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Comment Re:Don't they have enough propeganda to put up wit (Score 1) 64

yeah - here in Scotland it is all kicking off about the BBC - but you would never know that because it is not reported... on the BBC ... !! Scotland has had a strange move towards online away from BBC and newspaper media.

I do agree with what Anon says below about most things. Not so sure about the oil price because it was never part of the annual spend calculations for an independent Scotland. They were going to create an oil wealth fund with any revenue so the effects would not have been seen for a decade or more (ref: Scotlands Future). Scotland's GDP per capita is higher than anywhere in the UK & NI except London - but the overall wealth figures are lower largely due to Scotland subsidising other parts of the UK (which is OK by the way).

Comment Re:Don't they have enough propeganda to put up wit (Score 0) 64

indeed, this is the feeling in parts of Scotland (which is a separate country within the governance of the United Kingdom) where the BBC played a huge part in last years independence campaign. Unsurprisingly, the state broadcaster, funded by the tax payer, took the side of the "no" campaign instead of being unbiased in their reporting and this is causing huge ruptures in Scotland right now and calls are being made to revolutionise the BBC in Scotland. There has been a lot of reporting on this situation here and even before the referendum here and here.

Many in Scotland think that the BBC was a major force in swinging the vote in the final days before the referendum vote when both sides were close to 50/50 of the vote. This caused quite a few protests at BBC Scotland (although, these were played down by the state media).

Whilst it is obvious what the role being played by the BBC in NK and Eritrea is; bear in mind that it is a state broadcaster and will even attempt to exert power over residents within the UK.

Comment Re:Predestiny? (Score 2) 144

That's quite a difference to where I live (Scotland). Here, car dealerships often have no, or very few petrol (gas) engined versions of the new family sized cars for sale and pretty much all are diesel.

Price per litre of petrol (95RON) is within 3% of a gallon of diesel. Most diesel for sale here includes 5-10% biodiesel.

My own Subaru XV with a 2.0l turbo boxer diesel engine averages 42mpg and can get towards 60mpg on a motorway (highway) drive. It has the same torque as the famous STi 2.0ltr boxer petrol engine but about half the power. There is a slight downside in that Diesel freezes at only -15'C, although some gas stations include addtive to stop that happening.

Comment only got to 400Mbs (Score 1) 70

These clowns did a DDoS on the financial co where I work. They managed to get to about 400Mbs (although they claimed 15Gbps) and never came back. The good thing that came out of it was that we realised our Arbor DDoS wasn't configured right on one of the nodes so that's fixed up now. Our sensors picked it up straight away, the Security Operations Centre reacted in the first few minutes and so most staff/customers/partners didn't even realise.

Their MOO was to try and find email addresses in linkedin/online for various random members of staff at the company and sent out the demand letters a few hours in advance - except we're worldwide and so by the time the letters were centrally understood, it was already pretty much too late.

Comment Re:What a waste of money (Score 3, Interesting) 54

I totally agree - I was an architect for a UK gov dept (many years ago) and whilst I was first to use Linux on a big scale in a secure environment; I couldn't get them to shift off Oracle - it was because they paid single figure % of list price, vastly lower than any financial organisation I've been at. I used Oracle 9iRAC and even their shitty Java Enterprise containers (this was before the Sun acquisition) because they were almost free and it would be rude not to. Proud that I got the first open source in there though, back then OSS in Gov was rare and when the Microsoft salesguy heard about this he went mental and did everything to spread FUD with whomever would listen.

Comment Re: H1B visas (Score 2) 96

Not quite. A large Indian outsourcer won a large part of work to maintain the CA7 schedule. Anyone has worked at a bank knows that the batch schedule is somewhat mystical and was put together by guys who had been at the bank for 20 yrs - replacing them with bright, but fresh out of uni, offshore outsourcers was a large part of the cause of the 2012 outage during an upgrade.

This outage hit the NatWest batches. The NatWest batches are far bigger than the RBS, Ulster(s) and IoM/Courts and are the first to run over and the hardest to rerun before the next batch window. So it looks like to me that a file was blocked causing the backlog (and no one noticed quick enough).

Comment just read other sci-fi authors (Score 1) 576

I thought Iain M Banks had a rather cute description of an alien fleet arriving in Consider Phleabas

1. the first "ships" arriving at high speed go straight past and drop drones to scan and gather intelligence. If we're smart enough we might detect that. Although, reasonably large asteroids zip past us all the time and we only notice them at the last minute. if you were a war faring civilisation then using asteroids or dressing up your "ships" to look like asteroids would probably be a good move.

2. Once intelligence has been received and analysed, the main "fleet" then power up to decelerate, from an Earth position would look like lots of blue "stars" of light in the night sky getting gradually brighter for a few days/weeks/months (delete as applicable).

3. err

4. alien profit

Comment Re:UK Post Office already does this (Score 4, Informative) 33

The commercial arm of the Royal Mail (not PostOffice Ltd) own the intellectual property of the PAF (Postal Address File) that has a strict data structure of how to store an address for verification purposes. See the PAF Digest PDF for a full 200 page specification of how to write a postal address.

important for orgs that process addresses and how to process data items like a "double dependent locality" and so on. many big UK companies totally fuck up addresses even though this is specified.

The main problem with this is that the Royal Mail was privitised so this publically funded data source has now been commercialised and the IPR owned by a company thanks to the tories.

Comment Re:But *are* there enough eyes? (Score 5, Interesting) 255

one of the issues is that there are indeed *more eyes* but they are incentivised to look for exploits and sell them to the bug-buyers rather than report or fix them. I did a hands up poll (buyer beware) at our local OWASP chapter and over half had sold a bug to such an organisation. pretty shocking.

certainly, one of the first moderately important bugs I found, I was daft and got in touch with the software vendor and then faced legal action from them which luckily they saw sense and dropped. So many people nowadays just can't be bothered with that problem and can make a fast and low risk buck by selling the 0-day.

Comment Re:decentralisation of energy supply (Score 1) 235

You've got it backwards. Decentralisation is pretty well the holy grail of grid stability. When things go down you are left with a hole instead of losing half the grid.

totally agree - it's pretty amazing how the investment in the decentralised grid is coming along. However, my point is that Scotland has had to invest massively in the grid to support the new renewable energy production facilities. Scotland is not quite there yet - but hopefully in a couple of years the renewable energy will all be switched on and we'll get to a much higher percentage without affecting "quiet day stability" or energy prices.

Comment decentralisation of energy supply (Score 4, Informative) 235

One of the biggest challenges on Scotland has been the decentralisation of energy supply. The grid (high voltage power lines) was built to connect power stations that were usually less than 30 miles from cities and then smaller grid segments out to the less densely populated areas such as the highlands & islands.

The challenge Scotland now faces is that a large amount of renewable energy is being produced in the highlands and islands and coastal projects resulting in power having to be shipped "the other way" through the grid. So Scotland has had an enormous new power line from Beauly in the north to Denny in central region to help. The scandal is that a lot of Scotland's renewable energy is idle or switched off because there is not enough capacity in the grid to use it until the new line comes on board. Nearly every loch in Argyll has some kind of hydro power generation capabuility but it is switched off (except Cruachan)

The new wave power production systems are fabulous, especially the inter-connected wavenet squid system.

Comment Re:I do this - but with multiple 3G contracts (Score 1) 107

I forgot to mention that using an antenna (usually via a CRC9 connector port) doubles the bandwidth in most cases. I have a mag mount antenna for vehicles, a square directorional and a simple little plastic antenna that I use most of the time. A yagi directional would be even better. Antenna's make all the difference with 3G/4G connections (aka "Mobile Internet" in the UK)

Comment I do this - but with multiple 4G contracts (Score 3, Informative) 107

Your Mileage Will Vary depending on where you are located; but I use 4G and 3G connections here in Scotland and in other parts of Europe and I never use WiFi hotspots.

1. Everything Everywhere Kite (a Huawei mifi device that looks like an iphone 4s)

2: unlocked Huawei E3276 with an external antenna

3: backup USB Huawei E353 devices (also with a CRC9 antenna connector)

All work with my Linux distro (Fedora) natively. So my EE contract allows VOIP (in plain) but the O2 contract does not. So I also have a bunch of SIM cards that also helps if I am in a zone with poor coverage for a particular operator. Maxes out at about 50 Mbs in good 4G areas but bear in mind that the latency is often a lot higher (10x) than copper connections and will make VOIP a bit laggier than you'd expect, even with a high bandwidth connection.

"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain