* Posts by Nonymous Crowd Nerd

148 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Nov 2014


US fusion energy dreams edge closer to reality, Congress permitting

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Only twenty years..

"as it has been for the past 40 years.

I think it might be more like 50 (fifty) years.

And with the cost of the mundane renewables (wind and solar) dropping fast it's actually getting to be too late for fusion ever to be a compelling option now.

Boris Johnson's mad hydrogen for homes bubble bursts

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Capacity

"Gas pipes need retrofitting and replacement every couple decades

They might need it but they certainly haven't been getting it. When they came fix a gas leak outside our (London) house, they revealed a 10" gas main that might have been eighty years old. (Actually it might have been original, so ~125 years.) It was made of about 12' lengths of cast iron pipe each bolted to the next at joins sealed with putty.

The repairer explained that the old town gas has enough water in it to keep the putty moist. "New" natural gas is dry, so during droughts, the putty dries right out completely and leaks.

They were repairing three joints.

I waved vaguely in the direction of Kingston about a mile and a half down the road and asked how much of that was the same and how much were they replacing.. "Oh, all the same," he said. "We only fix the leaks that people call in."

He said that if they were to walk down the road with their gas sniffer device they'd find leaks on almost all the joints.

And that's with the natural gas. Replacing it with hydrogen is an utter, total non-starter!

Windows 10's latest update issue isn't a bug but a feature – to test your patience

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Windows is the best advert for Linux.

That's why the comment suggested passing a law.

There used to be a some sort of UK legislation which outlawed unfair terms in a consumer agreement. You'd have to suspect that it has been removed as a result of industry lobbying?

CDW data to be leaked next week after negotiations with LockBit break down

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

somebody is going to decide that a couple of hit men?

Implicit in this response to a ransom demand is an acknowledgement of the total failure of law enforcement to address the problem.

This failure is so total, that no one seems even to find it worth mentioning.

When does tackling pandemic misinfo become censorship? US courts argue it out

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Fairly obvious answer.

And then, of course, there was the piece by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

As far as I recall, their list started "Fuck, bugger, shit, tit, arsehole...." and the whole thing was a pisstake of Malcolm Muggeridge.

UK flights disrupted by 'technical issue' with air traffic computer system

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

The "Old" System

.. used to have a flaw such that there was an apparently logical command line that a controller could input that crashed the whole system every time. This was in the early eighties and some generations of software back...


If you watch the GB News interview with the Minister for Avoiding Questions, you'll hear the interviewer start with a question suggesting a very similar scenario. (The interviewer was rather excited that the command message came from France.) Had the interviewer heard something from a genuine source?

Surely it couldn't be that several generations of software have actually failed to remove the vulnerability? The word incompetence might even come to mind. We'll probably never know. Certainly the Minister for Avoiding Questions played a very straight bat and revealed exactly sweet FA.

Bad software destroyed my doctor's memory

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

"Well, I don't even know where it is," he lamented.

This says it all about so many new systems.

And it's not just problems with poorly designed User Interface. It's not just someone who - with good intentions but lacking skill and experience - screws up the design...

There can't be any doubt that there are those whose actually intention is to force you to follow their preferred path through any given process and prevent people from working in any other way.. They sometimes deliberately work to hide the data structure - or to prevent us from performing free searches.

These people want to curate our entire experience - it's like being forced to follow the preferred path through IKEA without skipping sections or going directly to the department you came for!

Judge denies HP's plea to throw out all-in-one printer lockdown lawsuit

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: "an HP support agent told a user"

For your limited colour printing needs, go to Tesco..

For your limited color printing needs, go to Walmart (probably).

Germans beat Tesla to autonomous L3 driving in the Golden State

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Tesla in the middle of the pack on sept driving

So why is half the article, supposedly about Mercedes, actually knocking copy on Tesla?

If Tesla of in the middle, who else is at the top with Mercedes? When do we think the next car will make level 3 and whose will it be?

And if we must talk about Tesla, is their "Full Self Driving“ short on a particular feature, if so what? Or is it that Tesla aren't keen on the admin process of getting the system certified?

And what's the position with a car that's been verified getting over the air updates that might degrade the conformance - does each update get re-checked?

There are quite a few questions not answered here.

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch flown to US for HPE fraud trial

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: The one-way extradition treaty

And yet Harold Wilson refused, on our behalf, to join in the Vietnam War.

So when it came to what must surely have been the biggest call of all, he got it right.

Hey Apple, what good is a status page if you only update it after the outage?

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: The answer is obvious

Perhaps Down-detector should be given some statutory status if none of the companies maintain pages for themselves.

America ain't exactly outlawing gas cars but it's steering hard into EVs

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Distances

Bjørn Nyland on YouTube has now tested approximately a dozen cars that will cover 1,000km with less than an hour of charging time en route. That's about 600 miles.

His reference test with a petrol car was really quite tricky as stopping for less than an hour in the nine hours it takes is not advisable, safe or sensible.

Take a 14-mile trip on an autonomous Scottish bus starting next month

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Half a dozen reasons on one hand..

Using all six fingers?

Boeing's first-ever crewed mission in Starliner ISS spacecraft delayed to late July

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Boeing to be caught with no pants.. Again.

I think it's actually not quite the same this time.. With the foul up over the 737 MAX still in people's memory, I think they've realised that this time..

It's existential.

They would not be able to shrug off these two lives in the blinding glare of worldwide live publicity as they have all the others.

If this rocket fails Boeing cannot survive in their current form. In particular I think that the whole would be split and anything identifiable as the "space division" would be folded. This in turn would shrink the whole company and leave them very much less able to fund the CEO merrigoround and disguise cross-subsidies.

With this in mind, the rocket may never launch.

They will be employing Chat-GPT plus a public relations army to come up with the next 3 month excuse.. And the next..

Atlassian CEO's bonkers scheme to pipe electricity from Australia to Singapore collapses

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

It'll be built in the end.

The battery, tbh, does sound a bit on the challenging side. 150MW - the size of the one built previously - is a lot less than 3GW. But there are stacks of interconnects working all over Europe which are very useful without the need for batteries.

I wonder if Bevan Slattery might have been somewhat biased against the project.

Nice smart device – how long does it get software updates?

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Right to repair Windows

If they had had to maintain updates for XP or release its code publicly, then they would have continued to update it.

Vista would never have seen the light of day.

And that would have been better all round.

Rate of disruptive tech and science discoveries has slowed over the decades, claims study

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

What about the methodology?

I do like the premise that innovation may have slowed. I think I would agree that it might have.

But how do you measure "disruptive"? If you have to compare the disruptive impact of an iPhone, a flush toilet, a steam engine, a pneumatic tyre, Word for Windows and a pushbike... How do you even start?

Google datacenters use 'a quarter of all water' in one US city

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: WTF is a liter?

1.2 million tonnes.


So brief and comprehensible.

The Register really needs a code of conduct on units. Press releases tend to units that sound big (for the output of a fission experiment) or American like the acre foot when it comes to really big amounts of water (for instance behind the Hoover Dam.)

Gallons are also used when "they" want to make the number sound big - and American.

The consumption of the current plant under discussion is (suspiciously) very close to 1,000 acre feet.

US postal service electrifyies its next-gen delivery fleet

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: 30K new gas powered vehicles

It's not exactly like they're rushing things though is it? 66,000 out of 220,000 electric by 2028. That means they are planning to reach 30% in six years.

Think where electric cars are six years ago by comparison with today.

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.