2480 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
Re: Cruise control
Unlikely you've been driving behind me, unless you expect to do 70mph all the way in the inside lane (in which case, good luck with the HGVs). I'm not a member of CLOG and I do actually give consideration to the traffic behind me. I also don't let my speed drop below that of the HGV behind me, out of common courtesy to a poor sod whose speed is limited to 56mph by law and technology, and who is expected to make deliveries precisely on time. Forcing him into the middle lane to overtake at a tiny delta-V ... that would be crazy. He has enough trouble with the more fully loaded HGVs that can't maintain 56mph up the hills. And HGVs overtaking other HGVs while being prevented from going over 56mph, that's what *really* slows down the traffic on M-ways.
With tyre pressures set on the high side of the range that should give another 5-10% on any car.
NO NO NO.
It's at the cost of decreasing your tyres' life (because the tread in the middle will wear faster than the edges)
And at the cost of increasing your stopping distance, which might kill you or someone else. Or less dramatically, just raise your insurance premium considerably after a very minor bump that's your fault.
And since it's illegal to have over-inflated tyres, this might end up with you in jail or being banned from driving.
Re: As I have a horrendously long commute
Even a damp road will drop the economy by a mile a gallon; a belting down soaker will drop it five
Thanks - so that's what it is! I'd assumed it was because a busy wet road with lots of spray makes for "edgier" motoring, continuously having to adjust one's speed to the conditions and the traffic ahead (which will be displaying brake-lights far more often than the same traffic in the dry). Hadn't thought about the work involved in creating the spray.
I'm now also wondering whether spray getting sucked in to your air filter clogs it, resulting in the engine becoming less efficient?
Re: Fuse wire
Aluminium wire will melt long before it catches fire. AFAIK it's only finely powdered aluminium that can sustain a fire (in air) at all.
So no safety issue. In datacomms (well, telephones) they tried using aluminium in place of copper and found the real drawback: that the IDC connections in street junction boxes oxidised, and became noisy or worse. They went back to using copper. (Now, some cheap cat-5e cable is CCA - Copper Coated Aluminium. I anticipate troubles a decade hence, for the folks using it). With 12V DC power, I guess the corrosion / oxidation issue might result in lights etc. becoming permanently disconnected while the car was parked out in the wet. Or maybe it's been solved.
Re: Cruise control
"Well, it would inform the driver about lower-than-expected efficiency, but there's bugger all it can do for improving it. Nor can the driver, actually. Turning around and going in the opposite direction is hardly the solution."
Slowing down may or may not be preferable to spending ££ extra maintaining 70mph. If you had the airspeed information you could make an informed choice between travel time and journey cost (and not worry over an mpg figure ordinarily suggesting engine trouble).
Re: Cruise control
ABS ... Outperforming it in snow however is essentially impossible.
My experience of ABS on show at mercifully very low speed was alarming. Basically, it refused to let me stop at all (on a slight downhill gradient and a very slippery road)
Later, with ABS disengaged, I established that stopping was possible, though only by controlling a low-speed skid.
Guess it was dangerous either way.
Re: Cruise control
Cruise control is deadly for fuel efficiency on a motorway with hills. Better to maintain the same throttle setting up the hill, and let the car's speed naturally drop from 70 to 65 or 60 rarely even less. It's up to you whether to catch up the odd minutes on the downhill bits by letting the car reach an illegal 80, or save more fuel by easing off.
A further aid to fuel efficiency I've never seen on a car would be an airspeed indicator. 60 mph into a 20mph headwind is 80mph as far as drag is concerned. I once worried that something was going wrong with my car's engine, when I got unusually low fuel efficiency on 60 miles of M1. Until I watched the weather forecast, and realised how much of a headwind I'd been driving into. It was probably the equivalent of doing the trip at 95mph on a calm day!
Re: Advanced Motoring
"If you're not careful you'll have someone to close behind you running into you!"
Best thing to do with a lunatic drving on your rear bumper is to let him get in front of you as soon as possible. A genuine case of whiplash isn't worth any amount of damages, and that's the least that might happen. But also note, *gentle* pressure on your brake pedal will illuminate your brake lights without actually engaging your brakes. If there's a potential hazard developing ahead you should transfer your foot to the brake pedal and illuminate your brake lights (which is correct, you will be slowing down slightly because your throttle is closed).
Re: Depends on assumptions
Check oil, water, tyre pressures.....oh well!
The first two ought to look after themselves. I do check, but I've never had to top up either oil or water (in a Seat Leon now 12 years old). Anyone know, is the oil warning stil just a pressure alert, or does it now alert to a low level in the sump as well? (I discovered recently, my car has a low screenwash reservoir alert. Never knew that until I let it run low).
You can now buy tyre pressure monitors (TPMS) that replace the valve caps and which are interrogated by a remote box in your car. So now, tyre pressures can be checked continuously, which enhances both safety and fuel consumption. The kit costs about £100.
I can also vouch for Goodyear Efficient Grip Tyres (er something like that) saving fuel. Low rolling resistance. The cost of of fuel saved over the life of a tyre is in the same ballpark as the cost of the tyre, so it's probably not worth fitting one until your existing tyre is worn out. (I treat 3mm of tread as worn out. Wet grip is very signifcantly compromised from there down to the legal limit).
Re: rant-like journalism
um, evolution is mostly dead..
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The evolutionary landscape has changed, from the natural world to the man-made one.
Why do you think that ADHD has come to the fore as a modern ailment? Along with its more crippling relatives, Asbergers' and Autism. If you think it was just made up by medics with low moral standards to sell drugs, you are wrong.
Hyperfocus and the ability to enter "flow" can be advantageous or disadvantageous, depending on what you do. As technology has advanced, it has required more people with these mental attributes. It has rewarded them financially, but even more so it has rewarded them with challenging jobs. "The reward for a job well done, is a job well done". To a born programmer, architect, musician, ... that makes perfect sense.
Society has also been filtering these people and placing them in the same small subset of workplaces. Also they self-select as partners. Programmers have a reputation amongst the "neurotypical" for being difficult people with poor social skills. There's some truth in that. We tend to get on best with other people who think like us.
So men and women with these skills meet, and marry, and have children, and the children inherit a doubled up dose of whatever the genetic components of their parents abilities might be. And that's where survival of the fittest kicks in. What makes a good programmer, when doubled-up may give rise to either a one-in-a-million good programmer, or an autistic kid. One of whom goes on to found a multi-billion corporation, the other of whom is saddled with a crippling abnormality of mind.
If you want a clearer example, consider why it is that when Thalidomide victims grew up and married other Thalidomide victims, spomething truly shocking happened. Far too often to be chance, their children had similar abnormalities to their parents. Lamarkianism? Epigenetics? No, something more subtle.
Very many mothers took Thalidomide and did not give birth to deformed babies. The victims were by definition selected by the drug, for genetic traits that rendered them vulnerable to the drug. And then when two of these selected people had children, tragedy. The children inherited the vulnerability from both their parents, and in some cases the drug was no longer necessary to trigger the devastating consequences of their genetic makeup.
Evolution is still at work, selecting our children against an environment that is no longer natural, in ways that can be positive or negative.
A hypothesis I love because it annoys racists so much is the following. Humanity really is getting somewhat smarter than it was in the past, because of out-breeding.
It's unlikely ever to be proved conclusively. But consider this. The way a plant-breeder makes (say) a large-fruited tomato, is to selectively inbreed tomato plants, picking out the ones with large fruit compared to others from the same generation, and selectively inbreeding them , for several generations. The trouble is that the inbreeding is unhealthy and although the fruits get larger compared to the plant, the plant gets weak and disease-prone. The trick is to create a number of separately inbred plant strains, and then finally crossbreed (outbreed) them. The weaknesses (mostly) cancel out. The common genes do their stuff. You get vigorous healthy plants with very large fruits.
How does this apply to people? Well, over most of history most people lived in small rural communities and rarely travelled further than they could walk in a couple of hours. Some inbreeding was inevitable. We also consciously select our own mates. For what? Obviously: in men: strength, in women: beauty. I'd argue, in both: intelligence (as in smart, well able to provide for each other and their children).
And then along comes the industrial revolution, and you get nationwide outbreeding.
And then along comes mass air travel, and you get international out-breeding, despite the racists worst efforts.
(And if reading that has made any racists die of apoplexy, good.)
Re: That explains it...
There is indeed some logic.
Appointed by random selection from the electoral roll might be even better. A bit like jury service, but better-paid and safer.
Personally I'd insist that the randomly selected people then passed a fairly simple general knowledge test. (that's knowledge, not trivia). We'd then have a more representative house of (mostly) non-politicians, with intelligence and abilities slightly above the average.
We might even lose MLF.
Re: The simple way to avoid this..
So you forsee GiffGaff being in the list of software SIMs that you can connect your new iPad to? Along with several dozen others? On day one?
Intel really needs a decent graphics architecture to integrate with its CPUs.
If AMD is in serious trouble, Intel might be tempted either to buy the whole company in order to acquire ATI, or ...
I've speculated before that Intel knows it needs AMD to keep itself from (a) becoming a government-regulated monopoly and (b) becoming complacent and lazy. If that's the case Intel might license ATI technology, and thereby throw AMD a lifeline.
Re: If the tone is wrong the content is lost
There's also a social issue when contributors come from a wide range of social backgrounds and cultures. What is showing a bit of mild exasperation by some, is felt as a serious attack or insult or humiliation by others. (Translation between a second language or "lingua franca" and a mother tongue is likely to make this worse. Words can have overlays of meaning in one language that are absent in another.)
My own approach is always to wait and see. Actions speak a lot louder than words (or alternatively, supply the context by which the words should be interpreted). I don't care if someone calls a spade a spade, and I've called myself a fscking idiot enough times that I won't be overly bothered if someone else does -- provided there is some justification (which I don't necessarily agree with), and provided they're not trying to denigrate everything I do regardless of its quality.
There's probably also a reverse problem, if someone's maximum expression of disappointment is so gentle that some other person doesn't register it at all ... until words have failed to convey the message, and they become the subject of an actual act of rejection.
Re: X Windows dumb client for the modern age
More like X2go client for Windows, than dumb Xterm for Windows? (X2go, the free software equivalent of Nomachine NX version 3)
Re: special place in Hell reserved for this guy - NOT!
The cat has doubtless made her own feelings plain. And if she doesn't like her new people, she'll make their life hell and then leave.
People being ultra-critical of this deal have surely never cohabited with a cat. They're dog people. Or deluded people that a cat feels sorry for. A cat is affectionate, even loving, but rarely if ever does it regard its people as irreplaceable to the point of serious unhappiness if someone else is being nice. An elderly cat will be much more upset by being moved than by being provided with new carers in the house it "owns".
I really hope this works, but ...
McGuire claimed such a fusion system could give aircraft unlimited range and endurance
... this triggered my BS detectors. Even if it does work as clained, it's not going to be powering any plane with human passengers or biological cargo. That's because it'll be spitting out vast numbers of neutrons, and any plane carrying enough mass to provide sufficient shielding is never going to get off the ground. (That's never: you just couldn't build a strong enough wing with any known or theoretically postulated material).
If it sits on the ground and works and makes cheap enough energy, you could make jet fuel out of CO2 from the atmosphere. That's how to do carbon-neutral aeroplanes.
Re: Russia is a competitor to Galileo.
Unlike oil and gas, Russia has no near-monopoly on launching satellites. They get chosen on price and performance history. Were their record to deteriorate to an unacceptable degree, we'd just take future launches elsewhere. (OK, there might be temporary pain because lead times are long).
I hope someone in Russia appreciates that we've exonerated them and publically admitted that this satellite failed because of an embarassing design flaw.
I also don't see how Galileo and GLONASS (and GPS) can compete. Even humble mobile phones seem able to use more than one system at the same time. It's a national security issue: our militaries want their own system, just in case the other two were both to go off-air during hostilities. (BTW, strategically, three is a stable number. Every time one player gets ahead, the weaker two will assist each other until the advantage is nullified.)
Being able to remote-command your central heating could save you significant amounts of money.
But having it exposed to billions of hackers via standard protocols with semi-standard bugs may not be the best way to go about it.
Re: at the end of the day*
Supermarket cards are voluntary. You can keep them in your wallet and pay cash.
Or you can game them. Shop in Sainsbury's for a few weeks with loyalty card, then start shopping at Tesco for the next few weeks. When you return to Sainsburys you'll get extra vouchers to persuade you back next week as well. "Rinse and Repeat". (or "Every little helps"). Add another supermarket if these two ever get wise to your game.
I can forsee a future where tossing dice to decide the little things may become a good strategy. Let them data-mine THAT!
We need a LAN of thingies, not an internet!
Thingies need to have a strictly restricted scope. If they are safety-sensitive (for example room lighting) then they really shouldn't be accessible to anything except a local thingy controller, which might be secure, or might itself be accessible only through local routing.
Don't know ebough about IPV6. With IPV4 you might use the private LANs, for example
192.168.80.x or 192.168.80.x/23 /22 etc., a site's worth of thingies, which for the greatest safety would be a separate VLAN or physical LAN.
192.168.80.x and another IP address y.y.y.y, the thingy-controller gateway
y.y.y.y could be (say) 192.168.14.207, itself accessible only on the LAN or through a NAT-router, or
a "proper" IP address accessible from the world, if you trust it's secure enough.
If the thingies are safety-critical ... well, I wonder how long it wil be before someone attacks a SCADA network and brings down a town's electricity or even a national power grid?
Re: I find this report...
Anybody know what kind of satellites use a low orbit at 40 to 43 degrees?
The decoy balloon?
Re: Not for Fanbois.
I just looked it up and it's worse than I thought. South Korea is only slightly smaller than the whole of England! (100,000 km^2 vs 130,000km^2). So the rest of England can be just as annoyed.
Re: Not for Fanbois.
Looking at that the other way around: I live is a city-(non)state far smaller than Illinois though with a goodly fraction of the same population. (It's called London). Why can't I have gigabit networking to my house for UD$20/month?
Yes, if one lives in a rural location, one must adjust one's expectations. Isn't this one of the reasons why we have cities at all? The same rule applies to public transport, supply of fuel (town gas), removal of sewage (metropolitan drains vs. septic tanks), lots of other things.
Re: Not for Fanbois.
Probably relevant: broadband in South Korea is way ahead of the rest of the world.
"It is important to note that 100 Mbit/s services are the average standard in urban South Korean homes and the country is rapidly rolling out 1Gbit/s connections or 1,000 Mbit/s, at $20 per month, which is roughly 263 times faster than the world average and 100 times faster than the average speed in the United States."
Re: Useless without the range
Depends on price, surely.
I'd like this if it were so cheap that it could replace wired GbE hubs (circa £20 per room). One less wiring tangle.
Ideally the base stations would be so cheap that they could be integrated into light fittings, one per room. Or, retrofitted into wired-network wallboxes. They'd need to have nice cellular behaviour for this to work on large open-plan areas.
In a new building that wasn't already loaded up with Cat-5e outlets and 24-port switches in wiring closets, it could save money even if considerably more expensive, because only one wire per room or room-sized area, instead of ~4-12 of them.
What's wrong with current wireless, where I work, is insufficient bandwidth. Some of our scientists really do need Gbit networking, even to connect up their personal laptops. A share of a couple of hundred Mbit/s just isn't enough, when a typical dataset is half a gigabyte.
Re: @Scatter - look at the numbers, not the technology
I've already assumed that they are morons, and have purchased a lifetime's supply of halogen bulbs just in case they become unobtainium. In the process, I discovered the vast difference between wholesale and retail prices! Also (see my other posts) not all Lumens are equal. The spectrum matters. Especially if you suffer, even mildly, from SAD.
(I can imagine it now, circa 2040, someone trying to get his GP to prescribe GU10 halogen bulbs. "But Doc, they're prescription-only these days! ")
Re: Light preference
It's not the brightness, it's the full spectrum. You can see far better with N lumens of light from an incandescent source, than the same N lumens from a fluorescent source.
The spectrum of a CFL is quite frightful. A white LED is considerably better, but there's still far too much blue in it. Our eyes are evolved to see best with an incandescent source (the sun, a flame) or smoothly filtered derivations (moonlight, the setting sun). An old-style lightbulb may well activate psychological / physiological responses associated with sunset - hence "cosy". (My opinion of LEDs is that they are "brighter" than daylight, and therefore quite unsuitable for night-time illumination).
There's also a gathering body of evidence that even very low levels of blue light can disrupt sleep patterns. If you have any sleep trouble and LED lighting I'd suggest getting some red- or amber-LED torches and nightlights, and avoiding ever turning on white LEDs between bed-time and morning. Also put black tape over any blue LEDs on electronics in your bedroom.
I suffer from mild SAD so I notice these things more than many. White LEDs are good for waking up on dark mornings!
Re: Switch off Hinckley Point
Lifestyle choice here. LEDs are very good at doing a small close-up light source (that's not a burn hazard, and that doesn't need a permanent mains connection). So you could light your living space only to the level of a full moon, and use small portable sources for reading and other tasks needing bright illumination.
I doubt many wealthy Westerners will make that choice, but in the Third World things are different.
Re: Won't reduce the need for power stations in the US
So? expect a future Novel prize for something revolutionary in solar harvesting or (especially) electricity storage(*). Perovskite solar panels may be a candidate, if they can overtake Silicon (much like LEDs overtook CFLs) Note: Solar power and aircon usage are a perfect match. Peak demand pretty much equals peak sun. Unlike the UK, where peak heating demand equals minimum sun. We really do need that energy storage breakthrough.
(*) Or not. Sometimes there's no big breakthrough. Just lots and lots and lots of small ones.
Re: Let there be light!
It doesn't make a big difference but it's big enough to be worth factoring in to any saving calculation.
I did the sums. Allowing for the much earlier sunset in Winter and the fact that I'm at work during the day, something like three-quarters of my light usage was at the same time as I'm heating my flat. Plus any heat from lights that doesn't warm me, goes to warm my upstairs neighbours. So I have mostly gone back to Halogen-incandescent bulbs.
True, there are greater inefficiencies in electrical generation and distribution, than in high-efficiency (condenser boiler) gas central heating. But there are a lot of old boilers that won't be replaced for decades(*), and a lot of electric-only residences, and a fair number of rural homes that have to use Calor gas or oil or -shock! - coal heating.
(*) [Rant] especially since there's a regulation that requires your existing 15mm gas supply pipe to be upgraded to 22mm as part of any installation of any new boiler, despite the fact that many boilers are designed to work without any problem on a 15mm pipe. So, to the cost of a new boiler, add the cost and hassle of ripping up carpets and floors to install a new pipe, and repairing the damage afterwards. Madness. Oh, and you're no longer allowed to DIY the electrical work. Neither can the gas fitter do it. One of Prescott's jobs-for-ther-lads policies, you are regally required to employ an electrician as well as a gas fitter and a carpet fitter and a plumber. (And a council bureaucrat to keep the records)
Which is why my boiler won't be replaced until I sell my flat. If the new owner can be bothered, that is. [/rant]
Re: Let there be light!
Bus-stops are disconnecting from the grid. They harvest enough energy from a solar panel during the day, to run timetable illimination and an LED light in the roof of the shelter. I was surprised when I first encountered one, that the shelter light was bright enough to read a newspaper.
Street lights could do the same thing, if only rules would allow the illumination levels to be dropped. At present there seem to be regulations stating that where there is street-lighting at all, it has to be bright. So you get a ridiculous safety hazard on some main roads, where you get dazzled driving into a street-lit section, and then have lost your night-vision adaptation when you drive out of it. Maintaining the whole road lit to the brightness of a full moon (or maybe just a little brighter) would surely be safer.
Re: "reduction in waste heat"
Not that long ago in some more northern climes where incandescent traffic signals were replaced with LEDs one problem was that there wasn't enough "waste heat" in winter to remove the snow from in front of the light making them near impossible to see in the day time.
A typical mark-one problem. They've retro-fitted LEDs into existing enclosures without giving enough thought to the design of the entire system. The mark-two LED traffic light will have a small heater on its front shield / lens connected to a controller that will maintain the lens temperature above freezing point.
It might also have a well-insulated enclosure so that the heat from the LEDs does not go to waste, just as long as that doesn't result in the LEDs overheating in summer! Or maybe an aluminium heatsink that is exposed to the elements, with the LEDs (and cold-weather heater) sealed into it in a suitably weatherproof manner. Maybe the traffic light of the future will look like discs on a pole, rather than boxes of lights on a pole.
Re: I dont get it.
I'll just give another plug to a "forgotten" battery technology: NiFe
On the minus side it has a low energy/weight ratio (worse than lead-acid). It also has a high self-discharge rate, so it's not useful for storing energy for more than a few days. Pretty useless even as a starter battery for a conventional auto.
On the plus side this battery is made of Iron, Nickel, and Potassium Hydroxide. Things that you can go out and purchase by the megatonne, that aren't in any sense hard to obtain or in danger of running out of. The battery also has a longer service life, and a greater tolerance of abuse, than any other battery technology I've ever read about. They are virtually indestructible. I read about somebody finding one made in the 1930s that had been sitting in a scrapyard for decades, and putting it back into service.
Ideal for storing solar energy, once solar becomes cheap and plentiful enough that there's an economic justification to store electricity by day and sell it (at a higher price) by night.
Re: I dont get it.
Solar! Yeah, that works during the _day_ - most people charge their cars at _night_.
Solution 1. Most folks cars are parked during the working day, between commutes. So equip all car parking facilities used by commuters with e-car charging facilities. Likewise all supermarket / shopping centre car parks. Folks will rapidly get out of the habit of charging at night once it becomes true and well-known that daytime charging is cheaper.
Solution 2: store the solar power. That may actually end up using the same battery tech that e-cars are causing to be rapidly developed. But there are many other approaches. The simplest is delayed solar-thermal. Use the sun to melt a salt and store large amounts of the melt in insulated tanks during the day. At night run conventional steam turbines off the stored heat.
Re: I dont get it.
Or did I miss something?
Solar power. It's already at parity with fossil-fuelled generation in hot sunny parts of the world, such as California and Arizona. Soon, it'll be a no-brainer anywhere less cloudy and Northerly than the UK.
These cars are rich men's toys today. As were internal-combustion automobiles in the first decades of the 20th Century. They'll be everyone's cars a few decades hence. Just as most of us drive automobiles with internal-combustion engines today.
(You also missed wind power, wave power, and even nuclear fission power)
Re: Charging issues? Range?
You're assuming high (peak) power output equals inefficient non-peak use of energy.
That was very true for old carburetted internal combustion engines. It's a lot less true with the new breed of one-liter 160BHp units with computerized fuel injection and high boost turbo/superchargers. And it's almost completely untrue for electric motors and control systems.
Likewise, aggressive driving in a conventional car means wastefully dumping kinetic energy into heating up the brakes. Far less so with regenerative electrical braking. And in any case, responsible owners of high-power cars don't drive aggressively for more than a tiny fraction of the time. The efficiency penalty with a six-liter "muscle car" is mostly fuel wasted while cruising, with the engine running at a tiny fraction of its peak power output, using fuel very inefficiently.
The bottom line? These days you *can* have your cake and eat (most of) it.
Re: Only 2 motors
Interesting that they went with two motors. It means they still have to mess about with differentials, whereas a four motor design can do all the power distribution electronically as well as use smaller motors which would be easier to cool.
A safety issue? If something went wrong with the control of four independant motors the car would suffer an enormous turning torque and would become completely uncontrollable. In contrast if the distribution of power between front and rear motors went haywire, there's a decent chance the driver could deal with the problem (at least if he's not going round a corner at high speed when it happens).
Similar to the way civilian aeroplanes waste fuel when cornering and generally can't turn sharp corners, because they are built to be highly stable and self-correcting onto straight-line flight. In contrast, military aircraft these days are designed completely unstable, and can't be flown without the avionics. That's because for military use, failure to dodge incoming fire is a much more likely failure mode, than avionics failure sending the plane tumbling out of control.
On a racetrack we may get to see four independant electric motors in action. On the public roads, I doubt it.
There goes the neighbourhood
Hello Zog ... yes, I'm OK, thanks. Wish I could say the same about the neighbourhood. I mean, it's not as if I'm a newcomer. I've been here four gigayears, and it's been nice and quiet all that time. But now this bloody self-propelled rock thing has appeared out of nowhere and it's somehow stuck itself going in circles around me instead of sailing on past like it ought to have done. And it's playing merry hell with my hyperspace reception ... hello? Zog? Can you hear me?
A large rock that hit the comet - not.
Would have to impact at an extremely small delta-V to leave not so much as a dent. Usual random interplanetary velocities vaporise the impactor and leave a crater.
Applying Occam's razor, the "rock" must have formed on the comet, or in (very slow, low-G) orbit around it.
Re: Antactica is melting too
That is where our conversation should be focused. If the plant was susceptible to a positive forcing then it would have destroyed itself a long, long, ... ,long time ago
The sun is getting hotter as it ages. One of these years, this planet will tip into "cold Venus" thermal runaway. Consensus is that year is several hundred million years in the future, and that the worst that anthropogenic global warming can do is to melt all the ice, thereby flooding a lot of real-estate. Thereafter there's a nice stable region where increased surface temperature would cause increased cloud cover, reflecting more sunlight, therefore reducing temperatures. Negative feedback until cloud cover saturates at 100%.
But the "cold Venus" tipping point will be reached eventually, and maybe it's a good idea to consider the possibility that it's much nearer than our consensus suggests. We won't get a second chance if we're wrong.
Re: Winters coming.
No, it is already in a stable long-term relationship. With the Moon. Very fortunately for us!
Re: Antactica is melting too
The Global warming theory treats the earth as a closed system. If CO2 is causing the earth's temperature to rise, how does the Antarctic ice increase?
Implying that higher temperature automatically means less ice? Oh dear ....
Firstly, pure-water ice forms at 0C. the temperature of Antarctica is minus-lots C. So it can get warmer, and yet ice won't necessarily melt.
Secondly, to make new ice needs a supply of water. Water is carried in as vapour in the air (which may then condense into water or ice crystals while remaining airborne - clouds). The warmer the air, the greater its water-carrying capacity. So warmer air may translate into greater precipitation, which over Antarctica means snow. Or, it may not, because increased capacity does not automatically mean increased content, and because added clouds don't necessarily generate added snow.
Finally, where does the water in the air come from? That depends on air circulation patterns - weather, climate. It's the ever-changing pattern of air circulation that determines whether air in any particular place is carrying more water than last week, or last year, or last century. Weather and climate forecasting is HARD. (Especially hard when you have water turning into ice, and that phase transition releasing a huge amount of energy at exactly 0C. It makes all your equations go horribly non-linear).
Re: Your stuff is crap but it's free so I'll take it.
If you don't hve a clue, use Google to get one! I want to find something in a text file on Linux, so Google ... let's see ... "Linux search text file". Never let it be said that I make comments like this without trying it out. My very top hit had grep halfway down the first screen as the first suggestion. ( http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000757.htm )
There are also hundreds of guides for students of various sorts of ability. Then there are complete books, although you usually have to hand over a few quid to the author.
Re: Ban interest and live within your means
Unfortunately, hard currency doesn't work. REALLY doesn't work. If you think the modern economic system with soft currency and inflation and interest is bad, you need to find out about the economic history of Europe during the middle ages.
In brief, all the currency disappeared into rich men's treasure chests. Gold to the aristocracy, silver to the merchants, copper to the slavedrivers. There's no incentive to spend money, when by not spending it you raise its value. The remaining 90% of the population were serfs who had nothing to spend -- free under the law, but slaves in every detail that mattered. It's not a joke that often, the only thing that they had of any value was their daughters' virginity. Sometimes this was indeed traded for money. Other times the local landowner thought this also was his right and just took what was his.
The only way to kick the world out of this ghastly deflation-trap from inside was either a big war (pillage, ransom) or a big plague (when the dead outnumbered the living, labour became scarce and inheritance took unusual paths). Wars failed (the Crusades, the wars of the roses, the war against France, and that's just England). Maybe the black death succeeded.
Money is one of those things where everything has been tried, and nothing works well, but what we have may be the least bad thing that's been tried so far.
There's another even more depressing interpretation: that the human world, like the natural world, is a dynamic system optimised to the edge of chaos. Economists are just spotting false patterns in randomness. Such a system is good in the run-up to the next catastrophe. Is there any alternative? Only an enforced stasis, taking the form of the post-catastrophe trough, frozen forever.
It takes years to build a good reputation and minutes to destroy one. Having destroyed it, what is going to persuade a pissed-off ex-customer to give you another chance?
That's Marriot onto my "last resort only" list, along with Sony(*) and RyanAir(**). And the only way to get off that list, is for one of your competitors to do something even more heinous. (And even then, there's probably space for two).
Now all I need is for a few tens of millions of other folks to start doing the same as I do.
(*) for their music-CD rootkit exploit and the weeks of hassle that caused me. Yes, I know it was a decade ago. That's the whole point!
(**) do you need to ask?
As any fule kno, growth cannot be sustained indefinitely. It's impossible, yet market bods consistently tell us that if you do not have growth, you're in the shit. I don't get it.
Growth of the money supply can be sustained indefinitely(*). It's called inflation. And a steady-state economy would therefore "grow" forever at the same rate as inflation. Once every few generations there would be a "new" currency with a few superfluous zeros deleted.
And so any company that grew 0% last year, in fact shrank by minus RPI% in real terms.
The ups and downs of an economy are actually the working out of things which grew faster than inflation, and things that grew slower, and the fact that there are different rates of inflation for different sorts of goods and services.
Small rates of inflation, up to 6% or so, serve a useful purpose. They "tax" unproductive money that is saved under the mattress, in bank vaults, etc. This prevents the mediaeval deflationary catastrophe where all the gold had migrated into rich men's treasuries, all the silver had migrated into merchant's treasure-chests, and the majority of the population were wage-slaves (serfs) who were lucky to see more than a few copper coins in a year. The only way to get such an economy moving was a large-scale war (pillage, ransom) or the black death (dead outnumbering the living, inheritances, labour shortages). Eventually, the Spanish pillaged lots of gold from the Americas and history shows how the (surprising?) result was to doom their own country, while exporting useful amounts of inflation to the rest of Europe for long enough for modern economics to get established.
Do economists understand that the first thing they should do, is take the logarithm of every sum of money they are researching? I fear most of them don't.
(*) hyperinflation excepted. That's the opposite death spiral to deflation. Left spiral or Right spiral, both end up as a smoking heap on the ground with scavengers crawling over it if the pilots can't break out of the spiral.
Re: The trick is *useful* energy
Scale this down to house-sized? Sounds as if you could have 2-3kWp of electricity, and store the hot water in a tank (somewhat larger than the standard one with immersion heater). Can you say free hot baths for the whole family almost anytime they want?
Yes, you might have to dump some surplus hot water at the height of summer, but so what? You still have the electricity. I suspect it's possible to dump the heat into the earth through a ground source heat pump running backwards in summer, and reclaim much of the heat in winter, but that would be another story. Or use a large (underground, well-insulated) tank of water instead of ground?
The main question is whether this sort of solar PV panel can be cheap enough compared to the ordinary sort, once the supply of free hot water is factored in.
Well, in a way it's nice to see that Microsoft has added multiple desktops (workspaces) to windows. Pretty late to that party - it was by no means a new idea when Linux arrived on the scene.
As for using Linux desktop, the Linux UI is superior to the Windows UI in most regards (the exception being raw performance achieved at the expense of seriously compromising the system's security).
So you must mean the apps. Well, they are Microsoft Proprietary. If you think they are good enough to lock yourself in to the Microsoft walled garden, that's your choice. I'd just comment that if you have a corporate Windows license, and if you don't need the ultimate raw graphics performance, I'd say the best place for Windows is running in a VM, displaying in a Linux window in a workspace on a Linux desktop.
If nothing else, you get snapshots this way. Next time installing something borks Windows (or it gets a nasty dose of malware, or it auto-borks) just revert the VM to the most recent good snapshot. What about your recent user data, you ask? Well, if you have any sense it's on a Linux host filesystem presented to the VM as a network share. And (separately) snapshotted.
I wonder when Windows will get something as useful and reliable as btrfs? 2030? (And yes, I am quite aware that btrfs is not fully mature yet, and there are more reliable similar filesystems out there, such as ZFS. Talking of which, ZOL is also coming along nicely).
Re: Missing 9 - A bad idea, and here's why.
It's a mistake in Chinese ... 9 is one of the few lucky odd numbers in Chinese numerology ...
This is partly owing to the fact that the number 9 has traditionally been associated with the emperor (viz. the number of rooms in the Forbidden City) and partly owing to the fact that the sound byte for "nine" is close to that for the word "longlasting"
So Windows 10 won't be with us for particularly long and it won't be taking over the world.
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