* Posts by ilmari

155 posts • joined 18 Oct 2012

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More than half of punters reckon they can't get superfast broadband

ilmari

Re: Why 60Mb?

Don't forget that kids (and I extend that to "tweens" too) these days don't just watch one HD stream, they might have 4 live streams going at the same time while watching YouTube and Netflix. Plus a few forgotten muted tabs with videos/streams going.

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Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

ilmari

Re: How much water?

It's futile to put out a single burning cell. However, if you manage to cool down everything else close to the one that is burning, you can potentially prevent a chain reaction and prevent the other 89 cells from going off.

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ilmari

BMS

Just goes to show the importance of the Battery Management System..

Thermal runaway refers to the condition where the battery will not cool down anymore by disconnecting it and throwing it in the freezer. In lay men's terms, it has caught fire, which will inevitably result in venting with flame (explosion).

How do you reach thermal runaway? Heat any part of it to 130C (some lower, some higher). So just slap temperature sensors on it and cut it off at 70C? Not so fast. It's enough if a small part of it reaches critical temperature.

Many fires are the result of impurities introduced during manufacture. A small dust speck of metal inside will heat up as current passes through it, and make a small part of the battery much hotter than the rest.

The low end and high end if the li-ion voltage range does funny things inside the battery cell. The lithium-ions can develop into metallic lithium, which is not reversible, and cause much the same issues as with impurities during manufacture, with the additional bonus of possibly puncturing the separator, causing an internal short circuit.

The copper used to collect current can dissolve into the electrolyte, and later when it becomes solid again during use, it will appear in random spots in the battery, again acting as a spot heat source and agaib possibly puncturing the separator.

All this is accumulative damage, a BMS squeezing too much capacity out of a battery cell can gradually make the battery too unstable for use, which results in boom. Most likely during charge, because that's when we see the highest sustained currents normally. There's nothing preventing it from happening during use though, so just because a suspect battery charges without incident, don't relax.

A properly tuned BMS will be causing just enough damage over time, so that the usable capacity of the battery will have degraded enough that the user stops using it, before the battery's stability has degraded enough to explode under previously safe conditions.

In other words, li-ion is a ticking time bomb, but manufacturers try tune it to explode way after your device is obsolete.

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Internet of Things botnets: You ain’t seen nothing yet

ilmari

Re: Bleedin obvious advice

Since UPNP doesn't work through ISP side NATs, many cheap consumer cameras just connect through random vendor's "cloud" instead. Compromise that machine and you gain access to all the devices ever sold by that, and related,manufacturer. The nat and firewall of any router won't help.

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Don't panic, but a 'computer error' cut the brakes on a San Francisco bus this week

ilmari

Re: Whaaat?

My fuess is that They probably made it behave much like a vehicle powered by a diesel engine and automatic transmission, rightmost pedal to accelerate, let go and it freewheels, left pedal for braking.

So in order to get regenerative braking while still having the pedals behave the same way, they needed electronics on the brake, to first do regenerative braking, and switch over to friction braking at some point.

In other industries, like forklift trucks that are available with different power options, they just don't bother with that, and make lifting the right most pedal equal maximum regenerative braking effort, and then retain mechanical linkage to the brakes from the left pedal. It takes some time for drivers to adjust, and the mechanical brake is almost never needed. And no, the motors can't overpower the brake.

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Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

ilmari

I wonder if pixel-android will eventually have "must have" features, and if at that point Google will license it to OEMs with stricter agreements to keep crapware out and keep devices updated..

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‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s Windows NT

ilmari

Re: Curtains for Windows

I thought the restarts with the accompanying loss of state, and sometimes loss of data, was annoying, but then it started updating synaptics touchpad drivers every week, to broken drivers. The forcefed driver makes touchpad switch on and off in an infinite loop, occupying a CPU core and making the touchpad unusable. Input focus is also constantly taken away by the touchpad notifications.

After every reboot I thus need to uninstall the driver and install the driver from synaptic's website. As a normal user I haven't found a way to disable driver updates.

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Mozilla tells Firefox OS devs to fork off if they want to chase open web apps vision

ilmari

FirefoxOS 2.6? My Firefox os phone is still stuck on 1.0!

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Security man Krebs' website DDoS was powered by hacked Internet of Things botnet

ilmari

Re: What's an IOT device owner to do?

An increasing number of cameras seem to, in addition to manufacturer dyndns, have always-on unconfigurable tunnels back to the manufacturer, or some other "cloud" in China, so that the mobile apps will "just work" through quadruple NATs.

My router supports WAN capture and I figured out the external IP the camera connected to with that, and the router also let's me block IPs. Quite a complicated thing to do for most people though!

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SpaceX: Breach in liquid oxygen tank caused Falcon 9 fireball ... probably

ilmari

Re: "...one tenth of a second..."

If I remember correctly, the previous incident's cause was determined in part by comparing the time at which different microphones had picked up first signs of trouble.

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Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

ilmari

Am I the only one in comments NOT using adblock?

Although theregister makes me tempted to do it, because ADS COVER THE FIRST ROW OF HEADLINES. Not always, refreshing it enough makes it produce an ad that doesn't cover headlines. Eventually. But I guess that's the idea, make it half broken, more refresh more views?

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BSODs of the week: From GRUB to nagware

ilmari

Re: Adobe

Windows 10 seems able to display PDF these days. As does Firefox and chrome. The PDFs that don't work in those tend to use weird features that make adobe's reader bog down the system too..

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Larry Page snuffs out ‘too expensive’ Google Fiber project

ilmari

As someone involved in a massive build out of fibre across a municipality spanning 100km end to end, I can say that the cheapest individual connection we did was to a guy "in the sticks".

10 km to the nearest neighbour by dirt road or through forest, the excavator used a knife-like implement to cut a small trench into which the fibre cable went, since it was the sticks with dirt roads and no preexisting infrastructure to speak of, he could just to ahead full steam cutting through other roads and intersections. On the way back he flattened the roads he had cut through. Took half a day.

Meanwhile in the village, there was all sorts of existing underground structures that needed to be navigated around, paved roads that needed repavemebt if they were disturbed, roads that could not be cut even temporarily and had to be drilled under.. Each single connection cost significantly more than the one for the guy out in the woods.

Amusingly, people in the village think part Iof their sign up costs went to subsidising those living out in the woods, but it was in fact the other way around...

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My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

ilmari

Speed

The speed, or rather lack of speed with Office 2016 is what made me upgrade my office computer from a C2D to Skylake. I know the C2D is old by now, but seriously, you'd think any 2.83GHz superscalar CPU would be able to run a word processor without it lagging several keys behind your typing.. Libreoffice atleast kept up with typing speed, but compatibility was an issue...

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Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

ilmari

Re: "Sleep", "Hibernate", etc. are engineering kludges.

Sleep and hibernate are kludges fixing the high idle power consumption.

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World goes SIM-free, leaving Sony and HTC trailing behind

ilmari

Re: "SIM free" ?

Right now, I'm browsing el reg while also frying pancakes.

After breakfast, it will be streaming some fast and loud music while I work in the garden

At that point battery level will be down to 66% or so, and it will get a short charge while I change clothes and head to actual work. At work, the phone will be streaming calming music or radio for 8 hours straight, after which the battery will be either dead or near dead.

Throw in web browsing, taking notes, emails, phonecalls, catching up on YouTube during breaks, etc..

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Super cool: Arctic data centres aren't just for Facebook

ilmari

Re: Missing a trick

This is actually done in Helsinki. Helsinki has both district heating and district cooling infrastructure, data centre heat is dumped into district heating.

The cool thing about district cooling is that it's mostly powered by unused "waste" heat from the district heating return. Thus, trigeneration powerplants reach extremely high efficiencies. Having 86 million litres of water to store heat and cold in also helps them run the powerplants at their optimum efficiency ratio regardless of the uneven demand on the different energy forms throughout the day.

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Intel's 6th gen processors rock – but won't revive PC markets

ilmari

Re: Old laptops

Wake from sleep is measured in fractions if a second these days. You want to just open the lid or whatever, see if there are any messages or emails you need to read, and close it again. This entire process in preferably less than a second.

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Daredevil Brit lifts off in 54-prop quinquaquadcopter

ilmari

Re: Ducted Fans?

I think his current control and stabilisation system is more arduino-like than Pi-like.

While the Pi has powerful cpu and tons of ram, it's pretty starved in the I/O department.

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Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

ilmari

The article mentioned hydrogen producing powder, cartridges, and modified headphone sockets.

I wonder if they've just replace headphone socket with orifice for inserting the cartridge. Presumably the cartridge stays inside until its hydrogen generating powder is spent.

I also wonder if the rate of hydrogen generation is fixed or variable, and whether generated hydrogen is storable or not.

If the answers are no, then it means the fuel cell will run empty after a week regardless of power consumption, and that very heavy users will drain the intermediate buffer battery even if fuel cell still has stored energy.

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ilmari

Re: Bah, humbug

Streaming spotify will empty most phones in under 8 hours.

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Testing times as NASA rattles Mississippi with mighty motor burn

ilmari

Re: Evolutionary Dead End

Well, instead of riding a tube undergoing a slow explosion, they also tested throwing bombs out the back of a spaceship and surfing the shockwaves from each bomb.

The tests were performed with TNT, but the final plan called for nuclear bombs. It was calculated that you would only need a few ten thousand nukes to get to Alpha Centauri. For some reason they never received permission to procure and detonate even a dozen nukes, and the project was shut down.

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Exploding Power Bars: EE couldn't even get the CE safety mark right

ilmari

Re: Totally ....

It was probably refering to a cable connected to the power supplying port on the powerbar. If that would be shorted, the dc-dc converter might be lefg running at its maximum capacity, heating up the battery it's sitting next to. If the converter lacks thermal cutoff, it will eventually enter runaway conditions, after which it's no longer converting, just passing through acting like a dead short itself. Temperature would increase to above the point where Li-Ion ignites..

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ilmari

Re: CE marking is a broken idea

I've wondered in general how PLC performs and is affected by the rather esoteric ring systems used ro wire UK households, compared to star topology used in the rest of the world.

Now PLC kit is even using the PE wire to transmit data, which is turning every chassis into a radiating antenna, I imagine.

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Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion

ilmari

Inherently unstable is actually true in a literal sense, the battery is eating itself up chemically after being manufactured, and will explode under use eventually.

Through limiting the temperature, current and voltage to specific limits, the point of explosion can be pushed to far beyond the battery's useful life.

Contaminations during manufacture typically shrink the safe temperature, voltage and current windows, making the safe windiw smaller than what the electronics is tuned for. The battery eventually reaches the point of explosion before it gets discarded as useless.

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ilmari

Re: A battery charging a battery

My main use of these kinds of things is making phone stream spotify/etc for a full workday. Excellent 3G coverage, shitty FM radio coverage.

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ATTACK of the ZOMBIE SATELLITE: Run radio hams, run!

ilmari

I assume they mean that the satellite's batteries have now failed, which makes it go dead in darkness. In light, the panels provide ample power, and the satellite computer boots up again.

Then, instead of running chkdsk/fsck, it broadcasts a "Help Help! Systems failing!" call on the same frequency and protocol as aprs, the big amateur radio mesh network. And since the satellite is in space, its call is picked up by many many amateur radio ground stations, which presumably automatically all start relaying the message towards its destination, clogging up the frequency even more.

On the topic of Mayday calls from Space, at one point during a fire onboard the Mir space station, the crew had no contact with flight control. Half the crew started preparing the Soyuz for emergency evac, half started firefighting, which quite the challenge, as the fire extinguishers work quite well as rockets, pushing the user away tumbling. If they had ended up forced to abandon the station, their only means of communication at that time was their amateur radio kit. They'd have to hope that as they passed over America, some american Ham would pick up their call, and figure out how to get in touch with the russian space agency and tell them to look for their cosmonauts on the ground instead of in space.

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

ilmari

Re: Why's this a story?

Denmark's situation would probably be impossible without the hefty interconnects to sweden and particulary, Norway. The price of electricity has on several occasions on windy days gone negative in Denmark. Excess power is exported at near zero price to Norway. Norway idles its hydropower plants, and waits for the wind to srop blowing, at which point Denmark starts buying Norwegian hydro at ludicrously expensive prices. Win win for norwegian hydro, lose lose for the Danish consumer.

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SpaceX's blast shock delays world's MOST POWERFUL ROCKET

ilmari

Re: Confused about the re-useables return path?

Overall, SpaceX fuel tanks are the lightest in the industry, and the engines have amazing thrust to weight ratio. All this means that without the payload, the booster stages are amazingly light, meanjng the fuel goed muuuuch much further.

The side boosters will be pumping fuel to the central core booster during flight, which means they'll detach earlier than what the first stage does now on vanilla Falcon 9, so for the side boosters, return will be easier and will require less fuel.

The central core, however, will need more fuel than current F9. For some missions they'll have to barge land or discard the central core, or all 3, depending on load and deployment orbit.

The published capacity (and price list!) for F9 takes into account fuel reserve needed for recovery. SpaceX has flown heavier loads than that though, without recovery attempts on first stage.

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Jolla announces home-grown Indian mobe-maker as first Sailfish licensee

ilmari

Let's see if third party Jolla phones enter unupgradium state like most androids and the firefox phones did.

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Intel TOCK BLOCK: 10nm Cannonlake delayed to 2017, bonus 14nm Kaby Lake to '16

ilmari

It's hard to believe Broadwell was 2014 when availability is still so poor.

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PLUTO FLYBY: Here's your IT angle, all you stargazing pedants

ilmari

Re: Getting to the next star system at that speed is going to take a long time. :(

Well, they did test the "throw nukes out the back and ride the shockwave" idea, but with conventional explosives. If the world's nuclear weapons arsenal was appropriated for a spaceship, it could send a toddler to Alpha Centauri before the toddler's retirement age.

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What? EMEA PC sales dropped by HOW much?

ilmari

I would like to get a faster laptop, but Broadwell-H is unobtanium.

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What Murphy’s law has to teach you about data centres

ilmari

Re: Am I the only one

Communicating internal issues should obviously stay internal.

Socializing and talking about your day at work and how your boss must be reading Dilbert to be such s total copy of the PHB, is best not communicated inside a company, as I discovered.

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Rosetta spots potholes IN SPAAACE: Someone call the galactic council

ilmari

Re: Calling the galactic council might be easier than calling Ealing council...

NASA is contributing with the deep space network, as europe seems incapable of building a decent set of antennas.

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Silly Google's Photos app labelled BLACK PEOPLE as GORILLAS

ilmari

The problem with machine learning is that once you run out of material to teach it, you wont make any further progress. And, of corurse, you can never be sure what the machine has learned, exactly.

The classical example (whether true or not) is the military attempt to teach a computer to spot tanks hidden in bushes. So they photographed lots of bushes with tanks, and lots of bushes without tanks. After some crunching, the computer was able to tell the difference.

Real life tests, however, failed utterly. Eventually someone noticed that all the pictures with tanks were taken on sunny days, and the other pictures on cloudy days. The computer had learned to tell the diference between nice weather and cloudy weather.

This is why you need a tremendous amount of data to train the machine with.

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EUROPEAN PURGE on hated mobile roaming charges

ilmari

They can require a credit check before sales. The credit check agency of course identifies people by the national social security number only, which automatically excludes foreigners.

(This is hiw scandinavia does it)

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Robo-car wars: Delphi's near crash, prang, wallop with Google DENIED!

ilmari

It would be interesting to know if the Delphi car did anything except signal lane change before aborting, or if it had already started moving.

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Space station cabbage: To boldly grow where no veg has grown before

ilmari

Re: Dumb Question

It can't deorbit the ISS with a collision. The required speed to do that would result in ISS getting a capsule sized hole through it. All the pieces would still be in orbit.

Spacecraft in general are optimized for the smallest possible mass, and tend to be "flimsy". You could probably kick or punch a hole in the ISS hull. A collision at any speed faster than a turtle is going to cause damage.

Once docked, if Dragon fired its thrusters for an hour or so it would make a significant impact on the ISS orbit.

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The watts in a box that kept West London's lights on

ilmari

Re: There wasn't a full DR when it happened...

i think the point of the article was that those businesses with a plan and contract were sent generators within 25 minutes. The lazy businesses took longer because they had to figure out first how big a generator they need, where to park it, and how to hook it up, etc.

Presumably there was a third class of people/businesses that never ordered generators and just waited for grid power.

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Libre Office comes to Android

ilmari

Ok, so editing is clumsy on phone. We all knew that.

Is it also crippled on fullsize screens using physical keyboard?

And, after trying to use Polaris office, I must ask: Does it lose all your edits since last save if you briefly switch to another app?

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Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style

ilmari

Re: All that glitters......

Does wifi still in n, and ac versions, allow a single weak user to hog the band for ages?

One thing I liked about Wimax, was that it allocated a limited timeslot for each user wishing to transfer data, and if the signal was so weak the user only got a single packet through, then so be it, on to the next person in line to use the band.

As for spectrum, I'm not sure freeing up more spectrum will help much with congestion, people will just find more crap to remove wires from.

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Openreach to trial G.fast in Swansea

ilmari

Re: "supportive environment"

from the article, I get the impression they're basically using vdsl for basement to appartments.

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Facebook tips India and Pakistan into NUCLEAR WAR of words

ilmari

Re: Rock and a hard place

Venn diagrams were made for this. Be sure to include a.bunch of random crackpot territorial claims too.

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Russia delays ISS crew mission over Progress launch safety fears

ilmari

I admit I haven't followed thus extremely closely, but this is the first mention I've seen of an explosion?

And, of course, they're not putting cosmonauts in a Progress capsule, but Progress has alot in common with the Soyuz capsule that cosmonauts fly in.

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Boffins brew 'Stop Light' that turns photons in fibre into memory

ilmari

So this more convenient form of optical memory than bouncing a laser beam via the reflectors left on the moon by apollo. That, btw, has been used as datastorage before.

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Shields up! Shields up! ASTRONAUTS flying to MARS will arrive BRAIN DAMAGED, boffins claim

ilmari

Plastic better than aluminium? Oh, by mass maybe?

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NASA spies weird glow from Pluto's FRIGID pole

ilmari

I bet if Pluto hadn't been demoted to backwater dwarfplanet they'd be able to get proper broadband.

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Calamity cargo capsule DOOMED: Space station pod in fireball re-entry

ilmari

Re: Hang on...

Lithobraking is my new favourite word. I've been doing it alot since Kerbal Spaceprogram 1.0 was released.

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'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair

ilmari

Aw, I thought it was android apps on Windows Desktop.. But now I of course realize that even if it was on PC it would be behind the unusable TIFKAM.

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