Tick, tock, tick, tick, tock
So, just like everyone else, Intel's had to add a leap second this year.
36 posts • joined 4 Jan 2012
So, just like everyone else, Intel's had to add a leap second this year.
“Give kids some tools and let them solder, bake, code, connect and sew to make dough circuits, wearable electronics, flower pot robots and games consoles,” says Technology will Save Us on its site.
How do you sew a dough circuit? What's that all about?
Not as such - I think the state pension only goes direct to your bank account now, although the Post Office does offer a pretend account specifically to receive pensions and benefits to those who are unable to obtain a proper bank account.
That said, I think old habits die hard. Round here, at least, Thursday's the day when the oldsters descend en-masse upon the local post office with the sole aim of withdrawing cash and get struck down by a contagious amnesia rendering them unable to find their debit cards, locate the slot in the counter-top chip-and-pin machines or remember their PINs.
They then have to spend the next 48 hours at home, slowly recovering from the trauma of using using modern technology to withdraw money. This lengthy recuperation results in their weekly trip to the local supermarket to spend their cash being delayed until Saturday morning...
"Ooh, this is terrible - I don't not never seen Sainsbury's so busy. It were never this crowded last Saturday..."
Not to defend Tesla in particular but rather to question people's expectations... I think that people have to stop branding the Powerwall battery a failure because it can't power all of a household's high wattage appliances at the same time.
If you're already off-grid, then you're probably already well aware that electricity usage has to be somewhat planned and you can't just wake up in the morning and fire up the toaster, kettle, oven, electric shower, hairdryer, curlers, washing machine and dishwasher simultaneously and to suggest that this battery, which is probably smaller and less robust than a lot of true off-grid'ers battery banks, should be able to do that seems rather unfair.
It's most valuable achievement seems to be raising awareness of the need for energy storage in a green energy dominated grid. Whether it's a good product seems rather less certain from the specs. I thought lithium cells were supposed to avoid the lead acid pitfalls of limited charge cycles and death by excessive discharge etc? Apparently not these...
Perhaps a more natural market for these sorts of mass-market, plug-and-play, all-in-one, certified and standardised solutions will develop as an integral part of a smart grid, controlled by the National Grid who would govern when and what wattage the Powerwalls would release to homeowners:- With the Grid sending out automated messages like "Calling all Powerwalls... calling all Powerwalls... calling all Powerwalls: The Greens haven't touched their lentil and bean soup today and so mighty fleets of wind turbines aren't quite spinning fast enough to generate enough electricity to meet demand. Can you all switch on and each reduce your house's draw from the grid by 500W using the energy you were able to store from your solar panels earlier when the sun was still shining out of the Greens' arses"
@ Jamie Jones
Not just in Wales either, England too!
I was in a class which had a geography teacher as their form teacher for a few years. Every time it rained and was too wet for us to be turfed out onto the playground for our break, we were sent up to the geography classroom to watch a video. Unfortunately the geography teacher only had two videos. One on Dinorwig, the other on the Milk Marketing Board.
Personally, I can't see GCHQ having to worry much about interpreting sexual innuendo when eavesdropping on conversations between the ultra-religious, bomb-happy bores of Islamic State or Al-Qaeda.
But on the other hand, if "I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue" is deemed a threat to national security, then yes, we may be in a spot of bother if we just leave the GCHQ mainframe to get on with monitoring it.
@ Gordon 10,
You're right about creating a bigger market but don't discount recycling car batteries for this kind of use completely - Nissan are investigating this sort of energy storage as a second life for used Leaf batteries.
No, I'm not talking about just amassing idle 'tweets' and 'likes' for energy storage solutions. I'm hoping that the extensive news coverage generated by this relatively unremarkable battery's association with Elon Musk - that nice man from the Iron Man films with the fancy suit and the sports cars and space rockets - will go some way to making people realise that the mad dash to renewables-only national power generation is not as simple as a lot of people think it is.
You can't just turn off all gas, coal and nuclear power stations and expect solar panels and wind turbines to do the same job.
It's popular policy for all politicians wanting to capture the green vote to commit to quite alarming cuts in carbon emissions that will require a huge reduction in power generation from fossil fuels. Add to that a growing demand to reduce air pollution by removing the Evil Diesel vehicles from the roads - preferably by replacing them with electric vehicles - and you end up in a situation where demand for electricity is likely to rise sharply at the same time as our generating capacity becomes subject to large weather-based fluctuations.
At the moment, electricity demand governs supply. But if you turn decommission nearly all gas, coal and nuclear power stations then people need to understand that with nothing left but wind turbines and solar panels then the situation will reverse and electricity supply will govern demand. (And the billions wasted on over-hyped smart meters won't do a damn thing to help either.)
Storage of surplus solar and wind energy needs to be incorporated, on a massive scale, into any future where the majority of energy generation depends on solar and wind. As supply will not usually be able to match demand, we must find ways of storing energy that is surplus to the level of demand at its time of generation and releasing it when there is a deficit.
Whether it's through battery installations or flywheels on a domestic level, compressed air plants on industrial estates to serve small towns, pumping water up to old slate quarries on Welsh mountainsides on a regional level or something else entirely, we need to invest in some combination of them.
How many people, unquestioningly supporting the politicians carbon reduction targets on the basis that anything green must be good assume that we'll all be OK if we just build some more wind turbines and install some more solar panels, appreciate this?
How many of those people realise that in a house with a bog-standard domestic solar installation today, solar panels don't generate any power if there's a power cut? How many people realise that you need batteries and additional control equipment to maintain power to a property with solar panels fitted if the grid goes down on a sunny day, let alone to provide a reservoir of energy that can be tapped into throughout the night? How many of those people realise that renewable energy supply is poorly matched to demand?
Hopefully there are a few more after today's news.
Even Eddie Mair, when introducing the news item on PM this evening sounded like he was suggesting that for the first time ever, a new type of battery that could store the sun's energy had been invented!
It's great to see Elon Musk giving renewable energy storage a publicity boost - it's the one thing that is essential yet never seems to be considered by any of the politicians who are egging each other on to drive us all faster and faster towards a zero-carbon, green-energy-only car crash.
Ban coal - coal is dirty! Ban gas - fracking is immoral! Ban nuclear - think of the children! Oh and ban onshore wind while you're at it too, it might be green think of the house prices!
Great. Now where's the capacity to supply a 24hr base load gone? Where's the surge capacity in the grid?
Making an offering of Waitrose essentials cous-cous to Gaia in the hope of making the sun to come out on a wet December night so we can all put the kettle on and have a cup of tea when Eastenders finishes just isn't going to cut it.
If we're to make a renewables-only solution work with the drastic cuts to carbon emissions that politicians are promising by 2020 or 2030 then energy storage on a massive scale and in a number of different forms needs to be very seriously, very quickly and very thoroughly considered.
Surprised that no one's mentioned it yet but there's also the issue of product localisation.
OK, so even though product manuals and safety information sheets are famous for being in written in at least 15 different languages, you've got also consider the following issues:
With electricals, you're going to end up opening the box to find the wrong plug on the end of a mains cable, or worse, a whole charger with the wrong plug moulded onto it. So you've then got the expense of a new cable, adapter or charger to add to the total cost of the appliance.
And then, when you finally plug it in you can stand back and admire your shiny new machine with its fascia and buttons all inscribed with a language you don't speak.
And should it break under warranty, you've to ungodly shipping costs if you have to send it back to the retailer...
How long before the government realises that the addition of a 3G modem aboard the car would allow the car's camera and computers to read the speed limit sign, and if the car's over the limit, to then automatically report the driver for speeding over the 3G connection so that a fine and points can automatically be issued, before slowing the car down to under the limit...
No more costs of maintaining speed cameras or dedicating traffic cops to patrol for speeding drivers, the car manufacturer foots the bill for the extra electronics, and then it's just kerchinggg!....
If it's the same lot who keep pestering me on my mobile with an "unknown" incoming number, then yes, calling the entire population in less than a fortnight... then starting the process all over again asking the same question, does sound very plausible.
It's usually about PPI, occasionallly aobut debt relief, and one was for solar panels, but the format's always the same. I've not claimed my free blah blah blah, so press 5 to speak to an adviser or press 9 if you don't want free money.
Much as I want to shout at them, the connection always ends whether I press 5 or 9.
Not a Christmas present, but my mum remembers being able to buy mercury from the local chemist's shop as a child.
And then taking it home and making elaborate marble runs for great globs of it in the vegetable beds in the back garden...
I reckon that a proportionate response (or do I mean an amusing revenge? - I get so confused...) would be to dub The Interview into Korean and then have the USAF broadcast it across North Korea using their fleet of C-130 Commando Solo aircraft. That'll learn 'em!
How about using a few chains of those elongated shaped charges that building demolitions teams use to cut through the wide steel i-beams that hold high rise buildings up. I'm sure that a few lines of those laid over the top of the whale would cleave the mighty beast into family sized portions more precisely than traditional method of a giant pile of dynamite dug underneath it.
> Lets hope none of these made their way into critical embedded systems eh.
Fake FTDI chips in critical embedded systems is the least of your problems, it's going to be a worry for many more common components that go into a critical systems. Fake power transistors, fake voltage regulators, fake op-amps, fake capacitors... you name it... it's a potential danger for all of them.
The difference here is that the component being faked here is complex enough for FTDI to have an option other than sending expensive lawyers round China on a stand-up comedy tour about fraud and protecting IP.
Whether it's a western company deliberately buying surprisingly cheap reels of components from cheaparsechinesechips.com rather than the official distributor in order to shave 10% off the BOM, or their Chinese PCB manufacturer doing the same behind the designer's back in order to increase their profit margin on a production run, I hope the effect of this is to shake up lax supply chain management in companies who have either deliberately or inadvertently let fake components find their way into their products.
Having misread the headline as "Chinese stole giant robot tech", I was rather disappointed by the puny little machine described in the article...
Just go in disguise when you do this because most ATMs have CCTV covering them as they're great sites for mugging, bag snatching, shoulder surfing, fraud etc...
It's not the only oddity in the blockchain. There's supposedly loads of other cruft in there
(excuse the weird URL - the link really is about bitcoin!)
"do some fucking investigating rather than echoing the feds"
You're both a bit wrong here...
The Reg article says he supplied 500g/week of MDMA to "Individual J" in America. From the court docs that are linked to in the article, this appears correct.
Regarding the 104 kg figure, from reading the court docs you can see that this is a headline figure for SuperTrips' total WORLDWIDE MDMA sales through SilkRoad from March 2012 to August 2013. Not just the amount of his total supply to "Individual J".
So The Reg was right to say he sold 104 kg of MDMA, but was wrong to suggest it all went to Individual J.
I think that the big news here is the epic increase in local warehousing that Amazon would need to fulfil the supposed 30 minute Prime Air delivery promise. No more scattered regional mega-warehouses as quads can't currently fly for longer than about 30 minutes, and their speed isn't great either. I think that it might be appropriate to think of quads employed like this as the milk floats of the 21st century. Every town or city borough wanting the service will need a depot for them to hold the stock they distribute, service and recharge them, And if you live in the countryside, well, tough...
And if this is a genuine Amazon project and not just a bit of Cyber Monday advertising inveigled into the 6 o'clock news then I can't see quads in their current form really being viable for this. I read an article recently that suggested that a different quad configuration - one main heli-style rotor providing most of the lift, with 3 smaller rotors for control - could provide maybe a 25% increase in range or endurance. However I think that ultimately it will be developing tilt-rotor designs that will enable a business proposition like this to stand a chance of succeeding - the greater range and speed offered by fixed wing flight coupled with the manouverability of a heli for urban take-off and landing.
"But why translate it into USD? Just name the number of bitcoins."
Bitcoins... Dollars... all meaningless to me. To make any sense at all, you need to convert this damn nonsense into London buses!
Bet the hackers who lifted that database are pissed off. Weeks of risky, illegal activity and they find that all the passwords are just 123456... again... This hacking lark is just no fun anymore :(
You might be too young to remember them but did you ever hear of a company called Apple? They tried launching an expensive new mobile telephone called an iPhone 5S. What a disaster! In fact, it was one of the biggest mistakes in American corporate history. Apple stubbornly priced it far too high and at between $649 and $849 they just could not shift any of them. Millions of phones sat unsold in warehouses across the globe and the word "Apple" became synonymous with failure. It was a fatal blow for the company. Their share price crashed by 99% when the first sales figures were released for the model and the company was declared bankrupt soon after. Shareholders lost everything and all employees were laid off. The disastrous launch of the iPhone 5S is still taught as a case study in business schools to this day.
For those who can't view the video embedded in the article, I think that this is it on YouTube.
Can't view it either. I get the YouTube error:
... but your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now."
If I go to direct to YouTube in another tab, videos play just fine. I wonder if it is something to do with the stupid video player skin that The Reg have? I often have problems playing the vids in their articles.
"maybe they could enlist miley and get some tips on how to grab headlines."
Oh... Dear... God... Nooooo! Isn't Assange insufferable enough when he's hidden away inside the Ecuadorean embassy? The last thing I want is for him to emerge and start singing and prancing around, half-naked, in a sexually provocative manner.
"...an engineer with in-depth knowledge of China Mobile's network..."
Sounds like an ideal job for one of the NSA bods who got laid off in the wake of the Snowdon kerfuffle.
I don't normally watch cat videos on Youtube, but that was a pretty good one!
Smartphones by the age of 12? ...when I was that age (and if you were really lucky), your parents bought you a Nintendo Game & Watch to play with. And with that came a queue of 20 other kids following you around the playground every day begging for a mere minute of donkey kong action!
You know how aircraft can be diverted when a "drunken" passenger engages in some rowdy, aggressive or threatening behaviour that is considered by the pilot to be "endangering the safety of the aircraft". Well, lets say such a "drunken" passenger happened to be present on Snowdon's eventual flight from Moscow, and that he chose to kick off just as it approached UK airspace thus forcing it to divert to a UK* airport.
Would we remove him from that flight when we realised that, entirely by chance, he was on the very aircraft that had so misfortunately been forced to divert?
*(or an airport of some other European nation friendly with the US)
It was on Indiegogo, not Kickstarter as...
...it wouldn't have been accepted on Kickstarter as they have more stringent rules detailing what can go on their site. In particluar, hardware Kickstarter projects must already have a prototype they can demonstrate to potential backers. Quoting from their project guidelines:
"Projects must be clear about their state of development, and cannot be presented as preorders of finished products. Projects must show details (photos, videos, sketches) of their progress so far, along with a prototype demonstrating the product's current functionality. Projects must explain how the final design is likely to differ from the prototype, and include a production plan (i.e., how you're going to make it) and an estimated timeline."
" From what I understand, coke is a weapon of mass destruction all on its own."
For most Americans, I think it is more of a weapon of mass creation
The expected usage of this flywheel isn't to spin it up and then put it away in the cupboard with your torches and paraffin lamp for months on end, only getting it out if you suffer a power cut. It's designed to provide overnight power for domestic solar & wind installations - to absorb excess power generated by the the system on a daily basis and then provide it as required throughout the night. Lead-acid batteries could provide that energy storage but they degrade with repeated discharge cycles, especially if the discharge is deep. A flywheel won't suffer that same discharge cycle degradation and it's 2% leakage per day isn't critical unless you live somewhere where you don't receive any sun or wind for weeks at a time.
"Maybe give them a thick coat of red paint and a little crown logo?"
... and then stand back and watch as fools try and find the slot so they can post their letters in them?
Paypal will be loving those auction prices! Cue the "Your Paypal account has been limited due to recent suspicious activity" email to Eben...