1808 posts • joined Friday 1st June 2012 10:28 GMT
Re: Not such a bad idea
"The major difference for me is that my fuel is not spent in traffic jams or only doing 3 mile journeys where the fuel combustion is extremely inefficient"
And that's the beauty of fuel taxes. Proportional to consumption. So that shorter journeys that use more fuel pay more. Driving in congested conditions costs more than the open road. Agressive driving uses more fuel and pays more. Bigger vehicles pay more. And the meter's already there, and somebody else has paid for it - its on the fuel pump, with the revenue collection all done by the suppliers.
In urban conditions you'd be lucky to get a third of your open road consumption, so the limiting factor is that you've only got a three times multiplier built in. If that's not sufficient, then car mounted meters can go for much higher multiples, but then the purpose will become just like the London congestion charge, to free the roads of the poor, so that the rich can drive more easily (brought in of course by a certain weasel faced socialist, of course).
Why stick with something simple, robust and fairly egalitarian, when you could have costly, complicated, socially divisive and intrusive?
To be fair, many subsequent CD's that never made it onto LP had excellent cover art. Unfortunately it never shows up on the small and often poorly printed CD booklet.
And if the music industry have refused to play ball with digital music, the purveyors of digital music software have been shamefully neglectful of album notes, credits and art. Your typically music player programme is happy with a 200x200 thumbnail of the original cover art, which may suit the disposal music buyers, but all of the main players don't make the most of what could be there.
Re: The music industry: @Mark Honman
"But where are these cheap Chinese styli you speak of?" Err, I made that bit up. If this was an arts 'n' farts website I'd claim artistic licence, but in the circumstances it is probably better to 'fess up that I simply made it up, with not a jot of supporting evidence.
And that was simply to poke a bit of fun at the vinylites. I remember my Dual 505, and all the magic of LPs. There was certainly something reverential, symbolic and almost religious about the process of sliding an LP out of its cover, thence from the lined sleeve, gently holding the fragile platter, placing it on the rotating altar, starting the motor, lifting the tonearm into position, and then gently lowering the needle onto the run-in.
On the other hand, the sound quality was dreadful, commercial pressings of the most atrocious quality, and your music was trapped in whatever room became your music temple. And the deficiencies are a subjective choice - the wave like hiss of a warped or off-centre-holed platter were objectionable to me, as was the crackles of dust and lint.
Re: "returning to long term normality" (Primus Secundus Tertius)
"When the dinosaurs lived in Britain they did not have to worry about cold winters,"
Indeed not. But through the Permian, Triassic and Jurassic periods, the lump of rock now known as Britain was drifting across the planet's equatorial zone, and even at the end of that time was about as far north as Portugal is today, so you'd be better off using paleo-climatology to support your claim.
And although during those times the Earth was warmer, that's not really true across the span of geolgical history.
"I have been searching for a bicycle-mine for this very purpose."
Prisons, mate. 80,000 crims with nothing to do. Get 'em on bikes attached to a big generator, cycling for eight hours a day at the demand of National Grid. At 200 watts per crim, thats 16 MW of renewable power, that can be scheduled, and perhaps even sold to tree huggers at a premium price Or disconnect the prisons from the grid (except for security systems) and make the prison heating and lighting dependant upon convict power. Then if they won't pedal they get to shiver in the dark.
Re: BBC4 last night
" flugle-bugle thingy"
It's a fluggle buggle. Can't you read?
Re: Science Advances
A fair response, but who is to do this "condeming to grinding poverty", then? The OP was sufficiently specific that it was us in our comfortable houses, but my response was that nobody has meaningfully tried to forcible stop development.
I'd agree that Kyoto was a useless piece of window dressing, but it certainly has had an impact on the cost of energy in Europe, resulting in cast boondoggle scams to promote crap solutions like wind and solar, and the complete abandonment of rational energy policies. Rather than the implied policy of keeping the foreigners picturesque and poor, Kyoto is pushing the developed countries living standards down (through wasteful misinvestment) whilst actually making global emissions worse.
From a development perspective it is fair to say that Kyoto is actually helping some people out of poverty by shifting jobs and pollution offshore, and to an extent that's a further form of hidden overseas aid, under the guise of free trade and globalisation.
The music industry: Still late for their own funeral
Makes you wonder what would happen to the transition rate to digital if the music industry offered high quality digital downloads (ie not MP3), including a data track of lyrics, notes and cover art? I'd guess the margins on downloads have to be far higher than piffling around pressing plastic discs, printing sleeves, assembling these into flimsy cases, shipping them across Europe to loss-making shops and then wondering where all the margin went.
I'm sticking with CDs because I want a DRM free copy (to rip to my mobile), and I want a maximum quality copy for playing through the home hi fi, and have backed up as FLAC (so when the CD corrodes to a purple coaster I've still got the music I've paid for). And admittedly a CD isn't as covetable as a vinyl LP, but at least you can read the lyrics and notes if you've got a good magnifying glass. Of course that doesn't explain the tiny upspring in vinyl sales, presumably where the vinyl luddites are having to restock where cheap Chinese stylii have worn the grooves smooth.
Having been dragged into the digital age reluctantly, kicking and screaming, the music industry still refuse to offer what people want to buy, preferring to hope that people will buy what they want to sell. Sadly that's a business model that seem wildly popular, from PC assemblers, software companies, games developers, mobile phone operators, even governments, you name it, almost all of them vigorously seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.
"Have a re-read of the article.....So yes of course we can use the same mechanism for electricity generation - I see them popping up on roofs all the time these days"
Err, you have a re-read of my post and Zanzibar Rastopolous' posts. We're fully aware that in the article electricity is being generated by solar power, and we don't give a stuff. Our identical point was that if you can convert nuclear fusion energy to kinetic energy, Einsteinian intellectuals that we are, we would have thought it relatively simple to convert kinetic energy to electrical energy, like we do for the vast majority of electrical energy on earth.
"Sorry, but you confuse fusion energy generation with propulsion, which doesn't necessarily need to generate anything more than kinetic impulse to the craft."
Given that the vast bulk of our electricity generation is based on chemical - kinetic - electromagnetic conversions, why can't this be used (in much modified form) for electricity generation?
You give me some form of controllable kinetic energy, and I'll give you some electricity.
Re: How about deploying one of these right now
"Permanent damage to eyesight can be done with less than a watt"
Which makes me wonder what happens when this new fangled laser hits a cloud of old fashioned chaff. Whilst I''d expect it to burn its way through in almost no time, I wouldn't want to watch.
Re: Science Advances
"that don't involve condemning those in less developed countries to grinding poverty."
You need to read more. Kyoto (for example) didn't have any meaningful restrictions on the emssions of less developed economies, so it didn't condemn any LDC's to grinding poverty. That's why Europe's daft ideas on renewables won't save the planet, because by making manufacturing in Europe ever less attractive, it migrates to Asian economies that don't give a hoot about their rising emissions (neither do I incidentally), because the energy costs are as important as the cheap labour.
As usual the greens miss the big picture. Because the emissions intensity of emerging economies is far worse than Europe, moving the production offshore increases emissions (not even a status quo), and total emissions go up (and that's just on the emissions of the economies concerned, before transport).
Re: At least two sides to this story
"There are still villages and towns today which are derelict and depressed, and full of unemployment and all the social ills."
So thirty years later it's Maggie's fault that the inhabitants of <insert 5hithole of your choice> haven't retrained or moved to where there skills might be more employable? When mining and iron working started industrially in this country, people moved from jobs as agricultural labourers and learned (undoubtedly at great cost) the skills of these industries. Fast forward a few hundred years, and you could easily believe that descendants of those early workers now think the rest of the country should still owe them a living, mining coal in locations that suit them and at far higher rates than the rest of the world pay, or making steel on a similar basis.
Re: Missing the point: SOLID STATE!
"This is a solid state laser at weapon-grade power levels. That is significant! That means that a nuclear powered ship can basically fire this for YEARS "
In principle, yes. At the reported "less than a dollar a pop" figure, we can guess that the energy cost to fire the weapon "for a sustained burst" is about the same as a gallon of petrol. So that's around 10^8 joules, 30 kWh before losses. In a short time period that's quite a lot of juice to transfer electrically, which implies that cooling it could be an issue if used repeatedly, although the overall efficiency isn't mentioned.
There's also the issue that bring down a drone is a bit different to bring down missiles or combat aircraft, Positing a 30% efficiency, that's 3*10^7, how would that fare against a missile moving at the speed of sound or faster?
Early days, and interesting progress, but I'll be impressed when this can shoot down an incoming supersonic sea skimmer.
Re: 'it's a good idea'!?
"You can't force on users what they actively don't want."
Actually you can, and the mobile operators prove that. I can't think of anybody that really wants operator branding on their phone. Or the operator acting as a sluggish intermediary in handset updates. Or their phone to be filled with the IT equivalent of slag, in the form of crummy games trials, operators' tumbleweed infested online music and app stores, and the rest.
But that's exactly what the network operators continue to foist on people. Even after mucking out the Augean stables of crapps on my Voda handset, anytime there's an Android update a fresh, steaming length of Voadure is crimped out all over my handset. And its not just the network operators. The vast majority of prebuilt computers are flogged with hundreds of megabytes of bloatware that nobody asked for, and nobody would willingly pay for.
So you would certainly struggle to force customers to use these crappstores and bloatware, but the companies concerned believe that you can force things on people who don't want them.
Re: Not for the likes of us
A valid point, but that stil leaves Zuck to figure out some way of making MORE money from mobile users. There's not a lot of screen real estate on phones, so the chance of getting some decent advertising on it is limited, the users will soon tire of the battery being drained by always on GPS and the FB mobile client, and by being spammed simply for the temerity to walk past a Starbucks. That won't remove the attraction of the FB client for addicts, but who's going to pay extra for this? Not the users, 'cos they all think FB is free. Will the advertisers? Maybe in the first place, but when the (probably) dismal sales tracking results are in I can't see the party lasting.
"Given that you are going to be replacing drives more frequently"
Why do you reckon that? Any device has an expected life (and a not very useful MTBF), but I don't think it is a given that an SSD would need to be replaced more frequently than an HDD in any similar duty scenarios. Certainly you can posit a situation (eg write caching) where the finite write life of an SSD puts it at a disadvantage, but the reverse is also true, that (for example) repeat reads on an HDD use up the anticipated life of the hardware, whereas the reads off an SSD make little difference to the limited write endurance.
Moreover the write endurance is a particular issue for writes to SSD, so there's any number of options - the vendors favour predicitve replacement ($$$), or you could use premium grade SLC NAND ($$), or for write caching you could even use a virtual disk in DRAM (home brew?).
Re: Crystal ball mode=on
"Theory = buying in bulk gets discounts, by pooling all our buying we will get massive discounts"
And a crap theory it is too. Big IT services contracts are let very infrequently by the buyers. For IBM, HP, Capita, bidding is all in a days work - well, almost. Their sales teams, lawyers, and commercial people do this so regularly that they know all the pitfalls (to prepare for the unwary client), they know the terms that will or won't stand up in court, they know how to lead a client on in the incorrect belief that the vendor will work for the client's benefit. And so on. Meanwhile, like rabbits in the headlights, the buy-side management swallow all the marketing pap, lean on their over-stretched IT procurement bods, and then wonder three years later where all the savings went.
And clubbing together to get some extra scale doesn't even change that asymmetry of experience - if anything it means there's less buy-side experience to go round, without materially altering the scale of the market for vendors.
This works in any specialised market, from airliners to power stations, and the only buyers who stand a chance are the ones who have sufficient experience and sufficient work to keep them going. Sadly there's few IT buyers who can say that - even if you've got a 100,000 employee business.
The horror! The fucking horror!
Having been informed that there's a batch update (thanks AC), I'VE LOOKED FOR, AND REALISED I'VE LOST THE FUCKING INSTALL DISK FOR XWA!
Which at least suggests that in space people can read your screams.
Re: Not sure about the conclusion
"To claim that this report suggests banking reform is unnecessary is like claiming that, because some people die of drowning, we shouldn't worry about malaria."
Actually, the lesson of this report is that the banking crisis was, as almost all systemic banking crises in history have been, caused by loose monetary policy. And that means that regulating the banks never has, and never will prevent these problems recurring.
At this very moment the turds of government are repeating this policy of loose money by "quantitative easing", "funding for lending", the "newbuy" scheme, and more. If cheap, easy credit is on offer, people use it. It's what it is meant for, even if the clowns who mandate it aren't then happy with the outcome. Look at "newbuy" - we taxpayers stomach the losses if somebody borrows more than they can afford. Ultimately that's like Subprime 2.0, in that we simply cut out the stage where the bank takes the hit, and we then bail out the bank, and this time round taxpayers can take the hit on the chin.
If reform is needed, it needs to be in the rules of eligibility to be an MP. Like having at least ten year's proper work experience behind you (that includes dustmen, but excludes PR managers, towel folders, "researchers", or anybody employed by a political party). And in particular, a complete ban on Oxbridge twats, lawyers, and economists - you lot have had your chance, and you useless, clueless bastards screwed it up.
Re: @Annakan@ Primus Get A Shorter Pseud Please
"The lenders knew the loans would not be repaid, but after two years they kicked the defaulting borrower out of the house, sold it again at an ever increasing price, "
Look at the US foreclosure data, and you'll see you're wrong. The banks never made a profit from kicking defaulting borrowers out of houses. Moreover, US mortgages are typically non-recourse, unlike UK mortgages. (In English: Recourse loan means the fuckers can kick you out, sell your house, and recover any loses and costs from you; A non-recourse loan means they take any costs and loss in that scenario).
Certainly some US borrowers got into difficulties early, but typically the early defaulters would just refinance (in the same way as UK credit card surfers did), until the music stopped and there weren't enough chairs.
Re: So umm.. Who decided to lend the money?@MattEvansC3
"I am looking at you, Tony "I Could Have Done Better" Blair, by the way. Those were your cronies..... presiding over the disaster and getting peerages "
Indeed true. But which c*nt was asleep at the wheel of the FSA during a large part of disaster? Hector Sants. knighted at the behest of that vile, gormless, posh boy twerp, Cameron. A pity Her Maj didn't slip with the sword. And where did the slug go after that? Now Head of Compliance, Government & Regulatory Affairs at Wanklays.
One could easily assume that he was a typical Oxbridge twat, and part of the establishment that has shafted this country for god know how long.
When Dave the Feckless said "we're all in this together", he meant it, and it was true. Just not in the way that the press and proletariat interpreted it.
"It might have been a good plan to give the tyres a kick before splashing out, don't you think?"
Most certainly. But the cavalier attitude to the "target" is not a financial sector prerogative. Look at HP.
Unfortunately, unless the current UK class action against RBS and its former directors succeeds (which I doubt), then there will continue to be no means by which idiot directors can be held to account,, and the US situation appears no different, with HP paying off the last set of idiots most handsomely, only to hire yet more idiots.
"Right the default swap crisis never happened nor the Subprime mortgage crisis it was all "traditional banking" and nothing to do about it."
Well done for illustrating that you know nothing.
Subprime was traditional banking, and the part you must be thinking of was the derivatives, mostly collateralised debt obligations that were used to move the liability around. And that movement of liability and returns was what they were intended to do. The collapse, and its root cause was caused simply by lending money to buy houses to people who would never be able to afford to pay back. That traditional enough for you?
CDS problems are another example of a derivative that only caused a problem because the original credit went into default. And like the CDO's, the derivative did what it was intended to do, of moving the liability along, but the underlying cause was lending to business that had gone bad. So again, basic banking.
Re: So umm.. Who decided to lend the money?@MattEvansC3
"We can blame the bankers for making the cheap money available"
Actually, the bankers were merely following the lead of central bankers, who set the interest rates. Central banks denied there was any boom, preferring to say that this was "growth", and with easy money being made from asset price inflation, and ludicrously low interest rates, the scene was set for disaster.
The banks are to blame for their part, and that is a big one in the shape of irresponsible lending. But state controlled central banks are primarily responsible for the daft interest rate policies that created cheap money and made it all possible. Government is also responsible for the lax regulation. And borrowers are responsible if they borrow more than they could repay. And in the case of mortgage lending, government have a further malign influence, in that the planning laws restrict new house building to lower levels than new demand, pushing up prices per se, but also creating the erroneous idea that housing is an "investment".
Re: This has worried me for a while
"Banks work on a process of Risk Weighted Assets and all lending is attributed a risk"
Ah yes, and fat lot of good those value-at-risk models were. Not just because they didn't provide enough capital, but because they understated the exposure of the bank's equity holders to risk by at least one if not two orders of magnitude. Nobody has been held to account for those duff models and careless assumptions.
You mention SME's as a significant source of risk, but Leveraged Buy Outs were a far faster growth area of lending in the years up until 2008, and far more risky. And the banks, greedy fools that they were, thought that if they clubbed together to lend money, then they'd spread the risk. Which ignored the obvious rising tide of indebtedness that could never be repaid. I was working in the City at that time, and there were voices saying that the multiples were not sustainable and it would end in tears. But the banks continued to lend idiotic multiples to private equity buyouts, in return for fat arrangement fees and big bonuses. And a major, major spreader of this contagion was none other than our old and crooked friends at RBS, who were, in the words of a competitor bidding for lead arranger status on these LBOs, "all over Europe, like a rash". But because the turds at RBS who led this charge to lend anything to anyone then syndicated the debt to other buyers, the gormless herd bit into RBS' poisoned apple, and Notsir Fred's demonic influence was multiplied and spread.
I'd take issue with the claim by the article that RBS fell to bits because it over-paid for ABN. That's true against any accurate retrospective valuation of ABN, but the true cause was that RBS had a rotten lending portfolio full of steaming ordure, and ABN's was even worse. They were in such a rush to buy ABN that they didn't bother to check the asset base, and happily ponied up a vast sum of cash to worsen their position, as we all know. But the root cause isn't that overpayment, because the goodwill element could (as with all such things) be amortised over time, the root cause was that both banks engaged in bad lending.
And as for government filling the gap, since when have governments backed winners? Why will good old government be any better at avoiding the losers than the banking sector would? And in a portfolio approach that you need to take to any investment, that means higher interest rates to sectors with higher default rates, ergo no material difference to asking for a loan from the bank.
Re: Benefits are not a "handout"
Regardless of that, there's a £120bn gap between what government raise in revenue and then choose to spend on whatever. As a result of the popular-at-Westminster idea that we can simply keep borrowing to fill the gap, we now spend around £50bn a year just on interest, and that figure continues to rise.
So unless you want to go the way of Ireland, Iceland, Greece and Cyprus the books have to balance, so you either raises taxes, or you cut public spending, which includes benefits.
Not that I'm defending the governments clueless and inept policies, but if you're looking for £120bn then there's no single acceptable measure.
Re: blah blah benefit cheats blah blah
Should be "Approx. 1/10 of our national debt (£1.159 trillion).
Although that's largely irrelevant. The welfare budget is current spend, the national debt is the excess and cumulative spending of past governments.
The real comparison is either with the total government fritter, or with the deficit, (the £120bn a year more that government spend over what they raise in taxes).
Re: definition of a fork...
"So what do I call my fancy fork with two trines? Or my tuning fork?"
A fork has four tines. Logically a trident is then a threek, and a "fork" with two tines fork would be a took, or perhaps a duke (or simply a pickle fork).
Re: Is there a technical reason why the pilot has to do it manually?
"Also there are dangers in only using simulation to practice procedures as there can still be a perceived pressure when doing it for 'real' that isn't present in the sim, after all if you spank the landing in a drone there's still the subsequent enquiry etc to go through."
But the problem is that USAF are still spanking drones and enjoying the subsequent inquiry. The numbers are quite clear that the increased practice they get from doing more manual manouevring evidently isn't offset by the drones they potentially "save" when conditions are less peachy.
For your argument to hold water either USAF need to demonstrate lower losses than the Army (which they aren't on the data we see). Or the drones need to physically carry intelligence back to base to make selected mission recoveries in manual only landing situations more valuable than the higher "practice" losses. AFAIK most drones aren't doing silver halide based photo reconaissance, so that's probably not the case either.
I take your points on the pilot needing to know how to control the drone when automation is unavailable or fails, and that drones can crash without human intervention, but that's not an argument for using automation less, more an argument for improving the technology to make it more reliable and more autonomous.
Re: Common denominator....
"isn't that what PCI-DSS is for ?!?!"
No. PCI DSS is a very minimal set of standards, and you could be fully compliant and still affected by this and other nasties (until and if ever your virus scanner database catches up, at any rate). AIUI the encryption requirements refer to storage, so has no relevance to an attack that grabs the contents of RAM.
Note that the financial serices sector are only to happy to serve crooks - how often do you see spam for counterfeit or illegal stuff that accepts payment via Mastercard of Visa? The card networks could crack down on that, and effectively kill a good percentage of global spam simply by cutting off the cash flow. But they can't be bothered (or it makes too much money for them). Likewise, most of the world don't travel globally at the drop of a hat, yet their card providers issue geographically unrestricted cards that postively encourage fraud. Regular travellers could have that - I don't need it, or the risk, and the few exceptions to international payments by non-travellers could be whitelisted if obvious enough, or subject to 2FA by the card provider.
However, until the banking system effectively locks down those nations that allow their banks to launder ill gotten gains without traceability, higher security standards are merely a leapfrog game with the crims. If that means cutting off the whole of the Republic of Baksyedistan because of a few hundred thousand laundered for fake blue pills, then let it happen as far as I care.
Re: Is there a technical reason why the pilot has to do it manually?
"It may not be necessary but you do also want to practice for occasions when the ILS or other automatic system aren't working/available "
I wouldn't dispute that, but even with manned aircraft the majority of accidents are landing or taking off. So I agree it makes sense to train the drone pilots to do manual operations, but I'd argue that operational practice should use automation where possible. A further observation is that given the nature of drones, there's potentially little loss in "reality" in simulator training plus repeatability and monitoring advantages, which begs the question why you'd risk a million quid drone "practising" landings if you could achieve the same or better skills outcome through simulation.
"this is a good oppertunity for someone to pickup the rights to xwing \ tie etc "
If only. If you haven't been there, you might want to look up XWing Upgrade, a sort of open souce development of XWing Alliance using the mission and model editors. Unfortunately you need to load all the mods one at a time, do some (very lightwieght) hex editing of the executable to run in widescreen, and you've still got the risk of incompatibility with W7 or 8.
Re: Burying it
Well, not just the funny smart stuff. Rember the XWing games? Brillant, simple, largely repetitive yet challenging fun, and with great opportunity (never properly realised) for on line modes. And given the graphic simplicity, these could have been further developed at very low cost with simple improvements to the models, more campaigns and decent online modes.
But after XWing Alliance Lucasarts simply gave up, and kept on producing garbage Jedi sim after garbage Jedi sim, with the inevitable consequence. Whilst it would be easy to assume that things can get no worse, with Disney looking to fabricate some new movies, and to licence games development, I'm sure they can and will get a whole lot worse.
Re: Landings and takeoffs are controlled from within the theatre of operations
"Also a rougth forward airstrip might not have ILS "
To be fair, the smaller drones launched by forward operations probably don't have access to any form of airstrip, being launched more or less by hand, and parachuting or gliding on to whatever is the local terrain. In that respect the drone launch and landing would certainly be controlled in theatre, although the terms "controlled" and "landing" may be rather euphemtistic.
Re: Landings and takeoffs are controlled from within the theatre of operations
"I would have thought that a maneuver like a landing or a take off would be ripe for automation."
Well, "controlled" can mean a variety of things. I recall some coverage of this (Reg, 29 August 2009 according to Google) wherin it was stated that the US Army drones had far fewer landing and take off prangs than the USAF primarily because the (eminently sensible) Army types let the machine do the take off and landing, wheras the cocksure USAF always tried to take off and land the drone themselves. Over and above that, looking at the paper below, USAF are consistently worse than the other services in almost all categories of accident causation, including unsafe supervision, unsafe practices, and organisational influences.
There's a more scholarly analysis here:
I wonder how the RAF will deal with this? With the "officer" trainign of drone jockeys, it seems they're following worst (USAF) practice, rather than US Army.
"we all rely on the USA's nav sats without realising they can disable it at any time "
And you reckon that the EU's Galileo doesn't contain any US export controlled technology? Maybe it doesn't, but I'd be VERY surprised. And if it does, I'd guess that the US have agreements with the EU to enable them to nobble the Galileo positioning in parallel with GPS.
Obviously as China, India and Russia heave their own networks into orbit then simply denying access to GPS or Galileo becomes less worthwhile, and will undoubtedly already have exercised the minds of military planners looking for a tool to deliver regional blocking of everybody else's positioning systems, ideally on a selective basis. I'm sure that's fairly staightforward, so long as other nations with positioning systems don't take countermeasures..........
All good stuff, but...
..surely the biggest opportunity for power saving is passive (or lower energy) data centre cooling? I know there's been some fancy work on passively cooled data centres, and on using lakes or rivers as heat sinks, but that's not mainstream (yet).
Starting off with the sort of poorly ventilated shed that most DC's appear to sit in is a rather poor start for thermal management, but I'll forego the temptation to suggest simplistic cooling solutions about which I know nothing; Even so, the inherent waste and cost of air conditioning really needs to be a major target, as that's probably two or three times the power costs of the actual racks?
Re: Nudity-free Playboy?
"That's like alcohol-free beer."
No it's worse. Alcohol free beer achieves nothing but offends no one. Nudity-free Playboy will certainly still engender the disapproval of all of the PC & feminist persuasions, yet with none of the upside (if synthetic bimbos is an upside).
But congratulations to Apple for extracting the pure essence of Playboy, throwing it away, and continuing with the gloss and the trappings alone. A bit like the rest of their own products.
Re: Ofcom decided that Net Neutrality is a non-issue in the UK
"But that's an issue to be dealt with by writing to your MP, and/or voting for a political party that will change the situation."
We're bu99ered, then.
Re: Certainly not acceptable@NaughtyHorse
yeah, i mean that light you have in the porch thats on 24/7 much more important than that kid down the streets kidney machine.....
Oooh look everybody! Think of the children! It never occurs to people like you that it is the specific function of the power industry to meet demand, not to produce power when it suits them, or for selected purposes.
"there is a fuckin nazi in the room, but it aint the power comany"
Indeed not. It's you, with your list of "approved" and "non approved" uses for electricity.
Re: Congratulations PC makers! @WatAWorld
"Surely your people will get used to the laptop screen and keyboard. At work they can connect to peripherals via the LAN and at home via a USB hub."
Well, that's something my employers tried. Everybody sensible griped about the crap laptop screens, and we had to go and buy proper screens and docking stations to boot. The problems with laptop-users-in-desk-mode is the blighters keep breaking sockets and plugs if they have to plug in a keyboard, a mouse, a network cable, a charger and a screen, whereas a docking station is quicker, easier and more robust.
To be fair, the challenge a couple of posts ago that docking stations aren't made for cheapo laptops is broadly speaking correct, and I doff my cap accordingly, although as a desktop replacement you would already have a monitor.
"In short a proper nuclear program by any rational analysis is THE END OF (intermittent) RENEWABLE ENERGY altogether. It has a high cost, and no benefit whatsoever."
That needed to come a lot higher up your post, rather than hidden towards the end. I'd go further and suggest that even with a primarily gas generating base, renewables are not a very effective contribution, given the need to build the assets and keep them on standby. Which brings us to the subsequent logical point, that under the auspices of the current and last governments, somewhere between £20-30 billion has been frittered on renewables, and that would sensibly need to be written off, rather than allowing it to continue to destabilise the grid. And there's the problem, that government having guaranteed the investments, who pays for the write off? If investors have to, then they will be in no hurry to fund any forms of power investment for a decade or so, be that nuclear or anything else. And if governemnt do, then that's another £20bn that need to be raised from taxes, cut from spending, or borrowed from an increasingly worried bond market.
My comments about not needing to manage offpeak electricity were on the presumption that the OP was mooting a 100% nuclear policy. I remain unconvinced that we can materially reduce peak electricity demand by much, short of rationing power in some form or other - which has some pretty big social and/or economic side effects.
Re: VirginMedia have two policies@Crisp
"The only reason I bought the frigging XXL 100 Unlimited package is because VM said that they wouldn't gimp my connection!"
I'm not seeking to defend VM (who are evidently a bunch of liars) but according to the VM policy, the maximum download throttling you'd suffer would be 40%, and you'd already have needed to have slurped 100GB that day. I'd be very surprised if you were able to tell that you were being choked down to a mere 60 Mb/s, or that such a limit would cramp your style very much?
And for that matter, I'd be surprised if you could find that much content hosted on servers as fast during peak hours as your fat-but-crimped pipe.
As somebody with a 60MB widger all of this could just be pipe envy on my part.
Re: Nuclear, nuclear, @JohnMurray
"Smart meters will reduce it <cost of nuclear> by substituting multiple variabilites in pricing for the simple one or two we have now."
How will smart meters (costing several hundred quid per meter installed) reduce the cost of nuclear, or any other power source? What they can do is increase the complexity of charging in ways that most users won;t understand (the thin end of this particular wedge is P272, if you care to investigate that), but have minimal impact on peak demand.
Smart meters are an expensive solution still looking for a problem to solve. They haven't yet found it, and probably never will, but the longer term impacts are higher prices from the recovery of the extra few hundred quid spent on them, and more complex charging structures. For the price of the national smart roll out we could have built two new nuclear reactors, or about ten large twin-CCGT stations. Which of those three would be better value?
"We will have to get used to this, so the only way to contain or reduce household energy payments will be to reduce consumption by more careful use and energy efficiency measures."
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Whether you're talking renewables or nuclear, the bulk of the cost is the capital, with fuel being either free or a tiny part of the cost. So constraining use only has an impact on cost if you can constrain peak demand that the overall system is built to deliver. Otherwise the unit costs simply go up because fewer units have to cover the same capital cost. As peak demand is weather driven, and the majority of the UK housing stock now has CWI. DG and enhanced roof insulation there's not much we can do to reduce that, other than sitting and shivering.
In a hypothetical 100% nuclear future, it makes no sense to reduce off peak energy use at all.
Re: Good analysis, but misses 'the ...need to store gas
"Nuclear and gas, please, and as soon as humanly possible."
Well, I think it evident that we also need more gas storage, and fast, before anybody commits to more gas powered generation Germany has storage for about 60 days of demand. The UK has about fourteen, and the lmits of that are becoming apparent. So until we've got somewhere to store the mostly imported gas we use, then that's not a very secure option.
Re: Nuclear, nuclear, nuclear, nuclear....
This link may help. Personally I couldn't give a hoot about the carbon bogeyman - that's just the current incarnation of the Red Menace that governed government thinking from 1950 through to 1990, and equally bogus.
The report is somewhat dated, but still a superb, highly readable and fairly accurate piece of work. You can argue the toss about nuclear capex, but for series build the figures don't look unreasonable, and in that respect comparisons to outturn costs at Olkiluoto or Flammanville are not instructive.
Re: Dishonesty...and incompetence
"If I have to pay higher energy bills then just bloody tell me"
You do, and they have. You just need to accept that in the curious and insular world of government they've "saved you money". Of course, you can still save a few bob by taking your energy business to a small supplier, because they're cheaper. And you know why they're cheaper? Because a lot of DECC's idiotic schemes are charged only to companies with more than 250,000 customers. So all those "ECO", CERT, CESP, Warmfront, Green Deal and the like, that add about £125 to your average annual bill, they are only paid by companies (and thus customers) of the big 6 suppliers. And of course those effectively flat rates reduce the differentials between suppliers. Then OFGEM decide that there are too many tarrifs, and that there could only possibly be four different types of customer, so that's how many energy companies will be allowed to offer. Then, having loaded up the cost base, and limited the number of products that can be offered, the genii of governent decide that "competition isn't working". They'd know, of course.
But luckily for us all, having thus made things more expensive for most people, government is now spending millions of pounds of our money promoting collective switiching schemes, often through grants to local authorities, invariably pushing customers to the smaller suppliers who don't have to pay these obligations dreamt up by civil servants and politicians.
Don't be sad, though. If you voted at all at the last general election you voted for this.
Re: The Other Scenario
"Obviously the govt lied, but I'd be curious to know how much the renewables-are-too-expensive doommongers said the policy would be costing the UK right now."
Right now we're about where government policy might be expected to put us, as the charts show. Funny that they didn't include a bar for energy prices in 2000, eh? If you compare end user energy pricing from 2000 through to 2025 we're on course to double the price. And that's without much in the way of new nuclear. In broad brush terms, nuclear and wind power are on par, cost wise, at around £100 MWh (all these claims about wind comparable to thermal power are simply lies, or so situation specific as to have no relevance to the wider need). Meanwhile, thermal generation can produce power for around £45 MWh.
Note that even these figures as analysed by the Reg don't recognise the impact of other malignant changes that the government have engineered. So DECC don't have a clue what will happen to wholesale electricity prices when the LCPD closures remove 11.4 GW of reliable thermal plant from the UK grid, and the Wylfa nuclear plant is retired, taking another 1 GW. Nor do they have a clue what will happen when their idiotic carbon floor price is brought in. Realistically the carbon floor will make some marginal thermal plant uneconomic, and bring forward closure of plant previously anticipated to remain open, and for other plant it simply adds more cost for the users. These changes can be expected to have a dramatic effect on power prices, potentially far greater than the governent assumes.