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Comment: Re: You no longer own a car (Score 1) 649 649

I call b.s. on your b.s.calling. The engine hoist would be a few hundred, everything else is just bolts. Another few hundred for a comprehensive socket/wrench set and you're there. You could probably buy an engine from an eBay car breaker with the remaining cash.

I've done a land rover series 3 which are heavy cast iron, but dead simple: a few cables, water hoses, two engine mounts and the gearbox bell housing bolts and it's out - maybe a couple of hours. I also did an Audi a4 b5 2.8 which was a bit tricky - many more electrics (vs about 2 for the lr), power steering, air con, inaccessible ancillaries and no room to work. Whoever says the Germans have no sense of humor has never tried to work on one of their cars... anyway it took a few days but it got done.

Comment: Re:Home storage (Score 1) 488 488

Been to Wales? You'd be lucky to get 10% in the summer!

But seriously, based on a quick stab at the numbers from the met office you get 1700 hours a year in the sunniest parts of Wales and 1200 in the least sunny. That's between 13% and 20% across the whole year. So less than 15% in the Winter seems pretty likely.

Comment: Re:Auditors, auditors (Score 1) 208 208

I agree no system is perfect, but to some extent that's the job of enterprise risk departments in auditing firms: They look to determine who has access to the accounting databases etc, whether those accesses are logged and traceable and so on. They also look for discrepancies in the way those databases are managed and if they find them are obliged to recommend a more thorough financial audit rather than relying on electronic systems. If the entire company is systematically deceiving them then there's little anyone could do (other than whistleblowing).

The biggest problem with auditing is LLPs: Once upon a time they were personally and professionally liable for their work. If they failed to audit something correctly they were liable for a huge amount of damages, and because of that had an interest in ensuring no-one deceived them. LLPs reduce if not remove that liability (the personal liability of partners in the company at least - the company as a whole may still be liable I guess) and so there is less danger if they mess up. Couple that with a competitive market that means an auditor who finds too many problems will likely not be getting the contract next year in favour of a more 'flexible' competitor and you don't have an environment that encourages rigorous and cautious auditing practices.

Comment: Re: The UK Cobol Climate Is Very Different (Score 3, Insightful) 270 270

Well buddy you and any job you have can go fuck itself. My particular job requires an engineering degree - in itself requiring a high degree of literacy, numeracy and the discipline to study those subjects. It requires that I understand a wide range of complex technical subjects, that I can analyse things that have never been done before, can effectively and accurately devise ways to design, implement and test those things. I will work long hours for no extra reward in an area that frequently has hard to measure outcomes and progress projects which can take years to reach a prototype stage. If you're planning to hire me solely because I can shave and buy a suit then I have no desire to work for you. Oh, and if you want someone who does what I do and is good at it... well I'm afraid it is you who is in the queue, not me.

Comment: Re: Self-healing drivers (Score 2) 93 93

Spoken like someone who has never jammed up a PCIe bus before.... driver mistakes can make systems go down hard. Even if the IOMMU is protecting the memory the underlying hardware might be flooding the bus with junk, or in some other unrecoverable or unmanageable state that requires the hardware to be reset. If the host has a way of driving the reset line to the device then you might get out of your bind but that's a long way from stateless - it would let you restart the hardware device without interfering with the system though. That said I don't think there's that much stuff out there that's robust enough to deal with crazy situations like that

Comment: Re:It's mostly a USA problem (Score 1) 200 200

Well seeing as the US government took a huge amount of money from the nuclear generators over the years to fund a waste storage repository (which they are being sued over because of their utter failure to hold up their end of the deal) perhaps they could use that to pay for reprocessing? The electricity producers (and in turn, therefore, consumers) have already paid for it, taxpayers don't need to be involved.

Comment: Re:They made the blocks into wheels (Score 1) 202 202

Or grooves would work maybe? If you had your rope as one large loop you could wrap it around the whole block a couple of times and then pull the rope from the top - the tension in the rope should hold the cradles in place and you can just pull continuously on the rope to move the blocks. If you were being really clever you could presumably put a second smaller roller in front with the same setup repeated to gain some mechanical advantage.

Comment: Re: user error (Score 5, Informative) 710 710

They do have smaller gallons though: 31 US MPG is actually 37 UK MPG, which is not too bad for a 525 - beats my 99 2.8 A4 which does 30 most of the time (but then I use it very rarely, so I accept the cost of fuel as the trade off for having a very nice car for very little money as most people don't want something that thirsty).

The 320d is a wonderful machine - my partners 05 one does around 47 with some relatively leaden-footed motorway driving - could get it to 50+ with some caution.

Comment: Re:Who would have guessed? (Score 1) 217 217

There's an awful lot of stuff you could make from plants that isn't exactly 'friendly' if used in high enough quantity or concentration. Reduction ad absurdum: Crude oil is simply the remains of zooplankton and algae after heat and pressure has been applied for some time... would you spray a field with it? Just because it's from a 'natural' source doesn't mean it's harmless.

Comment: Re:If not... (Score 1) 865 865

In a modern car with fuel injection and electronic ignition? The kill switch can kill a number of components quite easily to stop the engine. Just using !kill as an enable to the signals that tell the injectors to open would be enough. For redundancy you could also make sure that the low-voltage side of the ignition coils is masked with it. For complete safety you can block the fuel pumps as well.

Comment: Re:Not a surprise (Score 1) 303 303

The guy in the book showed you can mitigate the effect by measuring the delays and making sure your order hits all the exchanges it's going to at the same time. Cost is a few reels of fibre (or maybe, if you were being fancy, some kind of controllable TCP delay insertion hardware). These fund managers make quite a bit of cash: I'd hope they'd try to understand the game they're playing, instead of hoping that things work the way they've assumed they do and complaining when they're wrong.

Comment: Re:Not a surprise (Score 1) 303 303

You have multiple separate exchanges. It's not about routing, it's about delays to _separate_ venues. By watching what happens on one you make plays on the other. An article I read somewhere (I can't remember where, so please forgive woolly statement) had the HFT traders making a profit on just over 50% of the trades, they just make a _lot_ of trades is all.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"