* Posts by Geoff Campbell

1484 posts • joined 13 Jun 2008

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Geoff Campbell

Re: Cool. Just Cool

She claims to be, yes.

You should, perhaps, learn not to take humorous comments posted twenty years after the event as actual gospel truth, although I confess that there was chinese takeway involved at one point - birth is a long process, a chap gets hungry.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: GPS

Last I heard was "Early 2018", although I have seen people claiming that Tesla said "January 2018", but I've seen no evidence of that myself.

Either way, it probably won't be long now. Say, middle of next year...

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Go

Re: Don't Panic!

I see my stalker has woken up again, registering a downvote against every message I post, however innocuous. Welcome back!

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: GPS

Hell yes. An amazing show.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: GPS

Apple Maps even at its worst has absolutely *nothing* on the howlers the Tesla SatNav can perpetrate.

Fortunately, I hear there's a completely new SatNav application due to land Real Soon Now, and being an honourable company Tesla will roll it out to all their cars using the OTA update mechanism.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Don't know if posted already?

The two are not mutually exclusive. I don't know enough about the fuel system to know if fuel starvation might have caused the failure to re-light.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Cool. Just Cool

I lounged around the place eating chinese takeaway whilst my daughter was born, and now also claim that I assisted in the process. Although I try to make sure I've got a good head-start on my dear Wife when I do so.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

It's not going to Mars. The aim was for a Mars transfer orbit, which is an elliptical orbit around the Sun. Looks like they overshot (more or less intentionally, they just burned the rocket until the fuel ran out) and it's now headed for the asteroids. Which is deeply, deeply cool.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Don't Panic!

There was also a copy of the book and a towel in the glove box, I hear. Very cool.

GJC

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Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Geoff Campbell

Re: Misty-eyed

See above, under "eBay". Bits of old PC hardware pricing has a classic bath-tub curve. For some years you can't give them away, then they start increasing in value again as they become rarer and sought after.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: been bought, borrowed or stolen in the first place

If you can fit them under your desk, you don't have enough of them.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Misty-eyed

Those sort of adaptor plugs make great desk toys for fiddling with as one contemplates the ineffable wossnames of the universe. Always fun to see how high a column of stuff-plugged-into-other-stuff one can construct. IEC power converters are my favourite currently, and Ethernet T pieces and terminators were excellent back in the day.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Go

eBay

Every couple of years, I have a big trawl through the storage tubs, and sell everything that looks like it still works, and which I can identify. Quick photo, list at 99p starting bid plus a couple of quid postage. A lot will sell for that 99p, some will go a bit higher, but some go silly, for no reason I can fathom - I recently sold a 15 year old Roland MIDI synth thing for three times the new price, to a chap in Italy, who was delighted with it, and old Nokia phones and tablets are perennial good sellers.

Be prepared for a couple of buyers complaining that their purchase doesn't work or didn't arrive - just refund them immediately and in full. Life's too short to argue.

Anything that I can't identify goes back in the tubs for the next round in a few years, of course.

This normally nets a few hundred quid, which can of course be spent on new, even more useless, gadgets and cables.

GJC

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Ford giving 'leccy car investment a jolt to the tune of $11 BEEELLION

Geoff Campbell

Re: Alas, poor Tesla

Those are mostly compliance cars, made by taking an existing body and bunging a few batteries and a weak electric motor in them. Poor performance, poor range, no support infrastructure.

The Leaf is OK, and the GM Bolt is showing some promise, but those are the only two I can see as at all worthy, and neither are even close to anything Tesla are doing, and have been doing for years. Battery management in particular is a real problem in most EVs except for Tesla.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

"Liquid dinosaurs" is a colloquial term, intended to be mildly derogatory. I'm perfectly well aware that liquid hydrocarbons are mostly dead sealife, especially plants and plankton.

I'm also very well aware of the history of electric cars, thanks. I don't see the relevance to the future of them, though.

The transition to renewable energy sources is very, very necessary. It shouldn't be too expensive, if it's handled in the right way. The longer we leave it, the more expensive it will be, however.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Sure, but it's not an overnight transition we're talking about. All these things are very manageable over the coming decades.

Or you could just stick your head in the sand and keep burning liquid dinosaurs for your transport. Your choice.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Alas, poor Tesla

Mmmmm, indeed. Interesting, isn't it?

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Alas, poor Tesla

Those are the things that I personally see as advantages, having driven a Tesla for a few months, and many other makes of cars for decades before that.

What your message basically says is "yes, but the incumbents can do all of that, even better!". I have no doubt that they can. So why aren't they?

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Answer me this...

The vast majority of EV charging happens overnight. There is *massive* unused capacity overnight, so much so that soaking some of it up will be a benefit for the power companies.

Then you can start using the EVs as localised storage for the grid, feeding back a little of the stored energy at peak times, which is a further benefit for the power companies.

There is no problem.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Alas, poor Tesla

Nah. Tesla have made huge advances in the way cars are built generally, and EVs specifically, which it seems none of the current competition recognise. Off the top of my head:

Custom-built chassis, with the batteries held low and filling pretty much the entire chassis;

Water-cooled and properly managed battery pack;

Proper user interface, based on sound UI principles rather than splattering switches and knobs all over the place;

Regular software updates delivered to all cars OTA, at no cost, with bug fixes and new features;

Really, really big electric motor(s), giving huge performance;

Most important of all, the Supercharger network, meaning long-distance travel is trivially easy.

GJC

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Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

Geoff Campbell

Re: Worth the effort?

Ah, yes, here we are:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/seagate-hdd-harddrive,news-31531.html

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: Worth the effort?

Someone (Conner, perhaps?) did try such a thing. It didn't catch on.

Realistically, we're in the end game for spinning rust now, so big new innovations seem a little pointless to me.

GJC

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BlackBerry's QNX to run autonomous car software

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Toyota

Trouble is, quoting the Toyota infotainment systems as an example is enough to make me run screaming from the room.

I'm a reasonably loyal Toyota customer, I've bought 5 cars from them so far, but the ICE and SatNav systems are universally *dreadful*. Now, I'm sure this isn't the fault of QNX, but...

GJC

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Sweet Christmas: Micron more than triples SSD capacity with 9200

Geoff Campbell

<quiet sobbing from the corner>

I mean, I want one. Half a dozen, actually. But what would I do with them?

GJC

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Salesforce sacks two top security engineers for their DEF CON talk

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: Hold on a second....

Most likely someone pointed out that their employment contracts had some quite reasonable clauses around company information both during and after employment.

GJC

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Geoff Campbell

Re: Runny yokes

I am very, very mildly OCD. I only realised this fairly recently, when I read that reacting badly to mixtures of runny foods was a classic symptom.

I grew up in a classic '70s household, where fried eggs with runny yolks were a staple foodstuff, served at least once a day, not least because we kept some chickens so they were essentially free. Always with lashings of ketchup. Which is a combination that triggers a really, really violent revulsion in me to this day.

I've only relatively recently understood that it wasn't the eggs that were the problem, just the mixture of runny yolk and ketchup. I can now eat omelettes and scrambled eggs, and I even managed a fried egg last year, albeit with a yolk very much on the solid end of the spectrum.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Scrambled eggs

I make scrambled eggs by frying them in butter. There is no other way.

However, eggs are an abomination, and have no place in a decent breakfast. Lots of Vitamin P, some mushrooms and fried tomatoes. Black pudding is mandatory. Beans optional, but not for me, thanks. Tinned tomatoes are also an abomination, and should be reserved for chilli con carne.

Tomato sauce? What are you, five years old? In what universe does any meal require cheap sauces from bottles?

GJC

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€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine

Geoff Campbell
Pint

Re: There is quite a bit of that floating around Eastern Europe

Shame, they're nice bikes - I've got a 1973 R75/5. Remarkably long-lived model, too, available in very similar forms from 1936 all the way into the '90s.

GJC

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The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

Geoff Campbell
Linux

Re: Linux

Probably. Have you tried?

GJC

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Windows Insiders with SD cards turn into OneDrive outsiders

Geoff Campbell
WTF?

Re: Uninstall OneDrive

Is that what the customers ask you to do? Or do you impose a crippled system on them because you hate them?

It's no wonder some people hate the IT industry.

GJC

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London suffers from 'sub-standard' connectivity - report

Geoff Campbell
Coat

Re: Londoners whining about how poorly served they are?

Just the one Londoner in this week, then? I was expecting more :-)

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Londoners whining about how poorly served they are?

They could, like, move somewhere else, rather than piling up like rats in a sewer. Just a thought...

GJC

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Australian govt promises to push Five Eyes nations to break encryption

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: Bwahahahahahaha!

All of us? Every single programmer, techie, mathematician, solver of cryptic crosswords, and general nerd?

They're gonna need a bigger prison.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Mushroom

Bwahahahahahaha!

Yeah, good luck with that, guys. You're not even fit to carry our floppy disks. If we want encryption, we will have encryption, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

GJC

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SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Fly-tipping

Oh, that's easy - use the hollowed-out asteroids to live in.

GJC

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Tavis Ormandy to Microsoft: Have another Windows Defender vuln

Geoff Campbell
Pint

Re: "including wild eip"

No - prog rock band from the '70s.

GJC

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Currys PC World given a spanking for misleading laptop savings ads

Geoff Campbell

I've had a few reasonable laptops from them. There's normally something on "offer" at around £350 which will be perfectly usable for a couple of years.

There's no way I'd buy a premium model from them, however.

GJC

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Geoff Campbell
Thumb Up

Re: Fidelity portable

Have an up-vote in memory of Jon Lord, may he forever RIP.

GJC

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Today's bonkers bug report: Microsoft Edge can't print numbers

Geoff Campbell

Re: Colour me unsurprised

Surely true black can be rendered in RGB, with a value of 0,0,0?

GJC

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Capita's huge role in UK government should go under the spotlight

Geoff Campbell
Mushroom

Re: "three million [licence] enforcement visits were carried out in 2015–16"

We had a bunch of visits from them when my Mother-in-law lived with us, as she got a free TV licence we didn't need to pay for one. As it was registered in her name and the house is (obviously) registered in our name, the cretins at Capita couldn't work out that we had a valid licence.

I didn't help them at all. Every single time:

<Bing-bong>

Them: "Mr. Campbell?"

Me: "Can I help you?"

Them: "Mr. Campbell?"

Me: "Can I help you?"

Them: "Mr. Campbell?"

Me: "Can I help you?"

Them: "We do not have any record of a TV licence at this address, would you show us a valid TV licence?"

Me: "No, I will not."

Them: "Can we come in and check for an operational TV set?"

Me: "No, you can not."

etc., etc., until they leave, threatening legal proceedings, plagues of frogs and boils, the end of civilisation as we know it.

Unfortunately they called when I was out one day, and the wife showed them the licence. Spoils all my fun, sometimes.

GJC

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Microsoft wants screaming Windows fans, not just users

Geoff Campbell

Re: I rather like Windows 10.

<shrug>

It is just an OS. You don't like it, choose a different OS. Since when has that been some great revelation? Choose the solutions that work for you, in a way you like. If a supplier takes decisions you don't like, don't buy their products.

Right, I'm out of here. I have better things to be doing with my time, or at least things to do for people who are nagging me more than this thread.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Re: I rather like Windows 10.

"What is it you don't understand about this?"

...and there it is, right there.

I understand perfectly fine. Remember where we came in? I said "I rather like Windows 10" and predicted that this wouldn't be a popular viewpoint.

I did not, at any point, claim that Windows 10 would suit all needs, or that it was the perfect incarnation of a completely fault-free OS - because such a thing has never existed, in all the 35 years or so I've been working in this wonderful industry of ours.

But because it's Windows 10, my simple statement that I rather like it, and that it meets my needs perfectly, brings down the wrath of, well, pretty much everyone.

Fortunately, I'm a big boy now, so I can contain my disappointment. But perhaps a little introspection as to what you are arguing against might be in order?

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Pint

Re: I rather like Windows 10.

New? Bless you and your short eyesight...

Thing is, Windows 10 *is* just an OS, and still people are getting angry about it. You don't like it, that's fine, select something else that you do like. Problem solved, move on...

Going back to your friend's sign cutter as an excellent example, why do they have to run Windows 10 on that machine, right now? There are plenty of other options, including currently-supported versions of Windows, that they could run. My point about talking to the supplier is about the correct aiming of ire - if their drivers don't work on Windows 10, that is down to them to fix, not Microsoft.

Anyway, I think that'll do for now. I do so enjoy acting as a lightning conductor for mis-placed anti-Microsoft rants, but I can only keep up the conversation for so long.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

That seems a rather self-referential argument - "Apple haven't done it, therefore it's not the right way to do it".

I definitely like the direction Microsoft have taken, and I think they have a good chance of pulling off the Holy Grail of completely unifying the desktop and mobile environments, eventually. It's not there yet, certainly, there's lots more to come on the roadmap.

For now, I'm perfectly happy with the Windows 10 UI across my desktop, Surface Pro "laptop", and phone (recently changed from an Android device). I do a lot of work out on the road, on customer site, in hotel rooms, and the combined environment works perfectly for me.

As I've already said, if others want to use other approaches and technologies, that's fine by me. I really wish we could move past the angry, tribal bullshit that the entire IT world has sunk into.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

Huh?

It's a great desktop OS. What're your problems with it on a desktop PC?

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Pint

Re: I rather like Windows 10.

Media Centre does still run on Windows 10 (as I understand it, I've not tried it yet), although official support has been dropped. I'm still making up my mind as to whether to rebuild my Media Centre box on Windows 10 with the unofficial installation, or to drop broadcast TV and rebuild the box purely for Internet TV and local media, something I've been toying with for a long time. In the mean time, the box continues to run Media Centre and Windows 8.1 with full support from Microsoft. No drama.

I cannot speak for your friend's sign cutter. Perhaps he needs to talk to the supplier?

Drugs - a whole cocktail, some medical, some just for fun. You?

I really don't understand the anger this subject raises. It's just an operating system, dude!

GJC

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Geoff Campbell
Holmes

Re: I rather like Windows 10.

To expand:

I like Windows 10 for the only reason anyone should ever like an OS - it meets my needs, with the minimum of drama. In combination with Office 365, it does everything I need in terms of basic IT across all platforms, and causes me no pain at all in doing so. More advanced needs require additional applications, all of which run on Windows 10 or the Server equivalents, also with no drama.

Telling me that I must be a masochist because of those choices is rather pre-supposing a whole bunch of things, and is not useful to the debate in any way. Most importantly, it pre-supposes that I'm too bloody stupid to have looked at the alternatives and evaluated them for my own requirements, which is frankly rather insulting.

Choose your own OS, and your own applications, for your own requirements. And then extend the same courtesy to others. Simple, really, isn't it?

GJC

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Samsung Galaxy S8: Slimmer bezels, a desktop mode – and yet another me-too AI pal

Geoff Campbell

Re: Nice

The camera on the S7 was absolutely beautiful, and possibly just edged the 950XL on usability and picture quality, so I'm guessing that the S8 camera will be at least as good.

But I would suggest that you are perhaps choosing just the wrong time to switch away from Windows Mobile. I've just switched to it in the 950XL fire-sale, and there's lot to like about both the current offering, and more importantly the roadmap of coming features.

GJC

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Geoff Campbell

It's coming. Windows on ARM will support full Win32 applications.

GJC

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Inside Intel's Optanical garden

Geoff Campbell
Pirate

Re: Not going to succeed.

Good, that'll sort the men from the boys. Or the women from the girls, of course.

GJC

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