* Posts by Brian Catt

16 posts • joined 1 May 2008

Russia admits, yup, the Americans are right: One of our rocket's tanks just disintegrated in Earth's orbit

Brian Catt

They need Spaceballs One in its Mega Main transformation....


Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

Brian Catt

It had a crew loose.

What a ride!

PS I feel sorry for the crew that will have to spend two shifts in space to fill the duty roster. Good luck guys. At least they still have the possibility to abandon the ISS and Space X can supply it. Musk funded one business that's honest and useful for humanity with the Pay Pal money.

Tesla, Atlassian told to go through front door in effort to save Australian industrial civilisation

Brian Catt

OI! How About Doing the Maths on Storeage?

OI! Reality check from the UK, where, OK , 50 degrees North solar is useless, and in the scorched empty Oz wilderness it can usefully offset a/c demand in real time, still at a subsidised premium.. But I address the larger scale dependnency and reliance on the S word. Has anyone done the maths on storage yet?

First you don't need expesnive renewables plus expesnive storage because you can generate as much energy as you need cheapest and unsubsiised with nuclear or clean low carbon gas.

Second of all, here is a sum. For the UK but do your own for SOz. A week of windless winter, when renewables = wind as solar is no-nexistent, requires 0ver 6.4 TWh of energy. I costed that in car batteries and PowerWalls. Copy linked below. Roll yer own for OZ. A Powerwall is optimistically specified at 85KWh for £4,500 in the UK.That would add a cost of £340B in power walls replaced every 3 years or so for a week's leccy, that you didn't need in the first place if you built what just works unsubsidised and people weren't such delusional tree hugging energy science denying Drongos, that is.

I link a copy of my paper on this. Review of facts welcome. Put in Oz terms even more so. The UK Parliament have accepted this and published it.

If you are in a hole stop digging, diggers. Fixing a broken belief even more expensively is making a FUBAR from a SNAFU. Why not build what works best instead? Most affordable, adequate, decarbonising, sustainable and safest of all, unsubsidised, all you can eat. etc. - gas replacing coal followed by nuclear,on the existing grid, all there is that can deliver the energy you need, when you need it, after fossil. If you believe in climate change, gas then nuclear replacing coal on the grid is the fastest and cheapest way to reduce your CO2 related bit of it. Absolute fact.

But those are just the laws of physics, delivered as engineering. You can pass some political laws that deny them to subsidise renewables and make a lot of subsidy profits for lobbyists and payola for politicians. I would't bet your economic future on them, though. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1976309/Storage%20Reality%20in%20a%20Renewable%20Energised%20Environment

OI! Do the maths, join the dots Please tell me what's wrong with the facts and calculation if you disagree. Better still do one for the South Australian grid. In haste but on the ball. Typos excepted. CEng, CPhys, MBA.

Pound's plunge opens UK's tech SMBs to foreign buyouts - analyst

Brian Catt

If a few % is a "PLUNGE", what is a 50% drop. I recall in 1974 the FTSE 100 dropped from 550 to 147... Similar fall tothe Wall Street Crash. That's a plunge. This was an adjustment, expected by the IMF as the£ appeared overvalued, waiting to happen and needing a catalyst.Brexit just allowed the stress in the fiscal fault line to be released.

Cooky crumbles: Apple mulls yanking profits out of Europe and into US

Brian Catt

Re: I'm pretty sure

That isn't what is happening. Apple are allocating overheads disproportionately to revenue and using high international transfer prices that ensure their profits are not made where the revenues are. The financial engineering of indirect costs andtransfer prices and "Corporate charges" ensures profits are made in the lowest tax regime, artificially.

VAT is a sales tax, not a tax on the business of manufacture and sale to the final retail channel, why it is not levied on essentials . It transfers taxation from income tax to actual consumption and has little effect in the manufacturer/supply chain, who only pay VAT on their net profit, not sales value. All obvious basics. . And everything Apple make is a de facto overpriced luxury item, no one needs to pay that much to do what they do.

Brian Catt

It's a fair cop. Apple was and is dodging taxes. Nation states that collude in this like the irish are just as bad. The rules should be simple. The corporations profits and overheads are taxed in the country they are made in proportion to the revenue they generate there, net of reasonable overheads and a direct COGs. Simple.

The solution is simple and obvious, if the appropriate GAAP measurements were agreed. Pay your taxes where you realise your real profits in cash, with overhead and direct costs allocaed in proportion globally, not where it suits you, so the country where the most goods are bought benefits most from the taxes raised, not the greedy owners or another country where they weren't. That is what taxation is for. What is expected of domestic businesses in taxation. Where is the benefit to the consuming state and its citizens of Apple's conduct? Making the profits from their shiny overpriced toys and taking them away to another land far away is multinational colonialism, giving nothing back to the economy that hosts them vs what is expected of a domestic company. How is that decent, honest or truthful? Pay up or get out. Great products, immoral Company. Governments that collude in this by hosting these Pirates in some modern day Tortuga that costs their neighbours $Billion in lost taxation for a handful of Euros and jobs back, nothing compared to what the hosted corporation saves, are as dishonest. They have included, Luxembourg, Ireland, Holland, etc. They compete to host tax dodgers, as do UK offshore Islands. This movement of profits to low tax low reporting requirements regimes has been going on for sure since I was taught how to do it in International Business at Business School in 1974. The people in power in the UK don't want to stop it either, just protest appropriately. I wonder why? Follow the money, ours, into their pockets, as little back as the corporations and their government elite law makers can get away with, across the world. The corrupt crony capitalist system we vote for, and allow to continue in our so called democracies. So the EU did a good thing. Pay fair taxes where you make profits, Apple, like domestic competition must. BTW.

Israeli lander FOUND ON MOON (in 2017)

Brian Catt

Another 7,000 mph on the 17,500mph isn't trivial, and why the Saturn 5 remains by far the most powerful and heaviest thing we have launched. I suppose , once you have balanced Earth's 1G with centrifugal force, any more must eventually free you from orbit, it depends how long you want that process to take before the Moon starts to pull you off the Earth in passing. Is this wrong, and if so what in the wide world of Newtonian Physics is wrong with it?

Greg Christie to leave Apple as Jonathan Ive seizes design reins

Brian Catt

I use a SH Mac Mini for Desktop but am too poor for iPhones and MacBooks so use Android Moto G and Windows Laptop (poweful refurb ones available at £180 in UK), which are affordbable for a retired person. (I do set up my rich friends Mac Books and iPhones from time to time).

I have worked on Mac Desktops since OS 6. in 1989, and the Apple Computer before that. Currently up to Snow Leopard. My 2 x 2GHz CPU Mini cant handle Lion, but is stil working well. No significant delays, except loading clunky bloatware WORD/Office apps.

Its UI is so much easier than the Windows devices, and Android looks like its OK - until you try to o use it and have to perform unnatural / counter intuitive acts to do anything. "WHERE IS IT?" Brian

The only problem with Apple IMO is settings and diagnostic software under the top level hood when things do go wrong, the tech toggles are hard to find and use, not well thought out as the top level UI. Such as Printer and network configs, fixed and WiFi. Hard to find and set the precise properties if that is what you need to do, it is easier with Windows in some regards.

Perhaps the tech UI is made for numpty users and not people who understand layer 2 tech?

Just what I think.

Is modern life possible without a smartphone?

Brian Catt

My simple problem is the service providers don't support the tethering of 2.5G and EDGE phones as MODEMs, so I can't use them to connect my laptop for full screen access. , WAP is effectivey useless and the screen too small for other than texting. My 7020 also has a Radio so I mainly listed to R4 on the AV. Really all I want is a soft dockable phone that will allow me to use a real keyboard and screen that my older eyes can read without finishing off my finger joints - or looking intensely sad like the desperately internalised people on the train. You are born, you grow up, have kids and die. Enjoy the time. If anyone knows a way around the tethering problem , please tell me ... Oh, and Check out OVIVO, its effectively a free monthly contract after the first £20 with quite a useful free allowance - if you are not so sad you stream tiny content to a screen when the world is there to watch. IMOLOLSWALK

Just how flash is your enterprise storage rig?

Brian Catt

Beware Presumptive Marketing of Bigger Data Loss

They really asked some dumb leading questions there, didn't they? A lesson in how not to do presumptive marketing of a bleeding edge technology by a person who has no idea what marketing is or how it works in a knowledgeable technical B2B 'ish market place.

We use RAID hard drives for backup and tape for archive supporting many Terabytes per day of high value content created in multiple clients, managed by Archiware Software suite, BTW. It works well and is the best price/performance cost option, secure and reliable when called upon.

Flash is far too unreliable/volatile/corruptible as any stick user know - and expensive. OK for temporary memory that is also kept somewhere else but nowhere near backup or archive grade you can rely on. Why change what is reliable, secure and mostly recoverable if things go wrong for something that isn't ANY of these things, and was ever designed to be. You Flash if you want to........... if you feel l that lucky. Well, do you?

HP's UK PC boss: We're going nowhere

Brian Catt

Paul Hunter is RIGHT!

HP is going nowhere. Period.

I swear the current 3 are also my last HP printers. Great printers and good on volume cartridges BUT the ink deciding it is too old and switching itself off when it isn't at £25 per cartridge is a blatant rip off, and the software's failure to work with OS upgrades on the Mac, and hang the computer which NOTHING else does is just utterly abysmal, means I have to use my PC to scan, etc.

Brian Catt

What on Earth is This About? The rest of the world just want it to work

Lot of meaningless stuff above about strange techy things no one understands, outside techies and maybe gamers of limited social skills, which is why Macs sell.

The computer for the rest of us. Easy to use , truly intuitive and looks good, it does all the things techies like to control and the majority of users don't understand or care about for you. That alone is worth a few hundred to most users, and is only a negative to the minority who have a clue what any of that speccy stuff is about. I am technical, just not self absorbed enough to think most of the world is or wants to be. Owning a PC is nghtmare of inpenetrable UI, incompatibilities and upgrades that don't quite work out, because they are modular not integrated.(and HP's printer software if you made that mistake as well.

PS Could not believe how MS trashed all the hard workwe put in learning 2000/XP Interface and hid the same old familiar PC BS, which almost worked well in XP, under yet another impenetrable layer of new unintuitiveness called Windows Seven (Now! - with added network "security" difficulties). How disrespectful of our time are they? Now if you could run OSX on a PC .... but its not integrated enough....... back to the real world.....

Microsoft re-org: more code, less death by PowerPoint?

Brian Catt

Not Quite, Mr. Ballmer.........

Engineers in charge is not a good idea unless these guys represent the customer and understand intuitively what they obviously want to do. Closed computing supporting mainstream applications vs cool nested menu driven stuff for the autistic no one ever has time or aptitude to find except minority power users..

Engineers designing cool technology has always been a problem - of technology push. Most car buyers don't share mechanics skills or interests. They just want ti to go and can't switch off their fog lights because theyry don't know which button it is. What IS needed is people from an engineering background who get the problems and can extrapolate them forwards - and want to deliver what the mass of users want, the requirement often precedes the technology to deliver it. Steve Jobs does that. Most tech companies fail at it because engineering creates technology to market, not marketing creates solutions for engineers to deliver, but working symbiotically, no heirarchically.

The engineers job is to meet the need with the best available technology. e.g. I specified a fixed/mobile smartphone cloud resident solution in 1990 and asked Gassee (Apple Tech VP) when Apple expected to deliver such a device, back then there was no public network bandwidth or cloud based resources, and the computing technology had not shrunk enough. The cloud was an enterprise mainframe on leased lines. He didn't even get it and said he didn't like Swiss Army knives.. blah blah. lost the plot with Be as well. Now there is the Internet instead of X.400, MPLS (out of mainframe SNA), Flash and optical memory and mental CPU power enabling the mass access to computing and consumer commoditisation in the cloud.

A road map Isaac Asimoc laid downin a short story back in the 60s, OBTW. There's someone MS should have employed as its visionary, not some young technology de jour led techy who doesn't know what went before and can't project into the future. MS is not an innovator, its a mechanical market satisfier now run by an accountant. Can't innovate. Its semi autistic. It has a track record of innovation by acquisition (as in - "You can be bought or you can be put out of business when we buy your competitor. How lucky do you feel, punk?", not creativity, its core skills have been as a ruthless borderline monopolist with Mafia like marketing practices - look at Ballmer! He's Tony S and acts like it. MS won because they exploited a monopoly OS cash flow and control of the low level software links and mass marketed properly to the undiscerning computing masses, the competing innovators marketed to techies on excellence and got devoured by less capable but volume me too solutions acquired by MS and bundled, remember? Visionary marketing with grasp has to co-exist with the ability to apply evolving technology to old problems and create totally new but dreamed of solutions as well as re invent better solutions to old problems, not one predominate - as in Apple whose leader can do both and whose approaches' time has come.

Larry Ellison will do enterprise in the cloud. MS will slowly whither to some lesser status under Ballmer's vision by-pass. Maybe Oracle will buy it as the work station software, but they have Open Office so only need the customer base, not the software....I rest my case. Sell Microsoft. Your mileage may vary.

Mystery over Verisign boss' shock exit

Brian Catt

Why Does it Matter?

Why should we care? Another overpaid CEO goes. Its not good or bad. Never saw any use for Verisign's products anyway. Just make's life more expensive and complicated, there are other ways to create trusted electronic relationships. Its like saying Blahnik, YSL, Versace, Picasso, died, none did anything of value to the greater mass of humanity, just took money off the rich, don't care. Brian Catt

Cloud computing hysteria paralyzed by bolt of reality

Brian Catt

It All Depends on the User and The Service and the Provider

Um, for a number of business applications termainla computing works extremely well, and also for public service applications like homework, taxes, etc. e.g. Where people (most) don't create but complete forms other design or get data others have input - a pre structured dialogue. The few power users who understand what they are using will need smart terminals capable of local processing, but not the mass of no technical users who just access a service in a bewildering tech world imposed on them by arrogant techies. They need a connected Play Station for Grown Up Apps.

How you construct a cloud is totally dependent on your applications, it could be all Intranet/extranet on private infrastructure to run ERP/SCM say, or broad public/consumer access to hosted servers - which may be publicly available but come with a level a of security most MNC data centres would love to have.

etc. The totally opinionated views of the hard of thinking tech bigots above are well exposed by the more considered objective replies, its horses for courses, but the lack of understanding of what most people need from pervasive computing services (to access a service) is indicative of the reason PC technology is still inaccessible to the majority of people and we don't have computing for the rest of us from well integrated consumer devices - sealed boxes that look after themselves. It doesn't suit the techies who have run the IBM architecture PC based industry to date. See:


For one I made a few years ago. Coming one day...

Brian Catt

UK physics chief next for the chop in funding bloodbath?

Brian Catt

Well Quelle Surprise - Another Biased "Expert"

I was involved with this thru the Inst of Physics.

Asking a University Prof is the same as asking any other so called upper class unaccountable establishment employed expert with a vested interest, as in baby murders by innocent mothers and minders, DNA evidence, etc, etc..

They just get a chap who can be relied on to do the right thing.... (what the establishment/Whitehall want).

If anything these people do is not subject to expert peer review it will almost certainly horribly skewedand subjective, as here.

Most in academe are ego centric self seekers promoting their own view of the world and their own pet subjects or projects - highly partial, utterly arrogant and blind to any reality but their own. Those who seek these senior offices certainly care as little about the effects of what they assert on anyone else as top management does in its grasp for wealth in commerce.

The academic chapter of utterly untrustworthy great and good. Lord Hutton or Roy Meadows - only for science, etc. Wrong people.

These ego maniacs are the last people we should trust to decide our future for us, after the secret society that is the Public School output/establishment and the politicians who front our democratic totalitariansim for too short a time to change it much.

In my view. You can almost see the episode of Yes Minister, Humphrey deciding who should chair this secret policy review of some other academic toff's cock up thaty has been discovered ....


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