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Posts posted by Bill

  1. It does seem a bit extreme when you look at the current numbers but if we did nothing it could end up being bad. Some say it’s just like a mild version of the flu which makes us feel it’s not that bad but while people can die of the flu, I think with this one, it’s about one in a hundred infected people that end up dying. Do the sums, if it spreads as easy as flu and if only 10% of the population caught it, it would kill 80 thousand people in the UK each year. That’s a lot for something that we can hopefully prevent.


    Bill  :)

  2. My wife’s in panic mode right now having just shelled out a small fortune to take the family and grand kids to Disney World in Florida. The holiday is booked for April and she’s worried that if the situation gets bad here, the US could end up restricting travel from the UK. Plus, if it gets bad over there, places like Disney might well end up being closed as well.  


    Bill :(

  3. As I remember, not that long-ago Warrington used to be on the list of the top ten towns classed as being at high risk from flooding. I think the early topographic computer models didn’t factor in the ship canal, so for years we probably paid over the odds for our home insurance. Looking at the current maps though, we don’t seem to be at any risk of flooding from rainstorms and the only threat is from storm surges coupled with a high tide. But that's always been the case.

    When I moved to Woolston in the seventies, the fields just past the Rope and Anchor pub were all marsh land so I was a bit surprised when the whole area was developed for housing. Then a few years back, I was helping a mate who lives there to dig a small hole to plant a small tree and unsurprisingly, we only got down a foot or so and the hole was filling with water. I don't know if all marshy land near a river is classed as a flood plain but I certainly wouldn't want to live there. 


    Bill :)

  4. Latchford.


    Why can't we learn from this ?

    Well according to the UK spokesperson, it’s the Chinese that need to learn from us on how to do things democratically, but they would say that wouldn’t they.

    How can we be globally competitive if everything we do here is wrapped up in so much red tape that it takes years of debate and consultations before anything gets started. Take Heathrow’s third runway as a classical example where they’ve been talking about it now for over 25 years and they’re still arguing now.


    Bill :)

    • Upvote 1
  5. A few years back I had keyhole surgery for a detached cartilage. The surgeon said that the inside of the knee was one of the best early indicators for arthritis and because mine was perfectly clean, he said I should never suffer from arthritis.

    I’d cross my fingers that that would be true (if I could). :)


    Bill 😊

  6. It does seem a lot to pay out to cut a few minutes off the travel time. I get a bit of a feeling that we’re doing this partly because as a nation we want to be seen by the rest world as modern and progressive. Personally, I’d have liked to have seen something a bit more futuristic that got us to London in ten minutes, now that would really show the world something.

    The problem we have in Britain is that the place is so blooming small, so there’s never enough distance between the stops to really get your foot down. Just making the trains faster It’s rather like trying to use a Ferrari as a bus because no matter how fast you make it, it’s still going to spend most of its time slowing down and speeding up. In fact, if we could have come up with some way of getting people off while keeping the train running, we’d do the journey much faster than HS2 even if we kept to our current speeds.

    Enough dreaming for the day.


    Bill :)

    • Like 1
  7. I think most of us here are in the same boat but to some extent I do get what Latchford’s saying. If Geoff want’s some new hips to stop pain, then can’t argue with that but he makes it sound like he wants the hips so he can do more of what possibly contributed to the problem in the first place. Isn’t that like wanting a lung transplant so you can be better drag on a cig in your final years?

    I always liken the human body to a car. Look after it, and don’t constantly rag it and it should last a good while. You know its eventually going to reach a point where where the performance drops off but if when you reach that point, you take it easy, then you’ll probably get a good few more miles out of it.

    Take it easy Geoffrey.


    Bill :)

    • Upvote 2
  8. Confused.

    There are many similarities, but I believe that the taxi trade is far more demanding in what they expect a system to be able to do and how much they should pay for it.

    We started off manufacturing PMR based data terminals back in the early nineties but now it’s 100% internet based which has made life so much easier for us. No more scuffed knees and bleeding knuckles from installing hardware into to impossible locations, we simply give the driver a pre-programmed dual sim smartphone that talks to peripherals via Bluetooth. The smart-phone performs meter functions, accept payments and print out receipts etc as well as being a communication device.

    Over the years, we’ve been approached by multiple businesses, each with their own slightly unique needs however, experience has taught us that getting involved usually ends up with projects that start off simple then end up growing like Topsy. So by not spreading the net too wide and focusing on a specific task we become better at doing  what we do.

    While I reckon that letting the people of Warrington know when the next bus is going to turn up would be a piece of cake, I doubt that I or my work colleagues would really want the hassle of dealing with endless committees, each of which making up it's own rules as it goes along. 

    Food for thought though.


    Bill :)

  9. Sid. That’s true, and ironically in this case the tender process would probably cost a lot more than the total system. Given our taxi systems work with between 1 to 1000 vehicles, the council could just take one unit on a try before you buy basis so there’s no financial risk. I doubt any of the companies offering mega expensive tailor-made solutions could do this. To test the system, all that’s needed is to simply put a single modified mobile phone in a bus.

    As for not having smart phone, well you can’t win them all. I suppose It could be done by text or IVR but without GPS location, the customers would have to enter a bus stop number, then the system could either text or speak back the waiting time. We process hundreds of thousands of these types of calls every single week in the taxi trade, so this isn’t pie in the sky stuff.


    Bill :)


  10. Those electronic devices at the bus stops were always going to be a prime target for the vandals so it makes sense to use an Uber style mobile app where the only hardware used is the customers own mobile phone. The way I see it is that a bus is not that much different to a taxi so I can’t understand why the council don’t just use an off the shelf taxi system that will probably give them everything they need.

    I think the council run about a hundred busses?? The total initial cost for a taxi company with a hundred cars, including the custom app design would be about £15k worst case. After that, the airtime and service charges would be about £700 a month, again worst case. We’ve produced these systems here in Warrington for twenty odd years and they’re good.

    I’m not trying to sell anything here BTW I’m just trying to show what’s possible using proven technology especially when it’s priced to sell in a none publicly funded market.  


    Bill :)

  11. Of course they have trucks just the same as we do for the local movement of goods but for longer distances, a lot of their stuff is moved by rail. Without the heavy trucks, the main motorways don’t need repairing anything like as much as ours, so there’s infinitely less traffic disruption. Over the years, I’ve lived and worked in the states and driven the length and breadth of the place and other than in the cities and suburbs, driving over there is a real pleasure compared to the UK.


    Bill :)

  12. Didn’t they install a system a few years back to track and display the busses so people knew how long then next one might be? Maybe they didn’t do it as far as Newton Le Willows. (Edit) Don’t bother answering that I’ve just checked, and it’s been replaced with an App that’s about as useful as the old printed timetable we had in the first place. No live data and no idea if the bus is on time or late but you probably knew that already.

    BTW my business provides real time tracking via custom apps for some of the taxi companies across the UK including Warrington. They pay next to nothing for the service, in fact, I don't think they even pay that much, so I can’t understand why WBC can’t do something like this rather than spending a fortune on stuff that doesn't work.


    Bill :)

    • Upvote 1
  13. I think someones going to have come up a cleaver solution for the terraced house but come on, if we can send a man to the moon then surely we can dream something up. 

    But before we start panicking about charging points, we need to take out of the equation, all the homes that have a garage or drive, where cars can be easily be charged and that'll reduce the numbers significantly. Then allow for the fact that the national average daily car use is only about ten miles, meaning that most cars may only need topping up once a week and if taken to a pukka charging point, it can be done in less that 30 minutes.  

    We've got 15 years before we cant buy a conventional car and I think that's ample time to solve this little problem.


    Bill :)

  14. Obs, Yep that could easily happen but begs the question would the technology or person have spotted my car the other week when it was only just making 20 mph? 

    Milky Goods are moved long distances by rail and it's quite impressive to see the trains with three or more engines and about a mile or so long. This is why the main Interstate roads don't have anything like the volume of heavy goods vehicles that we have. Once you get nearer large areas of population though, somewhat smaller trucks do the local moving about. 


    Bill :)

  15. Milkey. America doesn’t have anywhere near as many heavy goods vehicles as we do so road repairs are less common but where they differ dramatically is in their safety restrictions.

    I reckon we go well over the top, with safety measures taking longer than the actual repairs. US roadworks tend to be a few hundred yards with only a slight reduction in speed so I don’t see why we couldn’t do the same and keep the traffic moving.


    Bill :)

  16. Pretty much all the major car companies have already committed themselves to electrification, so much so that I believe that the law won’t be needed by that time. As for keeping old cars running forever, well it does happen in some hotter drier countries but here in the UK any car that’s used on a daily basis will end up just rotting away due to our lousy climate. Take my old Alfa for example, it’s 14 years old now 150,000 miles on the clock and starting to show its age. I keep it running but it’s getting more and more expensive to repair and parts are getting almost impossible to find. If I get another couple of years out of it, I’ll be lucky.


    Bill :)

  17. Nah!! Vintage and classic car enthusiasts aren’t going to keep a muti-billion-pound oil industry in business, there’s just not enough about.

    Most cars do last longer these days but very few will ever qualify as classic, so while the old Nisan Micra is still a daily runner, it’ll get increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain. I reckon that petrol prices will rise and garages will become scarce and while that’s not a problem for me and my Mazza, it’s never going to work out for the Micra owner.

    The oil companies must know the cards are on the table and will be planning to diversify to include greener solutions.


    Bill :)

  18. I think you're right Davy, at least about there being a future for Hydrogen fuel cell in cars but it won't be a Betamax/VHS situation because both can work equally well. I suspect car owners will end up having a choice between a chemical battery or fuel cell but as Asp says, the gas is dangerous and I wouldn't feel safe knowing I'm effectively sitting on a bomb. 

    As for the Oxygen, I don't think there's a shortage as such but ocean waters are tending to be short of it in certain areas due to warming and other factors.


    Bill :) 

  19. I wouldn’t feel sorry for the younger generation Obs, we’re just leaving them with a bit of a challenge in their lives that I’m sure they’ll solve in time. I don’t blame my parents or grandparents for the pollution they passed onto me, it’s all just part of evolution.

    The amount of dirty coal they must have burnt over a couple of lifetimes would have been tremendous and all done without ever hearing about carbon offsetting. So where has all that carbon gone?

    I got a bit rattled last week when a report on www made Warrington out to be one of the worst places to live with talk about deadly toxins and abnormal death rates. The reality is I believe that our air is cleaner now than its ever been, certainly in the last hundred years. The smoke and smog’s that our predecessors generated are all gone but it still shows in the health statistics for those who lived through those times.

    In short, we’re leaving the next generation with a much cleaner environment that we came into and that has to be a good thing.


    Bill :)

    • Upvote 1
  20. But why should we even attempt to try and rehabilitate these people. To my way of thinking, we shouldn’t be incurring any of the huge costs keeping these people locked up for long periods or for endless police surveillance. We need a deterrent so powerful that it’ll stop them even considering becoming a terrorist in the first place, and that way everyone’s a winner.

    Some say deport them but that doesn’t work given any Tom, Dick and Mohammed can sneak back into this country and that’s assuming they don’t already have a UK passport. What should be done is poor shame on the immediate family, even though they would claim to be innocent and had no idea their kids were terrorists. Ideally deport the family but If we can’t due to our soft rules, then at least make it known that they’re not welcome because no potential terrorist would want to exit this life with their family in a mess of their making.

    Draconian it may be but extreme circumstances calls for extreme measures.


    Bill :)

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