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Comment: Re:It is an attempt to lock in customers (Score 1) 32

by Richard_at_work (#48938175) Attached to: UK Broadcaster Sky To Launch Mobile Service

If the "lock in" is worth it, why not?

I'm a Sky customer, I get my home phone package (unlimited calls, any time), internet (50Mbps fibre, no cap, no quota, no limit), and TV package (HD, movies, tonnes of entertainment channels, F1 etc) for roughly £75 a month - and my opinion is that its worth paying that for the service I get.

Skys video on demand service is brilliant, and I get access to it on my PC and mobile devices as well.

I've experienced Virgin Media (had it for a couple of years after I moved to this city) and Sky is simply better imho. When I wanted to move home, Virgin wanted a load of money to move the contract, and I had to sign up for a new contract at the new location. Sky however just said "yup, no issues, your phone and internet will be activated on this date, your TV will just work, no cost to move, and no new contract", which is great because Im only in the new place for 6 months until my property is built.

I'm currently on a business contract with EE for my mobile service, but I will be watching Skys offering with interest.

Comment: They already did. (Score 1) 251

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48937041) Attached to: One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

Next you know the young whipper-snappers will take "variables" and call them "dynamic constants"

In Bluetooth (especially Bluetoothe Low Energy (BLE)) they already reanamed them. They call one a "characteristic" (when you include the metadata describing it) or a "characteristic value" (when you mean just the the current value of the variable itself).

Comment: Re:track record (Score 2) 288

by Richard_at_work (#48935985) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

The reason they landed at Manchester was not because they burned more fuel, but it was because they thought that the fuel on the outer wing tank on the wing that had the shut down engine on was inaccessible - this turned out to be false, they could have made it all the way to LHR without issue.

Comment: Re:track record (Score 3, Interesting) 288

by Richard_at_work (#48935975) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

That entirely depends on the use you have for the aircraft - high oil price or not, no aircraft has the CASM of the A380 (not even the proposed 777X), which puts it in a league of its own. Consequently, the 747-8 falls foul to the 777 so the sole VLA competitor to the A380 would be killed by its own sibling...

Oil can go through the roof, but if you can fill an A380 then thats the aircraft you need for the job. You can't shoehorn 600 into a 777 no matter how hard you try.

Comment: Re:track record (Score 4, Informative) 288

by Richard_at_work (#48935095) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

Fully aware of the KC-X contest, NG was the prime contractor but it was actually Airbus that did all the work.

The KC-X contest was only ran because Boeing got caught firstly trying to lease replacement tankers to the USAF at a rate which was several times more than they cost to buy, and then Boeing got caught in the first round buying the Airbus bid details from the US DOD procurement officer in charge of the bids.

Even with a US prime contractor and a US assembly line, there was massive uproar over the fact that Airbus had won the second round of bidding, before it got out back out to tender and Boeing magically found a way to make the 767 offering several billion dollars less than their previous bid...

There is no way the US political arena would accept a non-American plane as AF1. Which raises an interesting problem when the next replacement comes round...

Comment: Re:Not going to disappear quickly.... (Score 1) 288

by Richard_at_work (#48934671) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

The 747-8 has new engines, a new wing definition and loft, new winglets, new avionics and significant aerodynamic improvements across the board. The only thing left to do is switch construction to CFRP or another modern material, and its cheaper to do an all new aircraft for that as you have to redesign the framework completely for the new material loading. The -8 will be the last 747.

Plus, while iconic, the 747 carries a lot of unnecessary weight around due to its short upper deck (there is a lot of wasted dead space behind that hump in commercial aircraft, so much so that they considered putting a dozen sleeping berths up there), so compared to single deck aircraft or the A380 its not as well optimised weight wise for its structure.

Comment: Re:Wont work around here... (Score 1) 364

by Richard_at_work (#48930991) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

Its about the same here - the technique they are talking about here is for the (typically) bank owned ATMs which are fixed in place, in a wall.

The technique for the independent cash machines is simply to break into the store, tie a chain around them, attach the chain to a 4x4 and drive off - it yanks the cash machine off the fixture and usually breaks it open as well.

Comment: I thought the point of the charge ... (Score 3, Interesting) 42

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48929295) Attached to: Spider Spins Electrically Charged Silk

I thought the point of the charge was to make the "wooly" side-fibers of the strands wrap around the prey's limbs and/or the microscopic irregularities in the exoskeleton, tangling to it. "Tying" the fibers to the prey would have a similar binding effect to gluing them to it, without the need for glue, and lots of little fibers could make a very strong attachment.

(Stretching fibers made of long chains makes them stronger by aligning the chains along the direction of the stretch.)

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