* Posts by Tom Reg

70 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jan 2008


Musk lashes out at Biden administration over rural broadband

Tom Reg

Re: Let's go Brandon.

We have a rural broadband plan in my area of rural Ontario Canada. $5k is a bargain. Property value increases are 5 times that or more. Who would buy a house with crappy internet?

My current internet has great ping and 20MBit upload, but that’s not fibre.

Just two die for: Apple reveals M1 Ultra chip in Mac Studio

Tom Reg


Waiting on the M2 - single core performance boost, along with shortcoming fixes.

Elon Musk says Tesla's stock price is too high ... welp, NOT ANY MORE

Tom Reg

Tesla - a government funded subsidy machine

In the US, each Tesla is subsidized $50,000, in Norway its $130,000 subsidy!

I guess the only way he can pull this off is if the governments of the world don't wake up and pull out the rug, while in the meantime his infrastructure plans execute perfectly.



Dropbox: We're worth $8 BILLION and we'll sell you a 3 per cent slice

Tom Reg

Snapchat at 3bn or Dropbox at 8?

I'll take Dropbox.

Apple has no iOS finder and the times I try to rely on Google Drive it often fails.

Green German gov battles to keep fossil powerplants running

Tom Reg

What they want to do is make money, and they will.

Electric demand is inelastic - people just want to turn the lights on, and prices charged are largely a a fixed rate per MWh.

So when you shut down enough thermal plants to supply only 90% of the required power on windless nights, the wholesale cost for power does not merely double, it goes up 10 fold, or more.

California went through this:

"The California electricity crisis, also known as the Western U.S. Energy Crisis of 2000 and 2001, was a situation in which California had a shortage of electricity caused by market manipulations, illegal shutdowns of pipelines by the Texas energy consortium Enron, and capped retail electricity prices. "


My guess would be that these companies are playing more honestly than the Americans were, so they will try to contain price hikes to an average of 3x or so.

$0.60+ USD per kWh in Germany is the result.

Think your smutty Snapchats can't be saved by dorks? Think again

Tom Reg

Re: Why have an app

ios 7 will not notify if there has been a screenshot. So that feature of snapchat is done.

Europe: OK, we'll 'backload' carbon emissions - but we'd better not lose big biz

Tom Reg

Re: Tch.

Taxpayers are the general public in my experience. Or perhaps Europe is different in this regard?

Climate-cooling effect 'stronger than volcanoes' is looking solid

Tom Reg

Trees cause pollution

So said Ronald.

But what if the increasing CO2 has caused plants to multiply, making more, pollution - I mean aerosols ?


Apple: Our data centers are green. The other 98% of what we do ...

Tom Reg

Re: Anti green lobby...

I am sure that the people at Apple are a happy bunch, everyone smiles as they take money away from the poor. :) Look up fuel poverty. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20751708

The 'subsidies' on almost all industries are negative. They all pay taxes, lots of taxes. Except for 'Green Energy'.

Ever wondered why the biggest energy companies in the world own and run 80% of the wind and solar? The answer is because it makes lots of money. Gasoline and Oil are not really tied to any green energy projects, as they do different things. Only 0.001% of cars are electric.

Tom Reg

Re: Why'd they build in North Carolina

If they wanted to build in a good place, then Quebec, with 100% carbon free power and cold temperatures, would be ideal. The ping is about 3 ms longer to virgnia, and a bit less to NYC. Or for an American one, just over the Quebec border would work well.

Tom Reg

Re: Another cog in the Great Green Swindle

Apple will make money directly, like all other green energy providers. In addition they are scoring a huge PR win. How come none of their website PR stuff mentions that this is all done on the backs of the taxpayer? Yes of course the government wants these silly projects to go ahead, as comments like your proves that these programs garner votes, at least until the bills need to be paid.

Look at Germany, a 'green energy leader. They are in the process of adding coal plants - up to 25 of them. But the US - with no Kyoto or anything to push them other than economics, is lowering carbon output, all from replacing coal with natural gas.

Had the millions that Apple spent been spent on a natural gas plant instead of solar, carbon output would have dropped more. But solar is a PR and subsidy win. Hence the 'great green swindle'.

Tom Reg

Another cog in the Great Green Swindle


Directed biogas is a buzzword for natural gas that has a long paper trail. Perhaps even a few cow farts. directedbiogas.com


Apple is probably making money on this - at the expense of other electric ratepayers in the state, as is customary for all 'green' energy initiatives.

'Just' troll through this page to try and figure out how much all this benefits Apple.


"A maximum of $2.5 million* per installation for all solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, combined heat and power (as defined by Section 48 of the U.S. Tax Code), and biomass applications** used for a business purpose***, including PV, daylighting, solar water-heating and space-heating technologies."

PLUS, If you have the legal people willing to wade through all these programs, you can see how it might pay off.

NC GreenPower Production Incentive

TVA - Green Power Switch Generation Partners Program

Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems

Active Solar Heating and Cooling Systems Exemption

Sales Tax Holiday for Energy-Efficient Appliances

North Carolina Green Business Fund

Energy Improvement Loan Program (EILP)

Wind now cheaper than coal in Oz: Bloomberg

Tom Reg

Bloomberg "new energy financing" Press Release

A press release full of lies, but perhaps the largest is comparing the cost of on - demand power with intermittent, low quality, power, as if the two had some what equal values in the market place.

The market value for wind power is about 1/4 that of on demand power, experience has shown.

Wind power scales as wind speed to the power 2.5, which means that its either at full blast or almost nothing. Then when it gets really windy, the backup power has to be hot and ready, incase the wind turbines switch off into self protection mode.

Kim Dotcom offers free internet with own submarine cable

Tom Reg

New Zealand broadband at home is expensive - almost as bad as Canada!

New Zealand

Broadband 250GB $61.00NZ == 31 UKP


Bell 250GB per month $82 CDN == 51 UKP

In Canada they rarely have to bring the internet over 100 miles from the USA.

Something is wrong here in my country.

Twitter survives election after Ruby-to-Java move

Tom Reg

Go looks good for this

It has a compiler, but no header files, less junk than ruby, etc. As a long time C, C++, Objective-C, Ruby programmer I look forward to working with it. Google seems to use it a lot.

Facebook's stock rally may be shortlived: Small advertisers enraged

Tom Reg

November 14 is looming

They are pulling out all the stops to have the stock trend upward for the next three weeks. On Nov 14, a billion shares are released to their owners. Some large fraction of these people will then sell.

Who would buy at this point? The answer to that is whoever has fund managers that roll under the Goldman Sachs pressure to buy this into your account. You have been warned.

Climate change threatens to SHRINK FISH AND CHIP SUPPERS

Tom Reg

Does not take much to get into Nature Climate Change

'Papers' like this will and are lowering Nature's stature.

Satellite broadband rollout for all in US: But Europe just doesn't get it

Tom Reg

Re: A few points for you all.....

The pings are huge. Its about 40,000km from earth to satellite. So to ping a webserver you need 40,000 up to the sat, then 40,000k down to the ground, over to the server, then 40,000 km back up to the sat, and 40,000 down to the client. I think that the sat providers can cut this down by running an edge server on the satellite, but that only speeds up downloading pictures from the latest hollywood divorce.

That's 160,000 km, or about 0.55 seconds - 550 ms are added onto each ping. (speed of light is 300,000 km/sec) Here in the Canadian countryside, on a WiFi 4G I get 'terrible' pings - 100ms seems added, etc. But on satellite which I had for several years, I was getting real world pings of 900 ms.

So don't use satellite unless you can't get any form of real internet.

RIM shares bounce on BlackBerry 10 optimism

Tom Reg

RIM is an Android phone maker with extras

The extras are a C++ development stack. Plus the balance thing.

Android is for the most part Java, and feels like it.

They could do alright. It may be cheaper to license RIM than it is to get the Google blessed inside track that the Android club pays for. Amazon comes to mind as a possible licensor.

Profs: Massive use of wind turbines won't destroy the environment

Tom Reg

Re: Since when is nuclear cheap?

The numbers I have show nuclear with all decommission etc at about 8c, and wind at 25c. Offshore is more. The way to tell for sure is to stop all subsidies.

Tom Reg

Wind at 50% penetration will cost about $2 USD per kWh

Because all the storage systems are very very expensive, and to get to 50% penetration, (even just for electrical) you need to be able to store power to run a country for a week.

Raw wind clocks in at about $0.25 per kWh, (which looks expensive too, and is covered up by subsidies and tax breaks to current wind developers).

So what's the cost? 131 trillion per year at the $2 rate, and saying that someone makes storage cheaper, say 50 cents - then we are still at 30 trillion per year. About 1/2 the current GDP of the world. With the other half we need to make the rest of the power, eat and go to movies.

Wind does not work at any scale, but as soon as you pass 5 - 10% penetration, costs skyrocket past the raw wind cost.

New nuclear fuel source would power human race until 5000AD

Tom Reg

Re: The Usual Silliness

Its actually much safer than let on by governments and the like. Look at deaths per TWh.

Amount of CO2 being sucked away by Earth 'has doubled in 50 years'

Tom Reg

Here is the source of the paper.

One wonders why this is all of a sudden news, or why a major paper had to be written about it?


"This means that Mother Nature takes out about 50% of the ‘excess’ CO2 that we pump into the atmosphere every year. And it seem like it doesn’t matter how much MORE we put in each year…nature still takes out an average of 50% of that amount."


Nearly 2 MILLION US Facebook users quit social network

Tom Reg


The article describes the stock owners as 'investors'. Would not 'gamblers' or 'suckers' be a more appropriate term?

Bad generator and bugs take out Amazon cloud

Tom Reg

Re: Too Big to be Economically-and-Realistically-Tested

Are there any studies showing that the public cloud goes down more often than private internal ones? Lots of internal networks are much less robust than Amazon's data centres.

When Amazon goes down for an hour, its news, when some 500 person company goes down for 12 hours, new of it never leaves the building.

Tom Reg

They should make their own power

Which is what many large industrial customers do anyway. Then you use the grid for the times your power plant dies. You can make power for about the same cost as grid using 100% nat gas. Then you get 0.001% times 0.001% failure likelihood. Actually not that good, cause real big events might knock everything out, I guess.

The reliability of the North American grid is dropping over the next decade as more de-stabililizing wind comes on line. So its wise to plan for that now.

Larry Ellison buys island 1000x bigger than Branson's

Tom Reg

$6500 per acre sounds good to me

Ok most of those acres are 'useless woods', but there has to be a lot of shorefront.

I can't see selling this for less than 3 billion in a decade, when the Chinese are looking for bigger things to buy.

Supercomputers need standard shot glass to measure out juice

Tom Reg

Locate in Montreal

Hydro Quebec makes power for about 1c/kwh, NewYork pays 5 or so, but if you want to attract new business in the province I'm sure they would cut a sweet deal. Quebec is already a leader in aluminium production.

GM snatchback of $10m Facebook ad cash = amateur move

Tom Reg

American Sales Execs are pretty inept, then

Or is it the author? GM has been placing ads in everything from newspapers to bubble gum for decades - I think that they know how to measure an ROI in a campaign of any type, be it brand marketing or discount offer sales drives.

If there is one thing Americans shine at, its selling. I think that most people can agree on that.

Too small to fail: Obama signs Nontrepreneurs Act

Tom Reg

Why have rules - we still get Enron, Bank implosions, and more

It seems that all these regulations - likely over 50 meters of them if stacked, do nothing more than create the illusion of trust.

The stock market is more like a wild west gambling casino than a bank.

If you took all rules away, good honest companies would still seek to be known as such, and a network of trust would quickly evolve - companies would exist solely to rate the claims and ethics of other companies. The system would be more accurate and less costly than the current one, which is a mess.

Amount of ice in Bering Sea reaches all-time record

Tom Reg

The Earth is warming

No one (at least no climate scientist) would deny that. It has not warmed in over 10 years, but that's a trifle of time. It has warmed since the turn of the century, for sure. There some graphs / science that suggest cooling for the next decade, but we will have to wait.


A warming earth would mean less ice, but less ice does not support the case that humans are the cause for its loss.

Whether or not its CO2 is the cause of global warming is the issue. There are lots of reputable scientists who doubt the Anthropogenic cause of the warming. Nomenclature has now changed to be future proof: 'Global Warming' has been replaced by 'Climate Change'.

Even if CO2 is the cause of global warming, we have little control over it with existing technologies, other than nuclear power. No country, even Denmark, has made any real progress with renewable energy.

NJ lab claims plasma fusion breakthrough

Tom Reg
Thumb Up

These guys live on less than the lunch money at your local Tokamak

Its all private, and a million buck investment to them feels like, well a million bucks!

Whether it works or not, this should be funded so they can move the reactor out from the basement bedroom.

Nature ISN'T fragile nor a bossy mother-in-law - top eco boffin

Tom Reg

"Big Oil" - the "Green Industrial Complex"

The companies installing wind turbines are by and large those same companies that the eco - nuts call 'Big Oil". They get to double the price of things like electricity, and make more money.

We are now finishing with the Military Industrial Complex, having moved to the "Green Industrial Complex". Same profits, different verbiage.

Extreme weather blown away from unexpected direction

Tom Reg

Compare the IPCC video with the report ==> propaganda machine

The video http://youtu.be/Fq8P9RhEpiQ shows what the IPCC wants as a take away - they refuse to say that there has been no recorded increase in storms or other climate events, but rather they use smarmy wording to dance around what their own report says.

The IPCC runs on fear. Fear brings them money.

Even the 'science paper' dances hard to say that there is no data to support an increase in extreme weather events:

" Most studies of long-term disaster loss records attribute these increases in losses to increasing exposure of people and assets in at-risk areas, and to underlying societal trends – demographic economic, political, and social – that shape vulnerability to impacts. Some authors suggest that a (natural or anthropogenic) climate change signal can be found in the records of disaster losses, but their work is in the nature of reviews and commentary rather than empirical research."

Americans resort to padlocking their dumb meters

Tom Reg
Big Brother

Smart Meters DO NOT show daily usage

By and large, in order to figure out current draw and daily usage, consumers must visit a web site, which no one bothers to do.

A real meter - which I have - like the TED5000 shows a $/hr reading all the time on a display we keep by the kitchen table. The kids and I pick up on that info, and have lowered electricity usage by about 20%. Even I, a 'cheap dad' hardly ever visit the web site.

That's the real thing the electrical companies fear - that usage DROPS because that will cause a drop in profits. So they hide behind clumsy web interfaces. A law that puts these readouts in every new or newly renovated house would save at least 10% of electricity usage. (more in places like North America where waste is much worse). Don't expect the green - industrial - complex to allow them, though.

Medieval warming was global – new science contradicts IPCC

Tom Reg

Re: El Reg Scepticism

There may or may not be AGW, but Germany and Denmark have proved that the most expensive systems ever deployed do absolutely nothing to abate CO2.

So other than nuclear and conservation, we really have no tools available. Nuclear is unpopular with voters, and conservation is unpopular with big companies.

It makes sense at this point to take a decade break from wind and solar subsidies, and see what the science and economics say. The earth has not warmed for over 10 years at this point.

WTF is... White Space radio networking?

Tom Reg
Thumb Up

The mathematics behind this concept are awesome

As transmitter power goes down, aggregate bandwidth - bandwidth per square km goes up, way up. So with a 100,000 watt TV transmitter, you have a bandwidth of 6 Mhz spread over hundreds of sq km. Break that into cells 100 m across, and bandwidth goes up by a factor of well over a million. Total power used also drops - even a million wifi routers only use about 50,000 watts.

You can even break these 100m cells down, as a microwatt powered transmitter (say on a phone inside a house) can use a 10m cell size. Combine that with all the other windows of bandwidth and the fact that as power goes down, battery life goes up along with bandwidth, and you can see the end of comm wires for many devices.

Apple slaps mega-solar panel field on new ENORMO data centre

Tom Reg

Real money maker for Apple at the expense of ratepayers.

Solar power usually caries about a 40c / kWh taxpayer supplied bonus, so that means that Apple will be grossing about 82 million kWh * 0.4 = $32 million per year.

In other words, if the set up is a 'normal' solar/ biomass setup, Apple will get income of $32 million from the plant, which it can use to purchase power on the open market at about 0.06 / kWh, so that will pay for almost all the electricity they use. Plus they get to issue press releases about 'break even' and reducing the bill to zero.

Of course the environmental benefits are about zero or worse.

Putting the facility in upstate NY, and using 100% carbon free Quebec hydro power would have made more environmental sense, but its all about kickbacks and tax breaks, now isn't it?

UK's solar 'leccy cash slash ruled unlawful

Tom Reg

Solar power - dirty, wasteful power for the UK (or any cloudy place)

Solar power is not clean. In the UK, at the 43p per kWh, it produces about the same carbon footprint as natural gas, and only about 2 times cleaner than coal.

Just take the 43p and look up carbon per $1000 of economic activity. That gets you to a number about 10 times higher than nuclear. Then add in the other side of the comic activity to get Solar Power going - interconnection, government legal costs, and you get another huge amount - (40p) per kWh - which also adds to the footprint.

If all electricity was subsidized at that same rate, the cost of delivered electricity would be over 100p /kwh - which would mean that either the entire economy would revolve around plugging stuff in (which would not happen), or everyone would simply not use the grid (which is already happening).

As the subsidizations of electricity rise, on - site co-gen using natural gas takes over - from the large customers down to the smaller ones. Nat gas co gen at home costs about 10p / kWh and you get free hot water and heat!

You can't play god with the economy. The Soviets proved that.

iPhone 4/4S 'self combusts' in airliner inferno

Tom Reg

China knock off - or real phone?

The picture so clearly shows an iPhone 4. But the china knock - offs look the same.

Spillover from 400lb man squeezed fellow flier into galley

Tom Reg

It is essentially illegal to not wear your seatbelt now days

There is no law that says that you can have 'standing room only' passengers (yet - look up Ryan Air on that), so likely the airline would face fines that would make a voucher look pretty small.

So the guy that was standing was at an excess risk of being clobbered by galley parts and flying stewards.

He should definitely phone the FAA about it. What it means is that they cannot fill a plane until they see how many 'two seaters' they have on board. So thats about 2 tickets less sold per 100 - a 2% fare rise to pay for the obese passengers who choose not to buy two seats.

When geeks turn Green: Performance tune your energy bills

Tom Reg

Switching to Heat Pump from Nat Gas will not reduce greenhouse gases

Electricity in the UK is largely CO2 based - at least all added load is almost 100% fossil fuel based.

Say your electricity is Nat Gas made. Better than coal, say average for the UK. To make 1000kwh of electricity with nat gas, you need to burn about times that worth of gas. Then that electricity goes down the wire, and feeds into your heat pump, which is lucky if it gets a COP of 3. Which means they burn 3000kwh worth of nat gas to give you the heating ability of 3000 kWh. There are things like line loses, etc to take into account, but reasonably it will not work. You are using the Carnot cycle on both ends - a bit of a Rube Goldberg machine....

The fact that you have Solar panels on the roof does not play here - any extra power you consume with your heat pump will be created with natural gas or coal.

Don't get me wrong - I like heat pumps, and heat my house with a ground source one here in Canada, but they generally only make sense when you are away from a nat gas source, which means rural Canada/US, etc.

Tom Reg

Webcams pointed at $2 thermometers.

Should work. You can also then see if the cat has enough food.

UK nuclear: Walking into darkness with eyes screwed shut

Tom Reg

And even 70 billion is a bargain compared to wind

At least the nuclear reactor will have provided useful energy for its lifetime. The cost of a wind fleet equal to a 1GW nuclear reactor (most sites have 4 or so reactors) is about 10x the cost of building the nuclear, and blights the landscape with 30,000 wind turbines. They are 5 million each. Even with 30,000 there would be 1/4 the time with no lights or hospitals, 1/2 the time with about enough, and 1/4 of the time with so much power as to have no where to put it.

There are no alternatives right now to nuclear, unless you like pollution, or live in some hydro bonanza place like Quebec.

I don't believe for a second the 70 billion mark. I think it can be done way cheaper.

LightSquared CEO wants industry's 'dumbest' wireless pipe

Tom Reg

Actually bandwidth required is already dropping

As soon as the kids hit Uni, with 80 Mbit connection to his room, they no longer have to download anything. Just get what you want when you want it.

In other words, at 80Mbit, a TB hard drive fills fast.

After about 24 Mbit, (3 HD channels at once), what more do you need? Everything is on demand.

The big worry with internet providers is that 500GB a month only costs about $10 to deliver, so how can they charge 5 to 10 times that? The answer is the 'smart' network.

Good luck goes out to the LIghtSquared types out there.

Solar power boom 'unsustainable', says Gov

Tom Reg

Same thing in Canada

We in Canada (pop 35 million) will pay $200 billion over the next 20 years for about $15 billion worth of green electricity. It works out to several thousand dollars per tonne of CO2, in the best case scenario. It does get urban voters excited, though.

You can make a phone call, someone comes over installs PV panels - no money leaves your pocket, and you are 'guaranteed' about $1200 per year.

Keep the 'guaranteed' part in mind - Spain broke all its wind and solar contracts last year, cutting payments.

Wind does not even work well in Ontario, where we have several GW of water power from Niagara falls, etc.

Scrambling for spectrum: What to do when we run out

Tom Reg

There is no shortage.

Basically there _is_ only a limited amount of spectrum, but what the doomsayers don't like to think about is the fact that bandwidth is spectrum/((cell size)**2). I don't only mean cell phones - a cell is just the range of a radio... . So if you have a cell that was 1 km across, then making it 100 m in size not only saves 95% of the transmission power, but it also increases bandwidth by 100 times. In actual fact in tall tower regions of cities the formula is cell size cubed, as you can stack cells up.

If you make devices smarter, so they only talk to the closest device, and use all the reflected stuff that makes wireless n work, etc - then as you add devices bandwidth naturally goes up, power required goes down and everyone is happy.

The trick is the smart devices. But 'they' are getting nearer on them. It will soon be really really fast everywhere, then faster as more devices pile on.

Amazon's Silk looks creepily Phorm-ulaic

Tom Reg

There is a way out - your own silk server

You could run your own silk on your own ec2 instance, and have all company machines use that as a proxy.

Could also be a private service, but it would depend on how cheap of a machine you could run silk on.

They don't have to open source it, just provide an installer for Linux.

Of course the other way is for open source software to do make something with the silk API, then point your fire tablet at that.

If its a good idea, then this will be done. The AWS team have good API, so it's likely the silk API is also easy to understand.

Facebook: 'We don't track logged-out users'

Tom Reg
Big Brother

I like the "logged out" bit the most.

When you LOG OUT we don' track you. But you know - closing the Facebook window does not log you out, which is all that 99% of people do. So when you are logged in - which most people are all the time, all the cookies taste even better to the Facebook people.

Plus after reading all the posts, we can surmise that they have the technology to do it, even if some random engineer thinks they can't - its a big company - there are other people working there.

Revenues double at Facebook, says source

Tom Reg
Big Brother

The $500m is an intentional leak, and likely overstated

These are Goldman Sachs spinners out to sell the company. Since Facebook is privately held, they can leak any 'info' they want. I'd bet the revenue is closer to being correct, but the real net income - profit is actually much much lower the advert (leak) that they published. The $500m income is likely one of those non GAAP accounting trick numbers.

They have 750 Million users, and they get $4 revenue per user on average per year? They have horrible click through rates (see the wiki article 400 per million) on ads, for instance. I for instance found an article claiming that at 300 m users they were 'break even'. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2009/09/16/tech-facebook-300-million-users.html

Big brother for the Oinon ONN news report: