* Posts by Paul H

18 posts • joined 28 May 2009

Toyota Prius fourth-generation e-car

Paul H
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Fiesta Econetic

Most small diesel cars can manage similar or better mpg ratings than the Prius. I've just bought a Ford Fiesta Econetic, which is a 1.6l diesel, and I'm averaging over 75mpg so far. If I tried hard I reckon I could hit 85-90mpg on an extended motorway journey. I recently managed a 32 mile journey on fairly flat Essex roads and hit an average better 99.9mph, which is all the trip computer could display.

A lot of it depends on how you drive the car too. It makes a significant difference doing 60mph instead of 70mph or 80mph. It makes no sense to buy a Prius for economy and then drive at 85mph on the motorway. Then again, not everyone wants to drive like grandma.

My Fiesta cost £13k with some extras, and I'd say is only a little smaller, and certainly better looking. Even that probably wasn't much economic sense, considering the basic 1.4l Fiesta diesel is much cheaper and can still manage 67mpg. So paying £18k for a Prius seems pretty crazy. I only justified it because I will probably keep the car for 10 years.

O2 Broadband puts brakes on BitTorrent

Paul H

O2 on IP Stream

All my friends are on Be and strongly recommended it to me. Unfortunately I live out in the country and am not in a Be area. So I figured the next best thing would be to go for O2's Access product. A BIG mistake. I get latency in the region of 130ms to the first hop, and sometimes up to 250ms to a UK games server. My download speeds struggle to reach 80KB/sec. I cannot play a standard Youtube video in real time. Yet my modem syncs at nearly 3Mb/sec.

This has been three months now. Unfortunately I cannot cancel until June.

Pillar first past 2TB post

Paul H

Energy costs

I would have thought a data centre upgrading from 1TB drives to 2TB drives would have to run for many years on those drives for the energy savings to add up firstly to the cost of the drives and secondly to the energy cost of manufacturing the drives.

50,000PB = 50,000,000 x 1TB drives (roughly)

50,000PB = 25,000,000 x 2TB drives

Let's say 2TB is about $300 (probably a lot more for 'enterprise' models)

25,000,000 x $300 = $7.5B

$7.5B / $100m per annum energy savings = 75 years to recoup costs.

Do the drives have a 75 year warranty then?

Mechwarrior maker claims Microsoft 'destroyed' studio's culture

Paul H

The Borg

Who would have thought being assimilated would remove all individuality?

EU to pour €18m into next, next generation mobile

Paul H


I'll be able to hit the 'unlimited' package download limit in a matter of seconds now?

Samsung gets 'stupid fast' in gaming grab

Paul H

Re: Thank God...

You only need a £50 3D graphics card on your cheap AMD to run the vast majority of games perfectly acceptably. At least as well as an 360 Eggs Boxes. It gets expensive when you try to run one of those huge new flat screens at native resolution.

Half-ton space watermelon hints at habitable Martian past

Paul H

Different surface?

Would it not be just as likely that the lack of a crater is due to the surface being significantly different rather than, or as well as, the atmosphere? Could it not have landed on water or ice which has since gone? This would account for a lack of a crater. After all, wasn't the location for the lander's mission chosen due to the high likelihood of it being an area that once had standing water?

The object looks quite irregular for something that's been slowed significantly by an atmosphere. If it had been slowed enough to not leave a crater, would it not be more rounded and melted?

Nissan ponders Pré-like cordless charging for e-cars

Paul H

Maglev without the lev?

I would have thought pulling/pushing the cars along with a magnetic track (a linear motor) would be the most efficient way of propelling a vehicle with remote power, without having to run a high voltage rail in the road. The magnets wouldn't be as powerful as maglev, as you're not lifting the car.

Perhaps if cars had enough onboard power to drive 30 miles on their own leccy source, then once they got on a multi-lane road they are propelled magnetically. Presumably that would reduce the weight of batteries, charging times and motorway accidents (everyone would drive the same speed).

It sounds a daft idea, but if we're in mood for daft ideas...

Kent Police clamp down on tall photographers

Paul H

Oh dear!

I'm 6' 6" and a keen photographer. I guess I must be their worst nightmare.

I think part of the problem is a lack of calm rational discussion. If you don't raise your voice and swear and if you treat them as human beings rather than evil authority figures, then generally they will respond well. I think it's a confrontational attitude that causes belligerence.

Rogue CA update bricks Win XP systems

Paul H

@Steve Brammer

You could presumably boot from a Windows XP install CD and use the recovery console to rename the affected files. That is assuming you aren't running hard disc encryption that prevents access.

Pub time!

Designers conjure up wacky 'car of the future'

Paul H

Great if you are never involved in an accident

It would be great to drive around in a mobile livingroom. I'd love to see that thing in a crash test though.

BT names more exchanges for early fibre upgrades

Paul H


Now I'll have to set up a torrent download... I mean... err... offsite backup server at my parent's house.. That'll teach me to buy a place out of town that I could actually afford.

Dell accidentally sells 140,000 monitors for $15 a pop

Paul H

Price mistakes

I remember about 10 years back I spotted PC World Business Direct, who we had an account with, had an 8 processor server listed for £7.00 with free shipping. I did think about how much it would cock up their system if I placed an order, but in the end decided to play nice and informed our account manager of the mistake. Also I didn't have anywhere to put an 8 processor server in my bedroom. It would have made an awesome game server though. :(

Masked passwords must go

Paul H

I can see their point

I guess if users are willing to part with their passwords for a bar of chocolate, or if they put them on sticky notes next to the PC, you might as well unmask the password. It's not even like most passwords are any good. The most recent offspring's name usually. Then there's the password recovery question that usually has fairly easy to gain information. What's the point of the password then? In fact perhaps we should do away with passwords entirely. You just put in your login and the system just accepts that in all likelihood you're probably really that person. Law of averages and all that.

- not sure if I've remembered my el Reg password now. Perhaps I should simplify it...

Rogue knob could ground space shuttle Atlantis

Paul H

Interesting design

To put part of a window behind a console seems an interesting design choice. Still, they are the rocket scientists so must have their reasons.

BT bumps up broadband speeds

Paul H


Great! I'll be able to hit my 'unlimited' download cap even faster now.

Tory who claimed brother's tech gear on expenses quits

Paul H

Second home

What I don't understand is why there's such a thing as a second home allowance in the first place. The PM has a temporary residence at 10 Downing Street. Why aren't there government owned residences near Westminster for all MPs? Why should an MP be paid an allowance large enough to own a second property, when the vast majority of their constituents are struggling to maintain mortgages on one property? I'd like to see those allowance funded second homes reclaimed for the tax payer and used as MP residences.

If I were able to select my own salary, I would probably choose to pay myself three times the average wage too.

4K by 2K resolution, Ethernet-equipped HDMI 1.4 announced

Paul H


Any chance we could have a connector that clicks home rather than relying on friction? The thought of the weight of a decent shielded cable hanging off an even smaller connector doesn't sound such a great idea to me. Unless they went with a fiber optic cable so you didn't need a stupidly thick and expensive cable to go more than a couple of metres.


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