* Posts by Chris Miller

3157 posts • joined 6 Apr 2007

Dirty diesel backups will make Hinkley Point C look like a bargain

Chris Miller
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Diesel prices

I don't think gennies are run on DERV, presumably red diesel?

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Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

Chris Miller
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If you think there's a significant pool of untapped female ability in IT, there's a great opportunity. Start your own company and hire some of this underpaid quality talent. Back in the 60s when such a pool really existed, Steve (Stephanie) Shirley did precisely this, founded F International (now Xansa) and made rather a lot of money. Come on, what's stopping you?

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British unis mull offshore EU campuses in post-Brexit vote panic

Chris Miller
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@x 7

Check out Debrecen in eastern Hungary. Not only is it good academically (often thought of as Hungary's Cambridge), but many courses are entirely in English (understandably, there's a restricted audience for ones in Hungarian). And the cost of living is low, too.

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Chris Miller
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That plus the fact you can often get it for free rather than incurring a £50,000 student loan. Many EU unis offer courses entirely in English in order to attract foreign (not just British) students.

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Brexit at the next junction: Verity's guide to key post-vote skills

Chris Miller
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Re: Killer fact!

And that's also why the tax year ends on 5th April instead of the Feast of the Annuciation (Lady Day), as God intended.

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Chris Miller
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Big numbers

The Europeans have steadfastly hung onto a billion as 1012. There was (still is) a perfectly good word for 109 - milliard*, an ancient text book in my possession describes a light-year as "six thousand milliard miles". The French press describe Bill Gates as un milliardaire.

* Would that make 1015 a billiard?

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Lethal 4-hour-erection-causing spiders spill out of bunch of ASDA bananas

Chris Miller
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Re: OK time for some fact-based info

@JustNiz - it was Flagstaff, AZ (as you say, a manned area at the back of the store, you couldn't just pick up a rifle and put it in your trolley). I had a good chat with the knowledgeable guys manning the area - they were bewildered that we couldn't buy this stuff in the UK :)

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Chris Miller
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Re: 'British version of Walmart'

Quite. It's a subsidiary - but the last Asda I went in didn't have a gun aisle, unlike the last Walmart I visited.

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Asian hornets are HERE... those honey bee murdering BASTARDS

Chris Miller
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No, there's been a bit of confusion in the press generally about this. The ones found in Tetbury are Asian Hornets, but not Asian Giant Hornets, which are a different species (and bigger, obvs - they're the ones that can grow up to two inches long). The Asian Hornets have been introduced and are fairly widespread across continental Europe, although they don't like cold winters so are more common in the south. They are actually slightly smaller than the native British Hornet, but they do have a taste for honey bees, which can make them a bit of a problem for beekeepers.

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Greybeards beware: Hair dye for blokes outfit Just For Men served trojan

Chris Miller
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Grey and proud

A friend tried one of these products. He turned prematurely ginger.

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Apple's tax bill: Big in Japan. Like, $120m big

Chris Miller
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Re: Apple pay all tax that is due

Easy peasy:

Step 1 - incorporate in the US

Step 2 - earn the bulk of your profits outside the US

Step 3 - stash any profits in an offshore acccount.

A peculiarity of US tax law is that you don't (as a corporation) pay any tax until the profits are repatriated. When (if) you do, you'll get stung for US CT which is a whopping (by most international standards) ~40%. That it's so high explains why many US multinationals are keeping their international profits offshore in hopes that the rate will come down.

Note that when you do repatriate, you can legitimately offset any foreign tax already paid. That's why Uncle Sam is unhappy at the EU's land grab - an extra €12 bn (or whatever it turns out to be when the legal party ends) paid to Eire is €12 bn less for the US.

International tax law is founded on the principle that profits are due in the country in which they are earned. It's hard to argue that the great bulk of Apple's profits are 'earned' anywhere other than California, so that's where most of the tax is due. Apple can defer this tax by holding it offshore, but the shareholders can't get their hands on it.

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Swedish appeals court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

Chris Miller
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Re: The 8th, but not the last..

And even if the Swedes withdraw their charges (or they expire), the British authorities will want to talk to Assange about breaking his bail conditions - a serious offence.

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Google's become an obsessive stalker and you can't get a restraining order

Chris Miller
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Re: Do people care?

Round here the traffic wombles take a photo of the car before issuing the ticket. I assume they send a copy with the demand for money (or will do if you query it), but luckily I don't have any first-hand experience.

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Assange returns to Earth

Chris Miller
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Re: Half man, half mushroom, half leak?

Half biscuit

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Brit spies and chums slurped 750k+ bits of info on you last year

Chris Miller
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750,000 messages?

That would be approx 1 teenage-year's worth.

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Really – 80% FTTP in UK by 2026? Woah, ambitious!

Chris Miller
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"have access to FTTP"

What exactly does that mean? presumably it doesn't mean "having an FTTP connection" or that's what they'd say. I already have 'access' to FTTP - I'd just need to pay BT to string a fibre line from me to the exchange - it would only cost me a few grand. (I fully appreciate that not everyone has even this level of access.)

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HPE crams unloved software down Brits' throats – then charges them $9bn to swallow it

Chris Miller
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So, MicroFocus will be able to benefit from the geniuses who have so successfully destroyed HP? Sell your MF stock now.

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Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree

Chris Miller
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Re: The problem is you can't be sure power is off

Adding water to a lithium battery is a very bad move. My EV manual is plastered with warnings telling you not to let untrained personnel near the internal electrics. Since they can deliver 200A at 300V, that's understandable (and I'm sure a Tesla is capable of a significant multiple of the amperage figures).

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Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

Chris Miller
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I'll do it $120 (not million) ...

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L0phtCrack's back! Crack hack app whacks Windows 10 trash hashes

Chris Miller
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Can we look forward to a revamped version of BackOrifice?

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Unlimited mobile data in America – where's the catch? There's always a catch

Chris Miller
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The problem is that the current ISP model is like an all you can eat buffet, where one in 10 customers eats all the food, one in 100 takes his chair home too, and one in 1,000 unscrews all the fixtures and fittings and loads them into a van as well.

www.telco2.net/blog/2008/02/bbcs_iplayer_nukes_all_you_can.html

This was written in 2008 about fixed line ISP offerings, but nothing really changes ...

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Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

Chris Miller
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Re: Tesla's progress is amazing

I too drive a PHEV (if you're in the UK, it's very likely to be the same model as yours). It takes 5 hours to recharge the 10kWh battery from a domestic 13A socket, so that means doing the same for a Tesla with the full 100kWh would take two days, not very practical! You could pay several hundred pounds (a trivial sum if you can afford a Tesla) to get a higher power outlet, which would reduce that to about 36 hours, but there's a limit to how much power you can draw from a UK domestic setup (25kVA is usual), and you'll probably want to do some cooking or wash your clothes at some point.

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Chris Miller
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I don't doubt that Tesla have increased the battery capacity from 90Kwh (?) to 100kWh, which will have increased the all-up weight by ~50kg. This will certainly extend the range, but how does it improve the acceleration? I assume they must have upped the power rating of the drive motors, but the article doesn't mention it.

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Stop lights, sunsets, junctions are tough work for Google's robo-cars

Chris Miller
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They'll also need to be aware that if the other car at a 4-way stop (or a roundabout in the UK) is a Mercedes*, they are unlikely to be stopping for anything, regardless of road conditions.

Can they also detect drivers wearing a hat?

* Substitute your own 'favourite' manufacturer as necessary.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update: This design needs a dictator

Chris Miller
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Re: Under construction?

True, or alternatively one where people build their own home one storey at a time (as they get enough money together). You need a less rainy climate than the UK for this to work :)

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Black Hats control Jeep's steering, kill brakes

Chris Miller
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Re: Why?

Did you think there was a direct mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the front wheels (or between the accelerator and engine)? How very last millennium!

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Captain Piccard's planet-orbiting solar aircraft in warped drive drama

Chris Miller
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Re: Can someone calculate

RR Trent engines >50MW, so a 747 is >200MW max power. Solar cells produce ~200W/m2, so you'd need a square km to power a 747. If you could achieve 100% efficiency at the equator, there's 1300W/m2 of sunlight available compared to just over 500m2 wing area on a 747 and you're still over two orders of magnitude short. Now, about these trans-polar routes ...

PS Hybrids work in cars, where the additional weight of the battery isn't too crucial to performance - add 20% to the weight of a car and it will still drive (possibly a bit more slowly). On an aircraft every kilo of extra weight is vital - add 20% to the weight of an airliner and it could never leave the ground. Even so, very few pure hybrids achieve better fuel efficiency than an equivalent-sized diesel powered vehicle.

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Chris Miller
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Re: Don't try anything new!

I don't think many people are saying that it shouldn't be tried. Like the Gossamer Albatross, it's an impressive piece of technology. It's all the idiots (including many journos) saying "in 20/50/100 years time all passenger aircraft will fly on solar power" in utter defiance of the laws of arithmetic, never mind physics, that are annoying.

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Chris Miller
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Nice story, but solar cells are not about to follow some version of Moore's Law. Even if you could capture 100% of the solar energy falling on the surface area of an aircraft, you could hardly keep a small Cessna in the air, let alone anything like a 737.

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Chris Miller
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It's not just the disposal, Sebastian. The EROEI (energy return on energy invested) of solar cells operating at temperate latitudes (like the UK) is negative - that is, the energy generated during their working life is only ~83 % of the energy consumed during their manufacture.

You can think of solar cells in the UK as giant batteries, charged up (most probably in China, using coal and oil) and then gradually releasing their stored energy as the sun shines. So not very good at reducing CO2 emissions, but very effective at transferring money to wealthy landowners from those in fuel poverty.

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We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

Chris Miller
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Re: No One Wants The Flight Found

The incapacitation theory needs to account for the known facts that all the active location systems were disabled and the aircraft then flew a course that appears carefully chosen to avoid passive radar detection followed by a final course change to take it to the middle of the Indian ocean.

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What's big, blue and red all over? IBM. Profit, z Systems down, cloud up

Chris Miller
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Say it's not so!

Have we reached peak mainframe?

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Ivory tower drops water bombs on dumpster fire

Chris Miller
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Virtue signalling

The new team sport.

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EU cybersecurity directive will reach Britain, come what May

Chris Miller
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Re: Come what May?

Nurse! The mind bleach!!

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Paper wasps that lie to their mates get a right kicking, research finds

Chris Miller
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Unlike hornets or yellow jackets, paper wasps are not particularly aggressive by nature.

Obviously a US study, from the use of "yellow jackets", and I can't speak about US hornets, but European hornets are not aggressive. They look fearsome (like a wasp on steroids), but are very effective predators of small (pest) insects, have no interest in your picnic food, and are unlikely to sting unless you do something daft, like poking a nest with a stick.

If we get a wasps' nest near the house, it (reluctantly) has to go; but I leave hornets alone to do their thing.

PS I hear that (Japanese) giant hornets are building colonies in southern Europe - they really are fearsome (and very bad news for honey bee colonies, which they can destroy in a few hours).

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ODM for the masses? Facebook's OCP still ain't for you, brother

Chris Miller
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That's absolutely a problem for anyone buying computer boxes one or two (or even a hundred) at a time. But for large enterprises buying thousands of standard PCs a year, it's common practice for the supplier to commit to building identical machines from identical components for a minimum period. This can never be entirely guaranteed - events such as the 2011 Thai floods may disrupt component manufacturers - but as a major customer you should get preferential treatment, at least to the point where the software build (drivers etc) doesn't have to change.

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Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

Chris Miller
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Re: Sovereignty

You can't be extradited (anywhere AFAIK, though the European Arrest Warrant may be an exception, certainly not to the US) for a crime that would not have been a crime if committed in the UK. There seems little doubt (he's not denied it and though there still needs to be a trial, I imagine he'd plead guilty) that Love committed the acts of which he's accused and that they would be crimes if he'd done the same thing to computers in the UK.

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My plan to heal this BROKEN, BREXITED BRITAIN

Chris Miller
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@strum

Sorry, no. A single currency can only work with a single government. If it hadn't have been for 2008, the euro would have fallen at the next shock (and there's always a next shock).

I'm sure it was very nice for (e.g.) the Greeks to have much easier borrowing terms when they joined, but it really hasn't worked well for them. Ditto Spain, Portugal, Italy, France ...

PS apologies for predictive failure - for "they're there danger bloc" read "they're the same bloc".

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Chris Miller
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My 2¢

Whether it's 27 or 28 makes almost no difference to the influence of the UK. The EU is now dominated by two voting blocs - the Eurozone and Schengen (actually, to within rounding error they're there danger bloc). Schengen is simply a recognition of reality for most nations with land borders, but makes little sense for the UK. The Eurozone was always a bonkers idea, short of full political union. The UK is most unlikely to join either bloc n the foreseeable future.

So on any decision relating to matters financial or movement of peoples the UK will always be outvoted unless we use our veto, which makes us very unpopular. That's why a Brexit was inevitable at some point.

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Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

Chris Miller
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Re: Be careful what you wish for...

Well said, ThomH. A bit like the Scots Cybernats who operated in a social media echo chamber and came to believe that everyone in the nation agreed with them.

I knew that Remain were in trouble when a friend and neighbour who's a retired Oxford Philosophy Prof and had always followed the straight SCR/Guardian ticket told me he was voting for Leave. Not everyone who voted out was a neckless thug with a pit bull on a piece of string.

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Chris Miller
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Thanks AC ;)

#shouldhavegonetospecsavers

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Chris Miller
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I'd accept the argument for a second referendum, but only if it was subject to the rules that are being demanded - a 60% vote on a 75% turnout. I can find few examples of referendums (in democratic countries) that meet these criteria, certainly the original (1975) EC Referendum had less than 65% turnout.

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PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

Chris Miller
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Re: Expensive Europe

Free advice: don't take up gambling as a career.

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Chris Miller
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@Jason

Have you considered that it might have been about democracy? Just a thought.

Even if the worst (ludicrous) predictions of Project Fear come true and every family ends up £38 a week worse off*, that's around the average Sky sub. A small price to pay for getting my right to vote on who governs me back, but YMMV.

* That's not actually 'worse off', of course, it's less 'more well off' than some hypothetical 5-year future timeline.

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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Chris Miller
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Standing on the steps of Olympia for InfoSec, waiting for the rain to stop and allow a quick dash to the Overground, I noted vapers outnumbered smokers about 4:1. I have no concerns for my health, but some of the 'flavours' are truly noxious, cinnamon being the worst IMHO. But all of them are better than second hand smoke.

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In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning

Chris Miller
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Re: B'stards

Don't worry, BoldMan, you can cancel out any additional tax on the tonic by increasing the proportion of gin.

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Chris Miller
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Pint

Alcohol is simply refined sugar.

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Chris Miller
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Yawn

Another junk article from The Conversation. Can they have their own special subsection so I don't waste time clicking on them?

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Cork data centre will offer super-speedy US to Europe data times

Chris Miller
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Thanks, rh587

Good point, and this may well be the explanation. I'm still surprised that there's such data where a few ms reduced latency is vitally important, a feature I tend to associate with high-speed trading.

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Chris Miller
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Confused (again)

the Cork site’s proximity to the Hibernia Network subsea cable, which the developers are banking on to deliver the shortest available data latency between Europe and the US East Coast

I understand that it's 600km closer to the East Coast than (e.g.) LINX, which might reduce latency by 2 or 3 ms, less than 10% of a typical transatlantic crossing. But you can only be doing one of two things:

1. Co-location of servers for your US customers, in which case (if latency is that critical) why not co-lo in a US data centre?

2. Or using it for a data hop, in which case you save 2 or 3 ms across the pond but lose 2 or 3 ms by the extra travel time to Cork.

So it seems it would only make a difference for Cork-based enterprises. I must be missing something, but what?

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