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First Crowdsourced, Open Data Address List Launches In the UK

rapiddescent Re:UK Post Office already does this (33 comments)

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.

about two weeks ago
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2014: The Year We Learned How Vulnerable Third-Party Code Libraries Are

rapiddescent Re:But *are* there enough eyes? (255 comments)

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.

about a month ago
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Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

rapiddescent Re:decentralisation of energy supply (235 comments)

I forget the name of the project.

One of the most popular geotherm projects using a coal mine tunnel is in the centre of Glasgow, there's a report about it here (PDF). I understand it's a template for lots of other projects.

about 2 months ago
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Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

rapiddescent Re:decentralisation of energy supply (235 comments)

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.

about 2 months ago
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Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

rapiddescent decentralisation of energy supply (235 comments)

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.

about 2 months ago
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Windows 10 Gets a Package Manager For the Command Line

rapiddescent Is this the year of the Windows Desktop? (230 comments)

we've been saying it for years and years but now that Microosft Windows has a package manager, is 2014 finally the year of the Windows desktop?

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

rapiddescent Re:I do this - but with multiple 3G contracts (107 comments)

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)

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

rapiddescent I do this - but with multiple 4G contracts (107 comments)

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.

about 3 months ago
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Lego Ends Shell Partnership Under Greenpeace Pressure

rapiddescent Lego and politics (252 comments)

Lego got pissed off at the UK treasury who had used Lego minifigures as part of the UK campaign against Scotland's independence from the UK, see Scottish independence: Lego dropped from Treasury Buzzfeed

Lego, at the time, said they were politically neutral and would not allow their brand to be associated with any political stance.

about 4 months ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

rapiddescent bathtub curve applies (602 comments)

I replaced 50x GU10 50W bulbs for 3W LED equivalents (no longer available) that were more expensive (slightly warmer light). Here in Scotland, energy prices are more than the USA - so the initial investment of 50 bulbs cost 20x as much as the GU10's burt due to the lower wattage (3W vs 50W) would pay back in 2 years (which they have) from lower overall electricity prices.

However, we've had a lot of failures. So far over 10% of the 50 have failed - usually blowing the main house fuse when they went. So the porblem at the moment is there is no way to assess the failure rate for LED household bulbs. This is having quite an impact on the payback period for the bulbs. .

about 4 months ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

rapiddescent Re: The over-65's swung it for No (474 comments)

There are currently riots by loyalists in the centre of Glasgow - which are being downplayed as "rivalry" by the bbc even though there are very few unionists or nationalists there. Just search twitter for "george square" for photos and on the scene twitterers to get the real picture.

Loyalists were supportive of the union (the orange order is registered with the electoral commission as a supporter of no) and are rioting because they won the vote. They are basically thugs with some ties to football and irish loyalism.

Scotland is a very dark place now.

People at work were crying today. The older retired baby boomer generation sold us out.

about 4 months ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

rapiddescent Re:The over-65's swung it for No (474 comments)

oh no, I would never say my vote was more important, nor indeed that I am somehow more correct than my fellow Scot. The points I was making were:

There has been a well documented bias in the media. Even the media here agree with that. There has been a huge discussion here in Scotland about the role of social media in this referendum, not unlike Tunisia, Egypt and so on. Politicians have said that things were out of control as both campaigns became alive oin social media. The pro-Yes media (aparty from one sunday paper) were online and largely funded by indigogo public funding campaigns.

This was the first poll we've had in living memory that has not had an exit poll; Lord Ashcroft's poll whilst not perfect is the closest we have to understand the voting demographic.

I ws making the correlation (not causation) link that over-65's were also the least connected in society. I admit I was also a bit rude about the over-65's.

Since I last posted, the pledge from the parties behind the No campaign for more devolution powers have already fallen apart. A lot of people voted no because they were promised a more federalised UK

about 4 months ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

rapiddescent The over-65's swung it for No (474 comments)

As a Scot living through the referendum, it has been a sea of optimism and YES flags and events. Many people, including myself woke up this morning very disappointed but also wondering how did this happen:

One of the biggest revelations was that The over-65's swung it for No whilst all age groups from 16 to 55 voted for independence. one of the key elements of the YES campaign is that none of the media TV channels or daily newspapers supported independence and so Scots could only get information from the internet. Twitter, websites such as Bella Caledonia, Wings over Scotland have been on the only places to find real information that hadn't been skewed heavily in favour of the No campaign.

The over-65's are the least internet connected and the most trustworthy of the BBC, even though the BBC has been accused of bias in an academic study from a survey of their entire news output over a 6 month period.

Also, the over-65's have the shortest time stake in this. plus have had the trappings of gold plated pensions that the generation behind them cannot look forward to. It's a disgusting state of affairs and as a Scot I am embarrassed for my country.

about 4 months ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

rapiddescent Re:This isn't scaremongering. (494 comments)

google "weebluebook"

I don't claim to have the answers (see book above),

1: The 2016 in/out referendum for the entire UK (depending on tomorrows referendum outcome) to leave/stay in the EU is so much more important. Scots (according to polls) prefer the EU. the centre right politics more prevalent in England are less affectionate to the EU.

2: There are 3 sterlingisation methods described in the Scotland Future book. There are two types of pegging; but the downside for the UK with sterlingisation is that Scotland would not be liable for any share of the UK accumulated debt. Many are seeing the "We will use Sterling" as a game play tactic to force George Osbourne into a corner. The Treasure have already confirmed that the debt belongs to the UK and only the UK. This would leave Scotland with a new currency but with tremendous assets and no liabilities. Many Yesser Scots prefer this - but many in finance would prefer to see a shared currency and for Scotland to continue to be responsible for debt, a shared currency is cheaper to do business in.

The Euro is off the cards because you have to be in the ERM for 2 years with your own free-standing currency. remember when the Uk tried that before?

3: I don't know

4: Citizenship is covered in the Scotland Future book. It's the individuals choice to up until your grand children to have UK, Scots or both. My grand kids will be Scottish only citizens.

5: there are no border controls in the rest of Europe, or on the Irish border, not sure why this is a being played as a big issue. If there are controls, it will probably be on the English side only. Whilst driving in Ireland I had been in Ireland for a few miles before I realised I was on the south side of the border (a road sign had the speed limit in km/h)

about 4 months ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

rapiddescent Re:Farce (375 comments)

also, HS2 will be paid out the national infrastructure budget - which means that Scotland has to pay 8.9% of the bill (which includes the debt interest) even though it will never get within 200 miles of our cities. The new train lines in Scotland however, are all paid out of Scotland's own budget with no consequential to the rest of the UK. This is why #indyref has happened.

about 5 months ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

rapiddescent Re:Salmond is NOT making Scotland non nuclear (375 comments)

Nuclear WEAPONS. Now, I do agree that lobbing a power station at ones enemy, it might be seen as a weapon; but the general plan is that Scotland wants to be in a position to have 100% of power production capability by 2020. Keeping Nuclear power stations on a bit in case that goal is not reached 100% of the time seems sensible so long as no new nuclear power stations are built.

The Channel 4 expose is just muck-raking pre-referendum. If you really want to dig around the deals being done with regard nuclear power generation then look at the huge deal done with EDF in England that will make electricity production hugely expensive whilst the rUK retains clean up costs...

about 5 months ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

rapiddescent Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (375 comments)

It's hardly fucking insightful to watch a state broadcaster, owned and run by the same state that has a vested interest interested in one outcome of the referendum.

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. George Osboune (the chancellor of the exchequer) is so lame that he walked right into it. Salmond will just use Sterlingisation, suffer short term interest rate rise and then sit on a hugely asset (rather than liability) backed economy. My personal view is that Scotland should share the currency and pay off it's part of the national debt. BoE will have to write a cheque for 4bn of Sco issued notes and many 100's of bn for quantative easing to "buy out" Scotlands share of the UK GBP.

Have you read Scotland's Future or the Wee Blue Book. Both are free and cover the currency question.

about 5 months ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

rapiddescent Re:Betteridge (375 comments)

Scotland has only been invaded by, erm, one country, many times as it happens, in the last 1000 years.

about 5 months ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

rapiddescent Re:Hope So (375 comments)

that is not true. It was chosen in the 60's (opened in the mid 70's) because of it's geography - deep water, protected harbour and faces west to the Atlantic. Only 520 jobs rely on the nuclear deterrent side of the operation.

While important for the Coul peninsula, the proposals are to base Scotland new navy at Faslane and so these jobs would be transferred.

about 5 months ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

rapiddescent Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (375 comments)

It should be noted that the BBC is an interested party in the referendum (the first "B" gives it away). There have been protests outside the BBC offices in Glasgow because of their support for the union (even though Scottish public have to mandatory pay for the BBC if they watch TV). The BBC takes a very pro-union stance (or vote "no" stance if you prefer) so please take that into account when reading or watching BBC coverage of #indyref

BBC Scotland viewers get an assault of fear stories from Better Together campaign every day on the BBC with little or no attempt to provide the other side of the story. The BBC tried to coverup and bully an academic study into bias that proved that BBC Scotland were not following their own guidance on #indyref coverage.

about 5 months ago

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