* Posts by jigr1969

19 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Jan 2017

Texas blacks out, freezes, and even stops sending juice to semiconductor plants. During a global silicon shortage


15 January 2021

LAST Wednesday the wind died, and Britain’s fleet of thousands of wind turbines mostly stopped turning. The engineers at National Grid had seen the problem coming: temperatures and wind speeds had been low all week, and were forecast to fall further. Their response was to issue a ‘margin notice’ – a warning to generators that extra capacity was going to be needed. Prices rocketed from their normal £40 per megawatt hour to over £100. Some held off taking this remarkable price, and when the grid still couldn’t balance supply and demand in the evening peak, were rewarded with even higher sums.

On Thursday, with wind speeds even lower, prices for balancing during the evening peak shot up again, reaching £1,400. By Friday’s peak, that figure had risen to a record-breaking £4,000.

Price spikes this high are a new phenomenon. They were never seen before 2016, but since then we have seen, on average, a spike to that level every couple of years. Now we have had two in a week and we came within a whisker of a third.

It is clear, as some have been warning, that the attempt to decarbonise is destabilising the UK’s electricity grid. For twenty years, governments have given renewables generous subsidies and preferential access to the grid. The economics of coal- and gas-fired power stations have been wrecked. It is hardly surprising then that these generators – the backbone of the UK’s grid – have simply left the market. We lost two gas-fired power stations just last summer.

Does this mean power cuts are inevitable? It’s possible, but it is more likely that money will talk. If the price paid is high enough, big power users can probably be persuaded to switch off for long enough to see us through any crisis. The result is likely to be a surge in electricity prices. Early adopters of ‘time of use’ contracts are already feeling the pain. With low wind again this week, customers on Octopus Energy’s ‘Agile’ tariff have seen prices per kilowatt hour rise from 14p overnight to 35p. For the rest of us, the pain will be delayed until contracts come up for renewal.

The middle classes will probably be happy enough to pay extra for power in the winter. They can cope with the hit to their cashflow for a few weeks, or even fork out £6,000 for a battery pack allowing them to take advantage of lower prices in times of surplus power. But, as always, the poor are left high and dry. For them, there is only the prospect of tightening belts still further.

And if the future looks dim now, how much worse will it be by the end of the year? During 2021, we will lose a coal-fired unit at West Burton and a nuclear one at Hunterston. The following spring, the Hinkley B nuclear unit will go as well. Imagine what it’s going to be like for Britain’s poorest on those cold, still winter nights in future, when everyone is expected to heat homes and power cars with electricity from the grid.

The BBC’s Roger Harrabin, observing the chaos last week, wailed on Twitter that ‘we need solutions’. Those of us who have been pointing out the foolishness of shifting to renewables while lacking any means of storing electricity – the people Harrabin has been trying to ignore for ten years or more – could hardly believe what we were reading.

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report


Re: Alternatively

I'd like to see the majority of NHS staff become clinically trained. (A number of years ago, the number of non-clinically trained staff, out-numbered the clinically trained.) It's akin to having a garage with more admin people than actual mechanics. Only in the public sector would such a business model stay afloat.

Capita unfurls new consulting arm. Hmm, what shall we call it?


Isn't is wonderful that a company with a revenue of £1,850,000,000 makes only £31,200,000 profit - a mere 1.6% of the revenue stream. They took over a company I use to work for that had £12,000,000 revenue and £2,500,000 profits, which had over 20% of revenue being turned into profits.

This surely has to be a tax avoidance scheme since tax is only payable on the profits that a company makes. If they buy a new company using profits, that amount is treated as "investment" and therefore not taxable. (I seem to remember being told by someone from Capita management when I asked them.)

UK.gov's smart meter cost-benefit analysis for 2019 goes big on cost, easy on the benefits


Re: No accurate bills

OVO Energy actually pay you interest on the money you have in credit with them.

Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one


We import lots of gas, which is transported across vast distances, along with the fact that we import a lot of power from other countries. Those tankers bringing compressed liquid gas, run on fossil fuel. So even when we use gas to power generation, fossil fuel is still consumed.

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours


Re: Echoes of the Patriot missiles in Gulf War 1.0 ..

Nope, the patriot missile system had a software error which meant that for every hour it is left running, it would become less and less accurate. Hence why the SCUD hit the America base despite the sending up of patriot missiles. It hadn't been rebooted for far too long and the error meant that the missiles completely missed the incoming SCUD (cannot remember if they detonated far too short or too long).

UK government buys off Serco lawsuit with £10m bung. Whew. Now Capita can start running fire and rescue


Crapita is the only company I know who managed to destroy three very profitable companies by meddling with them and not allowing them to continue as they had been for many a year.

They would insist that anything required had to be provided by a Crapita company were possible. A CPU fan could be soured from that cheap IT supplier called PC World at a fraction of the price from a Crapita IT supplier. Any expenditure going out of the company had to be approved at a senior level and then, only when it has been proven that using a Crapita company wasn't feasible.

Planes, fails and automobiles: Overseas callout saved by gentle thrust of server CD tray


Re: Brad, of course, was in Europe

Unless Wales, Birmingham and Bristol are going to suffer a horrible fate of a massive earthquake which moves these cities and the land inbetween them to another continent, comeg the 1st November, regardless, they'll still be in Europe.

We know you all want to shove AI where the sun doesn't shine. And that's exactly where it's going – detecting prostate cancer


Also, most men seem to think that the first thing that happens is the DRE (digit rectal exam), but trust me, it isn't It's a simple blood test. As my doctor told me, no doctor likes performing that and will try to avoid it if at all possible.


Re: Surely

Sorry to hear about that, having been there and got the T-shirt. One word of advice, along with the pelvic floor muscle exercises, measure the length and girth of your erect member before the operation. Those figures may come (pardon the expression) handy afterwards, depending on what nerves can be spared.

Lets just say afterwards, there's a mentality of use it or lose it and one of the instruments that help you use it, will require the measurements mentioned. It will avoid an avoid conversation at a later point in time.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming


Boeing has a history

I'm sure all of you on here remember the RAF Chinook crash into the Mull of Kintyre back in 1984, which was covered in great length on the computer weekly website. It turned out that the FADEC system was relying on two speed sensors in order to keep the two engines running in sync. If erroneous data was received, it could cause a single engine to overrun, which in turn would cause the helicopter to flip.

Looks like Boeing has forgotten previous mistakes.


£60m, five years late... Tag criminal tagging as a 'catastrophic waste' of taxpayers' cash


Re: Radical Suggestion...

There is a growing debate in America which is favoring the decriminalizing of drugs. The classic line is that if you cannot control drugs in a maximum secure prison, where everything is vetted and monitored, what hope do you have in an open society?

The war on drugs is lost.

Best spend the money currently spent on combating the drug trade to help those people who genuinely want to get themselves of drugs.

Another useless fact, it was reported that drinking during prohibition in America was higher than before or afterwards.

Think tank: Never mind WannaCry, update NHS IT systems for RoboDoc


Having worked in a company dealing with NHS data, it is amazing at how bad the quality of data is. Each and every visit/treatment is coded electronically by a band of people, to form spells and episodes. It is amazing at how many males actually give birth, as an example of rubbish data.

When my doctor cannot communicate electronically, using the internet, with a hospital less than 8 miles away, then you know there's a fundamental problem. (The communication which does take place is via fax machine of all things.) This is a Northamptonshire based doctor, sending me to a Warwickshire based trust. Both being referred and the results, had to travel across the good old telephone lines!

Taiwanese cops give malware-laden USB sticks as prizes for security quiz


Back in the 90's, I worked for a rather large German computer company, who had a number of service contracts with big retailers and financial institutes, one of those being Midland Bank.

A computer used for duplicating engineering floppy disks to be used to test banking computers at the afore mentioned bank, had been infected by a virus from an engineer playing a pirated company game, Golf.

Said infected disks were sent out to a couple of hundred field engineers, luckily for Midland Bank, they ran OS/2 v1.3 on most of their backend systems. Not so lucky for other customers using the same computers but running a copy of Windows!

CPU bug patch saga: Antivirus tools caught with their hands in the Windows cookie jar


I've regularly seen computers running more than one instance of anti-virus software, the most I've come across running on a laptop, was four!!

Former ZX Spectrum reboot project man departs


Wonder how long it took them to come up with the holding page for the website! :)


Investigatory Powers Act: You're not being paranoid. UK.gov really is watching you


Re: Yawn

People always seem to go back to the mantra, "well if you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear", when it comes to privacy. However, these same people have curtains on their windows, why? To stop people snooping in on their PRIVATE lives. So privacy does matter them then.

For those who say, well if you break the law, then what can you expect? Everyone breaks the law, sometime in their lives, you'll be surprised at how many and stupid some laws are.

Driven at 32mph in a 30mph zone? You've just broken the law.

Been drunk in the pub? You've just broken the 1872 licensing act.

It is illegal to jump the queue in the tube ticket hall. TfL by law.

It is illegal to activate your burglar alarm without first nominating a ‘Key-Holder’ who can switch it off in your absence.

It is illegal for a male to urinate in public, unless it is on the rear wheel of his motor vehicle and his right hand is on the vehicle.

It is illegal to beat or shake your carpet, mat or rug outside. You may beat your doormat but only before 8 in the morning!

Don't worry, America: Elon Musk says he'll have a word with Trump


Re: Insane

The seven countries selected for the travel ban, were already subjected to restrictions put in place during the Obama regime. Trump has just increased the restrictions in place for said countries.


Re: Insane

Considering that the majority of the alleged 911 hijackers are still alive and well in their respective countries (according to several sources including the Biased Broadcasting Corporation), it is very hard to say which country the actual terrorists came from. Not unless you have some information you should be sharing with the CIA and FBI.