* Posts by My other car is also a Trabant.

74 posts • joined 15 Jun 2020

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Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

As the newest recruit to the electronic engineering section of a large R&D department, I was warned that one of my jobs would be fixing plugs on things for people.

This was because after a hard fought battle the EETPU had conceded that the electronic engineers were allowed to fit 13A plugs, whereas trying to get an electrician out to do the job could take weeks - not good if you had an experiment to run.

I really became a hero when I demonstrated how a small 3-phase motor could be converted to run with a capacitor, because of course only the electricians were allowed to connect up 440V - though usually you eventually got an apprentice sent out to do the job who had no idea what he was doing and had to be "helped".

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Mondarin?

It is a type of small orange which is covered in simple geometric patterns.

Microsoft takes tweaking tongs to Windows 10's Start Menu once again

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Clearly I've missed something but

Hutber's Law of Economics: Improvement causes deterioration.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Clearly I've missed something but

For clarification, which is the crime and which the thriller here? The pure detection of finding out where everything is these days or the excitement as you try to get things to work?

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: How did they learn he was Dalit?

Skin colour is important, partly thanks to the British. When you look at the marriage ads in Indian papers you will see terms like "wheat coloured skin" along with the usual MBAs and MDs.

Back in the early 1980s I visited a company in India which was a joint venture with a British company. The local MD was from a low caste background, promoted on merit. The other managers were high caste. You could almost hear the atmosphere crackling at lunch when he would ask us foreign visitors if we cared for roast chicken while the others had to sit there and take the insult to their caste. I didn't blame him in the slightest.

Boffins baffled as supergiant star just vanishes – either it partially blew itself apart or quietly turned into a black hole

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Meanwhile closer to Earth...

Watching the magnetic field loops forming and breaking is worrying enough when you consider how big they are and the energies involved and realise that they are minute on stellar scales.

My other car is also a Trabant.

We need to know if Trurl and Klapaucius were seen in the vicinity a few years back. Perhaps they were re-running the Machine that could do Anything, for lulz.

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: re: where to begin

I did that. The reply at the top was from Reddit in 2006 and said

" I assume the bus would receive a profanity laden email laying out how badly it fucked up"

However, being a little more serious, has LT ever gone away on holiday for a month or two to see how things work in his absence?

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: re: where to begin

It isn't enough, sadly.

I take your point. In-depth documentation should exist, as should sample code. When I retired, I left behind the specifications, documentation and example pseudocode which I estimated would keep the development team going for a good 8 months, surely time to recruit a replacement? I believe I was massively over-optimistic.

But the problem is this. Once upon a time I started programming, working on a machine code program on a 16 bit microprocessor that took up under 2kW. I could comprehend the minimal documentation and understand the entire thing. At the time I could also dismantle and completely refurbish a typical British single or twin motorcycle engine right down to the gearbox. Easy.

Now consider new bug looking at a program doing something extremely complicated in C, with all kinds of hooks and relationships with other things. How do you get your head around it in order to make a start? Working on a tiny bit is all very well, but moving to the next stage is hard because now you have to understand how it fits in and you need to absorb ever more documentation. It's an enormous uphill and unsurprising that people want to be in at the beginning of something where the initial complexity is manageable.

When I look under the bonnet of my simple, normally aspirated car these days, I'm confronted with complex hardware I never had to worry about before - catalytic converter, EGR, the brake system being a large complicated valve block with connections to the computer, fuel vapour recovery, another computer and hydraulic system connected to the gearbox. It's obvious why it takes so many people to design and engine when once upon a time Ernest Turner or Joe Craig would nip in the design office after a liquid lunch and knock out a crankshaft or cylinder head.

tl;dr the problem is not the documentation. It is (as Alan Turing identified in the early 1950s before his tragic death) the proper structuring of the bureaucracy that manages everything. The question has to be whether Torvalds has created a self sustaining and managing bureaucratic framework to hold the whole thing together.

Someone must be bricking it: UK govt website for first-time home buyers snapped up for £40,000 after left to expire

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: How is this STILL a thing!?

Sadly, Malcolm Tucker was a parody but was infinitely more competent than today's actual Malcolm Tucker. Would Tucker have gone on a trip to Barnard Castle? He might have got one of his enemies to do it and then leaked to the Press, he'd never have done it himself. Competent evil versus chaotic malice.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: How is this STILL a thing!?

You get enough reminders. Only utter incompetence could be the reason. It is no good trying to protect idiots; they get even more careless and then create an even greater idiocy.

White elephants in the mist: Google's upcoming Pixel 4A may ship without Soli motion recognition, per FCC filing

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Why use the phrase "White elephants"

Edgar Allen Poe wants to have a word with you. Something about a law.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Why use the phrase "White elephants"

"White elephant" has nothing to do with colonialism or white supremacy.

It arose from rulers giving gifts of rare white elephants which were of no use other than decoration and were very expensive to feed, more specifically the King of Thailand giving them to unwanted courtiers to let them know that only trouble could be expected from hanging around. It may be an urban myth but it has absolutely no colour-based derogatory meaning.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Telekinesis

That would explain how you can use glass screen protectors.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: "exotic technology"

Probably because the absorption is about 20dB per km. at sea level, which means that between two phones in the same room there is hardly any effect at all.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Battery life

The Pixel 4 has notoriously bad battery life and one wonders if this is why. 60GHz waves to sense hand motion does seem a somewhat over the top use of relatively exotic technology.

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets

My other car is also a Trabant.

I thought that was the "joke" - poisoning grey kangaroos with peach stones.

But who calls it "Prussic acid" these days (note capitalisation unless you're French)? Cyanide.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Squirrel

There used to be quite a lot of people proffering muffins in Kensington Gardens, but a prudent person certainly wouldn't want to eat one. You never knew where it had been.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: It's likely the foxes will be euthanised

We don't "tell ourselves". When your dog has developed inoperable liver cancer and you ask the vet not to bring her round from the sedative, you wish that the medical profession would do the same for you. Still can't sleep that night, but from sadness not guilt.

My other car is also a Trabant.

That's nothing. Some Londoners moved into Chew Valley next door to a pig farm and then complained to the Council about the smell.

The ignorance of city people about country life has been a thing since long before the first student offered a fox what was either a tasty looking finger or, this being Australia, something resembling a snake.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Wombats?

"Wombat" sounds so harmless - like a small, cuddly variety of bat. And then you realise it's an extremely strong animal with a near-bulletproof padded backside that it can use as a weapon, the size of a Labrador,and territorial. And they drop cubic faeces which they use as building bricks for marking territory.

And that's part of the less worrying Australian fauna.

My other car is also a Trabant.

And nothing of value would be lost. Certainly not nutritional value.

My other car is also a Trabant.

According to just about all European folklore, foxes are cunning. Brains baffle brawn, at least part of the time.

Here's a headline we'll run this century, mark our words: Alien invaders' AI found on Mars searching for signs of life

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: So

How do you think the data gathering at CERN works? Because that is exactly how the experiments that found the Higgs deal with the vast quantities of data coming off. At this point it looks as if the would-be Mars explorers are hoping to make use of technology that currently runs in big racks, miniaturised to a practical Rover.

Fintech biz Wirecard folds into insolvency like two pair against a flush. Good luck accessing your chip stack

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: He could hardly be acting alone

Deutsche Bank has also had a few problems, such as bailing out Trump.

Huawei wins approval to plonk £1bn optical comms R&D facility in UK's leafy Cambridgeshire

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Scott Walker appears to have "the Trump touch" at dealmaking

It's still shining from the usual orifice. Sorry, OCR fail, that word isn't quite "shining".

US Department of Defense releases list of firms allegedly linked to the Chinese Army. Surprise surprise, Huawei makes an appearance

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: In China

That straw man is not what I wrote.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: In China

Only the British could be so obsessed with what happened more than half a century ago. I fear that in future we will be required to save our bread ration in order to have something to eat on the massive VG (Victory over Germany) celebrations at which attendance will be compulsory, while Rees-Mogg takes the crawl past of the tenants and serfs in full Victorian gear.

Mao and the Cultural Revolution were the after effects of WW2. They are not relevant to a discussion of the US attempt to stay on top of the world in 2020.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: The Reg might note however

China has its own armaments industry, its own silicon fabrication, steel industry, you name it. Saudi has a Western-supported kakistocracy sitting on a pool of dollars and oil. No dollar, no arms, soon be a war zone.

I do think, though, that perhaps Apple is the only very large US corporation that doesn't have links to the US military, so maybe the US does have a point. In this one case.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: nobody regards BAE Systems as an extension of Westminster

They learnt that at Public School. Something the staff have to watch out for.

Here's a headline we never thought we'd write 20 years ago: Microsoft readies antivirus for Linux, Android

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Whatever they do...

Only if it also shoots computers while surrounded by women in bikinis, and then adds on extra Microsofty goodness, it might be.

CSI: Xiaomi. Snappy Redmi Note 9 Pro shows every fingerprint, but at least you get bang for your buck

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: !!Stupid Question Alert!!

Because Xiaomi is careful not to compete with Apple, whereas Huawei dared to compete with Apple, Cisco and Qualcomm.

My other car is also a Trabant.

NFC

The article doesn't mention it but according to GSMArena it has NFC, which is on my (at least) essential list. But no water resistance.

The economics are interesting. An important point re. Apple is that their products work well (battery replacement excepted) for about 4-5 years, which means a £1000 phone costs around £200-250 a year, in simplistic terms. The Xiaomi probably stays up to date for 2 years, or £125 a year. The SE2020 is in no way a competitor, any more than a Mazda MX5 is a competitor for a Dacia Duster. Different market sector.

Now consider that neither the iPhone 11 pro nor the Xiaomi have 5G, which means that in reality the iPhone may be a paperweight in 2-3 years, but with the Xiaomi you don't care.

So unless you really need or want certain performance aspects which the average buyer won't notice, even on a 2 year replacement cycle the Xiaomi is under half the real cost of the Apple (or Samsung) competition. It's quite a high price to pay for helping keep the US economy afloat.

China's internet watchdog freezes 10 too-trashy online video services before they undermine socialism

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: on the other hand..

Now I've read that I've lost any respect I ever had for Vice. How many other people have they exploited like that despite the risk of serious consequences to them?

Belief in 5G conspiracy theories goes hand-in-hand with small explosions of rage, paranoia and violence, researchers claim

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Something else to consider.

Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell-Burnell (too many PNQ to list) has described how she experienced imposter syndrome at Cambridge.

(Mind you, so did I, and it was only later that I discovered I was quite right to do so. I did suffer Dunning-Kruger syndrome.)

Dunning-Kruger syndrome can I think be summarised as people who don't know a great deal about anything and so think every subject is easy. Dominic Cummings and a number of barristers spring to mind - mug up a brief for a week or two and think you're an expert in some field. People who know a great deal about something tend to assume that related subjects are just as difficult.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: We have our own US-based All-American 5G Conspiracy Theory!

Philby maintained that he actually spied on the US (to get the secrets of the hydrogen bomb which the US was supposed to, but did not, share with the UK) and shared the results with the UK and the USSR. He also claimed that the detonation of the Tsar Bomba might have dissuaded the US from a first strike attack on the USSR.

Make of that what you will, spies are hardly the most reliable people, but I really don't think many of them would work for ISIS.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Or to put it another way

A Media Studies graduate who paid attention in class is more likely to write a paper on how social media facilitates conspiracy theorists than believe in those theories. I actually think we do need media studies graduates, but they should be working for the ICO and CPS.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Or to put it another way

Or, and I am not being snarky, arts graduates of the kind who are feeling increasingly uncomfortable about understanding how the modern world actually works. I know several of them.

Fujitsu, Japan strong-Arm their way to the top with world's fastest-known super: 415-PFLOPS Fugaku

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Finally....

"I have developed a plan for a supercomputer with millions of central processing units but this margin is too small to contain it."

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

My other car is also a Trabant.

Given the location of CERN, I wonder how big a pumped storage reservoir you could get for €20 billion?

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Meh

Jesus remarked "You will always have poor people." It's not known whether this was a comment on the unwillingness of the rich to spread it around, or a profound economic and psychological insight.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: A hundred TeV here, a hundred TeV there...

I remember an article in Scientific American point out that even if we get to 100TeV, there is then a gap of orders of magnitudes between that and the kinds of energy sloshing around the bigger astronomical events. There are things happening out there which create particles with energies measured in Joules.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Old Moore's law?

You're an optimist.

Not only would the CEO of Palaeocapita not be sacrificed (a few slaves would take her* place) but you could if you had access to enough DNA samples probably trace her lineage up to Baroness Hardthing of TalkTalk, A B de P Johnson and indeed most of the C-suites of large companies.

*I suggest female only because mitochondrial DNA tracing would be more reliable than general DNA.**

**I do know the flaw in the argument.

Huawei going to predict the future? Nope, say company leaders when asked about Joe Biden winning US election

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Biden hardly gets a mention here in the UK

It saddens me that unlike two of my kids, my grandchildren will never get to experience Erasmus.

Let's all stay insular and xenophobic, shall we? Because that's how you recover from economic catastrophe. Just as North Korea.

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Biden hardly gets a mention here in the UK

A Democrat of my acquaintance who worked in a strongly Republican company spent a lot of time talking up Perot as more Republican than Bush, because every vote for Perot was a vote for Clinton.

Microsoft emits a colourful Windows Terminal preview

My other car is also a Trabant.

Sounds good.

If I had anything left that runs Windows I'd certainly try it out.

Check out the night sky in all its X-ray glory: Everything from hot gases to supernovas and massive black holes

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: That is awesome

Oh, it is. Talk about social distancing, you can go for light years without meeting anybody.

The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist

My other car is also a Trabant.

Re: Thoroughly deserved

You need to read up on the SA, the Brown Shirts. I never cease to be amazed by the ignorance of right wingers about the history of their own political movements.

The SA were pretty thuggish, no denying that. But unfortunately for Hitler, they actually believed the "Socialist" bit in NSDAP.

When Hitler came to power, having agreed with the Prussians in charge of the Army to drop the socialist nonsense, he promptly organised the murder of all the SA leaders by the SS. From that point on his régime was full on Fascist but with German characteristics - i.e. organised murderous suppression of dissent and independent thinking.

Your nick is extremely appropriate, the reality in your head is contradicted by actual historians and reporters on both sides of the Atlantic.

Xiaomi's Poco F2 Pro flagship lands in the UK with considerably gentler price tag

My other car is also a Trabant.

Margins

If the component cost is really 45% of the selling price, those are very tight margins indeed. Add on assembly cost, R&D, logistics and perhaps we're up to 60-65%, and out of the remaining 35-40% the manufacturer has to finance the HQ and its staff, other overhead, margin for distributors and end sellers, some profit, a bone for shareholders, cocaine and hookers.

I'd be interested to know what that 45% really represents. Is it actual BOM only?

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