* Posts by Nonymous Crowd Nerd

129 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Nov 2014


Massive energy storage system goes online in UK

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: it can only take the output of about 15 Dogger Bank turbines

Interesting that using your figure of 15kWh per electric car - and there being around 650,000 electric cars now in the UK, that would give around 9GWh of storage. (Assuming the cars are driving only around 5% of the time.) That's 45 times more than this new battery.

Thus, if we could use 15kWh each from all the car batteries that would be able to store half the output from the 400 6MW Dogger Bank turbines for about 7½ hours. And that's longer than most intense storms.

These figures do begin to make sense.

The 15kWh is about half the capacity of my 6-year-old car, so one wouldn't have to deep cycle the batteries and they wouldn't suffer excessive wear.

Of course they would suffer normal wear for which the car owner would have to be compensated. By my reckoning the Grid would benefit to the tune of about 60p per cycle by charging the cars when electricity is cheap and selling when it's expensive. But with this system working at scale it would make it possible to remove a coal power station from the mix and that would be a considerable extra saving perhaps making the saving up to say £1 a cycle for ordinary grid conditions. The cycles would be worth more during extreme storms or when the grid is stretched.

Is that enough for the wear on the battery? This doesn't look so great. In 100,000 miles my car has done around 1,700 of these shallow cycles. But £1,700 would not compensate me for 100,000 miles of battery life. It would work much better for the newest LFP batteries which may be approaching a million miles life. Especially since the rest of the car likely wouldn't last a million miles.

NASA uses space station dust sensor to map 50 methane 'super-emitters' on Earth

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Not surprising

NASA is no doubt eagerly awaiting "contributions" from various organisations any day now so that their failure to name names might continue.

Meta fined record-breaking $24.6m for deliberately ignoring political ad law

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Until these judgments

For all that this, like the others penalties, is a derisory fine, I think the cumulative effect is beginning to weigh on Facebook significantly now.

Their drop in profits wasn't trivial and it wasn't all down to the Metaverse misstep.

(Perhaps it should be called called one small misstep for a Zuck, one giant misleap for Zuck-kind.)

Apple exec confirms iPhones will switch to USB-C because 'we have no choice'

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

The Best Thing the EU has done to date


This is seems to be a "good thing" without qualification.

What other candidates are there? The Euro? Hmmm. Not so sure those living in Greece or Italy would be totally keen.

Chip shortages still plague carmakers despite weaker semiconductor demand

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

I'm always cynical, but here in particular I'm having trouble reining in my scepticism. Automakers are facing a huge technology shift towards electric cars and correspondingly huge unusable skills, training and infrastructure that they've made over the last decade or so in the hopes that the practical electric car might be headed off before it arrived.

Too late.

This situation that high tech cars can't be delivered suits both sides. The automakers can sustain sales of the old school petrol and diesel cars.. The chip makers can keep prices up by pointing to insatiable demand from automakers. The electric cars can be kept scarce allowing super profits to be made.

The fact that the chips in question are sometimes very cheap indeed besides the cars (and physically small) allows for the unscrupulous to buy and store extremely large numbers of the chips keeping the market tight.

China spins up giant battery built with US-patented tech

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: It wasn't lost -- it was just outsourced

Yep. Sadly, we in the west spend our time and money rewarding people for f*£/¿ing about trying to bury the patents to protect encumbent suppliers while the the Chinese get on and build the thing!

South Korea takes massive step toward sustainable nuclear fusion reactions

Nonymous Crowd Nerd


Although 2040 sounds like a little further off to me.

Terminal downgrade saves the day after a client/server heist

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: RAM removal

Our neighbours had a bull that used that very same approach to avoid the intimidating gate!

The US grid is ready for 100% renewables, says DoE

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

24GWh supplied at up to 3GW

So that's 8 hours at full capacity... So in the real world we could be looking at a couple of days in the dark, cold, windless days of winter.

Speccing the capacity of the storage to cope with a challenging winter is surely the point of the whole exercise. And it's not going to be easy.

NASA has MOXIE, but rivals reckon they can do better for oxygen on Mars

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

I think the implication is that the CO2 would be converted into something useful like jet fuel. The problem, as you point out, is that this is very inefficient. It only makes sense

1. If there's a a large surplus of sustainable generation over energy transmission and efficient storage,

2. If there's an overriding demand for the fuel, for instance for high priority air travel or defence.

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: all the O2 requirement of one adult

"...one machine per crew member."

Or a bigger machine is sent up a few years before the mission and the oxygen stored in a cave.

(The cave yet to be identified.)

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

On Prem?

Does this story really belong under that heading.?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something and someone could educate me..

ZTE intros 'cloud laptop' that draws just five watts of power

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Work in the cloud...

I rejoice in the thought (fantasy?) that it's hard to imagine how any superpower could have much to gain from my musings, shopping lists and and diary of my parents hospital appointments.


Dear Europe, here again are the reasons why scanning devices for unlawful files is not going to fly

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: The sound of Perseverance

Get the same problem when trying to look at road safety and statistics are relayed in terms of

deaths and serious injuries.

But of course, the powers that be immediately go in for an orgy of redefinition around what is a "serious injury"

As in "We've improved deaths and serious injuries on the roads by 21%." But haven't you chosen to remove broken arms from the definition of serious?

Mars helicopter needs patch to fly again after sensor failure

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: What a Heavenly GODSend

Same kind of thing might have been handy for those 737 MAX planes if the 737 hardware had been sufficiently up to date.

This data center will be Europe’s first with hydrogen backup power

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

How NorthC gets the H2

"It would interesting to have more details on how NorthC produces (or gets) the hydrogen

Yes. Wouldn't it just. My guess is that it will be "green" roughly until the first or second tank full is exhausted, and then it will quietly be obtained from the "grey" market and hence no better than the diesel it's replacing - especially after taking into account the cost of the kit.

This whole thing is an exercise in greenwash - pure and simple.

HPE has 'substantially succeeded' in its £3.3bn fraud trial against Autonomy's Mike Lynch – judge

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: "The finding is a massive victory for HPE"

Definitely should be extraditable.

Otherwise it would somehow be OK to fiddle the books if you could manage to sell out to a US or any foreign company.

Nvidia promises British authorities it won’t strong Arm rivals after proposed merger

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

As Kraft / Cadbury eloquently proved

The only answer is to forbid this merger / takeover completely, without delay and without any leave to appeal to any alternative trade body anywhere.

Power management IC shortage holding cars, laptops, hostage

Nonymous Crowd Nerd


Exactly. Almost everything I learned on my MBA regarding managing the supply chain is being proved wrong. The whole philosophy of off-loading risk onto the supplier and doing nothing in house is exactly what is backfiring now.

Aircraft can't land safely due to interference with upcoming 5G C-band broadband service

Nonymous Crowd Nerd


"I assume tests are planned in the real world"

Surely! Surely tests have already been carried out!

When it comes to renting tech kit, things can get personal, very quickly

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Why wasn't THE major problem mentioned here?

I agree with others about the poor phrasing of the question with the half negative towards the end. Even a slightly close result in these circumstances is rendered worthless.

There is actually an episode of a BBC programme on this same subject. I think it was in the series More or Less and if you're lucky you might be able to find it in the murky waters of the deeply messed-up app that is BBC Sounds.

The particular issue they discuss, if I remember correctly, was an opinion poll on the Holocaust for which it appeared they'd deliberately devised a question like this in order to get a clickbait headline because such a large proportion of the population had voted that they didn't not think that the holocaust had never occurred. Or maybe it wasn't the other way around?

Google's 'Be Evil' business transformation is complete: Time for the end game

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: A bright cold day in April...

What a great line. Maybe I should be rereading that. (1984)

Zoom-o-cracy: Wales MP misses vote, allowing COVID-passport rule change, blames the IT dept

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Just possibly not an idiot?

He might have been in need of an excuse not to vote along party lines.

Wouldn't the equivalent of the speaker not voted for the administration's proposal in the case of a tie anyway?

Talent shortage? Maybe it's your automated hiring system, lack of investment in training

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: To which you can add ...

Maybe in summary the decision maker for the recruitment has been promoted to young. (S)he's grown overpaid before they grown wise and sufficiently cynical to avoid the pitfalls, and the traps in the for of new architectures and new management methods laid for them by the big multinationals.

EU to formally probe Nvidia's $54bn takeover over British chip designer Arm – report

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

If They Don't Block This, They Should Retire

In any sane universe this merger damages competition and choice.

If any competition authority anywhere in the world approves it, the individuals should directly leave the building, turn out the lights as they go, throw away the key and sign on the dole.

Recent years have seen precious few mergers banned outright and for me at least, it feels as though the competition authorities pay nothing but lip service to investigating anything. There is literally utterly no point in paying for a competition authority that never bans a merger.

UK's competition regulator fires red flare over Nvidia's $40bn Arm takeover deal

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Far to late

".. a bunch of self serving posh schoolboys running the country..."

I seem to recall this deal allowing ARM to be bought out by Softbank was one of Theresa May's first acts as incoming PM. Not a "posh schoolboy", I think, unless you know something the rest of us don't?

Russia says software malfunction caused Nauka module to unexpectedly fire thrusters, tilt space station

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Several possibilities

f) On the way to docking, the primary rocket system was accidentally switched off, hence they had to use the secondary system. At the point when they intended to switch off the secondary system after docking, they accidentally switched the primary system back on again.

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Those comments from Roscosmos...

One might think that. I couldn't possibly comment.

Ganja believe it? Police make hash of suspected weed farm raid, pot Bitcoin mine instead

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: As a local ...

There's a photo in other versions of this story. El Reg often seemed to think that stock photos will be sufficient, but here's a perfect case where more is needed.

James Webb Space Telescope runs one last dress rehearsal for its massive golden mirrors before heading to launchpad

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

What you're describing here begins to look like a very "ambitious" project indeed. "Bold" even.

I'm certain Sir Humphrey would have come up with an appropriate phrase...

Docking £500k commission from top SAS salesman was perfectly legal, rules judge

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

"... As the judge goes around SAS's MD for dinner later that same day."

Yep. That was my first thought. Especially as he was sitting alone instead of part of the usual tribunal. It all looks a bit fishy.

China requires 'self-correction' of monopolistic behaviour by 34 local web giants

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

For example, in controlling a certain virus... Even though they have impinged upon people liberties to a degree - possibly quite a significant degree - they did manage to contain a virus where the vast majority of Western nations have failed.

After years of dragging its feet, FCC finally starts tackling America's robocall scourge

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Sadly, I have answers.

(a) No effective action is taken because various lobbying groups (BT?) throw their all into confusing the legislation just enough to make it unworkable.

And (b), even more sadly, the group who struggle to disbelieve dodgy callers includes my parents who are in their late eighties. It hasn't cost us money yet but there's much heartache as they ask again and again whether this or that call might be legitimate.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Not necessarily.

They would appear to have thought of this in my washing machine which seems to weigh the load just after it starts and adjust things accordingly. Maybe Boeing technology not going with that yet.

Apple, forced to rate product repair potential in France, gives itself modest marks

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Extend to cars

While at the other extreme... I believe the record to remove and replace the engine in a classic VW Beetle is 76 seconds. The time is measured from driving the car over a line to start the clock until it's driven back over the line with the engine back in the car again to stop the clock.

Bill Gates on climate change: Planting trees is not the answer, emissions need to be zeroed out to avoid disaster

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Nuclear power is a no-brainer

Fission-based nuclear power is not the panacea that many people hope for. There are regular claims that the next generation of nuclear power will be safe - 3rd, is it, or 4th generation now... But there were similar claims for previous generations while the core of the problem remains basically the same - that a huge amount of fuel is concentrated in one place and no one has managed to properly assess and control the risks of a very large accident. Yes, the apparent risks might be small, but often enough they can coincide and the potential for a very large accident is nowhere near so negligible as nuclear advocates would have us believe.

We're asked to trust in the philosophy that "We won't make THAT mistake again" is near enough. But what about the next mistake, and the next. The engineering issues are just too large scale and too complex for there never to be a crack, never a tsunami, never a terrorist attack or an ill-judged safety test. Yes. It's true these things can be very, very unlikely, but that's not the same as saying they'll never happen.

Four cold calling marketing firms fined almost £500k by ICO

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Fines should never be less than £1 per call

That would help..

Plus liability should automatically be transferred to directors for this crime - even for limited companies...

Plus the carrier that delivers the call to the victim - normally BT - should be liable for all unpaid fines after 3 months.

Boeing will cough up $2.5bn+ to settle US fraud charge over 737 Max safety

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: nothing happening here then

Plus, there should be a complete ban on revolving door recruitment so not one employee can move from Boeing to the FAA or vice versa.

Adiós Arecibo Observatory: America's largest radio telescope faces explosive end after over 50 years of service

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Reality

You surely only need to lift in new cables. It all seems to me rather like a lack of will has crept into these organisations who want money for their shiny new projects and don't love the role of custodian - especially of something that is currently looking a tad shabby.

Behold, the Ultimately Large Telescope: A revived proposal for a 100-metre liquid-mirror star scanner on the Moon

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Ultimately Large Telescope

I seem to remember applying this kind of nomenclature to Antanov transporter planes landing at Farnborough.

Watchdog signals Boeing 737 Max jets can return to US skies following software upgrade, pilot training

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Dating back to the 1096s

The problem is that as you make the plane larger, the engines larger and increase the number of passengers, the physical strength required to get the plane out of trouble goes up. It's become a major problem and was significant in the crashes with the pilots in no position to concentrate on the technical issues when they were struggling to control the yoke and the trim wheel.

Ask yourself how enthusiastic you'd be to drive a full-sized 38-tonne truck without the servo assisted brakes that all large trucks now have, but did not in the 1960s?

Heck yeah, we should have access to our own cars' repair data: Voters in US state approve a landmark right-to-repair ballot measure

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: John Deere, Fordson

We have one a little older than that - a 1953 "Little Grey Fergie" (Fergusson TE20). We use it mostly to extract other vehicles that have got stuck. This is a Tractor Vapourising Oil (TVO) model and obtaining something that's close enough to original TVO is generally the biggest headache. I certainly don't think it has been recording my weight over the years!

H2? Oh! New water-splitting technique pushes progress of green hydrogen

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Plenty of problems - so who funds this work and why?


* Hydrogen is hard to extract from wherever it currently resides - water..

* It's hard to store because it leaks through the tiniest gaps

* It might explode

It's all very well debating which is the biggest problem. In reality it scarcely matters because they're all pretty serious. Years (decades?) have been expended on trying to overcome these issues to power cars or buses but progress has been minimal. A handful of cars here, or buses there, but no one is prepared to risk volume production. I don't blame them.

But why on earth is anyone still bothering to fund this.

Is it that various funding bodies keen for green publicity are being conned by scientists who should be a bit more responsible?

(And while I'm in rant mode, doesn't pretty much the same argument apply to money spent on carbon capture and storage?)

What a Hancock-up: Excel spreadsheet blunder blamed after England under-reports 16,000 COVID-19 cases

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Counting the Cost

At the end of the affair - when the dust has settled and the excess deaths finally tallied, it will be possible to allocate a cost to this mistake - a cost in terms of lives lost, reopening delayed and cash.

For that reason, if not for any other, perhaps it's time that a couple of complacent managers actually take the rap for this and lose their jobs.

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: A plague on Excel's house!

One of our clients lost their company's largest contract by selecting all the columns on screen and sorting them by postcode, but overlooking all the columns off screen to the right. Excel offers the user a myriad ways to Hancock-up. The current case, though, must be the biggest ever.

Revenues from in-app purchases swelled 32% to almost $30bn for Q3 2020 – and Apple snaffled most of it

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: 10%

Well, yes. But 10% of what and who gets it?

In fact the digital sales taxes that the European governments are looking to introduce on the FAANG companies - and a few more - are rather like this. Countries are deciding that companies are to be included based on global turnover (revenue). The system is grossly simplistic, but the bottom line is that for these exceptionally global organisations with plenty of monopolistic power, we absolutely have to do something. And the international taxation arrangements that these companies have effectively bypassed are riven with complexity.

Anybody looking to knock any of these suggestions needs to remember

1. We have to do something.

2. It must be simple.

3. It must be possible for countries to impose the new regime unilaterally, otherwise the likes of Ireland and

Luxembourg will veto everything to protect their own ill-gotten gains.

HubSpot must prove core sales features to be taken seriously in enterprise CRM market

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

American again?

"HubSpot is pushing hard against Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft."

Salesforce - US

Oracle - US

SAP - Germany

Microsoft - US

Enough is enough. Any new player for consideration ought to be British - or at least European, but not American. Sadly HubSpot is American.

UK govt urged to bolt tough legal protections onto Arm and protect jobs – or simply veto Nvidia's £31bn acquisition

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Why sell Arm anyway ?

The sad truth is that we've been "open for business" since the days of Margaret Thatcher. There's no reason Brexit should make things worse. It could even make things better since we don't have EU subsidy rules to conform to. But frankly, I doubt it will make any difference at all.

And I have for years shared your sad image whenever any *%&£ politician says that the UK is "open for business" of Britannia from the old coins bending over with her skirts pulled up ready for the globalist invasion.

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

I know it's off topic, but Harry Dunn's death was a tragic accident. There's been no mention of any aggravating circumstances regarding the woman's driving - like high blood alcohol, or previous similar cases. There was obviously no premeditation. And this driving on the wrong side of the road error just does happen. If I'm honest, I've done it myself after returning from extending driving overseas. If she had gone through the whole UK legal process she would probably have been given a hefty fine, lost her licence for maybe three years and a perhaps got a suspended sentence. There's almost no chance she would have gone to prison - and that's the reason why it's a bit difficult to get too aggressive regarding extradition. Compare this, for instance, to the Salisbury Novichoc poisoners. They came with the intent to kill, to cause an agonisingly painful death and with little regard for collateral injuries. And yet still we cannot extradite. Extradition isn't easy. Even from an ally.

NHS tests COVID-19 contact-tracing app that may actually work properly – EU neighbors lent a helping hand

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: "Talk of a second wave is nonsense"

While it is dropping, the case fatality rate in the US is still over 3%. That's very, very much worse than flu.

Covid-19 does deserve to be taken much more seriously than flu.