* Posts by bamalam

39 posts • joined 16 Feb 2011

ESA retires Herschel space telescope as too hot to handle


Re: A premature death?

Er... It's ESA we need to thank actually.

Kernel hacker Alan Cox quits Linux, Intel


Thank you Alan

Just like to say thanks to Alan for all the dev work on the Linux kernel which made it a lot better than it could have been.

A great guy, so best of luck for the future.

Nokia's Great Software Cleansing scrubs off everything since the '90s


Awful but predictable

Now Elop has borged the entire company they have little of value left for any potential suitor.

Very sad, particularly to be locked out of source control.

EU's 2020 CO2 target 'will add a year to economic slump'


Serious stuff

Boy, Richard Tol sure stirs things up. Important to remember that we should not subsidise the rich with solar panel subsidies using taxes collected from the poor.

SpaceX Dragon SPLASHDOWN in Pacific! Private space triumph


In mission terms this was a test flight where it was a brilliant surprise that everything went smoothly for a start.

Also don't forget that this entire effort was done using a rocket, capsule and launch site that didn't exist less than five years ago. All for less than a billion dollars which was less than an eighth of the effort expended on the Constellation system before it was cancelled where there was only one test launch and we have had two of the Dragon so far.

A terrific and successful effort. It's not mundane because unlike the sixties it shows the start of much more routine access to space! The speed at which they can start launching is what will be really significant.

Note that 75% of launch vehicles have had a failure in their first three launches while the Falcon 9 has been an unqualified success.

SpaceX Dragon chokes at the last second


Yep, it's the middle one. Always likely to be the one to suffer most I guess as it is surrounded by all 8 of the other engines roaring away. Sensible of SpaceX to abort the countdown (at T-0.5!) to save their rocket.

Nokia shares fall as it drops first quarter forecast

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Re: competitive industry dynamics

Luv it! And don't forget syncing options as well.

Oh and missing out on something that was original and simple to sell like the swipe interface of the N9.


Re: Silly, Nokia,

Not just Elop though - Nokias board should walk for their cowardice and inability to see what the decision to go with the least popular phone OS meant. Cannibalising patents and things like the ad revenue stream have also occurred in Q1 so the numbers are worse than they appear anyway.

LulzSec SMACKDOWN: Leader Sabu turned by feds last summer


One of the arrested regrets......

Someone that Broadsheet.ie claim to be Darren Martyn has posted on Boards.ie (see: http://www.broadsheet.ie/2012/03/07/an-irish-lulzsec-hacker-writes/ )

Nokia's Windows comeback: Great but what's next?


The next billion....

Nokia's CEO stated that they were trying to supply phones for the next billion. They had market openings and developers in places like India and China and they've thrown all that away by going with Windows Phone. The delay in getting Windows Phone out there when they could have pushed the Symbian Belle and N9 (MeeGo) phone six months ago to all their markets. This and the Osborne effect on Symbian means Nokia are still on life support.

AMD finally manages to snare a CEO: Lenovo man Read



... they've got someone who is going to sell things properly. AMD have great products but they are poorly categorised and aren't marketed enough. There should be more E-350 based laptops out there for example but a lot of things are presented with names like Hudson M1. You've developed the AMD Fusion brand so use it FFS.

HP murders webOS tablets, phones


WebOS == dead

If a company does not have the patience and confidence to develop products on the platform itself then why should anyone else invest further in it? Use in printers and fridges etc. will be of no consequence to anyone outside of HP.



Like Nokia, HP fail to see that there is a vast market outside of the US where HP could advance their cause by not having to licence software which is outside their control. They need to look at the long game like Apple did in the mid-90's and not surrender control. There will be plenty who don't want Android or iOS and HTML5 would allow developers to develop well for this platform and others as well.

HP chief bows to Jobsian cult


A poor short term decision

HP will regret this and as others have pointed out they could learn from Apple who have retained control over their own destiny hardware and software wise after a real difficult period in the mid-90's.

A great shame.

Aussie carbon tax in actually-makes-sense shocker


Keynes is not the villain

Keynes is not what is caused recent damage. It was the laissez-faire capitalism of deregulation and cheap money that caused Lehman Bros. etc. We as tax payers are bailing out banks and the likes of AIG to the tune of Billions.

News of the World TO CLOSE


Good riddance ...

.... to bad rubbish.

However I fear like others the emergence of the Sunday Sun.

MeeGo and the Great Betrayal Myths of tech history


... Yes it is

It is MeeGo 1.2 but with Nokia sauce on top which they call Harmattan. This was developed for Maemo alright but because both Maemo and MeeGo are Linux based it allowed Nokia to transfer the efforts to MeeGo and make use of the underlying MeeGo UX as well. Along with Ovi Maps it shows that Nokia could have differentiated themselves on MeeGo while making use of the combined efforts of themselves and others. Looks more advanced than where WP7 is.


Nokia throwing away their own future is not a myth

The comparison with Windows is misguided. OS/2 failed while Windows was always ahead. WP7 is nowhere, particularly outside of the US. Nokia is the leader in sales of smartphones with Symbian and with MeeGo had a path to take developers with them to a new future. So they already have mobile developers and an app store available for virtually every country in the world and they throw it away to go with an unproven platform that doesn't sell yet in important markets like India and China. They had made the investment in mapping software (Navteq) Qt and Linux based OS that was bearing fruit. The problem has been Nokia management and getting in a North American CEO from whose comments conquering the North American market was what mattered. Tomi Ahonen says it much better in his blog why going with WP7 was wrong and the destruction of value by announcing that Symbian was dead.

See: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2011/06/to-save-nokia-would-take-these-steps-urgently-as-in-right-now.html

The biggest mistake in going with MS has proven to be Skype because it means the carriers aren't going to like WP7 based phones.

Nokia unveils Contractual Obligation Meego Phone


Elop is an MS stooge...

... and because he is, he would have allowed MS to block this sort of option off in the agreement with MS. Elop buried Symbian and stated that the MeeGo phone would be an experimental device killing off a lot of interest from potential devs. Qt and QML in particular makes MeeGo an excellent platform for Devs and MS would like to see that buried.


Shows what could have been

A classy looking phone that Nokia probably could have announced at MWC rather than the suicide note of switching to MS and WP7. Going with MeeGo would have meant that developers using Qt could have developed for the millions of Symbian S^3 phones already out there. It could have prolonged the life of Symbian and allow Nokia to keep their own app store and the revenue stream from it.

It was Elop who set fire to the platform yet we now have a MeeGo phone about six months ahead of WP7 one from them. I believe MeeGo particularly because it is so open. Interesting to see if China Mobile make use of it.

Unique imagery of Shuttle docked to ISS released

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Really beautiful

Fantastic to see all the spacecraft docked to the space-station, particularly Endeavour.

IAEA: Handling of Fukushima has been exemplary


Lies and damned lies

Err ... Lewis seems to forget the IAEA giving out about misleading statements from TEPCO. After the recent typhoon there is a serious risk of overflow which will further contaminate the area. There was also 100% failure of the pressure release system in each of the three reactor containment vessels causing - hardly a good result for TEPCO or any other BWR type reactor. All the Mark I reactors should be stopped immediately.

A banjaxed nuke plant with four nuclear reactors out of commission cannot be cleaned up like a broken petrochemical plant so the costs will be horrendous and be considerably more than other parts of the cleanup operation after the tsunami.

Nokia: When pigeons fly home to roast


...and poured petrol on it

I think the contrast is with what Steve Jobs did is apt. There are loyal customers and more importantly developers of Nokia and Elop managed to ditch them over the side by not going to MeeGo

MeeGo and Mango promise mobile web delights


Meego gave Nokia some control

Meego gave Nokia some control over their destiny. It would have been better for them to stick with rather than the tardy lateness of MS in bringing even basic features to their Phone OS. The fact that MS don't have an adequate tablet plan shows where MeeGo could have given Nokia a tablet strategy way before MS would have one ready as well.

Glad to see MeeGo has a good future.

Save the planet: Stop the Greens


Waste problem much reduced with LFTR

Because you are fissioning U-233 and you need no U-238 in the reactor you end up with far less transuranic isotopes such as plutonium which are the really nasty ones as they are so poisonous and need to be kept out of harms way for thousands of years. The waste problem becomes easier with a LFTR as most of it is low level after 10 to 20 years and safe after about 500 years.

Because Xenon is a gas it is much easier to remove from liquid fuel as you are bubbling it out as you go along. The neutron economy margin is more like 5% apparently. This makes it easier to get the conversion rate of just over 1 needed to fuel itself but we have plenty of U-233 to start reactors in any case (it would help if the US doesn't destroy its stockpile of course). Great strides were made in many of the issues you raise for the extraction circuit at the test reactor in the 60s (known as the MSRE at Oak Ridge in the US). More work still needs to be done of course. It's possible to use pure Nickel but a more likely technology is a frozen wall fluorinator which is much more advanced than it was back in the 60s. It deals with a lot of the corrosion issues.

Yeah it needs to be tested further but what those of us who support it are saying is that it seems to have plenty of advantages many of which were confirmed at the MSRE and we should be at least building a test reactor to confirm those advantages. Note that for a 1GW plant the fuel load is about 100 tonnes and not the thousands you refer to and it convects passively which makes it easier to cool.

The advantages of LFTR include the reprocessing being built into the reactor operation but that is better for many operations than lead-bismuth where you have to cart the entire reactor core away every 9 years or so. The lead-bismuth technology is being applied by a commercial company in 25MWe lumps so that is already maturing - LFTR needs the impetus of a new research reactor in the western world.


Thorium means a lot less waste for less time

Thorium power means a lot less waste and the really nasty bits are gone in about 20 years with longer term storage for the remainder of about 300 years and not the 100s of thousands of years suggested. See: http://energyfromthorium.com/

Solar and wind are great but they are useless for base load. See www.withouthotair.com

Also what do you do in large parts of the world which have neither regular sunshine or wind resources? In Ireland we should have lots of wind but look at the generation on a calm day like today: http://www.eirgrid.com/operations/systemperformancedata/windgeneration/

And pumped storage is not the solution for the reasons outlined in various posts here.

Yep solar is great for the southwest USA but even there I'd suggest there should be better ways of getting it than PV.



Please grasp the concept that conditions on Earth were a lot different over 600 million years ago. For a start the Earth was spinning faster - days would have been about 18hours in duration. There was unlikely to have been large scale vegetation and the sea/land masses were very different. The reckoning is that it took a number of factors to end Snowball Earth (see wikipedia for an explanation). These are likely to have included a massive increase in CO². Note that the earths core was likely to have been much more active as there was still plenty of radioactivity to decay and so more volcanos as a start point is feasible.

The world has not been warming continuously but there have been plenty of variations which is why we are in an interglacial period. What is wrong is how rapidly we are changing the climate as much as the extent.

Note that there is no arrogance involved in suggesting that we are changing the climate - yep natural factors can be larger but we are burning up about a million years of trapped carbon! We can calculate the various factors that could heat the world up and cool it down and assess them through forums such as the IPCC. We are looking at things and not putting our heads in the sand.

Note that the sort of thinking in the BristolBatchelor post leads to b*llocks such as suggesting that just because it was much warmer in the past and that was all right for the dinosaurs - what are we worrying about! We are looking at what is suitable for a population of 9 billion humans by mid century.


Big coal and big oil a much bigger problem than misguided greens

The ideology and entrenched financial muscle of big coal and big oil are a much greater threat to real innovation in the energy field than greenies and hippies. They seem to be trying to brainwash the american public into believing climate change does not exist let alone is not caused their polluting product.

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR or lifter) are certainly the way to go.


Still need plenty of other electricity plant to back it up

Electricity generation plants are not free and their investment has to be justified. Wind and solar still needs to be backed up by other plant as they may produce next to zero at any given day.

See http://www.eirgrid.com/operations/systemperformancedata/windgeneration/ for an example of where 1250MW of Irish installed wind capacity gets you on a calm day like today. And since the greenies don't want nukes as backup this means carbon producing plants. That means you are still dependent on coal/gas/oil and the price escalator they are on. Often they have to be running to backup wind immediately as it is such an unpredictable source of power (see forecast as against actual capacity in the Irish case).

Thorium based reactors can be throttled up and down with demand and are much safer than conventional Uranium based reactors. Time we started working on them.

Memo gives full details of Nokia staff cull and closures



Jaysus wept! I thought things couldn't get worse for Nokia staff but been transferred to Accenture must be a fate worse than redundancy. What use are the bureaucratic clowns at Accenture going to be.

Sorry for all the devs in partiuclar who have lost their job. RIP a once great company.

Microsoft inks Nokia deal with phones set to fly in 2012

Gates Horns

Bye bye Nokia

It's Sendo all over again. This will be disastrous for Nokia. They now have no control over their future unless they realize their mistake and go with MeeGo.

Blighty's Skylon spaceplane faces key tech test in June

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Lovely concept

It would be great if it were to work. Best of luck to them I say.

GNOME 3: Shocking changes for Linux lovers


Looks Good

Seems worth a try, particularly on netbooks. But where does that leave Ubuntu who seem to have pinned their hopes on a very unfinished interface in Unity?

Also what are KDE doing to respond? Interesting times ahead.

Wind power: Even worse than you thought


Efficiency, Efficiency

The best comments on this thread seem to be coming from Andydaws. As he points out so eloquently the key thing is enrgy efficiency. Even if you could use spare electricity to crack water to make hydrogen you are going to lose a lot in converting it. Storing something like Hydrogen would be a real nightmare as well. It could only be done on a short term basis. On a smaller scale vanadium reflow batteries might work just to smooth output which seems to be one of the problems of wind but even then you are spending a lot of money on infrastructure that is not generating extra power only coping with the inadequacies of existing generation, in this case wind.

As to pumped storage, look up Dinorwig which is the biggest generating pumped storage station in Britain, cost around 435million GBP back in the early 70s yet can still only run for about 5 hours flat out. New pumped storage would be prohibitively expensive even if you were to wreck the countryside by putting the feed pipes above ground.

Nokia: Keep codin' for Symbian and Qt!


Elop was/is clueless

They could have got MeeGo working like a dream by the time they have their first prototype Windows phone out. This would also have re-invigorated Ovi and given developers a better chance of margin than Android apps. They have something great in Qt and they are just blowing it.

I imagine we are going to see a sharp decline in Symbian device sales - why buy into a dead platform. Very sad.

Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear

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Oh come on Lewis!

This is a very serious accident. Did you not see the state of the top of reactor no.3?!! It is nowhere near over yet.

It will take a hell of a lot of money and risk to personnel to clean up. Japan could have a proper geothermal power system for the cost of cleaning this mess up.

The spent fuel rods are not in any containment and are open to the elements! The risks are immense and it will be difficult for anyone to go near them. The sarcophagus for Chernobyl at least had the head start of starting at ground level and now 25 years later it requires to be replaced. This is a major fail for nuclear power.

Bravo to the poster who brought up Hinkley Point - British reactors could also facec tsunamis.

Let's phase out these old reactors.

Fukushima one week on: Situation 'stable', says IAEA


Too early to claim....

... that things are going to be alright. There obviously seems to be multiple levels of failure and there was inadequate preparation for cooling of reactors and containment pools that need power to safely operate.

At the very least the nuclear cleanup is likely to take as much money as the rest of the tsunami disaster. Anybody volunteering to be the first up on top of the reactor buildings to cleanup? The cost of cleaning up Chernobyl finished off the Soviet Union - this will do long term damage to the health of the Japanese economy and hence resources to deal with their aging population.

Intel defends MeeGo after Nokia defection

Gates Horns


MeeGo looks like it could have been great on a phone. Nokias decision is extraordinary considering that they now have no tablet strategy where MeeGo really showed its advance and innovation at MWC.

What sealed Nokia's fate?


Nokia needed patience

This is a depressingly good analysis. I'm glad that it brings up the point that this was software in huge sales of a consumer product that was done in Europe. I agree that it appears that the bureaucracy of Nokia is what killed them. Jumping onto the sclerotic and buggy arms of Microsoft is not going to help in this case. I just believe that with a little more patience they could have pulled MeeGo off. They had no new device at MWC but a tablet or handset running MeeGo could have been possible and placated investors enough. The scenario that has unfolded is very much because of Elop and the fact that he is a North American who had come from Microsoft.

They had Qt which would have allowed them to take Symbian devs with them to MeeGo. It is all a great shame particularly when you see the tablets that Intel were demonstating at MWC. If Nokia had the patience that Apple had back in 1996 they could have looked back at this period as the start of something great with MeeGo.


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