Freesteel Blog » 2011 » August

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 1:55 pm - - Vero

I appeared to have made a fundamental error in mistaking a document published in March 2009 by Capital for Enterprise Limited entitled “guidance for Enterprise Capital Funds” as having anything to do with the Capital for Enterprise Fund (which bailed out Vero Software in December 2009).

Oh well.

Nevertheless, following my FOI request about the information they received, they supplied me with what appears to be a close approximation of an Investee Summary Sheet for that particular transaction, and disclosed that there were 38 of them in total.

These funds tend to keep their operations as secret as possible, and provided the following explanation for this confidentiality in my last Decision Notice

33. BIS has also provided the Commissioner with evidence of similar prejudice occurring in a comparable situation. BIS explained that a named Capital for Enterprise Fund portfolio company, suffered adverse publicity as a result of voluntary disclosure of information that related to the company by a Fund Manager. This is another fund similar to the ECF programme which receives some investment from the government. It explained that the disclosure resulted in damage to the fund and the investee company. In the aftermath of the press coverage, it stated that there was significant disruption to the business and diversion of management resources to reassure customers and other stakeholders as to the businesses viability. In addition following press scrutiny surrounding this investment there was a noticeable aversion by investee companies for it to be a matter of public record that they had received funding from the Capital for Enterprise Fund as they wanted to avoid similar scrutiny of their business and because there was clear reputational risk of undergoing such scrutiny. The Commissioner considers that whilst this relates to a different funding programme and different information was disclosed, this example provides some evidence as to the nature of the prejudice claimed occuring in this case. This is because the SMEs which apply for ECF investment are private companies which may not wish to come under public scrutiny and therefore may be detracted from applying for such funding programmes.

And what was the “named Capital for Enterprise Fund portfolio company” I had to ask? It was KeTech.

Creditors to Mandelson-backed KeTech face losses
A private company that received £2.75m from a Government-funded scheme set up by Lord Mandelson less than a year ago is to file for protection from its creditors.

Mandelson faces embarrassment over KeTech’s pension black hole
The Government’s investment arm has begun investigating how a taxpayer-funded scheme rescued a company without noticing that one of its subsidiaries had failed to pass on thousands of pounds of its employees’ pension contributions.

Oh, so the Capital for Enterprise Fund managers or related government operatives apparently failed in their diligence, which was only found out when the company entered into a sort of bankruptcy process in which creditors lost money.

…And that is your cited example to justify zero disclosure about these venture capital funds?

Come on.

I mean, the press scrutiny was primarily about the shortcomings in the official scrutiny by the financial professionals hired to oversee this case.

And that press scrutiny is then described to the Information Commissioner as a case of unwelcome outside disruption and reputational risk — which he accepted as reasonable!

Only in the financial sector can an administrative failure get converted into an intangible asset with such ease.

Why do these cock-ups keep morphing into successful conspiracies?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 8:10 pm - - Cave 1 Comment »

It was the usual destiny with drama. I’ll provide links to the logbook when it is typed in. (Here it is)

We drove direct from the Pyrenees via Cannes where the McGuires were on holiday, went for a swim in the corner of the public beach, and partook an evening bike tour past all these pointless party boats where the super-rich with no better ideas in their puny minds appear to blow their money on brightly lit floating buckets.


Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 at 1:21 pm - - Cave

Our next engagement in July after Laruns was to join the Northern Penine Club on their holiday to do a very famous huge through trip that all of my friends have done.

First task was to cycle up the col while waiting for everyone to arrive.


Friday, August 12th, 2011 at 2:34 pm - - Machining 2 Comments »

Trying to do some machining work here. I’ve got the task of making the 5-axis holder collision check work a bit faster. But first check the review of the 3-axis holder case.

Consider the following diagram. The background yellowish volume is the model, the blue is the toolholder that can collide with the model when it is lowered along its z axis, and the barchart thing represents the box-set containing the model.

The box-set is the structure that puts all the triangles, points and edges of the model into rectangular boxes so as to reduce the number of elements that need to be scanned.

For example, if the model contains a million triangles spread across a metre squared, then it’s going to take a long time to scan all of them for each tool holder location to test for collisions. However, if the triangles are listed in boxes, then (according to this diagram) we need only to scan the triangles that appear in the 12 boxes between A and B, which is a fraction of the total.

Also, each box has the triangles listed in order of max z (within the box). Since we know the minimum z of the toolholder where it overhangs each box, we need only scan down the triangles in each box until we reach the first triangle whose maximum z is below this minimum.

Even so, with a big toolholder shape covering a broad area, there can be numerous boxes to scan, many of whose top triangle is well below the min z of the holder over that box.

So there is scope for optimization.

For any toolholder xy axis position, there is a height difference between the maximum z of the triangles in each box, and the minimum z of the tool holder over that box.

We can sort references to these boxes by this order.

In this example (if the tool holder were a fraction lower), we can see it would look at the top few triangles in box 1, then maybe a lesser few in box 2, and finally since box 3 and all subsequent boxes are lower than their corresponding holder min z, we can stop there, having scanned 2 boxes instead of 12, and quite possibly discovering a collision (if there is one) on the first box.

Obviously, producing this list of priorities for each box takes a bit of time as well as memory. As with any precalculation, care has to be taken that you are actually reducing the end-to-end calculation load.

The size of the boxes in which these lists are made can be much bigger than the boxes containing the triangles of the model.

At the extreme case, you can use a single holder box, and just list the triangle boxes in order of max-z. Then the algorithm simplifies to merely going through them in order until the box that is below the lowest point of the toolholder is encountered.

Friday, August 5th, 2011 at 1:33 pm - - Cave

I’ve been on CUCC Austria Expo for 2 weeks and not been up the hill once. Have been doing survey drawing up from things in crayon from as long ago as 1990 from before we used computers bears no relation to the centreline measurements. I mean, look at the state of this:

Artistic license is required. I am pioneering the idea of printing out parts of the survey to take into the cave for correction against facts underground.