782 posts • joined Thursday 21st June 2012 13:12 GMT
Re: Fun fact
The Isle of Sheppey is quite a long way from the City. I conclude from your comment that the evacuation of other parts of the Thames Estuary would be of lesser importance than evacuating bankers.
But as they keep telling us that at the first whiff of taxation they will all be moving abroad, couldn't we kill several birds with one stone? Tax the bankers, City soon lies empty, use the tax to fix the explosives problem, rebuild the economy of the South-East to something a bit less transitory than clipping the currency.
Been done, almost
The problem I see with this device is that it's basically the same spec as the Blackberry Z10, right down to being able to run Android applications. The add on back is the novelty but nobody knows if that will be popular or not. Will it get so much geek love that it becomes a big success, or will it fade away as another good idea without enough cold hard cash behind it?
I always admire people who manage to achieve something like this, and I hope it eats into Android market share. But not Windows or BB10, because we've seen duoculture in the desktop market and it wasn't pretty. A variety of platforms with application interchangeability would keep the whole thing interesting and mean that the corporate drones can't so easily do backroom deals to ensure that progress happens at a carefully managed rate.
The risk for Jolla, though, is surely that Microsoft will extort - sorry, politely request - a licensing fee in case someone has infringed a patent that they can't quite remember just at the moment but are sure is in there somewhere. Perhaps the one on rectangles on a computer screen that act as a kind of "window" showing the running state of a program?
Re: If your au pairs cost $610,000
" then you're holding them wrong."
If I had an au pair and was holding her wrong, the divorce settlement could easily end up costing $610000.
Re: Let's see
I think you need a crew of more than 2 for your SU-100. You will also want a backup truck with fuel, food and water, and some sort of air cover. And a few radio operators.
Armies are, as Napoleon noted, more about logistics than guns. It's worth remembering the conversation that took place in OKH, around October 1941:
"Heinz, the commanders are complaining that they have no cold weather uniforms."
"Haven't they made it to Turkey yet?"
"No, they appear to be attacking Moscow and Leningrad."
This does make sense
If BlackBerry want to licence their OS technology to other manufacturers, BBM is an important part of the equation.
I suspect (and can't be more wrong than the paid analysts have proven to be in the past) that BlackBerry will focus on BBM, car services, and qwerty phones, and licence the technology to people who make slab phones. If you view the Z10 as a kind of reference design like a Nexus, it makes sense - this is the basic BB experience folks, now go and build something different.
Makers like HTC and ZTE would, I'm sure, like to have an alternative to both Android and WP so that they can distance themselves from Apple, Samsung and Nokiasoft. But they also need to believe there is an ecosystem there.
If BlackBerry churns out expensive and less expensive qwerty phones, then unlike Google they don't have the issue of competing with their licencees.
Re: Interface (Verb)
As a software and networking guy myself, the idea of adding more layers of complexity to the stuff that controls a jet engine fills me with horror. I am currently looking at the most godawful code kludge which is someone's idea of an API mediated by wsdl, and the idea that your engine management system might suddenly return one of the 20 error codes that seems to be needed by these things and then the other system has to be in a state to handle it gracefully - erk. An incomprehensible error message returned to some hapless helpdesk operative doesn't have quite the same capacity for excremental turbine collision.
This problem has been in the public domain since the API failed so catastrophically in 2001 with the error message "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't allow you to do that", and the wetware ended up having to do a software and hardware reconfiguration job on a running system.
I hope that the codebase is as small as possible, runs in ROM and has loads of EDAC.
Re: I'm not sure what the point it.
In effect, it is a small engineering project which kids can get their heads around and yet is doing genuinely groundbreaking work.
Most people haven't got a clue what happens at CERN (and I have to reread stuff periodically just to try and have an educated layman knowledge), but the Bloodhound project will also extend the limits of what we know.
Re: @ribosome Lucky
Er, no. Branson had to fight the establishment. First he wasn't good enough to run an airline, then a railway, then a bank. Then they tried to take his railway away from him and give it to someone who was in better with the Government. Then the company that they preferred to take over the Lloyds branches pulled out because, guess what, they were as badly run as the other banks and didn't have the money.
Being an abrasive arsehole should not give you a free ride. Being an abrasive arsehole because in fact you are right and you get nothing but obstruction from believers in the embedded negative - that's being an engine of progress.
One of my MDs complained that I "kept sticking my head up above the parapet" with his bosses. I argued that if the head of R&D didn't have the nerve to tell people what was and wasn't possible, what was he for?
"Sir" puts you up with headteachers and mid-ranking diplomats. I'm sure that Lord Sugar could enlighten you on the subject.
People like him often do alienate other people. But the fact remains that despite all the odds he managed to get his supersonic car built and proved that it worked.
In the US he would be running a multibillion dollar company that had been a startup not that many years ago. In the UK, people like him aren't allowed into the Establishment (think Branson). That, far more than fantasies about EU domination or immigration, is why we aren't as rich as New England.
Re: Reg: Suggestion - use "The Sun" or "Sol"
It's more ambiguous than that, as there is a British daily comic called The Sun whose proprietor's views (about Europe, the Labour Party and political correctness) frequently erupt on its pages, and in which twin peaks are to be seen on Page 3.
I think that the author of the article was thinking of this too, hence the reference.
For real disambiguation I suggest "Nearby type G star lets loose with three coronal mass ejections during one local planetary rotational period".
Re: Bleeding obvious
This takes me back to the research department where I spend several happy if underpaid years, and the engineer who commented that the perfect IC engine would be made entirely of ceramics with a very low friction surface: no oil needed, run at very high temperatures for maximum efficiency, what a pity that a single premature detonation would cause parts to shatter.
In fact, fusion isn't needed. The simplest approach is the plutonium powered Stirling engine. The Stirling technology works, there is plenty of plutonium about, a simple adjustment system quickly varies the engine output, and nobody steals your car. The shielding does make the acceleration a bit wimpish, though.
@not that andrew
True, but this will not stop the MIC from wasting billions of taxes making them.
If the US didn't have armed forces, would they actually need them to safeguard oil supplies?
Re: Trouble is ...
Based on local evidence, more likely a Porsche Cayenne.
What, without asking for the password the first time? Kill the sysadmin...oh, HALL already did that.
Re: At last @Robert Long 1
I upvoted you but I don't totally agree. Tarot cards and fortune tellers are not in the same category as priests, imams and rabbis.
In a prescientific age, paying people to think about the nature of reality, even if they were looking at the wrong book, was a step forward. It's the educated clergy who usually had the time and inclination to get involved in science. It was people like Francis Bacon (a Franciscan friar) who had the time and intellectual curiosity to look into optics and explosives, and the religious attitude to suggest that all these new ideas should be used to improve the lot of the poor. It was mostly those clerical drones at Oxford and Cambridge that spent their spare time doing geology and optics. I realise that this is an oversimplification and that there are plenty of counter examples, but until society developed and protected a class of people who had time to think about things, progress was going to be limited.
We're having a kind of debate nowadays about moving on from the religious era, but when I compare, say, Dawkins with his apparent social Darwinism and classification of people like himself as "bright", and the new A of C who despite a privileged background is calling for social justice, I don't think the case is proven that religious ideas are completely out of date.
Re: Battery tech is still not there yet...
Lawnmower engines won't do it. They are poor in efficiency, and they have rather limited life, and produce very little power. Even a 10HP engine, which vibrates rather a lot, will take hours to get you a reasonable battery charge. High quality small Diesels like Kubotas are a lot better, but they too vibrate rather a lot and by the time you have fixed the NVH (noise, vibration,harshness), the fuel tank and supply to vehicle safety levels, and the rest of the control gear, you might just as well fit a standard 4 cylinder petrol engine. I costed one once for a hybrid electric boat, and quickly realised that it was far, far simpler and cheaper just to carry a small outboard.
Toyota have got it right. The engines they use in their hybrids are designed like racing engines, with slipper pistons, lightweight valve gear, and minimal friction everywhere. But they are then detuned so that very little fuel passes directly from inlet to exhaust during overlap, and with the latest possible exhaust valve opening. (They also have variable valve timing). This means that the engines are long lasting with very little wear, and use as little fuel as possible.
It also means that the engine can be used directly, so that part of the cost is offset by the smaller electric motors.
The Toyota drive is simply unbeatable, as GM and others have found out.
Re: lost almost all respect for consumer reports
Not only the low maintenance, but the absence of a gearbox, meaning that it is as easy to pootle at 3mph in a jam as at motorway speeds. The controllability of a Prius at low speed has to be experienced to be believed.
Because of the regenerative braking, you can travel for an hour in a motorway traffic jam without the engine coming on, and without the ordinary brakes ever being applied.
I imagine that electric cars behave like this as well, but without the security of doing 600 miles on a full tank.
Re: Wouldn't it be nice if..
Because marketing people, programmers, psychologists and production engineers are all so good at biochemistry and crop development, aren't they?
Look, I survived one term of biochemistry and thought "Memorising the phone book of chemicals and pathways is not for me". That's why I've spent my career doing computer related stuff. If I take a year off to solve the world's food problem, perhaps I'll manage to grow a few potatoes.
Re: Ask an expert...not @Mystic Megabyte
What's wrong with gold plated taps? Brass taps need an anti-corrosion plating, and the nickel that does the job causes allergic reactions in some people. So the nickel is plated in turn, either with chrome or gold. When the price of gold wasn't silly due to American fruitcakes hoarding it in their bunkers, there was a time when gold plating made quite good economic sense. It's a lot more environmentally friendly than chrome plating, too, easy to apply, low hazard, no nasty chromium trioxide, just a small amount of cyanide. But personally I prefer PVD.
No, I don't know what it has to do with Apple either. It's BlackBerries that have the PVD coating.
er...where was I?
Re: Am I just cynical? - Blackberry
But they are days from bankruptcy. Why, just a year ago Jonathan Geller said they would never get their products out and be gone in fourteen months, and this year he's saying they'll be dead in only five years.
Who was it wrote "In the stock market, nobody knows anything"?
I think of google more as a little sister.
Very apt. Annoying, wants to know what you're doing all the time, might go off and tell your parents things you don't want them to know.
Sadly, Channel 4 wasn't interested in my proposal for a programme to be called "Little Sister", in which Endemol executives and Big Brother presenters would be locked in a house with a lot of small girls who were allowed to pester them endlessly, until they promised never, ever to make exploitative programmes again.
Re: I want control
My phone doesn't run any of the mainstream OSes. If anything tries to read location data, it asks me whether to allow it. The browser isn't Chrome. So long as I don't install "apps" that do who knows what, I'm really not worried. I don't use things like Facebook or Twitter.
When my phone becomes more unusable than it already is (the browser isn't keeping up) I will almost certainly buy a BlackBerry. I'd rather be laughed at than tell a lot of Americans about everything I do. Not because I do anything I shouldn't, but because it is none of their fruit-flavoured San Francisco business.
Re: Meanwhile over at Apple...
TAIFKAM (The Apple interface formerly known as Metro/Microsoft).
Re: Vista moment.
I did once interface a teletype to a C64 over the ttl level I/O, but we moved to a house in town and I had to get rid of it.
Re: "product transition"
Probably the padfone phone/tablet combo which cleverly combines an indifferent tablet with a mediocre phone.
I like my N56V a lot though, especially with a hybrid drive. 1080p screen and serious data crunching.
Re: The real story here is that pump!
Sadly, in this world we have to obey the laws of thermodynamics.
The more effective the cooling is, the less temperature difference to drive your Carnot cycle. To drive your Carnot cycle, the heat from the CPU has to flow towards a colder sink. If the CPU cools, the heat flow to the sink reduces and the energy available to drive the cooler does, too.
It is always going to be more efficient simply to stick on a large passive cooler.
There are fans driven by thermoelectric generators to spread the heat around from stoves, but obviously the temperature difference here is quite large, and the object is just to improve the airflow a bit. With something as small as the Pi, this is not likely to be a consideration.
Re: REPUGS: the party of anti-science...
No, don't, half of them are female and the last thing we need is to have them breeding.
Re: James Bond not a fair representation of intelligence?
Yes, Die Hard is misleading about police work. Sorry to spoil your day.
To reveal my utter levels of cluelessness, when it came out in Germany I was at one point standing in front of a cinema looking in my dictionary to find out what a "Hard" was. The truth did not emerge till I got back to the UK.
Re: Not only is James Bond fictional, but he is not a fair representation of intelligence.
James Bond has the income, lifestyle and so on of an intelligence officer of a certain social class, but apparently has the job of one of what Winston Churchill described as "the rough men", the NCOs from certain special regiments who might actually go around shooting people that the Queen's representatives took a dislike to.
Le Carre, on the other hand, can spend pages describing an intelligence officer spending weeks going through old files and make it sound riveting. He manages to turn the bit in TTSS where someone smuggles a file out of the Registry into a major drama.
"Britain was extensively bombed during the 70s and 80s"
I think that as WW2 and WW1 become part of ancient history, our attitudes are changing. During the 80s people who fought in WW2 were just coming up for retirement. My father survived D-Day, when the Germans were actively trying to kill him, and weeks thereafter on a Normandy beach with occasional Stuka strikes. The IRA were just background noise for people like him, no reason to stop taking the Underground or avoid government buildings. I, younger generation and professional coward, preferred to walk from Paddington to Marble Arch. Our headmaster at school flew Lancasters and our technology master had been a Mosquito pilot. They were pretty relaxed about a bit of risk, because they knew the difference between real and apparent danger. The same went for the politicians. Ted Heath had taken tanks through Germany in WW2, he really wasn't going to freak out at a mere miners' strike. It was Margaret Thatcher, who had probably never been near live ammunition, who thought that the miners were some kind of enemy army.
By 2000, the USA (which was never at risk of invasion or bombing) had largely forgotten about war but accepted high levels of road deaths and gun deaths. 9/11 seems to have been a tremendous psychological shock to which they have overreacted massively. They also seem to be trying to export their massive overreaction to the rest of the world. And, despite the Unabomber, they still seem to think that the risk comes from people who are non-white,
I suspect but cannot prove that if the person who did this had been in the football team, we'd never have heard about it.
Re: @Mad Mike OOPS!
"Also you better believe that when a parent give a gun to a teen, they teach the teen about proper gun safety. "
Like the 5 year old that shot and killed his two year old sister only the other day.
No, I don't better believe it, because I know that many, many parents do not have a clue about bringing up children.
Look, when I was at school the crafts master helped someone build a full scale hunting crossbow and forge some bolts for it. He got a grade 1 in Technology A level, too.
Her mistake was to do it in Florida, where in some towns, so I am told, when an alligator walks down the main street it raises the average IQ.
Re: BYOD - The other side of the coin
When I read this kind of thing I am reminded of Germany in WW2.
What really did for them was internal empire building. Each of the Nazi top bods tried to carve out a private empire. They often seemed to be spending more time trying to outmanoeuvre one another than the Russians.
There was only one person in charge, and of course he had no way of knowing what was going on other than what his deputies told him.
Large corporates seem to work exactly the same way. IT wants a power base, and it doesn't like people who have to use computers to do actual work because IT can't understand or control it. OK, guys, let's see you apply corporate policies to this Unix-based CAD system.
Meanwhile a single person - the CEO - is somehow expected to know what is going on in the whole organisation, which is impossible, and so has to rely on what he gets told.
So: your corporate IT is not oblivious to the real problems in the company. They are fighting a war, but on a different front.
Re: True, but...
Sapphire was used for the windows of Eproms - read only memories that could be erased and reused with ultraviolet light. That brings back memories.
It is indeed very hard, but as you say, far from shatterproof. Indeed, the harder a material, in general, the more likely it is to shatter on impact with another hard material, because the impact energy is dissipated in a smaller space. A lot depends on the crystal structure.
Re: Would these figures not be worse?
Whereas I know several, including two who can't bear all-touchscreen phones and one who runs several small businesses from his and regards everything else as just being inadequate for email handling.
What is it about phones that causes these outbursts of unreasonable rage? Do we identify with them so closely because they are so personal?
Mind you, I don't like anything, regardless of maker, operating system or screen technology, where an overheating lithium battery hasn't got a simple, low pressure way of venting (like popping a thin plastic back off). But that may be because I've actually seen what lithium batteries can do.
Re: Race for 3rd Place - merit vs marketing and corruption
The Bold is a 2011 design, the Lumias are 2012. I agree that the Bold was sub-par on launch, but isn't the whole point that the new BB OS is a completely different beast?
Re: Here we go again...
I don't think he meant by volume. I suspect he meant software technology leader. This is not impossible because QNX has probably got a lot more going for it as a mobile core OS than the competition. Rather unlikely but not impossible.
toadwarrior - Duh, it's hard to do real work on a touch screen
Indeed, the same goes in part for mobile phones. It's interesting that Google say that usability studies show that anything much over 4.2 inches diagonal is wasted for a phone, but the manufacturers are in a size war.
Re: Useless for business, OK as a toy.
Actually, nowadays I find anything under 1920 by 1080 inadequate for the sort of spreadsheets people create. I would prefer 1920 by 1200, but you can't get the monitors.
Re: too literal
It's Sunday. Thank you for the sermon, but the holy day of H2G2 is in fact Wednesday, at 10:30 in the evening.
Re: "abusing current tax legislation"
You didn't mention that the Government gets stung for £500 plus per hour to have these consultants write tax laws that they can then earn another £500 per hour to tell people how to get around.
One of the most memorable speeches I heard Michael Heseltine deliver included a line something like
"We need to get the unions under control...barristers, solicitors and accountants."
It got a cheer from the assembled business people.
Re: Useless for business, OK as a toy.
One of the cleverer features of the Playbook, and one I occasionally use, is that you can use a BB phone as a Bluetooth keyboard. But this assumes you can touch type on a BB. This is a rather exclusive group of people, but they do get most of the functionality for which people buy netbooks in about half the weight and with an 8 hour battery life.
I tried the Asus Transformer - which looked like a low power long battery life replacement for a netbook - and found that it really didn't do that. In fact, the keyboard was pretty useless. So I tend to agree with you. At the 10 inch size, the netbook was a very good idea while the tablet is really not worth the space it takes up. Once down to 7 inches, Blackberry nailed it but nobody much wanted it. But the 7 or 8 inch screen is fine for reading or viewing stuff.
I think what we have now seen is that product development is outracing the ability of people to adapt to it. And, possibly, that Americans are now so big that 10 inches diagonal over there is equivalent to seven inches in Europe.
Re: ribosome - Progress...
You can only seriously argue that the Soviet Union (not Russia) and the US were never at war if you exclude proxy wars and economic warfare. A lot of the current mess in the Middle East started when the US trained and armed Islamists for a proxy war in Afghanistan, and the US is still there fighting its own former proxies.
Economic warfare is just as deadly as the shooting kind. In fact, they tend to shade into one another.
Agree that you should never, ever confirm your email address to a spammer or a scammer. Sadly, there are morons out there who send legitimate emails with subject or text that will stop most working filters. How do you get them to get a clue - if they're the client or the boss?
Re: Vladimir Plouzhnikov Silver badge The real immorality
No, not gangs - businesses that probably play an active part in local politics.
Re: ribosome - Progress...
So...In your view why did the Soviet Union collapse? Rather than demand a citation for a commonly held view - this is a blog, not an academic journal - give us your preferred explanation rather than go in for attempted point scoring.
Re: Inertial? no way -"Still, it would be WAY better to have that for a grenade launcher."
No, it would not.
Quaker here, and quite angry. The US has flooded its own country, South America, and the Middle East with cheap weapons and the results are all too obvious.
The relentless drive of the US to make weapons smaller and cheaper destabilises the whole world, and it needs to stop. Now.
Far more people in history have been killed with small, cheap weapons that with large, complex ones. If you must develop these things, make it so only governments can afford them.
The US defeated the Soviet Union and now it has a huge State Security apparatus spying on its citizens and making travel difficult for anyone suspected of thoughtcrime. North Vietnam defeated the US and now it has all the abuses of capitalism. Germany and Japan might think that, overall, it's often better to lose a war.