The Anonymous Widower

Oxford Vaccine Team Use Same Tech To Revolutionise Cancer Treatment

The title of this post, is the same as that as an article on The Times.

I’m no medic, but I know enough about cancer, vaccines and the human immune system, to know that the team that developed the Oxford vaccine, could be on to something here. Especially, as they have got backing from Google’s venture capital arm.

March 6, 2021 Posted by | Finance, Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

Never Remove A Feature In A Computer Program

One of my golden rules in updating computing programs, is never to remove a feature however obscure it is. The reason is obvious, in that if the feature exists someone will find an extremely useful way to use it.

Here are two changes in other software systems that are annoying me at present.

The Windows 10 Photo Viewer

I use an SD card to capture images in my camera..

On my old laptop with Windows 7, if I was looking at a folder of images, I could scroll past the last image to the first and vice-versa, which was a very useful feature, when looking for an obscure image.

Windows 10 doesn’t have this feature and it is very annoying.

Zopa’s New System

I invest some of my savings in Zopa and use it as a high-interest one month-access deposit account in a concept that I call hybrid banking, which I wrote about in The Concept Of Hybrid Banking.

The old system used to give two figures about your money, that was yet to be invested.

  • The money sitting there waiting in the queue for new borrowers.
  • The allocated money waiting for the borrower to be checked and sign up.

The first figure was invaluable, as by watching it, it enabled me to see how constipated the system was. There’s not much point, of putting more money in Zopa, if it will just sit there. It could be more productive in crowdfunding an outstanding idea.

But in the new system, they have added these two figures together.

It’s not catastrophic, but it’s a nuisance.

Conclusion

Never disobey, the title of this post!

February 16, 2021 Posted by | Computing, Finance | , | 8 Comments

Memories Of Old Money

I don’t specifically remember Decimalisation-Day on the 15th February, 1971, which is fifty years ago today.

But I do have a few memories of the old currency.

  1. Before 1970, I served in pubs and will always remember that three bottles of Guinness at 1/8 each cost five shillings.
  2. I once complained to British Rail about a late train from Glasgow to Manchester and received a nine shilling postal order in return.
  3. I also remember the Kings Head theatre pub did everything in old money for some years, until the till broke.

You just got on with the change.

February 15, 2021 Posted by | Finance | | Leave a comment

Inappropriate Language

My bank sends a six character code of three letters and three numbers to my phone, so that I can login.

Today, the three letters were KKK.

How inappropriate is that?

I have complained!

February 5, 2021 Posted by | Computing, Design, Finance | , | 3 Comments

Corporate Funding In Battery Storage In 2020 Was Up By 136% Compared To 2019, Mercom Says

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Storage News.

This is a paragraph, which sums up funding worldwide.

The amount of corporate funding coming into the global battery storage industry in 2020 was more than double the amount the previous year, with over US$6.5 billion raised last year compared to around US$2.8 billion in 2019.

It appears that serious money is increasingly going into energy storage.

Some very big deals involving hundreds of millions of dollars are detailed, in countries as varied as Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and the US.

Particular mention is given to a Swedish battery battery design and manufacturing start-up called Northvolt, who raised $600 million.

Most seem to be based on lithium-ion batteries, so the future could be bright for start-up companies like Cornish Lithium!

January 21, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage, Finance | , | Leave a comment

A Reason To Be Cheerful

I have a good reason to be cheerful.

When my wife died in 2007, I had the problem of what to do, with the money from the sale of her Porsche.

Peer-to-peer lending was just starting, so as a trained control engineer and mathematical modeller, I gave them a good check out!

I then put the money into an automatic peer-to-peer lender, where you deposit the money, forget it and the computer lends it out. Some of my family and friends, including my accountant were horrified.

Then came 2008 and the banking crisis. Like a Flower-Class corvette in the teeth of an Atlantic gale, it bounced safely through the crisis.

Since, then it has earned more than the stock market and grown.

And it repeated a similar safe passage through the Covid-19 crisis.

It does seem that there are always people with a good credit ratings that want to borrow money.

How much of the money borrowed in 2020 was for home improvements to cater for a home office or home schooling?

Conclusion

I blame my mother! I got my skill with and feel for numbers, from her genes and the tutoring she gave me,

She had won a scholarship to Dame Alice Owen’s School, but was unable to go to University, due to lack of funds, so she became a comptometer operator in the Account’s Department at Reeves, who used to make artist’s materials and were based just round the corner from where I now live.

That was probably, the only sort of job a mathematically bright young lady could do in the 1920s.

January 3, 2021 Posted by | Finance | , , , | Leave a comment

Gore Street Energy’s £60mln Fundraise Significantly Oversubscribed

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Proactive Investors.

Surprise! Surprise!

Well not to me! Or I suspect Which!

This article on Which is entitled Solar Panel Battery Popularity Is Booming: Should You Buy One?

I have read the article and it leaves, the overall impression, that the UK population are thinking seriously about adding batteries to their solar panels.

So if the UK population is thinking seriously about personal energy storage, it would be very surprising if professional fund managers weren’t thinking the same.

After all, I did write World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant, over two years ago.

So if we’re operating and commissioning offshore wind farms like these.

We’re going to need some humungous batteries to tide us through calm periods.

As I write this post on a Monday afternoon, the UK is generating 11.5 GW of electricity by wind, which is more than we’re generating by biomass, coal and nuclear combined.

This is a quote from Alex O’Cinneide, who is Gore Street Capital’s chief executive, in the Proactive Investors article.

We are looking forward to deploying this capital against our significant global pipeline of 1.3GW and towards the capital expenditure requirements in the company’s existing 440MW portfolio.

Gore Street certainly seem to be expanding, their portfolio of batteries.

Conclusion

The City of London has discovered renewable energy and found a way to fund it, to the benefit of all investors, from the guy with a pension managed by a reputable company to global insurance companies, funds and other companies, who have billions of pounds, dollars or euros, that needs a profitable home.

The next big development will come, when a company like Gore Street goes Giga and decide to fund Gigawatt batteries being developed by the next generation of energy storage companies, like Gravitricity, Highview Power, Siemens Ganesa and Zinc8.

 

December 14, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , | Leave a comment

Start-up Bags $7m To Bring Tourists To Edge Of Space On A Balloon

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on SiliconRepublic.

This paragraph describes it.

The start-up aims to use a series of space balloons – attached with a pressurised capsule – to fly equipment and tourists to the edge of space on a six hour flight. The company’s first test flight of its Neptune 1 craft is expected towards the end of Q1 2021 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility. While the first test will consist of an uncrewed, unpressurised capsule, Space Perspective hopes to begin crewed operations by 2024.

What a concept!

  • It’s affordable edge of space travel for all!
  • Learn more from their web site.
  • From the pictures, it looks like each trip would carry about ten passengers, in normal clothes,
  • I can see lots of these installed over the world.
  • When can I book, a trip on one of these from Central London? Or from somewhere in say the mountains of Switzerland?

On this page of their web site, they describe a typical flight.

Flown by a pilot, Neptune takes up to eight passengers called “Explorers” on a six-hour journey to the edge of space and safely back, where only 20 people have been before. It will carry people and research payloads on a two-hour gentle ascent above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere to 100,000 feet, where it cruises above the Earth for up to two hours allowing passengers to share their experience via social media and with their fellow Explorers. Neptune then makes a two-hour descent under the balloon and splashes down, where a ship retrieves the passengers, the capsule, and the balloon. Neptune’s commercial human spaceflight launches are regulated by the FAA Office of Commercial Spaceflight.

Note.

I’ve already flown at 60,000 feet in an aircraft. In Concorde!

Even a humble Airbus A320 can fly at 41,000 feet.

Splashdown in the Thames Estuary or Lake Geneva? Why not?

No-one ever had a worthwhile idea or made a useful fortune by thinking with the herd.

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Finance, Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Equinor and SSE Renewables’ Dogger Bank Wind Farm Reaches Financial Close

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Global.

It is a very matter of fact article to record the fact that SSE and Equinor have raised three billion pounds for the first two sections of their 3.6 GW wind farm on the Dogger Bank, in the middle of the North Sea.

Wikipedia indicates, they will be operational around 2023-2025.

All very boring! But we’ll see a lot more deals like this.

November 27, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , | 1 Comment

Green Jet Fuel Plant Developers’ Ioy As World Economic Forum Backs Method As Best Aviation Solution

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Business Live.

This is the first paragraph.

The World Economic Forum has backed sustainable aviation fuel as the most promising decarbonation policy for aviation, delighting the developers of a £350 million refinery on the Humber.

I bet Velocys are delighted.

I also think, that, the biodiesel, that they can produce, is a short term solution to the decarbonisation of rail freight and the heaviest vehicles powered by diesel.

It’s so much better than throwing the rubbish into landfill.

November 17, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Finance, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment