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* Posts by Mark Graybill

20 posts • joined 17 Jun 2008

Curiosity kills 3D Cameron cams

Mark Graybill

Fixed Focal Length=Fixed Scale

The images they get with the fixed focal lengths are measurable, and triangulation with a variable focal length would require that the focal length at which the image was taken be known precisely, requiring a feedback system that becomes a potential source of measurement error.

Else we start seeing pebbles as giant Martian castles...

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Brian May stands up for Welsh badgers

Mark Graybill

Free cigarettes will fix it

Provide free cigarettes for the cows, badgers, alpacas, farmers, rocks stars, and all the other mammals. That'll shorten the time they've got to spread the disease. Except cats. The cats can buy their own cigarettes.

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Yahoo! to! offload! Delicious! as! early! as! next! week!

Mark Graybill
Thumb Up

Post your app

You should post your Python script somewhere online. Neither of the methods Delicious gives has worked for me.

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Microwaved hard disc, run-over PC and other data disasters

Mark Graybill

Faster Backups

If you're doing /dev/null now, you can speed up your backups dramatically by replacing your current backup command with:

#!/bin/bash

kill -9 $

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SpaceX's Dragon poised to go orbital

Mark Graybill
Headmaster

Solid Rocket Propellant != High Explosive

Practically all solid rockets use a low-order propellant. There were a few developed, e.g. for 60's era ABMs/interceptors, but that's not what you're going to find on launch vehicles.

Still, it's nothing to play around with. Some of it will light up if you look at it funny on the wrong day. If the smoke doesn't kill you, the radiant energy will give you as nasty a "sunburn" as you can imagine.

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LHC boffins turn lead into quarko-gluotic Big Bang incrediblo-stuff

Mark Graybill
Flame

until December 6th...

They're going to be home and ready the moment that Cataclysm is released, of course. Unless they manage to release a Deathwing of their own. Then CERN looks like Auberdine...

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Microsoft delivers Google Chrome IE9 beta

Mark Graybill

Playing to the Pits

The use patterns of the laziest and most ill informed is going to define the feature set?

Yeah, that sounds like a strategy. Write the thing for those too stupid to complain. That'll show those power-users!

Why even include a location/search bar? Just make the thing go straight to Facebook.

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Colorado vampire drives woman into canal

Mark Graybill
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Another Roadside Attraction...

In the U.S. this is a business opportunity. Watch for the "See Vampire Canal" bumper stickers.

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Facebook gamers drop great membase on open sourcers

Mark Graybill
FAIL

Debug Our App....please!

"Users able to support themselves are typically very sophisticated users - they find problems and fixes for problems in the software - that ultimately ends up maturing the software."

Translation: "We hope that they'll find the bugs our own developers can't be bothered to hunt down while we wow our paying customers with new features (containing yet more bugs.)"

Yeah, that's that the open source movement is _really_ _good_ at--debugging.

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Google vanishes Android apps from citizen phones

Mark Graybill

Another reason to buy a China Phone

They just sell me a phone with lots of features, not a lifestyle and certainly not a nanny to "protect" me. I've bought three non-chinese phones since I got my Sciphone G2. And I'm presently using my Sciphone G2 while the others have either been given away or are gathering dust.

My next buy will be another china phone. They've got wifi, java--all the goodies. It costs less than half a comparable phone from the majors. And nobody has a kill switch for it.

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Action day targets callous conmen

Mark Graybill

Scam Victims May Be Ignorant, But...

the statement, "The victims in most cases deserve no sympathy," shows another sort of ignorance, of the willing variety.

Potential victims, and those who think they know better with disregard for the victims should educate themselves.

Here's a place to get started:

http://www.scamwarners.com/

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F*ck you, thunders disgruntled fanboi Apple user

Mark Graybill

because...

"I can't jump because non-U.S. fanbois all over the world are counting on me to sell them the iPads I've got stashed in the boot!"

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Mark Graybill

because... (perhaps a better phrasing...)

"I can't jump because I've got a wife, two kids, and 200 kilos of gray-market iPads stashed in the boot."

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US to deploy 'optionally manned' hover-dirigible in 2011

Mark Graybill

Old Tech is "New" Again...

Hybrid Airship = Avitor

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Doctor Who fans name best episode ever

Mark Graybill

Hartnell & Pertwee

They should be on this list.

I remember going to an SF con as a teenager and wondering who the guy with the perm and the scarf next to the words "Doctor Who" was. I'd seen Doctor Who, and it wasn't him! I came to like Tom Baker later, but it took a while. Hartnell _is_ Doctor Who to me. The mystery of the early episodes, never knowing where things would go or what the Doctor could do, is something later episodes just can't match.

I'd have expected Pertwee, Jo, the Brigadier, Benson and the gadgets to come high on the list,too. Ah, well. Talons of Weng-Chiang made it. Unearthly Child belongs there, too.

And Fang Rock--if nothing else for:

"Are you in charge here?"

"No, but I've got lots of good ideas!"

Still gets me, every time.

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DARPA funds radical disco-copter concept

Mark Graybill

If the Wig Fits...

I dropped an 'n' in "wing" and it came out wig. Close enough, and more amusing.

As to airfoil shape--there's no need for it being asymmetric. At the right alpha and with enough thrust a brick will generate lift. (A common class exercise for young Aero students.) A saucer with the right dimensions is _far_ better than a brick.

Asymmetry has nothing to do with it--you've been looking at too many wing-shape cutaways in books that still say Mr. Bernoulli gives wings their lift since he knows how to match up air flows from the top and bottom of the wing. Mr. Bernoulli helps a bit, but mass flow gets you off the ground.

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Mark Graybill

Lift & Thrust

The solid rotor generates lift the same way a solid wing does--mass flow. Its purpose is to provide lift in horizontal flight, not vertical flight--that's what the rotor blades are for.

You also use something other than the rotors to generate thrust for forward flight, like a jet engine. The rotors just take you straight up & down at low speeds. Since the outer parts of the rotor blades do most of the work, the idea is you can put a wig over the inner part & pack away the rotors when they're not needed to cut drag in forward flight.

As to keeping the disc spinning, probably because this is just a quick & dirty proof of concept, so why bother? DARPA just does the first draft, after that they let someone else worry about dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

As for cash, I'm surprised they can get something through a wind tunnel test for only $3mil. They're getting a discount, I'd say. You've got to get the test articles made & instrumented, get the facility set up, get the hardware in, do the test runs, reduce & deliver the data, analyze it and write it up, ten clear out the facility and throw the test article in the oneyard--unless you refuse to pay and the next program that wants to test ends up paying to get your junk out of the test cell.

My guess is the engineers are delivering pizzas at night and getting laid off 3 months each year to help make the $3M budget. Certainly they're not giving up money on janitorial services on "mahogany row."

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Google bulges old time news archive

Mark Graybill
Thumb Down

All Tease, No Show

My search turned up one on-topic full article in the first 3 pages. All other on-topic hits (about 9) were short teases with a requirement to pony up money to see complete articles.

Another waste of time for content hidden behind a cashier. The dead tree media (emphasis on dead) still hasn't figured this one out.

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Feds urge court to dismiss lawsuit protecting life on Earth

Mark Graybill

Clearly a Plot

But for murder, rather than annihilation. Will we be remarking how visionary Sir Arthur was with respect to murder weapons as well as geosynchronous satellites in a few years when scientists start dying under mysterious circumstances, closer to home than the Sands of Mars?

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Nvidia blows out Moore’s Law with fresh Tesla

Mark Graybill

Amiga Co-Processors

@Gary F & AC

I believe AC is referring to the Agnus, Denise, and Paula chips that unloaded such tasks as RAM management, bit-blitting, audio, and video data transfer. It was possible to do a lot of amazing tricks (for the time) with creative programming of the "Copper" in the Agnus chip.

Later Amigas got upgraded custom chips as well as CPUs with an FPU.

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