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dgul last won the day on July 4 2019

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About dgul

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  1. Oxford is odd because it is an international tourist town. It is probably painful there.
  2. I was told that if I went to Cuba the Foreign Office wouldn't get involved when the Cubans detained me. I don't think they'd have detained me, and I think the FO would have got involved if they had -- but I didn't go anyway.
  3. The complicated part is the way they've made life difficult for themselves. So, they act as an intermediary. If someone books a cottage they take their fee (20% or so IIRC) and pass the rest of the cash to the cottage owner. Up until now they've been saying 'refunds are the problem of the owner, not them'. Technically they should refund the 20%, but that's a detail -- people will want that 80% back. But owners are a bunch of 'normal folk', many of whom will be crap, stubborn and/or bent. So those refunds haven't been issued. Sykes has now more-or-less said they'd issue the full refunds -- but the bulk of that money doesn't exist (it sits with with the owner). So, the question is, if Sykes is paying out the full amount, what's the timescale of their ongoing liability? Some owners will be able to pay the money back to Sykes, but many 'will have spent it already' and not actually have it to return (or, at least, claim this to be the case). In which case, what's the ongoing cashflow like for Sykes? [eg, they might just take the 'refund cost' from next year's booking, in which case their liability might only be a few months long.] I guess it is a case of 'watch this space'.
  4. dgul

    How big is Tesla

    I think that in the future it will more likely be: You get a car, and only purchase enough battery for normal use. In your case it is about 60 miles a day (50 miles commute plus a bit). This is the ecological sweet-spot because it is the battery that makes all the ecological impact, and buying a car that has a 60 mile range compared with 400 is like buying a petrol car that'll do 180mpg compared with 30mpg. You also have the option to install plug-in range extender batteries. These have a different chemistry and can't be charged by the end user, but are cheap, lightweight and 'recyclable' by the battery company. When you need the extra range (eg, holiday) you just plug one in. Then the problem of 'what to do with your ginormous battery that's only there because you do big miles a few times a year' goes away.
  5. dgul

    How big is Tesla

    Possibly. I'm not entirely convinced, mainly because car usage times vs the need for the power in the grid. Eg, Sunny day. Person drives to work --- no charger, so no charging with excess electricity. Drives home arriving with 1/4 empty battery, just in time for the peak power demand. Owner could 'use up' their 1/4 charge, but might need the car to pop out later, so does't. Car is then charged up overnight (using excess energy from wind, fine). In that scenario the battery isn't readily usable to do the storage thing usefully. Same things happen day after day. Sure, It might work if the car isn't used every day -- but then is a battery chemistry optimised for high energy density at light weight the right (most efficient) solution?
  6. That's such a great video. When it comes to any mention of the design it is all 'function every time', 'engineering led', 'form follows function' and 'when you have a boxy design with a wheel at each corner ... it'll always look the same'. Even talking about influences, they sort-of mention 'Defender' at the end of the list as though an afterthought. Very amusing.
  7. dgul

    How big is Tesla

    Picking a company completely at random... Tesla is 10x bigger than Wirecard at its peak.
  8. dgul

    How big is Tesla

    My problem with Tesla is that it doesn't solve the problem it claims to ('environment'). For electric cars, the bulk of the environmental damage is in the creation of the battery for it, and thus it makes most sense if the user maximises their use of the battery (ie, drive daily a decent proportion of the battery capacity). It doesn't make environmental sense if you make the battery and then don't use it (charge up once a week, say). But, for a 'normal person', it is terrible for the environment to be driving 200 miles every day. These people should be trying to drive less, not justifying their driving by it being 'not as bad for the environment'. Of course, there might be financial reasons for driving a fancy electric car, but that's only because of tax incentives (mainly in taxation of fuel -- Per mile rates on electric are in the same ballpark as fossil fuels before taxation. I really don't understand why there is any tax incentive (plug-in grant) for 'normal people' buying ecars, but not really so much for commerce. IMO there should be hefty incentives for high-mileage commercial use (post, taxis) and hardly any for regular car users.
  9. You're thinking of guerrillas.
  10. Yes. But you've got to actually read it. The knee-jerk reaction is to get shops to say 'don't buy your coconut oil if it is sourced from Thailand' -- but that approach is unlikely to actually have any impact. UK shops will source from elsewhere, but it won't make much different to the situation in Thailand -- It probably won't help the abused monkeys. If they wanted to actually make a difference they'd have been better advised to work with Thai suppliers to improve animal husbandry conditions in their country.
  11. Sykes Cottages. They've just announced that they'll offer refunds to be paid by the end of the month. I don't think they've got the cash -- I think they've worked out a pre-pack solution.
  12. So, Boris's current fluff has come out with some statement about not eating coconut oil collected by monkeys. I did think this sounded a bit 'April fool', but apparently it is actually a thing. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53276071 Anyway, I'm not sure about all this. Is it actually bad to use monkeys to do a bit of work, in return (presumably) for a bit of food / shelter? Is it worse than eating animals? Is it worse than buying stuff made in a sweatshop? What about farm or hunting dogs? Or cats used to control mice? etc etc. I do think they shouldn't be abused, but that's a different issue. I just don't think I've got a problem with it at a fundamental level.
  13. The barley crop is pretty much ready to harvest (well, in southern England, anyway). Yeast is available online, as are hops.
  14. There's always money in mining if you can get mining systems at cost and/or electricity cheaper than everyone else. Clearly, a casual person in the UK is hard pushed to meet either of those requirements. The dream of 'mining companies' is that shareholders provide the capital for investment and they do the mining efficiently. I'd imagine that in reality it is just a money transfer mechanism*. [* This isn't quite fair -- they might have purchasing power to get a good deal from ASIC miner suppliers, and might operate in places with cheaper electricity. Nonetheless, it isn't clear why they should give a significantly better ROI than buying an Antminer, say.] [Personally, I believe that the whole crypto space has become infested with people manipulating prices, from the Tether printing stuff to Far Eastern mining conglomerates. Not something I'm touching, other than I happen to have a Skycoin miner in the attic, mining merrily, and I can't be bothered to go up there to switch it off.]