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* Posts by Andrew Newstead

199 posts • joined 11 Sep 2008

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SpaceX breaks ground on first commercial spaceport in Texas

Andrew Newstead

Re: Good place for it.

Don't know, it looks a bit tricky downrange over Florida, Cuba and the rest of the Carribian.

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SpaceX blasts a mischief of mice, a 3D printer and a cuddly toy* into SPAAAACE

Andrew Newstead

Re: Booster recovery

There were plans to control the stage and manouvure it but it was not equiped with legs so I think a landing test was not being considered for this flight. Bear in mind the first time they tried to land a stage it had no legs and went into a spin that destroyed it. It was thought at he time that the legs would act as fins to stabilise the rocket during it's descent and this seems to have been borne out in the subsequent attempts.

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SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis

Andrew Newstead

Re: What a total rip-off!

CST 100 does come down on land, using airbags to cushion the landing.

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Airbus developing inkjet printer for planes

Andrew Newstead

Re: Silly idea

SpaceX have recently been testing a small rocket engine whose thrust (combustion) chamber has been 3d printed. The comments were that they had been able to make a hugely efficient engine because the component's shape was able to adopt a more sophisticated and complex shape that would be difficult to fabricate using typical "metal bashing" techniques. On test the engine has performed very well indeed.

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END your Macbook SHAME: Convert it into a Microsoft SURFACE

Andrew Newstead

Cheaper still

A 4 notepad and a Parker pen?

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Ever wanted to be a Playmonaut? El Reg's Vulture 2 spaceplane sim reveals what it's like

Andrew Newstead

Talent

Damn Lester, you are attracting some serious talent to this project.

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Rockall batters plucky Brit adventurer

Andrew Newstead

Re: Just how inedible are seabirds really?

Er - no. One of the reasons that this islet keeps being occurpied is that this maintains a claim of British sovereignty to Rockall and the waters between it and the mainland and all that implies (fishing rights, minerals, etc.). So the RSPB might have something to say.

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And now for someone completely brilliant: Stephen Hawking to join Monty Python on stage

Andrew Newstead

Re: Never mind that, my lad.

Ah, quantum humour. You don't know if it's funny or not until you observe it...

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Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

Andrew Newstead

Re: Very acceptable....

All these comments about fabois are based on the assumption that Apple fans buy everything and anything with the fruity logo, not always true though. Apple have had it's share of non or slow sellers too you know. The iPhone 5c recently comes to mind.

Besides, the true fanbois will be after the more expensive, top of the range kit, you know, the stuff people like me buy second hand after a few years when the next shiney comes out. I don't think I've bought a new computer in the last 15 years and they have all been quite capable for the time.

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Spotify boasts 10 million paying subscribers ... Um, is that all?

Andrew Newstead

The Physical option?

I must admit I still prefer my music on a CD. I do use a digital player when I'm away from home but it's copies of my disks that are loaded onto it. I like to have disks as my master copies and make the digital ones I need. I also like the better quality sound I get from the disks when played on a good CD player.

I don't think I'm alone in this.

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Andrew Newstead

The physical option

I still prefer to have my music on CD. I use an MP3 player for on the move but I like to be able to have the CD as the master copy and make digital copies as I need. Also the CD sounds better on a good player and I really do like that.

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JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

Andrew Newstead

The Disney bit has never bothered me, they are behind the Marvel branded movies after all and I don't hear people complaining about these much. Disney are not daft, there are a number of films made by Disney that have different labels on them, quite grown up some of them.

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Venus Express to get final acid bath before crashing to surface

Andrew Newstead
Coat

Re: Screw Venus!

Positively cryogenic...

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The weird and wonderful mind of H.R Giger is no more

Andrew Newstead

Re: Wow.

Yes, I've noticed this too.

Interestingly an older friend said said to me when I turned forty "you're now entering the period of your life when people you know die". I see what he meant now.

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50+ crowd are wolfing down tablets: Silver foxes are even migrating to the Twitters

Andrew Newstead

It's enevitable really...

If you think about it the first wave of (modern) IT users will be starting to creep into this category, those of us who cut our teeth on Commodore PETs and Apple 2's. We're now moving to pensionable age, certainly can be Saga-louts.

As this generation moves into old age all of the clichés of age being a barrier to technological competence will become not true (if not actually redundant), and this is only going to accelerate from now on.

It won't be long before we see our first middle aged "digital natives" (someone born into the IT age).

Andrew (age 53 and counting)

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Greg Christie to leave Apple as Jonathan Ive seizes design reins

Andrew Newstead

An excellent analysis. I have been using IOS7 since it's release and, apart from a short period of adjustment at the start, I have to say I have no complaints. I'm not an artist or designer so I can't offer any informed comment on design but I mostly find the UI to be quite unnoticeable in use, which I should think would surely be the aim of UI designers.

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'Hello, is that the space station? NASA here. Can you put us through to Moscow?'

Andrew Newstead

Re: Isn't this just the plot from 2010?

Yes for the film, in Clarke's original book they were friends.

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Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest

Andrew Newstead

Re: I'd have thought,

Ah this is Lego, the toughest substance in the known universe (we've still got bricks from 50 years ago!).

Wait! Could this be the basis for dark matter?

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

Andrew Newstead

Re: I must be cutting down.

We still have an establishment like that in Derby, R F Potts (Bob's to most of us).

Wonderful place and worse than Maplin's for great stuff. Even the Maplin's in Derby refers people to Bob's if they don't have it.

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NASA robot plans mid-2020s trip: Europa. Wet, radioactive life forms (hopefully). Bliss

Andrew Newstead

Re: Seems amazingly cheap

Just done a quick check on Space.com and it reports that the money is to start the planning process for a mission that may launch in 2025. The final cost for such a mission would probably come in at about 40 Billion over 10 years.

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First man/machine nerve grafts restore amputee's sense of touch

Andrew Newstead

This just the start

I think this fantasticly exciting. If we can put a signal into a nerve imagine an electronic bypass system that reconnects a broken spinal column.

If I was a tetraplegic I would voulunteer for experiments like a flash. Even it didn't work it would be valuable to know and an honour to take part.

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Human overlord Watson lives in the 'clouds' now, in a $1bn cognition unit. Don't be afraid

Andrew Newstead

I may have made some bad decisions recently...

I hear there's a spacecraft bound for Jupiter needing a computer..

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Circuits so flexible they'd wrap around your hair

Andrew Newstead

Re: Harvesting spare static electricity

The piezo electric method could be the way using the motion of a blink. This would compress the circuit regularly, generating a smidgin of power and a capacitor in the circuit could store and smooth the power pulse into a current.

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James Bond's 'shaken not stirred': Down to trembling boozer's hands, claim boffins

Andrew Newstead

Re: Hello doctors

+1 for the "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" ref. I laughed till I cried when I first read that. If you want a real mad experience try reading it aloud to an audience, as good as anything by Mr B Connerly...

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Apple iWatch due in October 2014, to wirelessly charge from one metre away – report

Andrew Newstead

Re: iWatch ? I cannot believe

Wristwatches came in because pulling a pocket watch was too much hassle in a busy environment. Pulling a phone out my pocket is just as inconvienent when I'm busy and I think a lot of people find that. I don't use a chonograph (not even digital), just a plain "old-school" watch that shows the date as well as time. Much more convienient than fumbling in my pocket and pressing buttons to find out the time or date.

As for "tech-watches", not my cup of tea but who knows.

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Cassini spots MEGA-METHANE SEAS on the north pole of Titan

Andrew Newstead

Re: we'd use far more energy getting there and back

As usual, Arther C Clarke got in there first, Check out his seventies novel "Imperial Earth" where the plot hinges on the 22nd Century economy of Titan supplying Methane across the Solar System for spacecraft propellant.

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Hot Stuff! NASA mulls 'urgent' space walk as ISS cooler conks out

Andrew Newstead

Re: Desperate for attention

Their spacecraft is in Lunar orbit right now. They had said that they would be attempting a landing today.

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Blighty's winter storms are PUNY compared to Saturn's 200mph, 15,000 mile wide HEXACANE

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Deep beneath MELTING ANTARCTIC ice: A huge active VOLCANO

Andrew Newstead

Re: Moving South

Iceland sits at the "pivot point" of the Mid Atlantic ridge, the line of tectonic sea floor spreading that's pushing America away from Africa and Europe. Esentially Iceland is being split apart so it's volcanoes are being caused by a different mechanism.

To get an idea of what's happening have a look at this;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iceland_Mid-Atlantic_Ridge_Fig16.gif

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Nookie becomes, um, a virtual reality for Oculus Rift gadget gamers

Andrew Newstead

Re: 50 things to do before you die...

Shouldn't that be "SHORTED"?

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Andrew Newstead

Re: which allows the male users to have virtual sex

depends on the programming...

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Apple admits to Mavericks iWork cockup, promises rescue

Andrew Newstead

ClarisWorks - God! I would love to have that back!

It may not have been as well featured as Office but it had enough to make it very useful and it's integration between the tools was so sweet.

I want it back, as it was, right now!

BTW Claris Homepage was quite sweet too. Definately needed to be updated but very usable.

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Vulture 2 spaceplane STRIPPED to the bone

Andrew Newstead

Patience Grasshopper, patience...

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Inventor whips lenscap off 3D-printed pinhole camera

Andrew Newstead

Re: Or...

I made a nice little one out of a 35 mm film pot once. Pin hole in the base and a tracing paper screen across the open top, projected a lovely little image onto the screen. Nicely ironic too.

However, top marks to this bloke. A little pricey perhaps but it is getting the idea of 3D printing out there to another bunch of people.

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Mars defends: HUMANS to SEND UFO to Red Planet by 2016

Andrew Newstead

Re: They have to call the colony ship "Ark Fleet Ship B"

Or him...

What was that, a faulty spacesuit? Too bad, got to clean it out now.

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Brew me up, bro: 11-year-old plans to make BEER IN SPACE

Andrew Newstead

Re: I'm surprised

Probably the best beer in the Solar System?

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Basically RUBBISH 'COMET of the Century' ISON snapped by HiRISE in Mars orbit

Andrew Newstead

However...

It may not be too spectacular an image but it's absolutely bloody brilliant that we have taken these images from a spacecraft, orbiting another world.

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Fresh shift of 'nauts arrives at Space Station, planning torch jaunt

Andrew Newstead

Bit of a traffic jam

After making a fix on the software, Cygnus' controllers were asked to delay the next attempt to dock up until after the Soyuz docking had taken place. If they hadn't both of the vehicles would have arrived at the station about the same time.

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Our LOHAN rocket ship team exits Spain with a bang

Andrew Newstead

Barnes Wallis would be proud of you all, geodetic structure and a Swallow wing plan - brilliant!

I had to watch the video without sound so you may have answered this already. When you test fly Vulture 2 will it be under radio control or are you going to try the autopilot? (or both even)

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So, rocket boffin Dr Adam Baker: Will we live long and prosper in SPACE?

Andrew Newstead

Re: Small launcher space port - Thunderbirds are go!

But (as has been said before when we discussed Skylon) Britain is in the wrong place on the globe. If we want to launch to equatorial orbits we have to launch over Europe, not good for dropping stages or other problems. Our best option is Ascension Island, slap on the equator and a couple of thousand miles of sea before you hit Africa.

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Peak Apple: Has ANYONE at all ordered a new iPhone 5c?

Andrew Newstead

Re: I've ordered a 5C

Skoda seems to be more reliable at the moment...

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NASA: Humanity has finally reached into INTERSTELLAR SPACE

Andrew Newstead

Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

With respect, they still can build'em. There is a rover on Mars that was supposed to only work for 3 months, it's now in it's twelth year.

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Here at last, our 3D beauty: Vulture 2 spaceplane flies in

Andrew Newstead

Hot Damn...

We got to see this flying!

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Vulture 2 spaceplane rises from the powdered nylon

Andrew Newstead

Fascinating

Michelangelo said "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."

Now it seems to be literally true (although in plastic!).

Well done to all concerned, this is proving to be fascinating.

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Star Wars revival secret: This isn't the celluloid you're looking for

Andrew Newstead

Re: Originals were great?

Just a little?!

Ahem!

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Pulsars: the GPS beacons of the cosmos

Andrew Newstead

Re: Maybe Crewman Daniels was shot backwards in time again?

Funny you should mention Star Trek, in 1980 there was a "Star Trek Maps" set published which included a navigation booklet. This discussed using pulsars and quasars as triangulation beacons for navigation, quasars becourse these were so far away that they would appear "fixed" on the sky compared to pulsars which are nearer and so would have a detectable proper motion. The manual even gave the equations you could use to plot your position in space!

My set are nicely tucked away in an envelope in my attic 8-)

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Nude swimmers warned of GONAD-GOBBLING FISH ON THE LOOSE

Andrew Newstead

Re: If he's an expert...

he's testiculating...

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NASA boffins release Europa mission wish list

Andrew Newstead

Re: Curiosity?

A good idea but complicated by the environmental considerations.

An example. The two Voyager probes to the outer planets (and beyond) were based on the design of the highly successful Mariner series of probes used in the sixties, in fact the the Voyagers were once known as Mariner Jupiter. The main similarities were the basic spacecraft frame, then the changes started to make the craft so different that they were given a new name. The main differences were because of the fact that the craft needed to operate so far away from the Earth and the Sun and the Jovian radiation environment.

The design of Curiosity could be used as a starting point but would have to be altered substantially for the Jovian/Europan environment. Cold would be a major problem, for example. Mars may be a cold place but the temperature out at Jupiter is extreeme by Martian standards. The Jovian radiation environment, as mentioned in the article, is incredibly severe, any kit built for Mars would have to be rebuilt to withstand this radiation.

Hope this helps.

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Brit Skylon spaceplane moves closer to lift-off

Andrew Newstead

Good, isn't it?

About time we had a rocketship that looks like a rocketship.

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Bloke in shed starts own DAB radio station - with Ofcom's blessing

Andrew Newstead

Re: Why bother

Not so limited, perhaps.

I recently bought a new music system and it has DAB as it's default receiver choice. I set it up and it seems to be quite effective. I think it's true to say that more and more HiFi systems are equiped with DAB straight off the bat so we will probably see the same kind of take up that occured with digital TV when Freeview digital tuners became built in to new TVs, a default switchover.

I am aware of the argument that states that the dedicated music system will die out as more music moves on line. I'm not convinced by this, I feel that there will continue to be a demand for seperate music systems as there are quite few people out there who still don't use online music providers or radio for various reasons. I myself still prefer the quality of sound produced by CD's over MP3 (not really explored FLAC yet, a bit inconvenient to use) so for the time being a dedicated music system still has a place in our house.

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