* Posts by Headley_Grange

926 posts • joined 24 Feb 2010

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The US grid is ready for 100% renewables, says DoE

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: @gandalfcn

Chill out, read some facts and stop making it personal.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/08/germany-reactivate-coal-power-plants-russia-curbs-gas-flow

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: @gandalfcn

""the market provides the solutions" - codejunky in the post I was replying to.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: @gandalfcn

Hmmmmm...

Germany has fallen back to coal because Putin's turned the gas off. If he hadn't invaded Ukraine then the Germans would be using the "sustainable"* gas and wouldn't need either nuclear or coal. They turned away from nuclear because of Fukishama, for which I would call them many things, but "Luddites" isn't one of them.

"the market provides the solutions" - I agree that this can happen; Google in it's early days was fantastic with loads of free stuff and loved by many as an example of the free market, but now they are seen as much as a problem as they are a solution. Ditto mobile phones - tech: good, walled garden: bad. I think that overall, though, you're correct about the marked thing and I struggle to think of things that governments have done well that private industry wouldn't have done as well. Maybe the Post Office telephone network in the UK qualifies - it was (is?) massively over-engineered, resilient, reliable and manages to cram 40mb/s down copper twisted pair that's been in the ground for 50 odd years.

*I suspect the Germans had a major hand in the EU classifying Gas as "sustainable" for investment purposes.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

The issue here isn't about which and whether clean* energy is reliable in terms of wind/solar availability - it's about how it's switched in and out of the the grid and how the grid is protected from failures of the clean sources. At the moment the grid's switching and protection systems are based on the power coming from huge spinning inductors and they are able to line-sense their various failure modes and differentiate them from the impact of load changes and thus protect the grid if things go tits up and also switch them in and out reliably and safely. Renewables like solar and wind tend to be behind electronic inverters and today's protection systems aren't set up to manage these. I think this is what the $26M dollars is for - not to provide more clean genration.

From a reliability perspective it might be better to have generation more geographically and technologically distributed, but synchronization and load management will need to be addressed as more and more DC and asynchronous sources come online. HVDC is starting to get more advocates and there are a few systems running, mostly short-range interconnects, but I won't live long enough to see it become the standard for the UK grid.

*clean energy means whatever the government wants it to mean. The EU recently classed natural gas as "sustainable" - interpreted as "green" by some. I think that nuclear is clean, but that's fighting talk in some communities. For the purposes of this post, and probably the article, we're talking about wind, solar, tidal/wave when it takes off and batteries - anything that's DC/asynchronous.

Google: We had to shut down a datacenter to save it during London’s heatwave

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Re: Heat island

"At least one airport I know of spent billions quietly purchasing all the land under the approach paths to ensure it stayed undeveloped farmland (or warehousing, closer in). Kinda hard with places like Heathrow but something worth considering for ones further out"

They don't need to do this in the UK for airport operational safety. Airports have a safeguarded area around them. Any building or development applications which would compromise the safeguarding would be referred by the council planning inspector to the airport who can request a safeguarding report from the developer and veto it if it doesn't meet their requirements.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Fans

And if they built it next to a windfarm they'd get green energy and the extra benefit of the windmills keeping it cool!

Your job was probably outsourced for exactly the reason you suspected

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: “US tech companies are saying, …

Last time I worked for a large UK electronics engineering company the total overhead on an engineer's salary was about 120%. So an engineer paid £50k would cost the project £50k+1.2*£50k.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: And yet

It doesn't matter where they are finding the failures does it? If the product satisfies the requirements specs but fails in integration then it was a poor spec. Ditto the acceptance tests. On the other hand, if it's failing acceptance testing and they are still accepting it for integration then that's a whole other group that needs to be bollocked. The fact they keep doing it does suggest something at a higher level in the company might be wrong too.

In principle there's nothing wrong with outsourcing as long as its costed properly - and therein lies the problem. Some, most, all or more of the money you might theoretically save will have to be spent on more detailed specs and acceptance processes. You lose a lot of flexibility and when the HW engineers come up against a problem that can be fixed more easily in the code then it becomes a commercial argument as much as a technical argument. And they still need management - technical, project, QA. You might have to duplicate the integration rig/environment and ship it out. The biggest risk in my experience is the one the OP has - that the best people on your team end up fixing the subcontractor's problem instead of doing what they were supposed to do and the schedule takes a massive hit as a result.

All this can be costed/scheduled in and a cost/benefit done to justify (or not) the outsourcing decision. But once the high-paid help have seen the shiny bauble that is the subcontractors low costs they often don't want to hear it. They already think that you spend too much time writing documents and not enough time doing the "actual" work. They dispute the need to manage them with the "that's what we're paying them to do". And you can share the rig if you plan it properly.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: And yet

I figure that the people in your company who write the software design specs, write the software acceptance test specs/procedures and do the acceptance testing for the outsourced work need a bollocking.

After 40 years in tech, I see every innovation contains its dark opposite

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Speech recognition...

Set in 1949, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "The First Circle", includes a chapter in which a high-level apparatchik visits the laboratory-prison where the prisoner-scientists fix the test of a their prototype speech-recognition system by pre-agreeing the test-phrase they'll use when they have to do a demonstration.

It's a great book, although not exactly uplifiting - especially as it's partly autobiographical. There are no pixies or pot-boiling, so Liam might like it.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Bricking It.

The difference now is that when they invent something useful they can wait until it's sold millions and made them tons of profit before making it obsolete and, more importantly, unuseable, by closing the necessary cloud support and and forcing you to buy the their "next big thing" which, essentially, does exactly the same as the thing they've just stopped you using.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Tie me down

".. I still write FORTRAN, but in several different languages."

I love that.

DataDome looks to CAPTCHA the moment with test of humanity that doesn't hurt

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Re: Why is this even necessary

As a simple end-user of websites I wholeheartedly agree, but I assume that there are other people and companies out there who, without some sort of defence, would get bombarded with sign-ups, queries, scraping, messages, and whatever else bots do make life miserable or your website slow and unuseable.

I don't like captchas cos they are annoying and, I believe, mean that I'm giving free help to Google to train their AIs. If there are better ways to do it then I'm sure someone will come along soon and educate me.

Amazon sues 10,000 Facebook Group admins for offering fake reviews

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: 10,000 fake review broker groups

Maybe because "Metà" means "half" in Italian?

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Maybe I'm being thick, but wouldn't it help massively if they restricted reviews to people who had actually bought the item on Amazon, instead of letting anyone who has an Amazon account post a review of anything?

Engineers on the brink of extinction threaten entire tech ecosystems

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Most of the UK engineering institutions are run by senior people in the that industry. It's not in their interests to see engineering pay increase.

Union tells BT: Commit to pay rise talks next week or else

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Profit

That's all true. The problem is that in the UK companies haven't ploughed the money into investment, infrastructure and facilities - they've either paid it all to directors and shareholders via bigger salaries, bonuses and dividends or used it to buy their own shares to force the price up and trigger bonuses and options.

Up until the 80s salaries across the board in the UK grew broadly in line with GDP. Since then salaries have grown much more slowly than GDP as directors and shareholders have taken more and more and the rest of us get less. If salaries in the UK had continued the trend then the median salary today would be around £40k instead of £25k.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: 70s are over

Not my experience of Openreach. Sure, getting hold of them via the various automated texts and dial-up is a pain in the arse, but the two techs who spent two days sorting my connection problems out the other week were great, knew their stuff, treated my "I'm an engineer so I understand this stuff" nonsense with polite respect and were very professional. The senior guy texted me a couple of days later to make sure it was all OK.

I worked with them professionally a couple of times and it was the same story - dealing with head office is a bit of a pain, but the techs on the ground really knew their stuff and were never a problem.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Proposal for a New Law

If the CEO doesn't turn up for work for a few days then no one really notices. If the average workers all don't turn up for a few days then everyone really notices. Who's more valuable now?

UK govt promises to sink billions into electronic health records for England

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Our data, not theirs to sell

The NHS were responsible for COVID vaccinations in the UK not the Army. I didn't see single person in uniform when I got my three jabs and if you're going to tell me that they were all the Army in civvies then God help us if Putin invades.

As for "I support nationalised healthcare..". You clearly don't.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Our data, not theirs to sell

Hook, line and sinker.

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe

Headley_Grange Silver badge

My first company (80s) used "ping-pongs" - not sure of the real name. An A5 pad for raising project queries with three of those flimsy sheets which copied through without carbon paper. The sheets were yellow, pink and white and there were date, "From" and To" boxes. You wrote your query or logged your fault in a box In the top half, then tore off the the top sheet and popped it in a purpose-made tray on your desk. The remaining two sheets were put in the internal mail and the recipient responded, kept a sheet and sent the bottom sheet back.

It worked really well - and the office had a proper secretary who you could ask to go through your ping-pongs and chase up people who hadn't responded.

NASA wants nuclear reactor on the Moon by 2030

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: What does the gender, or a person's skin color have to do with qualifications?

"What does the gender, or a person's skin color have to do with qualifications?"

A great deal, apparently, because for years they were seen as adequate grounds for disqualification from many areas of human endeavour and I'm sure they still are for many people. The mostly white, male heroes of the past weren't necessarily the best of their generation, just the best of the privileged proportion of the population who were allowed to participate. It doesn't seem unreasonable or unfair to me to attempt to redress the balance in a small way.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Property prices

You'll need to pay for the survey first.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Are you stupid????

Will there be a Post Office for me to collect my pension?

SpaceX: 5G expansion could kill US Starlink broadband

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Re: Well

If you worked at the FCC you'd probably get marked down in your annual appraisal if you limited your ambitions to "twice".

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Range?

That would be true in the conventional sense of "competing". In the US mobile industry it has a different meaning, I think, more akin to "It's mine, all mine."

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Don't Forget

"IMO Starlink is under NO threat from 5G."

Care to share your analysis with us?

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Move Fast

I assume that the "Move Fast and Break Things" approach so beloved by the likes of Musk only counts if it's not your stuff that's being broken

Samsung fined $14 million for misleading smartphone water resistance claims

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: I propose a new law

I'd flip it. The headlines, advertising and marketing bumf issued by the company take precedence over any other wording in contracts, Ts&Cs, sales terms and warranties. The bigger the font, the higher the priority. So if the ad has a picture of the phone in a glass of beer and the headline "D(r)UNK-PROOF" and some small wording at the bottom of the pic. saying that you could only dunk it in beer for 18nano seconds and then dry it our for 3 days before using it then the big words would be assumed to be the more correct. Anyone who knacked their phone by drowning it in beer would have a valid claim and no amount of weasel words would prevent them getting a refund or a new phone.

DeadBolt ransomware takes another shot at QNAP storage

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Re: How secure is secure?

In my experience the QNAP forum has more than its fair share of sanctimonious twats. Raise a ticket; support are sometimes helpful as long as you don’t couch it in terms of “since your OS is so insecure, how do I…….”

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: A reason to have it visible

That will be the QVPN app written by the same people who wrote the vulnerable code that has seen QNAP NAS’s compromised so many times in the past couple of years?

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: So, they're going after NASes now

Don't know about your NAS, but unless you need it to be online I'd take it off the web. My QNAP's firewalled in both directions and I do updates manually. I don't know if they're going after QNAP because they are popular or because their software is vulnerable, but many posters on the QNAP boards are pretty critical of QNAP's OS. If I'd bought this as an online server I'd be pretty annoyed and QNAP don't make things easy for users. The advice to shut down unused apps and services is good, but it would be even better if I could just delete them permanently to stop them running in the first place; this is difficult (often requires Terminal access - you can't just delete them from the web UI) and then they just come back with the next update.

CISA and friends raise alarm on critical flaws in industrial equipment, infrastructure

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Hmm

I assume it’s because the bigger threat is employees either by phishing or other nefarious activities.

Airbus flies new passenger airplane aimed at 'long, thin' routes

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You should read "Altered Carbon" by Richard Morgan

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"...all the comforts of a wide-body interior..."

Outside of First- and Business-Class, remind me what those are.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

Headley_Grange Silver badge

So, your kid sees a radio on the tip, takes it home, plugs it in, get killed by the electric shock. Presumably, in the US, this isn't a problem because you can go back to the tip and shoot all the bastards that let her take it home and honour is satisfied.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Digital transmission?

Sampling theory applies whatever form the signal takes. If the highest frequency in the source is 20kHz then in theory you need to sample at 40kHz to get al the information, irrespective of the shape of the wave*. Being "in tune" doesn't matter, as long its tuning is below 20kHz.

If the (young) human hear can't hear anything above 20kHz then there's no point* sampling at more than 40kHz because even if there are transients or higher frequencies in the music you wouldn't be able to hear them when the sound was reproduced. A snare drum might well have audio content above 20kHz, but you won't hear those frequencies if you're in the studio so there's no point sampling and converting them.

You'll find stuff in audio magazines about intermodulation products at higher frequencies mixing down in the ear to audible frequencies and so requiring sampling at higher rates. You'll also find stuff in other magazines about hobbits, dragons and wizards. I've got an open mind about the hobbits, dragons and wizards cos it's hard to prove that they definitely don't exist.

*This is theoretically true, but issues around filtering and aliasing make it practically a bit more complex and one reason for sampling a bit higher than 40kHz. With the current state of the art any limitations, defects or infidelity in sampling and reproducing audio are, from the perspective of the listener, negligible. Note that I'm referring to the initial capture of the audio prior to it being mixed for CD, vinyl, or whatever. I don't dispute that CD sound might differ from vinyl sound but that's down to the way it was mixed and processed before being put on the disc, not an artefact of the original sampling.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Looking forward to the Techmoan review

RCA Sockets? It's the green colour that puts me off.

https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/lillabo-turntable-10343856/

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

I wonder if the OP (Hildy) assumed that because condenser mics need power then they are doing some sort of processing on-board.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

I think you're right about the ritual of playing vinyl.

Regarding cutting the vinyl; Graham Parker's "The Parkerilla" LP has "Hey Lord....." as a single track on side 4. It's <13 mins long and whoever cut the vinyl took full advantage of this cos it's volume is way above the limit of my USB converter.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

"Improve the sound" is subjective. Some people think vinyl sounds better, others disagree - and they always will because it's subjective. My mum liked her music centre's treble control all the way down and the bass all the way up cos, well, that's how she liked it.

"It should be possible to reconstruct the sound....": if the goal is to reproduce the sound exactly as it was recorded then even that's a pretty dubious aim. Some people play their instruments straight into the desk and only hear it through headphones and monitors. Many albums are recorded one instrument/voice at a time and sometimes the vocalists and instrumentalists aren't even in the same country. The studio is a sterile sound environment and a band will sound different than they do on stage and what you hear is how it was mixed. Even seeing a band live doesn't guarantee that you're hearing it just as the band wants - every venue's sound is different and bands don't hear what they sound like out front - that's why many "live" albums are overdubbed in the studio.

And remember, if you listen to rock music then the guitarist will have probably spent a fortune on amps and effects pedals to distort the sound in the first place!

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Beware sub par efforts

Two things I can think of.

Although unlikely, you might have a moving magnet cartridge and a moving coil pre-amp, or vice-versa.

If it were just a bright top end I'd guess that the RIAA filtering has been missed or badly done. However this wouldn't explain the bass distortion unless there's something odd about the impedance match. If you can find a cheap RIAA filter* then it might be worth giving it a go - it will definitely drop the top end, but it will boost the bass, so won't fix that unless there is an impedance mismatch and the filter fixes it.

*or make one yourself - plenty of circuits online.

Apple may have to cough up $1bn to Brits in latest iPhone Batterygate claim

Headley_Grange Silver badge

I can see both sides of this, although one side is probably more motivated by money than their emails taking a bit longer to open.

From my perspective I'd rather they did things like this and supported my old phone for a couple more years instead of making it obsolete and stopping updates. I never noticed my phone slowing down and took advantage of the battery offer to replace a battery that was already way beyond its best.

My concern is that it will reduce support lifetimes because companies won't want the arseache of supporting older devices alongside the new-shiny so instead of supporting devices for about 7 years, Apple will default to the Samsung model.

I was fired for blowing the whistle on cult's status in Google unit, says contractor

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Google is a cult?

Bloody spell-checker.

Majority of Axon's AI ethics board resigns over CEO's taser drones

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Re: This isn't a solution...

"But pro-gun groups in the USA look at Ukraine..."

and

"For shooting people in uniform, you need a weapon that is effective against heavily armed and professionally trained soldiers and police."

The Ukrainians aren't asking for handguns and rifles. They are asking for artillery, anti-tank and anti-ship weapons, long range missiles, drones and aircraft. If a tyrannical US government attacked its citizens it wouldn't be soldiers taking pot-shots at a militia of armed locals; it would be tanks, planes and ships with shells, rockets and missiles. Does the 2nd amendment give citizens the right to buy anti-aircraft guns for the neighbourhood?

Jim Jeffries puts it better here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rR9IaXH1M0

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: This isn't a solution...

What you mean is you want to do absolutely anything other than take away your right to own a gun. That right is more important than dead kids. It's more important than the ~60% of gun deaths in the US that are suicides. It's more important than anything for people like you to live out your John Wayne fantasies and who gives a shit if it makes your country more dangerous cos, standing in the mirror waving your pistol around, you're the most dangerous motherfucker in the room.

The only defence against a dead bloke who's just killed your kid isn't to get a bigger gun than him.

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: This isn't a solution...

You need to define who the loonies are, first. In a survey yesterday 44% of republicans thought that the country should just learn to live with mass shootings as long as they can keep their guns.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/06/us-mass-shootings-republicans-poll

As for tasing a loonie in a room full of kids who's got his finger on the trigger of an automatic assault rifle.......

IBM's self-sailing Mayflower suffers another fault in Atlantic crossing bid

Headley_Grange Silver badge

Re: Electrical problems

Maybe they could get an inflatable bosun, like the co-pilot in Airplane.

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