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Comment It's a good thing, but it is stressful (Score 1) 358

20+ years ago, if you were rewiring your lights (UK), you'd buy one of these:

Available in white and black (or dark brown) and 4 or 6 terminal versions.

Now, you have those, all manner of cute enclosures, Wago terminals, DIN terminals, Wago DIN terminals.
Waterproof ones, ones with cable clamps, ones that will fit through a downlighter hole...

Some of the products are very nice - and if you are like me, you are always seeking to "make the best choice" - the most robust product, easiest to work with etc.

It's a good thing - but instead of just getting on with it, people like me spend some time reviewing the options, unwilling to choose the least optimal for an installation that might last 40 years.

That's a very specialist area. Now multiply that into every area of your life.

I had a plumber in the other week to fit a couple of bigger radiators. As one has to hang partly on plasterboard (sheetrock), I gave hime some of my favourite fixings:


He's never seen them before - but was hugely impressed. Doing some carpentry? Used to be: "Screws - number 6-14, brass or steel, countersunk, raised head or roundhead.

By god, look at a screw catalogue now - there's a screw for every occasion.

So yes, it can get stressful, if you care and are an "optimiser" like me. OTOH, I don't care what bread I buy - if it's crap, I 'll buy a different loaf next week!

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 159

No one likes calling councils. Phone menus, long waits, many transfers to get the right dept, or just to be told "that road is maintained by the national government as it is an A road, that's a different number..."

In the UK, we have a website/app called FixMyStreet. Councils can pay to use the service to manage reports, but if they don't the app simply emails to their general email so it does have national coverage.

It does seem to work and the app makes it easy to take a photo, geotag, check the geotag is right, add a few words and send the report, all in a couple of minutes whilst walking along. Much more stuff gets reported and more usefully, others know what's been reported, so no need to re-report the same hole in the road.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 423

It is also "fixed" in Cyanogenmod 11 that I have the snapshot release of on my Samsung Note 3. It's called "Privacy Guard and it is configurable per-app (on, off, finegrained). Each requested (in the manifest) priv flag can be granted "Allow", "Deny" or "Ask". It's very seemless - the odd message pops up when it tries to *use* a privilege that is flagged "Ask" and you get to choose.

Many apps do not actually seem to break either, when denied various things they have no business in needing.

And the times I've been asked for "Location", "SMS", "Contacts" by things like photo apps and other things that should be working on nothing more than pure local data is frightening.

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 674

Not being a twat is usually helpful in getting out of trouble - but the PSCO was being such a complete and utter moron that I can see why he got upset.

The correct approach, if you wish to resist, is to tell the PCSO that you will cooperate with a real policeman only and challenge her to call the real BTP. Well, he got that far.

The next trick is, despite her being an utter moron, is he should be unfailingly polite to both her and the real BTP whilst disobeying her.

I've known people to do this when they are in the right (but a PSCO has jumped on them) and it usually results in the BTP apologising or at least taking no further action.

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 674

There is no way they will let cleaners loose with a carriage key and authorisation to fiddle with random breakers in random cupboards. They'd probably hit the wrong one and isolate the pantograph gear or various critical systems, resulting in the next driver spending 20 minutes wandering up and down the train trying to figure out why he's got a warning light on or something doesn't work.

Comment Re:Your post doesn't conform to their prejudice (Score 2) 674

That's assuming there is a dedicated 240V line that runs through the train from cab to cab with a single breaker.

More likely there will be a breaker in each carriage or at least each unit (set of permanently joined carriages) - and this is likely to be in some cupboard rather that with the critical system breakers in the cab. So doing this will involve a certain amount of faff.

Yes, I guess they could have designed a computer initiated isolator on the socket circuits, but someone probably said "what's the point?"

Comment Re:Your post doesn't conform to their prejudice (Score 1) 674

You are probably thinking of "Walsall Gauge" 13A sockets beloved by the BBC or the T-bar-earth type that are quite common in communal areas in flats.

No - modern trains, at least all the ones I am familiar with tend to have regular 13A sockets. On the Class 375 Electrostars, these are 1 per vestibule and are usually marked "Not for public use" or similar.

Now, London Routemaster buses, in the days before fluorescent lighting, used funny voltage bulbs to deter people from nicking them.

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 4, Insightful) 674

Nothing to do with the company. It was a trumped up plastic "policewoman" who got all bent out of shape.

The worst the train guard would likely do (if that train even has a guard, many are Driver Only Operation) is suggest you unplug is as the supply might be dirty and risk damaging your equipment - or perhaps, in the worst case, that your lead is a trip hazard.

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