Feeds

* Posts by Chemist

1855 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Electric cars stall in USA, Australia

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: utter bollocks

"and it is much cheaper than diesel anyway,"

I doubt that. A quick google got me 15L for £24.99 which is more than the price of diesel in these parts at the pump.

Have you a ref.for this cheap oil ?

1
0

'Depression-era grandma' Apple responds to bolshy investor

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Einhorn's Ulterior Motif

"He is bound to find a bunch of share holders which believe his version of reality and vote his way."

That's the way companies work. If other shareholders are stupid enough to not check what he's saying then they deserve all they get. Generally large shareholders are NOT stupid and can employ people to check.

I wasn't thinking specifically of this case when I discussed returning shareholder value but in general it's true with the caveat that the shareholders would have to vote for the dissolution/merger/takeover of the company.

I've no idea of the motives of Einhorn, I'm just taking exception to the idea that shareholders have to accept what THEIR board of directors says. It isn't so. Remember the directors work for the shareholders. If I own part of a company and the directors either make a mess or merely collect a cash pile that they might be using to grow the business it's MY investment that is affected ( and of course the workers)

1
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Einhorn's Ulterior Motif

""When you buy stock in a company, you must agree with the way the company is managed""

When you own stock you own a share of the company. If you have enough stock or supporters then you are fully entitled to change the way the company is managed. That's why shareholders can vote.

Indeed if a company can't see any future in what it does it's the duty of the directors to return as much value to the shareholders as they can. One of the reasons for taking a company private is to avoid shareholder involvement, although like Dell you might end-up in regretting that.

1
0

LibreOffice 4.0 ships with new features, better looks

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: LibreOffice

"Alas my post was taken seriously by some. It was humour."

Sorry if I upset you - it's just one of my things. I don't care what a program looks like as long as it has the performance/stability/etc.

In my case being totally Linux only I use LO as I don't have much choice anyway.

2
1
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: LibreOffice

"LO should divert all coding efforts from the engine and into the UI"

Oh yes, style over substance every time </sarcasm>

9
1

Space station 'naut supplies Reg with overhead snap of Vulture Central

Chemist
Silver badge

@mike2R

London is indeed a great city - but much of what people think of as 'London's' history derives from people from all parts of Britain -it may appear to outsiders that it came from London but on the whole it passed through London.

6
0
Chemist
Silver badge

"so much of history came from this brightly-lit city."

so much of history came from the country whose capital is this brightly-lit city. - fixed that

11
6

Microsoft 'touches 16k shop workers' to flog Windows 8 hard

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Lord of the flies

"Ever seen flies on a touch screen ? I have last summer and it was hilarious - they are happy to open Control Panel for you or whatever ... close random windows ...."

It's just a bug

8
0

Report: Over 1.5 MILLION UK drivers will have hydrogen cars by 2030

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: doomed

""Steam would of course provide a simple enough alternative - fireless steam""

Note : the fireless steam is generated from methanol + hydrogen peroxide + catalyst. This does not seem a realistic method for transport etc. Local, small scale generation of steam without heat maybe.

1
1
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Why not just convert your existing car?

"he amount of current required is significantly reduced to within the scope of a standard car battery and unmodified alternator."

Perpetual motion then ! Should make a fortune !

2
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: doomed

All you need now is a low-cost, low energy way to make methanol & hydrogen peroxide. - oh wait !

Thermodynamics is thermodynamics - there is no way round that. The energy you get out + losses had to come from somewhere.

2
0

HP jumps on Chromebook bandwagon with 14-incher

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: My Samsung Chromebook turned up last week!

"Have to say its a great bit of kit. Great to use."

Good to hear but so many here would say it's barely usable because it can't run Office etc..

( Please note I wouldn't say that )

0
0

Windows Server 2012 kicks ass: discuss

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Madness with Windows supporters

NYSE Trading Platform

"Unparalleled Price-Performance

The Universal Trading Platform for International Markets runs on commodity

Linux hardware and standards-based communication protocols."

http://nysetechnologies.nyx.com/sites/technologies.nyx.com/files/L5756_NYSE%20Tech%20UTP_IM_OST_100105b.pdf

0
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Madness with Windows supporters

"Unix servers experienced a revenue decline of 14.2% year over year "

Yes but Linux != Unix !

0
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Madness with Windows supporters

"People better qualified than you are chosing Windows server on a daily basis"

People better than you are chosing Linux servers on a daily basis .... Fixed.

0
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Madness with Windows supporters

"New York Stock Exchange uses SQL........"

First hit on Google !

How Linux Mastered Wall Street

www.pcworld.com/article/.../how_linux_mastered_wall_street.html

"NYSE Does Linux

The largest exchange, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Euronext, is run on a Linux system that can generate 1,500,000 quotes and process 250,000 orders every second, offering acknowledgments of each transaction within two milliseconds. "

3
1

Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: I want a new netbook

I've had a Asus 901 for years and binned the stupid travesty of Linux it came with almost immediately for Kubuntu. It now runs OpenSUSE 11.4/KDE , which installed perfectly from a USB stick and runs everything fine and that includes WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G dongle.

3
0

Quantum crypto still not proven, claim Cambridge experts

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Carver Mead's been saying it for years

"Even if you could fire a "single" photon would it not hit the Aether particles and cause them to propagate as a wave?"

You can 'fire' a single photon.

What Aether particles ? Suggest you need to do some reading around this whole area

2
1

Comp Sci becomes 'fourth science' in English Baccalaureate

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: A significant difference...

"Between my schooldays in the late seventies ....."

Ditto - only the sixties

2
0

UPnP scan shows 50 million network devices open to packet attack

Chemist
Silver badge

"Am I right in thinking that unless you specifically need an incoming connection "

I think it is implementation dependent - if your device has an option for uPNP on/off its best off. They often default to on.

3
1

Stanford super runs million-core calculation

Chemist
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Is it hard to do that?

"Could you not do that just by writing some bad code?"

You'd better put more paper in the printer if you're making a million copies

0
0

Hackers squeeze through DVR hole, break into CCTV cameras

Chemist
Silver badge

This business about uPNP..

.. has been known about for years. I turned it off on my router when it was new and that was 4-5 years ago

4
0

My top tip for Microsoft: Stop charging for Windows Phone 8

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: My top tip for Microsoft.

"if you could just grasp the concept that there are hundreds of *billions* of PCs"

So several dozen for each person on the planet then.

hint : population of planet ~7 billion

2
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: "the writing is on the wall for desktop computing."

"no office or other Win application that requires more performance than I have."

I think you mean - that YOU use. There are plenty of applications that can use huge amounts of memory/cpu -the most general obvious being video, esp. rendering or transcoding 1080p/50

0
2
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: world without MS - open, innovation, creative

"Erm, you mean like Android managing to have more variants of Malware in 3 years than all versions of Windows have in 14 years?"

You really believe that don't you ?

4
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: My top tip for Microsoft.

Re: My top tip for Microsoft.

"n the real world nobody really uses Linux and open source on corporate desktops"

Absolute rubbish - I was in a group of 200 who had high powered Linux workstations years ago( 8+) , academics, CGI groups and engineers all use it. It may well be a small percentage but it's a very high-powered influential percentage. In my own area software tends to be ONLY written for Unix, Linux and maybe Macs

5
1

ITU signs off on H.265 video standard

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Damn!

"I wonder how long it will be until hardware-accelerated codecs for this are commonplace?"

FYI

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding

0
0

The Oric-1 is 30

Chemist
Silver badge

"

> I'm not sure I'd want to deal with a company whose director, or even a senior staff, have a

> history of bankruptcies, millions of pounds of debts, failed companies, etc"

Like many things it depends on the details, was it a well-thought out scheme that failed due to unexpected circumstances, suprise innovation from a competitor, market downturn etc. Or were the directors out-of -their-depth in some areas, dishonest, over-optimistic, poor managers etc.

1
0

Boeing 787 fleet grounded indefinitely as investigators stumped

Chemist
Silver badge

"Inert gas extinguishers, or anything else, will not help much in a lithium ion battery fire."

Whilst I agree with this and have on several occasions in my lab career extinguished burning metal & metal hydride fires using special ternary powder extinguishers and whilst noting that these batteries are worst in having their own oxidant the use of inert gas would at least help to control any collateral fires in the vicinity.

3
0

Meet قلب, the programming language that uses Arabic script

Chemist
Silver badge
Joke

"Some of us old timers had to learn the hex codes for several different processors."

What worries me as I get older is that hex codes (7E JMP on a 6809)are starting to be the only thing I remember !

3
0

Boffins baffled over pulsar with 'split personality'

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Obvious innit?

Surely

Yours _infallibly@pontifex

0
0
Chemist
Silver badge

dash dot dash dash dash

5
0

Panasonic: We'll save Earth by turning CO2 INTO BOOZE

Chemist
Silver badge

If it is ~ same efficiency as plants..

then it will need a humongous area of land

0
0

Microsoft blasts PC makers: It's YOUR fault Windows 8 crash landed

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Let me get this right...

"that you don't have software maintenance if you don't buy the Windows flavour."

Certainly I build all my own desktops/servers and install Linux on them - for years I've had NO maintenance cost other than one flaky HD

Laptops are a more difficult matter - so far I've got by with 1 netbook (Linux from new) and 1 second-hand laptop (donated after a Windows Update disaster). I'm going to have to replace it soon-ish as various non-core bits are failing and the memory is becoming rather tight)

I'm going to have to look around rather carefully

1
0

Hydrogen on demand from silicon nanospheres - just add water

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Wow. object with 100x surface area of other object reacts 100x faster on its surface

"But that's one big if."

Absolutely. Si surfaces rapidly coat with SiO2 so I imagine the nanospheres would need to be made out of contact with air. On exposure to water I rather think they would change their shape rapidly and indeed if they didn't much unexposed silicon might be wasted or the reaction rate at least limited.

Overall this is just one scheme amongst others that could be used as a portable source of hydrogen.

1
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: price of caravan fuel cell fuel

The energy content of methanol is ~~6kWh /Kg so that would argue for a rather poor efficiency.

0
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Just add silicon nano-spheres too - Yeah BUT

"HUGE double mattress slabs of silicon, and have them churn away"

Sorry the reaction with bulk silicon is VERY slow probably because the surface rapidly coats with SiO2

0
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Wow. object with 100x surface area of other object reacts 100x faster on its surface

"I like the low-tech aspect of cacium carbide."

It's not low-tech, just old-tech - it needs a stonking 2000K arc furnace to make , don't know what the energy efficiency is.

0
0
Chemist
Silver badge

" Water is a finite resource too"

Not really. Take this reaction 2/3rds of the water comes back from oxidizing the hydrogen in the fuel cell. The remainder is loosely locked-up in silicic acid.

4
0
Chemist
Silver badge

There are plenty of uses for a 'refillable battery' although a generator is really a better name. Already large units are available for motorhomes and yachts that allow silent power production on a considerable scale for many weeks from cassettes of methanol ( not ideal I admit ). You could use solar or wind but the energy stored in even methanol is significant and allows for heavy usage in darkness.

An example here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vWvPwiQazI

A bit twee but it gives some of the current possibilities. As far as I can tell the running costs are ~~£2/day for a 600W unit

2
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Just add silicon nano-spheres too

"bear on making the spheres cheaply"

The silicon is just an energy carrier - you need to put energy in to get silicon from silicon dioxide. Generate the hydrogen and consume it as efficiently as possible and you might get back a modest proportion of the input energy. There's no way round that it's just chemistry and thermodynamics. If you can get really cheap energy it might be useful for certain niche application - basically it allows you to store the equivalent ~45L of hydrogen in 28g of silicon (+water)

Energy costs dominate this with the proviso that making the nano-silicon particles may in fact dominate the process. Material costs are irrelevant as the silicic acid can be converted back to silica if necessary

The minimum energy cost is ~1MJ/mol (=28g) and may be a lot more

4
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Wow. object with 100x surface area of other object reacts 100x faster on its surface

"Can you re-cycle the wast product?"

Yes, but you'd need to provide some more energy to dehydrate it - it's basically similar to silica gel that's used as a desiccant often in little bags with "do not eat" on them.

I've covered some aspects of the energy cost in a post further up the thread

(The whole business is a little like the old carbide process where calcium carbide + water produced acetylene on demand for portable lights.)

2
0

Asteroid-mining 'FireFlys' will be ready for action by 2015, vows space firm

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Now *how* does one get from lumps of rock -> pure nickel particles?

"All are big energy consumers."

I don't think your big is anywhere nearly big enough

Although I assume they are hoping to mine native nickel or nickel/iron from asteroids.

0
0

Spanish startup to ship first Mozilla-phones

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Bleh

"Then it stated throwing up alerts and warnings and upgrade notices every time I launched it."

Funny, I'm now on v18.0, have used FF . from the beginning and don't know what you mean.

4
0

Entire Reg readership would fill 205 Olympic-sized swimming pools

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: All very well but

"to the ends of the unverse"

Truly a big bang !

0
0

Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

Chemist
Silver badge

Re: CFL's

"Those cleanup instructions from the EPA tacitly assume a hard surface floor. Wall-to-wall carpeting is very common; just try to scrape up spilled mercury from it!"

You obviously didn't read the information the EPA provided.

It concludes :

"What if I can't follow all the recommended steps? or I cleaned up a CFL but didn't do it properly?

Don't be alarmed; these steps are only precautions that reflect best practices for cleaning up a broken CFL. Keep in mind that CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury -- less than 1/100th of the amount in a mercury thermometer. "

Whilst the total amount of mercury in all CFL may be significant the risk from one broken one is miniscule.

0
1
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Yeah lets ban another element

"but with any poison dose matters "

Indeed it seems to and Bruce Ames who was partly responsible for much of the scare about zero tolerance to some carcinogens changed his mind in later life and published well-reasoned papers about why a threshold amount/concentration was probably more likely.

0
0
Chemist
Silver badge

Re: Quite correct

" factory still using the mercury process"

Really, I'd imagined most long gone. I'm certainly no expert being an organic chemist by training and a drug designer/protein modeller by profession, but I imagine that mercury could be stored as it's sulfide which forms easily (we always used to us sulfur powder to 'mop-up' stray drops from broken bits of kit) and is a natural ore anyway.

0
0