* Posts by red death

52 posts • joined 22 May 2008


Hipsters snap up iPod Classics for $$$s after Apple kills rusty gadget

red death

Even a Touch with more storage isn't the complete answer until someone sorts out decent battery life for it...

Video: Dyson unveils robotic tank that hoovers while you're out

red death

As long as my cat can ride it like Banecat I'm in...

Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

red death

This is something that cost Dell close to zero to make, that they probably recouped the costs on with the sale of a single, no-Firefox PC. Dell are also breaking Mozilla's license agreement by charging money for software that Mozilla stipulate should be freely available, which is kind of why Mozilla is a bit miffed at Dell right now.

All of which is entirely irrelevant.

Dell are charging what they think some of their market will bear, not what it costs them to do it.

If they have been smart about it then they will be charging for the service (which is permissible) and not for the software (which you rightly say wouldn't be OK.

red death

Whether there is additional effort involved is entirely irrelevant - Dell are charging people for a convenience service which seems entirely reasonable (given that is how much of the service sector works).

You wouldn't expect an IT person to work for free if they tools which help automate their job eg building images for multiple use rather than installing everything from scratch...why should a company be any different?

Didn't get a Nook for Xmas? That's OK, hardly anyone else did, either

red death

I've also got a Nook Simple Touch and HD+, both are excellent. The HD+ 16GB for £129 was a steal. Great screen and I don't mind the Nook skin of Android too much (or at least not enough to bother rooting it and sticking vanilla Android on yet!).

Price rises and power cuts by 2016? Thank the EU's energy policy

red death

Re: Cloud cuckoo land thinking...

>Nuclear decommissioning costs are minimal because new plants have the decommissioning cost paid up front gathering interest. Considering a 40 to 60 year period of operation, the amount up front doesn't have to be much even with low interest rates.

Sorry but that just is not true!

In the UK and France the state funded the building of the reactors and has taken on the massive liabilities of decommissioning. AFAIA* there has been no privatised nuclear reactor built where decommissioning costs have been paid up front.

The UK Govt wanted operators to pay a bond to cover decommissioning costs (to prevent plants being declared bankrupt at end of life), but the billion dollar question is how much does the bond need to be to adequately cover decommissioning costs? If the costs are not known how can Govt guarantee that the state isn't going to have to step in to subsidise the decommissioning and storage at a later date???

Given that we still don't know what the final decommissioning costs are going to be (let alone have a solution for long term storage of intermediate/high level waste) it is more than a little premature to claim that the decommissioning costs are minimal. By any stretch of the imagination they won't be minimal!

* the latest Finnish reactor might be the exception to that.

red death

Re: Cloud cuckoo land thinking...

>>Because they are being told to produce less electricity from the plant, while the cost to maintain it isn't changing. If the plant's revenue drops below the cost to maintain and run it, then who pays the difference? What business on this planet would operate at such a sustained loss? That's why I'd believe the energy sector: That's what they're saying will happen, and why they will close down the generators rather than run them at a loss.

But you don't need to run them at a loss, one of the major advantages of gas is that it is quick to start up and shut down. If there is demand not being satisfied due to lack of capacity then the spot price rises and the economic balance changes for how much of the time you have to have your gas plant running to make it profitable...no one is saying it should be run at a loss.

The idea that any of the large power cpys are going to decommission valuable assets is frankly naive.

>>No, there are others, but we are the only major player in the EU that pays more than lip service to EU law. Prime example is France

The fact that France hasn't paid its fines for a particular infringement is not the same as your rather generalised point. How about Germany or the Netherlands - pretty zealous about implementing EU law.

>>The cost to commission and decommission a nuclear plant is factored in and spread out over the expected lifespan of the generator.

Err, no it isn't - a fairly shameful attempt to do so is made, but given that no one really knows the full cost of decommissioning yet (given that the normal decommissionining process means leaving things to cool for 50+ years) it is impossible for anyone to say the costs are covered during the life of the plant. That is before you even start trying to estimate the cost of looking after the intermediate and high level waste over thousands of years.

>>indicates the cost of electricity from a nuclear plant is less than from wind turbines per KWh.

Agreed (I did some uni research on precisely this topic), but only if you can't put a figure on decommissioning (which you can't).

>>Wind turbines have a cost to decommission. The cost is to remove the turbine and dispose of the materials used. It's either that or they will simply be abandonned at the end of their life. I've seen nothing to confirm or deny that this cost is covered the same way as with nuclear

It is covered (or at least it should be) and it is easy to do compared to nuclear.

As I said, I'm in favour of nuclear new build as part of the energy mix (along with gas, renewables and even coal in the right circumstances), but lets not be naive or ignorant about the issues with each.

red death

Re: Cloud cuckoo land thinking...

Analysis in the Times today reckoned 9% for all green and social subsidies on electricity - made up of 2% for renewables, 5% for discounts/help for poor and elderly and 1% for the warm home discount.

red death

Cloud cuckoo land thinking...

Call me cynical but why on earth would I believe an energy sector player when they tell me they are going to close gas plants by 2016? It's either plain lies or disingenuous at best - the only reason to close plant capacity would be genuine end of life. If they had said coal then I could have believed it (due to the LCP Directive provisions kicking in on FGD).

The idea that the UK is the only country which obeys EU legislation is utter nonsense and while it might seem a convenient excuse where is the evidence? A lot of EU legislation (in the forms of Directives) gives Member States a lot of leeway in how they are implemented so you would expect wide variations in implementation.

Nuclear power - great (i'm massively in favour), but how much? Those championing nuclear as a solution clearly don't have much handle on the total costs - renewable subsidies have nothing on decommissioning costs.

Green taxes - I have a degree of sympathy there with complaints, but context is everything ie how much of our energy prices are down to green taxes (and what are those taxes used for ie supporting the poorest and energy efficiency measures)? 10%?

Steelie Neelie calls for TOTAL BAN on EU mobe roaming charges

red death
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I'm not sure that all 28 EU Member States do have to approve it as IIRC telecoms is qualified majority voting not unanimity...good news all round.

Wow! British Gas bungs a million remote-controlled sales-droids in UK homes

red death

Re: Or

I think you are conflating two issues - market manipulation to increase low/zero carbon power and privatisation.

On the first it is no secret that it is happening and ultimately costs the consumer money.

On the second there is no legal obligation for the generators to re-invest in new conventional (or nuclear) generating capacity which is a massive issue if you have lots of coal and nuclear plants coming to end of life. So you end up with a power generation gap and shortage of supply.

Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves

red death
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Good news?

I also got the order update last night saying that I should receive mine by 17 May. For £29 I am happy to wait (assuming it actually arrives at some point!).

red death

All gone?

Has anyone actually received one from this offer?

I placed an order on 2 May which seemed to go through OK. I got an order confirmation and scheduled to ship email, but since then nothing (except a weekly email + other bits of marketing from B&N).

NetApp's Tour de France quest falls flat

red death

Good PR links from NetApp/Endura to El Reg

NetApp were either spun a line or didn't do enough due diligence if they seriously thought Endura would get a wildcard to TdF!

More and more likely that double CO2 means <2°C: New study

red death

One of the better articles from AO. Study confirms one end of IPCC range largely correct! Who would have thought it...

The fast-growing energy source set to replace oil: Yes, it's coal

red death

Re: CO2 is not a pollutant

CO2 as a pollutant? Or AGW? Which are you going after?

On the first part - CO2 as a pollutant? Are you denying that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Or that Greenhouse gases cause temp to rise? Because all of that is fairly important for life (as we know it) to exist on earth!

red death

Re: Renewable Energy

>They are not expensive because of any market shortage. The 'Peak Oil' assertion has now been shown to be a lie,

More than a little disingenuous - the main point at the moment is not whether peak oil has been reached, but the extraction cost which in many new developments is higher than historical fields (as we have extracted many of the "easy wins").

>and nuclear energy is practically unlimited, and could be provided for free if we so wished.

In the same way that anything else could be provided for "free" if someone else is prepared to subsidise it! Strangely enough building a nuclear plant ain't cheap and how much do you need for decommissioning and waste management?

I'm a supporter of nuclear, but it does no one any favours to trivialise the costs/difficulties of nuclear.

>The prices are being kept artificially high to justify expensive energy-saving technology.

No they aren't. They are taxed as a useful source of revenue for Govts and the likes of OPEC tries to keep prices high for fairly obvious reasons.

>They are anxious to achieve zero growth and stop all human development

Sweeping generalisation alert! Not all greens think like that...though easier perhaps to pigeonhole people.

Are biofuels Europe's sh*ttiest idea ever?

red death

Re: @red death Another carbon reduction failure

Actually I don't think it is that useful as it is trying to do too much - the CO2 figures are more like an attempt at a lifecycle analysis rather than emissions.

I understand why they have done that, but it means (as they admit in the yellow box) that their figures are always going to be out of kilter with most others as they are trying to calculate something different.

The CO2 emissions for obtaining fuel will vary wildly even if comparing the same fuel eg coal from UK vs Brazil or oil/gas from N Sea vs Saudi Arabia etc.

You can't just ignore pumped storage as it suits you! It is actually really useful to manage the grid. Yes, it uses power but typically from low use periods so it is using base load which would otherwise go to waste.

red death

Re: Another carbon reduction failure

"Gotta love averages, they also vary with source."

True! It is however DECC's job to at least monitor such stats (doesn't make them any more trustworthy!).

I'm not sure that is true about UK produced electricity. Interconnector capacity is limited and is only about 3600MW. According to a recent Parliamentary briefing that is upto around 5% of the UK's electricity supply: www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn04046.pdf

Base load power generation is normally nuclear and coal. "Extra" peak demand is far more likely to be gas (or pumped storage). Coal isn't responsive enough for peak demand.

red death

Re: Who voted these buffoons in?


How is that much different to a constituency association selecting a candidate? "Favoured" candidates get parachuted into safe seats just like they end up higher in the party lists.

red death

Re: Who voted these buffoons in?

If you are of voting age then we all did, through European Parliament elections and national elections.

red death

Re: Another carbon reduction failure

IIRC DECC reckon the average UK CO2 emissions per kWh are about 450g, but that aside you are right with your general assertion.

The flaw is that even reducing power generation emissions doesn't solve the total emissions given transport accounts for a substantial portion of total CO2 emissions.

Cutting CO2 too difficult? Try these 4 simple tricks instead

red death

Re: Depressing

What other sources do youhave for hydrocarbons? Fischer-Tropsch? You are still using finite fossil fuels and if you are using them faster than they can either be extracted or more importantly laid down then you ultimately have a problem.

red death

Re: Depressing

> The limited resources concept is also a myth. The stone age didn't end when we ran out of stone - the oil age won't end due to lack of oil. Have some faith in us :)

Are you arguing it is a myth on the grounds that we will find alternatives or that there are more resources to be found?

An important distinction...

We may well find alternatives though we use oil (and its by-products) for a heck of a lot of useful petro-chemicals which we don't currently have alternatives for.

On available resources - that is a resource vs use equation. While we will continue to find new hydrocarbon sources the available supply is still finite (and ever more costly).

red death
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Re: Please eliminate ALL CO2

Why the need for the straw man argument? Who is talking about eliminating all CO2?

red death


What a complete non-story, it is not like any of this is "new" information. The Kyoto Protocol already covers things like methane (definitely) and refrigerants (possibly?).

Things are expressed as CO2 equivalent (using global warming potential factors eg methane is 25 times more "potent" than CO2) to make things simpler to compare.

German boffins aim to burn natural gas - WITHOUT CO2 emissions

red death

Re: Steaming greenhouse

OK, poor choice of words perhaps "whether the additional load is enough to increase the temp above and beyond that of normal variations" would have been better. The general point still stands though.

red death

Re: Steaming greenhouse

The idea is that human caused climate change is about whether we are tipping an equilibrium out of balance. Man-made CO2 emissions are small compared to naturally occurring emissions, the issue is whether the additional load is enough to start a run away process.

Water vapour isn't as much of an issue as it is very variable (30%+ to 85%+ depending on all sorts of climate variables eg cloud cover) and very short lived (days rather than years).

Swedish judge explains big obstacles to US Assange extradition

red death

Re: "Tell you all you need to know".

@Mad Mike

But that is sophistry...anything is theoretically possible, but that doesn't make it sensible, reasonable or remotely likely. If we are just going to play games of what might be possible then it rapidly becomes a fairly meaningless academic exercise.

Even if it is theoretically possible, I still don't see how anyone could be given a meaningful guarantee of no extradition on an unspecified hypothetical charge.

red death

Re: Why The Fuss?

Correct, however rape is a criminal offence...

red death

Re: "Tell you all you need to know".

But why should the Swedes re-write their law book to satisfy one man? More to the point how would they do it given that we don't know what Assange *might* be charged with by the USA? And how would they do it without ruining their own legal system?

All of this is just obfuscation by Assange and his supporters until he is actually accused of *anything* by the USA.

red death

What no one has adequately explained is why Assange would be more at risk from extradition in Sweden than the UK...we don't exactly have a shining record in preventing our citizens being extradited to the USA.

The idea that Sweden could provide a blanket guarantee to Assange that he won't be extradited for any unspecified crime is just nonsense/bonkers.

Deja vote: Iran blocks VPN use ahead of elections

red death

Re: shock

Ahmadinejad has fallen out of favour with the Supreme Leader plus I am not sure he can stand for a 3rd term, so fairly sure it won't be him!

Review: Samsung Series 9 super slim notebook

red death

Try the 900X3c instead

I also went for the 13 inch version and it is a joy to use. If you are looking for a reasonable-ish screen, Ivy Bridge chipset and W7 in a lightweight package then it is a reasonable choice.

For all the gnashing of teeth about laptop resolution there aren't that many small and light machines with

SECRET 28 'scientific experts' who Greened the BBC - Revealed!

red death

Re: tangentially

No one has claimed it is "entirely man made" - that would be utter nonsense. The issue is whether the human contribution to greenhouse gases is significant enough to add to climate change.

Apple iPad Mini 8in tablet review

red death
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"I wouldn't dream of heaving out my iPad 3 to read a book or newspaper or magazine on public transport for fear of dropping it or having it stolen"

Really? So what do you use your Ipad for if not when travelling? Seems a bit pointless to have a tablet that is only allowed out under controlled, secure circumstances!

Early verdict on Intel Ultrabook™ push: FAIL

red death

Re: I wonder

Personally I don't mind W7 or XP. IMO it is the price - why pay more for less functionality?

Intel seem to have either been disingenuous about wanting to create Ultrabooks at the $1000 mark or they were trying to shift the consumer away from low value (and presumably low margin) laptops/netbooks.

Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

red death

3G and SD

TBH I've had my Galaxy Tab for over a year now and I can count on both hands the number of times I have used the 3G facility. The vast majority of use is Wifi for me.

External storage is more of an issue - a decent music collection, a few films and books and you can easily fill 16GB let alone 8GB. Now if you can easily get to cloud storage (as I am sure Google intends) then not a problem, but otherwise it is a bit of a fail.

Belkin Dual-Band Travel Router

red death
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Or you could get an Edimax Nano that is smaller, does the same things and is a third of the price....

Conflict mineral laws haven't helped Congolese

red death
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This is a case of poor/inadequate legislation, not failure on the part of NGOs.

Glacier boffins rubbish IPCC apocalypse claims

red death

Not really "new" news...

Following the previous "scandal", it was well known that the particular claim about glaciers melting was incorrect so this isn't really anything new or anything that strengthens the criticism of the IPCC's other work.

This is after all how science works - someone publishes a a set of claims/research/data etc and others critique that information. If it is wrong then so be it - just because a small part is incorrect does not invalidate the rest.

It's non-stop fun in Zero Carbon Britain, 2030

red death

Make your mind up

So where has the current strand of R&D taken us? Mostly into energy efficiency measures to reduce consumption.

Why? Because there isn't a great amount more you can do to improve energy conversion efficiencies of our current power generation. You really are bashing at the limits imposed by thermodynamics - you can't really get more efficient than CCGT plants, well you can using CHP but that costs lots of money and needs a total re-think on housing and planning etc.

One post you say you don't dispute that there are natural limits, in another you ciriticise people for thinking "in terms of "natural" limits terms of "natural resources" (Praise Gaia!)" - perhaps you could make your mind up...

Nothing superstitious or bedwetting about any of that...

red death

And where does the fuel come from...

Not so simple - if all the world switches to nuclear where does the uranium come from? Yes, we can switch to plutonium/thorium and fast breeder reactors, recycle more fuel, but then we have to sort out the technology, proliferation issues (for U and Pu), decommissioning, cost etc.

Don't get me wrong I am in favour of nuclear, but it is not the simple answer!

Like everything there is a "cost"...

red death

Medieval labourer and blinkers...

"You're still thinking like an uneducated medieval labourer - in terms of "natural" limits terms of "natural resources" (Praise Gaia!) You need to think in terms of available energy and how well we can harness it, and turn it into useful things."

Ironic that you insult others for being stuck in the past, yet you argue for the status quo and some as yet to be discovered silver bullet. Stick your head in the sand and hope everything will be OK! Don't worry technology will save us etc. It will but perhaps not in the way you mean...

Of course there are natural limits to resources and energy conversion - it is called the basic laws of physics.

red death

Hyperbole and bluster...

"So, Do we take the Zero Carbon Trust's advise and kick *ourselves* back to the stone-age, or wait to see if Global Warming does it for us?

The first is certain, the second is, at worst, probable."

Why are changes to our lifestyles seen as going back to the stone age? That is just weak hyperbole.

Inevitably changes mean new technologies are developed (how else do the changes that Andrew thinks will happen wrt energy and fuels come from?) and that means jobs (just different jobs to now).

As an example, recycling wothwhile materials is a labour intensive operation compared to landfilling, and reduces energy consumption.

red death

Synthetic hydrocarbons

We have been able to syntheise hydrocarbons for 80+ years - look up the Fischer Tropsch process, but you need lots of energy to do it. So the question is where does the energy come from? It is all very well knocking climate change, greens etc, but unless we find a way to change the laws of thermodynamics (particularly the first!) then we either have to find new ways of converting energy into useful forms or reduce energy consumption.

IIRC you are a great critic of freetards - well in a sense what you are doing is promoting a freetard approach to the environment ie the idea that we can continue as things are with no cost to the environment.

Does the Linux desktop need to be popular?

red death

Too much choice?

I bought an Eee expecting to have to install a new OS, but have been pleasantly surprised by Xandros. Sure I have customised some bits and added bits of software that I wanted, but in the main it is still the out of the box Xandros.

One of the issues I wonder about is if there is too much choice in Linux distros? I don't want to have to play around with umpteen distros before finding one that actually works.

Asus pledges end to Eee PC 900 battery swap 'delay'

red death
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Poor communication

It is all very well trying to gauge demand, but seeing as the vast majority of their customers won't be aware of the exchange it seems more a little duplicitous...

I am not quite sure how Asus expect people to know this is happening given that it isn't even on their website.

Asus speaks out on UK Eee PC 900 battery issue

red death
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Battery poll

Sabbie - do you work for Asus ;-)

Seriously, I am happy with the Eee except for the battery which is crippling it as a laptop - 1.5 hours is not acceptable in anyway.

Anyway there is a poll here which is producing some interesting results already:


The poll is on the right hand side under the ad.

red death

Dear Ian McNee

Our definitions of "usable battery life" are obviously very different if you think that 1.5 to 2 hours is enough for what is marketed as an ultra-mobile laptop.



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