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Comment Re:And you all still don't need it (Score 1) 47

Some providers will offer redundant links, even geographically separated redundant links (fibres enter the building though 2 separate ducts, head off in 2 different directions back to 2 different exchanges via 2 different routes... of course, no-one wants to pay for that so they very rarely actually do it.

If you buy "dark fibre" then you needn't care about a one provider's hardware/network being subject to a particular failure as you're only using a length of glass they happened to provide. Again though, is spendy.

Comment Only 80% efficient? Where's the other 20% going? (Score 1) 379

I'm fairly sure gasoline engines manage 80% efficiency if you count heat output as useful.

Does the remaining 20% come out as noise? Light? Radiation?

I Wonder how much energy and exotic raw materials go into making this marvel of clean power?

I also wonder how efficient my gas-cooker is at converting gas into heat, as it doesn't seem to make any appreciable amount of anything else other than heat.

Comment Re:Arduino Uno (Score 0) 273

Have you *priced* Arduinos and their accessories? If you're comparing one against *any* cellphone from the Nokia 5110 upwards the processing power is lower, the IO is limited (no buttons, display, or wireless connectivity for starters) and you can fish the cellphones out of the trash or off eBay for almost nothing, probably with full-colour LCD, bluetooth, camera, maybe even GPS. The bigger problem is breaking into the phone & developing software on it.

In fact the Raspberry Pi is cheaper than a lot of Arduinos.

Comment Re:In other words (Score 1) 115

Having read the link, that does not really prove that dogs are useless, just that they can give false positives if the handlers lead them into it. But no-one gets prosecuted because the dog thinks they might have a bomb unless it turns out they really do have a bomb. False positives are not a big problem if the alternative is either much more thorough/time-consuming/intrusive investigation or random selection.

Comment Re:Waste of money (Score 1) 215

Exactly, go back and read the stuff about the nuclear tests, they had everything they could find lined up around every blast - from live animals strapped to the decks of target ships to food, drink, etc., plus of course all the scientists and soldiers stationed about the place to observe & report. As someone above said, the cost of setting off the nuke is the big thing, so you may as well stack as much stuff around the place to gather data on.

Comment Re:So, let's have a positive experience: (Score 1) 283

Cameras can also *see* cars, fake plates or not. If the ANPR hadn't flagged it right off, there's a fair chance the CCTV guys would have spotted it - and they could just as easily then stick the fake reg into the computer.

There's also a difference between car theives who sneak off with your stuff and car theives who are willing to risk an assault / ABH/GBH charge and the associated police response / prison sentence.

But you're right, we should go back to the police having a truncheon and a whistle and maybe a horse...

I think it's funny that google, amazon, and your bank/credit card probably know waaaay more about you than the authorities do, yet things like this get shit on in the name of freedom. If I get mugged, or burgled, or whatever, I want it to be on as many cameras as possible. CCTV is a massively EFFICIENT and EFFECTIVE way to catch criminals and make the Police and justice system's job easier and safer. With power comes responsibility, and we should be watching the watchers very closely, but not cutting off our noses to spite our face.

Comment So, let's have a positive experience: (Score 2) 283

A friend of mine heard his car being driven off his driveway at night, called the police who typed his reg into the computer. Within a few minutes it had been ANPR'd leaving town, one camera later they knew fairly sure which way he was headed (motorway out of county), maybe half an hour later a police car rolls up behind him at a motorway services and cuffs both occupants, car returned to owner.

The issue is not the technology, the issue is how it's used and by whom. This is an excellent system for reducing vehicle crime - theft, unisured drivers, unsafe vehicles on the road, etc. that cost us all a shitload of money in taxes, insurance premiums, death. They can do this as much as they like, I'm cool with that, but I want to know that that's ALL they're doing with it, and that they're not selling my data etc. etc.

People need to stop getting all antsy about the technology and concentrate their attention / concerns / questions on HOW it's used.

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The bogosity meter just pegged.