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* Posts by Richard 12

1556 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: copper v ali

Overhead power lines don't vibrate at all unless there's a particularly nasty earthquake - they swing in the wind, but that's borne by the articulated hangers.

Aluminium wire (with steel core) is used as a cost-saving measure - it's cheaper per metre and lighter so fewer towers are needed.

The towers don't vibrate, the terminations are very few and done by well-trained experts so it is a good fit.

However, car engines vibrate continually, as does everything in a car, there are a lot of terminations and the guy doing them is an enthusiast, not an expert.

I don't think you've ever seen a high current aluminium connection, or the wire sizes needed for it - aluminium wire is pretty bulky, presenting some tricky problems if you care about long-term stability and safety.

For example, an efficient car starter motor draws about 80-100 Amps. (A cheap one could draw considerably more).

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Richard 12
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Flame

Re: Fuse wire

Aside from that, copper is considerably more ductile than aluminium, and much easier to properly terminate the ends - a simple crimp will easily cold-weld onto copper, but can shatter aluminium.

High-current aluminium terminations require careful preparation work (worse than MICC for $deity's sake) as you have to strip the insulating corrosion off, then terminate properly before it corrodes again.

Thus aluminium is a very, very bad choice for anything that vibrates a lot, or anything that needs a lot of high-current connections because those connections will fail over time, leading to further heating losses, failures, and in the worst cases, fires.

Once burning, aluminium is effectively impossible to extinguish - adding water will cause a hydrogen explosion, you can only use halon-type or CO2, and once extinguished you must cool the metal very quickly or it will re-ignite.

In industrial electrics aluminium is specifically prohibited by many insurers and equipment manufacturers.

In the home, many insurers charge a high premium if you have aluminium wiring due to the increased fire risk.

There is a reason why car manufacturers still use the more expensive copper.

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Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM

Richard 12
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Megaphone

Re: Small company similar issue

I demand a refund!

There, is that better?

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Virgin Media DOUBLE-PUNCHED by BSkyB AND BT over ad fibs

Richard 12
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Mushroom

Re: up-to: the scurge of advertisement.

Still utter bollocks - I don't live at the exchange, and neither does anybody else.

They know the exact bandwidth their existing customers are getting, so should be forced to state the range of speeds one should expect to get, and not the theoretical maximum you might possibly manage to get if you happened to plug your modem directly into the DSLAM.

(After all, if you were that close you wouldn't be using a modem anyway)

BEfore I left due to them being acquired by scum, my previous ISP used to publish the 'speed' any given customer could expect to get the moment you put in your postcode, and they even offered to cancel your subscription with no charges if you didn't get it.

Why exactly won't every ISP do that?

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This isn't a sci-fi movie: It's a human-made probe snapping a comet selfie

Richard 12
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Joke

Re: I have to say...

It's not in bloody colour!

How dare they take photos in non-visible spectrum, just because it makes for better science!

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It's a TAB-tastrophe – 83 million fewer units to ship in 2014

Richard 12
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Holmes

Re: Doesn't seem too much interest from manufacturers

500 is nothing at all, so of course the manufacturers don't care. These are mass-market products, the resellers buy that many in a week if not less.

You'd need to be asking for closer to 10,000 to get them interested.

The only way they notice small numbers like 500 is if you're a high-profile event like the Olympics or perhaps Commonwealth Games, where they can justify it as a direct marketing expense.

Also, the Android and Windows tablets have pretty tight margins, so discounts are very hard to get generally. (Apple have better margins but also have less reason to give a toss about such small numbers of devices.)

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White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?

Richard 12
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Re: @Scatter - look at the numbers, not the technology

The vast majority of domestic LED retrofits give no published figures whatsoever, and many are nameless making them impossible to check.

In testing a lot of domestic are also worse than halogen - there are even capacitor-resistor dropper LED lamps out there!

Aside from that there is the problem of optics - most are tight spotlights so even those that do provide significantly more lumens/Watt often don't actually light the room.

Oddly CRI scores seem to be rarely given - odd, as these are usually well publicised for florry tubes.

The latest approach at the higher end of the quality range is RGB - this is more efficacious and repeatable than Blue + Phosphor, however CRI is misleading for narrowband emitters (it's easy to get a really high or low score despite being mediocre) and CQS is not a ratified standard yet making it very hard to compare.

UV + Phosphor is basically never done, because UV LEDs are low efficacy and rip themselves to pieces in a few thousand hours. (Philips did a near-UV + External phosphor for a while, but it's been discontinued for ages. Shame as it was quite a nice lamp)

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Richard 12
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Boffin

Re: @Scatter - look at the numbers, not the technology

Seeing as you insist - two 230V products you can buy now:

Coemar LEDko @ 26deg: under 9 lumens/Watt. (Source: LSI, ignoring power factor losses.)

ETC Source Four (750W Halogen) @ 26deg: 13 lumens/Watt. (The 375W lamp is about 11 lumens/Watt.)

- In reality the LEDko is worse due to power factor which again acts in the halogen's favour.

There are several worse LED fixtures, this is simply the first one I found with published figures that you can check. I've seen LED fixtures that barely reach 5 lumens/watt due to poor optics, diode overheating and (especially) power supply efficiency.

They're generally easy to spot - if it doesn't give both input power and field/beam lumens, it's probably terrible. (Converting lux to to lumens will overestimate as datasheets give peak lux, not average)

Quite a few domestic ones are really terrible, primarily due to cutting too many corners in the LED driver/power supply design. Aside from that, the optics need to match the purpose - I've seen a lot where the optics are so narrow that you can't even use it as a reading light, yet it's sold as room lighting.

That's before you even start considering the quality of the light - the CRI and CQS of most domestic LED are painfully low, even worse than cheap florry.

They can be good, but most aren't and some are truly terrible.

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Richard 12
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WTF?

@Scatter - look at the numbers, not the technology

We'll just have to wait and see what the Commission does regarding a halogen lighting phase out. My money is on them going for it (it's a no-brainer now with halogen replacements now being at the right quality and price point) so my money's on the Gone Green trend for lighting.

And if they do that then they are the most stupid idiots in the history of bloody fools, and the entire lighting industry will fight them to the death.

Just because something is LED does not mean it's efficacious. Lots of them are utter shite, consuming more electricity to make less light than a halogen.

The last round of proposals set a Lumens/Watt minimum and said nothing whatsoever about the technology. This is the only sane thing to do - defining a particular technology is the act of a moron.

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Richard 12
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Re: We're already seeing savings

And we're also seeing plenty of snake oil - "It's LED therefore it's green".

There are several LED luminaires that are actually considerably less efficacious than the 'equivalent' tungsten-halogen luminaire - in some cases less than a basic tungsten!

One LED fixture I've recently seen is only 9-10 lm/W - while the 'similar' tungsten-halogen is 13 lm/W

Won't name names but they're easy to spot - if the fixture spec only says how many watts of LEDs it has and doesn't give both the input power and beam lumens, you can be pretty sure it's better at heating than lighting.

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Dairy Queen cuts the waffle, says bank cards creamed in 395 eateries

Richard 12
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Pint

Re: List not complete

I do this pretty often. Ok, I don't tend to buy ice cream very often but the same scale of transaction.

When travelling to forn parts it's usually cheaper to buy everything on plastic rather than cash as my card gets a better rate than over-the-counter foreign exchange, and I don't end up with a pile of small change that I can't use.

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Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'

Richard 12
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Re: Maybe the entire ATM universe needs a refit!

They'd just swap the SD card.

The OS and hardware isn't the problem, it's the physical access.

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Woman says narco-cops used her PICS to snare drug lords on Facebook

Richard 12
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Re: Perspective people.

That's all completely irrelevant.

The allegation is that they used her private images for an illegal and unauthorised purpose, namely one that had no bearing on the case she was arrested for.

Futhermore, this put her in danger of reprisals.

Under US copyright law alone the unauthorised use carries millions in civil penalties, before considering anything else.

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Renault Twingo: Small, sporty(ish), safe ... and it's a BACK-ENDER

Richard 12
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WTF?

Nobody will buy the smaller engine

Less efficacious, less power, less torque, and a low top speed that will probably be scary on a UK motorway and outright terrifying on a German Autobahn as there can't be much acceleration left by the time you're doing 65-70mph.

The only group where it might make sense are young drivers, and you don't buy a brand-new car for a teenager unless you've more money than sense, in which case you'd buy the bigger one anyway and to hell with the higher premiums.

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Cut-off North Sea island: Oh crap, ferry's been and gone. Need milk. SUMMON THE DRONE

Richard 12
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Black Helicopters

460 km is a bit further than 12km

Given that you probably need one of these to get there in a manned whirlybird, assuming you want to go there and all the way back.

(The hover at Rockall will burn a fair bit of fuel)

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Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

Richard 12
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WTF?

Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

Go on then downvoters and Pierre - tell us what interface Apple have used!

If you are so utterly certain of your superior knowledge, enlighten us!

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Richard 12
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Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

CF is IDE (PATA). It's actually pretty slow by modern standards!

There are other parallel-interface flash chips, but they are rarely used these days.

See iFixit for details - the chip name even starts "SD"!

Looks like a SanDisk iNAND family chip, which has an eSD interface. I leave it to the reader to figure out what the "e" stands for!

Almost every Arm device with decent amounts of Flash uses an SD interface. The silicon is cheap, fast, reliable and well documented.

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Richard 12
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Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

Yes, it is.

Mostly because it's the same chip with the same interface.

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SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis

Richard 12
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Re: SpaceX's cheaper Dragon capsule has room for seven

The computer drives it.

I'm assured that it has the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission, and wants to help.

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Richard 12
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Re: Meeeh

H4rm0ny, I really can't tell whether that third paragraph is a joke or not, because nobody with half a brain could possibly hold that view.

Swipe down - will that scroll? Will it close and lose my work? Minimise and keep my work? How do I tell what will happen before it happens?

An icon that I can click on or poke has a thingy called a tooltip. Once I've read that tooltip, I know what it will do. (Or rather, I should).

Gestures cannot be labelled, and as they depend on context they are completely undiscoverable.

Watch this video. Labels matter.

The "half dozen" programs I commonly use pop up in the first level of the Windows 7 Start menu.

The hundred or so programs that I don't use very often but still need to have show in a hierarchical menu structure that lets me put "like with like".

I can already hit "windows" then type to search. Guess what - it simply doesn't work. It's a fundamentally bad concept because it does not match with how people think.

For a concrete example - I use IBM ClearCase. The application for it used to be called "Remote Client", and it's now called "ClearTeam Explorer". If I search for "IBM", "team" or "clearcase" it's not found.

With the old name, searching for "remote client" or "explorer" it's found, along with half a dozen other programs with almost identical names - with the old name I had several where the only difference was the icon.

How do you search for something when you do not know what it's called?

On Windows 7 I can follow the menu Programs > IBM Rational ClearCase > and bingo!

At home I can search for a fork - kitchen > cutlery drawer > bingo!

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Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills

Richard 12
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Facepalm

@Pax681 Re: This would be the same BT...

I've read that White Paper, and I don't think you have. It's 650 (670 inc. contents) pages long for a start.

It is full of vague promises of sunshine and happiness, most of which cannot possibly be met and will therefore be slowly stripped down and discarded one by one as the dust settles after the referendum.

Many of the promises come with astronomical costs, and there is a repeated explicit assumption that "England, Wales and NI will pay for this". That won't happen.

Much of it is implausible, some is impossible and the rest is very expensive. It's clear that very little attempt has been made to figure out how much it would cost - or be paid for.

I could write a white paper promising that I'll make it rain donuts on demand if I win. You'd laugh at me, and rightly so!

Here's what it says about telecommunications:

In telecommunications policy, our approach will give greater priority to improving geographic coverage, particularly in remote rural areas
This is indeed a laudable goal.

However, it will be very expensive. Either BT (or ST?) will have to be given a massive chunk of public money, both up-front and as a running subsidy or BT/ST will have to significantly increase prices. Probably both, because they won't have any reason to offset the high cost & low revenue of Scottish highlands against the low costs & high revenue of places like Manchester and London.

There is no mention whatsoever of how this could be paid for - the only budget mentioned is one that will vanish on independence because most of it's coming from the Westminster central government (via the UK's Department of Fun and the block grant), and the rest from the ERDF, which you won't be eligible for until Spain lets you join the EU. On top of that, 30% of the figure they state is 'probable' investment from a private company that would have to rethink its infrastructure investments - remember that they expect to make a profit!

On this and many other points (Network Rail, National Grid and others) the SNP simply assume that the rest of the UK will continue to subsidise the additional demands on them that comes with a rugged land with low population density.

As an example, section 440 "What will the transmission charging regime be in an independent Scotland?"

This section quite literally says "the rest of the UK will pay for Scotland's new infrastructure".

If you want to go it alone, that's fine. We'll respect your decision.

But the other side of independence is that you'll have to pay for your dreams yourselves.

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Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Richard 12
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Multi-currency working costs more and has higher risks

It's as simple as this:

  • Buy your widgets in USD
  • Sell your widgets in GBP
Your profit margin is clearly dependent on the exchange rate between GBP and USD - if USD goes down, your profit goes up and vice-versa.

So how do you set your prices?

Costs+overheads+margin against 'what the market will bear' is not enough, you also have to look at the probabilities of each currency changing in either direction and how far, and if you can hedge against these risks in some way.

All that costs extra.

So he's absolutely right - they could work in multiple currencies, but it increases their costs and so have chosen not to do so.

Many online retailers choose to work in a single currency and pass that risk onto their buyers - for example, AliExpress works entirely in USD regardless of your local currency.

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Richard 12
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Only to begin with

The UK won't take British Citizenship away from Scots who already have it.

The position of those who currently have "work visas" in the UK is unknown - would Scotland honour them? If an independent Scotland granted this to a foreigner, would the Rest-of-UK honour it?

However, people born after separation would only hold one passport or the other - so a lot of children would only be Scottish and would not be British.

And finally, if Scottish and R-UK immigration policies drifted "too far" apart, then border controls would have to be put in place - for example, this would be required if either the R-UK or Scotland decided to join Schengen but the other didn't.

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Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

Richard 12
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Re: weakness in this story

Is there still any argument running about the Homeplug devices causing interference to various radio bands?

There's no argument at all - they do, and everybody in the industry knows it but the regulators have chosen to ignore it.

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Jony Ive: Apple iWatch will SCREW UP Switzerland's economy

Richard 12
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My watch battery went flat last week

Really irritated actually, it only managed 5 years when the battery before was at least 8.

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Richard 12
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Facepalm

Re: It's FAR too early to judge

2. And the cost of Apple software because they decided "Nobody needs to do that" and made it completely impossible to achieve.

Or the cost of apple software due to backwards-compatibility issues, forcing you to upgrade your OSX before the software you need will run (because the APIs change so much that the softwrae house can't afford to support the older versions.)

Or the cost of forced Apple hardware upgrades because the version of OSX you must have to run the software you must have won't run on the hardware you have - even though there's no technical reason for it.

Frankly, the number of reasons to buy Apple for work-related software have been decreasing very rapidly over the last few years, as software goes multi-platform (Adobe, avid) or worse, gets castrated.

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Are you a HOT CELEB? Think your SEXY PICS are safe? Maybe NOT

Richard 12
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Re: So, now explain to me..

Maybe the photos in question were taken using iPhones?

Usually pretty obvious in mirror-selfies, and the meta-data always includes it anyway.

By most accounts that's the case - though I doubt the meta data is still attached to the photos, as otherwise the media would be talking about how the pics also exposed where these people live, as well as parts of their bodies that they didn't want public.

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NUDE SELFIE CLOUD PERV menace: Apple 2FA? Sweet FA, more like

Richard 12
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Re: Ah but they didn't used Password

No, they simply believed what Apple et al told them about iCloud etc.

"The cloud is the safest place for your data"

They didn't tell them that Cloud services are like storing your private stuff in a cloakroom shared by everyone in the world.

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Twitter: La la la, we haven't heard of NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES

Richard 12
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WTF?

Re: 5 seconds with google....

Presumably she either took the pics herself or knew the person taking them - as otherwise they'd be long-lens shots and already published in well-known magazines.

So why take the photos in the first place?

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Intel unleashed octo-core speed demon for the power-crazed crowd

Richard 12
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Re: Really? They're putting tantalum in CPUs now?

The package has always included decoupling caps.

Given that you cannot buy an Intel CPU as a bare die, it seems reasonable to mention them.

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Euro banks will rip out EVERYTHING and buy proper backend systems ... LOL, fooled ya

Richard 12
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You mean "Normal"

Everybody thinks they are above average.

You're unlikely to find many drivers who say they're poor at it, and you will never find a company who says they are bad at any aspect of their core business.

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Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables

Richard 12
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42 that they know about

And that have already failed spectacularly.

Presumably they have now inspected the shipping wire and found it's got a flaw - most likely there's practically no copper in it, like a lot of the cheap E-Bay IEC cables you see in Blighty.

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Richard 12
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Re: Flat, 3 core, single insulated, vs round, 3 core, double insulated?

Yep, single-insulated flat cables are industry standard in the USA.

They use wimpy 110VAC instead of manly 240VAC so they think nothing can happen.

Except that the risk of fire roughly quadruples of course - P=I×I×R

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Bright lights, affordable motor: Ford puts LED headlights onto Mondeo

Richard 12
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Re: headaches and snow

Only if they use low-frequency PWM dimming. Like everyone else seems to.

Who am I kidding. We're almost the only company dimming LEDs fast enough for race-line cameras, so how likely are Ford to go at the tens of kHz needed?

Will make the slo-mo replays interesting though!

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Richard 12
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Re: "last for the lifetime of the vehicle"

Anybody saying 100,000 hours for an LED luminaire is using an interesting definition of lifetime - usually 50% at 50% brightness.

75,000 to 70% initial brightness is plausible under good conditions.

That should mean around 25 years at 8 hours a day, which seems a reasonable claim for car lifetime.

But fans? Really?

Our outdoor LED doesn't have fans and the white edition is brighter than a headlight is allowed to be.

It is also physically larger than this Ford though, which is probably the real reason - the designer insisted on tiny "piggy eyes", thus ensuring normal heatsink and heat pipes couldn't do it.

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I’ve never paid for it in my life... we are talking Wi-Fi, right?

Richard 12
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Re: must be a Europe thing?

This US hotel is even worse.

It happily lets me tick the "normal free wifi" option, then connects me for a while.

At random, it stops working and demands that I log in again.

Except that Google still works so my phone doesn't realise and can't automatically log in!

It even goes so far as to let me do a search, lists all the results and only ceases and asks for the login once I follow a search result. Or try to.

It doesn't even redirect me back to the target site after logging back in.

The worst part is that it makes 'responsive' Web pages even more unusable than usual as they randomly vanish and become the login page...

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Uh, Obama? Did you miss a zero or two off Samsung's Chinese supplier 'fib' settlement?

Richard 12
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Re: Limited by the law

Depends on the value of the actual contracts, which were not stated.

It doesn't matter how big the overall company is, what matters is the size of the alleged fraud.

It's not reasonable to fine a few billion over a fraud of a few thousand, just because the parent company is huge.

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Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet

Richard 12
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"Especially since nothing industrial requiring true real time has ever run under Windows."

Or Linux or BSD either.

None of these are or pretend to be an RTOS, those would be things like VxWorks et al.

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What happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

Richard 12
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Re: legally enforceable but voluntary

Contract law.

You don't have to sign the contract, but if you do then a civil case can be made against you for breaking it.

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What's the point of the Internet of Things?

Richard 12
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I think the issue is

That most of the "useful" IoT stuff is quietly being done by a variety of small companies and students, unhyped and almost unnoticed.

For example, lighting control is already working, has been for years.

Your "light bulb" can indeed email to let you know it's blown.

I can sell you a system that does this, it's in stock, can ship today.

This is not new, but it is a lot cheaper than it used to be and the price is still falling.

What's new is the hype.

It looks like Intel are terrified that ARM are going to take it all - and you know what? They already did. Sorry Intel, too late.

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Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more

Richard 12
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Re: Paper vs ebooks

There is no possible justification for an ebook to go "out of print".

The cost of storage approaches zero and the cost of keeping it in the searchable catalogue is already zero - it costs more to remove than to leave in there.

A printed book goes out of print because nobody takes the decision to risk money on making another print run.

An ebook can only go "out of print" because a publisher makes the deliberate choice to remove it from all catalogues.

Even if they did that - a cost with no benefit - human nature decrees that piracy will occur and bring it back into print.

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Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

Richard 12
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Re: Exactly!

How does that work?

Companies have to pay for many things - office space, cleaners etc.

That is paid for from the revenue they get.

If costs are increased, then either revenue must increase or profit decrease.

In the consumer* energy market the per-customer margins are really tiny, thus any per-customer increase in costs will be very significant.

They only make a notable profit though scale - it takes thousands of customers to make a profitable consumer energy supplier.

* The Generation market is very different and very distorted, which makes comparisons between profits of vertically-integrated and consumer-only companies very difficult.

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Richard 12
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WTF?

I'm astounded

We should legislate for the outcome, not a specific technological solution.

An MP with a brain!

Even more astounding, he's a member of a political party and he managed to keep his brain.

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Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

Richard 12
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Re: Splitting utilities on geographical lines?

There's a lot of things that Salmond's camp are laying claim on.

I do find it odd that Salmond thinks that the National Grid would stay a single entity across both countries.

Presumably he wants England, Wales and Northern Ireland to subsidise his plans.

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Richard 12
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Re: Fag packet maths

Also, an independent Scotland would absolutely, definitely never be allowed to join the EU.

When that comes up there will genuinely be a flat No, possibly followed by "You're having a laugh" and a "F*** Off".

The EU Commission have said "No new entrants", and the EU laws say "All entrants must take the Euro". Even if Salmond could work through all that, Spain and France will veto it regardless because of the Basque.

The only reason to vote yes is because you think Alec Salmond deserves to be Lord Emperor of the North. He's doing this for political power, pure and simple. He would gain a lot, but Scotland as a whole would lose.

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BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff

Richard 12
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Re: New batteries...

You really don't want Lithium batteries in your Rabbit. Oh gods no...

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Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle

Richard 12
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Re: Should be arrested by the Fashion Police.

Over-ear 'phones are great for cheap noise isolation and noise cancellation.

In-ear basically have to be moulded to get the same benefits, otherwise you just have Apple-style ones where more of the tinny squeal comes out the back than goes in your ear.

Not that Beats do either of them, but they are at least roughly the right shape.

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DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

Richard 12
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Shields up!

Two thing - it's designed for it, and secondly a lot of the danger comes from the way the charged particles interact with our magnetosphere.

So yes, the Earth's planetary shield can make it worse!

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Richard 12
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Boffin

The danger is scale and duration.

As long as the induced voltages and currents are below the design thresholds, the major circuit breakers will do their jobs and open in time to save the physical infrastructure.

However, if either are sufficiently higher than the breaker can handle, the arc may not be broken and will do serious damage to the breaker and protected equipment.

For an example of a faulty breaker doing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIkNY5xjy5k

This breaker had a fault that meant it was unable to douse the initial arc when interrupting. The arc was only stopped by opening the upstream breaker - so if said upstream breaker failed as well, the grid would be in real trouble.

The breakers are set up so they shouldn't all open simultaneously, which offers protection against short-duration events like lightning strikes but a CME-induced event could last a long time.

And that would be bad.

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

Richard 12
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Re: Of course it won't get rid of MS

Yes, LibreOffice can track changes and present it as markup. Don't use OpenOffice, but ODF allows it.

This is is a win for choice, not for a specific product.

MS Office will still be a good choice for some businesses and Government departments, but it is no longer the only option.

DOC is an opaque format that nobody in the world really understands - the only documentation is the combined source code of several versions MS Word.

MS-OOXML contains some of those unknowable chunks of DOC in it as binary blobs, thus cannot be fully implemented by anyone without access to MS Word source code, and several parts are covered by MS patents which they charge for.

ODF is a complete and open published specification. All of the information needed to create a complete implementation is publicly available to anyone who is interested, and you do not have to pay anyone for any patent licences. You can even download a copy for free if you so desire.

Secondly, even today it is very difficult, if not impossible to read DOC files from early versions of MS Word, because you need to gain access to a string of different versions of MS Word - even if that is still technically possible, it's almost certainly impossible to do legally.

Yet in 30 or even 300 years time it will still be possible to read documents stored in ODF, even if none of the currently-extant programs are still available.

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