What's the betting
That as soon as BAe get hold of these reliable Swedish tankettes and change them to meet the MoD's spec they'll turn out to be ludicrously expensive and completely unreliable?
3615 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007
That as soon as BAe get hold of these reliable Swedish tankettes and change them to meet the MoD's spec they'll turn out to be ludicrously expensive and completely unreliable?
Had it just been punctured at the front and the photo was taken before it completely deflated?
...that's an magnificently awesome first paragraph - the sort of stuff Carl Sagan would have come up with if he had been in the habit of mainlining scratch-and-sniff panels.
Three of those words are redundant.
The word for subterranean molten rock is - magma.
'The Red Sea is a branch that has managed to make the split, but after 60-odd million years the East African branch is still mostly a lot of hot air.'
If you look at the UK you'll find deep rifts that never really got going. The North Sea is one, the Minch off of Western Scotland is another. But one of the biggest is right under Brum. If you find a geological map of the UK, you'll see a long North-South finger of Permo-Trias rock running through the Midlands towards Bristol. This is the Worcester Graben, a colossal rift valley that began opening up in the early Mesozoic which has been filled in with desert deposits.
Had history been different, the Worcester Graben would have opened up into the Atlantic and Wales would now be part of America. In the end, the Atlantic decided to form West of Ireland resulting in the huge volcanic deposits found right across Northern Ireland, the West of Scotland and Greenland. Oh and the whole of Iceland.
US prices won't include sales tax which is levied at a state level. Additionally, European warranty periods are longer than in the US, so you end up paying for that as well.
'This is the same SRB design that has been used over 100 times launching the Space Shuttle. They have been parachuting them into the sea and reusing them for decades now. Highly unlikely that that aspect of the test went amiss.'
It's a new parachute system to accommodate the greater weight of the fifth segment.
...once again, why are dSLRs getting so small?
I don't have huge hands and I find the D3000 (and the comparably marketed Canons) just too small to hold comfortably; and they're horrible to balance especially when you stick a larger metal-bodied lens on the front.
I just stumped up for a new dSLR and after trying everything up to about £1200 found myself (to my surprise) plumping for the Sony Alpha 700 - it's technically awesome, but it also comes with a chunky, reassuringly-heavy metal body.
I know, I know - a *Sony*; socially it's the scrofula of the camera world. So, to overcome my stigma, if anyone wants me to (ahem) 'review' the Nikon D3x, I'm sure I can find the time. Just don't skimp on the lens eh?
'What's wrong with Buttered Cat Arrays?'
Still on the drawing board until someone comes up with a way of successfully buttering a cat that doesn't result in the flesh being flayed from their hands.
"an individual can remove themselves from the register at their own request."
If I'm reading this correctly a zombie paedophile can remove themselves from the register and threaten our children.
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
...the entirely bat-shit crazy, 'go to Saturn in the Albert Hall on the back of an H-bomb' - Project Orion. Brought to you in 1950s tail-fin and bobby socks glory by the company with the coolest name in the history of bonkerdom: General Atomics.
It's what Gerry Anderson would want us to do.
The media business says someone in your household was downloading files with the result that the whole household gets disconnected without any legal process and hey presto your new right (proposed by the self-same Labour government) to the Internet is removed.
How long until we can bury this lot in a suitable pit of quicklime?
"The best long-term solution has to be a market in which those who love music and film, for example, can find a deal that makes acting unlawfully an unnecessary risk,"
So he's prepared to call for the removal of all DRM such as region coding on movies?
'So...years late, we get a painted-over Shuttle solid fuel booster propelling a dummy second stage and avionics package into sub-orbital space and splashing down.'
Actually we got it just four years after the Ares project was first approved. N
ASA have had plenty of screw-ups since the Shuttle was finalised, a long period of indecision, but they've done well to get Ares up and flying this quickly. NASA needs a period of certainty where it can plan; if the Augustine panel's recommendations are followed it will be even longer before we can start doing new cool stuff.
Ares 1-X was more than just an SRB with a new coat of paint; it was a new vehicle with completely different flight characteristics to previous rockets that NASA has built. They were testing rockets the old-fashioned way - one small step at a time. The alternative, 'all-up' approach used on the Shuttle and Apollo Saturn V is incredibly risky and appallingly expensive - NASA doesn't want another explosion to torpedo public support for space flight and its budget simply doesn't allow them to keep rolling rockets to the pad and firing them in the hope they've debugged everything.
The largest effort to Ares 1-X wasn't actually the rocket, its been re-tasking Kennedy to handle the new rockets - everything from redesigning the pad and the VAB to training the staff who will assemble and fire the rockets.
It's a real shame we now have to wait quite so long for Ares 1-Y to fly. A bit of Kennedy-era urgency from the top and Johnson-era largesse would be nice.
My only issue with today's flight was that it didn't take place when I was at Kennedy earlier this month :(
You don't need a biometric passport to travel to the US.
You DO need a machine readable passport (one with a barcode which are the sort that have been issued in the last ten years or so), and you need to be enrolled in the US biometric farrago at the point of entry. But that's it.
The plans are to gradually replace machine-readable passports with biometric ones - which are those containing an electronic copy of the photograph and a digital signature. AND THAT'S IT.
But then why are you asking. She's a Labour MP, you can tell they're lying when their lips start moving. If they aren't speaking you can be pretty sure they're about to lie to you.
'Wasn't this called Apollo about 40 years ago?'
No, Apollo was a get-to-the-Moon-first-no-matter-what project. There was no coherent idea of what to do after the lunar landing, especially after NASA started getting its budget cut by Congress. The original plan had been to proceed with a space station and the Space Shuttle before moving on to Mars by the mid 1908s.
However, as we all know, the only bit that survived was the Space Shuttle, but that really only in name only after the US Air Force started laying down requirements which effectively crippled the project. By the time the Shuttle project was approved there wasn't enough money to build a station for it to visit; leaving NASA trapped in low orbit for a long time.
Constellation is better thought through than that, the rockets are designed for more than one purpose and can support a variety of missions. It's just a shame that it has taken 40 years for NASA to effectively copy the Soviet missions planned for the N1 rocket. Let's just hope Ares 1 and 5 are more reliable than the N1.
Awesome. Not nearly enough scientific equipment has been made of brass since the 19th Century.
'What's the 4 hour window'
They have to close a huge area of ocean so that shipping doesn't have spent rocket stages falling on it. Four hours is the maximum the Air Force who run the Canaveral range is prepared to allocate.
'It's less capable than the shuttle, and it has serious pogo problems! Upgrade the shuttle ffs, or am I wrong about this???'
The problem with the Shuttle was it did lots of things not very well. Ares I does at least have a clear mission without all the compromises that so ruined the Shuttle by the time it flew. The Shuttle could have its life extended, but the people who designed it and built it are all now long retired or dead, the production lines and jigs are all long scrapped. There's no going back. And the Soviet Shuttle has long since been broken up (admittedly after a building fell on it).
As for pogo, yes it *could* be a problem. Firstly, to correct the article, the thing wouldn't shake itself to pieces on the pad, pogo is a flight problem.
Secondly, pogo is fixable. Apollo 6, the second flight of the Saturn V nearly ended in disaster because of pogo. There was a violent first stage pogo well beyond what had been seen in Apollo 4. The CSM/LM actually began to disintegrate with quite large chunks coming free. Had the mission been manned the automatic abort would have been invoked. NASA got to work detuning the first stage and had that resolved by the time of Apollo 10's flight.
Second stage pogo nearly destroyed Apollo 13 before its SM oxygen tank had a chance to kill the crew. There was an undiagnosed turbo-pump resonance that caused massive shaking in the central J2 engine. Fortunately the engine's computer noticed an ongoing deviation from preset parameters and initiated a shutdown before pogo tore the engine from its mounts.
Saturn V was never thoroughly de-pogoed, and yet its probably the most successful rocket NASA ever built.
And I never got the chance to see one fired.
The War Against Terror versus the record labels with shiny little Ben Bradshaw caught in the middle.
Has anyone got the popcorn in?
Did Camp X-ray have a performance license to play the music? If not, how much will they be expected to cough up?
'Just for completeness - to those of you listing the constituent parts of North America - you might want to add Greenland. Even though it's a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, it's also a sizeable part of North America..'
And the left-hand quarter of Iceland; which (depending on your definition) is also (or indeed is not) part of Scandinavia.
'6) Iceland is also a country and its natural timezone is GMT, which it uses.'
Very sensibly they also just accept they're on the edge of the Arctic Circle and stick with GMT all year round. Yes the winters suck, but there's a: the incredible summers to look forward to, and b: the brennevin.
'you'll be telling my very expensive magic wand doesn't have any magic in it next.'
You know it doesn't; the judge was very clear about the powers of your magic wand at the sentencing.
'As the ISP's have basically refused to cooperate with this, due factors like, the massive cost of DPI,'
Oh please, that's easy for New Labour to find their way round. They'll simply impose a £1 per month per account 'Internet Security Tax' on the country; then make sure it gets railroaded through the Commons thanks to the invertebrate nature of their backbenchers and a suitably Mandelsonian smear campaign against its opponents.
'that some folks at NASA think will shake its payload to pieces, or is that Ares V?'
It's this one that could pogo like buggery.
Just put me on a boat piled high with all my consumer electronics and set light to it.
After I'm dead (obviously).
'Why always those displays?'
Simple - they look astonishing out of doors. Whereas LCD screens get washed out unless you crank the backlight to 11, or they just become reflective messes, the eInk displays get crisper and brighter the more light there is.
There's also no flicker which makes prolonged reading much more pleasant than on an LCD.
"There's a very strong case to look at the assets of the MoD and say do these deliver anything for the front line?"
A quick flip through some history books (you can claim them on expenses) suggests that knowing the weather forecast does have some influence on military campaigns.
"...the time taken for messages to travel back and forth - already some hours when Earth and Mars are far apart."
No they don't - trip times to Mars vary from just over 3 minutes when Earth is closest to the planet to about 22 minutes when they're on opposite sides of the Sun. Double that for a round trip. If you're being put on hold for 'some hours' when calling Mars you should consider changing your operator.
Couldn't they have made that a 210-day period of fasting and abstinence and sort of solved the problem themselves?
Although probably a bit too substantial for Ralph Lauren.
'If you're going to the trouble of sending a nuke powered ship all the way out there, why not attach some sort of satelite you can fling into orbit so we can get data back all the time?'
You'd have to slow it from interplanetary velocity which would either need an enormous amount of fuel, or you could try aerobraking in Titan's atmosphere which would be nerve wracking.
As for probes doing more than just sitting there; in 1986 the Soviets put balloons on Vegas 1 and 2 to take readings of the Venusian atmosphere. They confirmed it was pretty bloody nasty.
Bollocks - your only interest is forcing people to arrive at the terminal three hours before departure and delaying gate announcements to the last minute to maximise the time passengers spend in the shops* and restaurants.
* Anyone else noticed that airport branches of Dixons are even crappier than the ones in the High Street?
Maybe useless, but they were on the Mercedes 300 - so they aren't completely evil.
Was because the latest version of Office for the Mac ignored ALL of the goodness that went into Office 2007 for Windows in favour of releasing an even more lethargic bugtastic product.
'It's just like when John Selwyn Gummer wanted to convince people that beef infected with BSE didn't cause the brain disease CJD in people, and so offered the burger.... to his daughter.'
To be fair to John Selwyn Gummer (and when was the last time you read that combination of words?), eating a BSE-laden burger only resulted in a very slight chance of contracting the disease; whereas getting an ID card guarantees your life will be fucked shortly afterwards.
'Wow! The OMGPEDOSAREEVERYWHERE crowd finally comes to clash with the OMGTERRORISTSAREEVERYWHERE crowd. Both have proven able to legislate absurd restrictions of freedom for no actual benefit, based on irrational fear alone. One can only wish they'd kill each other over this issue.'
Of course the real joy of this story is that both groups are running the Home Office. Any chance of getting the Home Secretary to explain the situation? If so, can we have warning, I'll want to set TiVo so that I can enjoy it time and time again.
'The first 4 have or are very close to Nuclear technology.'
Just to let you know, France has a tantalising selection of appalling powerful yet stylish hydrogen warheads that could reduce most of the Lower 48* to a desolate wasteland inhabited solely by cockroaches and a giant mutated Chuck Norris.
* Hawaii's too nice to nuke and Alaska's got polar bears.
'Iceland generates more electricity than it can possibly use using geothermal;'
Actually most Icelandic power comes from hydro power; only about 25% is geothermal. But you're right, they have stupid amounts of power to tap and it is insanely cheap (the average Reykjaviker pays about 1/4 as much as a Britain for all the electricity and hot water they can possibly use).
The Icelandic government in association with Shell and Norsk Hydro already done extensive trials of running buses on hydrogen in Reykjavik, but have decided not to proceed further. Instead they are switching to biogas from sewage - you can recognise the biogas buses by their green roofs. The hydrogen filling station is still visible on Miklabraut as you leave the city for Hveragerði (if you're going that way, do stop off en-route at the entirely awesome geothermal plant at Hellisheiðivirkjun - it's like an Apple store has been dropped on the Moon)
There were plans to start experimenting with converting the Icelandic fishing fleet to hydrogen, but AFAIK they have been put on hold thanks to a few Icelandic billionaires running off with everyone's money.
A more economic prospect for Iceland would be to string a DC cable to the UK and pump their cheap electricity into the National Grid. The current plan by the main power company is to start offering cheap power to companies wanting to run server farms and manufacture solar silicon and to diversify away from the country's dependence on aluminium smelting which has got a bad environmental reputation of late.
'A common goal of global-warming reduction efforts is to limit temperature rises to 2 degrees, though some say this is unachievable and a rise of at least 4 degrees is inevitable. The well-known Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report of 2007 predicted a rise of 3 degrees by 2100.'
Errrr what's that got to do with the fossil record? No climatologist would tell you that present global temperatures are the highest ever. They would say they are amongst the highest in the current interglacial; but that's it. What they *would* tell you is that the current rate of change is anomalously high and that is likely to cause problems for us in the short term. Like it or not, a good part of the World' population is sensitive to climate change if only because rising sea levels put large amounts of the planet's fertile land under salt water.
And to follow on from 'Anonymous Coward''s excellent points about never extrapolating directly from deep climate records. The biggest reason the late Paleocene was almost unfeasibly warm by modern standards was that both polar regions received large amounts of equatorial heat from oceanic currents. F'rcrissakes, parts of Antarctica had a subtropical climate as late as the Eocene! It was only when Antarctica and Australia separated from one another that the circumpolar currents deprived Antarctica of warmth and it began to accumulate a huge ice cap that helped drive down ocean floor temperatures across the globe. This was made worse as the Arctic became a semi-enclosed region with little or no equatorial currents.
In short, the Eocene was a nice time to live in Greenland so long as you didn't mind the crocodile infestations.
'Many on their earth monitoring programs are redundant since we have the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'
Just a thought to shoot down your thought balloon...
...but if NASA is planning missions to look for life on Europa or giant telescopes to look for earthlike planets, wouldn't it help to have an idea what sort of thing they should be looking for? The bugs in the salt ponds around 'Frisco might be detectable in spectra captured by the aircraft. If that's the case, NASA can program their spaceborne sensors to look for similar patterns.
BTW if you haven't seen these salt ponds, they really do look like something from another planet:
...the winners be pre-emptively extradited to the US to avoid any unfortunate newspaper campaigns?
'Now the folk at NASA have successfully lobbed a couple of spacecraft at the moon can they please lob a coupld at the Home Office in search of any intelligent life whatsoever??'
Bugger that - can't they just crash something into the Home Office?
'I DON'T WANT TO SEE RIB CAGES OR SPINE'
To be fair there is no way that woman has a spine.
Come on Sony, we're in the 21st Century now -DVI or Mini DVI please. That thing is HUGE on such a slender bit of loveliness.
'the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a million'
When I was at school (in the early Mesozoic), I was taught that probabilities were always to be expressed as fractions.
'You wait 'till they name one Anubis.'
You've already been screwed, it's out there in the Main Asteroid Belt:
But how much extra thickness will you need to make these things fireproof? At the moment a burning battery is nasty but not likely to contaminate a large area - with these - eek!
Now I know how we can sneak into that mythical lesbian city in Northern Sweden.
Although only Geordies will be able to wear the mandatory boob tubes in the midst of a Swedish winter.
'If I had a nickel for every spent stage that has hit the moon over the last 40 years, I'd be rich.'
You'd have about $3.50.