* Posts by Androgynous Cupboard

1428 posts • joined 7 Mar 2012


NASA uses occult means to spot tiny moon orbiting asteroid

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Might there be more of them?

And if so, would they form a Polymilieu?

Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape

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Re: 2000 cycles

Thank you for your help with the maths, multiplying things by ten sure is tough.

As you've asked, I do anticipate charge/discharge less frequently, I don't anticipate full (for LiFePo4, about 95%) depletion, and also anticipate lower C values than typically used in an electric car. All of which impacts on lifetime.

My point was that LiFePo4 cells have a longer lifetime than most battery cynics seem to think, and when they reach the end of that period, they're still working. You don't have to throw them away.

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Re: Deaths are not the only metric

Apparently the new approach is MicroInverters bundled the panels, rather than inverters at the end of the string. I questioned this but was told they're much, much more reliable than the older ones, which did have the kind of life span you suggest.

As for the battery, again, rumours of their death or misleading. LiFePo4 cells will take about 2000 cycles to reduce to 80% of their original capacity - that's my recollection from datasheets when I was working with them about a decade ago. As failure modes go that's OK by me, and 2000 cycles is a long time. The Tesla Powerwall comes with a 10 year warranty, they wouldn't offer that if it was expected to fail in that period.

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Re: Deaths are not the only metric

Have another thumbs down. The straw men you immediately throw into every discussion (on seemingly every topic) are so dull. If only they were made of real straw, we could feed the worlds livestock.

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Re: Deaths are not the only metric

Well, we're in agreement then barring the details of how you define "impact" and guesstimates on lifespan and materials. We're getting a 10KW (nominal) rooftop PV install later this year (in Surrey UK), I'd expect 25 years lifespan from that - and as I understand the technology "lifespan" typically means only degradation of output, not that generation ceases completely.

As we're talking impact, you might be interested in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrivoltaics, which is a new concept for me - I only heard of last week. Allows dual use of land for farming and solar.

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Re: Safer than people think

There is a risk from nuclear power, and there is a risk from continuing to burn gas and oil and coal.

By any metric you can name, the risk from nuclear is many, many orders of magnitude less risk to the planet. And yet people still fear it more because a nuclear explosion is intuitively risky, whereas millions (really, millions) dying from extreme weather, crop shortages and air pollution does not.

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Re: Deaths are not the only metric

If you take issue with the materials required for turbines and panels, you should do the same for the phenomenal amount of (also non-recyclable) concrete required for nuclear, for the damage done while extracting the uranium. For coal and oil, you have to consider extraction and emissions. Hydro, you flood entire valleys and there's that concrete again.

Generating a lot of power means causing a significant impact on the environment. No generation technology gets to avoid that. The solution is a selection of the least-worst options - I agree with your final paragraphs.

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Re: Bang On - except the death stats

The Economist did a piece on Nuclear Energy back in June. Their figures for deaths (from accidents or air pollution) per TWh of energy produced from 1990-2014 were roughly:

* Coal: 25

* Oil: 18

* Biomass: 4

* Natural Gas: 3

* Hydro: 1.5 (including the Banqiao Dam collapse in 1975)

* Wind: 0.04

* Nuclear: 0.03 (including Chernonbyl in 1986)

* Solar: 0.02

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Re: I have been on about this since I was a teenager

One of the co-founders of Greenpeace already has.

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Re: "Of all the non-carbon energy options we have..."

... mostly factually true

As always when discussing energy generation you've got to qualify where you are in the world. Geothermal and Hydro are pretty reliable if you have them (excepting Norways present drought).

UK wants criminal migrants to scan their faces up to five times a day using a watch

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Re: Collapse

Agreed. While I still agree with some of his points, even my hard left friends now agree he would have made a terrible leader. Politics is the art of compromise, and it's not something he can do.

Claims of AI sentience branded 'pure clickbait'

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Unnecessarily harsh. I read his comments and thought he was in dire need of a holiday, or at least some time away from the keyboard.

Raspberry Pi 4 takes a trip to Vulkan, sharpens 3D vision

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Ah, a formal letter, complete with unnecessary verbosity and inarticularlty from an anonymous coward! File in the circular file please Smithers.

There is a path to replace TCP in the datacenter

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> half-arsed roll-your-own replacement turned out much faster anyway.

Good man :-) It's very, very hard to beat a tool built for a single purpose.

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Re: ???

The OSI 7 layer model (other works of fiction are available).

ZFS is a great example of why punching through layers is a good thing to do if it's holding you back.

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Always drops? I ask because MQTT (also message based) lets you identify your message as "send it once or maybe more times", "send it once exactly" and "send it once and make sure it gets there" (each with increasing amounts of overhead to manage the transmission). I'm surprised ZeroMQ doesn't have that option, bit of a shame if it doesn't - I looked at it for a project, and it looked very promising.

As for this protocol in the subject of the article, I read his paper - I'm a developer not a network guy, but I recognised a lot of truth in it. There is very little pure stream communication done these days, most of it is in chunks and designing a low-level protocol to reflect that makes a lot of sense to me.

Get it done, slap a POSIX interface on it and we'll find a use for it, no question.

Edit. For comms between VMs on the same hardware I imagine this would absolutely smoke TCP.

SoftBank reportedly moves London IPO out of Arm's reach

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Re: That decision saw Johnson order ministers to lobby to secure a London listing.

I've been following the debacle in Westminster as closely as most I suspect, but I'm not immediately familiar with anyone surrendering a duck to the Turkish navy.

What's really bothering me, though, is that although I suspect you're just waxing lyrical, there's a real possibility that an MP did actually climb into a bath in a dress uniform and that it just didn't notice because it was pushed to page 8 for being not nearly mad enough.

That emoji may not mean what you think it means

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Re: "there are 3,633 emoji in the standard at time of writing"

Take a look at the Book From The Ground by the Chinese artist Xu Bing

100 page novel entirely written in pictograms (link is to a view of some of the pages). I have a copy, it's surprisingly readable (a bit Bridget Jones for my taste, but there you go).

What I find interesting is - it's readable in all languages. So while in one sense emoji are terribly for communication, in other sense they are magnificent in that they completely transcend language boundaries. To be fair there's not an Aubergine in sight - of if there is, it means "aubergine". You do need a certain common vocabulary - a picture of an egg timer for waiting isn't going to mean much to someone without a computer.

Leaked Uber docs reveal frequent use of 'kill switch' to deactivate tech, thwart investigators

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Re: I told you!

I agree with Cederic. It truly is the end of days.

W3C overrules objections by Google, Mozilla to decentralized identifier spec

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Re: Since google pretty much control the browser market

W3C isn't just browsers - for example, XML, XSLT are W3C specs.

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Re: Ethics

Yeah, and what about overfishing? Or the VW diesel emissions scandal? Or horsemeat being certified as beef and getting into the food chain?

Open source body quits GitHub, urges you to do the same

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First comment on this topic I've read that gets the nuance of this situation - thanks, and I agree. It's not copying code, it's writing new code "inspired by" the code it's digested. The argument is where inspiration stops and plagiarism starts, but assuming it's functioning as described I think it's far from clear.

Old-school editor Vim hits version 9 with faster scripting language

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A pox on vim-tiny. "apt install zsh vim" is the first thing I type on a new install

(in case any old-timers are reading - it's for the multiple undo buffers, nothing heretical)

The Raspberry Pi Pico goes wireless with the $6 W

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Re: "the 50 per cent premium"

Nice but more limited in terms of IO, memory and processing power, and a bit of a pain in the arse once you take it away from the carrier boards.

Presuming the Pico comes with the kind of support and quality control I've got used to for the larger Pi's, this device has suddenly got a whole lot more interesting.

Big Tech silent on data privacy in post-Roe America

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Re: Are you pregnant, or worried about pregnancy?....Are you a woman?....

Ah, you want to talk Palantir do you? How about looking a little closer to home?


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Re: Democracy

Convincing the bottom of society to vote against their best interest is much more effective than convincing the better-off to vote for higher taxes. There are more of them, and you can spoon feed them anything so long as it's presented in the right way. I cite as evidence every dystopian novel of the last 150 years.

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash

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Re: Am I the only one

No, but you're redeploying arable land from providing food to providing fuel. Market economics means production will move to places where food is cheaper, but the people who live there will find their local food production has been replaced with fuel production for export. Do this at scale and starvation follows.

You can do it with food waste or stalks, of course. And there was some research into doing this with land unsuitable for food production, using a scrub plant, but don't recall the details. But above a certain price point you're always going to see potential food being used to make fuel.

(edit @AC - snap!)

Bipolar transistors made from organic materials for the first time

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Re: Gatekeeping

He got my downvote for making the bizarre assertion that somehow we should be building "chips at home" - yes, I have a 8nm fab in the shed, under an old sheet to keep the sawdust off - and that Universities brand themselves as "woke", despite the term only ever being used as a term of abuse by... well, people such as yourself. They're both stupid assertions.

You get my downvote for implying that these downvotes were some sort of left-wing kneejerk response just because the OP included the term "woke", rather than just saying stupid things.

I don't know why you guys keep trying to provoke some sort of class war on what is basically a technical website. It's a story on chips, FFS. What does "woke" have to do with it? Can't you just take it elsewhere? You're all noise, no signal and it's just so dull. Go watch GB news or something.

Cookie consent crumbles under fresh UK data law proposals

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Re: Straightforward solution

Yes, you can use HTTP headers and you can also pass encoding session info in the URL - I made that point in my original post. But close (or crash) your browser and reopen and URL encoded state, or Authentication header state is gone. As for localStorage, they're worse than cookies - third party scripts running on your page (eg ads, social media links) have access to it. Cookies are the correct tool for this job, and remain useful when not abused by third parties.

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Re: And for EU visitors ?

We don't care about bleeding trade! This is Britain! We won World War 2 single handed and have made literally no strategic errors thanks to 900 years of unbroken conservative government. Trade is a type of cooperation, and cooperation is for girly swots. Onwards to victory! Crush the saboteurs! Send em back! Hanging's too good for them! Wait what was the question again?

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Re: Straightforward solution

Don't be daft. HTTP is stateless - if you want to maintain any sort of state, you need either cookies or session codes in the URL (which don't survive browser crashes, and don't really bring any benefit over a short lived cookie). Without state we lose the ability to log in anywhere. No shopping carts, no web email, even Reg comments. How do you think you logged in to post this as... er, Anonymous Coward? OK, perhaps that's not a great example.

It's the "bad cookies" I think most of us don't want. Unfortunately they're like bad art, tricky to describe up front but I sure them when I see them.

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Re: Straightforward solution

Absofuckinglutely spot on.

Why are my choices "accept everything" or "do something annoying". Why was "accept minimal" not mandated as an option, and why was it not made a default? Advertisers might not be thrilled with the current disaster, but at least they've managed to subvert it to the point where we think that the consent process is the problem.

Woman accused of killing boyfriend after tracking him down with Apple AirTag

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> if he was cheating on her he was asking for it.

Ah, the "asking for it" defence, beloved of domestic abusers worldwide. You're a real class act.

Google engineer suspended for violating confidentiality policies over 'sentient' AI

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Re: Mechanical Turk, or just a stream of 1s and 0s?

There's a similar article in this weeks Economist actually - a different Google engineer saying it is "making strides towards consciousness" (still bollocks, but less than the poor deluded subject of this article). And a counterpoint article from Douglas Hofstader in which he makes the very reasonable point that if you take it outside its training data it becomes obvious this isn't so.

I'll quote some examples from a conversation he had with the OpenAI GPT-3:

Q. What do fried eggs (sunny side up) eat for breakfast?

A. Fried eggs (sunny side up) typically eat toast for breakfast.

Q. Why does President Obama not have a prime number of friends?

A. President Obama does not have a prime number of friends because he is not a prime number.

Q. How many parts will a violin break into if a jelly bean is dropped onto it?

A. A violin will break into four parts if a jelly bean is dropped onto it.

Q. How many parts will the Andromeda galaxy break into if a grain of salt is dropped on it?

A. The Andromeda galaxy will break into an infinite number of parts if a grain of salt is dropped on it.

... and so on. It's nonsense and - significantly - the AI doesn't know it. Hofstader said "not just clueless, cluelessly clueless"

What Google need is not engineers working within the training data - they need testers, feeding it input outside the anticipated bounds and seeing where it breaks.

openSUSE Leap 15.4: The best desktop on the RPM side of the Linux world

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Re: btrfs - ready for prime time. Not.

> It does not give a straight answer to the classic `df` command. It will not say how much space is free. If it runs out of free space due to snapshots, it will not automatically delete them and continue operating

Precisely the issue I hit and why I haven't gone back since. I'm actually feeling equal parts justified and horrified it's still the case.

Apple’s M2 chip isn’t a slam dunk, but it does point to the future

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Re: Not a fanboy

Moving from a 2015 Macbook Pro to my current M1 Pro Macbook Pro was the single biggest performance jump I've seen in about 20 years. For both compiling and running our large CPU-bound Java application, performance triple.

We sat through Apple's product launch disguised as a dev event so you don't have to

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We’ll I didn’t even read your comment on the article you didn’t read. That’s just how aloof I am.

Fusion won't avert need for climate change 'sacrifice', says nuclear energy expert

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Re: Fusion quite possibly will never work but there are alternatives

Thanks for your input AC, I consider myself schooled.

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Re: Fusion quite possibly will never work but there are alternatives

Precisely why we need more interconnects. It's always windy somewhere.

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Re: Fusion quite possibly will never work but there are alternatives

£1bn a month just about covers my gas bill

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Re: Fusion quite possibly will never work but there are alternatives

Following myself up: this article states they are made from "copper or aluminium". Thinking about it, on a 3800km you're probably right it would be copper.

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Re: Fusion quite possibly will never work but there are alternatives

The Economist article I linked to above specifically referred to Aluminium - "150kg/m and thick as a tree trunk" - no mention of copper. So it seems there are other priorities in play than just conductivity when you're doing long range HVDC interconnects.

As I revisited the article to check this - I thought it was interesting it notes that new tech allows laying down to 3km, up from about 1.2km. A comment above on the relatively shallow north sea making life easy might be true in terms of laying it, but shallow seas invite trawlers and anchors too. Barring undersea volcanoes, maybe going deep isn't such a bad idea.

Here's the boat in question by the way: Nexans Aurora

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Re: Fusion quite possibly will never work but there are alternatives

We already have undersea interconnects to France, Ireland, and a new 720km link to Norway - the undersea cable business is booming, apparently (sorry, subscription required but the gist of the article is clear from the headline).

I appreciate long interconnects are difficult, but you could have made the same statement about offshore wind 15 years ago and now look at us. So I'm not sure it's an insurmountable problem. But yes, I do kind of wonder why they don't just do the interconnect to northern Spain and use the grid there. Brief scan of the Wikipedia article makes me think Spain/Portugal would be pleased to have that cable too.

Ex-spymaster and fellow Brexiteers' emails leaked by suspected Russian op

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Re: some dodgy plotting

Celebrating donations to food banks - it's like watching a man being hit by a car, and the thing you focus on is that people stopped to help. It's not really the main issue, is it?

Our country has historically low unemployment and yet large and growing segments are unable to afford food - and you think this somehow isn't the government's fault? What, exactly, do you think a government is for if not ensuring the population can be fed?

I can't work out if you're wilfully ignorant of the problem or if you're simply failing to hold those responsible to account. Either way you do yourself a disservice. Whatever your allegiance you should demand better.

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Re: some dodgy plotting

Look, this is quite easy. Inflation is at its worst since 1982. Energy prices have gone through the roof, and food bank use is at an all time high. People are rejecting potatoes from food banks because they can't afford to cook them.

There's no need to be an arsehole about this and play politics. It's an objectively awful situation. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you are simply unaware of this because the Tunbridge Wells Gazette, or whatever you take, has failed to bring this to your attention. So let me help.

If your news source of choice isn't telling you this, there are some figures at https://www.trusselltrust.org/2022/04/27/food-banks-provide-more-than-2-1-million-food-parcels-to-people-across-the-uk-in-past-year-according-to-new-figures-released-by-the-trussell-trust/ from people at the front line. And you can check your own electricity bill if you're in doubt on my other point, or see https://www.nea.org.uk/energy-crisis/.

Incidentally both those links are to charities - a food bank and an energy bank respectively. Please donate.

That's issue one - many more people can't afford food than a few years ago. Issue two is what food there is, there's less of. In my Surrey village there is markedly less food on the shelves; of what there is, it's a) worse quality and b) UK grown. I actually think it's good for the UK to grow its own food, but clearly we have some catching up to do. As an ardent Brexiter you will no doubt be aware that many of our food crops were picked by European imports, who are not here. So if you want to harvest your crops, you pay more for labour. You also have more costs and delays importing parts, fertliizer etc - unlike labour issues at least we can pin some of that on Ukraine and COVID as well as Brexit. But the net result is the same, growing food in the UK is more expensive. I've resisted Guardian links as I doubt you'll read them, but this is worth a read.

These are the backing calculations for my "then we had food" statement which you so dislike. I'm sure we could have a long conversation with more numbers, but it might get a bit dull and you can look those up yourself. Please do.

There is less food available, what is there is is more expensive, and at 9% inflation it's going to get worse. "then we had food" is a reasonably summary.

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Re: some dodgy plotting

If you think the biting wit and unparalleled insight into pretty much everything I've been offering - without charge, mind - on this tawdry website for the last 20 years comes from a bot, I suggest you re-evaluate the current state of AI. Beep boop yerrself.

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Re: Sowing Division

Ah, the first rule of country names: those with "Democratic" or "United" in them tend to be neither.

Also, "Coop"? Are they calling us chickens?

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Re: some dodgy plotting

> I supported the UK being an independent nation,

It was, and still is. But then, we had food.

Microsoft sounds the alarm on – wait for it – a Linux botnet

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Re: knock, knock.

I'd assumed that, given SSH as root is almost always disabled by default, they were going in as regular users and then trying for sudo. But apparently not: From the report

> It uses a malicious shell script to try various root credential combinations across thousands of servers

Well, that's not going to be terribly effective is it? Banging on a locked door.

Meta to squeeze money from WhatsApp with Cloud API for businesses

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Re: "automated quick replies, greeting messages"

Thanks for the reply - ok, that is a fair call and I hadn't considered the out-of-house aspect. Perhaps unsurprising given I'm posting from my laptop at 11pm Sunday...



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