6427 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 19:28 GMT
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I said there *might* be a way to make this work
I also said what it's chances of working out were.
IRL, I think they be f***ed.
As in first edition books, stamps, etc.
They may be used but I bet most of the buyers will keep them in their original packaging.
As for reverse engineering, I'll doubt anyone could match the price unless they are prepared to order roughly 10x the quantity of chips from Broadcomm.
It was the *timing* of the cuts that was the problem.
As others have noted they took place *before* the consultation process had ended.
Which does not make it much of a consultation.
Note the UK has some of the *worst* building regs in Europe for insulation. Some say it's because housebuilders complained that thicker insulation -> higher costs + smaller rooms or fewer houses on a plot.
Current UK estimates put the additional hardware costs of the "Passivehaus" standard at 14%.
Actually the real cost is likely to be training the UK standard construction worker to do their job *well* enough to make it sufficiently airtight to *eliminate* the GCH common to UK houses (eliminating *active* heating is a key objective of this 20 year old standard).
Note that renewable does not *have* to equal unreliable. Micro hydro, nuclear, tidal, wave, anaerobic digestion and geothermal are *all* capable of *reliable* (either 24/7 or well characterised) power output.
Better think of something though. The 20-25% of UK electricity provided by nuclear reactors is going to be going away sometime fairly soon.
"There's *always* an enemy, Steed.
You just need to know where to look"
A note on GPS antennas
Most high data rate sat systems are either in geosynchronous orbit (IE *fixed* in the sky) or needing to communicate with 1 sat at a time (LEO comms constellations like Iridium and Orbcomm).
The usual answer is a *steerable* dish in azimuth and direction to track the *single* target while the platform moves, while receiving or sending a signal across a *very* narrow angle of sky.
GPS does not have this luxury. Signals could come from anywhere across the whole visible *hemisphere* of sky, 180deg in *either* direction.
And a GPS receiver has to track *four* satellites for a fix. Not 1 or 2.
The *simplest* solution is a special *passive* aerial with good coverage in a blister on the top side of the vehicle. Phased arrays have trouble down to the horizon ("endfire") and add complexity. Multiple blisters worsen aerodynamics (and presumably stealth characteristics).
Tests have been done for using GPS for *attitude* determination on satellites (JPL and IIRC SSTL have done so), which is a similar problem.
Obviously depending on how seriously people take this capability future designs may choose to go with other aerial and receiver options.Modern DSP based GPS receivers can have enough "channels" to track *all* visible satellites continuously.
BTW the CSM article *names* a General supposedly involved in the programme (who was reportedly dead of a heart attack shortly afterward) who should be senior enough to speak with some authority on the project. It's not entirely an anonymous informant.
Sadly there are few *British* companies big enough to compete on these £Bn c ontracts
Although all of those that can seem perfectly capable of f***ing them up as well as any of their foreign rivals.
I will note that NpfIT was a joint f***up of the Dept of Health, NHS management (at various levels) and of course the monster IT "service providers" who *despite* being monster sizes (and expensive) seemed unable to support more than 1 web browser.
Note that unlike the US Gov (which can cancel contracts *unilaterally* with *no* compensation) HMG virtually *always* sticks to the contract and (apparently) *never* inserts penalty clauses.
I'll hope that this curbs CSC's more creative proposal writing efforts in the future.
But I doubt it.
There *might* be a way to make this work out.
G4S *studies* the back office systems (paper and computer based) and discovers inefficiencies which they remove (assuming their contract actually *motivates* them to do this).
Other forces buy into the services and the forces work together to *converge* their processes, giving a single shared, processes across all forces operating out of a single (well connected and secure) site, reducing manpower, office space
Probability this little fantasy will work out.
Higher than me being invited on a date by a super model.
But not by much.
BIS has *lots* of research papers on research they have funded
But boy, try and find them. No workable search facility I've ever found.
For those looking for 1 off papers in the UK but not linked up to a proper academic library you might like to try interlibrary loans. These have a flat fee for single articles with no known page limit.
AFAIK the fee is *lots* lower than the typical fee charged by any learned society but with a fairly long delivery time (weeks, not days).
She'll be the "One bad apple" as per usual.
Like the one bad apple that framed the Birmingham 6
The OBA that framed the Guidlford 4
The OBA that fitted up the Cardiff 3
But never fear. "Lessons will be learned"
Funny though that you'd have thought the folk on the NoTW would have met someone closer to their home offices around Wapping.
@Looking At The Clouds
"As the drones appear to be made for high-altitude operation, an obvious option should be celestial navigation. "
"It is of course not as precise as GPS, but certainly much better than an internal navigation system,"
A presumption. Star tracking nav systems were developed by NAA Autonetic and their successor companies. They were used on the SR71 for precision fixes on the ground sites being photographed. The B2 also has one in it's upper wing. Some of the stars used are daylight visible (with the right filters) and a computer controlled system developed for US Army ground survey was accurate to c6m.
Chopping the Home Office in to 2 bits doesn't seem to have curbed their enthusiasm
for this sort of b***ocks.
I'd like to get the senior civil servants who think this s**t up (or their brain dead "masters") to write out
"Massive govt IT projects have a long history of failure to deliver either the cost, staffing or operational benefits they are touted as offering and are almost invariably late and over budget"
1000 times in pencil.
Remember Britards, it's *your* cash they will be splashing.
How it *might* be done.
For starters you'd need a radio base *above* the drone (It's GPS aerial/s are likely above the fuselage for best access to the sky). Note the receiver power levels (IIRC -160dBmw, that's about 2^53 below the reference power level) so "swamping" it from say a couple of Km above it is not going to take too much *real* power. Think car battery, not truck engine.
Switch on the jamming and cut off the drone from GPS reception.
Switch on the GPS simulator channels (You'll need at least 4 of them, on 2 channels) with a position *plausibly* close to where the drone thinks it is (from its internal IMU package) and start walking.
Note the initial data string, tap positions and shift register length for the military code have (AFAIK) *never* been published. It has been stated (in the USG design docs) that each satellite uses a different section (IE different point in the sequence) of the *same* code with the same taps. The code per satellite repeats over roughly 1 week at 10.24MHz and is roughly 1/10 of the full capacity of the shift register generator. You have to think in terms of early 1970s TTL chips. Calculating its likely length is none of my business.
The military code *can* be encrypted but I'm not sure how often it is (like Selective Availability for the C/A code it is *optional*). There is at least one paper in the open literature about it but the USG has never officially released it. Give how widespread GPS is the key is likely to be transmitted in the more frequently repeated parts of the 300 bit frames that make up the full 12.5min GPS data stream, allowing potential lock up in 6 secs rather than 12.5 (which is a *long* time in guided weapons).
With fast enough logic it might not even be necessary to have your own atomic clock. Use the *real* GPS stream to work out your position, calculate the numeric offsets needed to push your target in the right direction and re-encode for for the drone to receive it.
In an era of GHz logic a country with sufficient resources could get something like this made on a reasonable budget in the way the EFF finally built a DES cracker to *prove* once and for all DES was no longer secure. A fairly modest 2Ghz processor could run 200 instructions to process each bit sent.
Easier than just shooting it down or jamming the GPS and hoping it goes into some sort of emergency landing safe mode. No.
Within the financial and intellectual resources of a nation state with a substantial oil revenue. Definitely.
It was said no way could Afghanistani Jihadists read drone video (despite it not being encrypted). This proved incorrect.
Sun Tzu noted that those that show contempt for their enemies are likely to underestimate them until they ultimately loose.
Still looking for Goldilocks
Not too big, not too small...
But getting closer.
Note this system *currently* applies to people over 60.
Using CodgerTrac(TM) on your mobile you'll know when registered CD's are out and about (and more importantly if they're likely to drop in on you).
Plan your surprise visits with confidence knowing they won't have gone off somewhere. Be warned of impending inlaw arrivals, allowing the chance of a quick tidy up and hiding any embarrassing items you wouldn't want them to see.
Of course there will be down sides as clueful burglars use hacked versions to find out where they are in a block or street and do a block burglary when they're off to the local day care centre/church/bowling green
As Stephen Hawking might say "The possibilities are endless and limited only by the imagination."
Who *owns* this company?
Somewhere along the line it seems that many US & UK managers forgot they are usually the companies highest paid *employees*. Putting Conrad Black in jail was a good start to reversing this view but I thing a few more could have done with checking into one of Uncle Sam hotels.
The *owners* are the people holding the stocks. However they seem to be mostly *corporate* investors, IE pension funds.
I can only presume that the stock pays out a good dividend, otherwise what excuse would they have for not trying to get the Board replaced?
The *only* part of the market which does seem to be working is *repeated* lousy results -> louse stock price, which suggest the market as a whole is not stupid enough to buy into this mess.
Shareholders have rights but it is up to them to *exercise* those rights.
"I seem to remember that the system transmits on 3 different bands. There is the open channel that used to have randomly drifting delays added to it, which is accurate to about 30m and is switched off occasionally (without requiring an act of war)."
No. The original GPS signals consisted of 2 signals transmitted on different frequencies.
As designed a military receiver would need *both* to get the full military grade accuracy. However the GPS satellites have been upgraded and do transmit other GPS signals designed to have improved characteristics for both military and civilian users.
Given the *very* large investment in GPS hardware I'm sure how well these have been adopted.
A US military system would be expected to carry a milspec 2 channel receiver so at a minimum you would need to generate the military version of the code and possibly its encrypted version, along with the civilian version.
"total suppression of published opinion based on allegations "
I have some vague memory that was not quite the basis the US was founded upon.
Perhaps US citizens reading this would like to put pen to paper and remind their *elected* representatives of this fact.
Share cap < just the *cash* in the bank.
And someone hasn't started raising funds for a bit of asset stripping *already*?
"The solar efficiency record is today around 42% and going on 50%, so the theoretical max. claims by this research seem somewhat outdated "
I think you'll find those figures are for cells with *multiple* junctions with somewhat exotic materials combinations and mfg methods IE space grade types.
They are *nothing* like the kinds that are in common use for terrestrial applications.
As for reflectivity I seem to recall when one of the US mfg started *seriously* rampping up production one of the things they did was to do a surface etc on their single crystal cells to give them pyramidal pits to act as an anti reflective coating.
Not universally applicable but demonstrates that sometime the smoothest surface is not the best.
But I'll certainly raise a glass to anything that can do AR coating effectively and cheaply.
"the only supported browser is IE6"
This just keeps getting better and better.
"journeys will be logged electronically."
And you might ask "Why?" Probably because when central govt has a *choice* of building a system to do a job and one which collects *huge* amounts of personal data (it could be summarized but it's better to have the individual persons journey details just-in-case it needs to be analyzed at that level in the future. No idea when or what that would be of course)
Note the *implication* of this is a *national* buss pass, which (as always) in *theory* sounds like a great idea.
It's one of those ideas that "simple" ideas ("Why can't I use my GMPTE/WMPT/London Underground card *everywhere*") that is actually a PITA to implement.
Bit like the idea of a national IT system for law courts.
Except this one (slowly) seems to be *working*.
Thumbs up for idea, thumbs down for implementation.
And it was a PFI as well.
The Computer Weekly article is highly illuminating
All the old classic govt systems BS turns up in this one.
Supplier cost estimates on "unrealistic" basis.
Supplier requires *repeated* renegotiation cycles built into the contract with them done on it's timescale.
"Risk transferred to the supplier" *except* system cannot be allowed to fail and *no* backup supplier.
Installation across *hundreds* of sites (many of them quite old buildings) not expected to be a problem
Business processes (yes it's a bit pompous but that's what they are) not analyzed or converged *before* national system is rolled out so *common* tasks the system is meant to be supporting are in fact *not* common.
Two earlier (but *much* cheaper) attempts to computerize bits of the UK law courts system had already failed, so a fairly rich crop of lessons to be learned *already*.
Congratulations Lord Chancellors office, you were Fujitsu's bitch.
"but the government really needs to start using some when negotiating these large IT contracts."
In govt IT terms £44m/PA is *not* a big contract.
Which given its *relatively* well defined boundary means there is even *less* reason for this f***up to occur.
I though "Tomorrow never dies" was a *ludicrous* plot for a Bond movie
Obviously not *quite* ludicrous enough.
"After getting the carrier aircraft working, the obvious next step is to add some wings, landing gear, and small jet engines to the rocket first stage. "
No. Spacex is pursuing reusability for F9 doing *none* of these things.
I doubt they will abandon that approach unless they collect a *lot* of information to prove it won't work first.
"Why doesn't Mr Allen wise up and invest in Reaction Engine's Skylon and SABRE tech??? Seems much better than this white elephant..."
This might have something to do with a little thing called ITAR. It shouldn't but I'll be prepared to be bet that the US gov will claim "US citizen puts money into a space project, we claim rights to decide who uses it, where it can launch from etc." It's part of the reason why Virgin Galactic will be based in the US, because exporting even *that* level of tech is still likely to need a ton of paperwork, a special dispensation from the Senate and the sacrifice of a virgin or two.
Shhh. It's OK
1) No one will ever find about them.
2) Their staff will *never* tell anyone about them.
A few points
Short production runs of highly specialized aircraft is what Scaled Composites *does*. That's BAU for them.
It's not clear if they just using the engines or keeping the fuselages as well.
As others have pointed out you gain some velocity (up to c300ms) and avoid some losses *but* not enough to eliminate a whole *stage* (AFAIK they are still talking TSTO).
It's not clear if you can use the nozzle developed for the Merlin vacuum variant or need another nozzle entirely. Which up's the development bill.
While Falcon 5 was *planned* it's unclear how far it's development has actually gone, while "Falcon 4" would seem to be a *completely* new vehicle.
That said given Spacex's highly modular approach to development *should* make the shift fairly easy.
*However* that leaves the problem that it's *very* doubtful any Falcon was designed to be carried *horizontally* while fully loaded with a payload attached. Might have enough margin that it's no big deal. Might not.
is well weapon.
"... even if it's just for garlic eating foreigners."
To begin with.
This smells of Lenin's admonishment to "Press the bayonet in. If it meets fat, press harder."
The economics shoudl be *interesting* to say the least
Nuclear companies do not make money *building* nuclear reactors.
They make it selling the proprietary non standard "fuel elements"
As readers may have noticed this thing does not have *any* of them.
Without an *existing* nuclear construction company "sponsoring" the design it's YANR design. Might be brilliant, might be c**p, but no one is going to put the serious amount of cash on the table to find out.
It's got some of the features of the molten salt thorium concepts and some of their issues.
Time will tell if they have deep enough pockets to get it to do anything.
Subtle & sneaky
It's kind of weird, you'd have thought Intel, with it''s *huge* investment in chip fabs, would be looking for exactly this type of approach (clever tweaks of the *existing* tools and processes it uses) to give those improvements.
Instead the start-up using what appears to be a *deeper* understanding of what is going on has achieved this leverage.
I'd guess someone has been caning their HPC hardware to run the sims that worked out the theory in detail.
Thumbs up for this, with the proviso that it has to be translated into *products* first.
So CO2 falls, -> temperature falls but ice starts at *much* higher ppm level of CO to begin with
First point supports the warming hypothesis.
Second is rather interesting.
And what *started* this cooling in the first place?
Then again does CO2 track temperature or vice versa?
In signal processing it's important to know what is signal and what is noise
I'm not sure this paper does.
On a side note how does this compare with *previous* predictions of the same authors?
About what they always said it was? Vastly bigger? Vastly smaller?
Although they do seem to have included what their assumptions were.
Something the academics of the CRU seemed to have been a bit vague on.
"No, the question is: Do we want spy infrastructure installed and controlled by US, UK and our allies, or by the Chinese?"
The question is precisely do we want it and (if we do not) *who* does?
The answer is anyone who fears their *own* people.
Any bureaucrat who simply *must* know everything, about everyone, forever. The capability is *grossly* disproportionate to the threat it *claims* to combat. And all of these products will have a "threat" that they *claim* to handle.
Stated like that it is seen not so much as a policy but more a psychosis. I've called it a data fetish, but this is nowhere near as harmless as most fetishes.
Kind of surprised they didn't start with the dodo.
Easy to add "McNugget" as a suffix.
Actually *all* of Ian Fergusion's list sounds delicious (suitably prepared).
People who've had cat tell me it's quite gamey, like rabbit (rumored to be sold as rabbit in France).
600LY, but what is that
In Congressional election cycles.
About the *only* measure of time that the US gov is concerned with.
21500 Jeffries does not seem much.
That said it should get a fair sized HPC box.
But how much does the software cost to run on it?
"A technology that becomes easier to use with smaller scales is pretty darn neat if you ask me. . ."
The actual question is does the power requirement scale *faster* than the thickness of the wires carrying it.
If it does not you also have to produce power conductors with higher aspect ratio to carry the *same* power you needed for the last generation.
It's that surprise h in the middle.
Read the headline and thought "Didn't know Craig was a big DS9 fan"
"BB would liek to remind you that "all your crats are belong to us""
All those 'crats belong to Rupert.
I'd heard you need to build an FO reflectometer to tap a line without cutting it.
Of course stripping the casing and laying the tap fibre around it iw meant to be very difficult.
How about releasing the results of drug tests, *including* the deaths.
Only the UK has a *very* big pharma friendly testing regime.
You don't have to report *all* deaths of patients on a trial. Scouts honor that you will if they are *significant*. Handy if your testing anti depressants and your side effects turn out to cause suicidally inclined people to top themselves, after all they were going to do that *anyway*.
Medical devices (like heart valves) are "grand fathered." After your 10-years-in-R&D-unobtainium-and-fairy-dust design is *just* like all those other heart valves. No need for any sort of *extensive* testing (let alone reporting).
As for "annonimised" health records, Google might have some advice to give them on that.
The other 99%
Will make various uses of the *official* allowed interfaces and produce results ranging from average to astonishing.
Some will brick it (possibly on several occasions)
Still a very cleverly engineered idea.
It seems to attack Sinclairs problem (good price but *inconsistent* quality) while retaining the keen pricing Sinclair was known for.
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