* Posts by blackcat

37 posts • joined 26 Mar 2010

Smart meters set to cost Blighty as much as replacing Trident


Re: How do we power all this?

Thanks for the link. I love the rather blase way they dismiss the extra load. And the "providing additional functionality to significantly reduce peak demand" which is a pretty much a blatant "we'll cut you off it demand is too high". Elsewhere it is "could reduce peak demand".

None of the planned 'green' energy sources have the capacity to cover the extra load. Swansea tidal barrage is only expected to generate some 500GWh a year.

We're going as fast as we can in the wrong direction for a smart grid. Knee jerk short term pseudo-green ideas all at the expense of the consumer/taxpayer.


Re: How do we power all this?

Thanks for the numbers, they are truly frightening! I was basing my estimate on the assumption they'd do a good job of the design. It appears they didn't.

That is a lot of generating capacity needed just to cover meters. And what about the back room infrastructure needed to receive the data? It is a shame the blinkered masses cannot see this for what it really is. The moment you paint something with the green climate change brush the vocal masses will beat you down if you dare speak out against it.


How do we power all this?

53 million smart meters, each one averages say 1W internal usage, I thought we were trying to reduce our electricity usage?

Add to that the internal display module, another 1W each?

I've always thought a much better solution would be to offer a free energy survey. Once you've done an initial review of high usage appliances the smart meter becomes a but useless. No-one is going to immediately buy a new fridge, washing machine, dishwasher etc.. to save a few Wh on their 'leccy bill. You'd wait until those appliances died and replace then.

The only rationale is to do time of day charging or remote cutoff.

BT to fibre up another 163 exchanges, coy on exactly where

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And the rest of us?

My local exchange isn't even unbundled. I get stuck with 'up to 8meg' and limited downloads.

Hands on with the Motorola Razr Maxx

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I got my RAZR about a week before then announced the MAXX for the UK.

Still very happy with it. And its now got the AOKP ROM which is even nicer.

A company in the US offers an upgrade kit for the RAZR. New battery, new back case and the glue to stick it back together.

Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK


Re: 'mercans seem to be doing OK,

So where is the UK?


Re: The 'mercans seem to be doing OK with feet, inches and funny sizes gallons.

They seem to manage just fine apart from that.

So people really can't count in anything other than base 10? It seems if its a bit hard we don't bother teaching it any more. I do a lot of work with the USA so have to be versed in both sets of units. Also being an engineer many products are still measured in inches. Just today I have been dealing with a thermal pad that is only sold in thou thicknesses.


metrically literate elite?

The 'mercans seem to be doing OK with feet, inches and funny sizes gallons.

Just cos schools can't teach kids to count in anything other than base 10.....

US Senator: 'Retest airport scanner safety'


But the operator wandered off...

When I went through the guy told me to stand in the scanner then wandered off to chat to his buddy. I had to ask him if I was done! I'm not sure they even looked at my wang.

It seems new toys, same old lax security.



When I flew from Boston Logan only blokes were going through the perv scanner. Women were being scanned the old way. Heck, if someone really wants to look at a fuzzy B&W pic of my old fella they can.

Plus if people are worried about radiation why are they flying?!???!! How many bananas is a trans-atlantic flight worth?

New Euro IP law promises artists torpedoes to sink pirates


"It's the end of controlling the medium, your going to have to think of something else that pays you a lot of money for very little work."

Like megaupload?

Kiwis collar Megaupload kingpin, Anonymous exacts revenge


"Better to turn over every last f'ing rock in Asia looking for signs of collateral damage these industry maniacs may have caused with their reckless pursuit of profit."

And megaupload wasn't in reckless pursuit of profit??

Its laughable all the whining limp lefties going on about how information should be free and shared, how its evil for the big corps to make profit and other such claptrap. Megaupload wasn't sharing, it was profiting, a LOT.

The Register to publish other sites' blacked-out content in SOPA protest


Yes, lets all let Google, Wiki, facebook etc.. run our lives

I think the yankies need to take a look at their constitution. It only stops the govt from impeding free speech, nothing about big corps.

so google and wiki et al throw the toys out of the pram about this. What about if the govt tries to pass something that actually protects us from the prying eye of big corps? They will jus throw the toys out of the pram again and get their way. People are very quick to point out the RIAA and MPAA have the US politicians in their pocket. Well these big internet corps have you over an even bigger barrel. Its all a big con.

As for free speech, you've never had that on wikipedia. Their editors see to that ;)

Anyway, back to altavista and all the other pages on the internet.

UK nuclear: Walking into darkness with eyes screwed shut

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"Fukushima, or Chernobyl had occurred in the UK... large parts of the mainland UK would become uninhabitable for decades."

Look up the 1957 windscale fire. There are no uninhabitable parts of the UK as a result and it was much closer to Chernobyl than Three mile or fukushima could ever be. Windscale was an uncontrolled fire in the core just like Chernobyl, the difference being the lid didn't blow off it.

Pass the wine, dear. Yes, that papier-mache thing



Isn't a glass bottle recyclable? And isn't glass recyclable an infinite number of times compared to paper?

Greens threaten to sue over solar power cash slash


Why didn't they cut it to zero?

Its a shame the greenies can't actually provide any worthwhile evidence that putting up PV panels does anything other than line the pockets of those involved.

I plan to install solar thermal as it will mean I can use the energy when I get home from work rather than vanishing into the grid and doing nothing worthwhile.

Ten... Blu-ray disc players


PS3 is old hat

The PS3 is getting on a bit and is now slower, noisier and its scaler is not as good as the latest standalones.

Personally the only reasons I can see for picking a specific player are if you need:

multi region

Good scaler for playing DVDs

Internal audio decode and analogue audio out

So I ended up with an OPPO-BD93 :)

Local radio stations band together against DAB



"You don't have problems with DAB in a car. Well, Sir, you are either a liar or you don't travel very widely at all."

I've had DAB in my cars for about the last 9 years and I've been quite far in that time. Its quite nice being able to drive most of the way across the country and never have to retune. There is a dead zone on the M4 where you go between some big hills but that is about it. FM dropped out there as well.


"Give most people DAB and they will listen to the same station as they do on FM."

But I can't listen to the 3 or 4 stations I like on FM as they DO NOT EXIST!


I have DAB

Its great. I get no dropouts in the car and I only have a little glass mount antenna.

The best bit is I don't have to listen to the BBC or capital group stations. I actually get to listen to something good.

Google claims 'bogus patent' conspiracy against Android

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So true

"No doubt they need reform, particularly US software patents, but to say we would be better of without patents just paints you as a deluded loon."

Without patents we would not have the constant competition between Intel and AMD, nVidia and ATI, Google and Apple, oh how the list goes on.

Company A comes up with a way of doing something neat

Company B comes up with a different way of doing it better

Company A makes theirs better yet again


How quickly did the CPU market hot up after Intel stopped AMD copying them?

Without patents or copyright:

Company A comes up with a way of doing something neat

Company B copies it cos they can and sells it cheaper

Company A goes bust cos they can't compete

The patent system does need a major cleanup and the US one needs it the most. There does seem to be far too many wishywashy patents out there patenting what is basically public domain prior art simply because no-one has ever laid claim to it.

Stand by for more big, windfarm-driven 'leccy price rises


Investment in storage

I think part of the requirements for ROC and FIT should be storage. Can't supply a steady flow to the grid? Sorry, less money.

I can't think of another industry where you get paid for overstocking. You don't get to the checkout of the supermarket to be told 'we ordered too many loaves of bread today, you've not bought one but we're going to charge you for one anyway so we're not out of pocket'.

Netherlands first European nation to adopt net neutrality

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"Is there not a decent compromise to this?"

Yeah, pay per GB you download each month.

'Leccy price hike: Greens to blame as well as energy biz


So why..

"How long would it take nuclear to pay for itself without subsidy? Oh yes, that's right - it never has, so nobody knows."

So why do companies only build 'renewables' when there is a subsidy? The greenie arguement about nuclear would have some weight if the greens were not utterly reliant on even bigger subsidies themselves.

Last year the UK gov spent 1bn on nuclear. In the same time 1.6bn in subsidies was coughed out for UK windfarms. And over 10 years the German gov has handed over some 40+bn Eur in PV subsidies. This green energy seems pretty awful value for money and you can't even be sure it will generate anything.

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Ah yes...

..the FIT 'subsidy' that isn't a subsidy.

The greens go 'Nuclear would never survive without subsidies' but if anyone suggests cutting the FIT to a more sane level they act as if the world is going to end. Heck you can claim FIT subsidy for systems that are not even connected to the grid! There are companies out there desperate to get any bit of rooftop or land to stick some 'renewables' on and cream off the profit while they can.

I can't remember the source but I read an article about the German PV subsidies and it basically said it did little for innovation. To get the most money you had to get in early and to get the quickest payback most went for cheap chinese panels. Yes you get a booming trade in installation but once everyone has them all the jobs go away.

There are 2 reasons why companies like RES fight tooth and nail to stick windturbines all over the countryside. Either 1) they are really concerned about CO2 and saving the planet (so why are they not also investing in storage systems to store overgeneration for later use) or 2) they just want to make oodles of cash.

Wind power: Even worse than you thought


You sure?

" Any engineer knows that you do not design things to perform at 100% capacity 100% of the time"

Only if you are a very poor engineer. Rated capacity and safety margin are not the same thing. Something working at 100% rated capacity will still have a safety margin.

Fukushima one week on: Situation 'stable', says IAEA


INES Level != threat level

"So that's why they've raised the threat level then?"

The INES level has very little to do with the amount of radiation released, the type of radiation released or the number of people injured or killed. Its pretty much only about how far the radiation has spread.

Note that Windscale, a level 5 accident, irradiated large portions of Scandinavia.

Fukushima situation as of Wednesday



The IAEA has yet to rule on the INES level. Lots of people have speculated though.

Also the level has very little to do with the amount of radioactivity released. Three mile released more curies than Windscale but it was almost all radioactive gas with a half life of a few hours. Windscale actually released bits of fissile material and burnt fuel into the countryside. The fallout from windscale was far worse than TMI. If this is a level 6 then windscale should have been a 7.

And at all of the Fukushima reactor the steel pressure vessel is still in place. Even at TMI the fuel never made it out of the pressure vessel and something like 1/3rd of the fuel is sat in a solid lump at the bottom of it because it had a meltdown under power. The crack in the pressure supresion ring is not really any different to them venting steam, there are still many layers between the fuel rods and the outside world. The Chernobyl scenario where the core itself is exposed to fresh air and daylight (which pretty much happened at Windscale given the cooling method!) would require some pretty spectacular failures to achieve. It would also take some pretty huge fire to breach the fuel rods stored in the cooling ponds as zircaloy melts at over 2000degC. (if you believe the 9/11 nuts, they claim even a jet fuel fire won't damage steel so zircaloy should have no issues)

UK.gov braces for Anonymous hacklash



"that there seems to have been no effort made to find out who's been working to take down Wikileaks in similar DDoS attacks."

Well first wikileaks would have to go to the met and put in a complaint about the DDoSers and most likely submit lots of logs.

And somehow I doubt wikileaks would let 'da man' see the logs showing who has been accessing their website.

Cable vendor slapped for unproven claims

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Its all digital

"UNLESS you are implying that said personnel are in the pocket of certain brands or that they are encouraged to give such reviews to products due to that brands advertising spend...."

I don't think that needs to be implied, it can be taken as read. HDMI is a digital standard and as such the quality can be very easily measured. eg does the pixel at point x,y have the same RGB value with this cable and that cable? Are there any errors reported from the deserialiser? What does the eye diagram look like?

Then people will claim 'oh but what about jitter?', but its digital video so pixel x,y always goes to the same place and the pixels always come down the wire in the same order.

Of course no-one would do these tests as it would show up their cables. Expect these guys:


Does thereg look better if you use a more expensive DVI-D cable?

Blu-ray barely better than DVD

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I agree

"Blackcat's got it in one! As long as your output source is matched exactly to your input, you'll be able to get the best possible picture (given that it wasn't garbage to start off with). "

I picked up the BBCs Earth Bluray set as I'd been told it looked really good. First time I viewed it I thought 'hmm.. this doesn't look all that'. I can't remember what made me check for overscan but I found a setting on the TV (sony native 1920x1080 40V4000 BTW) to turn off the overscan and it was a world of difference.

The guys I work with (i work in a video related industry) cannot understand why TVs come preset to overscan. Yes back in the days of PAL and NTSC you'd often get something with the wrong line count and you'd see the timecodes at the top but not with HD.

Just to make things even worse, I recently upgraded to an ATI graphics card in my media PC and by default it UNDERSCANS by 5% when it detects a TV on the HDMI port to correct for the TV overscanning. I kid you not.

I'm not at all shocked that some people don't think HD is much cop as out of the box what you're getting is not 'full' HD. Forget reporting 'up to' broadband adverts to the ASA as false, if a TV and BD player say they both support 1080 I expect it to display 1080 correctly and without scaling.


The scaling myth

"When watching a DVD movie on a player connected to an HDTV via HDMI you have the option to adjust the settings and ‘up-scale’ the picture. For comparisons sake we left the 'up-scaling' option off, so the DVD was watched in its regular 576p resolution setting."

I do love it when people think they've turned the upscaling off. TVs ALWAYS scale, if they didn't the 576 picture would have black bars all the way around it.

Also by default all HD TVs overscan by 5%, so when watching a 1080 source on your 1080 screen you're not actually getting a 1:1 picture. If you turn this overscanning off then you get a MUCH better picture.

Germans plan to make 'synthetic natural' gas from CO2


Hydrogen vs LPG

Its much easier to store and transport methane as it can be kept as a liquid at room temperatures and sane pressures. Hydrogen can't. And a fuel 600x as dense as hydrogen makes much more sense.

Cartoon Law goes live



"Manga doesn't go anywhere near BBFC like all drawn/written material, there is no ratifying body, just self advisory."

It is still regulated, to a degree, by the obscene publications act. And similar 'child protection' laws exist in the USA where most of the big English language manga publishers are.



As I understand it the image has to be classified as pornographic/obscene for this law to apply.

And that the sale or import of such images has been outlawed for a very long time. Thus stuff like Overfiend (which has a BBFC rating) and manga from the likes of Viz, Tokyopop etc.. (all sold with a UK price listed) is all fine and dandy.

Lost girls seems to have caused more problems with disney and copyright than its sexual contents.

As for popups, s64.1.c looks like it covers that.


Quick call the police!

I see Amazon are still selling the lost girls.

The Pirate Party is the shape of things to come

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Someone has seen the light

Always nice to see something that goes agaist the will of the unwashed non-masses.

Freetards love to quote that its their human right to share files due to 'freedom of expression'. Its also in the UN's universal human righs that everyone is entitled to earn a fair wage and that they can protect their own artistic, literary and scientific works.

And if anyone says 'We'll just use Linux', lets not forget the big companies who fund a significant amount of Linux development.


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