The collected wisdom (so far) of 647 238 9575:
- My love is with you sweet heart have a nice evening I miss you so so so much
- Good morning my sweet heart have a nice day
- Ana have a nice evening I miss you so so so much
- My O my my heart is with you sweet heart have a nice day my love is with you for life xoxoxoxo
- My sole is with you my heart as well for you for life have a nice day my love is with you for life xoxoxoxo
- Hi is your day going well my heart is with you
- My heart is with you sweet heart have a nice day
- Hi are you having a nice day my sweet heart hope all is well with you
- Sweet morning to you I hope you are Ok my heart is with you
- Good sweet morning to you sweet heart hope all is well with you my sole is with you my love my love is with you for life xoxoxoxo
- Hi did you have a nice day be happy my heart is with you sweet love for you
- My love is with you sweet heart have a nice lunch
- All i like is to love you for life xoxoxoxo my heart is with you sweet love for you i love you for life
- It is hard to see you are so so could i like to give you the world and my love for your life and you wont talk to me
- My heart is with you my sweet sole of my for you for life have a nice evening I miss you so so so much i made a mestak with you will you fo
- Ana i wish you get over it and talk to me my heart is with you sweet love for you i love you for life xoxoxoxo my heart is with you as well
I’m pretty sure these are generated by a Markov filter.
Windows XP, running under OS X using VirtualBox.
Bellamy calls for more sea power
Apparently, David Bellamy said that “if people wanted to help combat climate change they should wear an extra layer of clothing in winter”. Uh, what?
Tyre sabotage brings race to halt
Police are investigating after carpet tacks were spread across roads bringing a major cycle race to a halt.
Just a few reasons why sabotaging the Étape Caledonia was wrong:
- it’s a charity event – it was supporting Macmillan Cancer
- it’s the only mass-start bike race of its kind in the UK
- the roads were closed for three whole hours; c’mon people, it’s not like it’s days of inconvenience.
At least the race will go on next year.
I just signed up for Toronto Hydro‘s Time-of-Use (TOU) Metering programme. While it was mentioned in this month’s PowerWISE (hey, am I the only one who reads the info inserts that comes with their bill?), it doesn’t seem to have been officially launched. On first look, it’s fairly nifty (click the image for a full-sized view):
Since I’m a Bullfrog customer, I don’t think I get charged TOU rates (hey, it’d be nice; actually, if coupled to current capacity, I’d make hay while the sun shines/wind blows/water flows …) but at least I get to see the data. I wonder if the front end is scriptable? I’d love to be able to track my usage day by day.
(And to think, yesterday I was on the cusp of buying a Black & Decker Power Monitor. If it had ethernet/wireless/bluetooth, I’d have been on it like an X on a Thing That X Likes. It looks a bit complex to install.)
I don’t know if this is worth posting to RISKS:
I used to manage wind farm SCADA systems. The supplier is a market leader in the wind industry. The components used to feed data to the central SCADA are industry standard, accurate, reliable units. The complete cost of the SCADA system and associated metering probably runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This isn’t el cheapo stuff, and is put together by knowledgeable engineers and technicians.
So I was a little surprised to see that the generation report for a wind farm was showing a total of -8.3 GWh, when a similar wind farm nearby had generated 1.8 GWh for the same period. What!? Crossed wires on the meter? Inconceivable!
No wires were harmed in the making of this error. For metering power delivered, power plants use interval meters, which behave extremely similarly to your household electrical meter. They’re a little more accurate, have a few more features (like these ones have ethernet ports for remote reading) but they’re basically the same: any energy that goes through the wires gets added up on a counter. Take two readings a known time apart, subtract the later from the earlier, and you’ve got the total energy delivered.
The wind farm’s SCADA polls this meter every ten minutes, and stores the result in its database. When you want a generation report, the server goes through the data, subtracts the last reading from the first, and presents that as the generation. Simple; what could go wrong?
The bods at Major Wind Turbine Company were baffled. I was confused, and a little annoyed as I had lender and a board of directors breathing down my neck for revenue numbers. So I dug into the raw ten-minute data, and found this:
|Wind Farm A||Wind Farm B|
It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the meter at Wind Farm B rolled over at 9,999,999 kWh, and so should really have read 10,000,575 kWh. The poor little SCADA didn’t know to check for rollover, and happily subtracted the later number from the earlier.
I should add that there was no risk to public safety or system operation caused by this error. Just a few lost hairs from me.
(Actually, many years ago, I had access to the source of an extremely early wind farm SCADA server. It was written by a series of summer students, with variable names and comments in their native language. It was pretty hard to follow. One little nugget I did pry out of the code was that they used a simple arithmetic mean for averaging wind direction. That meant that it took the mean of 358° and 2° to be 180°; not so smart …)
The prime reason I bought the Sheevaplug is to run the automatic podcast. Every day, the script has to decode a bunch of mp3s to WAV format.On a normal computer, this takes a few seconds per file. On the Sheevaplug – with no floating-point instructions, things get painful:
$ time lame --mp3input 03-in_the_aeroplane_over_the_sea.mp3 03-in_the_aeroplane_over_the_sea.wav
ID3v2 found. Be aware that the ID3 tag is currently lost when transcoding.
LAME 3.98 32bits (http://www.mp3dev.org/)
Using polyphase lowpass filter, transition band: 16538 Hz - 17071 Hz
Encoding as 44.1 kHz j-stereo MPEG-1 Layer III (11x) 128 kbps qval=3
Frame | CPU time/estim | REAL time/estim | play/CPU | ETA
7750/7750 (100%)| 8:45/ 8:45| 8:46/ 8:46| 0.3851x| 0:00
kbps LR MS % long %
128.0 2.1 97.9 100.0
Writing LAME Tag...done
That’s right – nearly 9 minutes to decode a song! My very first Pentium 75 could probably do better than that.
I’d heard that MAD was really fast on integer-only CPUs, so I tried it:
$ time madplay -o 03-in_the_aeroplane_over_the_sea.wav 03-in_the_aeroplane_over_the_sea.mp3
MPEG Audio Decoder 0.15.2 (beta) - Copyright (C) 2000-2004 Robert Leslie et al.
Title: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Artist: Neutral Milk Hotel
Album: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
7748 frames decoded (0:03:22.3), +1.2 dB peak amplitude, 1423 clipped samples
Seven seconds sure beats nearly nine minutes. Now, if only I could find an integer MP3 encoder …