/no-carbon energy infrastructure.

Nancy Pelosi ties Chinese cyber-attacks to need for Taiwan visit

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... the likes of TSMC turned Taiwan into a vital source of technology

I wonder... would China actually want Taiwan if it weren't a global technology hub the entire world depends upon?

IBM board probes claims of fudged sales figures that led to big bonuses for execs

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Re: only when the tide goes out

Also if the figures aren't ... let's be generous... massaged... to show a more rosy picture, it will truthfully reval which C-suite initiatives - surprise - do not actually work as well as promised.

Damage can be limited before it gets really out of hand, the responsible exec's won't get huge bonuses for doing a shit job, and people will maybe think a bit harder about actually making stuff work instead of fudging the numbers trying to make some daft off-the-cuff idea appear to be working.

Might catch some of this nonsense before those responsible have migrated to pastures new where they can make the same mistakes all over again.

Data brokers amass profiles of pregnant women – and, of course, it's all up for sale

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Re: "One of these was Boris Johnson, but he paid the price,"

Ah... nice piece of religious zeal from some prat twisting unrelated contemporary events to fit their personal belief system.

"He disagreed with me and look now! God has punished him for his ignorance!"

Utter twattery.

Johnson was forced to resign because he's a lying, self-serving buffoon who believes he's better than the rest of the populace. Not because he made a comment lamenting a ridiculous decision by a US Supreme Court judge - which should surely be a secular posting, religious beliefs should never into such decisions and I'd go so far as anyone espousing religious affiliation should be permantently barred from holding such a position.

SpaceX upgrades Starlink to reflect less light, can't launch without its Starship

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Re: bigger

the bigger the number of satellites, the bigger the chances of low-orbit collisions

Urgh. Greater or higher, certainly not bigger!

Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

Re: modifications making each satellite too heavy to be used with their current technology

The gen 2 Starlinks are bigger and heavier because they are vastly more capable than gen 1s, not because they added a coat of paint and some window tint film (ok fractionally heavier than without, but not really significant compared to the overall mass).

Certainly these teeny weeny weight gains aren't the reason they can't be launched by a Falcon.

Homes in London under threat as datacenters pull in all the power

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Re: ... but it shows what can be done by individuals.

Indivuals with the money, roof structure and space to have a PV array and battery storage. You are clearly more fortunate. Many are not.

Spyware developer charged by Australian Police after 14,500 sales

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He added that the purpose of the clause is to protect client confidentiality.

What pure, unadulterated, ginormous hairy bollocks!

The purpose of the clause is well known; make it as hard as possible for InfoSys' drones to leave the hive by contractually denying them the ability to work in similar sectors for (usually) a year. It has no other purpose.

Salil Parekh is a lying evassive arsehole of the highest order, and should be legally forced to appear before India's labour board and government on penalty of long prison time for contempt of government. No idea if such a concept is possible under Indian law. One can hope. Perhaps complel him to appear before India's highest court, which presumably does carry contempt if ignored.

Indonesia sparks outrage by blocking PayPal, gaming sites, for compliance oversight

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I'd give them one more chance at compliance, and if they still think they're too big to pay attention to local laws, then cut them off for 12 months.

Surprise! The metaverse is going to suck for privacy

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Couldn't help but notice the "Lowest Privacy, Highest Accuracy" crap at the left end of the privacy slider.

There's exactly zero valid technical reasons to link privacy and accuracy. Just don't monetise everything that comes down the pipe. Assuming the AR/VR device is linked to a phone, the phone can do local data processing for accurate positioning and orientation, then just pass position and orientation data to the Meta server. No need to send everything to the server for processing.

Of course this is Meta so they will try every trick in the book to harvest everything under the guise of trading privacy for accuracy.

NASA: Mars rocks won't make it back to Earth until 2033

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Re: Who cares if they can't lift those rock samples, the point is to be seen doing stuff.

No, the point of the MSR mission is entirely to lift those rock samples and get them home.

Samsung boss likely to be pardoned for bribery

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...prime minister Han Duck-soo announced he would recommend a pardon...

Seems like the new PM is ducking his responsibilities.

No need to throw me out. I can throw myself out, thankyou.

Software issues cost Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess his job

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Re: Fast chargers

>99% of the country is nowhere near ready to charge at home or at work.

A large percentage of the population has nowhere suitable at home to charge their car(s).

The majority of workplaces don't have onsite parking. Those that do would face enormous expense to install EV chargers at even half of their spaces. Never mind that the local grid simply would not be able to cope. Ditto for public car parks, railway car parks and on-street parking where the vast majority who drive to work have to park.

Here's the thing about convenience. If I get in my car at any time of day, for any journey be it planned, unplanned or even an emergency, I am within 5 minutes of multiple petrol stations. I can fill up my car in another 5 minutes and be on my way.

Unless you're planning to bulldoze an acre of land around each current petrol station to provide enough chargers to match current hourly throughtputs at petrol stations, there's no way EV chargets can provide enough capacity, even if we could build the required quantity before 2030 to 2035 (and we can't).

And even if somehow that magically did happen, an EV still cannot get to full in anywhere near the time a petrol or diesel car can.

And now there's the prospect of plugging in your car overnight, then getting up for work only to discover the battery has been drained because of the glory that is "smart charging" and your best laid plans and thinking ahead are killed flat because the grid needed power overnight.

Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against EVs. They are a great solution for those people with the correct set of circumstances to make it a viable choice.

But this is certainly not everyone, not even close. There's a signifcant percentage of drivers for whom EVs will never make sense, yet the curent and probably future governments are forcing everyone down that route, whether or not it is actually viable.

The country is not ready, the grid infrastruction and generation capacity is not ready, most of the driving populace is not ready. And none of that will change in next 10 years without mind-bogglingly vast investment in infrastructure.

Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

Re: Fast chargers

Fast charger availability is a joke. A very bad joke, at EV drivers' expense. Few and far between, if you can find one that's (a) working and (b) isn't already booked or in use.

EV charging has a loooong way to go before it makes the availability, speed and convenience of a dino-juice fill-up.

Fast charging is known to shorten battery life. And even if it takes only 30 minutes to charge up, think about how much land use is needed to get the same vehicles per hour throughput of an average petrol station. Then multiply that by the number of petrol stations across the country.

Think about the stresses on the local grid. Think about the strain on energy generation.

Fast charging is certainly not the magic bullet you seem to think it is. Let's face it, despite all the EV zeal and evangelism from government, this country is far - very far - from ready for a mass switch to EVs.

Chinese booster rocket tumbles back to Earth: 'Non-zero' chance of hitting populated area

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Re: might make them think twice about pulling this sort of shit in the future

There's only a non-zero chance of them thinking twice if the debris lands on someone / something important in China. The rest of the Chinese populous, indeed of the planet, is SOL.

Experts warn transition to private space stations won't happen anytime soon

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Re: Medical experiments

Tether two super-heavy Starships (once Musk has them) nose to nose, and spin them about the tether's centre. No need to build a dedicated space station. Two SH Starships have plenty of occupiable volume, especially if the tankage can be converted into usable volume.

Some structural mods are probably needed to overcome the increased rotation and centifugal forces on the spaceframe, and it would be useful to have a pair of gantries connecting both craft so occupants could move from one to the other.

Perahps even make the tether lenght variable, to test effects of different rotation speeds and radii, e.g. people's tolerances, motion sickness etc.

Point is it's not beyond SpaceX's capability, and far simpler, faster and cheaper than building aother space station to see if centrifugal force from rotation really can be a replacement for true gravity. Yeah mathematically they work out to the same thing, but still there could be unexpected outcomes.

Russian ChessBot breaks child opponent's finger

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Re: great success!

In other breaking news, Putin has ordered the Russian government to redefine great success to mean at least one plannned outcome in 15 years. In a rousing display of patriotism and forward-thinking, the Duma voted unanimously to approve this glorious new interpretation.

All Russian citizens, busisness, academic institutions, government departments, and the country's armed forces, will immediately apply definition this to all ongoing endeavours, and retrospectively to past failures, proving to the world once and for all how greatly successful Russia is at anything and everything.

Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

Re: So how do you ... move a Knight?

Or Castle the King, or move a Bishop or Queen diagonally past other pieces without disturbing them. Suggestion implies lack of pretty basic chess knowledge.

National data privacy law for the US clears first hurdle

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Re: Wise of Congress

Not sure whether to downvote for the first paragraph, or upvote for the second.

So, neither.

Cali is doing what it feels is necessary to protect its citizens, because anything the does make it to the Senate is killed off by Senators that consistently and persistently cave to business interests rather than serving the people they were elected to serve.

I would expect all states to take it upon themselves if the federal government is failing in its duties. This is precisely what Cali has done, and the rest of the union needs to follow suit. Senate is far too mired in self-interest to actually do anything useful here.

ESA kicks ExoMars rover down the road, to 2026 at best

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Re: Russia is the global energy superpower.

This may be true, for now.

But launching an unprovoked war on your neighbour and throwing around wild nazi theories and generally acting like an utter twat on the world stage is not how you remain a global superpower.

Hell even China hasn't gone so far as openly supporting Putin in this. Just telling everyone to calm down. Should tell you all you need about how massively Putin has fucked up here.

UK government refuses public review before launch of NHS data platform

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Re: The Prime Minister almost died!

As I recall he was in ICU more as a precaution than a necessity.

Agree with the rest of your post 100%.

Copper shortage keeps green energy, tech ventures grounded

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Re: Slightly higher resistance (Copper is 1.7 ohm.meters and Aluminium is 2.7 ohm.meters)

Your "slightly higher" resistance actually works out around 60% higher, which is a significant increase in resistance per metre. Cables would need to be a lot thicker to compensate, therefore a lot heavier and more difficult to install.

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint

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Re: Exchange

Nested doesn't guarantee a predictable sorting order, nor does it show at a glance how deep into the tree you are. Numbering each folder and subfolder provides both.

Weird Flex, but OK: Now you can officially turn these PCs, Macs into Chromebooks

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Wait... what? Now you can officially turn Macs into Chromebooks!?!

Not a Mac user, but why would anyone with a Macbook want to turn it into a Chromebook?

Surely that's ditching all the major reasons for buying a Macbook. If you want a Chromebook you don't buy a Macbook then dump the OS. You just buy a damn Chromebook.

Sometimes I really don't understand this planet...

Crypto lender Celsius in Chapter 11 deep freeze

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Re: This is crazy stuff. How could potentially people believe this is sane ?

Stupid / ignorant / ill-informed / greedy (or any combination thereof) people who ignored the "if it looks too good to be true" mantra.

Sane people avoid this shit like the plague. Trouble is, they're massively outnumbered by greedy suckers who think they've seen what everyone else has missed, and put their hard-earned into what's obviously a ponzi.

US EV drivers won't be able to choose vehicle safety alert sounds

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Re: Why on Earth "when the vehicle is parked"?

Came to ask the same thing about the NHTSA's requirement for stationary vechicles.

But then I thought about it some more. I guess it's not all the time when stationary, just akin to the when the engine is running in a stationary ICE car.

I.e. it's "on" and therefore could start moving at any moment, rather than parked up, off and definitely not going anywhere.

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Re: "we can probably all agree"

Road trip! I'll join you with my 6.2L LSA V8 with the exhaust valves open.

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So... uh... pay attention to one's surroundings? Apply a little self-preservation? It's really not that hard. Too many people today are so self-absorbed and believe that eveyone else around them will look out for them, they can basically zone out and it'll be fine.

Warning noises are only useful if they they aren't routine sounds. If that sound is emitted continously all around you, you do tend to filter it out.

I think it's more nuanced than all routine sounds are filtered out. Associating sounds with a sense of danger makes filtering out less likely. Most people crossing the road, for instance, will still listen for an approaching vehicle even if they can't see it - say crossing between parked cars. Well I do. I and I teach my kids to. And I assume anyone who wants to live would at least react to something really loud approaching.

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Re: pedestrians ... seemingly completely unaware

Is it wrong to see this as a self-limiting problem?

I mean, if it weren't for the ensuing police investigations, court cases and trauma to the driver of crushing some inattentive moron with their massive, obvious and loud moving vehicle.

Intel's net positive water use only tells part of the story

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Re: May I be an obnoxious grammar maven for a minute?

Of course you may. Indeed, it is expected.

Smart thermostat swarms are straining the US grid

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Re: smart street lighting

At least they will come on at differnet times relative to whatever time zone, due to different sunset/sunrise times at different longitudes and latitudes. A bit more spread out than many millions of smart thermostats in the same time zone all kicking in at the exact same moment.

Perhaps. There are a lot of street lights. Hmm.

Though I think some have a solar battery which charges during the day, so the lamp only draws mains power when the battery dies, which will vary from lamp to lamp.

Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

Re: Because it's easy

Why is it the software engineers' fault? They will have written the code to the specs provided for them. Chances are they will have been contracted at the lowest rate possible, and just told "make this work". It's unlikely any of them would be utility scale electrical engineers, and so is unlikely they would have any awareness of the problems that could arise.

If anything it is the ultilities' fault for not considering the potential effects on energy generation and the grid, which can probably be put down to two things:

1) The wrong people were involved in planning these things. Suspect all management consultants and MBAs who only care about the business side - their business side. Nary an actual engineer among them. There was a lot of free money floating around (in the sense that it would come out of customers' bills later, so who cares how good it actually is).

2) Misguided adherence to "agile" practices without understanding what the fuck that actually means, and so doing a half-arsed job and not listening to any concerns that might be raised along the way, as that would interfere with their delivery timeline and so wouldn't be "agile". In other words a bunch of twats that follow buzzwords and wouldn't know their arse from their elbow.

Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

Re: You tweak and tune your smartmeter, that means you save money


Sorry but this is just utter bollocks.

You might be tweaking and tuning your behaviour in response to what you see on your smart meter's usage display, but your smart meter itself can do absolutely nothing to reduce your energy consumption.

All it does is log your usage and report it to your supplier on demand. You know, metering stuff. It doesn't have buttons you can push or settings you can fettle to magically reduce your bill. It may even increase conumption a tiny bit, if your meter is leaching off your mains to run itself.

The only way a smart meter could actually save you money itself, is if it constantly checks supply prices and switches you to the cheapest supplier. It would have to do this frequently, say every 30 seconds or minute. That would actually be smart.

Of course this is impossible since we'll all bound to whichever single provider we've chosen to buy electricty from, and they would never open themselves up to such competition.

Smart meters are only a tool to get more money from the consumer. Think a future of per-minute spot pricing and surge pricing when demand is higher. Any consumer benefit is an accidental side effect.

This is why I will never voluntarily have a smart meter in my home. I use what I need to use. I turn things off when I'm not using them. I don't leave shit switched on just for the sake of it. All my lighting is low power LED. I've halved the brightness on all TVs and monitors in the house (2 kids + working from home, so that's a lot of screens). Other than that I use what I need to use, and I don't need a "smart" meter to take those reduction steps.


Icon = my favoured solution to the mountain of "free" smart meters that have collectively cost us over 12 BEELLION pounds in increased bills to pay for the fucking things.

Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025

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Re: Right to Repair?

How about: massive breach of the trade descriptions act. Items purchased in good faith, sometimes at considerable expense, rendered landfill on a whim by the manufacturer, thus unfit for purpose through no fault of the user.


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