Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Yes in principle. But the point of the backstop is to ensure that the border arrives in an orderly fashion rather than suddenly springing up on the stroke of midnight at the end of next month, bisecting buildings and farms...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I think you've totally misunderstood the backstop. The backstop is the agreement that there won't be a border between NI and the Republic unless and until satisfactory frameworks have been put in place for customs and travel; that NI (hence...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    While I expect they'd look funny at anyone wanting to buy 500 units at once No, that part's really easy! As long as you've got some sneak. You can even get other folks to pay for it. Form a company...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Here's another possibility: GPS is prone to spoofing. Now, you've got to be cautious about spoofing it for defensive purposes around an oil refinery—a lot of modern process control machinery relies on the GPS time signal for accurate clock synchronization—but...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I am reminded of a minor news piece in New Scientist in the 1980s/early 1990s; apparently Israel had a use case for small recon drones over Lebanon, and Hezbollah kept shooting them down. Expensive! The priciest part of the drone...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I see the current opinion polls, showing a 12% Tory lead and Labour barely running ahead of the LibDems, as a side-effect of the LibDems hoovering up the "Cancel A50" vote. That means the LibDem surge is transient; either Brexit...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    It seems to me that if Brexit happens and it becomes much harder to move goods across the border, there will be a tremendous amount of smuggling. Plausible? Yes, this is expected. Also note that smuggling was one of, if...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Greg: Corbyn has fucked it over COMPLETELY by facing both ways & may have handed the country to the ultra-right. At this point I'm beginning to suspect that Corbyn is, if not a Trot, then at least has suckled from...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Here's the problem: Western "free market" dogma holds that central planning is inefficient, corrupt, prone to information blockages, and doesn't work. But the "free market" is also inefficient, corrupt, prone to information blockages, and doesn't work either. Both organizational paradigms...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    South of SF, Highway 1 is picturesque but okay. North of SF … don't do it if you're on a schedule and especially don't EVER do it in a Lincoln Town Car. (I made that mistake. What can I say?...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Two issues with AGRs; firstly, they didn't build enough of them (6? or 8? total if I recall, and 600MW each) so no real economies of scale, and secondly, the thing about cracks developing in the graphite bricks over a...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    To get the scale thing across to people, you need to explain that what Americans call "suburbia" is "open countryside" in Europe. If they've even heard of exurbs, say "it's people who live 50km from the nearest convenience store." New...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    And the drivers. Shudder. Don't get me started on Boston drivers … !...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I can only imagine what people who read the Express as their source of news get about Brexit or anything else of substance. The Daily Express is somewhere to the right of the Daily Mail (aka the Daily Heil), only...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    why would anyone go to Boston? Because Boston and New York are the main bastions of civilization in the US? (Ducks and runs …)...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Greg: What someone ought to do is build a modern replica of One of these (Dragon Rapide). Naah, you're thinking British. Looking at the global picture, the Antonov An-2 is a far better choice. Only went out of mass production...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Seconded on the Harrier being a noise-maker! I've heard other loud military kit. An F-16 doing a high-alpha pass at well under stall speed, basically standing on its tail; a bunch of Typhoons on afterburner, and so on. But the...
  • Commented on Normal service will be resumed eventually
    You are suggesting this to an atheist/materialist who really doesn't believe in souls, an afterlife, etc....
  • Commented on Normal service will be resumed eventually
    No suggestions needed, Greg: I'm over 50 and I've been through this before. (Self-care is indicated. I've got an appointment for it in my calendar …)...
  • Posted Normal service will be resumed eventually to Charlie's Diary
    Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that my activity has been increasingly scarce since roughly January 2017. This is not an accident. You may also have noticed a downturn in my writing output in general, culminating in this...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    IIRC a freight locomotive puts out on the order of 5-10MW of traction power, so it's not unrealistic: a gang of 2-10 locos would probably even be enough to bring up a nuclear power station from cold (they typically have...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Yep. Rule of thumb: a billion tonnes of water is a cubic kilometre (at standard temperature and pressure). Wood is approximately the same density as water (+/- 10%). A trillion tonnes of wood is a thousand cubic kilometres; the atmospheric...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Yeah maybe, but Na or Na/K in close proximity to lots and lots of water looks like a really good way to make an already unpleasant situation (a coolant leak) infinitely worse very fast indeed (coolant leak followed by BIG...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    he reactors on the Akademik Lomonosov barge are slight variants of the KLT35 series derivative reactors the Soviets and now Russians use in their big icebreakers. Thanks, that's not obvious from the wikipedia page and it's slightly reassuring. (Worst case:...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Greg: that study on aging has already been widely debunked; no idea how they got it past Nature's editors, but apparently there was no control group in the study and the organizers were … well, let's say they were looking...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    The universe is dangerous enough that sometimes the only way to protect your species is to have parts of it somewhere else. Politely, bullshit. This is a teleological fallacy. There's no destined end-point for life; it's just a drunkard's walk...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    You know Scotland exports electricity to England most of the time now? We have a lot of wind up here. (Solar is a bit crap, but wind? It blows and it blows.)...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    it is possible to heat homes to the higher part of the comfortable range when there is surplus power and let the fall to the lower part when there isn't enough power. This is your scheduled daily reminder that in...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I'd just like to note that I've visited Melbourne in early August and found the temperature pleasantly summery. Yes, there was an overnight frost, but it melted, and in the meantime the weather only needed a t-shirt plus open jacket....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    something else I notice in Melbourne because it’s common there but rare in Brisbane these days, which is outdoor space heating. This is something that a low-energy culture would have to view as throwing watts into the air with wild...
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