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Comment Re: real world (Score 1) 340

They didn't give May the boot, she won her own constituency. However her party now hold less seats than the majority required for them to form their own government (executive branch for the US), but with help from other like-minded parties, they can gain that majority. Of course that help comes with promises and agreements and favours to be called in later.

IF the Tories can't find enough friends, then the other parties can try and club together to get the majority required and put their own chaps in. If that doesn't work, then new elections. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Comment Re:Did someone do the math on this first? (Score 1) 230

Your last assumption is out, you don't need enough panels to charge all 156 vehicles, you need enough to power the 6-20 stalls at the same time while there are vehicles present. When there are stalls open, the same panels can recharge the local battery banks for when there is no sun.

I can't find a decent voltage/current breakdown of the Tesla Supercharger, only 130kW at maybe 248VDC, you can't vary the voltage, so it looks like each charger pulls 525A at 248VDC. Taking a 325W Renewsys panel, it can supply 37.2VDC at 8.61A at full power, so you need 7 panels in series to push 248VDC out and then 61 sets of 7 panels to hit the 525A current load to provide the 130kW charge capacity. Being a DC charge system, you don't need inverters, just a suitably sized voltage regulator.

That panel is 2m x 1m, so you'll end up with 855m^2 of panels per charger bay, plus sundry space for cables, mounts etc. Still a lot of space, but certainly feasible if your solar panels are forming covered parking areas at the mall where the Supercharger is.

Comment Re:Don't UPSes also act as surge protectors? (Score 5, Interesting) 189

They do, but some surge protection devices have a limited number of surges they can absorb before they have to be replaced. If there were a number of surges, it's certainly feasible for the protection chain to fail at some point.

An anecdote from a few weeks ago with a data center I help manage. It has a backup generator, automatic switch gear and a Schneider Electric Galaxy double conversion UPS. Yes we don't have two, but we ain't an airline. We do have another data center on another site to take over if needed though.

So a few weeks back our phones go wild with texts fired off by the UPS tossing SNMP traps around. One sprint later, the UPS console is showing no input power and our in-house electricians lay rubber from one end of the campus to the other to get to the sub in time. As we wait for the UPS to hit that magic 5 minutes when it triggers the auto-shutdown sequences on the servers, the sparkies discover the sub's output is fine and the generator isn't running.

Then all shit breaks loose, ten power cycles on the UPS input, some lasting long enough to switch from battery to mains, some not. With ten minutes left on the batteries, the UPS gives up, shuts the inverter and charger down and switches the load to static bypass. Room goes silent except for the UPS alarms, and then the eleventh return cycle comes and goes in about three seconds. We hear PSU fans starting and then winding down. I dropped the master breaker on the DB and isolated the room from the UPS. Down until the sparkies figure it out. There goes three hours of our lives.

Turns out that the automatic switch gear had some arc damage on the utility-side contactor feeding the control boards, probably caused by the eight months of load-shedding (read utility driven power cuts to ration power) we had experienced two years ago. That was enough to drop the voltage in one sensor to below the trigger threshold and caused that contactor and the main load contractor to open. Before it could start the generator up, the control board then decided the utility had returned, so it closed the contractors again. And open again, and close again. The sound of a 3-phase 480V 500A contactor switching twice a second is enough to make the sparkies use words a sailor would be proud of.

We had to lock out the sensors, rig a temporary bypass on the contactors to power the room from the generator feed side and replace the damaged contactors before we were fully safe again. We lost 2 PSUs out of 90 and no data. We were lucky.

I relate this to show that no matter how good the power protection architecture is, multiple UPSes, twin feeds etc, shit can and does happen. We were lucky we had people on the site who knew what trouble sounds like and were willing to isolate the room.

So I'm willing to accept that BA lost a data center to power problems. But I'm not willing to accept that the loss of a single data center can shut down global operations. BA must have multiple redundant data centers with a seamless failover mechanism. And that is a failure of IT pure and simple.

Comment Alternative competitiveness (Score 5, Informative) 73

Oh boo-hoo Salesforce, MS has had a CRM for decades, just not a particularly good one. Now it has a somewhat better one, all of a sudden you can't compete in an open market with what you've got? Build a better one then.

And while you're at it, can anyone build a CRM that doesn't require signing off souls to all three Hells to make it work? I've only got one and Satan, Cthulhu and Kali all require exclusive rights to it.

Comment Re:Are actual globes wrong? (Score 2) 321 has some examples of this, looks odd and tends to split countries into pieces when flattened out.

Anything looks distorted when flattened out from a globe, and a globe would be the best thing to use, but having one for each desk for kids to measure and plot on is infeasible. A single flat projection like Gall-Peters is more useful, but the level of distortion is more jarring than some others.

Comment Re:This is the problem with corporate income tax. (Score 1) 448

But those profits still enrich the company. Which means the value of the shares go up and shareholders pay capital gains taxes. No matter how you look at it, corporate income tax is double taxation.

And what about companies that hold profits in a corporate purse against future. Not all of that profit goes to shareholders and can be taxed as income/capital gains.

And on the EU Apple issue, Ireland helped create a situation where Apple could avoid paying taxes in other EU countries that did need that tax income and the other EU countries were pissed at that. If it was just Ireland's share of Apple's business that went untaxed, it would have been less of an issue, but Apples (EU!Ireland)'s profits went there as well.

Comment Re:Whythe vaguness about the age? (Score 5, Insightful) 110

Having watched the National Geographic documentary on the expeditions into the caves, the chances of external contamination for the samples looked acceptably low. The samples were taken from an inch or more inside the crystals, from liquid inclusions accessed by drilling with sterilized drill bits and sterile transfer. The sample sites were in deeper areas of the cave to further reduce the risk.

Combine that with the lack of a close genetic match to modern samples, and the level of confidence in the samples been uncontaminated should be satisfactory high. To contaminate the inclusion, you'd have to breach it, contaminate it and the crystal would have to regrow (something it doesn't do when out of water) all deep inside a cave so hot that it can kill in a couple of minutes without protection.

Comment Re:Only the earthworks are visible (Score 5, Informative) 147

These structures resemble henges, which are defined as a circular earthwork with a ditch inside the earthwork. Most defensive earthworks have the raised bit inside the ditch so the defenders have higher ground while the attackers are left to scramble through the ditch and then try to climb the earthwork.

Stonehenge is a henge with standing stones inside the ditch perimeter. It's a bad example to keep using as most people will keep thinking henges are the standing stone circle because of the name of the site.

The Brits think the henges are ceremonial partly because of finds inside the henge and partly because it makes no defensive sense. Some chaps think it might be to keep the dead enclosed, i.e. the inside ditch keeps them from escaping and haunting the living.

<fulldisclosure>I'm a Time Team fan</fulldisclosure>

Comment Re:Well that's a hell of a security hole. (Score 1) 254

Kids are smart, very smart. She's heard daddy telling Alexa to get something, probably many times, so she repeats that process. Once Alexa responds with a list of dollhouses, it's not difficult to say "buy the first one" and have it finish the order process.

And nowhere in the article does it say that the anchor's words ordered dollhouses, only that it tried to order dollhouses. It also probably caused Alexa to respond with the list of dollhouses, but most people would regard that as trying to order something. It doesn't have to actually result in a finalized order to be called trying to order.

And +1000 for using the PIN, very disconcerting to wake up in the morning to find a drunk forum post, how much more so if you find a drunk order for 2000 inflatable Heidi Klum dolls.

Comment Re:What benefit are we missing? (Score 1) 277

Until then, it's a bullshit pipe dream for people who are incapable of doing math or understanding the materials requirements for building actual roads.

So what is Colas then? Chopped liver? One of the largest civil engineering companies that have specialized in road and race track construction for 88 years now, surely they can't have any idea what goes into building a road and how to improve it? </sarcasm>

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