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Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 507

by jecblackpepper (#49693185) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?
Which is often better than getting to the end of the client's budget and having an unfinished product that can't be delivered and the client being in the invidious position of having to decide whether to can the project with literally nothing to show for it or to continue to spend money in the hope that one day it will reach a point where it is acceptable enough to put live.

Comment: Re:With the best will in the world... (Score 1) 486

I think we'll see the 'ownership' issue disappear over time.

In the aircraft market, airlines no-longer own their engines, they buy 'thrust' through programmes such as Rolls-Royce's 'power by the hour'. I see this type of model moving into the consumer area increasingly. Why own a battery when you can pay a small monthly fee for provision of energy?

I'm not sure about US, but in UK we're already seeing people essentially give up ownership of their cars and move to a constant finance model with Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) payments. They pretty much never own the car, instead they have it for 3 years and hand it back in return for a new car and new PCP. This is changing the way that many people think about car ownership, it's only a small leap to move to a system where you pay for your car through usage and the service company ensures that you have a vehicle with a charged battery when you need it.

We're already seeing it in the music market, people are happy to pay for a music service rather than own CDs.

Comment: Re:FOE is in favor: Yeah, right! (Score 1) 197

by jecblackpepper (#49175497) Attached to: World's First Lagoon Power Plants Unveiled In UK

The plan is to build six of these lagoons. They expect to gets these built and operational *before* the new nuclear power station is completed. When the six are built they will generate a similar amount of power to that nuclear power station at a similar price per MWh. The lagoons have an expected life of 120 years, whereas the nuclear power station has a significantly shorter one, plus there are no major decommissioning costs.

By building both nuclear and tidal (and other forms of generator), we spread our risks.

Not to mention the nuclear plant is a joint Chinese and French operation with the profits flowing out of the country. The tidal power station is a British one, meaning that the profits stay in the UK economy.

Comment: Re:GRRM shouldve hired coauthors (Score 1) 180

I would agree with you if each book was a stand alone. However, he's writing the story as a series of books. A writer who doesn't finish the story is not a good writer. I think ultimately we'll be able to decide whether the series as a whole is good is only when the series is finished.

Looking at the individual books, the first few we excellent and why the series has the good reputation that it has, but they had something in common, they each had a beginning, middle and end within the context of the overall arc. Where I think things have gone downhill is that he hasn't yet finished the book that started in Feast and continued in Dance. Originally this was intended as one book. First he split it into into Feast and Dance, and then when the TV series was launched, he had to deliver Dance so that it could be published that summer. He hadn't finished it in time, so had to leave off the ending deferring it to The Winds of Winter. So one could argue that he's not actually published a finished book in the series for fifteen years and counting.

Comment: Re:Yay! (Score 1) 942

by jecblackpepper (#48035193) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures
Actually the last polls showed a majority for staying in the EU. However, it's only the really vocal "get us out now!" people that you generally hear about because they are the ones making a noise. No-one really shouts "Let's keep the status quo because it's working reasonably well!". You can compare this with the Scottish Independence referendum where plenty of noise was generated by the Yes campaign but in the end the silent majority for No won the day.

Comment: Re:at least the nuclear weapons will be gone (Score 1) 494

by jecblackpepper (#47938993) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry
They are part owner of the submarines, however the Scottish Government say that they don't want them. They want Scotland to be nuclear weapon free. So as part of the negotiations both the rUK and iScotland would work out who gets what, but iScotland won't get the nukes.

Comment: Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (Score 1) 375

It's a ruse by Salmond. He is goading the UK into saying "no" to a shared currency so that Scotland can't, by law, pick up a share of the national debt.

Instead what is likely to happen is that Sterling will be split into two: A British Pound and a Scottish Pound. Scotland will get its share of the Bank of England assets and the rest of the UK will get its share. Similarly the debt will be split so that Scotland takes their share of the debt and rest of UK takes its share. Currently the UK government is saying that it will back up all the debt to prevent the threat of independence causing a down rating of debt. It's highly likely that if independence goes ahead then they'll back track on that saying that the situation has changed and that borrowers will have their debt split between the two new nations. That or if Scotland say they don't want any of the debt then they won't get any of the assets either.

Comment: Re:Hachette? (Score 1) 91

by jecblackpepper (#47473429) Attached to: Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement
Hatchet's contract with Amazon expired in March. Amazon tried to open negotiations with Hatchet in January for a renewal, but Hatchet declined to respond. Hatchet have continued to drag their feet on a new contract ever since. I understand that some of the issues with delayed shipments is because there is no contract and Amazon do not therefore stock Hatchet books until there is an order and so they have to rely on their supply chain to supply the title - i.e. Hatchet and wholesalers. This also explains why they don't discount or offer pre-orders, they have decided to only source the books when there is an order and they know they can fulfil it from their own suppliers.

Understanding the 2 Billion-Year-Old Natural Nuclear Reactor In W Africa 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "In June 1972, nuclear scientists at the Pierrelatte uranium enrichment plant in south-east France noticed a strange deficit in the amount of uranium-235 they were processing. That's a serious problem in a uranium enrichment plant where every gram of fissionable material has to be carefully accounted for. The ensuing investigation found that the anomaly originated in the ore from the Oklo uranium mine in Gabon, which contained only 0.600% uranium-235 compared to 0.7202% for all other ore on the planet. It turned out that this ore was depleted because it had gone critical some 2 billion years earlier, creating a self-sustaining nuclear reaction that lasted for 300,000 years and using up the missing uranium-235 in the process. Since then, scientists have studied this natural reactor to better understand how buried nuclear waste spreads through the environment and also to discover whether the laws of physics that govern nuclear reactions may have changed in the 1.5 billion years since the reactor switched off. Now a review of the science that has come out of Oklo shows how important this work has become but also reveals that there is limited potential to gather more data. After an initial flurry of interest in Oklo, mining continued and the natural reactors--surely among the most extraordinary natural phenomena on the planet-- have all been mined out."

Comment: Re:Here's how to secure your "Internet of things" (Score 1) 106

by jecblackpepper (#46591335) Attached to: Security for the 'Internet of Things' (Video)
The point is not that the energy company will be able to cut off your refrigerator's function at a whim, but that you will be able to configure your refrigerator to operate based on the price of electricity to maximise your profit. You could do this off a clock, but as the gpp mentioned, we'll have variable generation based on amount of wind and sunshine that will mean that you can take advantage of flucuating prices as supply and demand vary throughout the day.

Comment: Re:Here's how to secure your "Internet of things" (Score 1) 106

by jecblackpepper (#46591313) Attached to: Security for the 'Internet of Things' (Video)
Another option for your fridge/freezer if it is connected to the internet is that it will be able to monitor electricity prices and price futures and decide to cool to a lower temperature when it's cheaper and switch off when the price goes up. Similarly your air con or heating

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.