* Posts by Endymion

23 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Jan 2012

Tesla Full Self-Driving videos prompt California's DMV to rethink policy on accidents


Re: LIDAR vs. computer vision

There does seem to be disagreement about the necessity of LIDAR. LIDAR generates a point cloud, which is then processed to develop a model of the car's environment. Computer vision can achieve the same outcome and has the benefit of being able to recognise objects only visible to drivers - e.g. speed limit signs, road markings etc. Depth perception requires inference - this is a moving object, this is stationary, this is a parked car etc.

LIDAR does have the advantage of directly measuring distance but It has it's own problems - coverage/field of view, range, compatibility with rain/mist/fog.

You could argue that both are necessary, but the problem then becomes fusing the sensor outputs and dealing with disagreements. Personally, I think Tesla is on the right track but has a long (infinite?) way to go before achieving anything beyond L3 autonomy. So does Mobileye and every other autonomous driving solution in development.

UKCloud latest to sign Memorandum of Understanding with UK.gov ahead of cloud mega framework


Re: vowed to "never practise any form of tax avoidance".

Totally agree.

Tax avoidance is part of the fiduciary duty of a companie's officers, and it is board's resposibility to conduct tax planning so as to maximise profit for shareholder by reducing tax liabilities. Tax avoidance is completely legal - if UK Gov doesn't like people playing according to HMCE rules, then change them. so-called 'aggressive tax avoidance' is nothing of the sort - it's just companies being better at this game than the treasury and HMCE. A simple and transparent tax system would reduce the ability of UK Gov to play politically motivated games with the system, but also reducethe opportunities for their cronies to benefit in a way that the ordinary people can't, which isn't good for donations... it has ever been thus.

Well, that escalated quickly: Qualcomm demands iPhone, iPad sales ban in America


Re: 8,698,558

I believe this is the technology used in the Devialet D110 power amplifiers - class A stage provides voltage gain and a Class D stage provides the current?

I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture


you missed one

One of my favourites, actually. Who remembers John Carpenter's debut 'Dark Star', and it's philosophically-challenged planet - destroying bombs with a God complex?

Source code for world's first MUD, Essex Uni's MUD1, recovered


I spent a significant portion of my mid - teens pasty and exhausted making wizard on mud 1. I remember my parents quarterly phone bill hitting £600. God, I still remember the bollocking I got for that!.

I dialed in via an open UCL janet PAD, but I remember hearing that a lot of mud players were sharing someone's BT X25 PAD NUA for dialup.. word has it that the customer was billed for 250k before it was closed. Oops.

David Cameron defends BT's taxpayer-funded broadband 'monopoly': It's a 'success story'


Re: Success Story Eh?

Yes, that model worked very well for British Leyland, didn't it? Clearly you weren't around in the 1970s to see how that principle worked out last time around

Ok, they weren't set up as a not-for-profit organisation, but they lost money for the taxpayers at such a rate under public ownership they were forced to sell the remnants to British Aerospace for a pittance, so the dilemma of what to do with the profits never really arose. The Post Office was hardly a beacon of shining excellence in telecoms service delivery and innovation either. In fact which nationalised industries are still with us?.

There are far too many ways to avoid making a profit that don't involve delivering either an excellent service or value for money for customers and consumers. At least a profit motive drives innovation and an interest in launching revenue earning services that PAY for evolution of national infrastructure.

BT scratches its head over MYSTERY Home Hub disconnections


It's not all bad news

This is the best router I've ever had, and I've been through quite a few. The wireless performance has been rock solid, and I've not had to reset it since I installed it a couple of months ago. I also have tested the BT 802.11ac dongle, and throughput is astonishing.

I think that this has got to be the best router from any ISP at the moment. It doesn't hurt that I got it for next to nothing as a staff upgrade to the HH4 (which wasn't a great success for me - lots of random wireless disassociations).

The only thing I don't like is the limited configuration options for the DHCP server, but it delivers great wireless throughput and stability, 4 GigE ports, 802.11ac, USB host and better VDSL than the open reach modem in a single box.

That isn't to say that it might not be borked by firmware 'improvements' later, but for now I'm a very happy camper.

Hands on: We play with the slippery Lumia 1520, Nokia's first phondleslab


Looks like a nice device. I don't understand the comment about phablets being too large to fit in pockets, or needing a handbag or manbag to tote one around - my note 3 fits easily into the pockets of every garment I own. It saves me carrying a tablet, which is a major bonus.

Travel much? DON'T buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 3


it is also very easy to work around, so I don't know how effective it is as a control method. What is to stop a UK reseller including a free UK PAYG SIM in the package, with an instruction note and then shipping it to Australia, New Zealand etc?


yes, astonishly poor communications. Just look at all of the unnecessary uproar here and elsewhere that has resulted. The wording on the box of my Note 3 suggests something far worse than the reality.

This is a huge, huge PR gaff!. Knowing what the score is, I'm not in the least bit bothered, but was on the verge of sending it back when it appeared I wouldn't be able to use local SIMs in the US or other places I travel outside of Europe.


Just to clarify, this isn't a gouge to force you to use an EU operator's SIM card with the associated astronomical data and voice tarriffs.

Once the phone is activiated with a SIM from it's home region, an unlocked phone can then be used with a SIM from ANY other region worldwide. If you first start up the phone using a SIM code from outside of the region, it will still work wih a SIM card from within the region, but will be blocked from using a non-regional SIM code.

See uk mobile review for more info...


It isn't aimed at locking you into a region's carriers with their roaming tarriffs - it is to stop parallel import channels, although they could still work around it by shipping a PAYG sim to whereever for the user to use before their local carrier SIM.

Oh, and there are already region unlock codes available from variou sources for an additional charge.

Not draconian, and no real impact to me as an end user. I don't believe it is the thin end of the wedge either, especially with the degree of vituperation displayed based on this misunderstanding. As it has only just been discovered, but has in fact been in place since July on the Note 2, S4 and other models, it seems to be working as expected (unless you are buying from a grey importer).

Peugeot 208 GTi: The original hot hatch makes a comeback


Re: The engine

The bugbear of older turbo installations was oil being carbonised by the heat after shut-off, and coking up the bearing housings, depriving them of an oil feed. This has largely been dealt with by water cooling the bearing housings and sometimes fitting an electrical circulation pump to keep the engine coolant circulating and avoiding heat-soak.

Lots of modern diesels have problems with variable nozzle turbos and a build-up of soot causing the vanes to seize up, causing an actuator fault. The rotating parts of the turbo have been absolutely fine in both cases. My Mercedes has needed two replacement turbos is 50,000 miles, and this is a very common type of failure for diesels that are driven around town a lot.

Petrol turbos don't suffer from this isssue, and are pretty reliable nowadays for the most part. There isn't a specific reliability issue caused by boosting small engines (provided the internals are strong enough and thermal limits aren't exceeded), although oil quality becomes more critical. The fuel efficiency gains make it inevitable that manufacturers will continue downsizing engines.

CSC boss post-NHS IT flop, Ford CEO 'pitched' as the next Steve Ballmer


Re: Could be...

Yes, possibly. I didn't think that such detail orientation was required for the post, but some people are so picky about little things like that.


I'm disappointed that Bil and the board haven't taken me up on my offer of doing it for a measly $5,000,000pa.

Star Trek: The original computer game


Re: Tension and strategy

No doubt waiting for a screen repaint over a 300baud modem or a teleprinter also heightened the apprehension/tension too!. When I used to play MUD on Essex Uni's DEC-10, us poor external users always hated Internal users running at 9600baud!.



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Forget that Star trek nonsense...

Star Raiders on the Atari 400/800 was the thing to have - I remember being quite blown away at the time (1980?). Amazng execution of the Star Wars gameplay, with a sort of 3d-ish cockpit view allowing you to blast the baddies in person. There was a cool star field effect, and a Star Wars-esque hyperspace effect as you moved from sector to sector on the Galactic Map.

Awesome stuff at the time.

Scramjet X-51 finally goes to HYPER SPEED above Pacific


An ICBM launching a conventional HE warhead would be even more riculously expensive and wasteful than a scramjet hypersonic missile would be.

Nukes also don't need to be particularly precise, for obvious reasons, so to producing a ballistic warhead capable of fulfilling this mission wouldn't just just be a case of taking the nuke out and stuffing it full of explosives - it would need to have a terminal guidance solution to allow to be at least as accurate as current precision munitions.

Slideshow: A History of Intel x86 in 20 CPUs


manual chip layout

Quite amusing that the 4004/8008 had sufficient spare die real estate to write the model number in HUGE characters!. That space would probably contain a whole core or a couple of Mb of cache nowadays

Cameron's F-35 U-turn: BAE Systems still calls the shots at No 10


Can someone explain the technical reason why you couldn't power a pneumatic catapult from a bank of compressed air accumulators?.

Fine, use steam on nuclear or conventional propulsion plant where you have it available, but a big f. O. gas turbine generator and electrical compressor would do the job?.

Surely you incur a huge cost by limiting yourself to choosing from a single vstol aircraft, as well as not benefiting from the operational flexibility of being to operate with other nations naval air arms AND not being locked into the rapacious and cynical BAE as sole supplier?.

Oh wait... Did I just answer my question as to why we aren't doing this?

BT outage kills phone lines in Eastbourne and Brighton


Still the same setup in most exchanges - inverters, 48v battery strings and diesel backup. Not sure what the hold-up time for the battery banks is, but I'd assume that it doesn't need to do more than ride through until the generator kicks in.

BT comes clean on Infinity modem 'upgrade'


It woule be openreach, but Zen would have to request replacement on your behalf

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It doesn't really matter that it saves BT money in truck rolls and that the replacement units are probably free from Huawei. It's called standing behind your product.

Well done BT for biting the bullet and saving your customers from downstream problems.


Suggest you get a type B Home Hub 3 from ebay... from about £19 on fleabay.

I've got to say I like it a lot - very stable (for the first time I have uptime exceeding 8 weeks), and good RF performance. It's also got a GigE port, which is great for performance on my GigE home LAN.