* Posts by fnj

194 posts • joined 21 May 2010


Tough Banana Pi: a Raspberry Pi for colour-blind diehards


What sets it apart

The fundamental thing that sets this apart from the Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone in my eye is the SATA. If you don't need it, then you're not compellingly drawn to this board. But if you want to hook up an HD or an SSD for a specific reason, neither of the others is any good at all.

All the rest is just details. Yes, the CPU is ARMv7 like the Beagle Bone rather than the archaic Armv6 of the Raspberry Pi.

Renewable energy 'simply won't work': Top Google engineers


Re: Tiny heat:

<blockquote>To make comparisons difficult, large amounts of power are given in TWHour/Year.</blockquote>

I'm not questioning this if you essentially say this is standard practice, but in what universe does it make any sense at all to measure power in TWh/y instead of the dimensionally equivalent TW?


Re: Nuclear Power

<blockquote>waste annihilating molten salt reactors</blockquote>

That sounds so cool. Fanciful, but cool.


Re: Then we're fucked

<blockquote>Oddly, non-renewable energy sources never run out</blockquote>

You are of course undeniably correct that at some point in the decline of supply it becomes economically unfeasible to perform the extraction. So yeah, nobody ever uses every single bit. In the extreme, they die first.

But you do understand the concept of FINITE SUPPLY, right?


Re: I seem to remember

<blockquote>They require a rare earth material which is in very short supply to create the super powerful magnets required</blockquote>

Sorry, but with all due respect, I don't believe you. There were electrical generators (and electrical motors) before Neodymium was even discovered, let alone refined commercially. No doubt the alternatives are not as efficient, so you get less electricity out. Essentially that means it costs more, but definitely not that it can't be done. You can also replace the permanent magnets with field coils, again at a cost in efficiency.

There definitely was no Neodymium in WW2 submarine electric generators, and they worked fine.

FLASH better than DISK for archiving, say academics. Are they stark, raving mad?


Re: Endurance?

To answer the first question: no, and the second question: yes.

Endurance measures the amount of data you can write and overwrite. Retention measures the calendar lifetime of data which has been written. An SSD which is unplugged and sitting on the shelf is a time bomb. It's due to leakage. It's strongly temperature dependent, but leakage will inexorably occur even at room temperature or below.

It would be foolish to count on data retention for more than 1-3 years on an unplugged SSD. It doesn't have to be that poor, but there is a definite tradeoff between bit density and data retention. There are microcontrollers whose flash memory is absolutely guaranteed to retain data for 10-20 years. The use case there is very different. They are basically programmed once and then expected to operate without attention for a long time.

Not that even 10-20 years is particularly impressive. Good quality enterprise tape can match or exceed that.

In comparison, fresh disk drives which are written once or a few times and then unplugged will generally have their data perfectly intact and readable 5 or even 10 years later.

So in summary, though "stark raving mad" is a bit harsh, I would say "highly ignorant" is appropriate.

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game: Glimpses of Turing's life, but that's all ...


Re: A genius amongst many geniuses.

The breaking of the Lorenz teletype cipher due to the genius of Bill Tutte and others, notably Tommy Flowers' Collossus, as well as being the single greatest intellectual feat of the war, was a greater boon than breaking Enigma. The Lorenz network carried the very highest level commands. Enigma carried a lot of mundane drudgework.

How's that big mobile push going, Intel? Oh a million dollars. In 3 months? Wow (sarcasm)


Intel can't make money on Things?

I was pretty sure CPUs were things, and they sure are cleaning up on those.

Fiat Panda Cross: 'Interesting-looking' Multipla spawn hits UK


Re: 80 bhp?

I believe you will find that you can convert any amount of power to any amount of torque by introducing a suitable ratio of reduction gearing. I mean that quite literally. Any.

Put another way, 100 kW / 10 N-m can deliver exactly the same torque to the wheels as 100 kW / 1000 N-m. All you do is select a different gear ratio.

By the same token, you can reach exactly the same top speed using a 100 kW 2400 rpm diesel as you can using a 100 kW 7200 rpm petrol engine. All you do is select a different gear ratio.

Torque champions are not wrong per se. They just miss that it is torque at the wheel that matters, not torque at the engine.

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: The plug-in for plutocrats


Re: Bunk

What I don't do is spout a lot of uninformed hot air to try to sound clever.



Calling the Ferdinand Elefant a "hybrid" is just ludicrously ignorant. It was no more a hybrid than ordinary diesel-electric locomotives are, or the turbo-electric aircraft carriers USS Lexington and USS Saratoga were.

The Elefant had two gasoline engines driving electric generators wired to electric motors which drove the track sprockets.

In all these cases the electric drive was a simple replacement for a mechanical gearbox and power transmission system; no more and no less. There is no recuperation of energy on deceleration, no batteries to store electricity or cover peak demands. A hybrid is defined as able to obtain motive power from two or more sources. In all these cases, every last watt of motive power for the entire period of operation is obtained in real time from internal or external combustion engines and nowhere else.

Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!


Re: The announcement is also factually incorrect @Voland's right hand

"I'm not so sure this is a bad thing. Old tech is tested and its limits and abilities better known. Why do you think this is bad, technically?"

SRBs are unforgiveably STUPID.

SRBs for manned vehicles are CRIMINAL.


"Or maybe this time they will be built in a single piece - the only reason they were built in sections for the space shuttle was so they could be transported stupid distances."

Nope. Five segments. Sorry to tell you.

The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder


Re: why do i keep reading about the royal navy on a computing site?

With all due respect, can it. This is by far the most illuminating site anywhere on this subject.

Achtung! Use maths to smash the German tank problem – and your rival


Claim is wrong

<blockquote>Intelligence sources suggested the production was about 1,000 to 1,500 tanks per month. In practice it was nowhere near that high</blockquote>

Bull. Germany produced 18,956 tanks in 1944 alone - that is an average of 1580 per month.

WD results confirm it: Disk buyers ARE spending less



Maybe it's because they both make CRAP. Everybody knows Toshibas are much more reliable.

Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech


Re: Centos?

I bet PUIAS/Springdale's release beats the others as usual.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 ships, but still no RHEL 7 in sight


Re: Major changes

Bwahahaha! If you think RHEL7 will show up any time close to the first of the year, I've got a bridge to sell you. We'll be lucky to get the BETA within a year from its promised date of early 2013. And GA will not be before 6 to 12 months after the beta.

The birthing of 7 is going to make the drawn-out cock-up of 6 look mild in comparison.


Hello? Red Hat is anyone paying attention?

I don't see anything in the documentation that indicates they have fixed the awful bug in KVM where a system with a Haswell CPU will no longer allow 64 bit BSD guests to boot. This is a really blatant and hideous bug.

Russian spyboss brands Tor a crook's paradise, demands a total ban


Re: Again with the CP and terrorism excuses...consider the source.

"Good cannot exist without evil."

Balderdash. Of course it can. This may be presumptuous, but I have a hunch what you really mean is a whole lot closer to "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." It's not at all the same thing.

WD's new disk-flogging brainwave will bring you close to tiers


Re: Ummm,

Funny, mine is a tall stack of failed and failing Seagates. Never lost a single Samsung or WD 3.5".

World's first petaflops super dumped on scrap heap


Re: Paying to keep it running.

"With the main problem being the paying to keep it running. 2.35 megawatts at 10 cents per kwh would come out to a $2,058,600 a year for power."

Bovine excrement of the highest order. That is chump change. There are 69 million income tax payers in the US (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_tax_payers_are_in_America). This amounts to 3 CENTS each. A heavy burden - NOT. It's not even noticeable. It's so far below the noise threshold of national spending that it's not even worth one second of worry.

I also predict that your Moore's Law projection down the road is (1) outside the domain of what Moore's Law is actually concerned with (hint: it's not cost), and (2) it is nearing the point of becoming dramatically outdated as physical limits are approached.

Another thing that fairly leaps out of the numbers. The expense to run this item for its full lifespan (so far) is only 10% of the acquisition cost. It's less than the debt service on the investment.

Keep it running as a national resource. Don't even bother SELLING time on it; AWARD time on it to winning applicants based on interesting and useful projects.

Google to offer 'same-day delivery' Amazon Prime killer - report


Re: Free delivery better

Nope. Not me. Sorry, everything I order for next day from Amazon without exception gets here the next day on the UPS truck with a bright and friendly driver, packages always in excellent shape. Standard shipping is not much use though. More often than not they use some awful trans-ship-to-post-office service and it I rarely can check the post office more than once or twice a week.

Whatever HDNL is, it must suck to be stuck with it.

The year GNOMES, Ubuntu sufferers forked off to Mint Linux


Re: Year of Linux on the Desktop

All right, specifics. Just what does Xfce NOT do? Today; not sometime in the past.

I'll tell you one thing Xfce does NOT do. It does not insult and ignore its users.


Re: Fedora 14, then CentOS 6

I also am enjoying CentOS6+Gnome2. But when CentOS7 comes out sometime in 2013 or early 2014 it will be based on Fedora 18 and you-know-what. I sure as hell won't ever be on CentOS7+Gnome3.

It is sad that, while CentOS packages KDE as an alternative to Gnome, it doesn't do the same with Xfce. You have to enable the epel repo to get Xfce. Fingers crossed they will see the light and package Xfce as an alternative to you-know-what with CentOS7.

(Yes, I realize, all these decisions are actually made "upstream" - in RHEL)


Just no. Unity was at NO TIME "making good progress". Its head was up its ass from the day it was conceived.

I would urge you to try an Xfce live CD or USB stick. Then please report anything you really need your DE to do which it DOESN'T do. I couldn't come up with anything when I did that. For now I'm in hog heaven with Gnome2 on CentOS6, but when that stops being updated I sure as hell won't be on Gnome3+CentOS7. Almost Xfce, either on CentOS7 or on something else.

Intel launches Atom S Series at servers



The S1200 maxes out at 8GB. on a single channel. Why a 64 bit processor when it only has a bit more memory support than a 32 bit?

Pirate cops bust LITTLE GIRL, take her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop


Re: You've been duped again

AC is just being a good nazi as well as a twit. Had he posted from an actual account I would not engage in ad hominem. As it is he deserves it.

USS Enterprise sets out on its final mission


Re: Another reason for scrapping the Big E

"the fact is floating museums get gutted prior to commissioning. The innards are replaced with replicas, and they never reveal the entire works of the ship: certainly not the power plants"

Bull. The 16" guns, armor plate, and power plant are still in the U.S.S. Massachusetts and you can walk up and touch them. Not suggesting there is anything of strategic import in that ship, but your statement is incorrect.

Quarter of Eastern cell towers BLOWN down BY SANDY - FCC


Re: UK site with international readership

Oops. That would be EAST of the Mississippi.

HGST floats helium for low power, MASSIVE capacity HDDs


Re: Airless

@David 45 - the flying heads are enabled by fluid pressure. In a vacuum they would instantly crash. So perfecting a vacuum filled drive would be a lot more work. You'd have to figure out a new way to keep the heads suspended precisely 3 nanometers above the surface but never touching.

Shuttleworth: Why Windows 8 made us ditch GPL Linux loader


Re: open tablets

Or why can't they just screw the stupid Windows 8 logo and put a label "This device can run both Windows 8 and other operating systems". Someone should start a distinctive free logo that says that.


Re: Does ANYONE use GPL 3?

"Today [2009], as announced by Google open-source programs office manager Chris DiBona, the number of open-source projects licensed under GPLv3 is at least 56,000." My beard is not long enough yet to make this a proper hyperlink http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10294452-16.html


Re: pah

Do you have any idea how silly it is to be carrying on a conversation under the name "Anonymous Coward"?

Holographic storage: We're going to do it this time. No, really


Re: the access time for magnetic media is around a second or so and for holographic storage

Basically, getting to the first byte or the one millionth byte of sequential data is very nearly the same timing within any storage technology, and very different between technologies. Tape may be one second if it is already positioned, and many, many seconds to minutes if it is not.

WD bigshots spin superfast disk roadmap


Math fail

"20-24GB flash cache in a 5000GB drive ... is approximately a 20:1 HDD to flash ratio."

Come on now. In my universe, 5000/20 = 250 HDD to flash ratio.

GNOME emits 'head up the arse' desktop update



Bloated commercial money-grubbing software is the crap, not open source. Commercial is dying. Get over it. There is life after the dinosaur.

Just because Gnome shat a brick, does not mean open source is finished. KDE, Xfce, and others pick up where Gnome dropped the ball on their toe. Your view of linux as some kind of controlled monolith like Windows, OSX, and other commercial turds, couldn't be further from the mark.

Linus Torvalds dubs GNOME 3 'unholy mess'


Re: Stuck with Fedora 14

@The Electron - I was in the same boat as you, but now I've got a better boat. Much better. The answer to our dilemma is Redhat Enterprise Linux 6.x, or any of its clones, Scientific Linux 6.x, PUIAS 6.x, or CentOS 6.x. That gives us a stable, supported, bug-fixed, reliable platform with Gnome2 until 2017. By then, HOPEFULLY, this mess will be sorted out, and RHEL7.x will offer something as good as Gnome2, and other distros will also be back on track with sane DE offerings.

Sanity saver: Fedora 15 answers Ubuntu's Unity


Evil imbeciles

Gnome 3 sucks donkey balls and the Gnome team is a bunch of evil, self-indulgent, egotistical wanker imbeciles for forcing this utter crap down users' throats. It is complete garbage.

I do hope somebody forks Gnome 2 and shows these @$$holes how to do sane maintenance and evolutionary development without gratuitously throwing out all the good, useful features and configurability.

This is particularly galling since KDE recently made exactly the same blunder and took it visibly on the chin with KDE4, yet the Gnome boobs have now gone and done the same thing even after that train wreck.

To the Gnome team: you suck.

Gates: Killing the internet is easy


Not even close

Actually no. Just no. The US armed forces do not possess a higher count of "guns" than the public. Not even close. But that misses the point. They possess weapons of far higher lethality and effectiveness (heavy machine guns, howitzers, bombs, etc, not to mention nukes), together with staggeringly capable systems to deploy them (aircraft, tanks, etc).

We are talking a population of 303 million compared to an active military + reserve strength of 3 million. There are over 250 million privately held firearms in the US. The armed forces would not have more than a few million personal firearms.

Mass mind control artist condemns El Reg to obscurity



Bravo. Just bravo.

Raptor over Blighty: Watch the stealth fighter in infrared


Flash points

SkippyBing: "Going by the previous example of Concorde heating its fuel to 80C I can't see it being a problem as this is well below the flash point of jet fuel"

Where'd you pull that one from? Jet-A, Jet-A1, and JP-8 have a flash point of 38 C, JP-4 (the old kerosene-gasoline blend) is -18 C, and JP-5 is 60 C. Diesel is about the same as JP-5. Flash point is the point above which a flammable vapor is evolved. Every car on the road is driving around above the flash point (gasoline flash point is -40 C). I.e., the gasoline tank in every car is always filled with flammable vapor. By design, the design is that this vapor is so rich that it is above the upper mixture limit, so a spark won't ignite it within the tank, but if it escapes the tank into the atmosphere in an accident, the mixture is no longer safe and it can be easily ignited.

Autoignition temperature is something else. It is above 200 C for all of the above mentioned substances. That is why it won't just automatically burst into flame at 80 C.

Seagate's 3TB external drive


Who cares about Windows

My prediction is that 32 and 64 bit linux will support the drive just fine.

Google programming Frankenstein is a Go



I can't think of any application for Go that would not be better served by either Python, C#, or C++. Requiring braces for block structure, and then TELLING YOU WHERE YOU HAVE TO PUT THEM, strikes me as crazy.

Either require them and let the user put them where he wants, or get rid of them and do it like Python. One or the other.


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