* Posts by JeffyPoooh

1608 posts • joined 28 Jun 2013

The US taxman thinks Microsoft owes billions. Prove it, says Microsoft

JeffyPoooh
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Re: These dodges aren't available to Apple

"...Apple paid over $13 billion in US taxes in 2013..."

That'll keep the US government funded for about 19 hours.

2013 US government spending, all levels, $6 trillion.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: These dodges aren't available to Apple

"...Apple is selling hardware, while Microsoft is selling licenses."

MS sells a copy of MS-Word, that's one software PN.

Apple sells a tablet or laptop, it contains dozens and dozens, possibly hundreds, of software PNs.

Hardware now contains more software than software.

Let it sink in, think through some examples (not hammers). You'll soon see I'm right.

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Lottery chief resigns as winning combo numbers appear on screen BEFORE being drawn

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"...down to unfortunate coincidence."

Not to mention that the air blown balls machine is transparent and I can't see how that could be reliably faked. Not without crossing the line into bizarre conspiracy theories. Given that the police seized everything, they'll find any CGI files.

The 27 misread as 21 and the 21 being a bad coincidence is the most likely explanation. It's unusual, but this doesn't happen every day. It's a cognitive bias to reject the unlikely, replacing it with the even more unlikely.

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The Q7: Audi’s big SUV goes from tosspot to tip-top

JeffyPoooh
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Re: Reduced drag coefficient?

Keep in mind that total drag involves not only Cd, but also cross sectional area.

So a huge SUV with a poor Cd is going to be bad squared.

That's why Audi SUVs are always tailgating 16 inches off your bumper. They're not being rude, they're just slip streaming to help save energy.

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JeffyPoooh
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"...no vehicle more practical than a SUV..."

Not necessarily. There exists SUVs with amusingly small and awkward cargo spaces. Hardly enough room for a hound. Some SUVs are very badly designed.

A Mercedes W211 saloon can hold 3 or 4 political prisoners in the boot, and 3 heavily armed mercenaries in the back seat, at the same time. Fold the rear seats down and there's room for about a dozen political prisoners if they're stacked efficiently.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Hmmm, I'll stick with my Touareg thanks...

Your current vehicle should always be monotonically improved over any previous vehicles you've owned. Cars are generally improving with every revision, as should be your financial circumstances and experience. You should always be driving "...genuinely the best car [you've] ever owned." If not, then you're doing it wrong.

Q7 and Touareg aren't all that different. VWG actively minimizes the number of platforms. Choice of tyres is probably at least 75% of any delta in traction off road.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: A bin

Audi "...a status symbol..." ?

Their "...aspirations are rubbish."

Autobahn pecking order (by brand) is reportedly:

Porsche

Mercedes

BMW

Audi

VW

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JeffyPoooh
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The Full Audi

"Traffic Jam Assistant, which... ...uses the adaptive cruise control and a camera to keep the car in lane and at a fixed space behind the vehicle ahead."

Being an Audi, the 'fixed space' will be 16 inches.

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JeffyPoooh
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"...platform new, but the Q7 is the first model to use it..."

Traditionally, on Top Gear, they'd yell...

"How's your [insert name of cheapest vehicle based on same platform]?"

For a Porsche, "How's your Beetle?"

For a Lambo, "How's your Audi?"

For a Jeep Cherokee, "How's your jacked-up Fiat Dart?"

VWG arranging that the first vehicle to use a new platform is the slightly higher end model is brilliant. It turns the Top Gear insult on its head, disarming it entirely.

Next year, when the VW version of the SUV comes out, people can only yell, "How's your Audi Q7?" - which really isn't as funny.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations stalled until November

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Canada's in election mode, Parliament dissolved, until 19 October

Isn't there a rule or similar about Parliamentary system governments not engaging in any serious policy making or significant changes while they're in election mode?

Does that include negotiating trade treaties? It seems that it certainly should.

Not my area of expertise, but I seem to recall something like that.

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Windows 10 collects colossal 0.375 per cent market share in July

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Some are getting as far as 'registering' to obtain the Product Key, ...

...and then reinstalling Windows 7 or 8.1 from an image.

Best of both worlds: own Windows 10 for free, but don't have to use it now.

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OnePlus phone fanbois flock for a shiny phondle

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Re: specify parts like on laptops

"sealed tin"

I have a Lenovo business laptop of the Win 7 era that is just about as upgradeable as they come. I bought it *used* for about $300 plus shipping. It's really nice in its way.

I have an Asus laptop of the Win 8.1 era that is a sealed unit, and there's nothing that can be upgraded or even easily changed. I bought it *brand new* for $189 with free shipping. It's really nice in its way.

Pros and cons, especially price.

No excuse for expensive laptops that are sealed up, looking at Apple here.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Are you sure it's about the phone?

'pavement' vice 'sidewalk'

It has to be written from a foreign viewpoint, because the British don't even realize that they do it. So the word 'sidewalk' is applicable and appropriate.

PS: Canada calling. We have 'sidewalks' here, ...and a picnic park that is 2.16 Wales in area.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: specify parts like on laptops

Some people seem to believe that your 'Wait 3 weeks...' could, in the very near future, be replaced with 'Pop a cartridge of mobile phone paste into the 3D printer...'.

:-)

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JeffyPoooh
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Are you sure it's about the phone?

It's been demonstrated time and again that the British will naturally form an orderly queue behind anyone that stops on the sidewalk.

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El Reg touches down at the ESA's Spanish outpost, sniffs around

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Re: I'm confused*

It's because many a Program Manager, a.k.a. decision maker, has tried to plan, budget and manage a software project before, and had their fingers burnt.

"Oh, it'll only take a man-month..."; and then it takes three years.

They'd literally rather manage a 'rocket science' space mission than another 'simple code migration' software project.

THAT'S why.

You know I'm right.

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JeffyPoooh
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SMOS "...was the first spacecraft launched operating with L-band..."

As quoted, not correct.

Perhaps the first spacecraft launched to use L-band for scientific measurements (?), but (for example) the Iridium constellation uses L-band for communications. As does Inmarsat, and Sirius and XM satellite radio. Many other examples. All from the previous millennium.

Lovely article. Above is a nitpick.

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Petrol cars are dead in the water, says Tesla CTO waving numbers on the back of an envelope

JeffyPoooh
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Re: "...power plants can be fitted with scrubbers much more easily than moving vehicles."

@Orv, again, "...those 15 largest ships are going to be oil tankers."

And another thing... If you don't like the '15 largest ships', then even if your claim were true, which we've already established it isn't, then you have to realize that the 'Top 15' is more about 'the N=15' than 'the Top'. Perhaps it's 'the Top 16 Container ships, or Top 18 Cruise ships.

The basic point remains valid, if you're looking for air pollution sources and the first thing that enters your mind is 'Cars!', then that's an indictment of one's own ignorance.

In locations with heavy air pollution, modern car exhaust can be cleaner than ambient. Which ends it right there.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Free energy.

"...moving from oil to electricity..."

Oil is an energy source.

Electricity is an energy transfer system. E.g. Hydro is an energy source.

For clarity of thought, it's best not to mix them into an unlike comparison.

Nobody is managing the overall plan. There is no overall plan. It's as if 'It's all organized by the Italians.'

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JeffyPoooh
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Condos and apartments are KILLING the planet

So, as it turns out, all those families living in single detached houses in the suburban sprawl can switch to e-cars faster and easier than the crowded downtown concrete jungles.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: "...power plants can be fitted with scrubbers much more easily than moving vehicles."

Aitor, "...When you accelerate more than a bit..."

The test include some acceleration. The duty cycle of full throttle is so minute that it's not a significant issue.

Also, a 20 year old car would be 1995 model year, which is still reasonably good.

Most people are basically innumerate and simply cannot comprehend the many orders of magnitude improvements made over the decades.

Look elsewhere. Modern cars are emitting exhaust that can be cleaner than ambient. Fact.

The issues facing us today are not caused by the 'skeptics' and 'deniers'. The vast ignorance of the well meaning population is the primary impediment to progress. People don't know enough to know what needs to be addressed first vice later. Useless.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: IQotW: "Renewables simply don't cut it for power generation..." @ jeffypoooh

G, "...cannot provide enough power to fully satisfy..."

If Canada didn't export much of the hydro power to the USA, I suspect that Canada could be 100+% hydro.

But that would be inefficient, and thus net negative.

Canada isn't engaged in earning 'Green' badges, even though our renewable hydro power makes a vast contribution.

The post was aimed at the quoted "don't cut it" which is obviously a false claim.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: "...power plants can be fitted with scrubbers much more easily than moving vehicles."

Orv, "...those 15 largest ships are going to be oil tankers."

You couldn't even be bothered to double check your info before attempting to rebut?

Your info is outdated. Many of the largest oil tankers were broken up years ago.

Nowadays, it's a good variety of ship types.

So you attempted rebut fails due to factual error.

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JeffyPoooh
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"In sleep mode a Tesla can last 2 years on a charge..."

One owner already faced a $40,000 battery replacement.

He didn't take a two year vacation.

Did you spell 'weeks' incorrectly? ;-)

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JeffyPoooh
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"...retrofitting streetlights with EV chargers would solve the problem."

You make it sound so easy.

Unfortunately, the wiring is designed for maybe 75 watts per pole, not 12,000 watts per pole.

So it's a completely new installation, perhaps holding a street light.

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JeffyPoooh
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"modern high-capacity batteries have a pretty quick self-discharge rate."

"...modern high-capacity batteries have a pretty quick self-discharge rate. If you parked it for more than a few days..."

Li-ions? I've never seen that. Perhaps you're confused by NiMH cells, or NiCd. Those are atrocious.

That said, if your Tesla does self discharge past the point of no return, it's a $40,000 repair.

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JeffyPoooh
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"...get my free 2hour parking I would drive for free."

2 hours at a typical 12kw charging station only gets you 24kw-hours.

You'll be spending all your evenings at Tesco. Boring.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Is it really cheaper?

@jonathanb

Very good post.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Get this man a job in Congress!

"In some markets its cost is paid back within 5 years or so."

Perhaps true, in SOME ill-defined markets.

But in MOST markets the PowerWall NEVER earns back its cost, nor its embodied resources.

Tesla will still sell you one, even if it's a bad fiscal decision for you and a net negative for the environment.

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JeffyPoooh
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IQotW: "Renewables simply don't cut it for power generation..."

Canada's power grid is 65% hydro, which is renewable.

Unless you meant to write "Renewables (obviously not including hydro)..."

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JeffyPoooh
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"...power plants can be fitted with scrubbers much more easily than moving vehicles."

If you're concerned about air pollution (HCs, NOx, CO) and the first thing that pops into your mind is the fleet of modern cars, then you are *massively* ill-informed.

In fact, modern cars emit next to nothing in terms of traditional air pollutants, HCs, NOx, and CO. Modern cars can easily have tail pipe emissions that are literally cleaning than ambient, given a modern car in a polluted city.

NOTE: CO2 emissions (green house gas) is another topic.

Reportedly the 15 largest ships in the world combined emit more air pollution than all the cars on Earth combined. Perhaps somebody should look into that...

Even decades ago, it was noted that a Saab could cross North America and emit less air pollution than running a lawn mower for two hours.

Look elsewhere if you're looking for sources of air pollution.

Some public transit buses use Detroit Diesel engines that are not only diesel, but also 2-stroke. You can't compensate for that, not enough seats in a stadium let alone the bus to cover that many orders of magnitude. Pollution pigs.

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JeffyPoooh
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"...because the battery pack didn't weigh 1,500 pounds,"

No it doesn't. But it does weigh about 1,250 pounds.

His claim is technically true, but it seems to be attempted deception.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 Torrent-U-Like updates GULP DOWN your precious bandwidth

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Re: How come...? @Jeffy

@Sandtitz

I'm proposing a more unified, more detailed, more automated, more up-front user interface. The single interface should impose control on as many applications as possible under a unified 'update control' framework. You don't seem to be comprehending what I'm proposing, or perhaps you're just being difficult.

That they finally introduced the smallest quanta of common sense just with Win 8 shows how pathetically out of touch the OS decision makers really are. But that's insufficient, and fails to address the entire picture.

That anyone could possibly take exception to this sort of obvious improvement reveals how out of touch people in the IT industry are. Which is why so many people despise the details of the implementations. Which is why there are legions of help desks trying to compensate for the continuing failures.

It's a managerial failure. The senior staff live in a bubble, and don't comprehend the real world.

If they did, they'd be ahead of me on such things.

This is just one example.

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JeffyPoooh
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Left Hand, Right Hand

Prediction...

Letter from ISP: "Our monitoring of your Internet usage has detected that you are sharing files owned by Microsoft over a Torrent-like file sharing network. As you know, sharing of files without explicit permission of the rights holder has been made into a criminal offense. We have alerted the authorities and they're very angry at you. They're on the way to your house now. They are experts in such technology matters and you can expect harsh treatment."

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: How come...?

Credes 'metered' post was three minutes before my 'How come' post, but mine took about ten minutes to compose, so I had no opportunity to see it before I posted. But thank you for pointing it out.

As the network connection for portable devices will be ever changing, these settings (of the sort I described) need to be at the fore.

As I mentioned, the OS could probably guess. So the airport wifi would allow certain OS activities, the Inmarsat wifi on the aircraft would allow nothing but human access. A simple dialog box to confirm and adjust. This should have been built into the OS at least five years ago, if not ten.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: How come...?

Where I sleep, there's electricity. Gadgets put down for the night are almost always plugged into power, and so that would be the perfect time to do updates. Gadgets have access to all the information they would need to make much better decisions about when to perform or allow updates.

Your response is exactly the sort of 'can't do' attitude exhibited by the people running these organizations. It's a failure of imagination, and a failure to have a vision of an improved method. Perhaps there's a failure of attention to detail. Perhaps it's a lack of hands on experience in the circumstances where such improvements would be valuable.

These failures are the root cause of gadgets still having such very annoying characteristics.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Sharing such files over the LAN should help...

In my post, the title included 'over the LAN', and the post included the word '...locally'. These are the good aspects to this concept.

Your concern about files going back out to strangers is valid.

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JeffyPoooh
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How come...?

It's 2015 already.

How come there isn't a little 'Internet Connection Cost' dialog box where one could inform the OS about the nature of the connection? The type of connection, nominal speed, nominal latency, the monthly data cap, the cost per usage, etc. If one is using (for example) satellite access at several dollars per MB, then it would be nice if one could easily let the OS know to hold all updates by itself or other software until further notice. The OS might even take a guess based on available information, and act accordingly.

How come when you pick up a gadget and wake it up, it's very common that it will choose that point in time to start checking for, downloading,and installing updates? Why not do all this when the human puts the gadget down? The OS could make explicit efforts to stay out of the human's way. Perhaps there should be a button for 'I'm going for supper, now is a good time to do some updates.' Presently, it's as if they're trying to be annoying.

How come the managers at the coder drone companies haven't figure these things out already?

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JeffyPoooh
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Sharing such files over the LAN should help...

If you have several PCs on a fast LAN and a thin pipe to the Internet (this is very common), then it's almost certainly a good thing to share such files locally.

The issue would be tying up other's HDDs while they're trying to do other things with their PC.

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

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"...chew through gearboxes at a prodigious rate..."

One of the episodes of 'Elements' (highly recommended!!!) on BBC World Service (or podcast) included a visit to the huge Danish windmill factory. They mentioned your point about unreliable gear boxes, which is why they've already developed 'direct drive' windmills that eliminate gearboxes entirely.

Essentially,problem solved. Provided that there's enough 'rare earths' to keep up with the resultant increased demand for magnets.

Anyone with any interest in such matters (fundamentals of tech) should subscribe to the BBC's 'Elements' podcasts. It's fantastically interesting.

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JeffyPoooh
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Heat Engines 101

"...rejected to the atmosphere as heat..."

Yeah, that's how 'heat engines' work. They *require* a 'cold' side heat sink. Key concept is the highlighted word "require". A certain James Watt had figured out all that a very long time ago.

Sequential engines can scavenge some fraction of the heat. Cogeneration can put the heat to work on the way to being dissipated.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Yes, renewables can and do work just fine, thankyouverymuch

Germany, where the grid is mostly powered by coal, has a wonderful 'Green' PR machine.

Canada's grid is 65% renewable hydro power day-in, day-out, for decades. Add in windmills and tidal, and it's roughly 70+% renewables every day of the week. Add in nukes, and it's over 85% low carbon since forever. These are rough figures, from memory. But the point remains valid.

Canada also exports vast amounts of hydro to the USA.

Germany briefly peaks at what Canada wakes up to every single morning, and people celebrate.

Great 'Green Germany' PR machine there. Too bad about the actual dependence on coal to power their grid.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Diesel Generator

That's silly. No need for an expensive and noisy diesel generator.

Use a motor-generator. Power in from a half-priced Time of Day tariff, power out on a 2nd meter at the generous renewable feed-in tariff.

200A in and out generates a decent middle class income stream.

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21st century malware found in Jane Austen's 19th century prose

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Re: The 'Harvard Architecture' was a better concept as it turns out

"...OS never cared..."

The poor quality of OS code is revealed by, just one clear example, the relationship of RAM size and Hibernation files.

If your PC has 2GB of RAM, when you put it into hibernation, the resultant hibernation saved state file will be about 2GB.

If your PC has 4GB of RAM, when you put it into hibernation, the resultant hibernatiion saved state file will be about 4GB.

Etc.

It's obvious that the OS has no idea which parts of memory are actually being used (something it plays a role in managing), so it has to save the entire RAM space, including many GBs of zeroes, as part of the saved state. Can't even be bothered to compress it to save time.

It's 2015, and they still haven't figured out something as trivial as this. Pathetic!

Am I the only person on Earth that's noticed that adding RAM to a PC makes it slower to go into and out of hibernation mode?

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Giant Facebook SOLAR LASER DRONE to FEED interwebs into YOUR FACE

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Re: Interruptions?

Missing packets can be resent. That's built into the foundations of Internet Protocol, at least TCP.

With UDP streaming, you'll get a glitch. And you'll get to see how long until the full video frames are sent. Some video encoding settings are so aggressive that the image would stay smeared out as difference frames (character's mouth wandering around the screen separately from his head) for as long as ten seconds.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Tethered Drones as communications relay platforms

Zuckberg's solution is regional, which is good in its own way.

The concept I've described is on the order of $2000, can be deployed in an hour, and would provide service to a village. Someone back at ISP HQ would need to install a 1m dish, aimed towards the village in question.

The biggest imponderable is how to deal with lightning.Detection (LF) or prediction ('net) and retreat might be simplest. Worst case, install a replacement the next morning.

Perhaps a nearby sacrificial lightning diversion tethered drone could be installed. Nothing but the propellers, motors, DC-DC converter. It flies nearby, within stepped leader range, and is intended to be hit. Only $400 as it's so simple.

Ideas, a dime a dozen.

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JeffyPoooh
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Tethered Drones as communications relay platforms

There are some folks selling tethered drones for the usual video surveillance.

It seems like there should be a ready market for cheap and cheerful tethered drones acting like communications towers. e.g. Internet to villages.

Power supply on ground, endless duration of course. DC-DC converters to increase voltage on the 2-conductor tether cable, to reduce voltage drop. A simple drone, tethered, altitude about several hundred feet up. A heading control system, perhaps using a magnetic compass sensor, to keep vehicle antenna aligned, perhaps a moderately high gain antenna, not too high gain, picking up a network connection from perhaps about 25km away, and then relaying it down. A simple communications package. All powered by the tether.

This concept would be a fairly quick and cheap way to squirt communications links over moderately long distances over modest hills. Distant source ground station can employ a very high gain dish.

Open issues:

Power failure, perhaps a battery on standby, and GPS to guide it down. Tether might be commanded to spool in.

Lightning. Shielded tether, lightning probe above drone. Plenty of hardening of active circuits.

Just a concept...

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Unlock and start General Motors cars with a $100 box of tricks – hacker

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Re: How many bloody times?

I wish that vehicle entertainment systems would include a wifi client, a huge SSD, and a podcast manager. Each middle of the night, the car would use the household access point to download the latest audio podcasts from BBC.

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JeffyPoooh
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"3D printed lockpicker"

Very impressive that he could 3D print the entire lockpicker, presumably including the stepper motor, the solenoid, the wiring, and the Arduino microcontroller circuit card assembly.

How much is a cartridge of Arduino Paste anyway?

Oh, by the way, did he 3D Print this latest project? The 'OwnStar'?

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Let's all binge on Blake’s 7 and help save the BBC ... from itself

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Overseas?

"...the launch of a 'BBC Store' opening up the corporation’s archives for paid-for OTT viewing from this autumn."

Open to anyone anywhere?

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