* Posts by Robert Sneddon

512 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

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We've reached the endgame: Bezos 'in talks' to turn shuttered department stores into Amazon warehouses

Robert Sneddon

Access

Most US malls of any substantial size, the sorts with a giant anchor store at one end, are surrounded by hectares of car parks while at the same time not being served by public transport particularly well. In the US many people working minimum-wage jobs own cars to get to work because the car is a necessity. Amazon pay a little more than minimum-wage, typically and for the rest there are always Bezos buses.

We Kana believe it! Raspberry Pi Foundation launches Japanese keyboard

Robert Sneddon

More than that

Japanese actually has three syllabaries, not two since Romaji (Roman) characters are commonly used in signage and the like in Japan these days. Japanese kanji based on Chinese characters are not the only form of words though -- combinations of kanji, called jukugo can also represent individual words.

It's complicated.

AMD pushes 64-core 4.2GHz Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation processors

Robert Sneddon
Mushroom

ECC

One of the improvements over the existing Threadripper workstation CPUs these new devices promise is support for ECC memory. It's mentioned in The Fine Article as well as all the press reports I've seen around.

Error-correction support for RAM is long overdue for modern commodity desktops and laptops now that 16GB is "a good start" for most out-of-the-box machines and 64GB is affordable and attainable even on medium-level hardware. The AMD Ryzen desktop I'm planning to build this winter will start with 64GB (because I run Firefox) but I've got the option on existing motherboards for 128GB of RAM as a mid-life kicker a few years from now. I'd really like that RAM to be ECC but it's not going to happen, at least with the existing and affordable mobo offerings currently on the market.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Robert Sneddon

Boy the Wonder Dog

Boy was a Labrador cross, not as smart as his mongrel Mum (his Dad was a show Samoyed, bred for looks not brains). Being a retriever breed, sort of, Boy liked to bring us things. Watching him try to "retrieve" a hedgehog was something else. It was the fact he kept trying, time and time again...

Things that make you go foom: Destruction derby as NASA and SpaceX test rocket components to failure

Robert Sneddon

Re: Hot LOX

In the UK you need a licence and government permission to buy liquid oxygen because it's regarded as a dangerous substance. You do not need government permission to buy gaseous oxygen and liquid nitrogen and narrow-bore copper pipe and...

Overload: A one-way ticket to a madman's situation

Robert Sneddon

Re: I meant to do that!

"You should have warned us!"

"But I did! I sent you an email, remember?"

In Hancock's half-hour, Dido Harding offers hollow laughs: Cake distracts test-and-trace boss at UK COVID-19 briefing

Robert Sneddon

New Zealand

Serious question here -- what is happening to folks like merchant shipping crews who work in the import and export businesses, delivering oil and other materials? Do they go through the full fourteen-day quarantine process and bill-of-health requirements when their ships dock or are they sequestered on board their ships and not allowed to land? What about NZ engineers, pilots etc. who go on board these ships, are they then quarantined after they leave those ships?

Britain is intending to implement a quarantine system like New Zealand's for visitors (too little too late but...) but we're also issuing tens of thousands of temporary visas to agricultural workers from Europe to work during the harvest season. They'll be off the planes and into the fields, no fourteen-day quarantine for low-paid "essential workers" like them. They'll be living in crowded and unsanitary temporary accommodations like guest workers elsewhere in the world, the sorts of places that have reported concentrated outbreaks of COVID-19 in the recent past. Food, though is the ultimate "just-in-time" product though, it has to be picked and processed on time or left to rot in the fields.

Gone in 9 seconds: Virgin Orbit's maiden rocket flight went perfectly until it didn't

Robert Sneddon

Re: Oh. Again?

Why bother? Every man and his dog can do that.

Putting 500kg into orbit for, I think, $12 million is the trick. SpaceX charges about $90 million a launch for about 10 tonnes into LEO. Ride-shares are possible but the resulting orbits for multi-satellite launches are limited to wherever SpaceX wants to go today. If it's not the orbit that's wanted or close enough for a limited amount of adjustment after LEO is achieved then tough.

Man responsible for least popular iteration of Windows UI uses iPad Pro as a desktop*

Robert Sneddon

RAM, storage

The Surface Book 3 can be specced with 32GB RAM for $$$, the latest-model iPad Pro has 6GB of RAM, no upgrade possible. There's a 2TB storage option for the Surface Book 3, max internal storage for the iPad Pro is 1TB. The Surface Book 3 has an SXDC card reader for extra (slower) memory, the iPad Pro has no SD or micro-SD card slot.

Microsoft drops a little surprise thank-you gift for sitting through Build: The source for GW-BASIC

Robert Sneddon

Re: Not bad for the year -- but they may not be telling us everything

An Intel MDS typically had an in-circuit emulator -- a F'in Big Plug on the end of a cable that fitted into the target hardware where an 8080A, 8085, 8086 or 8088 would normally go. That allowed a programmer/developer like me to write Assembler and later C code for a target system and then run it natively with hardware trace, triggers and a whole load more without adding piles of memory-hogging debug statements and the like.

So, yes, an Intel MDS could cost £50,000 although that was an all-options pricetag, a bit like a fat Mac Pro workstation. The Intel MDS we had only had an ICE for the 8080A and floppy disks, no HDD but that still cost the thick end of £15,000 back then (mid 70s). We did get a swingeing academic discount on that sticker price though, along with restrictions on what we could do with it like no commercial development work.

Anyone else have one of the Blue Meanies, BTW? Ours had most or all of the chips inside in sockets on vertically-mounted boards and inadequate cooling resulting in the chips walking out of their sockets over time due to thermal cycling. It was a regular thing for us to take the cover off and push them back in place before starting the system up in the morning.

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo

Robert Sneddon

USN Mk14 torpedos

Drachinifel, the Youtube commentator on things Naval has a wonderful entry about the Mk14 torpedo and its unfortunate genesis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ5Ru7Zu_1I

"Today we look at what happens when you mix the Bureau of Ordnance with a cost-cutting Congress and a few people pathologically incapable of admitting to making a mistake, then try and get a working torpedo out of them."

DBA locked in police-guarded COVID-19-quarantine hotel for the last week shares his story with The Register

Robert Sneddon

Re: This is a failure of government

My thought, back in the middle of March, was that the government shouldn't be scrabbling around trying to find boxes of medically-rated masks in the back of cupboards and competing for PPE supplies from abroad with other nations. Instead they should have been throwing money and effort into rapidly building production lines to make new N95/N99-class masks in the UK as well as securing the raw materials to make masks and other PPE here, locally. What we actually got were RAF transport aircraft flying back and forth to Turkey to import PPE that the NHS doesn't believe meets the standards they need.

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump

Robert Sneddon

Miracle Mineral Solution

aka MMS. It's a snake-oil substance that some Evangelical grifters in the US sell, claiming it can cure everything from cancer to homosexuality and even socialism. When added to water MMS makes a bleach-like substance. It has been used on autistic kids, administered by enema because of Andrew Fucking Wakefield and his obsession with children's intestines being the source of some kind of bacteria that causes autism.

The story is that the purveyors of this stuff sent President Trump a letter a couple of days ago announcing the cure to COVID-19 was this bleaching agent hence the President's deranged word salad outburst last night.

At least one US State health department in Maryland has already fielded dozens of calls and email enquiries about the efficacy of drinking or inhaling bleach to cure COVID-19.

Academic showdown as boffins biff-baff over when Version 1.0 of Earth's magnetic core was released

Robert Sneddon

Re: Hmm ...

Hey, TWO people read that book!

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

Robert Sneddon

Re: My favourite timing bug

Hardware -- Long time back I was building a multiprocessor system based on Transputers. It worked perfectly if I connected a logic analyser to the memory module's address and data buses. Disconnect the analyser probes and the software test suite glitched. After scratching my head for a couple of days on this very repeatable issue I figured out the very-high impedance and negligible capacitance of the logic analyser probes was juuuuust enough to shift the edges of the data signals into spec (and probably the address lines too but I didn't prove that). Some extra Vcc decoupling caps here and there and 1megaohm pull-down resistors on the memory device lines and everything was golden, plus some red-pen changes to the data sheets.

Ethernet standards group leaves its name in the dust as it details new 800Gbps spec

Robert Sneddon

Re: But...

Higher-end workstation-class desktops have 10Gb fitted as standard -- the new Apple Mac Pro desktop, for example has two 10Gb ports and can take 40Gb PCI-E cards. Dell and HP workstations all offer 10Gb networking options as well, all they cost is money.

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount

Robert Sneddon

It was a different time

Here's a picture of the "clean room" used to build Prospero, the only British satellite successfully launched by a British rocket, back in the early 1970s.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14783135

Note the prominent sign pinned to the wall.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock both test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus

Robert Sneddon

Re: Good on BoJo and Ma'cock

Can't you correct the colours in the CSS?

Online face mask sales scams, 400% uptick of coronavirus phishing reports: Brit cops' workload shifts online along with the nation's

Robert Sneddon

Re: Well, at least there's now an argument to sign up for the Sun or Daily Mirror

Sewers and treatment plants are getting choked with newsprint and paper towels which are currently being used as substitute toilet paper -- they don't disintegrate when wet the way TP is designed to.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-51980820

So the Sun and the Daily Mail really aren't good enough to wipe your arse with. Who could have guessed?

Tinfoil hat brigade switches brand allegiance to bog paper

Robert Sneddon

Stuffing packets from my humour buffer into my mouth driver...

Sometimes you really need to watch what you say -- a while back I had successfully dieted to the point that people meeting up with me afterwards would comment on my slim(mer) appearance.

"Hey Bob, you lost some weight?"

My immediate, untruthful and instantly-regretted answer was one word.

"Chemotherapy."

The really really bad thing was I did it more than once.

Disk stuck in the drive? Don't dilly-Dali – get IT on the case!

Robert Sneddon

Re: Bouncy-net

Guy I shared a lab bench with a while back told me about the time he was seconded to an astronomical observatory somewhere near the Tropics for about six months in the days before ubiquitious data connections to remote locations. One of his jobs as general IT bod and tech gopher was to take the crate of disks (a sort of homebrew NAS box, from before the days of Synology and the like) carrying the recordings of the night's observations (several GIGAbytes of data!) down the mountain road to the nearest town with a FedEx office where they would be shipped back to Blighty for decoding and analysis. This drive was a couple of hours over what was laughingly described as a "road" rather than the bulldozed scrape in the rock and lava it actually was. It always amazed him the disks survived their road trip, ditto for himself since there were no guard rails, road markings and other such fripperies to guide him on his way.

Ofcom measured UK's 5G radiation and found that, no, it won't give you cancer

Robert Sneddon

Pedant mode

The Trinity nuclear explosion was not a bomb or any sort of a weapon, it was an experimental device to test the rather complicated implosion lens system needed for a plutonium bomb. Fat Man, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki was of this type but it was quite different to the Trinity "gadget" in many engineering respects.

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers

Robert Sneddon

Re: What's in the box Doc?

A thousand volts of chunky DC to the TX stage anode was probably the reason the mouse was dead.

We kept a discharge stick racked up beside our club's "competition" linear amplifier, the one we used on VHF field days. It had quad 4CX1000As conservatively downrated to provide only 1000W PEP to meet regs and competition rules, honest Guv, fed with an associated PSU made up from bits from a ex-WWII divisional HQ transmitting station (German or Allies, we were never sure). The final-stage smoothing capacitors were terrifyingly large and not to be approached until thoroughly discharged by means of something other than somebody's partially-volitalised fingers.

EU tells UK: Cut the BS, sign here, and you can have access to Galileo sat's secure service

Robert Sneddon

Re: Ha

Firstly the USA itself exports food into the EU now. How can that be possible if its supply is contaminated?

Any food imported into the EU has to meet strict EU hygiene and quality regs and that includes US produce. After that the food can be shipped anywhere in the EU and Britain can accept any EU-sourced food without worries because of commonly-agreed EU standards (we already import a massive amount of non-EU foodstuffs frictionlessly via ports like Rotterdam since all of the checks and paperwork to ensure they are safe is carried out there, not at our own borders).

The proposed US trade agreement says they want Brexit Britain to "reduce" i.e. gut its standards so the US can ship us a lot of products that don't currently meet EU standards, stuff like chlorine-washed chicken[1]. At that point all foodstuffs from the UK being exported to the EU will have to be inspected and documented since some of it might be US-sourced. Of course since we're going to be diverging from EU standards in the future -- rule-makers not rule-takers -- then even if we don't accept salmonella-ridden poultry from the US any British producer exporting food to the EU is still going to face a lot of paperwork and testing and paying for the privilege.

[1] Chlorine-washing is meant to control the levels of harmful bacteria in slaughtered poultry. The US suffers about 15 times the level of salmonella cases that the EU does per million population because they don't treat salmonella the way sensible people do, as a major health problem requiring testing, notification and destruction of poultry flocks to contain outbreaks. Instead they treat affected flocks with antibiotics and send the finished carcasses to the consumer after washing them with chlorinated water.

Very little helps: Tesco flashes ancient Windows desktop on Scan-As-You-Shop device

Robert Sneddon

Other uses

Hand-held ticket scanners used at sports grounds where I do part-time work run Windows CE. I'm occasionally called on to restart the ticketing app if someone pushes the wrong buttons and breaks it. It helps that I've got a couple of PDAs (Fujitsu LOOX, HP iPaq) that run Win CE so I'm vaguely familiar with the Vulcan nerve pinches required to do stuff on them.

BSOD Burgerwatch latest: Do you want fries with that plaintext password?

Robert Sneddon

Re: Surprised they don't use *NIX

I did ask about window managers, Gnome and the like rather than Linux itself. How do they take touch-screen inputs and translate them into HID inputs like key presses and mouse movements, click and drag etc.? Are they functional with touch out-of-the-box or does it require tweaks and configuration of the installation?

Robert Sneddon

Re: Surprised they don't use *NIX

What well-supported Linux windows managers have touch input as standard? Windows has been touch-aware out of the box ever since Windows 8 and touch will be supported well into the future. Any sort of touch input for Linux is going to be an add-on, custom writtenand manufacturer-dependent, won't it?

I worked on retail POS systems a long time back and I remember seeing Linux on devices like bar-code reader terminals in back-of-store locations. Sometimes the display of the custom terminals had a sad-looking Penguiny command-line interface rather than the simplified GUI-plus-keypad the program usually presented to the minimum-wage shelf-stacker droid logging stock changes into the shop's back-office inventory system. The usual solution was to power it off and back on and hope the firmware wouldn't go bonk! again.

So you locked your backups away for years, huh? Allow me to introduce my colleagues, Brute, Force and Ignorance

Robert Sneddon

My Uncle Hughie

My Uncle Hughie (actually my father's cousin) had been a heavy-horse farrier in his youth. His motto was "always use a big hammer to start with." His reasoning, and I could never fault it was that there was no limit to how gently you could hit something with a big hammer but there was a limit to how hard you could hit something with a small hammer.

Robert Sneddon
Mushroom

Rocket Science

WD-40 isn't a lubricant, it's a solvent so using it on sticky fans will work to get crud out of the bearings. It's not really for use on electronics since it's bad for some plastics which aren't petrochemical-resistant unlike the materials used in car engines. I use a can of spray-can of isopropyl alcohol to fix problems with fans and computer mice etc. but if WD-40 is what you have to hand then go for it.

Icon 'coz WD-40 was invented for rockets.

Not call, dude: UK govt says guaranteed surcharge-free EU roaming will end after Brexit transition period. Brits left at the mercy of networks

Robert Sneddon

Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

Light switches work in BOTH directions.

Take DOS, stir in some Netware, add a bit of Windows and... it's ALIIIIVE!

Robert Sneddon

Re: Progress

Science of Cambridge Mk 14 for me, with 256 bytes of RAM.

Intel server chip shortages continue to bite: HPE warns of Xeon processor supply drought for the whole of 2020

Robert Sneddon

High Performance Computing

The EPCC here in Edinburgh is replacing their ageing "Archer" supercomputer which has about 10,000 12-core Xeon Ivy Bridge CPUs. However the replacement machine, also from Cray will have over 11,000 EPYC Rome 64-core CPUs, a switch away from Intel.

Robert Sneddon

Re: EPYC Fail...?

EPYC is probably trademarked, a bit like Xeon, Pentium etc. and it's a unique hit in searches. Friends refer to these short snappy made-up words (Xanax, Exxon, Linux etc.) as hooker names.

You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes

Robert Sneddon

Re: Three votes isn't enough for some people

I have a vague recollection that on early Shuttle flights the fifth flight computer's emergency landing program was loaded from a cassette tape. I always wondered, shades of "Good Omens", if it ever turned into a "Best of Queen" compilation due to cosmic rays or whatever.

Robert Sneddon

Boiler Watch

My Dad was in the Navy Reserve during WWII, seconded from the coal industry since he was a steam fitter and the RN ships had boilers and steam engines that needed fettling. I read a handbook he used during his service which included the rules about steam engineering on board warships. One thing I recall was there had to be a qualified rating or officer on duty at all times to continuously monitor the water level in each boiler. God himself (the Master and Commander of the ship) could not redeploy the boiler watchman unless they were immediately replaced by another qualified watchman. The Navy had a track record of steam boiler explosions in the past, they didn't want any more if they could help it.

Robert Sneddon

Three votes isn't enough for some people

The Space Shuttle had three identical flight control computers -- two of the the three computers could "vote" the other one out of the pool if they agreed. However it was recognised it was possible for two computers to go wrong simultaneously and vote the good one out or for all three computers to disagree with each other so the designers added a fourth separate flight control computer, made by a different company and running completely separate software that could be enabled by the flight crew if there were problems with the primary triplet.

They then added a fifth flight control computer which was a basic "get the Shuttle safely down on the ground" unit, very limited in capabilities. I don't think it was ever used.

Boeing aircraft sales slump to historic lows after 737 Max annus horribilis

Robert Sneddon

Forward order options

One airline ordered a number of 737 MAXes in the middle of last year, after the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the grounding of all MAXes worldwide -- the negotiations for the order had been going on for some time. The first completed airframe of that order wouldn't, under normal circumstances, get to the customer until 2023 or thereabouts, the rest of the order would be spread over a number of years following.

I recall hearing that Boeing has/had over four thousand 737 MAX orders in its books with scheduled deliveries reaching into the 2030s.

Are you getting it? Yes, armageddon it: Mass hysteria takes hold as the Windows 7 axe falls

Robert Sneddon

Last-gen fondleslabs

I've got a couple of older Windows tablets each a dual-core Atom CPU running at 1.4 GHz and 1GB or 2GB of RAM with, I think, 32GB of eMMC storage, both running patched and up-to-date Win10. They're not blindingly fast but they run.

What was Boeing through their heads? Emails show staff wouldn't put their families on a 737 Max over safety fears

Robert Sneddon

Re: Decent aircraft

it goes too quickly into a positive feedback loop in the nose-up attitude, which isn't exactly a small and rare part of its flight envelope, it occurs during every take off.

The MAX has slightly greater positive nose lift from the extended engine cowls but it's not particularly excessive. The problem with the 737 MAX is that the controls don't feel the same to the pilots as its predecessors like the 737NG in the same situation -- it's still a entry-into-stall situation the pilots can readily cope with. The solution is to train pilots to fly the MAX as a new-type aircraft, cover this new behaviour in training and the sims and qualify all MAX pilots and first officers appropriately. MCAS was an attempt to avoid this expensive, time-consuming and operationally intrusive requirement, mostly at the behest of the big 737 customers like South West, Ryanair etc.

Robert Sneddon

Decent aircraft

The 737MAX is an OK aircraft as it was designed and built. The problematic part of its development was Boeing's flailing attempts to make it handle just like its predecessor in a very small and rare part of its flight envelope, the nose-up approach-into-stall condition. To be accepted as "just like all other 737s" for certification the control yoke and airframe response to this imminent stall had to feel the same to the pilots trained up on earlier 737s and it didn't, hence the MCAS bodge which has intrinsic and disastrous failure conditions.

Get rid of MCAS, take the financial and marketing hit of having the MAX certified as a new aircraft, pay for training for all 737 pilots who need it to fly the MAX and it's good. Boeing will eventually end up doing something like this, I think but they still have to get through the five steps of grief (denial, blaming others, bargaining etc.) before they arrive at acceptance.

iFixit surgeons dissect Apple's pricey Mac Pro: Industry standard sockets? Repair diagrams? Who are you and what have you done to Apple?

Robert Sneddon

Dell's Sad Corner Bargain

I happened to be poking around the Dell.co.uk site recently and checked out their bargain basement where they sell off custom-built systems that didn't get shipped to customers or returned for some reason. There was a "scratch-and-dent" dual-Xeon (2 x 8-cores) workstation with 1TB of RAM fitted (16 x 64GB), yours for only £11,360 exc. VAT.

Robert Sneddon

Re: Its really not that proprietary

It is basically a raw flash module, an SSD without a controller. Apple uses the controller in their T2 chip (the technology they bought from Anobit some years ago) which also manages the storage in the iPhone.

That sounds like they want to enable their own end-to-end hardware encryption and security protocols for the boot/OS SSD rather than relying on software encryption over a standard data bus like PCIe or SATA/SAS. It would explain them going with a non-standard "standard" for the device. Interesting.

And then there were two: HMS Prince of Wales joins Royal Navy

Robert Sneddon

The speed of the slowest ship

The USS Arizona, sunk at its mooring in the Pearl Harbor attack was commissioned in 1916 and had a theoretical maximum speed of 21 knots but given its age and the general lack of maintenance expected of a peacetime navy it would probably struggle to maintain 20 knots over a period of a few days of hard pursuit or evasion of a more modern enemy force.

The problem is that if the Arizona or battleships like her were part of an battlegroup then that group could only manoeuvre at the best speed of the slowest ship present. Contemporary capital ships like the fleet carrier USS Wasp (CV-7) could manage 29 knots, cruisers and destroyers ditto. It was believed that contemporary Japanese battleships could manage 26 knots meaning they could choose to engage or evade a slower USN battlegroup hobbled by its 20-knot battleships, a major tactical advantage on their part.

In the end it was moot, carriers ate the BB's lunch all over the Pacific, even the faster more modern ones. There were few Big Iron vs. Big Iron engagements and they were mostly sideshows to the carrier fleet actions. The 27-knot Musashi and Yamato were sunk by air power even after a mid-war refit to cover them with AA guns, replacing a couple of triple 8" wing turrets meant to defend against torpedo-firing destroyers and cruisers which, it turned out were not the real threat.

Robert Sneddon

Re: History repeats itself

Re: the speed of pre-WWII battleships

A statement, possibly apocryphal, attributed to a USN senior officer was that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had done the Navy a service, turning it from an 20-knot Navy into a 25-knot Navy by sinking a couple of the obsolete WW1-era battleships still in service.

Robert Sneddon

Nice model

There's a rather nice scale model of the Yamato in a museum in Japan. 1:10 scale, that is.

https://deepkure.com/yamato-museum/

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?

Robert Sneddon

Loose wires

Finding loose wires that you don't know about in a house or office is the time you pull out a meter and check for tingly stuff leaking out the ends. Absent having a meter to hand, licking the wires to see if they're live is not recommended.

As for creative fusing substitutions the web is rife with risible charts indicating alternatives to commercial cartridge fuses -- the 12mm galvanised bolt is typically rated "2000A slow blow".

Why can't passport biometrics see through my cunning disguise?

Robert Sneddon

Re: Customs?

The Customs people at Narita airport in Japan examine your passport at the baggage inspection points when they collect the Customs declaration cards.

Robert Sneddon

No-glare glasses

The "without any glare or reflection" bit is a problem if you wear glasses while having your photo taken, but they need to know the colour of your eyes for the biometrics system. Tinted contact lenses are probably on the "don't be a smart-alec" list too.

I unscrewed the sides of my metal-framed glasses and temporarily removed the lenses before taking the picture I used for my passport renewal application a couple of years ago. No glare, no rejection by the passport folks. Win.

Absolutely smashing: Musk shows off Tesla's 'bulletproof' low-poly pickup, hilarity ensues

Robert Sneddon

Stainless steel

Stainless is noticeably denser than regular steels because of the large amounts of nickel and chromium in the alloy. It's not super-hard or bulletproof, it will dent and scratch. What interests me about this pickup's design is the rather sharp corners on body details like the wheel arches, they're an obvious place for stress fractures to start and propagate due to vibration from road travel. Regular curved shapes are stronger and less prone to cracking.

Stainless is also a pig to manufacture compared to conventional vehicle-build grades of steel plate. Elon must be thinking about cross-engineering development from SpaceX's Starship which is being built from stainless steel to sort out the specialist welding, drilling and shaping processes needed to work with stainless. Combining those techniques to work economically and reliably on a car production line is another matter.

My guess was that this announcement was a joke, timed to coincide with the start date of the original Blade Runner movie (21st November 2019). A friend described the pickup as a "pedestrian murder machine" on his blog.

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train

Robert Sneddon

There's worse...

Thanks to the BBC (Bradford Beer and Curry) run, the last night train back to Leeds is something else.

https://www.antipope.org/charlie/old/rant/loser.html

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