* Posts by Geoff Campbell

1374 posts • joined 13 Jun 2008

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One-way Martian ticket: Pick passengers for Musk's first Mars pioneer squad

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Journey time

I suspect that the 80 day journey time relies on the extra fuel that will be loaded in orbit. If you're relying on the fuel you've boosted out of the gravity well in the initial launch, there's a bunch less thrust available.

Bottom line, I can't see them getting something as fundamental as the journey time wrong.

Oh, and sign me up, would you? Sounds like a lot of fun.

GJC

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The web is past peak innovation: It's all negative returns from here

Geoff Campbell
Linux

And yet...

> In an article about the birth of the iPod, Steve Jobs said: That’s not what

> we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is

> how it works."

Which is fine, except that Apple spent, and still spend, *vast* resources on the look and feel, and the initial advertising for the iPod was all about that external look with pretty much no mention of function.

GJC

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Elon Musk: I'm gonna turn Mars into a $10bn death-dealing interplanetary gas station

Geoff Campbell

Re: Why not the Moon?

Yes, I think there is plenty of He2 and He3, although I'm no expert.

But the plan is to turn water and CO2 into Methane and Oxygen using solar power, for a whole bunch of very good engineering reasons around fuel handling, combustion, and ease of implementation.

Fusion might be useful for spaceflight in the far future. Basing a plan that starts now on it would be somewhat, erm, brave.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Meh

Re: Why not the Moon?

No CO2 and less water, AIUI. Not good for fuel production, although the solar energy situation is a lot better than Mars, of course. Shame, because it would be a good staging post.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Go

Re: We're gonna need a bigger rocket

Nah. Big fireworks are fine, so long as you don't try and do the whole lift in one go. Hence, get to orbit, reassemble/refuel there, then go for it. I've been saying for decades that if the Apollo programme had done the same, we'd've got to the moon a bit later, but we would still have been in space today.

I think Musk's approach should work, so long as the new engines can be made reliable enough. As far as I can tell they've cracked most of the technology problems already.

GJC

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Redback sinks fangs into Aussie's todger AGAIN... second time in five months

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

"You're not here for the hunting, are you?"

...as the old joke goes.

GJC

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Samsung intros super-speedy consumer SSDs, 'fastest M.2s ever'

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: Um...

So what?

For the sharp, pointy end of the usage bell-curve, lifespan might be limited to a few years. And your claim is that this invalidates the entire product range?

Tough crowd.

GJC

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Double-negative tweet could be Microsoft Surface Phone hint

Geoff Campbell
Go

Goodness, aren't we all grumpy this week?

I'm looking forward to the Surface Phone. It might be good, it might be shit, but it'll be trying something different, and that is to be applauded in the currently fairly stagnant market.

I have reasonably high hopes for Continuum, as someone who travels a lot and works on lots of different sites, but again, it might work, it might not. That's how innovation works, surely?

GJC

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London to Dover 'smart' road could help make driverless cars mainstream – expert

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: "Wi-Fi ... an enabler"

They aren't relying on WiFi. However, they can get lots of very valuable information by talking to other cars and control rooms.

GJC

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Tesla books over $8bn in overnight sales claims Elon Musk

Geoff Campbell

Re: The elephant in the room...

> He should get away from the 18650 form factor and start winding up some

> much larger cells. Make a few easier and cheaper sub-modules. Not thousands

> in a big expensive lump.

Did the Gigafactory pass you by?

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Musk - the new Jobs

> Tesla is losing about $1B per year

Tesla have spent vast wodges of cash on building infrastructure recently, mostly the Fremont and Nevada factories. As all young companies with any sense do.

They are going into the approaching fight with a massive advantage, in that they can build their own battery packs, because of that expenditure. This will make the profits per car very different to that of their competitors.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: 500,000

Not just in Musk's head. The Fremont factory used to be a GM/Toyota joint venture, and was producing 500,000/year under their ownership. It has since been completely re-equipped by Tesla.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Startup consumption

> When I start my car on an average UK morning

Your electric car can bring itself up to temperature whilst still plugged into the power supply, either on a timer or on demand from inside the house.

GJC

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Elon Musk takes wraps off planet-saving Model 3 vapourmobile

Geoff Campbell
Happy

Re: not a bad looking car, hope it does well

The batteries aren't leased, and data from the Model S seems to show that the Tesla charging system keeps them in very good health.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Size

Closer to Mondeo sized, I think. The Model S is *huge* by UK standards, and the Model 3 is not that much smaller, as far as I can see. Also, five full-size adults must surely mean Mondeo-scale?

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Happy

Re: Service Intervals

I had that discussion when I was looking at a Model S (sadly couldn't afford it, in the end).

They recommend a service every 12,500 miles, but there's no warranty requirement, and they were quite happy with once a year even at 40,000 miles per year. I guess there's pretty much nothing to service, really.

GJC

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Car-makers, telecoms bodies push standards for self-driving vehicles

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: Dumb idea?

Do you really believe that the people working on self-driving cars have not realised this?

GJC

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Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Geoff Campbell

Supercapacitors

No battery. Power comes from the hydrogen fuel cell, plus supercapacitors which are charged up by braking. So, yes, braking energy is used to give better acceleration from a standstill.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Gull-wing doors

I think that gull-wing doors give easier access for a small opening in the body. Just a guess, though.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Sounds great !

I think it needs a good re-packaging, tuck everything away nicely to create room for a small boot at the back, and at the same time redesign the rear end to make it rather less eye-searingly ugly.

So, a good first step, certainly. If they can produce one with room for three bags of shopping, and some means of fuelling up (perhaps a solar/wind powered electrolysis plant at home?), it would make a good second car for our use.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Happy

Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Designed by engineers, would be my guess.

GJC

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FBI iPhone unlock order reaction: Trump, Rubio say no to Apple. EFF and Twitter say yes

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Why is this even necessary?

iOS uses AES 256 bit encryption, as I understand it. This is essentially uncrackable with current computer architectures. From Wikipedia:

"Breaking a symmetric 256-bit key by brute force requires 2^128 times more computational power than a 128-bit key. 50 supercomputers that could check a billion billion (10^18) AES keys per second (if such a device could ever be made) would, in theory, require about 3×10^51 years to exhaust the 256-bit key space."

GJC

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Computer Science grads still finding it hard to get a job

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

"but it’s still 40 per cent higher than other STEM skills"

Seems to me that Mr. Shadbolt could do with going back to school himself.

GJC

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Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950XL: Clear thoughts of Continuum with a snazzy camera

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Well, yes...

...that's why Continuum links up to big screens and real keyboards. Once again I feel duty bound to ask - did you not read the article?

GJC

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Samsung Gear VR is good. So good 2016 could be year virtual reality finally makes it

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: VR makes me want to hurl

Um, did you not read the article?

GJC

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Apple supremo Tim Cook rules out OS X fondleslab, iOS merger

Geoff Campbell

Re: Interesting

I like Windows 10. Yes, I know, I'm weird like that...

The add-ons were nothing exciting - Bluetooth headset, webcam, external microphone, and a mouse. That latter might come back into the fold, but the touchpad on the SP4 is much nicer than the one on my Asus laptop, so it might not.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Go

Interesting

Apple, remember, is the company that swore blind they would never produce a phone bigger than 3.5".

I've just bought a Surface Pro 4. It has allowed me to clear out of my briefcase:

A laptop

An 8" tablet

An A4 pad

Three pens

Sundry laptop add-ons

A USB charger (there's one integrated with the SP4 PSU)

It's a very, very nice device, and Microsoft are to be commended for having usefully combined the tablet (for referring to stuff in meetings), the notepad (for jotting stuff down), and the laptop (for proper long-form writing/spreadsheets/etc. on the move).

In fact, if I hadn't just upgraded my desktop, I might also be tempted to buy a docking station and use it for that, too.

About the only thing that will stop it sweeping the market is the price, I think. Fine as a business tool for those who move around a lot, but too expensive for the mass market. It will be very interesting to see how the sales stack up against the iPad Pro in 12 months time.

GJC

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Here's the little-known legal loophole that permitted mass surveillance in the UK

Geoff Campbell

Re: Nah

Hereford doesn't seem any more likely than Chester, I have to say, but I really CBA to research every city in England.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Nah

No such law exists, or has ever existed. It's a myth, based on some 15th century legislation around curfews.

http://chester.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Shoot_the_Welsh

GJC

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Coding with dad on the Dragon 32

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: "In 1983 when I was 10 years old"

I left secondary school in 1983, and there was no hint of any computing on the curriculum, at least in our slowly sinking cesspit in Woking. The school did have three computers (ZX-81, BBC B, and RM380Z), and a maths teacher with a perpetually puzzled look on his face whenever I tried to talk about programming them. I think I was about the only pupil in the school who knew anything about programming, all of which was completely self-taught.

I did attempt to take Computer Science at A Level, but me and the lecturers didn't really agree on much, so I bailed out after the first year and got a job as a programmer.

GJC

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At Microsoft 'unlimited cloud storage' really means one terabyte

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: PR Disaster Looming

Unlimited means unlimited for the length of the contract. Seems to me that Microsoft are honouring that perfectly well.

GJC

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Apple 1 goes on sale, expected to fetch £300,000 to £500,000

Geoff Campbell
Go

Re: Thinks...

I sold an MK14 on eBay a couple of years ago for about £350, it was in a pretty poor non-working condition.

GJC

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Microsoft, the VW family sedan of IT, wants to be tech's new Rolls-Royce

Geoff Campbell
Go

Re: Windows phones

I understand this is exactly where they are going with Continuum. Which could be a lot of fun, if they get it right.

GJC

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Intel's 6th gen processors rock – but won't revive PC markets

Geoff Campbell
Happy

Heater

I just upgraded my PC with a Skylake i7-6700K. One of the fringe benefits is the cooling is now *way* simpler. I've disconnected all but one of the case fans, and both that and the CPU cooler fan are running at 600rpm, making the whole thing damn near silent.

Also, fast. Very, very fast. 4GHz FTW! :-)

GJC

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I want my EPG, say Windows Media Center users left in dire straits

Geoff Campbell

Re: UK EPG is broken for Windows Media Center

W8.1 failed about a week or so ago for me. It falls back to getting the EPG from the OTA data, which makes it a bit hard to spot exactly, but the HD channels have had a blank EPG here for about 2-3 days, so I'm guessing the web-based EPG went off the air about the 1st-2nd September.

I do wish they'd stop dicking around with it.

GJC

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Samsung emits mobe charging monitor. For your 'active lifestyle'

Geoff Campbell

Re: Been done

It's also pretty easy to buy a cheap Qi pad on eBay, rip the guts out, and use them to convert pretty much anything you want. I've had one glued to the underside of the phone tray in my car since early last year, works really well.

GJC

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WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?

Geoff Campbell
Mushroom

WTF?

Who the hell is down-voting all these posts? Whoever you are, you are a real dickwad.

(And yes, I'm pretty sure I know what is about to happen...)

GJC

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Osbo PRINTS first Tory budget in 19 years with his BARE HANDS

Geoff Campbell
Pirate

Re: If you're an IT Contractor

That one surprised me. I was under the impression that a lot of the "Consultancy-as-hidden-bung" recirculation of money happened through small service companies set up on exactly the same model as IT contractors use. Unusual for the Exchequer to tax its friends like that.

GJC

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Robo-taxis, what are they good for? Er, the environment and traffic

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Re Questionable thinking

Nah, that's trivially easy to program for. If the "visibility" to the forward sides is restricted due to undergrowth, walls, whatever, then don't bunch up. On motorways, go for it.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Terminator

Re: questionable thinking

There's a steady stream of taxis along the M4 from Heathrow into London, to give just one example.

Your two second separation is mostly reaction time. Without the meatbag, there is no reaction time, it's pretty much instantaneous. Add intelligent signalling between vehicles, and the reaction time can be negative, with cars further back slowing before they are required to. There's no reason why such intelligent cars couldn't drive a few inches apart, ignoring of course the rather boring requirement to maintain the sanity of the passengers.

GJC

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We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: 2017: The year of Linux on the desktop

What, again?

GJC

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Han Solo to get solo prequel flick in 2018, helmed by LEGO men

Geoff Campbell
Mushroom

I think it might be time to suggest this again.

So, anyone up for Jar-Jar Binks: The Musical?

Anyone? Guys?

GJC

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Microsoft to HIKE Azure prices as exchange rates shift

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Ouch

That's going to screw a few budgets.

GJC

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Kobo Glo HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Which one's best?

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Kobo keeps you free

Calibre works fine with Kindles, too, including a plug-in to strip off DRM from purchased books. My Paperwhite has never been connected to a network.

GJC

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Will rising CO2 damage the world's oceans? NOT SO MUCH – new boffinry

Geoff Campbell

Re: So one piece will be fine...

Mmmmmm, seafood!

GJC

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Looking forward to getting Windows 10 the day it ships? Yeah, about that...

Geoff Campbell

Re: @Geoff Campbell ISO

You're welcome.

You didn't make that particularly clear, I have to say.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Devil

Re: The down-vote of the Beast!

Whoever that was just bumped my down-vote count to a nice round 666. Splendid!

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

ISO

Also, as if on cue:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/03/another_day_another_windows_10_build_10162/

GJC

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North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

Geoff Campbell

Re: Why the [sic] in the second paragraph?

Splendid pedantry, indeed!

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Why the [sic] in the second paragraph?

Fulfil only has two Ls, not three.

GJC

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