* Posts by Rob Diamond

4 posts • joined 13 Jul 2007

18 seconds that blacked out South Australia

Rob Diamond

Re: Richard got it right!

My my, Pompous Git - with such pedantry you'd *have* to be a barrister! If I'd used "EM waves" instead of "electricity" most people reading would not have understood. And the practical difference between "EM waves" travelling at 3*10^8 m/sec and 2*10^8 m/sec escapes me - the delays are still significant. But I guess you just wanted to show how knowledgable you are :)

BTW, I do agree that having too much "unreliable" generation, be it wind or solar, is a recipe for grid instability, and there are certainly lessons to be learned from this about grid management and black-start capability. Maybe the protection algorithms used by some of the wind farms need to be reviewed. Maybe next time some backup generation should be fired up when really bad weather is forecast.

But please OH PLEASE tell me why you're ignoring the FACT of 22 transmission towers blowing over. My own view is that the system disturbances caused by so many trips to lockout in quick sucession were the primary cause of the system black. Read the AEMO preliminary report and you'll see that the frequency sag was so quick that the automated under-frequency load shedding wasn't able to shed load fast enough to save the network. So to think that a big thermal power station at no load could ramp up to full power in time is laughable. But a big running power station might have been handy to get the network back up again.

SHOCK REVELATION: Telstra manages its networks!

Rob Diamond

Nice apologist article, Simon !

Well Simon - sounds to me very much you're like an apologist for ASIS/DSD/NSA, etc. Just who does pay you ?

Most of your comments are OK, in as much as you can legitimately hold that point of view. But where you are downright misleading is where you say:

"Carriers operate networks. If they didn't monitor them extensively, we'd be worse off than if they did! That the tools they use harvest lots of data about network traffic should not be news to anyone.".

As far as I'm concerend it's OK to collect network traffic data about types of traffic, DDOS attempts, traffic volume by destination, etc, etc. But the collection of the same metadata (and more) that the NSA collects *is* a cause for concern, especially if there's no adequate oversight. And the revelations that Australia tapped into the Indonesian President and his family's phone calls just shows that ASIS/DSD *are* out of control.

It's not just the invasion of EVERY AUSTRALIAN citizen's privacy that I don't like. It's also the fact that the Security Snake Oil salesmen are selling our spy agencies all this expensive kit, with absolutely no cost-benefit analysis. All this stuff costs the Australian taxpayer big dollars - it might be much more cost effective to have a couple of spooks based in Indonesia rather then spending unknown millions on all the whiz-bang electronics and then paying rafts of people to sift through the haystack of data. But because it's all top secret no-one can question the spending. See the way the Government and Defence Department has wasted/is wasting billions of dollars on submarines that spend all their time in dry dock being repaired, on planes that are delivered 10-15 years late, etc, etc. Then imagine the same kind of schemozzle in spook spending, except it's worse because it can be covered up using the old "national security" excuse. But if you think the current (and previous) Governments care about wasting our taxpayer dollars just read all the stories about the politician's expense rorts. Sigh !

Autopilot blamed for Qantas plunge

Rob Diamond

100% Test Coverage - Bollocks !

CTG - I agree that it's possible to get pretty good coverage on unit tests, but a modern FBW aircraft is a terrifyingly complex beast - how do you test race conditions between signal inputs, race conditions between the redundant computers, etc, etc. ? Answer is you can't in practice - if you tried it could take hundreds of years. That said, I think the level of testing carried out is patently inadequate - just Google for the story of a BA A340 flying from Japan and landing at Heathrow, and the computer problems which gave the pilots nightmares. The British Air Safety board queried how the aircraft ever got certified given the problems being experienced.

BTW, I started real-time programming in assembler on a dual-processor telex exchange over 30 years ago, and I've done a fair bit since, so I *do* have some experience.

Regards, Rob.

Microsoft re-assures partners on Vista compatibility

Rob Diamond

I'm giving up too

Like a lot of others here I'm giving up too. I bought a fast new laptop, but Vista on its own uses half the 1Gbyte of memory and sporadically most of the processor - hey Micro$oft it's *my* laptop. I loathe all the flashy graphics (e.g. hard to grab a window border because it's semi-transparent), and the way the location of all the utilities has changed so I can't find anything. The last straw was when I loaded my Nokia phone app, and the phone API crashed every time I started the app. Yes - I know, I can go online and search for help on getting it working - but time is money to me so just make it work or jam it up up your.. I'm going back to XP - it's not great but it's better than this half-cooked load of crap.

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