* Posts by Chris Croughton

9 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Jul 2007

Analysts warn of US broadband meltdown

Chris Croughton

Death of the Internet, Film at 11

Haven't we heard this song before? Many times in the last 15 or so years? Although they do have a point, people are demanding more and more bandwidth and this will only get worse with HDTV downloads.

BT aren't worried, of course, because with their systems few people can even get anywhere near the advertised 8Mb, so there is a built-in limit. And with ISPs limiting downloads to an hour or less per month at full speed there won't be much more data transferred than there is at present.

3,000 chickens paralyse central Scotland

Chris Croughton


... a pretty poultry excuse for a story.

Facebook's marketing goldmine may be crock of shite

Chris Croughton

Re: Silver Surfers...

They would have difficulty working out my age from that of my friends (especially from what LJ terms 'friends'). I'm almost 52, and the median age of my friends is around 32 (the mean is slightly lower). I do wonder why some of them bother, though, one in particular wants to ensure that you are "over 18" but asks for full date of birth to 'verify' that (why they think that under 18's lie less about their DoB than with a simple "I am over 18" checkbox I don't know).

Euro consumers favour plasma over LCD

Chris Croughton

Important attributes

They missed out two attributes which I consider key -- power usage and weight. On both of those LCD scores very highly over plasma (and over CRT) and they were major reasons for me buying a LCD TV. Oh, price as well, plasma screens seem to be still more expensive than LCD ones. But then I'm not in the market for 40" or 50" screens, a 26" widescreen one (equivalent in height to a 21" CRT TV) is perfectly adequate as far as I'm concerned.

Mars rovers roving again, for now

Chris Croughton

@Robert Hill

You obviously also don't know about units. A Watt is a unit of power, equal to one Joule per second, talking about "watts/hour" is meaningless (a rate of increase or decease of power?). Similarly, a "watt-hour" is the energy of one watt (power) exerted over the period of an hour, and is equivalent to 3600 joules.

The correct unit for the power is the watt. Saying that the rover is getting 300W of power (at best/typical orientation) would make sense. Or saying that it gets a total energy of 300W-Hr over the period of a (Martian) day would make sense.

Shattered teens subsisting on 'junk sleep'

Chris Croughton


I too used to read books under the bedclothes until late at night. I still do read books until late at night (although at 50 I no longer need to hide under the bedclothes to do so!). And then later when I had a (valve) radio in my room I used to stay awake until closedown (remember when radio stations used to close down at night?) and wake up at 6am when the station came back on. I doubt I ever had 8 hours sleep at night as a teenager except when I was ill. I doubt that there is any noticable difference in teenage sleep patterns in the last 50 years...

Sun slots transactional memory into Rock

Chris Croughton

Rolling back the soup

Thank you for that image...

Orange launches new assault on English language

Chris Croughton

Sigmund Freud?

I rather doubt that Sigmund Freud was commenting on a Nissan Micra, he died rather a long time before it was invented. Possibly Clement Freud...

The cold, cold heart of Web 2.0

Chris Croughton

Not original

It isn't an original idea, that all action is ultimately 'selfish'. Writers such as Ayn Rand and Richard Dawson put forward that idea decades ago. However, the summary of the philosophy has important parts missing:

"All human action can be seen as ultimately derived from the maximisation of satisfaction and the minimisation of discomfort, as perceived by the individual at the time".

Note that this does not rule out 'altruism', because 'altruistic' behaviour can be seen in terms of non-material rewards an avoidance of discomfort. A common reply to a question of why a person did something 'altruistic' for instance is "It makes me feel good". Another is "I would feel guilty if I didn't do it." Religious people often express it as an expected reward or punishment in the afterlife.

The critical thing to evaluating people's behaviour using an 'economic' model, however, is finding out what 'weight' the individuals place on each action, and that is where such models break down because rarely does even the individual concerned know exactly what they are evaluating. The 'weights' can also change from moment to moment, and often do not reflect reality. People can and often do go for an immediate pleasure over a long-term good, where at another time they may think more rationally about the long-term effects and forego the immediate satisfaction. And of course something I find satisfying or painful may have the opposite reaction for someone else.