49 posts • joined 19 Sep 2007
"Maybe those light bulbs are not efficient if seen only by themselves, but if you look at the room they are lighting and heating at the same time, the efficiency problem pretty much vanishes."
Popular misconception that. Heating a room using an electric light bulb is a lot more inefficient that using gas for example due to the inefficiencies in the electricity generation process. Fossil fuel powered generating stations provide 20-50% efficiency (roughly), so burning fossil fuels directly for heating purposes is a lot more efficient.
Agree with Mark
Where are the women?
Following Steve's comments, its occured to me that I don't recall seeing any posts by an obviously female character on any of the El reg stories I read, or am I a little blind?
Certainly haven't seen Paris...
Spotify's major selling point (IMO) is the UI, its sleek, fast , intuitive and looks great. Couple to that the ease of searching for tracks and albums, the ability to create playlists, the almost instant playback , the non-intrusive ads and you see why everyone who's used it won't stop.
Its not really going to make any major dough unless they use that same tech to provide video streaming with as current a collection of film and TV shows. That's something a lot of people would pay for.
Anyone else think all they're doing is trawling Wikipedia, extracting complied data from there, and perhaps following a few links from Wiki references just to randomise the data origins a bit?
If this thing takes off,is dogging going to consist of strange men hiding in bushes in local parks, pants down, 'groping' women 200 metres away with a laser pointer?
Love them or hate them, from a viewers point of view the BBC do a great job with their online offering. Overseas at the moment, but attempted to watch the FA cup last weekend as streamed by ITV on their website ( using UK office VPN ), and the quality was abysmal! Looking forward to even better iPlayer performance.
This is nor more scientific than sniffing used toilet paper to determine the eating habits of whoever used it, and no more artistic than glueing the said paper to a piece of canvas and framing it.
1: "Honey, the TV remote's not working!"
2: "I know, let's break little Tommy's arm and send him into hospital with the remote hidden in his armpit. They'll carry out a CT scan and we can then tell from the images whether the remote has batteries in it or not! "
1: "You're a genius!
2: " No I'm not love, I'm simply dedicated to the deeper visualisation of various objects that hold unique cultural importance in modern society".
C Out the CO2 Brigade
I am tired of people randomly attaching the phrase 'tons of CO2' to everything! Soon the Mrs will declare a 50% slash in my weekly carnal allotment in a bid to cut down on my respiratory linked CO2 emissions ....
Paris, as she'd probably make offset my domestic offset.
@ Andy Worth
It says 'up to' . It goes through the most common codes first, and their website does say most tv's would turn off in seconds, which makes sense. Its a TV, not a death-ray. Who can't wait 5 seconds?
I usually don't fall for scams, despite the numerous opportunities to do so these days. Recently though, I got an email from a friend from abroad saying she was in the UK briefly but had been robbed losing her passport, phone , and all her money, and was stuck in hotel as couldn't pay bill. She then said she needed £2500 urgently and would return it soon as she returned home. I replied immediately asking for more information and providing my phone number so she could call me back on it. The next day another email , this time really from her, came saying her Yahoo account had somehow been hijacked and all her friends had been sent this message. I'm not sure about how whoever did it was going to try and extract the money from me ( or us ), but I was not thinking about a scam when I got the email, it was only concern and I was prepared to help a friend in trouble.
Not so fast..
Electrons have an intrinsic limitation in their 'reaction speed', a figure in the picosecond region. A single terabit/second stream would therefore be changing faster than electronics as we know it ever possibly could. Present opto-electronic components consequently operate between 10-100Gbps. Also, transmitting single channels at 100Gbps+ requires an extremely low signal to noise ratio hence the use of multiple 10Gbps streams instead.
So, to transmit 640Gbps you can't use a single channel because of errors to to non-linear effects, dispersion and quantum noise etc. You also can't use a single electronic detector because of the limited speed of electronics. The solution is to use 64 multiplexed 10Gbps channels but demultiplexing a 640Gbps data stream is again pushing the envelope as far as modern electronics goes, hence the solution needs to be implemented all-optically using highly nonlinear materials. This is very challenging to implement, hence the excitement over the published results.
Paris, because the rush for more bandwidth really is being fuelled by the demand to download hi-def copies of her theatrical work.
Non stop fussing
If some of you had your way we'd still be using scrolls of parchment. Why would anyone insist on "...a device with 2 e-ink screens side by side like the pages of a real book...." like it will magically make the whole reading experience better. That would simply be a complete waste.
Pi in the face
@Ash - Interesting how you assume not being able to memorise 4 PINs is beneath you, and memorising pi to 78 decimal places is a 'real' achievement. Well, seeing as people have memorised it to 100,000 places I'm not sure about why you think you're any different to the 4 PIN forgetters , in the grand scale of things unless you can recite pi to 10,000 places you're a flop'pi' (disk).
Hit or miss?
Not a bad concept, but perhaps not too functional. Imagine a family of four sat watching TV, imagine the squabble it would create! They might say in that case a backup conventional remote would be available but that would mean this gesture control is simply an expensive inefficient add-on, rather than the real deal. Watching TV aside, gesture control for computer input, gaming etc.. could really take off.
Freedom to choose
What is it about IT folk. People have the right to like or dislike whatever software they please. I installed Ubuntu a couple of years ago on my little brother's behest, but two days later realised the only reason I was using it was that I had been curious, nothing more. Two days is how long that installation lasted on my machine, and two days later it was back to XP. For all XP's ( and Window's) supposed flaws, it does all I asked it to do. I went through university using XP both at home and on campus, using it for browsing, multimedia, word processing and technical computing ( Matlab, SPICE, AHDL, Verilog etc...) and it did all I asked it to. I still use XP, and unless Ubuntu can do any of the things I use Windows for well enough to compensate for the lack of familiarity with it I wouldn't be bothered to install it again.
Cost is relative
@Steven Jones: You forget Moore's law. In 2001 the M-Systems' DiskonKey was launched, as the first memory key that didnt require driver installation and connected over USB. The price? $49.99 - For 8MB. Doing the sums meant that a GB of storage cost about $6250. Of course the vast majority of ground breaking technologies are expensive at the start - and saying that " for holographic disks make sense, then the capacity will have to be much higher and the costs a lot lower." is pretty much saying nothing at all - its obvious.
Video in action
@AC 09:06 : Not sure if they put it online but BBC news have been showing a feature from CES all day and it includes a clip of the projector playing a video of an iPod ( or iPhone ). Didn't look too bad, not that much contrast but enough of it to be impressed.
@AC 10:25 : If you stare directly into one ofcourse it will harm your eyes, but the same thing applies to any bright light source - be it an incandescent light bulb, a standard projector , the sun or a laser pointer.
@Stu : In general, properly engineered solutions using lasers will always vastly out perform LEDs.
Tech is more exciting than Paris, isn't it!
Mack my words Robert...
@ Robert Mack - I still can't figure out whether you're trying to be sarcastic or are for real, but in case you genuinely are worried about comms purpose radiowaves, I suggest you do some actual research into the field, you might win a Nobel prize if you discover some concrete links.
Could I suggest as possible reasons :
1. "After a few years I could not remember what I had typed on an A4 page. My Typing became erratic, my spelling was terrible." - Perhaps after a few years you experienced a thing called ageing with all its side effects such as memory and dexterity loss?
2. Birds would not come into my garden oin front of the mast.... Even to eat bread or a Bird Feeder.. WHen the mast was off, they came and ate the food within an hour." - Perhaps the mast emitted an ultrasonic hum that disconcerted the birds?
3."On Monday, I blew my nose and water (not mucus) poured out, enough to fill both hands and spill onto the floor." - That's just plain nasty, however if your stated quantities are genuine , you probably experienced plain old vomiting ?
4."They put up 600 nest boxes in London.. Only 2% were used the following year." - maybe sparrows don't like new builds ( I don't ), but anyway, that sparrow argument has already been copyrighted by the global warming crowd.
5. "In Bracknel, and around the UK, the incidence of Birth defects has sky-rocketed over the past 6 years." - Again, the global warming folks claimed that one first , but how about either a bug in microsoft excel, figures like 2 per thousand to 4 per thousand being quoted as a 200% rise, or another case of baldness in babies being called a birth defect?
6. "My new born son son came up with spots under the skin on his face within 2 days of him arriving home... The spots dissapeared within days of switching the transmitter OFF." - Have you discounted acrocyanosis, epstein's pearls, erythema toxicum,forceps marks,miliaria crystalline, milia, neonatal acne, sebaceous gland hyperplasia, seborrheic dermatitis and transient neonatal pustular melanosis?
In case its none of them , kindly share your nobel prize with me .
Fishing in the dark Alan ...
@ Alan fisher - The trouble with people drawing scientific conclusions on their own is that they start to use words like 'always' which you just did, when inevitably what they mean is twice in a row in a year they received over 4000 phone calls. If you'd said that you stopped using cell phones and you felt better I might have forced myself to pay some attention to your hypothesis, but you say that you still use cellphones but not bluetooth. Your bluetooth headset was probably outputting around 1mW, while your phone churns out on average 100 times that at pretty much similar frequencies, but your body reacted just to the bluetooth?
And as to your question concerning how all this background radiation can not be having an effect, in all truth, it probably does, but at present there is any evidence to show the effect is anything considerable. If electromagnetic radiation bothers you that much, you're going to have to go and live in a dark cave deep underground wearing tin foil to keep away from it all, including light.
Paris, coz I don't think she lets such things bother her pretty little head.
I don't know about you, but I always thought that the people that should always be awake on a plane are the pilots! Why can't they get 12 hours sleep the night before the flight and then stay awake for their 12 on duty hours like the rest of us working folk?
Tim appears to be right. From the link he posted,
"Students will present their work in an electronic portfolio (ePortfolio). They will need to understand the difference between document creation and document publication and to distinguish between file formats appropriate for document creation and read-only file formats appropriate for viewing. Students will be expected to present ePortfolio content in a format appropriate for viewing at a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels."
It makes sense that failing to submit a read-only file format meant that the students had not grasped the concept of 'document publication' in the first place, hence deserved to fail their 'digital applications' module. It is no different to failing a music exam because you wrote a composition using do reh mi etc rather than a proper music notation scale, failing an engineering lab report because you neglected to explicitly show your section headers ( happened to me a few years ago, still smarting from that ) , or failing a maths exam because you insisted on using base 27 when the questions are given in decimal format. Tough luck, but understandable for a module related to computing.
Cool for an undergraduate, but useless for anything other than that. If you're that carbon conscious at least get real plant that absorbs some CO2. The real solutions lie in the hands of engineers - people drive gas guzzlers and fly halfway across the world billowing CO2 because thats the technology they have access to. This is simply a gimmick. A shame actually, might have been a nice kids toy if perhaps it bloomed at sunrise, or bloomed to the sound of music perhaps.
@ Tony - Applying cutting edge mathematical techniques to every day problems is a particularly useful way of engaging with your average Joe Bloggs, making the subject seem more interesting to prospective undergrad students and actually verifying the accuracy and reliabilty of the said technique. The same nonlinear computational tools used to model light waves in speciality fibres for high bit rate telecoms could be applied to modelling rogue sea waves as an example. And as a clincher for you, Wei has also used his unique video-based tools towards helping vascular and neurosurgeons solve fluid problems in the human body according to his departmental website. (cue rapturous applause from you)
Not so far fetched after all
@ Torben and Jon B - If you read carefully he made those observations in the 1930's. That was close to 30 years before a man was ever recorded to run 100m in under 10 seconds. Current olympic male swimmers swim the 50m freestyle almost 10 seconds quicker than they did back in the 30s, and assuming a similar quadratic relationship ( based on drag) between speed and force implies that swimming 20 percent quicker times requires close to one and a half times the power.
After sales service?
@ Andrew Moore - I'm not sure about that. Three months ago the screen of my Sony Vaio laptop started acting up, I called their call centre on a Tuesday, laptop was picked up Wednesday by courier, and returned to me Thursday with screen replaced, interior cleaned and the anti slip pads replaced, as well as a 'Hope you were pleased with the service' letter signed on behalf of one of the Sony Europe VPs. 48 hours from reporting problem to laptop being back in my hands, and this was all with a standard consumer warranty. Might have been a one off, but definitely best service I have ever had.
Come on techies!
@Ondrej Oubek "I don't believe that LEDs will ever become popular as a source of ambient light. Which means the whole idea of wireless-light@home or in the office is DOA" - Well, domestic LED lighting will be delivered sooner than you think, within the next five years at the very most. Its quite a topical reason in the scientific and R&D communities for a reason.
@AC "Sooooo much interference from surrounding lights" -Have a look at the solar spectrum, its all about where you select your communication wavelength. I could say the same thing about radio coomunications, even they suffer from interference from neighbouring devices and space.
@Nigel "I also doubt that it's possible. White LEDs use a phosphor to convert blue, violet or ultraviolet light from the LED into visible light. Those phosphors stay glowing for many microseconds after the illumination ceases, so you could not modulate them at 100MHz" - Semiconductor engineering combined with nanotechnology means devices can be fabricated that emit at a precise wavelength, with a very short lag between electrical stimulation and photon emission. Look up quantum dots as a sample, phosphors are previous century technology.
@Peter Ford "So how do these smart lights receive the data I want to transmit from my (for example) laptop?" - There are plenty of applications whose major requirement is for a downlink. You could use the technology for TV broadcasts, freeing up valuable spectrum.
@Cameron Colley "This may be more secure if you're sitting in a windowless room -- but if the light can be seen from a window then a decent telescope could pick it out from miles away."- If the wavelengths and pulse shapes are chosen correctly, the signals will be far too degraded to recover an useful information following refraction/reflection through optical materials like glass. Also, having filtering optical signals can be done so much easier than with radio due to the higher frequencies and consequent required filter characteristics. Think red goggles, or IR absorbing quartz.
It is an $18m dollar project, and consequently will have been peer reviewed extensively to make sure it is a viable project. Trust the scientists to do their job and develop the technology, and what you should all be debating is its applications. When Marconi, Tesla and co. pioneered radio technology they were laughed at. Who's laughing now? ( Fine, they're dead, and so aren't laughing at the moment but you get my point!)
I don't get it
Could someone please try and explain the concept clearly? Don't think I'm getting it properly...
You do seem genuinely concerned, but as someone else pointed out, the Western bias towards reporting negative stories emanating from the third world means that unless you have been on the ground and seen the way people live you would not be able to correctly assess what they need.
@Repo, Stephen and co. : There are two separate issues here. Is internet access is relevant to those millions of people. The answer is yes. As a first world techie you've probably never seen how transforming and powerful the internet can be when it fulfils the roles of knowledge delivery and communication. From nurses in remote communities being able to research medical complications online, secondary school students being able to go to a local internet cafe, albeit at a cost, to print an up to date periodic table of elements, disadvantaged people using online press to put forward and debate their issues, there are so many benefits of internet access that you seem to take for granted. A lot of East and central African countries are trying to collaborate on shared fibre backbone links, but funding has been a struggle for them. If Western corporations who have easier access to finding by whatever means are able to make such an investment, charitable or not, it will definitely transform the lives of millions of people. Its only $600m, the US spends that in Iraq in 3 days only.
I really abhor statements like the one you made, it stinks of hypocrisy. While $600m could feed 30m people for a month, it could alternately be used to provide internet access to 600 million people for 20 years and both are valid priorities.
What are you trying to imply?
@Anonymous John "Oddly enough, the light from everything we see approaches us at the speed of light. Blue-shifted though "
You do need to be more specific as the speed of light depends on the medium it is travelling through.
And why blue shifted?
@Fenton : I think you might be referring to limecrete, which is a concrete equivalent made from lime (CaO) instead of the limestone (CaCO3) in concrete. As its set the lime absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere and slowly turns into limestone (CaO+CO2=CaCO3). However, its notoriously difficult to machine,is more brittle and takes considerably longer to set.
My problem is with this whole green fanaticism. The planet is living and self regulating. Using one naturally occuring material instead of another is not going to prevent an impending doom from happening. Adopting limecrete to save the planet is no different to a 1 million strong colony of ants in an anthill in equatorial africa deciding to reduce their daily leaf harvest by 12% in a bid to cut their carbon footprint.
Display Resolution is what it refers to.
Pixels per inch/per cm is a rather abstract concept when referring to visual displays, something many of you keep harping on about as if it is one of the 4 fundamental quantities of matter ( excuse my gibberish).
If you digitise an image, the more pixels there are on a display device, the more pixels you can use to display the digitised image. There might be a debate over whether to call it image or spatial resolution, I've heard arguments either way, but fundamentally the more pixels used to display the digitised image ( in total, not per unit area ) the more information in the displayed image, and the higher the pixel resolution.
Do simple things well
@ Glenn, I dont own an iPhone and don't feel the need to, but I can tell you, a tidy appearance and a pretty user interface DO make a great mobile phone product. That's what the average consumer wants, a phone thats easy to use, does simple things well, is stable, robust and offers decent battery usage. I'd classify myself as a typical consumer, and at the moment have an HTC diamond and blackberry pearl, but the phone I like the most is my 2 year old SE W810, its nice and simple.
Do simple things well
And what's truly ridiculous is that they didn't go through the trouble of keeping their local call centre open beyond the normal 5pm to reassure subscribers wanting to know what was wrong, or at least leave a voice message on the switchboard service.
Spotted in Hull
Spotted one in Hull city center on the morning of Sunday 13th July. Didnt have the time to snap it though.
If you've stolen over $6million dollars, surely the first thing you do is go to Brazil, spend $25k on plastic surgery , another $25k on a new identity, $500k on a luxury beach apartment, $50k on a beach bar, $150k on a boat, stash the rest away in a Cayman account and live a life of utter bliss, chillin out with a hot Brazilian model !
Instead he chose to chill out with a cold piece of Cisco kit!
What's wrong with stats?
@ Mike and Jeremy
GfK NOP is a top 5 global market research company. I'm sure they've been in the business long enough to have reliable data weighting models for the UK. You must have skipped your statistics classes, or maybe its just not your forte. Sample size 1000 is typical for most market research projects, and for populations the size of the UK you're looking at around 3% margin of error only, which is acceptable in cases like this.
The British Polling council summarise it pretty well on their website :
"How can you possibly tell what millions of people think by asking just 1,000 or 2,000 respondents?
In much the same way that a chef can judge a large vat of soup by tasting just one spoonful. Providing that the soup has been well stirred, so that the spoonful is properly "representative", one spoonful is sufficient. Polls operate on the same principle: achieving representative samples is broadly akin to stirring the soup. A non-scientific survey is like an unstirred vat of soup. A chef could drink a large amount from the top of the vat, and still obtain a misleading view if some of the ingredients have sunk to the bottom. Just as the trick in checking soup is to stir well, rather than to drink lots, so the essence of a scientific poll is to secure a representative sample, rather than a vast one "
Still @ Jeremy
Still amused by the sheer arrogance of your clueless statement "This lack of basic scientific method ...."
Classic, what's next.....
What completely baffles me is that the vast majority of buyers on eBay really do believe that £1400 designer bag they buy for £45 is genuine!
Ofcourse it doesn't
Concerns over Phorm and the like really are confined to the IT geek chatosphere. The average broadband subscriber has much lower expectations and is much less informed than you think.
If he is a Zimbabwean dissident of Chinese origin, assuming he had stashed in his account 240,000,000 ZWD pre 2005 (worth 8000 US dollars). In October 2005 the currency was devalued by a factor of 1000, making his stash worth 240,000 ZWD but given the official exchange rate is 1 USD to 30,000 ZWD , real exchange rate of about 1 USD to 600,000, an inflation rate of 1,000,000% ( so 1000 ZWD will be worth 1ZWD in a year), a planned further 3 zero revaulation of the currency (deduction of 3 zeros from all savings) this year, and the central bank survives by printing money to cover costs ( estimates at 170 trillion ZWD a week ). As a result, the poor fellow's bank balance has gone from 240,000,000 ZWD to 240,000 ZWD , to 240 ZWD, and is worth less than the paper the bank statement is printed on. With no way of converting that amount to USD ( 0.0003 today, 0.000000007 tomorrow), $8 seems a decent guess!
Paris Hilton coz only she could be a logical ( and excusable) reason for your bank balance to decrease by a factor of 1000 overnight....
Nerds r u's
Rationality is something found very sparingly on this forum. There are real people out there who just happen to be living next to real terrorists, and yes, right here in the UK. And even if 10,000 false alerts arise for one real lead, that is a fair price to pay, if you disagree ask the families of the 52 killed and 700 injured during 7/7.
@Joe K earlier
There's something called Negative Feedback, standard to almost all typical control systems. Assuming an increasing in put causes an increasing output, and a decreasing input a decreasing output, then connecting a portion of output to input means you can stabilise the output. In summary, perturb the input and the system will stabiise itself.
Then again, you might be a professor of control systems and were trying to make a joke, which I missed........
And more importantly, i'm joe K with a lowercase 'j', didn't know there was another joe K on here, what are the odds....
Techies take things far too seriously sometimes....
Come on you guys, this stuff is written by llegal types, that computer security experts ( though helpfully they consulted some ). There has to be a law to enforce electronic security, as electronic fraud is a major problem and costs companies and individuals billions in money , wastes time resetting problems and makes some people stay off useful technology, like online payments, for fear of being defrauded somehow.
If any of you know-it-alls can come up with a better set of 5 or so laws, give it a go. I'm all eyes . Just don't criticise and step back, that sort of thing shuld only happen in hairdressing saloons.
What is a 7 level wipe?
Could someone please explain it? Thanks!
@ Cameron Colley.....
Lol, you do realise that you suggesting that -110 V is higher than -10 V "albeit negative" is the kind of logic that gets kids failing their GCSEs. No, -10V, is, and always will be, higher than -110V. Volts are a relative unit, just like temperature in degrees, and so you can adjust the reference as you like, so comparing -110V and -10V is EXACTLY the same as comparing 0V and 120V, the latter is the higher in both cases.
So, perhaps in Tina's defence, possibly techies too have issues with basic maths..........
It is unbelievable to see people even starting to debate such a pointless argument. And even more amazing to see that there are some people on this site who seem to agree that Africans are less "intelligent". Humans have been on earth way longer than the last thousand years, and the political happenings in the last millenium don't even start to define us. As a young black man, who this year won a UK award for academic excellence, and is top of his University engineering class, should I say its because I'm black? No it isn't, I just happen to be more intelligent ( in an academic sense ) than the rest of my class, 90 percent of whom are white. The fact that I'm black is simply because of a gene that made my skin darker than a caucasians skin, skin colour is only one of millions of genetic differences we have.
To Ross, Anonymous coward...: Did white people get the best deal? You think they did? When there are places in the UK where a quarter of GCSE students fail their exams? When in eastern Europe mothers are selling their babies for money, and war is only a few months away? 5000 years ago the Egyptians had the worlds greatest libraries, while White Europe consisted scattered villages ruled by warring chiefs, comprising farmers and the occasional blacksmith. And you ask what Africa did? You fail to realise that the vast majority of what we acknowledge to be modern, arrived in the last 150 years. You also fail to realise that 50 years ago you could not go to University in certain places ( like the great US of A), simply because you were black. And so you list the great number of inventions in the last 60 years by white people and use that as a 'scientific' basis for your arguments.
The point is, my being black African does not 'generally' make me less intelligent than any of you..... If I were less intelligent on the other hand, it would be for totally different reasons, totally unconnected to the dictation of the few genes that darkened my skin.
But it really doesn't matter what I say..... If you think Africans are less intelligent that the rest, its not your fault, its the society you live in that trained you to think like that, in the same way the Hitler indoctrinated his band of thugs..... It happens......
GPS competitive advantage?
You make it sound like GPS is run by Nokia trying to prepare for a backlash by newly released Sony Ericcson rival product...While I'm sure the US DOD runs the GPS system on as economical a financial plan as possible, seeing as they don't profit from it, its hard to see why they'd consider themselves 'in competition' with Galileo..... Its a free service, you don't like it, you don't use it, they don't need to entice you to use it.....
- Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
- Analysis Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
- AMD demos 'Berlin' Opteron, world's first heterogeneous system architecture server chip
- Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
- OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs