* Posts by Stoneshop

5826 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash

Stoneshop Silver badge

all those computer controlled pedestrians

The way they're engrossed in their usual reading Facebook/Twitter/TikTok/whatever one could say they're computer-controlled already.

Unfortunately it tends to have an effect that rather disagrees with increasing their safety in traffic.

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Thumb Down

Re: thinking outside the box

Made-up crisis?

Melting ice caps and glaciers. Oceans getting warmer causing sea level rise. More frequent and more severe extreme weather events.

If you think the human population as a whole, and not just the richer parts of the richer nations, can deal with that while the planet is not even at 900ppm CO2, then I would strongly suggest that you go copulate yourself.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: The army could use Lithium-ION EV batteries as firebombs

They are big and heavy, taking up lots of parking space.

Our Kangoo ZE is about the same size as its 10 year older diesel version, and maybe 200kg heavier (a little over 100kg when compared to the 2012 ICE version, twice the weight of a full tank).

The BMW I3? Same size. Mini Electric? Again, roughly the same. Big and heavy EVs get noticed because of their size, ones that aren't, aren't. Especially when they're just a variant of the ICE version and don't have prominent markings to show them being EV; the I3 has blue rims around the grilles and the BMW roundels. Quite unremarkable.

Stoneshop Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Sodium Ion batteries safer?

In a fire, water makes lithium relase hydrogen and burn, it makes sodium release hydrogen and burn it just does it faster.

METALLIC lithium. Li-ion batteries, as the name already implies contain lithium IONS, that have already given up their electrons. Same with sodium and potassium. If you empty your salt shaker into a glass of water, do you get a sudden violent reaction between the sodium and the di-hydrogen monoxide, releasing hydrogen? Nope.

Stoneshop Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Am I the only one

"Efficiency increase of up to 50%"

No mention of the actual efficiency number, averaged over a certain route including more than just motorway.

Neither does this deal with the waste heat of a mobile ICE, nor the energy consumed in all the processes dealing with the sticky stuff you get out of the ground, once it's refined past fuel oil and turned into a fluid that diesel engines like to consume.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Am I the only one

Combustion engines in road vehicles rarely run even near their maximum efficiency point, so your calculation falls flat.

Also, power stations can run on less-refined oil, or on natural gas. Converting the black goop to what comes out of the fuel station pumps is ALSO part of the well to wheel calculation.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Am I the only one

And at the moment, it looks like EV's will struggle to make it as far as 10 years without becoming economic write-offs.

Ours IS ten years old this month or next (it's been registered September 2012, and it's fine. Battery is getting somewhat long in the tooth, but still at just under 80%. Mechanically it' should be able to clock at least another decade; its diesel nephew has managed that with just relatively minor but sometimes annoying problems like a worn linkage between gearstick and transmission, leaving it stuck in second.

And it's a Renault; when you buy one you can opt to lease the battery, which then gets replaced once its capacity drops below some value (sliding, depending on battery age). Replacement can be a refurbished one but is fully guaranteed. So battery replacement seems to be relatively easy, and it's certainly designed-in.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Devil

Re: Another one.

Teslas have this spiffy option erroneously called Autopilot, which makes them drive straight into police cars, crash barriers and trucks crossing their path, so their prominence in EV crash statistics is automatically ensured.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: thinking outside the box

I'd expect any superfluous weight has been stripped up to emptying the ashtray, so there's less mass to lift out of the gravity well.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Am I the only one

One thing to consider is that the ICE method has really really been perfected (ok not perfect but they're very very good)- very clever people have worked on them for over a 100 years, so any efficiencies that can now be found in them are teeeeny tiny.

Still, well to wheel efficiency of an ICE is about 14% now even with a century of improvements, EVs manage double that even when charged off a fossil fuel power station: it's much easier to run those at maximum efficiency and there's of course the option to use their waste heat which you simply don't have with a mobile source.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Am I the only one

And while every method of generating electricity, including wind and solar, has their own environmental load, you don't have a tailpipe emitting burnt hydrocarbons everywhere you drive.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: "$10K over MSRP. Ran when parked. No low-ballers. I know what I got."

... burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.

Stoneshop Silver badge
FAIL

Re: thinking outside the box

As has been mentioned just about every time discussions touch on Li-ion fires, from Samsung phones to MH370: they don't need external oxygen to keep burning.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Flame

Re: So when one of these things is junked ...

And if not touched one may be faced with a situation similar to the Mission: Impossible TV series: "This tape wil self-destruct within ten seconds"

"This evidence may self-destruct within a few weeks."

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: So when one of these things is junked ...

There's also the issue of getting rid of maybe 50kwh (180000000 joules) of energy without (further) damaging anything.

The first thing you'd want to do is inspect the cell packets for mechanical damage and whether their temperature is markedly over ambient. Which would mean opening up the battery compartment(s) (probably not as simple as turning a slotted cover using a coin) and pointig a FLIR camera at the contents.

The cells considered safe could then be hooked up to an inverter delivering mains power to be consumed by whatever. This would of course need some appropriate infra at scrapyards dealing with EV.

BOFH: Tech helps HR investigate the Boss's devices

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Holmes

Re: Inspirational!

So, what principles did you engineer during that time?

Tesla Autopilot accounts for 70% of driver assist crashes, says US traffic safety body

Stoneshop Silver badge
Pirate

ADAS

Advanced

Dimwit

Annihilation

Scheme

Stoneshop Silver badge

FORD

Found On Road Dead.

Heard the Spanish version first, actually, in Colombia: Fabricacion Ordinario, Reparacion Diario.

Which was from the driver of a 20+ year old 1950's Chevy the engine of which did a most convincing impression of a xylophone when going uphill or trying to overtake a truck. As it was a taxi it must have had several odometer overflows during those years, and probably more than the number of engine overhauls.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: any comparison needs to be based upon *Miles Driven*

Or at least numbers on how many times the car took over before the meatbag behind the wheel could react.

That meatbag might already have reached the conclusion that it didn't have to react as the car had already done so.

So, a meaningless data point.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: any comparison needs to be based upon *Miles Driven*

Not only that, but adding accidents that might have not happened through reliance on automation means accidents added to the statistics.

Also, this NHTSA report is about ADAS level 2, where running into an obstacle ahead tends to be well within the capabilities of the already widely used common collision avoidance systems that (try to) keep you from running into the vehicle in front, a bicyclist crossing the road, an elk (or Anne Elk) (EeeeecchhhUm) blocking your path, and such. So just lumping those systems together would skew the numbers rather a lot.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

any comparison needs to be based upon *Miles Driven*

as well as graduated by driving environment and conditions.

It's easier to not prang into other objects if those are by and large moving at the same speed and in the same direction compared to getting around in a city, and bright sunny days take less effort to deal with than dark rainy/foggy nights.

How one techie ended up paying the tab on an Apple Macintosh Plus

Stoneshop Silver badge
Headmaster

Oh, how ironic

A comment to an article on word processing, entered in a way that clearly demonstrates the commentard lacks understanding of the way the comment box treats hard returns, which appear to have been entered for no good reason anyway, So you get

the resulting text formatted

like

this

with empty lines inbetween

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Control Your Own Upgrades

Just nine?

Recently I had reason to count the ThinkPads around here: 23 which are technically working though with about half of them unable to run a 64 bit OS their future is limited, and there are at least six in need of a (re)install. Then there are six desktops, of which three see regular use, four more non-ThinkPad lappies, and a bunch of Pis of which three have screens and trackpoint-equipped keyboards, hence usable for autonomous interactive use. Also three Mini-ITX celerys with a fair amount of disk, but those are normally running headless.

Oh, and a Gemini, a Communicator, a N900, two N810's and two Psion Netbooks.

Spam is back with a vengeance. Luckily we can't read any of it

Stoneshop Silver badge

but a decade or more ago it was used on Usenet

After I got my own domain I (of course) started using unique addresses for everything, including Usenet.

This has caused a peddler of second-hand cars to start emailing me at $prefix.use@$surname.tld offering to take my car (I have none) off my hands for a fair (hah) price.

This must have been culled from news.admin-net-abuse.usenet, but how they got from the address used there to just .use is rather opaque.

There have of course been thousands of spam sent to $msg-id@surname.tld but those failed the first pattern test already, and that type has now all but died out.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Holmes

A bootstrapping problem, right there

3) From does not match somebody who I have already accepted mail from

That would have to start with you actually accepting mail from someone you had never received mail from.

Seriously, you do not want to make that cable your earth

Stoneshop Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Breathing lessons for electricians

One module was "How To Keep Breathing When You Are Electrocuted", or something along those lines.

Back in my Field Service days I was sent on a month-long course on the VAX9000, in Galway where those systems were assembled for the European market.

The first two days concerned first aid and CPR: the power system involved 300V DC buffered by several Farads worth of elco's. Those were meant to bridge about 10 seconds worth of power loss, so at best some quick manual switchover.

300V DC is bad for your health.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: From the domestic side

maybe more electricians would sleeve if you didn't have to buy 100m looms or pay through the nose for short lengths.

As I gather it's meant to mark individual wires in a cable having a different function (i.o.w. make it the right colour), wouldn't you just use a bit of shrink tubing, or is that Frowned Upon by the electrical code? I do so all the time.Maybe it wouldn't be totally correct, but at least it's more correct than not doing it at all.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Yellow? Perhaps in Britain. And elsewhere

I haven't seen any but yellow thicknet cable, NL, DE, EI, UK and CH.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: From the domestic side

our kitchen has 3 switches for each set of lights -- one by the hall doorway, one by the dining room doorway, and one by the back doors

I was faced with having to wire two workshops, each with two sets of central lights, like that.

Conventional switches? These would all have to be splash-proof, and while appropriate 3-ways were available I couldn't find the 4-way ones that would be required as well. Also, lots of wiring.

Buttons controlling pulse relays? Better, but somewhat crude still. And as I was thinking of adding a couple of presence sensors to switch the lot off when neither of us was around that would have added more relays, an arduino or a PLC.

In the end I went for a home automation solution, with splash-proof buttons (from the same series as the wall sockets) simply sending a 'flip' command to the appropriate lights actuator. The additional features this allows such as a 'central off' are a nice cherry on the cake.

Stoneshop Silver badge
WTF?

Re: What On "Earth"?

the current flowed out from the live wire into the damp brick,

An uncle was moving house, and of course some of the family (including me, age 16) were helping getting stuff in shape as in several rooms the walls had been stripped and re-plastered.

I was hanging a ceiling lamp in one of the rooms when I happened to brush my fingers over the plaster near a wall socket, and sensed a rather surprising 50Hz buzz. Which was strongest right up from the socket to the ceiling, and fell off the farther you moved from that line. You could even get one of those neon-bulb voltage probe screwdrivers to light up if you held the tip to the wall while touching the radiator valve body. So there was serious current leakage from the socket's wiring.

Showing this to my uncle he declared it Not Good, and gave me permission to expose the conduit and find the cause of the leakage.

Well, the plasterers had clearly wielded their Hilti with great gusto to get the old plaster off but had not shown any care regarding the (iron) conduit, which apart from being almost entirely hammered flat, showed several serious rips with, of course, jagged edges with the wiring inside showing damaged insulation. Unfortunately, in some way, not a full short since that would have shown the problem as soon as they had hit the conduit.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Flame

Re: Sparkies...

but She was adamant about the kettle, for some reason.

"I used to drive ambulances, and now I get everything done for me? No, when I want to have tea I will put the kettle on"

Stoneshop Silver badge
Coat

Re: Sparkies...

so where have you got a Level 7 sparky hiding ?

He's five levels down in the Dungeon, fighting off Electrical Gremlins with his AVO spells and occasional use of his Megger Staff.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: almost whoops

I do have a USB-A to USB-A cable that just makes the wire longer, though. I'm sure I'll need that eventually.

Plug to socket. That's quite normal.

Now a cable with USB-A plugs both ends? And not one of those "connect two hosts so you'll have a sort of network with disk sharing" cables with a lump in the middle. A LapLink version for the early USB era.

Oe one that goes from USB-A to Firewire, without any converting gubbins, just galvanic connections.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Alert

Re: almost whoops

It was 9 inches deep in cables.

At DEC Nijmegen, where I was stationed as site engineer, the raised floor in the computer room was nearly 3 feet high due to a design being misread. So one could run a new cable just by popping the tiles at both ends, dive into one and crawl across pulling the cable.

This of course was not really conducive to proper cable management, and in several places where cables tended to concentrate there were veritable cable strata, probably going back to the mid-Pleistocene.

Also, one day some electrical work was being done, with suddenly an underfloor bang and the disks in several cabinets spinning down. Then a tile popped up and a sparkie emerged, looking remarkably pale for an Indo and hesitantly saying "oops".

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Of earths

I worked somewhere where there was (IIRC) about 80 volts between the central heating radiators and the cases of the PCs. Not enough to kill you but pretty noticeable.

Happens when your average PC chassis isn't actually connected to ground. The mains power noise filter usually has a pair of capacitors sitting between the mains legs and chassis, the value of which would be like having a 50..100k resistor there, at 50/60Hz. So if the chassis wasn't grounded to the mains (or a water or heating pipe that was), it would be floating at half the mains voltage with a equivalent series resistance of several tens of kOhms. Touch the chassis and that water pipe or an unpainted part of the heating circuit (like the radiator valve), and you feel those volts, though the resistance the circuit imposes means you won't get a painful jolt.

A fellow student had that same complaint. Showed him that between the radiator in his room (which he had brushed while touching his PC's chassis in some way) and the ground pin in the wall socket there were just a few Ohms, but between both ends of the ground wire in the PC's power cable there was so little conductivity that my Simpson 260 considered that to be infinity.

I had to get a Fluke to prove it to him.

Beckmann used to advertise "It's not a fluke, ours work by design."

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: The illusionist on a train

And the "chugga-chugga-chggggg-chugga-chgggg" of an incoming call.

Stoneshop Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Rainbow - Nostalgia

I got a Lenovo laptop

In 1996? That would have been an IBM ThinkPad, with still ten years to go as a division of Big Blue.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Rainbow - Nostalgia

And for quite a few public figures, moral fibre.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Bee-sting ?

That waste pipe is not pressurised.

At least, I hope so.

Failed gambler? How about an algorithm that predicts the future

Stoneshop Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Where there’s AI Will there are Myriad New Ways to Skin Dead Bouncing Cats*

Yes

Stoneshop Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Half full or empty

but I think your spelling checker should have used "deprecated",

That word has been depreciationelised.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Half full or empty

As Application Support we've been waiting for that fix for over a year, and it's still listed as being in the next sprint. Perhaps you should feed your snails some coffee.

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs

Stoneshop Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: So what should a a 21st century UI look like?

If we are *still* using computer monitors, then the single worst part of UI design is to waste valuable vertical space with a title bar, menu, all the space below the user area.

At work I'd be looking at two 1080x1920 screens. Side by side that's an almost square desktop; it hardly matters at what edge the WM wants to put its info.

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

Stoneshop Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: I'm a technician, not a magician

"It would be so much faster if I could create the replacement part out of thin air, but unfortunately we'll have to resort to Logistics sending us one."

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Overinflated sense of self importance

"I'll just phone Mr Wells and see if I can borrow his time machine."

Then inform his mother about the beneficial effects of contraception.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: But it's in the contract

Well, everything west of the San Andreas fault tends to move west, closer to Asia, but probably too little to meet the network delay limit specified and satisfy the customer.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

it takes time for an object to travel through physical space.

One night, some time in 1990. I am called to fix a b0rked VAX. Go there, perform diags, find the culprit.

19:45: order replacement part. Which has to come from central stock 180km away.

19:55: part is available and ready for pick-up by courier. Courier has been called but hasn't reported at the stockroom yet.

21:30: duty guard calls the operator room to say the courier had arrived.

The stockroom was close to the motorway, the customer was slap bang in the middle of the city, next to the main railway station. Also, at the time about 20km of the route would have had a 100kmhspeed limit, hard to exceed as that would have been just bloody impossible due to traffic density, even at that time of the day.

That same courier driver was once stopped by a police motorcyclist. For speeding, of course. "So, can I please see your flying license?" Which was offered. After which the plod had the good grace to reply "Next time, please file a flight plan first."

.

OpenVMS on x86-64 reaches production status with v9.2

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: MicroVAX

Most systems that claim to need 3-phase power actually just need several circuits, as their power draw would exceed what the average single circuit can supply. And if you're designing a system's power input and need it to use more than one circuit you may as well expect it to sit in a computer room or a data center, and go 3-phase as that is what data center floor managers prefer. Vastly.

But even if such a system has a bunch of hefty power supplies, sitting on separate phases, what comes out is DC and as long as their inputs can draw what they need it's extremely rare for them to actually care which of the phases they're on.

Fans, if they're hefty squirrel-cage ones like the 11/78x had, may care about getting supplied from a real 3-phase feed, but that can be faked using a properly dimensioned capacitor or a motor speed controller meant to run 3-phase motors on a single-phase feed.

Stoneshop Silver badge

This is why DEC nearly went under, AIUI, and Compaq saved them.

"Save" is rather charitable. "Plundered" is more like it, as Compaq wanted DEC for its services and got the hardware side to go with it that it didn't know what to do with. Which in turn made Compaq a nice morsel for HP.

Also, the VAX9000 happened late in the 1980s; I was still with DEC FS and got sent to Galway for a month of training. Two years later Alpha was everywhere, along with the 6xxx and 7xxx as the biggest VAXen, and the few 9xxx that had been installed (about a dozen in the whole of NL) were about to be scrapped if they hadn't been already.

Compaq only came along after several years of Bob <spit> Palmer, close to Y2K.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Public clusters?

Of course, there are cluster filesystems on Linux. These are typically aimed at wider area sharing - so have different tradeoffs - and do not (mostly) include a distributed lock manager (such things also exist separately as well, of course).

There are at least three different clustering models to use with Linux, and you'll have to pay your dues to Ken, Dennis and the ghost of Brian to help choose the right one for your situation.

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