* Posts by conel

64 posts • joined 2 Jun 2010


First analysts, now YouTubers put you on blast. Do you A) take it on the chin or B) up fire up the DMCA-o-tron?


Vapour Ware

This company started off with a concept for a gas-turbine powered hybrid truck, an obviously dumb idea which could never hope to compete with a diesel engined truck. Open cycle gas turbines, although a lot lighter and more compact than diesels are far ess efficient, more expensive, louder and require more maintenance.

After a while I guess they figured the above out so they pivoted to hydrogen powered, but of course they didn't actually have any solutions for the usual problems related to hydrogen.

And now they've pivoted to battery electric and couldn't even come up with the same level of functionality a scrapheap challenge team would manage.

They seem like legit con artists.

See below for the original pitch:


With H-1B workers not exactly rushing to America this year, Uncle Sam plans to spend millions home-growing IT staff


Auction the visas

A simple solution to H1b would be having companies bid for the visas on the basis of what salary they're offering. Who ever offers the highest salary gets the limited supply of visas.

Amazon makes 850,000m2 bet that its people will get off the kitchen table and back to an office


This could be about getting remote from Seattle more than a divergence from other tech companies regarding remote working.

Aviation regulator outlines fixes that will get the 737 MAX flying again


The MCAS system is bad enough without exaggeration:

"MCAS could not be overridden despite receiving erroneous data from an Angle Of Attack (AOA) sensor".

The MCAS could be overridden but the pilots weren't familiar enough with it to know how. A combination of the system being very difficult to deal with and the pilots not being appropriately trained.

With the US election coming up, when better to petition regulators for a controversial way to chill online speech?


Platforms to Publishers

The immunity is a good thing for platforms and shouldn't be removed. But the more social media sites go down the route of promoting/ censoring content based on political preferences the closer they are to publishers and publishers shouldn't have immunity.

The platforms can of course define what content they want to host at a certain level, in the way that sub-reddits are for particular topics. The rules should be transparent and clear to users, so if a platform wanted to be political and be pro/ anti a particular position that's fine and should be in the rules of the platform. If a platform claims to be politicaly neutral but actually censors/ promotes political views they should be considered a publisher with all the liability ramifications.

Then platforms can decide for themselves what they are and consumers can know what they're getting rather than this pretend neutrality.

It's handbags at dawn: America to hit France with 25% tariffs on luxuries over digital tax on US tech titans


Oh yes, and don't forget about the "Austere Religious Scholar" he killed as well.


Re: They're tariffs

It's reasonable for the US to respond to a country singling out a US dominated industry for special treatment, and as taxes go tariffs on luxury goods from France is quite progressive.


Re: Pay tax where users reside

Funnily enought a flat rate of tax is very popular amongst economists. Redution of adimistration costs and a removal of sweet-heart tax breaks which distort markets (how much tax an industry pays is a function of how effective they are at bribing lobbying politicians).

NASA trusted 'traditional' Boeing to program its Starliner without close supervision... It failed to dock due to bugs


Re: So what happened?

This quote from Boeings CEO on why they moved the headquarters goes a long way to explaining the problems they're having.

Condit makes no secret of another factor: as CEO, he didn’t want to be bothered with tiresome “how-do-you-design-an-airplane stuff”.


They've been going wrong for about 20 years now.


Re: So what happened?

It was the McDonnell Douglas acquisition, the same thing happened when McDonnell purchased Douglas.

The below paper was written by a Boeing engineer 19 years ago and is eerily prescient about the problems they're having now.


Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'


Etymology of Slave

Slavs were so commonly enslaved in the middle ages that's where the word comes from. Most every people at some stage in history were slaves/ slavers, St. Patrick was a Welsh slave brought to Ireland for example.

The history of slavery and its abolishment- with the obvious modern exceptions - is nearly the opposite of what the woke crowd are trying to intimidate people into believing.

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs


Re: No Sh*t Sherlock

I don't think the AI failed, it was just too close to the reality of how some humans communicate for comfort.

What appears to be wanted here is an AI which adjusts it's picture of reality to moral preferences.

Did nobody tell them about the lockdown? Logitech releases new 'luggable' mechanical keyboard for LAN parties


If you can live with wired and a white back light the Razer Blackwidow Lite is half the price.

EU declares it'll Make USB-C Great Again™. You hear that, Apple?


Binding Micro usb

What if the EU had made micro usb mandatory. Would we now be waiting on new rules so we could move to usb-c?

51,000t might sound like a lot but split across 500Mn people in the EU it's only 0.1kg per person. And that's not an annual figure, it's total.

What's the best case scenario with these regulations, reduce the waste by 10%? 20%? So maybe a few 10s of grammes of waste saved per person...

Boeing admits 737 Max sims didn't accurately reproduce what flying without MCAS was like


"Condit makes no secret of another factor: as CEO, he didn’t want to be bothered with tiresome “how-do-you-design-an-airplane stuff,” or boring meetings with Boeing’s key customers (airlines) who came to Seattle."


Facebook ad platform discriminates all on its own, say boffins


Mirror Calibration

Facebook's algorithms are a mirror which reflects reality. Some people don't like the look of reality so they want Facebook to distort the reflected image, sounds like a tricky job.

Back to drawing board as Google cans AI ethics council amid complaints over right-wing member



The author claims that "the controversy centred on the fact that James has repeatedly expressed transphobic views". Surely there must be some very strong evidence to claim this as a fact. I mean, it's not simply that some loonies have called her transphobic on twitter, is it?

Of course, it is and this is one of her "transphobic" statements "If they can change the definition of women to include men, they can erase efforts to empower women economically, socially, and politically.”

The left really has gone bat shit crazy when they're going after a black woman because she's opposed to having people with penises in women's bathrooms and sports teams. It's kind of funny and the ideology will inevitably eat itself alive, but it's disturbing to think how much damage they might do first.

Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full


Question to Editor

"Those defending Damore pushed an article published on a website that specializes in promoting controversial views (example lead story: Should We "Stop Equating 'Science' With Truth"?)"

The first line in that article: "Actually: no."

The website in question, Quillette published their article in response to a Slate piece titled "Stop Equating “Science” With Truth" (hence Quillette's use of quotation marks). And yes, the Slate author really meant it.

The Reg's editors should consider if they're ok with this kind of blatant dishonesty.



Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork


You also stated: "Just to be absolutely clear here: If you ever make a statement about what a broad group of people are like, especially in comparison to another group of people, you are going to be wrong. And the bigger that group, the more wrong you will be."

There are real average differences between groups, debate the accuracy, question the research but to advocate for blank slatism is silly.

The irony of your piece is that the memo and responses appear to have brought out the worst in you.


Re: Wow...

You wrote an article so bad that it's making many long term readers question the integrity of the publisher.


Re: Ad hominem

According to the Cambridge dictionary an ad hominem attack is a criticism directed against a person, rather than against what that person is saying.

I think it's clear this is what you're doing.


Re: Ad hominem

Claiming people are biased because they're white is an ad hominem.


Making ad hominem attacks doesn't help.


Wrong think black list

According to the author anyone who studies variance between population groups and considers how the averages affects society is a bigot.

This is truly bizarre, it's extreme blank slatism and is the far-left equivalent of creationism. The inability to consider group differences and still treat people as individuals is the most concerning part of identity politics.

"Just to be absolutely clear here: If you ever make a statement about what a broad group of people are like, especially in comparison to another group of people, you are going to be wrong. And the bigger that group, the more wrong you will be.

And, no, simply inserting the word "average" does not excuse you from making such false generalizations about groups of people; in the same way adding "allegedly" does not let you accuse a random person of being a child molester."

If I was to say that on average women live longer than men would I be wrong?

Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'


Re: Article by a former "Google Distinguished Engineer"

That was a very weak response, here's another response explaining why:


Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'


Re: "Clash of civilisations"

The biggest threat to western civilisation are it's inhabitants who are unwilling to acknowledge just how good it is compared to anywhere else.

His Muskiness wheels out the Tesla Model 3


Re: It will retail for just $35,000

I'd love to know where people get the notion that charging an electric car is so cheap, £2-3 my arse.

60kWhr * £0.14/kWhr = £8.4 (not including charging losses)

Although that's four times what you're claiming, it still sounds kinda cheap compared to diesel/ petrol. But it's not when you consider the taxes.

A similar car would need about 18l of diesel/ petrol to go the model 3 range of 215 miles (assuming 54mpg). That would be £20.7 at £1.15/l, but when you strip out the taxes it's only £6.84 at £0.38/l.

Add back in the electricity VAT rate of 5% and you get £7.18 worth of petrol to go the same distance as a Tesla model 3.

Electric cars do not work without subsidies.

Ex-Waymo engineer pleads the 5th in ongoing Uber law fight


Surely he's just going to bugger off to Brazil or somewhere similar.

No H-1B visas? No problem, we'll offshore says Tech Mahindra


Re: H1Bs have an easy fix no one talks about

An auction seems like the obvious solution to me. Limit the number of visas and whoever pays the highest salaries gets them.

Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution


Re: Heat engines

Super critical steam turbines can hit efficiencies of over 48%. So not much difference with CCGTs maxing at about 60%. Utterly irrelevant though, has to be considered with the fuel and the energy density of nuclear fuel can't be beaten.


BTW, gas turbines are heat engines too.

(Pointless discussion but I saw an excuse to link to XKCD)

Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd


Re: Repeating history

"Looking at the statistics for 1974 casualties in Northern Ireland there seem to be 294, and of those 73 were probably army."

The UK joined Europe in 1973 and according to the below data 479 people were killed in 1972. Not that the exact numbers really matter, the point is the UK wasn't a utopia immune to internal strife as Andrew is trying to make out.



Re: Repeating history

"No blood had been shed here affecting change for a very long time. "

That's as far as I got through the article as well, bizarre claim. The year before joining Europe was the height of the troubles, 500 killed in one year.

A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK


Aesthetics versus Function.

Criticising the number of ports is like criticising the number of pockets on a Burberry handbag.

What will happen to the oil price? Look to the PC for clues


Utter BS

This is just plain silly and is a good example of the hubris of economists. Their models are incapable of acurately respresenting the economic world they're supposed to be made for yet economists are happy to apply their nonsense to other disciplines. Mainstream economists not only didn't predict the economic crash but many had convinced themselves that a crash was impossilbe because of how brilliantly they were managing the economy.

This report - which is the type of fluff the Reg usually derides - seems to have been inspired by the increasing use of the term "factory drilling". Factory drilling is used to describe the massive productivity improvements that drilling has achieved through automation and repition. These improvements have been immense but it still doesn't justify the nonsense idea that oil production is no longer an extractive industry and is better described as a manufacturing sector.


This report is coming from someone who knows nought about the the oil industry, there are some simple clues like referring to Tengiz, an old field, when he clearly meant Kashagan and using the term "fracking rig" which belongs in a Guardian article.

TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'


Re: Great work

The phones are there for demonstration purposes and the kids were told the phones couldn't be bent... So they were merely testing the assertion of the sales clerk. Don't see how they could be held liable if they can prove the sales clerk told them the phones couldn't be bent.

If I'm told something can't be bent the first thing I'll do is try to bend it, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that instinct.

Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal



Boeing moved their headquarters to Chicago from Seattle partly because the management weren't interested in the designing-and-building-airplanes aspect of their business.


"In the interview, Condit makes no secret of another factor: as CEO, he didn’t want to be bothered with tiresome “how-do-you-design-an-airplane stuff,” or boring meetings with Boeing’s key customers (airlines) who came to Seattle"

Their fundamental problem with the 787 development was excessive outsourcing. Sadly engineers within Boeing knew full well what would happen.


Google and Apple in DRAG RACE: It's fanboi Mercs VS fandroid Audis



"Audi and Ford are expected to demonstrate self-driving cars at the Consumer Electronics Show"

I'd have said this was a lot more interesting and significant than twitter feeds on a dash.

Why a Robin Hood tax on filthy rich City types is the very LAST thing needed


Asymetric Speculation

From the article is seems that the "Noble" winners are suggesting that the issue with the US housing market was asymmetric speculation, as in lots of people going long and not enough people going short (of course Goldman et al were going short but few people knew).

The suggestion isn't that there wasn't enough speculation but that the speculation was unbalanced due to the nature of the market. To use this to suggest that all speculation is great and that there is a "scientific" consensus that the more speculation there is the better is just plain silly, even if you pretend that economics is a science.

The article reeks of ideology as opposed to clear thinking.

Brits give thumbs-up to shale gas slurping in university-run poll


National Ground Water Association

These guys sound like they might know a thing or two about the subject matter.


Google Chromecast: Here's why it's the most important smart TV tech ever


HDMI-CEC Remote Control

The dongle supports HDMI-CEC so it can control the tv (turn it on and select input). HDMI-CEC can be used the other way around so it should be possible to use the tv's remote control to play/ pause the chromecast content.

I've a raspberry pi connected to a Panasonic TV. The Panasonic remote can control the pi using HDMI-CEC (no set up required). Google may prefer people to use the touch screens though...

Decade to 2010 was hottest, wettest: WMO



The second paragraph of the article jumps out at me.

"The WMO's report, which should but probably won't put paid to the idea that warming has stopped"

I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about what is meant by warming having stopped. By looking at the below graph from Wolfram Alpha it is very clear that there was a warming trend from approximately 1975 to 1998.


From 1998 to 2012 the temperatures have been shown to be flat, this is entirely consistent with the statement that the last decade has been the hottest on record and it would also be expected that a larger number of temperature records would have been broken in that decade than in previous ones. What isn't happening is the continuation of the trend from 1975 to 1998, I actually didn't think this was considered controversial.

The report is just pointing out something which is obvious from looking at the Wolfram graph... The hottest 10 year period in the last 150 years has been in the last 10 years!

'Liberator': Proof that you can't make a working gun in a 3D printer


Exactly, the gun trade is in the opposite direction, from the USA to Mexico. It's the drugs that go the other way.

Why do Smart TV UIs suck?


Panasonic not fully learning

I just bought a Panasonic smart tv, every time I turn the thing on I get an ad for music from Myspace. That's pretty annoying, although not as bad as every time you turn on the EPG.

There's apparently different standards of Panasonic smart tv, the one I got doesn't have the web browser for whatever reason.

Another thing about UI that annoys me about a lot of tv's is the standard of the remote control that comes with them. The Panny remote is terrible, has all the expected functions but is just plain awkward to use. It really does make me appreciate Sky's remote and UI.

It would help if when tech journalists - definitely looking at the Reg here - would actually put an appropriate emphasis on the quality of the UI and remote when reviewing a TV instead of going on about differences in video quality which are only really apparent when looking at the sets back to back, or if you're trying hard to notice.

Don't panic, but UK faces BLACKOUTS BY 2015


The Guardians Solution

Below is a link to an article from a supposedly serious newspaper about how to deal with climate change.


They've basically asked 50 people how they would solve the global warming problem, which of course is bound closely with energy policy. I'd genuinely recommend looking at all 50 comments, you'll either find it hilarious or depressing.

You'd hope that there's a higher level of discussion going on in DECC...

Google promises autonomous cars for all within five years


Re: Future consequences

I think motor sport will survive, horses no longer have a utilitarian purpose but people still ride them for sport.

Thumb Up

Re: praos

Roughly my thoughts as well. For me, the interesting thing is that it will take a start-up or a company like Google (no interest in the automotive industry) to make the change.

Once driverless cars are common people in general won't own private cars (except maybe toys for wealthy people). People will instead use automated taxi like services. So we'll end up with lots of black cab like cars on the roads which will be commercial vehicles so will be designed for long lives and high reliability.

In this scenario there will be far fewer cars manufactured per annum to do the same work as the vast majority of a car's time is currently spent doing nothing so it will take far fewer automated cars to replace them. These new cars will be quite utilitarian so it's hard to see where the market for high end motors will be.

The long and the short of it is the current automotive industry is not going to embrace automated motoring.

How hard is 3D printing?


Even home 2d printing isn't all that great

3d printing used to be known mainly as "rapid prototyping", it's now being used ever more for "rapid manufacturing" and this makes a lot of sense for low volume products.

Various parts of the media, from geek websites to the FT, have been putting forward the notion that 3d printing will revolutionise manufacturing by putting a 3d printer in everyone's home and allowing for decentralised manufacturing. I don't see how this is even remotely plausible.

I always think of home inkject/ laser printers when the notion is put forward. Would anyone seriously consider printing and binding a book at home to be preferable to ordering it online and having it delivered the next day. Consider the cost, time, reliability and hassle. Even for a custom book you would still be better off going with something like blurb.co.uk (think about the difference in quality, TCO and cost of you own time). And this is with technology which is fundamentally a lot simpler to 3d printing and has had decades to mature and become dirt cheap.

I can imagine industrial scale 3d printers, which would be the equivalent of the printing machinery used by the likes of blurb, being used more widely for spare parts and such but the notion of it being done at home seems fanciful to me.

TERROR in SEATTLE: Gang of violent LEPRECHAUNS on the loose


Re: And If i feckin hear "Southern Ireland"...............

Mmm, couldn't be much more wrong if you tried. Southern Ireland is not an official name, it's Republic of Ireland if you want to be proper. The reason southern Ireland is an annoying name is the most northerly point and county on the Island is in the republic, so calling it the south is silly at best. Derry is the original name, London may have been added a few hundred years ago but Derry is still the original. And part of Ulster is in the republic/ south/ eire/ 26 counties, simply wishing it isn't doesn't make it so.

GiffGaff in data spaff, goodybag gaffe: ICO says its 'avin a laff


Overly Sensitive

I use Giffgaff and will continue to, because its cheap...

I've had trouble ordering goodybags, not just the last couple of weeks either. And when I ordered a sim recently it took almost two weeks to arrive. So the reg is right, they are a bit rubbish but they are very cheap.

And for those over sensitive Fans, the style of the article is exactly in keeping with the Reg, and long may it continue!

Study: The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate



The problem with the discussion here is that the study made some assumptions. Whether or not the're correct can be debated but the position of the authors is that it's correct to have a high level of perceived risk about climate change. They knew going into the study that the level of perceived risk in the population is lower than they considered correct. In order to explain this they considered two hypotheses. One that people were too scientifically illiterate to appreciate the risk and secondly that people's ability to perceive risk is biased by their social environment (peers don't believe it so it's best if they don't either). The first hypothesis was proved incorrect and the second one correct.

It would have been interesting if as a control they considered the belief in god or evolution instead of just risk associated with nuclear, although that is a bit different to perceived risk... Maybe risk of eternal damnation then?



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