Nick Barnes

Nick Barnes

  • Commented on I can't even
    Next time you fill up an ICE, time yourself, from when you pull alongside the pump to when you pull away again. For myself, I might only be pumping petrol for 2-3 minutes, but even using pay-at-pump I'd be surprised...
  • Commented on London Bridge
    The iPhone 6s is only very recently obsolete. Mine is running iOS 15.6.1, updated about 3 weeks ago, and although it won't get iOS 16, frankly I expect Apple to keep security patches coming for a little while yet (for...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    The "nearest good sites for massive solar farms on the end of a very long wire" are in fact in Spain....
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Curiously Twitter has changed its mind about the identity of the accused, at some point in the last eight hours. Both identifications have been really definite - thousands of tweets, "trending on Twitter", etc. The UK press are apparently still...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    And unlike Gates, Bezos, and Musk, Jobs started out relatively poor -- not destitute, but ordinary working middle class adoptive parents and no trust funds or emerald mines. My understanding is that, after his parents separated, Musk had the "benefit"...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    I don't follow. What's wrong with "left bank" and "right bank"? For example, the left bank of the Thames in London is the one with St Pauls, the Houses of Parliament, etc - broadly the northern bank. The left bank...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    The whole $6bn/Musk/WFP thing was prompted by some idiots claiming that $BILLIONAIRE (may or may not have been Musk, can't remember) could end world hunger for $6bn. I don't remember who started it, but it was a talking point for...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Further surfing reveals that this abuse of Keynes started with Hayek. Not really surprising, Hayek was a foul lying scumbag who can plausibly be blamed for as much suffering and pain as any of the twentieth centuries other great villains....
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Unfortunately, Keynes off-the-cuff remark seems to have become a convenient excuse for greed and short-term thinking, and in that regard, it's doing more harm than good, at least in my humble opinion. Interesting. I've not noticed it being used in...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    in personal terms the marginal utility of money diminishes all the way to zero Of course that depends on the personal utility function. In the long run we are all dead, but living longer is not the sine qua...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Well, be aware that this habit is also widely exhibited by fanbois - it's a bit of a red flag, especially when discussing tech billionaires. Twenty years ago you could sort Apple commentators into normal vs deluded, fairly reliably, by...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    WreRite said: Worth noting that Tesla's battery factories are joint ventures with Panasonic. No. Not for years. In 2019 Tesla bought Maxwell Technologies. It's their cell technology that they're using and it's far beyond anything Panasonic has. Google Tesla dry...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Colonising space (Lagrange points, say) seems to me to be markedly harder than colonising Mars. Where do these space habitats get their propellants and other volatiles?...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Brief point-of-order comment: For some reason, fanbois like to first-name their heroes, and this annoying habit rubs off on the rest of us and spreads like a nasty rash. It was icky with "Steve" and it's still icky with "Elon"....
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Yes, 32.9% is pretty high (I think some other big players - Ford, Toyota, etc? - are in the 15-20% band, which is not negligible, but those companies have proportionally much larger operating expenses etc, so their overall position is...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Tesla's automotive gross margin is around 30% (32.9% in 2022Q1 - the most recent quarter - but it bobs up and down around there). That's the proportion of automotive revenues (what they sell cars for) which is not spent on...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    But before you point at Musk and Tesla or SpaceX, I need to remind you that he didn't found Tesla, he merely bought into it then took over While true, this is a bit misleading. Everything of any significance that...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    However I can see that there's 197 governments that without exception are trying to kill me and everything else. This seems like an overstatement to me. Denmark? Costa Rica?...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    I don't have evidence handy, but I believe one thing that can go wrong in fiction is translation between English and metric units or vice versa. Precision can be added which just doesn't go with the story. There was a...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    ISTR Harlequin also had some print tech. Am I recalling that correctly? If so, do you know what happened to it? I'm always sad to see anything lost. Harlequin had two main divisions: SP and EP. SP was "Symbolic Processing",...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    BTW, the Lisp programmers at Harlequin did something similar in the 90s when the company pivoted into the web era and ditched all their development tools. The LispWorks team left and started their own company, which still exists. So LispWorks...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    What is most fascinating is the idea of using a version of a Halo drive to extract enough energy to power a civilization on megastructure ringworlds and habitats in orbit around black holes that would survive and thrive trillions of...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    The Wilbraham Road stop, of Tharpe etc fame, was on the line which is now the Fallowfield Loop, not the one which is now the tram line. It's near the junction of Alexandra Road South and Mauldeth Road West. See...
  • Commented on Empire Games (and Merchant Princes): the inevitable spoiler thread!
    Would it be useful for me to provide a list of typos and/or continuity errors for this book?...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    No, but farmers in the UK these days are pretty comfortable with both centimetres and hectares. Happily a centimetre-hectare is equal to an acre-inch, within a fudge factor (2.8%) smaller than the usual margins of error when talking about precipitation...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I've been lurking. There's definitely an order of magnitude missing in that thread of conversation, from Moz at 1663 onwards: "Each million tonne metres gives you one gigawatt-second of stored energy." No. A million tonne metres is 1e10 J, i.e....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I'm pretty sure acre-inches and acre-feet are only standard units in water management in the US, among all manner of other "standard units" which need not concern us in the civilised world. (FWIW, an acre-inch is about 100 m^3)....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Let us consider a domestic installation in a location which gets 20 MJ/m^2/diem, with 10 square metres and a 15% efficiency. That is a mere 8.3 KW-hours and a peak of 730 watts. But, if you are lifting 1...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    360 million cubic metres is 3.6e11 kg of water. With 400 metres of head, that's 1.44e15 Joules of potential energy. Which is 400 GWh (and also a pretty bloody impressive pumped storage facility, much larger than any actually existing plant....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Australia is an entire continent. The contiguous 48 is only 24% larger than Australia. Brisbane to Perth is the same distance as NYC to LA....
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