3108 posts • joined Sunday 22nd April 2007 18:21 GMT
It's quite an impressive sight
Basically a big expanding, rising cloud of fine debris. I don't think it's anything to worry about given a sufficiently long line separating the launch vehicle from the balloons (or clusters of balloons from each other).
That video is why I was asking for cameras pointing up from the launch platform. Could look even better from close-up.
If you're putting a guidance system in, you might as well go the whole hog and have it control the ascent as well as descent.
Also about the weight, I know UK rules state you can have up to a 3 metre wingspan and 7.5Kg total weight (and I think that doesn't include fuel either) before you need a license. Much larger models can be built if you're willing to (or have a pilot who can) get certified for the vehicle you're building. Dunno what the rules are in Spain but I suspect they are less strict than a soggy, heavily-populated island off the North edge of France where you would probably hit somebody with a firework on a stick, let alone an amateur sub-orbital missile.
...make the entire aircraft able to fit inside a drainpipe as the upper stage of a missile-like launch vehicle? The wings could pop out on a nice strong spring once the rockets are exhausted, with elevons at the back being used as aerodynamic control surfaces.
As for missing the balloon, I reckon whatever guidance system you're using should take care of that. Some small control surfaces set into the first stage exhaust stream should give you enough manouverability to go from a horizontal to near-vertical flight path. If you can make a movable rocket nozzle (or just a tube) durable enough to last a few seconds then go for that instead. By the time any second stage kicks in (if indeed there be a second stage), you're probably going fast enough for the Vulture 2's elevons to be used as canards to maintain a generally upward direction of travel. So long as your guidance system can tell ground from sky (I'll give you a clue: the ground is generally warmer than the sky), the end result should be much more reliable than simply mounting it at an angle and praying the wind doesn't blow it too hard.
Of course, test at a low altitude on a small scale with little C class engines or therebouts before sticking some whacking great Ms in the finished article. I'm no artist but if I can get something scrawled together I'll email some sketches.
Keeping balloons (or just one balloon) under control on the ground
Grab your mallets and hammer a nice long metal stake or three into the floor. Use them to keep your assembly attached to terra firma without any danger of SPB team members going on an unexpected stratospheric joy-ride. There, now you can use a triple-triplet config!
I also don't think some people here appreciate just how huge a latex balloon can get at altitude. I'm pretty sure a lot of people know about the infamous expanding capabilities of condoms though? Well, this is the same stuff on a vastly larger scale. Wikipedia quotes a 100:1 expansion ratio. Think about a balloon so large that you could stick a couple of Jumbo Jets inside of it, and you're getting to the sort of size a latex weather balloon will expand to before bursting.
Dunno how Lester thinks that three balloons will only go as high as one. You would only have to inflate each balloon a third as much, and that's not including any other triplets also attached to the launch platform. I know my idea was a triple-triplet set-up where each triplet can lift the entire platform on its own, for a little added redundancy. Inflate the upper set the least.
Anyway, as for deciding when to launch, there are a number of ways. One is the obvious pressure switch. Use a solid state barometer and have it used to initiate launch sequence when air pressure readings drop below X, indicating you are Y feet above sea level. This could be backed up by some system to detect a sudden altitude drop of say, more than 1000 feet. Just in case a single-balloon set-up bursts early. The good thing about going solid state, is that it has no moving parts to freeze up and screw with the release like with PARIS.
Another redundant system, which could also provide some other benefits: I know the Reg Guys were thinking of (but eventually never bothered with) tracking via telescope for PARIS. What would be the chances of not only tracking optically with a telescope, but pointing a radio dish in the same direction and keeping a live communications link with the thing? Everyone gets to see the telescopic view, plus with a singular balloon platform you can see yourself if your only lifting device bursts and can hit the big red button for a manual launch from ground control. Maybe creatively re-engineer a couple of TV satellite dishes for the purpose? What's the regulations in Spain with regards pointing a few watts of radio energy into the sky?
Oh, I know I keep saying this, but CAMERAS EVERYWHERE. Two on the Vulture 2 for forward/rearward footage, preferably with the rearward camera able to see any rocket-pod-jettison action if indeed there be any to see. At least two on the launch platform. One pointing downward toward the Vulture 2, the other upward toward the balloons to capture the burst and parachute deployment. Maybe an extra one pointing sideways towards the expected direction of travel for the little spaceplane.
I keep making long posts don't I?
Special Samsung Drivers
I'm wondering if the reviewer even looked properly. My Tab 7 is the same when you're using the "Kies" USB mode. However, you can also select "Mass Storage Mode" on the tablet, and it instantly works with no extra drivers required.
Kies is bloatware on the scale of iTunes and just as awful, but you need it IF Samsung is ever going to update the device. Emphasis on "IF".
I don't need no steenking title
"too big to be a phone, too small to be a netbook, and sporting an underpowered operating system in Android 2.2."
As well as a load of bollocks about a grainy screen. What? Maybe in your universe, people have invented TARDIS pockets and can fit that bloody huge thing in them. Personally I think the Galaxy 7's screen brightness and size is absolutely fine. I don't want to have to put welding goggles on to use a fondletoy, and if it needs to fit in a bag then it might as well be a netbook.
If I ever get a 3.x device, the first thing I'm going to try and find is some way of ripping that UI out and replacing it with something closer to 2.x. Mind you, I'll also try and get a device that has something other than just a touchscreen as input methods.
You could have picked on Samsung's awful update schedule, or their consistent overpricing. But no, you try and say that 7 inches is too small (who are you, King Dong?), 2.x is underpowered (hahahaha), and that retina-searing brightness is "dark". Were you trying to use the thing on a bright Summer day with the sun at your back or something? No wonder it looked dark! I challenge you to use an iWotsit in the same conditions.
Didn't read past page one of the review. If there's so much bull in the first couple of paragraphs, I don't want to go any further!
The iPhone beats Android in every way except possibly...
Bluetooth file transfer.
I could probably go on, but I can't be arsed. It's funny. Friend of mine gives me his iPhone while we're both trying to improve the score on a Cover Orange level or whatever. Nearly every time I get a "NETWORK ERROR [DISMISS]/[CANCEL]". Really fucking annoying when you're in the middle of a game. He tells me to "hold it properly". Hang on, what? You mean... hold it like a phone? Like I am doing? Oh no.. what he means is to hold it like a precious diamond. This is with a Pink Floyd-themed backing plate that covers that infamous antenna up as well.
Yes, the iPhone beats AN ENTIRE ECOSYSTEM OF DEVICES in every way. Sure. And I'm the Queen of England. One is most definitely amused.
Unfortunately this is in the US
Where software is very, very patentable. And the corps based there can't wait to export their particular world-view to the rest of the planet.
Whole goddamn site written in Flash?
For fuxache, why? I think any hacking attempt would be an improvement!
On looking about, it seems the Launch Escape System was used in an emergency precisely once. Have a look at these pics and tell me whether Vulture 2 should really have a tractor rocket system:
Might get a little toasty, no?
Soon to arrive in Ballmer's inbox.
We notice that your Bing search engine is currently violating 235 of our patents. This could result in various legal headaches for not only you, but your customers and anybody that licenses any violating technology from you. We're not going to tell you which patents we have identified you as being in violation of, but rest assured that our legal team has assured us that we have a very solid case.
We are reasonably compassionate though. We suggest that you leave Android and its associated Linux kernel well alone, and pay us a yearly license fee of (insert seven figure sum here). In return, if we do decide to start suing anybody, we will look the other way as far as your products are concerned.
Yours very VERY cheerily
Launch near-horizontally. Have your guidance system point the nose up at 45 degrees as of say, 0.5 to 1 seconds after ignition and hold it there for the duration of the rocket burn. Then you can use as many balloons as you like!
The tractor design seems a bit iffy. Nothing wrong with a little bizarreness, but this is going to mean that you have burning hot exhaust gasses flowing over your aircraft. Not to mention the Wikipedia link on pendulum rocketry that RayG posted! Don't forget that the tractor escape system on various NASA rocketry has never been put to use, and they probably have a much bigger budget to make sure it would work properly! If you're worried about getting up to a speed where control surfaces will work, then can't you put, say, a "sacrificial" flap or two in the rocket stream? Doesn't matter too much if they burn up, so long as they last long enough to get you going in the right direction. That or make the rocket nozzles directable.
I still think balloon clusters would be an idea. You don't just have one cluster with all the balloons touching. The idea is that if an entire cluster does go bang, you still have redundant clusters. Have a heavily inflated lower set, a normally-inflated middle set and an upper set only just inflated enough that they will lift the rig on their own. You get the ballocket through all that turbulent weather nice and nippy-quick, plus footage from an upward-pointing camera of the staged balloon bursts would be pretty awesome. Plus the rig will most likely go higher, as the upper set only needs to just-about-barely carry the weight of everything. I would also think it pretty obvious that a cluster of three balloons needs to be inflated vastly less than a single balloon, and therefore will go much higher before burst.
Off the shelf rocket motors also tend to have an ejection charge in the tip, and I don't know what that would mean with them mounted in a tractor config like that. It seems like you'd need your own extra method of removing the tractor scaffold after the burn completes. Mounted to the side or underneath in a more normal fashion, you could use the ejection charges to blow your rocket modules clear in a Shuttle SRB style.
The folding wing idea is something. Perhaps have a design where the force of the air sweeps the wings back like a fighter? You're going to need something to keep wing surface area to a minimum during the rocket burn, as otherwise you will more than likely rip both wings off (or at least, limit your potential maximum speed) even up at that rarified altitude. Don't worry too much about fitting ailerons to a moving wing. Elevons work extremely well for controlling both pitch and roll, and you reduce your servo count by two. A simple V Mixer (available from most model shops for about a tenner) can turn your aileron/elevator signals into elevon signals easily enough. Just like this, and yes, that is me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x2mbEVqJW4
Finally, and I've already said this but it bears repeating: Cameras. Cameras and more cameras. On the launch rig. On the Vulture 2. Hell, on the rocket boosters too. Cameras everywhere!
Rather than just scraping headlines and sending extra traffic to newspapers for free, you launch a new service with a "special offer".
"With our new tracking service, we can increase the viewing figures of your site. Pay us £99 per year and we will intelligently index your headlines with a short flavour text, driving viewers to your articles and helping you to massively increase ad revenue. Sign up before the end of this year and you get your first year of service ABSOLUTELY FREE!"
(also yes, isn't Google doing the same thing as Meltwater?)
Not supposed to rest your hand on a mouse?
Quick, tell the ergonomic mouse manufacturers. They've been designing pointing devices that curve nicely into the palm of your hand for years!
That and you're "supposed" to lay your whole arm across the table and use your shoulder and elbow to move the thing, if various anti-RSI pictures are to be believed. Stops so much movement at the wrist and allows you to keep muscles relaxed, y'see.
Still don't know why it can't be boosted to GEO
It's not like it can't be done. It'd be a great test for the ion thruster technology. If it were just crashed into the sea, that'd be an awful lot of mass that would have to be re-launched next time a group of countries want an orbital research base.
"Leo's RC Simulator - having done the real thing this is a good sim"
The sim is great. The control method leaves a lot to be desired. I have to wonder if there are Bluetooth dual-stick controllers that the app can talk to, as not knowing where the neutral position is without looking is a royal pain. The aeroplanes are just about flyable with touchscreen sticks. The helicopters seem much less so.
PewPew (any version) is awesomeness incarnate though, agreed.
...this attack could be defeated by telling the crypto chip to do random math while it works? Maybe have a second, very small slice of silicon in the package, attached to the same power pins, continually producing pseudorandom numbers seeded from a leaky diode/reverse biased transistor?
Not just your corner of the planet.
Oh I already know someone who has Apple Everything as far as "real" computers are concerned. That much will probably not change.
However, for him the iPad is way too big, way too expensive and a complete disappointment when we both thought it was going to be a tablet computer rather than a really big iPod. He seems to like the 7" form factor of this Galaxy Tab though, not to mention the iPhone4 owner I know who asked me "why can't I do that" when I started playing with alternative app launchers. I do try to keep any bile to a minimum outside of Register comment sections and other online fora, but I just couldn't think of any more tactful answer than "because Apple won't let anybody make one".
And yes, those survey questions are really, really poor. You don't buy Samsung gear from Samsung, but you might buy it from Amazon!
Fragmentation is a problem?
Someone had better tell all them PC game devs. I don't think I've ever seen two PCs with the same hardware configuration outside of an office. If a game doesn't work on your no-name, Intel-onboard-graphics Wintel box, do you complain to Microsoft?
Xperia Play looks like a nice concept, but it really does need a bit more support from Sony. Currently it just looks like an "oh we also do this" product. It needs some exclusive, killer games, and Sony to start licensing the "playstation certified" moniker out to other manufacturers.
OnLive? Yeah, maybe when we all have 100mbit unlimited mobile connectivity.
Comparing pot smokers to child abusers
Because they're both the same thing, right?
IIRC you used the 1280x1024 grid to decide where to put stuff, and whatever graphics routines were in BBC Basic OS scaled that down to match your selected graphics mode.
Anyway, wrt article, bitmaps don't shrink with screen resolution unless you made the display of bitmaps dependant on screen resolution. If OS X has been done right, the icons will just stay the same resolution and size while everything else starts looking smoother.
A realistic target?
Something to aim for: Go so fast and high that the civilian GPS craps out. You'd then need your own altimeter and airspeed indicator, and a three-axis magnetic compass wouldn't go amiss. I've already skimmed over the details of those in other posts.
Think you could get Vulture 2 going over 1050mph? Think you can afford the titanium-geared servos required to move control surfaces/rocket nozzles at that speed? Think you could track the thing with a telescope/radio dish for real-time telemetry?
Want to find out?
So it's big...
...really big, and we won't believe just how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is?
Until the next drive-by rooting exploit?
"You get sick while you're inside, unlucky because we won't be wasting money making you better."
You're so compassionate. So what about the people in the US who have felony charges because they smoked the wrong type of plant? Not all people in a prison are psychopaths, however some people outside of prison most definitely are.
Have you seen the price of UK passports lately? They still haven't come back down from when the New Labour govt was using them to subsidise ID cards. Is it right that, when capital can flow between borders as freely as water, people cannot also chase said capital?
If anything, I think a passport should be your right as a citizen of your country along with the right to not be arbitrarily tried for imaginary crimes or hounded out of your neighbourhood for having a relationship with someone of the "wrong caste". If there is a charge, make it simply to cover costs. Passports, five quid plus a photo, available from your local post office? Wouldn't that be nice?
I can tell when you're angry.
You start speaking English.
Whirring and clicking
Was the same with VHS-C tapes (remember them?) - the whirring and clicking was the tape being pulled out and wrapped around the video/audio heads. If you go from "Play" or "Record" mode to fast forward/rewind, the tape has to be retracted back into its cassette, which means more whirring and clicking. Using the scan forward/backward options is slower, but happens straight away without the tape spooling/despooling.
As for modern digital tapes, I don't have a clue. I've kind of gone straight from VHS-C/Video8/Hi-8 to solid state storage. Even have an old full-fat VHS "camcorder" somewhere, though I always thought camcorders were handheld. This thing is more.. shoulder mounted.
Depends which variety of Linux.
Ubuntu and similar? Quite possibly.
Backtrack? Slackware? Not so much.
So long as it supports the common distros and shows the badges for them on the cover, I guess it'd sell to some extent. Whether a single product suite would convince many graphic designers to go with the Toy Unix is another matter.
"Back then, letters were printed on telephone dials to aid automatic calls."
Uhm, they were then and are now. Just that the dials are buttons and people use thm 2 mk awfl txt spk lk ths. Letters on phone dials/pads might have fell out of fashion in the UK at one point, but they've always been available and the mobile market has brought them back into the public consciousness big time.
Been a while since I last used the service though. It was on 8081 back then. It's 123 now, I think!
Any country can "create" money.
They just have to print more notes.
Problem is, the more money in circulation, the lower the value of each currency unit. Money creation is not the same as wealth creation, and if you confuse the two then you can well end up with hyperinflation and people taking their weekly wages home in wheelbarrows because you're paying ($£€)200 on a loaf of bread.
"I like that you don't need the latest hardware to run it."
No arguments with the rest of the post but this one was really silly.
Wasn't that long ago that Apple ditched PPC completely when there were plenty of working PPC Macs out there. They've ditched the first couple of generations of iPhone even though that's been out, what, a couple of years now? Now the latest move is to remove even a compatibility layer for legacy software which I'm sure is going to break more than just Adobe's software.
In comparison, Windows 7 will run on a crappy single-core AMD64. 7 is what Vista was meant to be, and as such has been slimmed enough to run on low-end Atom netbooks. As for Linux, well, I'm pretty sure it'll run on a toaster if you compile it with the right options. OS X on the other hand? Not so much. When you buy Apple gear you buy it in full knowledge that you will have to buy whole new Apple gear and possibly whole new software not so long down the line.
You pays your money (and with Apple you pays plenty), and you makes your choice, I guess.
Less of a headache?
How is "I own this software and have a license to run it on X number of PCs from now on until the world stops turning" more of a headache than "did I pay the rent on the software this month?" Or even better, "what's the rental pcm going to be THIS financial year?"
Somehow I suspect that there is still going to be a hefty tome of EULA to read through, whether you own the disks or are dependant on someone else's servers not fucking up that day.
"...there is no/none/nada/zero reason to EVER use DLLs on current software."
A full installation of DirectX, for every single application that uses it?
A full installation of .Net, for every single application that uses it?
Maybe I misunderstand you, but you seem to be calling for the death of shared code libraries. I would like to see how long a terabyte lasts you with a system like that!
Almost as stupid as Pontiac getting miffed at Mozilla Firebird.
I can see that being amusing. Watching Apple's lawyers try to prove that people would confuse a small fondlable toy with a very large, marginally more expensive, flying executive toy, that is.
On previous results though, said lawyers did manage to convince people that you would confuse an iPod with a device used to pick up dogshit. That might have been an easier task though.
From what I recall, the same act that made CBs a license-free broadcast medium and the little FM transmitters for your MP3 player legal, also legalised license-free use of electric bicycles up to 15mph top speed and a 250W motor. They are now classed as bicycles rather than small motorbikes. It was one of the few decent things the last lot did.
Now riding a bicycle of any sort on a pavement is illegal and always has been, but considering the amount of people riding on the pavement anyway (myself included), that law probably needs revising to something like "ride slowly on the pavement if you like but pedestrians always have right of way".
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