* Posts by Funkster

31 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Aug 2007

Court rejects Tesla’s latest libel spat with Top Gear


Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh yes, that's the car for me!

In which case they saw your ex-colleague coming. Replacement ECU? Just exactly how did that get damaged by a bit of air in the fuel line?

Petrol sports cars are more likely to have a dedicated swirl pot to help get bubbles out before they get to the fuel rail, but they will generally purge themselves. Returnless fuel rails are tricky, the only way out for the air is through the injectors... but you can always bleed the air off by removing a pipe.

Diesels and direct-injection petrol engines are a completely different matter (high-pressure fuel pumps lubricated by fuel, get damaged if no fuel present) but that's not what you're talking about here with your clio.

C- must do better.

Council fined £140k for leaking kids' sensitive info



Alternatively, make the individuals responsible a) go and apologise in person to those affected and b) pay for and sort out any ill-effects caused by the information leak.

Official: phones sting bees


Well, cell density might have something to do with that...

disclaimer: I'm very sceptical about the findings of this "study", but nonetheless...

in built-up areas there are lots and lots of smaller cells because a) there's more buildings to fix them to and b) the buildings prevent signals from going such long distances. This *may* mean that the highest signal strength seen is actually lower than the peak signal strength if you're near-ish to a large, high-power mast out in open countryside.

I have no valid data to back this up of course, it's just a theory...

Lasers set to replace spark plugs in car engines


Centre 2D != centre 3D

Although the plug is on the central axis of the cylinder in a 4-valve engine, it is at the very boundary of the fuel/air charge. This means the flame front can only propagate out in a hemisphere. If you can get the ignition point into the very centre of the charge (or better yet, two points within the charge with good spacing) then you get a bigger flame front and get a quicker overall controlled burn with less chance of detonation.

This really will make quite a big difference especially on DI engines using stratified charge - enough to compete with diseasel even on a volume-of-fuel-per-mile basis. Add the much nicer exhaust emissions of delicious petrol into the equation and this is a winner!

Wonder if I can retrofit this to a morris minor...

Artificial leaf produces electricity through photosynthesis


Typical power-x-for-y-time meaningless statement...

Wow, it'll power something with an unstated power requirement for a whole day, after being exposed to sunlight for an unstated amount of time. Way to go, scientists!

Still, having read the linked article their claim of 10x the efficiency of actual leaves is interesting...

Diesels greener than electric cars, says Swiss gov report


Health-affecting diesel engine emissions

I will be thrilled to see diesels replaced with electric propulsion, even if it's at a small cost of extra CO2, because it will get rid of the giant clouds of Stinking Black Death that come out the back of every diesel that's ever been made, yes including the ones with HC cats and particulate filters. The latter two features just make the Stinking Death less visible, they don't make it magically healthy. All articles mentioning diesels as a solution to anything should really touch on this!

Small, turbocharged petrol engines driving generators and a reasonable-sized (say 30 mile range) battery pack would be the best solution possible right now in terms of overall benefit to everyone - good economy and relatively healthy tailpipe emissions.

DfT denies deliberately misleading on speed cam stats


Anti-tailgaiting cameras?

Sounds good to me, just disable the speed trigger and I wouldn't mind those at all.

Cutbacks strip speed cameras from Blighty's roads


The thing is...

... that I suspect it would probably be quite straightforward to create any of these things, but the question would be how you would enforce it.

Think we can make a fog-lights-on-when-it's-not-foggy camera also? :o)

Tech resource woes won't be solved with Afghan minerals

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Good article, more like this please. I would really like a map showing where the raw materials come from these days, and what routes they take before being turned into refined materials, and then finished goods. Any chance you could sketch that up before teatime? :o)


PARIS pops down to QinetiQ


Well, duh...

Pretty obvious failure of the ground-glass syringe... you thought it would form a perfect seal?

You need a rubber diaphragm as the seal and something lubricated as the slide, so there's very little stiction. Alternatively you *may* get away with wetting the ground-glass surfaces with a gloopy but low-vapour-pressure oil.

Soot, hydrofluorocarbs 'low-hanging fruit' to fight warming


Only badly-adjusted diesels? Don't think so...

As far as I can tell, brand new diesels from prestigious manufacturers are still allowed to belch out huge clouds of black whenever they feel like it. The sooner emissions laws for diesels are tightened to match those of petrol engines, the better it will be for everyone (diesel exhaust is seriously toxic compared to petrol, and they're proliferating...).

Remember kids, Diesel Kills!

Pink Floyd remastered for Nintendo Entertainment System


For those of you behind a proxy that blocks youtube...

It's downloadable from Brad's website:


Can't wait to hear this!

Mutated genetic supertrout developed in lab


Trout are very valuable, and immensely powerful.

Keep away from the trout.

LibDems back copyright takedowns


Can anyone tell me

who I should be writing to to complain about this? Can I write to this Lord directly and expect some response or would I be wasting my time?

Bunch of crooks they are.

BBC to cull radio stations, halve websites in painful biz review


Sports cap a good idea, should be lower!

The really expensive exclusive sports events stand a good chance of being televised without the beeb's help - whereas the high quality documentaries, investigative journalism and other slightly-higher-brow-than-ITV programming likely wouldn't.

I just can't understand why they keep paying for Two Pints.

F1 waves goodbye to KERS

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More lazy journo-science...

"KERS enables F1 cars to store 60kW (80bhp) of power while powering through races, with the energy then released over 6.7 seconds per lap."

FFS... you store energy, then release it at a particular rate to give power.

So, "KERS enables F1 cars to store energy recovered during braking, with the energy then released upon driver demand at 60KW (80hp) for up to 6.7 seconds per lap" would be nearer the mark.

C-, must try harder and learn what units are.

Ireland scraps e-voting in favour of 'stupid old pencils'

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Just because it cost a lot

doesn't mean it's worth spending more on.

Scrapping the system sounds like a pretty sensible move to me.

NASA: Clean-air regs, not CO2, are melting the ice cap


Down with diesels

All you folk who drive around in Diesels thinking you're saving the planet, take note - the soot that comes out the back when you thoughtlessly give it a bootful, or drive around even though the engine warning light is on, is much more harmful than the small amount of extra CO2 released by an equivalent, clean-exhaused petrol car.

Down with Diesels!

Google launches free (legal) music search in China

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Somewhat unfair...

... that China gets their music for free just because they were doing such a good job of pirating it, whereas we get chased down by ISPs and the IFPI if we use P2P.

I would start looking for shell accounts hosted in china, but tbh I doubt that there's anything available via this new service that I'm interested in hearing. Down with the big four!

Web scam hoodwinks web founding father


It definitely

just goes to show that you can't be too careful.

Chinese crackers create counterfeit iTunes racket

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Gotta love it when a corporate megalith like Apple messes something up this badly, they deserve to lose the money if they can't invent a secure payment system.

Presumably they will still pay the artists their pitifully small cut when someone uses fake credit to buy an album?

Glad I don't have iChewns anywhere near any of my computers, there's probably a gift code that can make it download malware... :o)

Barclays heralds new wave of wallet-waving

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Once again Barclays try to force a badly implemented change on their account holders...

Barclays don't care what their customers think, they just come up with some half-ar*ed idea and then force it onto account holders whether they like it or not.

They're a very very silly bank.

Last call for UK liberties


Birmingham exists too!

Although organised later than the other satellite events, there was a small gathering in Birmingham too.

I can only hope that the other parties' commitment to repealing some of the acts from the last 12 years actually comes to something - alas, they're all a bunch of crooks at the end of the day so I'm not holding my breath.

BTW, if you haven't written to your MP refusing consent over Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice bill, do it NOW! Yes, right now, not after you check your email. KTHXBAI.

Logic3 Valve80 thermionic iPod dock and speaker set

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Appears to only have a valve pre-amp stage...

As far as I can tell from looking at the pictures here, it only has valves in its pre-amp stage, not its output stage. As most of the warmth and colour of tone in valve amps comes from running the output stage into saturation, this product will probably lack any serious advantage over completely solid-state amps.

For a 40WPC stereo valve amp, expect THREE large transformers, two pairs of (4" high) EL34 or similar output tubes, and probably three dual-triodes to act as line-level pre-amp and phase splitters. And, of course, for it to cost rather more than £250 :)

Google Earthlings fly to Mars


Can't download it from behind an authenticated proxy...

I'm quite keen to try the new GE, but for some unexplained reason you can now only get it via their updater tool, which doesn't support authenticated proxies.

WTF? I can only imagine the number of people in offices or universities currently swearing at Google and going and downloading the Microsoft jobbie instead.

Bunch of idiots.

Geeks re-invent breakfast


Topside heating element obviously fake

I suspect that the connector is actually attached to a separate heating element underneath, because unless they have developed a way to produce plated through-holes in crockery, there is no connection betwixt power jack and silk screen.

Looks quite nice though :o)

Romanian and Turkish scientists turn circuit boards into oil

Dead Vulture

A graphical illustration of this process in action


Google encourages 10 teams to rocket to the moon

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@Let's be realistic

There's no point at all running a competition to put up a sputnik-alike, as there are already a lot of small companies (including several British ones) building and selling commercially viable orbital space vehicles. Surrey Small Satellites springs to mind, and they produce satellites that do things a lot more useful than just saying "Ping!" every so often.

The first X-prize was great because it put not a thing, but a HUMAN BEAN in space without the backing of the military. Also the winning craft was certainly not a hack - it appeared to be a very neat piece of engineering with some great innovations (Rubber and nitrous oxide throttlable solid-fuel rocket engine? Inspired!).

Thumbs up for the new competition by Why oh Why oh Why (Dear Points of View...) did they have to call it Moon 2.0?

Thumbs up icon to go with the truly awful photo.

UK.gov plans more active-traffic motorway ANPR cams

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More revenue collection from bogus 'congestion'

Living quite close to the ANPR-equipped stretch of the M42, I have often noticed low speed limits even when the road is almost totally clear - at night, with no roadworks or accidents, and mostly only one lane being used. I have also seen speed limits being changed and turned on and off as I watched them, without the signs on either side following suit.

It's pretty clear that they are just trying to trick drivers into breaking 'laws' by confusing them, on a road where it would be perfectly safe to continue at the legal limit. I've heard tell that this happens on the M25 also, but I long ago gave up driving around that particular ring road.

Collection of number plate movement also sucks - do they really think that anyone that they *really* want to track will have their own plates on? Or even plates at all for that matter - with the total lack of real traffic police on the roads (evidenced by how many vehicles have one or more lights out) they probably won't get spotted at all.


Amazon opens DRM-free music store


"Fingerprints" applied to audio?

Is this one of those supposedly inaudible watermark jobs, that are actually audible? Bitrate cranked up to 256k just so they can encode their own layer of noise more accurately?

If it's just a hash in the ID3 tags it's all good, but if it's in the audio I'll be steering clear.

China to map 'every inch' of the moon


Long-term solution?

Sounds very much like there will be the same problems as we're currently facing with oil - at some point in the distant future, the easily-mined Helium-3 will have been used up by an increasingly power-hungry collection of 'developed' nations, and energy prices will take another hike skyward.

Only we'd be leaching all this material from the Moon, so that's okay...