* Posts by willowtoo

9 posts • joined 7 Oct 2009

Plane or train? Tape or disk?


500 GB ?

The scale and access demand of the data is going to make all the difference here. We generate 2 TB or more of new video type data a week with very low retrieval rates.

LTO 4 tape costs a few tens of pounds per TB and next to nothing to store. Even MAID type disc starts to get expensive in that space.

On the other hand we have a hundred TB of (slow ) spinning disc and a few hundred GB of fast storage for transactional processing. Backup of that is disk snapshot -> disk -> tape.

At reasonable size there is no single answer.

Bogus Kama Sutra presentation opens your backdoor to hackers


No !

Enjoying the show with your penguin is just wrong.

Cutbacks strip speed cameras from Blighty's roads



I am growing weary of drivers telling me they are all so much better than me.

I know that I make mistakes when driving. I don't always pay full attention, I sometimes drive when I am tired, angry, sick and all those other things that perfect drivers don't do.

I find it next to impossible to know exactly how fast I am going. I can't do the math, well I could but I can't be bothered, but I think my car can change speed by 5 mph in about 0.5s if I try at all hard. Literally, blink and you miss 2 mph.

Car speedos can, and often do, over indicate by about 5 mph.

In reality few people can judge speed really accurately. A wide vista makes the speed seem less, a narrow gap will seem faster.

Speed cameras, and the police make allowances and the speedos indicate high. Anyone caught by a 30 mph camera probably had an indicated 35+. OK, sweeping generalisation, but there is a bit of a gap between creeping above the limit and getting a ticket.

So far, so reasonable.

The damage to the image of cameras was really done for me by the change to the rules for setting speed limits. Traditionally speed limits were set by the 85% rule ( Google it ) and this meant the limits were generally reasonable. Now the limits can be set artificially low for political reasons, which goes some way to explain why drivers are abruptly slowing for cameras. They are driving at the "natural" speed for the road, which is probably no more dangerous than the 40 mph that has been artificially imposed.

As for those who think they can safely exceed the limits. I presume they never drive when they are tired, angry, sick or whatever and don't make mistakes.

Which, finally, brings me to my point about the drivers who say they never break the limits, have never had a ticket and have never had an accident.

A typical driver, like me, will (probably) make hundreds of mistakes before a combination of circumstances leads to an actual accident. The distribution of these mistakes will be nearly random and individual accidents impossible to predict. The location of a speed camera may, or may not, make a difference.

Whether a driver has an accident contains a large element of chance. When another driver pulled out of a junction directly in front of me and then stopped across both lanes the only reason I didn't hit him was that the road was dry. A rain shower would have left me stuck under a 4x4.

I think of myself as a mediocre driver yet have 30+ years driving/riding ( cars, bikes, cycles), 1m+ km, no points, no convictions, no claims. Better to be lucky than clever.

Maude calls for public choice on open data



Is it really lobbyists ?

Anyway, how about the list of all the representations made in an attempt to influence policy. Like the story just a few lines down on the RSS feed. http://go.theregister.com/feed/www.reghardware.com/2010/06/28/games_tax_break_killer_claim/

How much more useful to know cui bono in advance.

OpenOffice 3.2 is on tap


Well, let's see

Select the area. I guess that's a click/select/release so 1 mouse click so far.

Then ctrl&C for copy.

Switch to Writer, Got be a click there.

The Ctrl&shift&V. Click on formatted, I could suggest typing F but let's have that one.

Then an enter.

So I make that 3 mouse clicks, one area drag and 6 key depressions.

Of course I am only selecting a rectangular table, not picking out several different shaped areas from across the spreadsheet. That, I would imagine, involves quite a lot more clicking, dragging, swearing, etc.

Brum DJ canned for cutting short Her Maj


Encouraging precedent

Perhaps someone could dredge up a version of the truth that sounds plausible before leaping to conclusions

>> From www.chortle.co.uk ( republished in the Dail Mail and others )

However, the group of stations, which includes BRMB in Birmingham and Mercia in Coventry, was never meant to broadcast the Queen’s message in the first place.

Binns told Chortle: ‘I was working on my own on Christmas Day; I’d even had to let myself into the studio. After the guy before me finished, we should have taken the news from Sky, and then my show would start.

‘But instead of the news, we got the Queen’s speech. I knew it shouldn’t be there, but having never heard it before, I didn’t know how long it was going to go on for.

‘I’m not trained to make editorial decisions, but I decided to get rid of it and make a joke. I said, “Two words: bor-ring”


If true this looks completely different. Listeners should have been complaining about the Queen interupting Binns.

I see the small number of complaints appears to be two, enough to lose him his job. Anyone care to complain about:




[other name of your choice]

( * tick all that apply )

Neanderthal woman could whup Schwarzenegger


You should welcome your wimpy 49 year old overlord.

The truth is out there.

"The most impressive track in terms of speed is T8. These footprints are 295 mm long

and 100 mm wide; the estimated height of the person who made the tracks is 1.94 ±

0.15 m (~ 6.4 ft), close to that of the T1 individual. The tracks indicate that this

individual was running the fastest of any person at the site. Pace length increases from

1.8 to 1.9 m over 11 m, indicating acceleration, and speed is estimated at ~ 20 km hr -1."

20 kph is a hell of a lot slower than Bolts 42 kph. If my math is correct that's a bit under 6 m/s. As a wimpy 49 year old I can do that easily for a short distance, say a quarter of a mile.

Clearly I am some kind of superman being able to beat these prehistoric athletes at my advanced age.


Wake up and smell the buls**t

As several have noted Neanderthal man ( woman ) was a different species and would have been completely swatted by a gorilla, or a chimpanzee for that case. I note from elsewhere on the net that "whupping Arnie" involved the Neanderthal being trained to modern standards, fed on a modern diet and then taking advantage of shorter levers to win the arm wrestle despite having smaller muscles. Still, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

The tall ( sorry ) tales about the Tutsi leaping 2.5m+ are just silly. The world high jump record a hundred years ago was under 2m. If the Tutsi could really do this jump they would have been shipped off to Europe by their Colonial "betters" to demonstrate their party piece. Probably followed by the abolition of the high jump as a competitive event as it was clearly not a fit pursuit for white men. There are so many holes in this idea that I could write a book but surely sexual selection would ensure that Tutsi men would gradually get shorter. It's got to be easier for a 1.5m tall man to jump 1.5m than a 2.5m man to jump 2.5m. Since the Tutsi are IIRC among the tallest groups on Earth that doesn't seem very likely.

Which comes on the question of the kit carried by Roman soldiers, Medieval Knights and modern combat troops. And our jury says " the same". For the past 2,000 years or so soldiers have carried the same weight and slogged about the same distance per day. It seems quite likely that Homo Sapiens basic ability hasn't changed much in the past 50,000 years.

There can be no doubt that most people worked physically harder in the past and the typical level of strength and fitness was greater. The price was paid in crippled joints and years of pain starting in the early thirties.

On the other hand Homo Sapiens a few tens of thousands of years ago were ( I suspect ) just as intelligent as they are in the present day.

The whole premise of the book, that modern man is a degraded form of humanity is, ridiculous. People are people, good, bad and, mostly, indifferent just as they always have been.

Tories oppose charges and speed cameras


It all makes perfect sense

The repetition of the claim that pedestrians are twice/three/ten whatever times more likely to be killed when hit by a car moving at 20/30/40 or whatever miles per hour always remind me never to trust any quoted figure.

Let's try a simple thought experiment.

Those looking for a Darwin award may wish to try this for real.

Try stepping in front of a train travelling at 20 mph. How much did that hurt ? You probably didn't feel a thing.

How about stepping in front of an bus at the same speed. Not nice is it. Nasty, very nasty mess.

Say you try a typical 4x4, probably your local Waitrose car park would be good for this. Not quite so bad, you might even live with the broken back and the fractured skull.

Now try my car, it's a little tiny thing and will probably catch you below the knee. I'll see you in hospital.

Clearly the speed limit for my car should be a bit more than the 4x4, far more than a bus or an HGV. Trains should clearly have a man with a red flag walking in front.

My biker mate claims this means the limit for him should be about 140 mph but I intend to ignore him.

Serious scientic research has shown that a big heavy thing does a lot more damage to pedestrians than a small light thing at the same speed. I believe the figure is something like 3 times worse ( all other things being equal ).

Others have said that the road conditions matter but so does the size and geometry of the vehicle. HGVs are very bad news for pedestrians because they are very heavy and resemble a wall while cars are lighter and have some curvy bits to soften the blow.

I don't recall seeing any speed limits or cameras that can tell the difference so, logically, the limits ( except on motorways ) are being set for HGVs and not cars. I don't recall ever hearing anyone in authority explaining this to me but now I think about it everything makes sense.

I can easily negotiate a bend at 60 mph that would bring on a severe case of brown trouser driving a 32 tonner. Hence the cry from car drivers that the limits are too low. Just picture yourself at the wheel of a big rig trying to wrestle it around the drunk who staggers unexpectedly into the road.


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