* Posts by Albert Stienstra

45 publicly visible posts • joined 6 May 2007

Inside Microsoft's Autopilot: Nadella's secret cloud weapon

Albert Stienstra

Re: "compares Autopilot to a 747 jet"

Not much wrong with a 747

The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

Albert Stienstra

Re: Is this low framerate why...

Wrong. It is artefact:

artefact < Latin phrase arte factum > artefact < Latin phrase arte factum [something] made with skill. The other word - I will not write it - is auditory pickup with subsequent wrong spelling, broadcast and validated by Google using their "most votes win" algorithm.

'Leccy car biz baron Elon Musk: Thanks for the $500m, taxpayers...

Albert Stienstra

Re: The EV will be a rich man’s toy for decades

Those cars have very short range and are expensive for what they offer. They are NOT mass products

Albert Stienstra

The EV will be a rich man’s toy for decades

The Tesla Roadster is a nice looking, nippy machine. With 1200 kg it is quite heavy, due to the battery weighing in at 450 kg. However, it is a toy, as many commenters have already said.

If you run the little two-seater sedately at 60 mph like a family saloon, it will give you a range of 200 miles. However, if you run it like the sports car it was derived of, say at 100 mph, the range is only about 70 miles. Then the battery is empty and needs charging, which will take some 8 hours on a 3 kW socket. If you force charge at double rate or more, you will bring down battery life from about 500 deep discharge /charge cycles to half of that or less.

For the environment it is not much of a boon; it needs to be driven 80.000 miles to break even with the emissions of a petrol car, taking into account production/recycling emissions of especially the battery. By that time you almost need a new battery and the whole cycle starts again.

Technology-wise there is not much that can be done about this. It is only the battery that needs to be much improved and unfortunately its development does not follow Moore’s law. In 100 years batteries evolved from lead-acid of 20 kg/kWh to 9 kW/h Li-ion, about a factor 2. Only a radical breakthrough with new materials might bring a step change. Most likely it will be decades before the EV will become a mass market item. Until then it remains a rich man’s toy with low range and very high cost.

Solar, wind, landfill to make cheapest power by 2030

Albert Stienstra

Re: A small question

Just check out regularly http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ and you will see that for days on end ALL of the UK windfarms, on- and offshore, generate less than 5% of their maximum capacity. Currently wind is less than 5% of the UK demand, but if you continue to install more and get above 15% of demand, to prevent power outage you would need 100% backup for the windfarms (OCGT gas for rapid ramping up and down). When you have 100% backup planned, you might just as well do away with the windmills and run CCGT plant; cheaper and the same or less CO2 emission.

GPS spoofing countermeasures: Your smartphone already has them

Albert Stienstra

Re: Differential GPS is already known for longer than 17 years

You do not have to tell me how GPS works, I was in charge of the team that designed the CARIN system and, later, the Caresse system in Philips, from 1988 to 1999, Your explanation is nothing but a lot of jargon, probably with the aim to come over impressive. It did not work, unfortunately. At an exam session I would probably fail you.

How is DGPS very similar to the idea used to correct GPS positions in smartphones and the like? Simple, the DGPS protocol is: A GPS position is acquired. It is verified with information from one (or more) local beacon(s), whose position(s) is (are) exactly known. The (if necessary) corrected position is then established.

Albert Stienstra

Re: Differential GPS is already known for longer than 17 years

From the article:

Quote: Using ambient radio signals to confirm a location isn't "a real game changer" as BAE systems would have us believe, then, but it is quite a good idea: which is why Google, Apple and other rather faster-moving technology firms started doing it long ago. Unquote.

This is identical do DGPS

Albert Stienstra

Differential GPS is already known for longer than 17 years

Differntial GPS, to compensate Selective Availability (SA), was known and in use since 1986. It consisted of a radio beacon with known position. This was broadcast to differential GPS receivers, so that the SA offset could be compensated for a certain range (at least tens of miles) around the beacon. It was used a/o in geodetics, to obtain very precise positions, e.g. to find out if a seawall was moving. It was also looked at in the contaxt of car navigation. I do not believe for a moment that this basic idea was patented by BAE Systems or Ploughshare, so I do not think their patent can be worth much.

Study: The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate

Albert Stienstra

Circular viscerality

The main point of Page’s article is that the more you know about science, the less worried you are about climate change, according to a group of letter-writers to Nature. The letter-writers also assert it is harmful to collective welfare to form such individual risk perceptions in aggregate. This can only mean that the letter-writers somehow “know” that a low risk perception of climate change is [absolutely] wrong. How do they know that?

They then go on to say that ways should be found to make the public accept the best available [climate change] science. This can only mean that the letter-writers know what is the best available science. How can they know this? Looking at their affiliations, not one of them has any grasp of physics.

In view of the above it is almost certain that the letter-writers belong to the group of egalitarian communitarians, as defined in their letter to Nature. This group is supposed to be more concerned with climate change risks and since the letter-writers have no grasp of physics they have acquired their beliefs from their climate science peers using system 1 reasoning, involving rapid visceral judgements and heuristics. Hence they can believe that climate change is highly dangerous and they can “know” which is the best climate science.

Fortunately, this type of circularity is not likely to be very effective, nor is their type of science.

Green energy and jobs will cripple the UK economy

Albert Stienstra

Britain's wind farms will have no effect on climate change

Even if the worst case scenarios of the IPCC are taken into account, a complete change-over of the UK to wind-generated energy will have no appreciable effect on climate change. So that cannot be the reason to bear the cost of the wind farms installation and operation.

If there is a fear of becoming too dependent on oil/gas/coal suppy, a far better alternative is nuclear power.

Albert Stienstra

Yes, tell us when the non-renewables will be out

You say it will not be far away, so you must know....

Albert Stienstra

It is very sad

It is very sad, the way the commenters have moved to climatology instead of keeping focus on the economics of renewable energy, which is windfarms for the UK. The point made in the report of Gordon Hughes is that the windfarms bring the UK nothing, apart from cost. This is nothing new, a similar conclusion was drawn on renewable energies in Germany (June 2010, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung).

The windfarms are not going to improve significantly, it is a technology that has been around for more than 30 years. The UK has no key assets in this technology area. The only thing the UK will learn from these windfarms is the installation and the running of them around the British coast, which is not something that can be exported. The lifecycle of a windfarm is no more than 20 years, by that time they will have to be replaced, by more expensive turbines of course. During their time of life they will always have been more expensive per kWh generated than other forms of energy (apart from PV and biomass perhaps). The only thing the turbines will have generated is the subsidy, needed to operate them. All cost, no benefit. But perhaps there is nothing better left to invest in in the UK. Again, very sad.

Wind power: Even worse than you thought

Albert Stienstra

Out of 4000 Chernobyl thyroid cancer cases 9 people died

The title of this post says it all. Mr.Carter's post is exemplary for the wrong ideas hammered in the heads of the population by poltiticians and action groups.

The 9 people dying out of 4000 Chernobyl cases (mostly children) comes from an official UN report. Of course, this is a terrible situation still, so many sick people.

Also, the situation in Fukushima is totally different from Chernobyl, as has been commented time and again. Near Fukushima, most of the radioactive iodine is in the seawater. Close to the power station the values are pretty bad, but out towards the ocean the iodine gets diluted pretty quickly.

Greenpeace labels Dell 'a bloody marketing machine'

Albert Stienstra


In view of their track record in telling lies, I never believe anything Greenpace say anymore.

Philips 40PFL9704 40in LED backlit TV

Albert Stienstra

re TV's OS is Linux too

Is that an advantage? If you think so, why?

Microsoft to EU: Cut me down, and Google will rule the world!

Albert Stienstra


The discussion is just as crazy as the forced dismemberment of Bell Telephone. Is the world a better place without Bell as a prime company? No other telco now has any research that is worth mentioning.

The same goes for Microsoft. From the comments - especially out of the Open Source area - I get a strong impression that the majority is jealous of Microsoft's success and wants to vandalize the company, just like Bell has been. Well, especially the Americans had better be glad about Microsoft being a strong company. There are not many American companies in IT that are worth mentioning, or will be able to compete in the global market when China grows stronger. For sure Opera, Mozilla etc. will not be able to.

Let Microsoft keep their own browser bundled with the OS. If somebody really wants to use another browser for some obscure pathological or other reason, that is not difficult to do with Google advertising their joke of a browser. Or with the Open Source crowd loving Firefox for some strange reason.

Renault intros e-MPV

Albert Stienstra

@ Christopher Hinton

As regards your remark concerning the Saudis: you don't really think that electric vehicles will be any more economical in use than current petrol/diesel cars do you? If so, check out the power generation efficiency and the losses in the transport-conversion-charging chain. What do you think will be used to stoke up the electric power stations? Wind power? Not very likely. That tecnology can supply 3% of our current energy need and won't be getting much better in the future. Coal? Gas? Also not very likely. So, with the majotity voting against nuclear power, most of the electricity of your electric vehicles will probably come from the Saudis.

Albert Stienstra
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Renault Unpopular (not like the old Ford)

15kWh battery for 100km range? It is not very likely that the 44kW motor gets you 100km/h using only a third of its power, with a normally loaded vehicle. So, to get that range with 15kWh, you probably have to creep along at 25 - 30 km/h average speed. Lovely, it will take 3 - 4 hours to cover 100 km.

And, if you want to quickly charge your car with the 400V 32A socket, you had better not stay in the car but do be sure to hold your fire extinguisher ready. With 25 kW charge power going into the batteries and a charge efficiency of 90% you will have a 2.5 kW heater heating up the batteries. It will get hot under that dashboard, very hot.

To put it very mildly, this will not be a very popular commute vehicle. More like an enclosed electric shopping vehicle for disabled people.

Honda executes 180° turn on plug-in e-cars

Albert Stienstra

Electric cars: the new hype

I do not understand the enthusiasm for electric cars. A short range of 100 km @ 100 km/h needs about 50 kwH energy for a current medium size car with normal load. For 50 kwH one needs about 300 kg fully charged Li-ion batteries (1300 kg lead-acid, which certainly is prohibitive). Carrying 300kg of batteries is about the same weight as 4 persons; not very efficient if you have to carry so much dead weight as default, but it is feasible. Also, thinking of what sometimes happens with laptop-sized Li-ion batteries (about 0.4 kg each), I would not much like to sit on 300 kg of those unstable batteries.

Recharging the batteries after a 100 km trip requires a 6 kW charger for 10 hours, or so much more power to get shorter charging times. That probably means a new power connection to your home. Some people say that with standard batteries you could get a battery exchange at "energy" stations. Lugging 300 kg from car to shop and back again is not something I'd like to do every day. And all that for a measly 100km range. I quite often drive 600 km distances...

Is such an electirc any good for the environment? I don't think so. Instead of waste gas produced by the exhaust of the car where it rides, more waste gas is produced at the site of the fossil fuel electricity plant, due to lower efficiency of the power generation-transmission-conversion-charging chain. In addition; what are we going to do with tons of batteries scrapped after 500-1000 charge-discharge cycles?

Russian rides Phantom to OS immortality

Albert Stienstra


Mac USERS do not care about OS, most of them don't know what it is or does. They only care about their Mac UI.

(flameproof jacket)

Windows 7 UAC shutoff 'bug' leaves Microsoft unmoved

Albert Stienstra

UAC is NOT annoying

I have used Vista since December 2006 and have not found it annoying in day-to-day use. When I have to install lots of programs in setting up a new PC with legally obtained software, I shut down UAC but for normal use on my own PC I always leave it on. How often do you have to install a new program? I also find it satisfying that the UAC prompts come on when ActiveX controls manifest themselves for updates and downloads. It is a good moment to check and does not happen too often. I do not understand Microsoft have given in to "professionals" whining about UAC in Vista. You see what comes of it in Windows 7. Perhaps those "professionals" like to slip in the occasional script. I have known those in my own organization.

I'm a sceptic now, says ex-NASA climate boss

Albert Stienstra

@Mark, about Arrhenius

Arrhenius, that mediaeval fellow, proved "a" CO2 effect, but not for the atmosphere. In the atmosphere gases are not stationary. Hot gases move up and cool down. There is nothing in the climate computer models that take account of this. In any case, computer models are no good for predicting anything, because they only contain known mechanisms. It is clear that you have not yet come to terms with this in your research.

Albert Stienstra

@ Mark, conspiracy

"Do we have any proof that intergovernmental, international conspiracies occurred like the one supposed with AGW?"

Yes, we do. We got "An Inconvenient Truth" - I beg your pardon, pack of lies - that mostly served to line Gore's pockets. So he could keep on driving his Lincoln.

Where has all the bad storage gone?

Albert Stienstra

Vista does have

Windows Vista Ultimate has a backup and restore utility, both for entire computer disc images and for files. Media to be decided by the user; external USB drive works fine. No sex though; who needs that with a computer? It does strike me that everyone on this blog has something to say about Windows but nobody appears to know it.

Mozilla Google relations strained by Chrome

Albert Stienstra

Browserstats NL

On a site with > 1 million uniqe visitors / day:

Internet Explorer: 92 %

Mozilla: 6 %

Rest: 1 %

Microsoft issues emergency IE patch as attacks escalate

Albert Stienstra

@Henry Wertz, packages

But Windows does have package management, check %WINDIR%\servicing\Packages

Map paints gloomy picture of world's oceans

Albert Stienstra
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Another backroom desk study

Another fear mongering desk study ex cathedra from the green high priests. Not checked by any measurements, effects of selfcleaning by the ocean ecosystem are not taken into account etc. etc. And most people buy it instantly. Sigh.

Scientists warn on climatic 'tipping points'

Albert Stienstra

The graphs, and a lot more

I have seen the IPCC stuff, not convincing at all. It has all the marks of a promotional document produced by a heavily managed political ideology group.

You will find the graphs and a lot more in here:

http://www.rabbitlink.com/www.rabbitlink.com/GlobalWarming.html (the repeat in the URL is not an error). More entertaining than Al Gore's movie, with a lot fewer lies.

An example of many things you have wrong: I am not a boy, I am a professor emeritus. Easy to check my age by by doing some simple research...

Albert Stienstra

@Mark, again

Yes, the graphs showing atmospheric CO2 lagging the arctic temperatures are explicitly from the 20th century. Since this shows CO2 concentration like being just an effect, this probably also happened in prehistoric times, although I don't think we have such nice records from prehistory.

If you are such a scientist, why are you so excited about these data? Are you already committed to a theory? Not very stringent, I think. Neither is calling people names.

Albert Stienstra

@ Mark

Nobody disagrees that the earth is warming up. But there is significant disagreement among top class climate scientists that the climate change is caused by humanity.

The IPCC who are lobbying this - as I am sure you know, as a Scientist - do not use the Stringent Scientific Method, because they remove people who disagree with their general consensus. Their peer review does not mean anything. That leaves us with proposals that are ineffective and harmful for many countries - especially developing countries. Not to mention tons of money going into this process.

Albert Stienstra

Oh, and about CO2

A couple of nice graphs on global temperature change in the 20th century shows that atmospheric CO2 lags the arctic temperature graph. Typical of the political/IPCC establishment to address an effect of climate change instead of the cause. Of course, it is not so easy to turn down the sun...

Albert Stienstra

New religion

"Global warming" is not just a fad or hip cause, it is a new religion, with new high priests scaring many people into paying them lots of money and respect which they would otherwise not get. While cleaning up you environment is a good thing, most things advocated by the high priests to "save the earth" are pretty ridiculous, such as hybrid cars (great big batteries, extra weight, wasteful charging processes producing pollution in other places, lots of waste lead scrap), the silly tree planting to compensate CO2 emission and especially all the braying talk producing even more CO2.

Man buys MacBook Air, pulls it apart, takes pics

Albert Stienstra

Apple does not do miniaturization

@ Martin Huizing

You don't really believe Apple has real hardware factories of its own, do you? In the USA? And as to miniaturization; Apple is just riding on technology development in the Far East. Like all PC manufacturers.

EU data ruling slaps filesharers with red herring

Albert Stienstra

The analysis is not complete

The court did not only rule that the member states have to ensure "especially in the information society, effective protection of industrial property, in particular copyright". The court also ruled that "such protection cannot, however, affect the requirements of the protection of personal data" .

The court stated that the Directives allow member states to make exceptions [to the protection of IPR] to ensure confidentiality of traffic data.

So, yes , it is up to the member states: they can lay down an obligation to disclose personal data in civil proceedings, but they cannot be compelled to do so by any EU Directive. If in the UK the government is already commited to dance to the pipe of the BPI, then perhaps for file sharing one had better move to another country...

Microsoft ruling may not bolster Europe's new case, warns lawyer

Albert Stienstra

@ Anonymous Coward

Thanks for your point, which I agree with. Keeping Opera alive on phones and mobile equipment is something else than unbundling of Windows. The article speaks of unbundling of Windows, however, which was the reason for stressing my point that I do not want Windows unbundled for my home PC. I suspect the majority of ordinary PC users feels the same.

OS on home PCs is a different market from systems for mobile equipment, TVs etc. I do not believe Microsoft is very strong there, so there should be no cause for alarm. It is much better to keep the regulators out of the market; they are at the mercy of lobbyists, they really do not know what they are talking about - although some think they do because they have a PC - and there is a danger that they will regulate the market to death.

I must say I am surprised by several of the comments, showing a great deal of fear-mongering and hobby-horse riding.

Albert Stienstra


I don't think you tried what I did, nor that you tested it, so how can you be a judge? I have this running for 6 months now. It is fine for me and there is nothing "lurking in the background".

And let's be precise: I don't wish to use a virus scanner anymore, since it does nothing for me now. Having no virus scanner running does not mean that there is no malware protection. I have a much better firewall than I used to have, there is defender (also takes up CPU cycles for not much reason) and I use the browser in protected mode.

Anyway, this is beside the main issue, but it is my fault for being explicit about not wanting third party software - or as little as I can manage - on my PC. My apologies for doing something many of you clearly do not like very much. But these posts have not changed my opinion about the Commission, either.

Albert Stienstra

@ Karl Lattimer

I was already aware that IE7 is not secure, but this does not matter so much in Vista. Since you, Sir, are obviously very well-informed, judging by your treatise on this side issue, perhaps you can let me know which software is definitely secure. And by the way, the qualifications in your post I will not take personally, since you did not spell my name properly.

Albert Stienstra

The Commission doesn't have a clue

The Microsoft cases are the same kind of stupid power play as the break-up of Bell Telephone in the past. Ms Kroes does not have a clue as to what she is doing. She only listens to the whining of piddling little dot-com's.

I am quite sure I do not want Real Player or any other on my system, including Quicktime. I also do not want any other browser than IE7, thank you very much. Windows Vista with IE7 works fine for me on my main PC, even without virus scanner.

Western Digital drive is DRM-crippled for your safety

Albert Stienstra
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Yes I can read

I hate DRM, XRML etc. without restriction. I do not have a parrot or hook. However, when I buy something, I own it, whatever company parasites aka known as lawyers write down. When I cannot use something I bought and want to use for whatever novel purpose I think of, the product goes back and/or there will be hell to pay. Companies writng DRM in their products have to be very careful that customers using this for their own purposes really do not notice DRM in any way. At the most they should be notified when they inadvertently break some kind of law - which most customers do not have time for anyway.

IPCC's final report on climate change due tomorrow

Albert Stienstra

Scare stories

If there are 2500+ scientists working in this area they must be of very low expertise level, since they still cannot prove that humanity is responsible for the climate change but can only enthusiasically say that there is 90% probability for this. It seems that the 2500+ are beginning statisticians who have "found" a correlation between temperature & sea level rise and population increase, both of which are well documented since the 1600's. The trouble with beginning statisticians is that when they find such a correlation they really believe there is a cause and effect relation.

For me, unless a statement is proven it is only a hypothesis. And don't come to me with proof derived from any computer model, because they are NEVER a substitute for reality.

Unfortunately this climate change - which has been happening for hundreds of years - has been taken up by politicians and other bodies as an effective scare story to build themselves up in public opinion and to subsequently coerce a lot of money from people's wallets. Talking climate change is a lot more effective than preaching traditional religion, nowadays. And for some reason people are lulled by curious actions like those coming from the Kyoto protocols. It is very strange that nobody from those 2500+ "scientists" is able to show exaclty what the effect is from the proposed actions, in lower temperatures and sea levels. People are happy as long as "something is being done". Unfortunately, the only thing that is really being done is that the public's tax money is being squandered for no clear effect.

How to escape the clutches of world+dog's VMware fetish

Albert Stienstra

apples and pears

Funny how the wallstreeters compare VMware with Microsoft in dollars, to show that VMware will grow faster....when Microsoft started growing a dollar was worth more than twice what it is now. It's just like horseracing and touts, isn't it?

IE + RealPlayer = Security hole

Albert Stienstra

Fourth option

The fourth option is: get rid of Real Player. THis is mostly an ad streamer anyway...

Britannia triumphs over Johnny Metric

Albert Stienstra


How ridiculously archaic! Exactly Asterix and the British...

Don't let Windows Indexing Service know too much

Albert Stienstra

This will really slow down your Vista system

This advice will really slow down a Windows Vista system. I'm sure the statement will elicit funny remarks like "does anyone use Windows Vista?" etc. but those one or two people that use or plan to use Vista had better not follow the advice. I have had a broken index on my system, due to a previous paranoid "advice" to wipe clear space. My PC took far too much time in finding files for programs to use, in finding directory items, thumbnails etc. Very annoying. After rebuilding the index, which takes time, the machine was as fast as ever. Lovely.

Clearing swap and hibernation files properly

Albert Stienstra

Don't use security advice from enthusiasts

Although wellmeant, security advice from enthusiasts is largely untested, so should not be used. If someone e.g. would try BCWipe on Vista - and inadvertently had paid for this software - this person would pretty soon ask the money back because this program pass by pass breaks down the system.