* Posts by Tom 7

8318 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Raspberry Pi 5: Hot takes and cooler mistakes

Tom 7

Re: Thermodynamics

You can make a copper heat sink that lives on the desk and the hot air is fed to a chimbley which provides some draw. But there will always be a bit of lag in the requirements of chucking heat out of the cpu /gpu unless load is continuous.

US govt talks up $2B X-ray photobooth to check its nuke weapon sims are right

Tom 7


merely needed to read your referenced link! Just stunning what they could do with those cameras - the shots are ethereal and a simultaneously fantastically revealing physically!

Tom 7

love some of those shots

never quite got exactly what it was that caused the hawsers holding the weapon steady to evaporate faster than the fireball - was it photonic or particle radiation? Looked kinda neat spiky stars though!

Nukes, schmukes – fuel cells could power future datacenters

Tom 7

Efficiency is ~40% if you ignore the heat generated in the process.

This can mostly be captured and used for space heating.

Tom 7

Re: Where from?

When I was a kid we had manometers in most towns storing coal gas - a mixture of flammable and and inflammable gasses which set to feed the local town cooking and heating and suicide facilities - it had levels of CO high enough to make it easy to bump yourself off. I know of no lightning induced associate with manometers.

As a storage method its extreemely cheap and even though 50% H2 coal gas never seemed to have this imaginary leakage problem that's been going around of late.

Tom 7

You can

it just sucks.

Mixin suspends deposits and withdrawals after $200m cryptocurrency heist

Tom 7

A solution to what?

Chap blew up critical equipment on his first day – but it wasn't his volt

Tom 7

When I worked down t'pit

we were shown films (!) of the damage various low res voltages could cause. The high voltage on of a fried arm was very educational.

Lithium goldrush hits sleepy Oregon-Nevada border

Tom 7


Seems this has been knows since 2017

Tom 7

Given they are in alluvial deposits within the crater I'm guessing this is on the low side.

Long-lost 1977 Star Wars X-Wing prop discovered – lock s-foils in bid position

Tom 7

It was just resting.

Tom 7

Re: I mostly want

I'd forgotten how shit that film really was. Fortunately at the time we had access to things that made walls funny!

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

Tom 7

Re: No business

I'd upgrade that to being launched from a trebuchet into a wood chipper.

Tom 7

If Putin doesnt want NATO on his border

why does the idiot try and move the border closer to NATO? As others have pointed out Russia has already lost, pretty much like Japan lost because the 4 aircraft carriers at Pearl Harbour were out on manoeuvres - its was only going to work if you got it right first time. I do fear Trump getting in though, if he does I can foresee a Russia and US 'alliance' against the world apart from China. We will need more grassy knolls.

Germany's wild boars still too radioactive to eat largely due to Cold War nuke tests

Tom 7

I like the idea of using the radioactivity to

enable powered flight to glowing pigs.

UK air traffic woes caused by 'invalid flight plan data'

Tom 7

Re: Expertise

More likely a desperate squirrel to try and blame it on someone in the EU rather than go anywhere near the truth of the matter.

UK flights disrupted by 'technical issue' with air traffic computer system

Tom 7

Re: always a network issue

Many places do. And then employ MBAs to oversee them.

OpenAI's ChatGPT has a left wing bias – at times

Tom 7

Re: This is not at all surprising

While the Right spend there time arguing with science and data and all that complicated stuff.

Judge denies HP's plea to throw out all-in-one printer lockdown lawsuit

Tom 7

Re: To add to this...

I had a 4 colour dot matrix brother printer. Eventually it was snapped up by someone who wanted the stepper motors from inside it - turns out they are made from adamantine and will outlive the universe.He may well be correct.

Most distant observed star is blue – and it isn't alone

Tom 7

The universe is so old its getting wrinkles?

Time to move on!

Scientists strangely unable to follow recipe for holy grail room-temp superconductor

Tom 7


Had a chat 40 odd years ago with a bloke who did microwave waveguides. He was quite convincing about how superconducting just required waveguides in the 'crystalline' structure to be large enough for the electrons to scoot down without touching the sides. Of course as temperatures rise the waveguide shrinks and as distances increase the likely hood of thermal interference by the waveqgude increases.

I'm thinking its possible to make crystal that works in one lab and gets their hopes up and yet wont play in another. Of greater concern is making these things work of useful distances. Labs seem happy with several orders of magnitude less than something useful being a superconductor when it would fail to be one over a cm or two.

Early FO experiments were done with hollow tubes. Different coatings on the glass (graphene of course) may work.

Post Office Horizon Inquiry calls for compensation to be brought forward

Tom 7

Private Eye - the last investigative journalists home in the UK - along with this rag did a huge amount too.

Mind you PE's subscribers website has been in updating status for a couple of weeks now so perhaps revenge is being sown.

Tom 7

Re: They want to delay as long as possible ...

Are you sure its not so they dont get sued into oblivion?

We will find you and we will sue you, Twitter tells 4 mystery alleged data-scrapers

Tom 7

Re: Data

I joined twitter to do some data scraping as part of an AI course. I dont think I used the login again after seeing the shit I gathered.

BT CEO Jansen confirms he's quitting within 12 months

Tom 7

Re: look after the pennies

I wonder if his BT pension comes from the same neglected fund ours does!

NASA 'quiet' supersonic jet is nearly ready for flight

Tom 7

That diagram/faux graph makes me a little suspicious.

Given most of the markers are pretty meaningless (OK not the db bits. But a card door slam? What kind of can and how hard - slightly or wife just found you getting a blow job in the car hard? Ditto baseball bounce on grass, from hand or smacked by a pro etc etc And I'm assuming the value for the plane is at its cruising altitude, what about when its a lot closer to the ground and driving its engines at full power to get up there.

And as for son of Concorde - not even close until its big enough for a lot of passengers when I imagine it will be a lot louder.

I'm interested to see the results but I'm not sure it will make a commercial plane or even something for the military - by the time its radar proofed its going to be loud again,

Artificial General Intelligence remains a distant dream despite LLM boom

Tom 7

Re: More likely to be cracked by neuroscience than philosophy in the "near" term

I'm not personally convinced AGI is really that complex. Our brains are complex largely because we have lots of things to manage and evolution has got things working but I'd bet not in optimal ways - just ones that were better than what can before. I think we can learn an enormous amount from analysing and emulating the brains of 'lesser' animals simply from the way they are wired together. Removing the parts require to run, develop and organise a complex organism, and the learning process that seem to take over 20 years to configure a human brain we can probably develop a functional AGI that can be on a chip and pre-loaded with various models to see how it functions. The thing is humans and society are slow in evaluating things so even when we have something that works there will probably be 100 year battle as to whether its used for individual capitalist millionaires or for society as a whole. With the billionaire idiots of the type we have now I see them ruling the roost and we will have this bizarre situation where access to intelligence will be restricted (like twitter) to stop you proving them wrong.

It's time to mark six decades of computer networking

Tom 7

Re: Flashes of light.....

I worked on 2.4Gb FO chips in the late 80s - one of my work mates had a 9.6Gb FO receiver working from some 'test' chips we had made. I could send 2.4Gb/s 10km with an error rate of 1 in 10**14 when pretty much the biggest hard drive you could get was 40MB. Kinda weird thinking you could fill your hard drive faster than a dial up modem could connect!

And 33 years later we have twitter having to limit the number of reads of small paragraphs of text its users can share. You can explain this to the 'leaders' of modern high tech let alone your grandmother.

Tom 7

Re: And earlier...

While it sounds nice can you imagine the hacking that would result if that was a general standard? No control of your own connections!!!!!

Tom 7

Re: Wonder....

I was gobsmacked when I managed to get two computers to talk to each other down a null modem serial cable when network cards were > £300. Before that networking seemed to expensive to be part of personal computing. After that open standards seemed like the way to nirvana. And they still are.

Way out in deep space, astronomers spot precursor of carbon based life

Tom 7

Cat ions on the web

is not news.

Five billion phones are dead in drawers – carriers want to mine them

Tom 7

Mine my drawers?

Are you insane?

NASA experts looked through 800 UFO sightings and found essentially nothing

Tom 7

Re: re. every man.woman and child in the Western Hemisphere has had access to a digital camera 24/7

So you're saying the aliens we can see are the shit ones and not the ones we really want to see but cant.

Electric two-wheelers are set to scoot past EVs in road race

Tom 7

Re: Lesson from history

At least with rain you have a chance of hearing them coming. The death rate from these things will make the IoM TT look like a picnic!

Cheapest, oldest, slowest part fixed very modern Mac

Tom 7

Re: Some hardware doesn´t like USB3

Is it the hardware that is the problem or the software driver? If the thing talks to a hub ok but not another device it suggest to me they just couldnt be arsed to test the driver properly at apple.USB3 is meant to be backwards compatible.

Modular finds its Mojo, a Python superset with C-level speed

Tom 7

Re: I'm undecided.

Check out ROOT (from CERN) C++ interpreter.

Having said that I tend not to worry about what language I'm writing in if I want speed as that tends to come from the routines I'm calling and what they run on ( a couple of graphics cards if I need some speed) Writing a new language is always a tricky thing when you can RTFM of pretty much any computing language and find a solution to the problem you naively think you are the first to come across!

Eta Aquariid meteor shower peaks this weekend, and will be one for the ages

Tom 7

Re: Aye, right !

Got woken by the rain at 4 am ish. Came downstairs to watch some shit on tv/netfix and glances at phone and AuroraWatch informed me there was a chance of seeing Aurora anywhere in the UK.

If only I was 30,000 feet tall!

I've seen things you wouldn't believe, like an atom about to photosynthesize

Tom 7

I dont believe anyone has seen an atom about to photosynthesize.

Take part in perhaps but never on its own.

Fed up with Python setup and packaging? Try a shot of Rye

Tom 7

Re: No mention of pip and venv?

The work but they're not really a solution or simple, just a sticking plaster. Cant believe how many copies of python I have on my system.

CERN celebrates 30 years since releasing the web to the public domain

Tom 7

Re: 1994 was a big year for file formats.

PDF - what the web would be if designed by a monopolistic printer manufacturer.

Tom 7

WWW is a subset of the internet. email is a subset of the internet etc etc. IRC was a subset of the internet. Nothing ever said WWW couldnt access email or IRC. It was just there were programs that people were familiar with that held sway for quite a while, even though the clients were easily re-written to work in the browser, well until MS and others decided to make it difficult,

Tom 7

Re: it changed software development

We could have had the end of programming years ago. But now we have to reprogram everything in the new languages that solve the problem of not RTFMing other languages.

Tom 7

Re: it changed software development

Then the Internet came, and we got to do everything all over again.

Then smartphones came, and we got to do everything all over again even though we didnt have to.

Then web services and the cloud came, and we got to do everything over again because we didnt realise we'd done most of it already.

Nobody you knew was predicting this in 1975 - we'd have needed the web for that.

Tom 7

Re: Mirage of democracy

You're blaming HTML for humans?

How Sandia hopes to accelerate US hypersonic weapons development

Tom 7

They'd get about 10 meters from the 'barrel' before vaporising. if they hadnt already before leaving it. Now if you froze them first...

Shocks from a hairy jumper crashed a PC, but the boss wouldn't believe it

Tom 7

Re: Just one question

Most likely regular short discharges rather than massive bolts Didnt take much to wipe out early chips.

Tom 7

Re: Electrostatic bracer... err watch

When ferreting about inside PC cases even today I keep my forearms bare and touch one or other to the bare metal of the case and keep it there before diving in. Never trusted leads as deliberately open circuit ones where left around the labs by Mr Funny in one place I worked. Except of course when training in which case the avo came out to check.

Boffins think they've decoded mysterious 819-day Mayan calendar

Tom 7

I'm guessing this 'discovery' cycles round too

I'm sure this has been known for a long time - perhaps its not on the web though.

Student requested access to research data. And waited. And waited. And then hacked to get root

Tom 7

I used to use a bit of code that crashed

leaving me at a much higher security level than I had as a user. We used a VAX 8600 with VMS and originally we only had a couple of dozen engineers using it and then someone decided to put 120 secretaries doing word processing on it. This meant that during the day jobs that used to run in just a few minutes could now take hours. There was a program on the system that crashed almost as soon as it was run and one day I'd discovered that it left me in some kind of admin level so I could raise my job priority to near max and the job would whizz along and finish in seconds before anyone could complain or seemingly track what I was doing. I didnt do it very often - generally when I needed to finish the job before a meeting or pub o'clock on a Friday but it saved me many an hour of finger drumming.

Virgin Obit: Launch company files for bankruptcy in US

Tom 7

Scone wars.

One scone jam first, one cream first. If you're still hungry involve butter for 6 more permutations to try.

I am intrigued by the cornish idea that the jam will slide the cream off which shows they've not testes the idea since jam became conserve and wont even stick to a knife let alone slide clotted cream off. My next door neighbour makes clotted cream for their neighbours at xmas and despite my lactose intolerance its so good I can cope with some cramps and near terminal flatulence to consume it. However straight from the fridge there is no jam that will shift it, indeed a nice scone is under threat from it if you try a large lump without some softening of the cream first.