back to article 'Can you hear me now? Oh Peeple, you're so mean *sad face*. It's a leftist agenda!'

This week we remembered Seymour Cray, memorialised BlackBerry 10 and got a peek at Elon Musk's new baby. So let's take a look at some of the best quotes from the past seven days. It's been a shitty couple of weeks for Volkswagen, thanks to the ballooning emissions scandal. But don't worry, the German car giant's board of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Volkswagen saga

    It may be apocryphal, but the story was that Lord Weinstock destroyed the TV operation of GEC by demanding that they make sets with "fewer valves" as these were the most expensive parts. In the same way VW may have demanded that their engines meet the emission specifications in the US without increasing the cost; and perhaps some genius discovered a special test mode in the Bosch software and had a bright idea. It is possible that the Board really did not know, just as Weinstock didn't understand that valves were elsewhere being replaced by transistors. But in both cases, it was impossible demands from above that led to the problems. (As I recall in the GEC case they tried to put multiple valves in one envelope, and use the same valve as an LF and an HF amplifier at the same time. But the answer, as for the IC engine, was ultimately going to be to find something better.)

    1. mr.K

      Re: The Volkswagen saga

      It is a version of something I have noticed in the interaction between engineers and economists (used broadly here). Engineers tend to not have any agenda when doing calculations or presenting possibilities, but while in the economists world every thing has. So when an engineer provides and estimate, or presents any other kind of work, to an economist, the economist thinks it is something that can be negotiated. Not of course realizing that he or she is trying to negotiate with the laws of physics. "No, I can't both make this solid steel and float."

      This of course works the other way. When doing their calculations engineers take data presented to them as fact, even though they come from economists. Not realizing that when they calculate that something will be too expensive the supplier had added 200% on the prize on all building cost to have some room for negotiating. This of course screws both parties as it won't be built, cheating the engineer of the contract and the supplier of supplying the goods needed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Volkswagen saga

        ""No, I can't both make this solid steel and float.""

        A physicist, of course, says "Yes I can make it float, but first I need a mercury swimming pool." That is how physicists differ from engineers.

        1. Peter Simpson 1
          Happy

          Re: The Volkswagen saga

          I'll just leave this here:

          http://www.printmag.com/wp-content/uploads/vw.jpg

          // child of the 60s

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: The Volkswagen saga

        ""No, I can't both make this solid steel and float.""

        I have a solid steel welded hull ChrisCraft Connie 55', and my hand-built Ferro Cement 54' commercial Salmon boat. Both float quite nicely.

        I can float a steel needle in a glass of water.

        Learn some physics.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Volkswagen saga

          "I have a solid steel welded hull ChrisCraft Connie 55',"

          However, Jake, you still seem unable to parse a sentence which uses the words "solid steel". Solid in normal use means that the material is continuous through the volume. Your boat is hollow; in fact if you scale it down to a foot or so the hull will be as thin as paper. Not what most people mean by solid. I have never heard anybody other than you describe a thin steel section as "solid steel".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Volkswagen saga -"I can float a steel needle in a glass of water."

          Also, oh no you can't. You can make use of surface tension to prevent a steel needle from being wetted, so that it stays on the surface. That is not floating. Let me add a tiny quantity of detergent and your steel needle will suddenly sink.

          Why don't you get one of your hundreds of physicists and engineers to explain these things to you before posting?

    2. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: The Volkswagen saga

      1) I once shared an office with a gent who in his younger days had designed such a televison for "Mad Man Muntz". One valve (possibly one section of a multi-section one, but none of that fancy Compactron stuff, too expensive), was used as RF, IF, and Audio amplification. Ask your Grandpa, or imagine three loads in series from B+ to plate. That set also featured nearly no adjustments. Decade boxes were used on the assembly line, then the appropriate fixed-value components soldered in. Labor in the U.S. was a good deal cheaper then. Of course, as things "aged in", they were a bear to repair...

      2) "Will nobody rid me of this troublesome priest?"

  2. moiety

    Pretty much all Lies (Olaf Lies from VW, that is) had to say on the matter was this:

    That name is a journalistic gift, and the sentence above made masterful use of it. *Applause*

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Nothing about Ronnie Barker? And I would have thought something about Putin's piracy, er anti-piracy, crusade would have been worthy of a mention.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A mechanic friend opinioned that it's going to be found over the next year that most if not all of the major companies are cheating on these tests.

    He based this on the fact that certain 1L engines that are operated to the maximum extent of their performance envelope perform virtually identically to other companies 2.5L engines as far as emissions are concerned during tests with identical aftermarket cats fitted.

    Which to be fair does sound a bit dodgy.

    1. Chairo

      1L engines that are operated to the maximum extent of their performance envelope perform virtually identically to other companies 2.5L engines

      Not so surprising. Engines, and in particular indirect injection gasoline engines operate most efficiently on full load and also have an emission minimum there. In hybrid vehicles this is used to lower the fuel consumption by artificially adding load over charging the battery. This is one of the reasons hybrid vehicles often sound "struggling", even under normal driving conditions.

      Now, if you need durability, you might be better off with the 2.5l engine. Horses for courses.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Struggling Hybrids?

        Well, my Hybrid simply sends power from the Battery to the leccy motors when needed. such as climbing hills. There is a nice little display that shows there the power from the battery and engine is being directed.

        If my experience of US 2.5L engines is anything to go by, is that they are gutless beyond belief. Their Auto Transmissions seem to make everything just soft and slow and well... crap.

        I drove an Chevy Equinox and a Nissan Sentra last week. The Nissan was far more responsive and returned better road MPG. both had 2.5L engines.

        What gives eh?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        1l versus 2.5l

        " Engines, and in particular indirect injection gasoline engines operate most efficiently on full load and also have an emission minimum there."

        Not only that but two engines with the same output would be expected to have exhausts and catalytic converters of the same size, because they produce the same amount of gas.

        (Incidentally there is no reason, cf. above, why a 1l engine should be in principle less durable than a 2.5l one, if it is designed properly. Wear is mostly caused by metal to metal contact and with modern oils this is much less of a problem than in the past. Because linear dimensions scale as the cube root of the volume, the stroke of the smaller engine is only a quarter less than that of the larger one, so at the same piston velocity the boost pressure only needs to be about 0.9 bar compared to a normally aspirated engine. One the other hand the reduced weight means that superior materials can be used at lower overall cost. Higher combustion pressures give better thermal efficiency, warm up is faster with a small engine, so less risk of acid build up in the oil, and the surface to volume ratio of the combustion chamber is bigger making even heat extraction easier and reducing differential thermal stress. In a world of CAD and FEA, where detonation can be controlled, the smaller the engine the better.)

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      > A mechanic friend opinioned that it's going to be found over the next year that most if not all of the major companies are cheating on these tests.

      I'm inclined to think, at some point, we'll likely also find that various Petrol engines are also cheating (albeit a different set of tests...). If they're willing to do it on diesel, there's little reason they wouldn't also do it with petrol, so long as it leads to lower costs for them.

  5. Youngone Silver badge

    re the HP story

    To be fair, the Autonomy bloke's "You're all stupid" defense could be right.

    It's HP he's dealing with.

  6. Arctic fox
    WTF?

    Water on Mars is a leftist agenda?

    The guy is truly barking. See icon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Water on Mars is a leftist agenda? - in his world he's right

      The logic is impeccable.

      NASA is effectively a government department.

      Everyone in the government is by definition a leftist since if they were not, they would leave for the private sector.

      NASA is trying to get people interested in its work.

      This will make more people want to work for NASA

      This will make more people work for the government

      Therefore, more leftists.

      Now if NASA had discovered a big sign on Mars reading "Unless you believe in the smallest possible government do not attempt to land here", that would be different.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nuts!

    Here's the deal, folks. Any engine that burns more fuel produces more pollution--of all types. Engines that burn less fuel are better for two reasons: they cost less to operate and they pollute less. Any government imposed standards that forces engines to burn more fuel, for whatever reason, make the engines pollute more while making them less economical to operate.

    This is fact. It is not all that complicated.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: Nuts!

      A badly adjusted small motor (think noisy old 2-stroke) can cause more pollution (smog, not CO_2) than a dozen big cars with modern and well-adjusted engines. Personally observed in Kathmandu (but more than a decade ago).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nuts!

      "This is fact. It is not all that complicated."

      That is not fact at all. There are numerous combinations that can give better or worse pollution from a given amount of fuel burnt.

    3. AndyS

      Re: Nuts!

      Also, just in from the fact department:

      More coins in my wallet means I'm richer!

      More plates in the cupboard means more food is consumed!

      More taps in the house mean more water is used!

      Maybe the mention of Rush pulled in some of his (few remaining) supporters here?

    4. Naselus

      Re: Nuts!

      "This is fact. It is not all that complicated."

      It is not a fact, because it's really rather more complicated than you think.

    5. Teddy the Bear
      Facepalm

      Re: Nuts!

      Umm.. the actual POINT of the scandal is that VW were getting better MPG & power figures by cheating the emissions tests. The "fix" for the affected engines will likely be to reduce power output and MPG.

  8. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Rush Limbaugh

    Why shouldn't a gas giant look down on a small red(!) planet?

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