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Comment: Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 5, Informative) 461

by Bertie (#47316503) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

They do both.

I live in Berlin. It can be damn cold there in the winter. My apartment building is around a hundred years old, but it's been fairly recently refurbished, so it's well insulated. As a result, my heating bills are around €100 a year. The only radiator I really use is in my bedroom, and it only gets turned on halfway at most.

Comment: Re:taxes will lead to kludges (Score 1) 238

by Bertie (#47091669) Attached to: Official MPG Figures Unrealistic, Says UK Auto Magazine

Pretty much, yeah. Toyota designed an Atkinson cycle engine, which is much more efficient than the traditional Otto cycle. The problem is that it doesn't produce much torque, meaning that it doesn't take off as quickly as people would like. So they added an electric booster to make up the torque shortfall. The fuel savings from running on battery are minimal - the internal combustion engine usually kicks in within seconds of setting off, and stays on unless coasting. Conventional cars don't use fuel when coasting anyway, so you don't save anything there, and in fact lose a bit into recharging the batteries.

Comment: Re:Really? I saw exactly where MS fucked up. (Score 2) 248

by Bertie (#46412327) Attached to: Steve Ballmer Blew Up At the Microsoft Board Before Retiring

I don't know about that. The reaction where I was was "that's the way it should have been done all along". I had had several pre-iPhone smartphones and they were all nowhere near good enough. The market was there for the taking, but Microsoft's usual "why try harder?" attitude meant they hadn't the balls to go for it.

Comment: Re:Don't over inflate! (Score 1) 431

by Bertie (#43175885) Attached to: EU Car Makers Manipulating Fuel Efficiency Figures

But then again, tyres on modern cars are generally massively overspecced. People like the fat look, and they seem to think what they want is a car that grips and grips and grips and then suddenly doesn't. So we could probably afford to lose a bit of grip, really. Certainly your more eco-friendly vehicles tend to be equipped with thinner rubber.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 70

by Bertie (#41659943) Attached to: KDE Plasma Active 3 Improves Performance, Brings New Apps

They're inching ever closer together. Witness OSX's braindead implementation of fullscreen apps, which don't allow you to do things as ingrained into the Mac way of working as dragging and dropping files from the Finder into apps. They did this to get their desktop OS closer to their tablet one, and it makes very little sense.

Comment: Re:ethernet dongles (likely at added cost on $2k+) (Score 1) 683

by Bertie (#40290575) Attached to: Apple News From WWDC and iPhone 5 Rumors

Right, but that 1600x1200 screen was 17" diameter, and there's nothing useful in that sort of size any more. I don't want to have to buy a monitor that big just to get the resolution I need. This thing is the answer to my prayers because it fits more vertical pixels than any other screen into an eminently portable package.

Comment: Re:ethernet dongles (likely at added cost on $2k+) (Score 2) 683

by Bertie (#40287921) Attached to: Apple News From WWDC and iPhone 5 Rumors

I've been dying for one for years. No screen has had enough pixel height since CRTs went the way of the dinosaur, Now with one of these I can finally get all the toolbars and panels I need on the screen at the same time and still have room for the thing I'm actually working on.

Comment: Re:Everyone ignores Commodore (Score 1) 301

by Bertie (#39626345) Attached to: Jack Tramiel, Founder of Commodore Business Machines, Dies At Age 83

Man, I remember when you could buy a Mac emulator on a cartridge for the Atari ST and it would run faster than a Mac Plus, and all for a lot less dough. The Mac was so far out of reach for most of us mere mortals it might as well not have existed. In the UK at least, they barely existed outside publishing houses and university campuses until, ooh, the iMac, probably.

Comment: Re:Economies of scale (Score 1) 302

Not that rare, really. A couple of months ago I was trekking through hill country in northern Burma, and several villages that I passed through had teeny tiny hydroelectric schemes on the go that provided the only electricity they had. There was very little of it, so they were careful about how it was apportioned, but they didn't need much, either. And all they needed to do this was the river that passed by and provided them all with their water.

The world's littered with little riverside villages like this, and they could all do the micro-hydro thing. They aren't going to be producing 20kW, probably not even 2kW, but in these cases it's 2kW more than they had before without recourse to generators.

Comment: Re:I might just be a luddite, but (Score 1) 348

by Bertie (#39181295) Attached to: UK To Dim Highway Lights To Save Money

Because of course you're Very Important And In A Hurry, right? Tell me, what were you going to do with those few seconds out of your day that it takes to safely move round a cyclist?

They're entitled to use the road just the same as you are. You have no more right to be on it than them. Share the road.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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