* Posts by Red Ted

331 posts • joined 10 Mar 2017

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Emissions-slashing hybrid trains to hit tracks in Europe

Red Ted

Re: Where will they get all that green H?

Aside from the handling and storage problems associated with Hydrogen there is this the issue that you are still hauling around a power plant with each train.

Almost all modern trains have electric motors driving the wheels, it's just a matter of where that electricity comes from.

In a diesel or hydrogen train you have to carry around the generator and the fuel which increases the weight and so reduces efficiency.

If you have an electrified railway then you don't need this extra weight, so your trains are lighter and more efficient.

With the added bonus that as you de-carbonise you electricity generation system, you decarbonise your trains without having to change them.

'Last man standing in the floppy disk business' reckons his company has 4 years left

Red Ted
Go

Lots of lab equipment

The HP Network Analyser I use has a floppy drive in it and it's the easiest way to get the data off. Whilst it's a few years old now, it's in calibration and very reliable.

Chinese researchers make car glide 35mm above ground in maglev test

Red Ted
Go

For a cheaper version, replace the maglev with steel wheels on a smooth steel rail, one on each side of the vehicle.

Indeed, with the advantage that you then maintain compatibility with the existing rail infrastructure, so you can then run services quickly on the high speed line and slower on the older lines as direct services, rather than forcing people to change trains.

Just for the record the fastest conventional train is a test train on the then new LGV Est at 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph).

BOFH: Selling the boss on a crypto startup

Red Ted
Go

Ah, so "Deus ex machina" is the ghost of Clippy? That does explain a lot.

I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did

Red Ted
Joke

I bought all these Betamax titles and now I'm stuffed

For that matter, what about all the LaserDisks titles I have here...?

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds

Red Ted
WTF?

Re: Planets are different outside the Meta-verse:

Zuck is welcome to move to move to another planet (and stay there), where he can specify any time system he likes.

A character catastrophe for a joker working his last day

Red Ted
Go

Re: Nothing so severe

I know of a railway station announcer who on trying to announce the first train of the day had someone peer round the door to point out that they hadn't turned the amplifier on.

So as they announced the second train of the day and the same person appeared in the office doorway, they assumed the worst and said something along the lines of:

"I haven't turned this f***ing thing on again have I?"

Except of course, they had!

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything

Red Ted
FAIL

Re: Years ago....

Thank you for pointing that out.

Whilst healthcare being free at point of use is something that civilised counties aspire to, having a high quality map is not.

Red Ted
Go

Re: Years ago....

In the OS defence, they do spend quite a lot of effort keeping them up to date. It's not as if we're still having to use the first edition from 1801.

FYI, Bing maps has an OS overlay in it of the 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 current editions.

Also, for those who like to peruse older maps, the National Library of Scotland have most OS maps up to the early 1970's in most scales. The 25inch to the mile maps are a thing of beauty.

Is Microsoft going back to the future on release cadences?

Red Ted

The dread word "agile"

That can mean starting a large project without an end date; ie you have to recognise you may have to spend some budget to determin if a project is viable, or there are a load of gotcha's that you didn't forsee on the way.

The issue for some parts of the organisation is that if you abandon it after six months then they see it as you having wasted that six months. Had they had their way and spent the six months writing the requirements for you to follow (even if they turn out to be impossible) then that money wouldn't have been wasted.

After 40 years in tech, I see every innovation contains its dark opposite

Red Ted
FAIL

Re: Tie me down

Hmm, doesn't seem to work for my boss who always wears a tie and is never short of "clever ideas"!

Soviet-era tech could change the geothermal industry

Red Ted
Go

Re: Could this be the energy source that 'solves' energy for humanity??

The Reykjavik District heating pipes the hot water about 30km from the springs to the city.

One place I stayed in Iceland had a "total loss" heating system. The hot water came out of a local spring, was passed through the house radiators and then ran back out to the drain!

Liftoff at last for South Korean space program

Red Ted
FAIL

Space Launch System

"The flight puts South Korea in a select group of nations that have demonstrated the capability to build and launch domestically designed and built orbital-class rockets."

Ah yes, the select group that the UK joined in 1971 and then resigned from!

UK government still trying to get Arm to IPO in London

Red Ted
Go

Re: Not going to happen

fabbing in femtoinches

I think you'll find it's actaully AttoFurlongs (per fortnight if you are measuring hole migration speeds).

No more fossil fuel or nukes? In the future we will generate power with magic dust

Red Ted
Mushroom

According to Gridwatch France. the French nuclear power stations are generating about 30GW of power (about 60% of the daytime and 75% of the nighttime requirement).

UK police to spend tens of millions on legacy comms network kit

Red Ted
Go

Geographic coverage

One of the requirements for the ESN network is to have a 95% georgraphic coverage, which results in EE (for it is they who are providing the network) having to build several hundred more base station in rural parts of the country.

Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes

Red Ted
Joke

Re: Coolings going to be a major problem.

And why do they hum?

Because they don’t know the words!

Sorry, I’ll get my coat…

Voyager 1 space probe producing ‘anomalous telemetry data’

Red Ted
Go

Re: So Strong

Looking at the DSN Status Page, currently Canberra is listening to Voyager 2. It reports an RSSI of -156dBm and given that Voyager 2 transmits at 23W (+43dbm) that gives a link budget of 199dB, which is quite impressive.

Confirmation dialog Groundhog Day: I click OK and it keeps coming back

Red Ted
Mushroom

Re: They announce a new Number Two

Does the old one leave in a rocket capsule?

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout

Red Ted
Mushroom

Re: Height Adjustable Desks and short cables

Very recently, I know of someone raising their adjustable desk and as it rose past the wall socket with a PSU plugged in to it, it ripped the socket out of the wall!

Red Ted

Re: Full names please.......

Twenty years ago there was a senior member of staff (so they had their own office with their name on the door) at Kings Lyn hospital by the name of "Cherry Pye".

Apparently that was her married name too!

Plans for Dutch datacenter to warm thousands of homes

Red Ted
Happy

Using waste heat

The British Sugar plant at Wissington in Norfolk uses its waste heat to warm green houses.

Originally they grew tomatoes, but these days apparently they grow cannabis!

Buying a USB adapter: Pennies. Knowing where to stick it: Priceless

Red Ted
Go

Re: Seems ok

A variation on the old story of the maintenance man being called in after retirement to fix a machine. He walk up to the machine and hits it in just the right place. The machine runs just fine after that. Later he submits an invoice:

Hitting the machine: $1

Knowing where to hit the machine: $999

Electric Vehicle DC charging tripped by a wireless hack

Red Ted
FAIL

Cancelling Charging

My experience is that you don't need to hack anything to make a charge abort early, as charging points seem to do it all by themselves!

The likes of Zap-Map are full of review comments about charging stopping early.

C: Everyone's favourite programming language isn't a programming language

Red Ted
Go

Re: Bad definition

I realised a few years ago that the work I do in C on embedded systems is much more like "engineering" rather than "computer science".

In the same way that the tools in an workshop will be familiar to an engineer of thirty years go, the tools I use have barely changed in the last couple of decades. Sure, the IDEs and debug interfaces have improved in that time, just as there have been improvements to lathes and milling machines in the same time.

Red Ted
Mushroom

I've given you an upvote for humour, but the real issue was of regression testing and input sanitisation.

Ariane 5 reused a system from Ariane 4, but a parameter that it measured was greater on the new bigger/faster/etc. rocket, so when it type converted a value before sending it to another system it eventually overflowed and generated an error message instead. The receiving system tried to parse the error message as if it was the correct output and came up with a random number, which was then fed in to the flight control parameters and it all went horribly wrong!

Are we springing into a Y2K-class nightmare?

Red Ted
FAIL

Re: USA change its date format ...

We inherited all that crap from the British. Damn them!

But then you don’t use it all. One of the points of the imperial system is that there are always nice numbers to work with and if they start getting too large or small you move up or down to the next unit. So for weight you have ounces, pounds, stone, hundred weight and tons.

So why when you ask the weight of the Saturn V rocket, do you always get an answer in pounds?!

We have redundancy, we have batteries, what could possibly go wrong?

Red Ted
Facepalm

Cinema Generator

I know of a cinema in Reading about 20 years ago that had exactly the same problem.

Eighteen months after the site had opened they get their first big power cut. The cinema goes dark, then the generators start up, the lights come back on and the feature film continues. Ten minutes later the lights go out again and stay out. Site services had been running the generator for a few mins every week for that eighteen months, but never replaced the diesel they had been using up!

New Windows 11 build boasts inbox updates and UI tweaks

Red Ted
FAIL

Re: tabs

Also the insistence of Windows 11 to have the task bar across the bottom of the screen!

Reg reader rages over Virgin Media's email password policy

Red Ted
FAIL

"...deciding to prevent pasting passwords into form fields."

A frustrating variation on this I came across recently was the site that would allow pasting in to the login form, but not in to the password change form!

Co-inventor of Ethernet David Boggs dies aged 71

Red Ted

Re: ..without using his network tech

"CANbus (and, I assume, derivatives) is like that. There's even a specific ACK bit at the end of the frame where ALL receivers on the same bus need to verify they received it, and if anyone didn't (only takes one) then the whole frame gets resent."

No, it's the other way around. The ACK bit in the CAN frame means that at least one other device on the network has received the message without CRC errors. See here for example.

CAN is different to Ethernet in that there is no TO filed in the protocol. You just broadcast data from an address and anything that wants to know that data listens for messages from that address. For example one CAN node will measure engine speed and broadcast that on a particular address and so both the rev counter and the gearbox controller listen for that particular message. The engine speed measurement doesn't need to be sent to both the rev counter and the gearbox.

Trio of Rust Core Team members take their leave

Red Ted
Go

Re: Development de-platformed

The corporate world was a very different place almost 50 years ago.

It almost sounds like the Hermann Hauser comment about setting up the Acorn RISC project. "I gave them the things Intel could never give them, no resources, no time and no money."

Refresh? No, F5 says supply of networking chips is still awful, getting worse...

Red Ted
Stop

Supply chain woes

It's just awful out there.

Every component seems to be going to stupidly long lead times. 52weeks seems to be the norm and I've seen some of 90weeks!

It's not just the complicated silicon either, it's random little diodes, FETs, etc.

Not looking forward to a greyscale 2022? Then look back to the past in 64 colours

Red Ted
Go

Re: Swapsies

The complete lack of motion in the audience was quite remarkable, as well as they way they kept looking at the camera... "What? Wait.... I think we're on Top of the Pops..."!

Nothing's working, and I've checked everything, so it must be YOUR fault

Red Ted
FAIL

Re: Blue flash

There was one colleague I knew who had the infamous phrase "It'll be all right..." at which point anyone who could hear him would flinch, hide or look up to see what he was just about to break!

Ceefax replica goes TITSUP* as folk pine for simpler times

Red Ted
Go

Re: Rented TV's

That would have been a Band I 405 Line VHF (45MHz to 66MHz) TV, I think it ought to have kept working until the early 80's.

"For those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green..." :-)

It takes more clicks to reject their cookies than accept them, so France fines Facebook and Google over €200m

Red Ted
WTF?

A Google spokesperson said...

"People trust us to respect their right to privacy and keep them safe...."

They what?!

I rather think that most people either A) don't realise how much G invades their privacy or B) regard them as a necessary evil to get stuff done on the great wide interwibble.

Microsoft rang in the new year with a cutesy tweet in C#. Just one problem: The code sucked

Red Ted
Go

There's an XKCD for that!

As if by complete coincidence there is a recent XKCD Cartoon about date formatting!

ASUS recalls motherboards that flame out thanks to backwards capacitors

Red Ted
Mushroom

Re: Reminds me of a place I used to work at

A variation on this was a batch of through hole tantalum capacitors that there labelled with the + ambiguously close to the other pin.

So when you powered the board up for test, there would be a bang and the capacitor body would vaporise. This left just the two legs poking out of the PCB that were surprisingly difficult to find!

Note quite this bad, but the first few times it did make you jump! -->

Low on passengers, low on memory: A bad day on the London Underground

Red Ted
Go

Re: What's the "Undergound"?

It’s the name of the system, so it gets a capital letter at the start.

Also there’s the odd capitalisation thing of the UndergrounD, where the station signs have a capital U at the start and a capital D at the end.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Red Ted
Go

Nice

Very well done to him, but what’s with this habit of putting the code in the header file? It seems to undo all the effort put in to the make and link functionality of the tool chain.

Pop!_OS 21.10: Radical distro shows potential but does not play nicely with others

Red Ted
FAIL

Re: Just Say No

What is it with OS and Applications insisting on putting docks/menus horizontally across the screen. All screens are much wider than they are tall, so put it down one side and then you get more vertical space to work in.

How do you call support when the telephones go TITSUP*?

Red Ted
FAIL

PABX flaws

A colleague at one place I worked in the mid '90s managed to trip and hit their head on the corner of the desk. It wasn't too serious, but being a head wound bled profusely. So someone tried to call for an ambulance, and discovered that the PABX wouldn't let you dial 999, or any variations on that!

Fortunately someone had a mobile so they were summoned that way.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... a coding puzzle and it's a doozy

Red Ted
Go

Re: I challenge you to use a better language...

From the Intercal Introduction:

"The INTERCAL programming language was designed the morning of May 26, 1972 by Donald R. Woods and James M. Lyon, at Princeton University. Exactly when in the morning will become apparent in the course of this manual."

Robo-Shinkansen rolls slowly – for now – across 5km of Japan

Red Ted
FAIL

Re: Up the workers!

All railway staff ought to read LTC Rolt's "Red for Danger".

The phase I have heard is "the railway rule book is written in blood", as you can trace most of the rules back to particular accidents!

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions

Red Ted
Go

Steering Wheel Experience

You'd better have a look at a couple of steering wheels Stirling Moss was holding when he crashed....

I think he experienced those steering wheels quite thoroughly!

In the '80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done

Red Ted
Thumb Up

Backroom Boys

I would also endorse this book.

It covers a wide range of topics. From missile systems, to the profit sharing arrangement for the Concorde, through the setup of the Wellcome Human Genome Project and development of radio propagation models for cellular phone systems.

Another brick in the (kitchen) wall: Users report frozen 1st generation Google Home Hubs

Red Ted
FAIL

...and then you need to buy another.

Yay, more e-waste landfill in the cause of Google's profits.

Pulling down a partition or knocking through a door does not necessarily make for a properly connected workspace

Red Ted
Go

Re: Working on that..

Not really, in my experience, but there becomes a point at which you can delegate.

In the office, I typically can find a more junior member of staff to do it, at home I go for the Victorian approach and send a child!

One click, one goal, one mission: To get a one-touch flush solution

Red Ted
FAIL

Re: Is it for prople who don't wash their hands?

At the motorway services recently I noticed the loo had a touchless flush (to it's credit, it seemed to work as required), but then you hand to use your hand to unlock and open the cubical door!

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