* Posts by Mips

505 posts • joined 29 Apr 2010


Spare some change, guv? UK's CCTV regulator pitches for £100k budget increase


How much!!

£100k for two bods. Oooh cheapskates!

Railway cables overpowered errant drone's compass and flung it back to terra firma


Re: Order of magnitude error

But EM interference is not news.

Back in ‘85 We had a project to install a mainframe in a site which backed onto the Liverpool/Southport rail line: 1500V DC. The EM survey showed huge induced voltage spikes as a train went past. This site was abandoned.

Somewhat later we had to abandon a project near Blackpool airport. This was blasted by the airfield approach radar.

There is nothing new under the sun.

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree


Hey; thought this was about ALGOL


At college in ‘68: Elliott 803B. Wow! 8k memory; compilers on tape deck. Ran Elliott Autocode FORTRAN and the beloved ALGOL.

Yess it was that good in them days.

Are you extracting the urine, ESA? Why, yes it is, from Moon dwellers to build homes out of lunar regolith. Possibly


01.04.2020 Har! Har!

Yes. Har. Har

After 20-year battle, Channel island Sark finally earns the right to exist on the internet with its own top-level domain


Re: South Sudan

CQ? That was replaced by SOS in the days of morse code. What are they trying to tell us?

Post Office burned £100m in UK taxpayer cash on Horizon IT scandal legal fees, MPs told


Who is responsible

It is like Grenfell.

There are people who know what happened. Someone signed off on this defective system. They must be rooted out and prosecuted. It happens too often and I am angry.

H0LiCOW: Cosmoboffins still have no idea why universe seems to be expanding more rapidly than expected


Re: Riddle me this:

I think time is the issue here. That the Hubble constant at the Big Bang may be different than now. If we were able to measure H0 now at the CMBR location it might well agree with the local H0. I do not see a way of testing this and we just have to accept the fact and make a rational explanation.

Watch out! Andromeda, the giant spiral galaxy colliding with our own Milky Way, has devoured several galaxies before


Re: Things change slowly

Now here’s a thing.

If Andromeda got big by gobbling other galaxies has anyone asked how the Milky Way galaxy got to be so big? Perhaps we are guilty as well.

Oh dear me how did we get so fat? Porker.

'Lightweight' UPS-style flywheels to power naval laser zappers


Hang on a minute....

... 3.2MJ storage. Now let me see, that would be about half a cup of diesel.

Wow really! So big. Wouldn’t even get your electric car out of the garage.

Eggheads want YOU to name Jupiter's five newly found moons ‒ and yeah, not so fast with Moony McMoonface


Re: Screw Your Rules

On the other hand....one two three four five.

What’s that Primus and Septimus, you don’t like that?

Northern UK smart meter rollout is too slow, snarls MPs' committee


Re: Stupid gimmick from the start

Too right.

I wouldn’t have one in my house.

Why do you need something to tell you to turn it off? Just turn it off stupid.

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables



I am sooo glad you got that off your chest.

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire


Re: I'm not worried

Yeah but:

Thermal system cannot be more than 50% efficient and more like 40% whereas lithium ion systems are going towards 70%.

How does that factor.

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention


60W light bulb

Here we go the journalists are at it again. What! No Olympic sized swimming pools?

This is a site for technologist. Why do they need to have a megawatt explained?

Anyway my A size lamps are 7W LED not 60W incandescent. So there!

Good news: Largest, most ancient known galaxy supercluster is spotted. Bad news: It's collapsing on itself


Re: Symmetry

Yeh. But this is really old news. It's nothing like that now.

Whoops. There goes the neighbourhood again.

New theory: The space alien origins of vital bio-blueprints for dinosaurs. And cats. And humans. And everything else


But still...

...the Universe made us!

What about God? Oh! It is out there somewhere. Or everywhere.

NASA's Kepler probe rouses from its slumber, up and running again



... or to plough.

OK. So it is American.

No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull


Yes and...

...not only will the days get longer but the moon will fly higher still until eventually it departs orbit! (Yes this will happen; look in Wikipedia). Just think of the fix we will be in then with no tides and very long and cold nights and long red hot days. How's your beach holiday now?

And another thing; some lunatics want to build tidal power plant. Mad! It will slow the earth's rotation even sooner.


More like...

....you would not have any time for work.

UK rocket-botherers rattle SABRE, snaffle big bucks



Forgive my ignorance but air plus fuel and high temperatures equals NOX. Yes? How is this good?

Spadadam might be wet but has more of a problem with snow. However the last time I was there it was very much a military site. Eintrit verboten. It is also full of snakes.

Fermi famously asked: 'Where is everybody?' Probably dead, says renewed Drake equation


Re: Not useful

Quite right. And they are too faint to hear anyway.

More power to UK, say 'leccy vehicle makers. Seriously, they need it


Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

It is not about vehicle range it is the infrastructure capacity that is lacking.

To fix it will cost more than £250bn, yes, £250BEEELION.

Who is going to pay. Hey you, are you listening?

Another day, another meeting, another £191bn down the pan


Re: The simple rule of corporate meetings...

I hate meetings to.

But do you prefer the Stones or Stone Roses? I can't make my mind up. Perhaps we should have a meeting about that.

Full shift to electric vans would melt Royal Mail's London hub, MPs told


Re: So, not just a question of...

Well here is the answer and we are all going to need a bit more than 50p.

Whilst there is the option to go hybrid, if these are plug is it will only provide a marginal reduction to the increased electrical demand. And hybrid vehicles are not fuel efficient as has been proven they use about as much petrol as the equivalent straight direct drive. At this moment sales of petrol cars are increasing and diesel is declining with the possibility that manufacturers will be fined for increasing CO2 emission.

The Post Office are saying they have a problem and fortunately this news has entered into the political arena because this is where the problem originates. They say ignorance is bliss and there is none more blissful than a politician, The decision to go electric is ill founded. Here are the consequences.

The power supply to most dwellings is based on average consumption, whilst you might be able to call on 14kW in your house on average the supply might only be able to provide as little as 750W and as much as 3kW depending where you are and when the property was built, commonly it is 2kW. Vehicle demands are about 3kW for a range of 100 miles and 7kW for 200 miles. This means that your house will now be taking as much as 9kW from the supply, more than 4 times what it was designed to provide. It is ok if a small number of electric vehicles are connected, the system has some flexibility, but if penetration is more than 10% problems will arise as the system will be overloaded and voltage drop will exceed statutory limits. Beyond this point, to make electric vehicles work the network will have to be replaced. To provide power to all electric vehicles using the existing approach would require 4 times the number of substations and all distribution mains will need to be replaced. The resulting disruption would be huge.

The cost would also be huge.

KPMG have reported on recent research into how we can deal with the reducing availability of gas. They estimate the cost of replacing the electrical network at between £150bn to £250bn. Yes, 250 BEEEELION POUNDS! As it happens this is the figure I came up with AND we have to add in the cost of three nuclear power stations at about £35bn each.

Conservationist will say we can use photovoltaic and wind sources, but we need more power not just energy and these will not cut it. Anyone who does not understand the difference between power and energy should not comment. Sadly this group includes most journalist, politicians and ecowarriors. Yes we have to go nuclear; convention power generation will be inadequate after all we are running out of gas.

It is amazing that the government has committed so much expenditure with a short statement and with no opposition. The cost will be more than Falklands, Afghanistan, Iraq, HS1 & 2, Crossrail and all the windfarms put together, How can this be allowed to happen?

You might think that the bright sparks in the executive have an answer, but clearly there is not one single technical mind present. They think it is all about batteries and drivelines. It is not.

If we don't do anything I can see that we might have civil disruption, "charger point rage" incidents, generators in the back of the garage, or the Clarkson view: a generator on the back seat. At the very least planning law should include that all new developments have the capacity to charge vehicles.

There is a solution; we have not looked at alternatives. We need to invest in exhaust scrubbers; this should prolong the life of diesel. We need to invest in fuel cells. OK hydrogen is difficult to produce and store, but we could also use ammonia.

It is a difficult question but there is no doubt that the policy came as a knee jerk reaction. It is not adequate, not fit for purpose and like the poll tax will cause no end of problems.

Time to start protesting.

Oxford Uni boffins get things rolling at new electric motor factory



My son was a STEM graduate but he is now an accountant. He followed all the power, cudos and money and made the appropriate career choice.

That's just the way it is.

Don't panic... but our fragile world is drifting away from the Sun



But we already knew the same is happening to the moon (about 10mm per year) and we have a lot less time to think about it. We will loose the moon a long time before we drift away from the sun.

Up, up and a-weigh! Boeing flies cargo drone with 225kg payload


Test Bed

Just wondering. It does look like a bed. Suppose I slept in it could it deliver me to the office in the morning. It would beat some of these TV ads. Yeh.

UK waves £45m cheque, charges scientists with battery tech boffinry


The BIG issue

It would be great to have better batteries but this is not the solution they still require charging.

It is not just the generation capacity it is the distribution network which is inadequate. Recent estimates show we need six additional nuclear power stations at a cost of £120bn. The distribution network has to be replaced or supplemented every street in the country will have to be dug up with huge disruption at a cost of £200bn. That is £16k for every electric vehicle. Then there is the question of rollout. Will this be another broadband debacle?

Would we not be better off going hydrogen and spending this money to make this work?

H0LiCOW! Hubble's constant update paves way for 'new physics'



I have never been clear to whether this has been explained or not and if the following has been factored into the calculations.

When we observe distant object we are also looking at the universe at an older state; further object are older than nearer ones. Is it not the case that OLDER object are faster than nearer ones. It is age that gives the velocity not distance. This thought is prompted by Big Bang theory and that from a single point there are some objects more distant than others i.e. they are going faster.

However if the Hubble constant is measured to be the same in all directions and this says that we are at the centre of the Big Bang. I think this has been disproved.

Dutch students serve up world's first 'drone café'


Brings new meaning to the word


But there is no one to head but.

Google emits Android N developer preview early to smoke out bugs


N Ho Ho wait till they to Z

After digesting all these sweeties it will obviously be ZITS

European Space Agency lights up new Australian antenna


New Norcia

I thought that was is SE Asia.

'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'


Re: Dunno about warming

Doesn't matter whether you do or not it is a question about where do we go next. Fosil fuel is just about dead and renewables will not do it especially when electricity will replace most present fosil consumption. Nuclear is the only way. And big time as well. This means we will have to get into Thorium or we are dead.

German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags


Sour Krauts?

No racial stereotype comments please. We are British.


Re: Interesting

Treadstone is it not?

OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene


"suffix du jour"

Never mind stanene I like "suffix du jour". Quick get onto the Oxford English Dictionary

Saturn's moon Titan had swamps, say astroboffins


Re: Polypropylene?

Yeah and propylene does not a marine environment make. For that you need salt and water.

(I don.t know the standard of journalism these days. I despair!)

They're back: The coffin-punting naked Polish calendar girls


Why is it?

Why is it that it is always El Reg that gets the tasty bits?

'Best known female architect' angrily defends gigantic vagina


Re: Compensating for something?

I remember some years ago an architect I worked with designed a 12000m2 office with pitched roofs shaped like tits and in the center court a conference suite shaped like bollocks and penis.

He was not amused when I told him that I thought he had some form of fetish.

Seems all architects are the same.

'Only nuclear power can save humanity', say Global Warming high priests


Re: Sigh...

Bloody obvious.

If you want to keep living like this than the only way is nuclear.

As they used to say "there aint no such thing as a free lunch".

Otherwise it is back to the cave or a good old bout of genocide to fix it.

Volvo: Need a new car battery? Replace the doors and roof


Re: That slight "ding" in the door

And if the "ding" ruptures the cell the word would be BANG.

At lest is was the last time I got an electrical short.

Island-hopping Beardy Branson: I'm dodging rain, not taxes


Quite right

But he looked pretty healthy when he was kite surfing off Hayling Island in the record kite surfing attempt few weeks ago. That's Hayling Island UK not anywhere else.

When he said health reasons that probably "health of my bank account" reasons. Sill if you can do it why not?

British support for fracking largely unmoved by knowledge of downsides


Re: Just maybe

You might support anti-fracking if you could believe it was based on cogent argument not NIMBY.

Thorium and inefficient solar power? That's good enough for me


Wow. What a lot of hot air this generated.

I was thinking about this subject this morning and it is no surprise I came to the conclusion "the only way is nuclear".

Other sources have some use but PV is limited in capacity, and weather supported ie wave and wind are unreliable with highly testing technology.

Do not ever think that tidal power is renewable, it is not. The earth rotates and generates tides. When the ride rises it takes energy from the earth and when it fall the tide pushes the energy back. If we take energy from the tide it is not returned to the earth and THE EARTH WILL SLOW DOWN. OK, so the earth is slowing anyway but do we need to make it worse?

Thorium = Brilliant

15% of Americans still holding off from this newfangled interweb thing


Re: Dumb, really?

Sorry this is too hard to resist:

You mean that 15% of the US population is too old, dumb or poor. Hum, only 15% eh?

OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?


Re: What BT are really doing

Well what BT might also be doing is breaching the Data Protection Act. Your data, the fact that you are a late payer, is being distributed to anyone on the same router plus anyone who can see the screen.

It this legal. I think not.

Myst: 20 years of point-and-click adventuring


Re: Happy days

I loved Myst and all the following games in the series (yes all) but Uru was a game too far. If you thought Myst was cryptic, ha, easy compared to Uru the obscure. I had to go to cheat mode to even get in and as for the purpose for the end game. Wow!

KABOOOM! Space-faring dwarf's galactic pile-up snapped by X-ray boffins


Re: 3 million times

There is always a question of what century NASA is in; they are supposed to be using SI units but here we see (Dr) Fahrenheit again.


Philips' smart lights left in the dark by dumb security


Re: Is MD53

Alternatively 3.55 exp33.

Philips are soooo smart.

Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow


7.4m passengers

Breakeven is 7.4m passengers a year. Lets see now at 24 people per pod that's 30800 trips per year or 35 per minute and they are going every 30 seconds so you actually need 13 tubes. Did someone drop an order of magnitude somewhere?

I hope he is better with SpaceX; it could be whats wrong with Tesla. And it probably accounts for my PayPal bill.



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