4 posts • joined 22 May 2013
Scientific research is shit
That seems the be the of most of the comments here. People who are studying the possibility of making a serious breakthrough in battery technology are the modern day equivalent of alchemists? It's pathetic.
None of the scientists who've come up with new theories of improving battery tech are claiming they've solved the problem. They are just suggesting new routes to explore. I thought that was a good thing, but here at thereg it seems that most people actively want it to fail.
I like reading Reg articles about battery ideas, but it's so depressing to see every comment section then filling up with smart arse comments from people who know bugger all. I'm not holding my breath either, because if I do that, I'll probably die inside 10 minutes max (I can actually only manage 45 seconds in any case). But if I could hold my breath for 15 years, I might just try to. As one earlier comment pointed out, the money has a tendency to follow where profits can follow. In the 70s, ideas like LED lighting seemed just as absurd and outlandish as some of the battery ideas, but LED lighting has turned commercial and will have a substantial impact. 3D printing looks likely to be equally significant, but Reg commenters would have described both as shit and told us proudly, "I'm holding my breath."
Basically, all I'm saying is this. Read the article about battery tech. Then shut the fuck up, and get on with your lives and maybe, just maybe something commercial will come along and maybe it won't. Nobody dies in the search for knowledge.
Of course, ultimately in any major project, it's a management problem. The grunts just do the programming or buying/testing of software/hardware.
But I have so many experiences of IT contractors promising the world and massively under delivering. So the non techie managers must take some blame for being gullible. But IT managers should learn to under promise and over deliver. But consistently they know they can blind people with their shiny solutions. And often these projects take so long that it's those left behind who get it in the neck.
The BBC project was Ashley Highfield's baby. He left early enough to leave with glowing words in his ears, and get a big job at a long standing regional newspaper group which he's currently ruining. He's management as you would say. He's IT management as I would say.
Let's be clear. This ain't a BBC specific problem. This is an IT failure. As ever, IT people blind non techies with their dreams and somehow they get organisations in private and public sector to pay for their follies, Millennium Bug anyone? NHS? Ford Motors purchasing software?
It's easy to avoid this. Try a small experiment on a local scale, Perhaps in an island site where their may be local chaos, but not systemic failure. But for the love of God, stop believing the shit that IT people talk, that you have to spend a fortune on game changing technology.
all seem to think they're a few days away from being internet millionaires. That's the only reason I can suppose that they support massive and hugely profitable companies not paying REASONABLE levels of tax.
Understand this. Labour and the Lib Dems are on the right side of the argument. When you hear Republican Senators attacking Apple's tax affairs, you know the wind has changed. The simple repeated mantra of saying, "it's not against the law" is correct in theory, but wrong in the actualité. There comes a point when society gets pissed off with seeing big companies pay huge salaries and dividends to the already outrageously rich, which shiftily avoiding paying REASONABLE taxes which pay for boring things like hospitals, schools and roads. The fact that the big IT companies have helped the overall economy is irrelevant. Until it seems like they play to the same rules as the rest of us, they will always feel like parasites. It's the attitude that gave Microsoft such a bad name for so long.
In previous eras of rapid economic growth, such as the Industrial Revolution, there was social pride (often pompous pride) in successful entrepreneurs putting back to society. Titus Salt, Andrew Carnegie, even Rockerfeller in the end. Google/Apple/Amazon etc don't appear to be seriously interested in contributing to anything other than the bottom line. Perhaps we'll be proved wrong in the longer term. Who'd have predicted that Bill Gates would become the world's biggest philanthropists?
Ultimately, big companies will always try to become monopolies with a licence to print money. And ultimately, it's up to the state to say, bugger off. You can make a fair profit but you can't take the entire society for a ride.