* Posts by MaxHertz

11 posts • joined 14 Nov 2012

World finally ready for USB-bootable OS/2



Only bad memories. Trying to setup networking on OS/2 was a royal PITA.

Pioneer slaps 80s LASERS on cars for driverless push


Re: Air France Flight 447 accident

Erm... the Air France crash was due to the pilot not recognising that one of the air speed indicators was malfunctioning. If a computer had been in control it probably would not have crashed.

Honor 7 – heir apparent to the mid-range Android crown


aluminium case = BAD

Shame about the aluminium back. You would have to use a protective case if you didn't want it looking a mess after a few months.

Phones should have plastic bodies, with a replaceable back panel. That way you don't have to use a cover. Which is why I have a Nexus 5. Back still looks great after a year.

Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?


It won't be the car companies

"VW, with 10 million car sales a year would have, after a decade, what, 30-40 million vehicles all feeding information into their system? Skynet anyone?"

I can't see the car companies being capable of the enormous software engineering challenge that is a driverless car. This is all bleeding edge stuff. Do the best software engineers currently work for car companies? Are the car companies capable of recruiting the best people and creating and managing an environment in which the radical advances necessary in AI are able to happen?

Think of the complexity and cost of current airliner software. Flying an aeroplane (strictly controlled, uncluttered environment) is trivial in comparison with driving a car in a town.

Gid E-Up? Vulture's claw presses pedal to metal on VW's 'leccy motor


all-but-free fuel?

Charging at 2.3 kW for 9 hours would consume just over 20 kWh of leccy, which would cost around £2.50 assuming a tariff of 12p per kWh.

In comparison, a journey of 90 miles in a conventional Up! at 60 mpg would cost around £8.80 assuming petrol at £1.30 per litre.

The fuel costs for the electric journey are a great deal less, but considerably short of free.

Flying 360° panoramic camera poised for lift-off



"...accelerometers detect apogee" sounds quite plausible, until you think about it.

As soon as it leaves the throwers hand, it is in freefall, so the accelerometers register zero G for the whole of the flight (if one ignores air resistance and rotation).

So presumably what they do is measure the acceleration pulse at launch and from there calculate the launch velocity (or in fact wait to detect freefall, and then go back in memory to detect the launch pulse). You assume you are going straight up, so you can calculate the approximate time to apogee.

World's first 3D-printed metal gun 'more accurate' than factory-built cousin


Reality check

Just to remove any confusion, this process is not and never will be useful for producing firearms.

The equipment and expertise required is far more demanding than that required to make one by conventional means.

If you want highly accurate parts, you would not use this process. True, it is more accurate than SOME conventional manufacturing techniques e.g. forging, but there are other run-of-the-mill technique considerably more accurate.

It will always be expensive and slow. It is useless for mass production, where you need to produce parts in seconds, not hours.

You will always be able to produce higher-performance metal parts using conventional techniques like forging.

Where it IS useful is for the production of prototypes or very low volume parts.

'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail


grinding madness

They seem to have got a little carried away with the angle grinder.

In the picture on the Guardian page, there appears to be the case from a MacBook, two MacBook mainboards, a PCI express graphics card and motherboard from a PC.

All bear evidence of having been enthusiastically attacked with an angle grinder. Odd, as none of these would seem to offer much utility for the long term storage of documents.

Boffins develop 'practically free' sulphur-powered batteries



Note that the cell voltage may be considerably lower than that of Li-ion, which would reduce the 7x capacity advantage.

Scientists snap first film of giant squid in action


self-aligning hooks

The hooks on the arms of giant squids are free to rotate in a socket (somewhat like a castor) so that they self-align, when pulled, to the optimal orientation for gabbing prey. Presumably this means that they can firmly grab something even if it brushes past perpendicular to the squid's arm.


Google starts rolling out Android 4.2 to select devices

Thumb Up

Nexus 7 on 4.2

My Nexus 7 has just successfully updated itself to 4.2.

Unfortunately, using camera launcher, trying the Photo Sphere panorama with the front camera crashes.


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