* Posts by Steve

222 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Feb 2007


US lawmakers to de-silence electric cars


"Bicycles have existed for centuries without that being a problem..."

Speak for yourself. I've had many very close misses with pedestrians stepping out in my path when I'm on my bike. I've never had any form of close shave when driving my car.

Some perspective:

As it is, many people don't look when they cross the road. There were 646 pedestrian fatalities in 2007, 74% of those resulting from pedestrian error, most of the error was 'failing to look properly' (RCGB2007). If this is left unchecked, silent cars will make the problem worse.

Microsoft records first ever revenue drop


The world's smallest violin

Can you hear it.... I can't, nor do I care.

Oldsters: If you think you'll lose your memory, you will


Appeal to Authority...

... is a fallacy, but sheeple fall for it every time.

Trust me, I'm an authority on this ;c)

BBC fined £150k over Manuelgate


@ Steven Jones

"Perhaps you ought to put yourself in Andrew Sach's position."

Yeah, I would fire my agent for agreeing to let me appear on their show, or kick myself for not looking into what I was getting myself into.

I mean, come on - this is Ross *and* Brand - WTF did Sachs (or his agent) expect?


BBC are quids in

Fine to the BBC: £150,000

BBC saved by not paying Ross for 3 months: £1,500,000

Not that I care, I don't pay the TV license fee (and I really don't watch TV).

Why the iPhone's megapixelage alone won't matter


@ AC 3rd April 2009 21:26 GMT

Tiny lenses means little light to the sensor, meaning greater exposure time or a noisier image. Tiny lenses also mean the optical system tends towards being diffraction limited - beyond a certain point (this is a bit complicated), the smaller the lens, the more blurry the photo will be, no matter how good the optics, sensor and subsequent image processing is.

As it is, I can see that my fairly wide aperture superzoom (dedicated) 7.2MP camera clearly becomes diffraction limited when I use full zoom and reduce the aperture size.

@ AC 4th April 2009 04:40 GMT

Not quite! Cameras use interpolated pixels, monitors do not.

A 5MP camera has 5 million sub pixels. My 30" 2560x1600 monitor :cD has 12.3 million sub pixels, so there is scope for having yet more pixels - and then there's the ability to crop unwanted parts out.

Bucks village repels Street View spycar


“This is an affluent area"

Saying “This is an affluent area" is in itself 'an invitation for more criminals to strike'

Note to self: next place to loot is Broughton, start with Paul Jacobs!


I hope the Google car went back and got the shots!

Florida cops taser satnav lake plunge woman


@ Sarah Bee


A suspicious article, no references, no hits on google, on 1st April, with the tagline referencing PMS - hasn't the bar already been set?

If the article (and your rant) aren't april fools then you're a pi55 poor moderator, otherwise you're both great!

Greenbird sail-car wafts in as future of zero-emission motoring?


"Only if you live somewhere without bridges."

..... and there's a plentiful supply of constant wind,

and the wind is always blowing from the right direction,

and there are no buildings to block the wind or create turbulence,

and there are 10 meter wide carriageways,

and you don't need power for heating, indicators, lights

and you don't need to carry goods!


"Only if you live somewhere without bridges."

... and there's a plentiful supply of constant wind,

and the wind is always blowing from the right direction (for all drivers),

and there are no buildings to block the wind or create turbulence,

and there are 10 meter wide carriageways,

and you don't need power for heating, indicators, lights

and you don't need to carry goods!

Third e-bike to line up for 'zero-emission' TT sprint


@ AC

That's only true for hard braking. For non-hard braking, practically *all* of the kinetic energy can be harvested for reuse via the rear linkage.

The eco-rider will have to accept that maximising the regenerative potential will require forward planning to avoid hard braking. It's not perfect and may take some getting used to, but it can work (safely) and it can work very well - with practically no overhead.

I question the sanity of those who want to buy and ride a leccy bike yet desire to always brake hard and avoid the regenerative benefits the leccy bike can bring.



I've already addressed that comment. To reiterate: the regenerative mechanism would not be useful for hard braking, that’s what the front disk is for. For 99% of deceleration events, rear wheel braking will suffice. Also, the rear wheel need not lock, the dynamo load characteristic wouldn’t allow it (dynamo torque falls off with low revs, unlike a brake where the torque remains constant).

To summarise:

- Rear brake for soft braking and regeneration, has inherent non-skid function (better than ABS), is sprung.

- Front brake for hard braking using a light disk only (regeneration from the front is a false economy).

Almost just like when normally riding a bike.

Any other points you need answering?


@ AC 23rd March 2009 10:12 GMT

"Regenerative braking would be incredibly heavy and so the ratio of unsprung to sprung weight would be unacceptably high."

Why do you assume the regenerative mechanism would be unsprung? Why wouldn't you simply turn the drive motor into a dynamo?

@ Kenny Millar

I suspect the disk brake could be in case the electric braking fails or is used when one needs to stop sharpish.


@ Patrick Slattery: "It would cost a bomb to charge"


Less than half of that on E7

Where do you get your bombs from?

Brussels: Old-school lightbulbs to be gone by 2012


@ Gyorgy Bano

"because heating of the ceiling should not be paid by us."

Where do you think the warmed air goes after it leaves the radiators? ;c)


@ AJ - spoiled prat

Where was I given the choice? If I was given it I would have chosen to remain with incandescents being available.

Who the hell am I hurting? What an absolutely stupid comment to make!

“and even after then you'd probably be blaming everyone but yourselves.” … “We can't build any new ones (of whatever technology) because of idiots protesting against them”

Well said!

How are my incandescent lights more expensive than a boiler or dedicated heater (especially a gas one) and low energy lights?

How is my incandescent heating any worse than my E7 heaters (that leak heat during the day when I’m not around to capitalise on that heat, and can’t really be turned off once heated, and are smokey) ? (I don’t have gas).

To answer your stilly statement, which I’ve already eluded to (“My need for powered lighting and heating usually go hand in hand.”), clue: during summer, I don’t have all my lights turned on, certainly not at full power. The sun shines into my lounge well past 9pm during summer (at a perpendicular angle too) – I don’t need lighting at all until the sun has set. When I do need light during those hot months, I dim all the lights to extend the sunset effect (all my incandescents are dimmable). If necessary I can even switch over to using CLFs. I’m not saying CFLs are bad, I am saying that incandescents are more suited to my purposes for the majority of the time. Why should people like me have to suffer because of people who think ‘perfectly rendered’ light is emitted from their backside? Why not extol the virtues instead of imposing a blanket ban? Why all stick, no carrot? Try not judging the needs of others by your own standards sometime.

Granted my system isn’t perfect (yes the temperature regulation isn’t very good) and it isn’t for everyone, but my entire leccy bill averaged over the year is £35-40 per month (and there’s no maintenance) over the last year (including the price hikes) and I managed fine – and I don’t have gas!


@ AC

"more efficient source for local heat "

How can a heater not be efficient? My lights are damned efficient heaters, probably about 95% efficient; the other 5% is light.

How are my incadescent lights more expensive than a boiler or dedicated heater (especially a gas one) and low energy lights?

My need for powered lighting and heating usually go hand in hand.


Incandescents rule - part 2

"Relying on your incandescent light's 'by-product' heat to heat your home is a non-argument (have you ever sat in your house in the middle of winter with just your lightbulb on to heat your home?). You'd need hundreds of incandescent light bulbs to come anything close to the energy output of a gas boiler for example. "

That's EXACTLY what I did. I have over 1KW of incandescent lighting in my lounge (plus PC and 30 inch monitor) - all that meant I didn't have to use the room heaters (E7) the last winter.


Incandescents rule

I'll remain with my two 300W halogen strips I use in my lounge.

What's wrong with using them to offset my heating costs?

Man turns finger into storage


could have been worse

Imagine the equivalent of this if something 'more sensitive' than a finger was ripped off, something around the groin area...

I have visions of a bloke 'interfacing' to his laptop saying "I'm downloading" !

Texting peer released from prison


@ Graham Marsden & those reckoning the 122mph wasn't.

The 122mph is correct. I did two analysis using two independent sets of visual cues. I made a post about it here:


Acer K10 DLP pico projector


@ Jolyon Smith and non-fans of fans

Not quite!

LED lamps HAVE to run cool, certainly a lot cooler than HID. A hot die kills off the output light intensity. Couple that with the fact a lot of light is output (although 100 lumens isn't that much, even when considering colour losses) at not much efficiency means cooling is still needed. Turn the fan off, the LED might get as hot as HID - but you won't get any light.

My estimate: that LED will have to lose at least 6 watts (and that's assuming the latest tech is used – say a P7) and that's assuming a perfect cooling system. Keeping a small component cool without active cooling will require a large, expensive and heavy heatsink; for this application it is better to use a cheap, SMALL and LIGHTWEIGHT fan.

Screeching rails close London Tube station


That'll teach 'em

They won't complain again!

17in MacBook boasts bloody big battery


@ David Halko

Please note, neither of us stated or hinted that more voltage is needed. What we were saying is that the current capacity alone doesn't reflect the energy carrying capacity of the battery.

PS: I take it you don't know what a switching supply is? There is no wasted voltage (or power). For example: a switching supply can take 14V, output 2.8V at 10 amps, while only draw 2 amps (imagine a DC transformer). That's why batteries of higher voltages can be used.


The all important VOLTAGE

Yes this battery may be 12.8AH, but as AC has already said, it is only 7.4V. This is the equivalent energy capacity of a 6.4AH 14.8V battery, the typical capacity of those being about 4.5AH.

The 12.8AH battery has good capacity, but it's by no means as huge as the article makes it seem.

Rail workers get shirty with see-through blouses


Is this really a penny pinching measure....

.. or is it a cunning advertising stunt? The number of passengers may actually increase!

Wakefield does a Brum with possessive apostrophes


It had to be done…

Who wouldn’t’ve forseen problem’s with the apostrophies’ use.

World's fastest production car to gain electric twin


Glenn needs to do some maths…

220v * 120A * 60sec * 10min = 15.84MJ

200miles @ 30mph = 6.7 hours

15.84MJ / (6.7 * 60 * 60) = 657W = 0.88BHP.

30mph in a car at less than 1BHP? The other one has bells on!

My power shower is 8.5kW, and when I turn it on my lights dim (the 220V is no longer 220V)!


@ Glenn

"Also, with 100% torque @ 0 rpm (e.g. 100% efficiency ..."

100% torque != 100% efficiency, even electric motors are inefficient at full torque when at low revs. 100% torque doesn't equate to full power output either!


@ StillNoCouch

"Maybe a 10 HOUR charge ?"

Some quick maths:

10h x 60 x 60 x 240 x 13 = 112MJ

200 miles @ 30mph = 6.7 hours

112MJ over 6.7 hours = 4.6kW = 6bhp. That feels about right for a constant 30mph.

Interestingly, that charge will last 150 seconds at 1000bhp, that's a powered range of about 10 miles (and perhaps 5 more for coasting down).

Paris Hilton

Who remembers the Gravia lamp?

This must be from the same people who gave us the Gravia lamp:

"To light Gravia, the user places a mass [50 lbs] approximately 48" above the ground, that, in falling, powers a mechanism, generating electricity. Gravia harnesses the potential energy imparted by the user, rather than relying on any existing electrical infrastructure.

The design goal of Gravia is to provide light in a room (600-800 lumens roughly equal to one 40 watt incandescent lightbulb), over a period of 4 hours, using people to generate power."

The really scary thing is that this shite won 2nd place in the "Greener Gadgets Design Comp 2008"


Paris must have been judging!

World's smallest working fuel cell developed


power or current

"Generates 1mA of power"

It generates 1mA of current (power and current are two different units).

Assuming it still yields 0.7V, and holds that at 1mA, then it can be said to give 0.7mW of power!

USAF cops seek netflinger rifle to down ultralights, paragliders


"net-throwing gun able to bring down parachutists "

Because, without use of this new gun, those clever parachutists would forever remain suspended in the air.

Boffin seeks $300,000 to build eight-wheel 230mph EV


not 4 x 4 but....

Technically speaking, is this an 8 x 8 x 8 ?

New York mulls terrorist cell phone jamming


Will this really stop terrorists in their tracks?

Think about it: all the planning is already done, everything is in place, the attack has already begun (the jamming won't start until an attack has been detected). Does anyone really think people (especially those with bombs strapped to their person) who have already started their attack is going to stop? "Hey Mohammed, my phone's stopped working; let's fly home instead" !?!

No, this won't work at all - I suspect there is a more sinister, in-house reason for this study.

Take a hammer to your hard drive, shrieks Which?


conflict of interest

Product supplier claims their product is the best for the job, no conflict of interest there then!

"Both Reg readers and experts has slammed ..."

Who is the other Red reader ?

Apple wrongfoots iPhoneys


Get one here

Go on, get one and try it for yourself. Here's a link:


Don't let the lack of seller ratings put you off. I would get one.....

Columbia disaster 'not survivable', NASA concludes


@ AC: "NASA stands for..."

We're laughing at you, not with you.


@ Craig's "fossil fuels"

Yes, the three shuttle motors use hydrogen and oxygen. Now tell us all what the two heavy SRBs are powered by.

Motor quango thumbsup for satnav speed restrictions


@ Bassey

“At the moment it's 70 so why have cars that can drive faster?”

That’s an unfair question. At the moment, cars and drivers can safely handle faster than 70, so why limit to 70? Please don’t strawman by interpreting that as meaning ‘lets get rid of the limit’. Why can’t we have time-variable limits like other EU countries?

Fact: did you know that 19% (conservative figure) of all motorways crashes are sleep related? (yes that includes the daytime drivers)? This portion obviously increases to 29 - 45% during the small hours (M20, M25, M6) [source: “Road Safety Research Report No. 52, Sleep-Related Crashes on Sections of Different Road Types in the UK (1995–2001)”]. This portion is obviously MUCH greater than those who are involved in accidents that were in excess of the limit. All else equal: forcing motorway drivers to go slower still (meaning less stimulation for a longer time - a double whammy!!) would almost certainly end up worsening the overall accident rate.

Safespeed members understand how road safety is more than simply targeting around a simply number.


1/3 LIE B U L L S H I T

"They said that 100 per cent adoption of mandatory speed governors would cut injury crashes by 29 per cent"

Yet the Stats19 reports clearly state that only 5% of all accidents involve a driver exceeding the limit (and that also includes joyriders, police pursuits and those who don't have correct documentation - the very people who won't be affected by this anyway) so how can this policy reduce such accidents by 29%?

It can't!

They are misrepresenting datasets for their own selfish ends – they always have (e.g. speed cameras and RTTM / bias on selection). These people haven't even accounted for the inevitable 'lead foot zombies' (those who will inevitably become accustomed to using the limiter as their only guide for speed) - what could be more dangerous than eroding this critical driving skill?

“Government costs … would also be recouped”

How will they recoup the lost revenue from speed cameras and the supposed fuel duty savings? Oh wait, that’s been answered: back door to tolls!

[And if they're really worried about CO2 emissions then can we have our limit-reduced roads returned back to NSL? (for the morons: this does not mean drivers will have to drive at 60) 30/40 mph usually can't be done efficiently in top gear]

Don't get me wrong: speed limits are necessary and need to be enforced, but the limits have to be set correctly first.

Safespeed member

Virgin Media opens bandwidth choke for 50Mb launch


@ Tony

Fair doos. I misread the context of your post.

I can’t remember what I was throttled to when I was with VM, but let’s be honest: 5mb (0.6MB/s) on its own is enough for anyone (54GB in 24 hours); but I do remember being pissed off because my tiny upload rate was managed too – that’s what killed the effectiveness.

However, I was able to download waaaaaay more than 6Gb in 24 hours without the cap kicking in (did you really mean gigabit? 6Gb in a day isn’t much more than dial-up speed [not even double]).


@ Tony

I've done 43GiB in 24 hours; in fact I've managed 115GiB (125GB) in 72 hours - that was after I changed from VM [XL] to Be. I've never got anything like that with VM. I'm not trying to show off, I'm merely highlighting how limited VM is. I should know: I was with them for years.


Why the focus on download speed?

Users who actually use those kinds of download rates usually need a fast upload rate too (ahem).

VM upload rates have always been crappy - and that pitiful amount was ‘managed’ too! I’ve switched from VM (used XL for many years) to Be Unlimited Pro (2mb upload rate alone, never been managed) – wow what a difference, it was the best tech decision I made – more than 2x the performance at half the price!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

50mb D/L means absolutely nothing to me if the upload is still limited to <1mb; I wouldn’t pay £10pm for it.

Lego terrorist threatens democracy


@ the two ACs: "bah" and "No Koran"

To state the obvious by repeating myself: What exactly is wrong with that figurine? Is it really a terrorist? Is it in any way Islamic? Are you sheep that heed the calls of tabloid shepherd?

@ bah: There IS also an SS figurine available in that range, obviously you wouldn't have known that because you didn't know our supposed Islamic terrorist is actually a headscarfed bandit (a Mexican one at that). Any inference to the Holocaust would be in one’s tiny mind only (ay least it won’t be a double standard if one also idiotically insists the bandit is an Islamic terrorist, so knock yourself out).

Indian court urged to 'ban Google Earth'


How did the IRA manage it?

Why would the terrorists need such a precision aerial mapping service to plan their deeds? Would a lack of one really have led towards preventing it or reducing their ‘success’?

Is filming someone in the street a breach of privacy?


This is not a question of privacy….

… it is one about dignity. The sticking point was about it being published and the context it was in.

It is of course right to be able to take photos/films of people from and within public places. The law is correct as it is.

- if I can put myself in a position when I can lawfully see you then I can film you.

- if I can put myself in a position when I can lawfully hear you then I can record you.

The problem arises when I publish that data and do so in a certain context.

So to answer the question: “Is filming someone in the street a breach of privacy?” no! If you don’t like it then wear a Burqa.

Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover


Why do the workarounds work?

The following don't work (obviously I'm one of those ISPs):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Killer (obviously)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin%5fKiller (from an earlier post)

Other suggested links do work:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Virgin_Killer (truncated from an earlier post)


Can anyone tell me how these latter links work?


Answering one of my pwn questions...

@ me 10 mins ago:

"Affected readers and editors of Wikipedia can readily view the page via the secure server at this link (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Virgin_killer). Editing is currently restricted to administrators."


Wasn't that really nice of Wiki to leave everyone with a backup link !

(Yeah, the typo in the title was genuine, but I left it in because I thought it was appropriate in this case)


A fundamental question:

Its funny how something which was acceptable not too many years ago is now absolutely vilified and anything affiliated with it is closed down without due process or recourse, even if doing so impinges on the innocent. Our society has clearly changed, partly in the right direction but by an amount which seems to be totally overkill. But … has our social shift really directly led to a reduction of paedo activities?

Worse yet, do we know what creates paedos? We know that many homosexuals are so not by choice (testosterone release weeks after conception), so could paedo tendencies be by choice (self-conditioning), or is there some as yet unknown physiological effect at work?

Don’t get me wrong: I will always unreservedly condemn anyone who abuses children in any way, but without this critical information who can confidently say we are tacking this the best way?

@ Mark: no probs matey. I didn't see your clarification when I submitted.