1428 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009
Re: Sod the blackouts . . .
Brownouts aren't effective anymore, as most of the electric devices in your home will automatically compensate.
All your low-voltage equipment (except some low-voltage tungsten lighting) is pretty much constant-power - reduce the supply voltage and they'll draw more current.
Check the nameplate of your PC and TV power supplies - almost all are 100V to 240V, thus a brownout just makes it draw more current (and get hotter) while still running ok.
Your electric heating and cooling (except showers) is on a thermostat - so the peak power drawn might* reduce but the total energy consumed remains the same.
In my home, on an average evening I run a small amount of mains voltage tungsten electric lighting, thermostatically controlled oven, fridge & freezer and the rest is genuinely constant power.
Browning me out would actually increase my energy consumption due to the increased resistive losses.
Browning out a large area might actually cause a substation to fail due to the increased current.
* Induction hobs and microwave ovens are constant power.
If true, Assange played straight into their hands!
So let's take Assange's story at face value.
Had he just gone quietly, the case would have been over by now - and he seems quite confident of his innocence, so presumably he'd be a free man - or at least appealing in Sweden.
Instead, he's now wanted across the whole of the EU for both the original arrest warrant and for absconding while on bail.
In other words, he's almost certainly going to be spending several years in a British prison (where it's really easy to extradite to the US), regardless of the outcome of the Swedish investigation.
All the while giving the US even more time to come up with something to extradite him for.
Well done Assange. Either you're an idiot, or you don't actually believe the US angle and just wanted to run away - regardless of what it cost any of your friends.
Thermodynamics is the one theory we can be most certain of.
Namely that you can't get something for nothing - you can only get usable power by letting heat flow between a heat source and a heat sink, and the smaller the temperature difference between them the less useful work you can make it do.
As far as we can tell the only way this can change is if you can use another universe as your heat source and/or heat sink.
Re: Annoying brats (bis)
The cockpit generally faces forward, so a miscreant intending to do this would probably stand in front of the aircraft.
At that angle the apparent motion is very slow.
Even from the side it's relatively easy because it's a long distance away and extremely smooth.
Example: Next time you're a passenger in a car on a motorway/freeway, use a pair of binoculars and watch a few stationary objects through them.
You'll find it really difficult to watch anything nearby to the side, easy to watch anything ahead, and easy to watch anything that's far enough away.
A cheap telescope or telescopic sight costs about £40-£100.
The lasers powerful enough to dazzle at range cost more than that - we aren't talking £10 laser pointers, those are just Class I-II, you'd need at least a Class III or higher to dazzle from outside the airfield perimeter fence.
So as it's being reported as a regular problem, the price isn't a barrier to these idiots.
In my day job I'm seeing a lot of people buying cheap "disco" lasers that contain diodes easily capable of doing this - some would even dazzle or blind if they simply broke down.
Re: Annoying brats
Sighting is relatively simple.
A good followspot operator can do a pickup from dead straight onto a head-and-shoulder spot from several hundred meters away - one end of a stadium to the other. We use telescope sights for this as they don't affect night vision.
A good sniper can do the same from several km using telescopic sights.
Both of these are easily available anywhere (unlike the actual sniper rifle)
You're right that this is not an issue with the Class I-II laser pointers that you can buy in a high-street shop (almost) anywhere. They just aren't powerful enough to be even noticeable from more than a hundred metres or so.
Somewhere I have a Class III green laser diode, in the UK you can't buy those 'bare' anymore - only as part of a larger product like a disco laser scanner.
However, in the US you can buy some seriously terrifying lasers. Over there it's quite easy to purchase a laser from an online shop that can almost instantly permanently blind a person at short range, and those are capable of a laser flash at some distance.
There's nothing particularly special about a lased photon compared to any other photon, so the only way to block them is a coating that absorb/reflects the appropriate wavelength.
You can't block them all, because then it's no longer a window!
You can add a dichroic (or similar) coating to reflect certain specific wavelengths, such coatings are actually relatively cheap (commercially available ones) - and this is already done anyway in commercial airliners as part of the very complex armoured glass windows of the cockpit.
I don't know the specifics of what they block, but I'd guess IR is blocked as a matter of course as that can easily damage sight, leaving only visible lasers.
Secondly "sweep the laser spectrum"? It's not broadcast!
Lasers emit a coherent beam of light. Thus anywhere that you can see the aircraft is a 'possible vantage point'. This extends for many miles beyond the airfield, and considerably further than you could see from any possible place in the airfield.
At night, if it's misty/hazy or dusty then you might be able to see the beam as it reflects off particles in the air and backtrack that to where the line intersects the ground.
However, this requires two viewers at different locations who can act immediately, before the perpetrator runs away. These things are very small - smartphone or smaller.
Basically, this is not something the airport can enforce, it's something that the police need to - because they are the only group in a position to both see the beam and act upon it.
Unfortunately, the lasers powerful enough to dazzle a plane have another excellent feature - they can all temporarily (and in some cases permanently) blind you with very brief exposure.
Although with any luck the oiks doing this will blind themselves.
I almost never need to take it out.
That's why I don't have it on my keychain - and in fact have no idea whatsoever where it is.
This will be very annoying when I finally do need to swap the SIM card.
There is none.
Ok, not quite none at all, but it's so incredibly low in the mobile app scene as to not even make the status of rounding error.
If there really is a difference in revenue between the two platforms, it might be that many androids are very cheap so those are owned by people without much money, while iPhone is/was a status symbol mostly owned by people with lots of money.
Thus the percentage of iPhone owners spending real money on apps is much greater than android owners.
However I'm not sure that the figures actually bear that out - for our paid apps, almost identical between iOS and Android: in the USA sales are about 75% iOS and falling, while in Europe they are 50/50
It doesn't deny them the ability
It just asks them nicely not to.
Under some jurisdictions it might have some legal force but that's unclear as there are no precedents.
Of course, if they are shown to be ignoring it then the politicians might decide to pass specific laws regarding online tracking, and that's what the advertisers are worried about.
They suggested DNT to try to avoid legislation happening, which is why it's odd that the admen are now making such stupid claims, because the sensible response by the politicians would now be "Ok, seeing as you clearly won't do this yourselves, we will do it for you."
Of course, that will take several years, so perhaps that is the goal.
Re: OK, trying to keep this question short and simple...
Short answer is that we won't.
In real life when we want an energy store, we heat something up, pump water up a hill or do some chemistry.
HVDC - @imanidiot @proto-robbie @AC
The reason why all long-distance links are HVDC is very simple:
Every single generating set in a linked AC system has to be exactly* in sync, as otherwise they end up consuming power instead of generating it.*
It would be incredibly complicated and extremely unreliable to try to keep all of mainland Europe in sync with each other, or even just keeping France in sync with the UK.
On top of that, once there's more than one link with enough geographic distance between them it becomes impossible due to speed-of-light delays.
So we use HVDC for these long-distance links between different Grids - that way we don't have to keep our generators running at exactly* the same speed and phase as the French.
Originally these really were big DC motors driving big AC generators (and vice-versa)!
- High-power silicon is now good enough for solid-state versions, which are much better as they can sync instantly and as well as being more efficient.
Icon for what happens if you don't sync the generators.
* Rather simplified.
The 70% figure is an outright lie
The full cycle efficiency is apparently "up to" about 30%
The "70%" claim was if you use the heat output of another plant to boil the liquified air more rapidly - in other words, if you dump yet more energy into the system you'll convert some of the extra into electricity - obvious to anyone with a passing knowledge of heat engines.
They don't appear to be counting that extra energy as being energy.
Alternatively, you could use that heat to do some other useful work, or not waste it in the first place - as most UK industrial plant already does whenever practical.
For example, heating the office areas a'la CHP.
On top of that, the waste heat that remains is not controllable! If a slab of steel needs cooling, it needs cooling now, at specific rate, not later when the Grid needs some of the energy stored in your LN2 tank.
This is snake oil, which is why I'm shocked that the IMechE even mentioned it, and I'm rather glad I'm no longer a member
This is not a climate model, and it says nothing whatsoever about climate.
This is a prediction of the sea-level rise that is likely to occur if one of the climate models used in the work is correct. (One set of curves for each climate model prediction)
To put it another way, this works says the following:
If Climate Model A is correct, then we predict Sea Level Rise A
For Climate Model B, we predict Sea Level Rise B
It doesn't say anything about whether or not those climate models are believed accurate or not. Modelling the behaviour of an event doesn't (necessarily) have any bearing on whether the event is likely to occur!
- See what-if.xkcd.org for several examples of modelling highly unlikely events.
This iPhone has needed rebooting about once or twice a month to make it connect to wifi or cellular data, and Safari crashed regularly under iOS 5 - usually while writing a comment on this very site.
To be fair, Safari does seem more reliable in iOS 6.
Basically they're all a bit crap sometimes.
My wife sorts out my socks
Saves a lot of trouble, and I can certainly recommend this method as it has many other side benefits that may not be immediately obvious.
She says it's relaxing, so I'm happy to leave her be.
You seem to have forgotten that Google did it first
Pop open Google Earth and take a look at central London.
3D buildings in well-known cities were there for at least two years.
Ok, they didn't put it on a Smartphone yet, but to be fair, I don't really want it there either, I use maps for getting around.
Awooga!! Abject journalist fail alert!
"Unlike RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, which are powered up by the received radio signal, and can thus be read at extreme ranges by upping transmitted power, NFC devices are powered using an induction coil"
RFID are powered by an induction coil.
Passive NFC are powered by an induction coil.
They are almost exactly the same, the only real difference is that N-mark compliant devices are a particular implementation of RFID, branded differently with a need to comply with a specific set of protocols, while RFID is a more generic class of technology.
Congratulations on falling for the oldest marketing trick in the book, the wonderfully sneaky "Name Change"
Re: Excuse my ignorance.
Wind tends to produce ventifacts rather than smooth pebbles, as it polishes via sandblasting rather than rolls them around.
Presumably there are similar tell-tale differences in the pebble shape you get from fluidized sand and viscous liquid like water, oil, and mud.
Re: ...but how many of those downloads got erased seconds after trying the app?
Exactly the same as the iOS one, then.
Although some of the utter crap iOS Apps are made by Apple (Podcast, Maps...) while I've yet to see a crap Google application.
Apple claim to 'curate' the iOS store, but they don't do any kind of filtering for quality - they may have done so in the past (I recall having to send them a video of the application working) but they don't anymore.
Possibly this changed when they decided to go for quantity, as that's much easier to brag about.
It's really easy to 'write' and publish an Android or iOS application, so of course most of them are rubbish.
More importantly, how often has this happened before?
Are New Zealander communications being snooped on routinely because of a general culture of don't-ask-don't-tell when determining the legality?
Are they just intercepting anything and everything?
It looks like a complete, public judicial review is needed for every single act of interception performed in NZ for the last decade at least.
Re: Oh, suddenly you like climate modelling.
I'm saying that we shouldn't be using 'climate change' as a policy driver at all, because we simply do not know enough to make reliable predictions.
By comparison to our current climate models, the other models you mentioned there are extremely good, giving results many orders of magnitude more reliable, precise and accurate.
However, we do know that the oil is going to run out relatively soon (and long before that it's going to become ruinously expensive), we do know that the other emissions (not CO2, the NOX, SOX etc) from most fossil fuels are toxic to humans, plants and animals and so it is clear that we should be reducing our reliance and the absolute amount of those burned.
It's just that CO2 is not the reason why, and thus (for example) replacing tungsten lighting with mercury-based is not a sane idea.
Re: Oh, suddenly you like climate modelling.
Personally I rather think this is another indication that our climate models remain basically unreliable, and therefore should not be the basis for policy.
Reducing our fossil fuel burn is still sensible though, as burning coal releases radioactives into the atmosphere and oil has so many more uses than just burning it.
Gas is less useful, so we can burn that but it won't last all that long compared to coal.
Energy poverty is however very bad for everyone, killing people indirectly (and even directly), so we absolutely must not force that on the population.
The Grid are shitting bricks over our current energy policy, repeatedly pointing out that we are heading for disaster if current targets are met, and they'd know!
Re: "cheap safe mass energy storage"
Two things help enormously.
Firstly, modern nukes can vary their output much, much more than any of the ones we currently have. The French put a fair bit of effort into that.
Secondly, given that we do want to start replacing much of our fleet of private and public transport with electrically powered vehicles (cars and trains) this will have the effect of raising the base load as all those cars will be on charge overnight.
Evening that out further by remotely switching when the cars charge is at least plausible, because customers will accept that kind of demand management as long as you can guarantee that the car will be fully charged by a given time in the morning. Same as the interruptible contracts we already have but in a much larger scale and longer timeframe.
This really suits nuclear base load. It is also the exact opposite of what the planned wind, tidal and solar PV would actually provide.
Unfortunately the second is not without difficulty - local substations probably aren't sized to allow that much total power, as they did assume a certain amount of diversity.
Hence the Grid being pretty worried about the near future.
Re: That's odd ...
That'll be down to the whole "predators eating them" thing.
Wierd how that works, eh?
Re: Am I missing something?
If the program uses proprietary data formats, they have you by the short and curlies because all your critically important data is stuck in that application and you cannot get it out.
That's why no public service should ever be permitted use a closed proprietary data format under any circumstances whatsoever.
Public, published, standards should be the only ones ever used.
If that isn't actually possible for size/speed reasons, then the application must provide a proven export function to a usable public format right from the start.
And no, a supplier merely promising to do that 'later' is not enough, it has to exist and be seen before installation.
Re: And what about all the EMF
I'm going to hope you meant Radio Frequency emissions, as only a moron would have meant actual EMF, which would be unfortunate.
EMF is merely another way of saying Voltage, and the voltage does not 'escape' in any way.
The RF emissions may however be significant, which will have exactly zero direct effect on humans but may make listening to radio and TV broadcast, and wireless Internet considerably more difficult. EMC is a very serious and quite difficult issue at these power levels.
Re: No, you can't
600mm lens with 2x converter isn't something you accidentally take photos with!
Neither do you accidentally get a topless woman a km away in shot, accidentally sell the photo (cropped to just that bit) to a magazine who accidentally published it with a huge accidental headline.
So no, sending them to prison isn't an overreaction, and the line is fairly clear.
If I knew that I had accidentally caught a semi-naked person in shot, I would not have made it public at all, let alone sold it to be published anywhere.
If the rest of the photo was important, then I would crop or otherwise edit it.
Quite simply, taking a photo of a naked person requires the permission of the subject. If it happens by accident, you don't publish it.
Then lock up the editor.
That will work, and French law allows a six month sentence for invasion of privacy.
Hence the huge surprise at it being a French mag that published first - in most of the EU it'd just be be a civil penalty.
Re: "Siri integration"
“I’m really sorry about this, but i can’t take any requests right now.”
Siri's actually been completely broken for me for the last couple of days, either showing what I said but never doing anything with it or simply sitting there spinning for a few minutes before giving up.
What really surprises me is how Siri can be so badly programmed that it can't go from a successful voice recognition of "Call XXX", yet sit there for a good thirty seconds before actually going ahead and calling XXX - or failing altogether.
Despite XXX being someone in my contacts that the original 'Voice Control" thingy handles instantly.
So I've given up and killed her (him? it?), as the only thing I've ever successfully used Siri for is phoning people in my contacts, as that's pretty much all Siri is apparently capable of if you're not in the USA.
Re: Are they going to sue over these (real) clocks also?
I would think Canary Wharf bought the right to use that design, or even the clocks themselves, from SBB, the same way anyone can buy an SBB-styled watch.
The complaint here is that Apple ripped off a trademarked design without permission. Trademarks begging what they are, SBB is obligated to defend it and ask for compensation.
According to Apple, well over $1 billion would be fair...
Rather sloppy thinking from a lot of quarters!
Even taken at face value this is not a reason not to use GM technology.
A result that said "GM crops are safe to eat" would also be utter bollocks.
It's just like saying "welded boxes are safe", ignoring that a welder can make a main battle tank or a water tank - one of those is not very safe at all.
- Which one depends where you are...
A particular GM crop can be tested and found safe (or unsafe), direct GM itself is merely a tool.
And a very effective tool as well - much more likely to give the intended resultant crop than the genetic modification via blind breeding that we've been doing for the last few thousand years.
Your "everyone" are mightily ill-informed
First of all, without intensive farming, your lifestyle could not exist. You'd be out in the fields every day along with everyone else not of noble birth.
Secondly, without intensive farming, you'd probably have starved to death by now, or never been born because your parents did.
Look at Africa, parts of China etc. Subsistence farming is not the idyll you think it is.
Finally, humans have been genetically modifying animals and plants for the last ten thousand years or so. How do you think we got from crab-apple like things to the large tasty cox pippins, or from grass to wheat, corn etc?
Selective breeding, cross-breeding - both forms of genetic modification.
So it looks nice but can't cope?
A stuttering GUI is pretty much the worst thing you can do, and there's simply no exuse for that in a product in that kind of price range.
Either put faster hardware in there or cut some of the bling.
Re: Sad thing is, I wouldn't bet on it
A bloke who does WHAT!!?
Now that is truly the definition of insane, almost anything else would have been better and safer.
I'm really hoping that was a slight exaggeration and he's actually merely using Excel to auto-generate the g-code (or whatever program the robot runs on), but even so...
Re: MS already has a Windows gaming "ecosystem" for the PC
Valve are worried that MS are going to abuse their monopoly to try to push Valve (et al) out of the games on PC market.
Just like they did to the browser market many years ago.
And while that would again be grounds for an antitrust lawsuit, that didn't help Netscape very much.
From here it certainly looks like MS are trying to create a walled garden inside TIFKAM, and that would indeed be a disaster (and yet another abuse of monopoly from a convicted abuser).
They changed the UI more than "a bit"
They threw away almost everything good from the previous version, and even tried to get rid of the idea of Windows (plural) and replaced it with something that is the exact opposite of the last 20-30 years of human-computer interface research.
Ref flat, monochrome "buttons", multitude of invisible functions, hiding everything from you instead of layering like, well, windows.
Windows 8 itself may well be a pretty good technical improvement underneath, but the TIFKAM interface is what they are pushing, and it's utterly terrible on a desktop or any multitasking device.
Sorry, but the answer is yes, it can.
d3's system dynamically alters the 'virtual' projection source - otherwise known as the 'eyepoint' - using an arbitrary 3D control input.
While it's true that the last demo I saw was using a mouse to control where the 'virtual' projector was and the direction it was pointing in, it's trivial to hook up anything capable of handing out a position and direction.
It's a seriously cool bit of kit.
Neither does Microsoft's patent application, except in extremely general terms.
My guess is that they watched the Queen's Jubilee celebration last year and decided to try to steal d3's technology out from under them.
Re: "Intel-based set top market. "
I suspect a lot of the more expensive set-top-boxes do use x86 processors, however I'm absolutely certain that consumers do not care in the slightest.
A 'technical' consumer might look at the power consumption in running, 'soft' standby and 'powersave' standby, and if it's their second STB purchase what the box will actually do in the latter two. (Once bitten, twice shy and all that)
The only ones who really care are enthusiasts 'hacking' on a given STB care, but only so they know which toolchain to select for cross-compiling.
I have no idea what the CPU in my Foxsat HDR is. It might be interesting to know, but I'm not bothered enough to spend much energy finding out.
So as has been the case since time immemorial, the operators are ****ing up perfectly good phones with their pointless and awful additions.
I genuinely think that the best thing Apple did to the iPhone was telling the operators they were not allowed to
ruin customise it.
Almost every complaint I've had and heard of about Symbian, Windows Mobile and Android was "Why the hell can't I delete this useless <insert name here>?"
When will the operators learn?
Re: That's actually pretty clever.
Too late, they already existed long before this patent was filed.
I also seem to recall at least one manufacturer (HTC?) advertising this as a feature of some of their phones a couple of years ago, and InvenSense describe this kind of function in several of their accelerometer data sheets.
You can also tell that the patent applicant doesn't really understand the basic hardware either, because the "shock" and "freefall" outputs of many MEMS accelerometers are still active in 'sleep' mode, when they are drawing uA.
Re: *Whoosh* as the point flies over your head
Oh dear. You really don't get it, do you?
Google wrote this tool. Google want people to develop for Android, and Google would prefer that people did not develop for iOS.
Ask yourself this question:
Which of these statements are in Google's interest to say:
a) "Develop Android first, and you can make an iOS version easily."
b) "Develop iOS first, you can make an Android version easily."
Hint - if you said, (b), you're wrong.
*Whoosh* as the point flies over your head
Which is riskier - developing for both of the two most popular platforms, or developing only for the second-most popular platform?
Of course, neither are as risky as developing for the fourth or fifth (depending on how it's measured) that hasn't even been released yet.
Google want devs to write the Android first
They are saying "Here, write your application for Android and you can easily port it to iOS in the future."
The idea is that development houses will start by writing an Android app, as that way around carries less risk.
It's also pretty likely that many will never actually convert it to iOS at all, merely having the option is enough.
If you only develop for iOS it's pretty risky, as you're screwed if/when iPhone popularity dips*, and indeed vice-versa.
*It will probably dip fairly soon, because iOS is starting to stagnate - what's new in iOS 6? An extra screen size?
Re: It's A solution
There is, it's called Qt.
Unfortunately an idiot by the name of Elop didn't understand what he had and threw it away.
It's now managed by Digia.
It currently handles Android, Symbian, Mac OSX, Windows, Linux (many platforms) and a lot of more specialised targets.
I believe that an iOS target is under development, though I don't know how far away.
WP7 & 8 are not currently on the table, which is rather strange.
Given that she says throughout that her sums are based on a backing of $1,000,000, and she actually raised $192,793 more than that.
Last time I checked, $35k was less than $192k, and she'd still have $157k more than budgeted.
Unless of course the budget was simply wrong. However being out by more than $150k is pretty serious, enough to bankrupt many companies.
The odd thing is that she acknowledges that the designers and crew aren't going to work for free, yet she expects the musicians to do that.
I suppose the weirdest part is that it's usually the other way around in the UK.
Very big difference there
In am-dram, the director, designers and cast don't get paid, they are members of the am-dram society - paying subscriptions just like being a member of any society.
When they put on productions, the society will pay for the materials, venue hire and venue technician(s) and in the UK they will often pay the orchestra.
The up-front and running costs are met by the society members by their subscriptions, the ticket sales are intended to pay for the rest.
The article is about a professional tour. Would you do you job for free when everyone else is being paid?
Re: So things published under a law to stop other people publishing them
I like that idea, use of any image with no metadata at all should be considered the copyright equivalent of receiving stolen goods, and the only possible defence being producing the original which does contain the metadata.
Doesn't do anything about replacing the metadata though - how do you prove it's the right or wrong metadata?
I can see this general idea resulting in one heck of a watermarking gold rush.
It's such a shame then, that iTunes has become such a bloated hog with hideous GUI making it damn near impossible to use as a music library.
It used to be really good, but they destroyed it with so many changes, it has suffered a death by a thousand cuts.
Now I don't even start it up, and I simply uninstalled it last time it wanted to update. It went from slick and useful, to nagging utter crap in a few short years.
- Updated Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
- Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
- Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
- Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
- Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning