6425 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 19:28 GMT
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The world of the future
Made in Wales.
Seriously *continuous* monitoring is tricky. Either you break the skin (infection, ulcers etc) or find some clever way to look at the glucose level through it.
Of course people have been talking about active monitoring/implantable pumps to do this since the 1970's.
"As far as bioregeneration goes, I'd have thought that a tank that processes human waste and turns it into food using a collection of microbes would be a lot easier to implement."
It's referred to as a "Yogurt box" system by ECLSS types.
They might start with finding a way to recycle Carbon Dioxide
Currently this is absorbed onto molecular sieves and then vented to vacuum, where the CO2 sublimes off. Even that is an *improvement* on the 1 use Lithium Hydroxide canisters of the type featured memorably on Apollo 13.
Leaving yet *another* load of O2 to be carted up Earth gravity well. BTW O2 is *denser* than water.
Roughly speaking of the 5Kg of supplies of food and water NASA reckoned a person would need c0.5Kg is actual *food* the rest is water and Oxygen. They seem to be getting a better at the water side but O2 recovery seems as far away as ever. It's *very* unlikely that they will use fuel cells that make water on a mars trip.
1st scheduled docking with ISS by a COTS winner was the Dragon on Dec 8th (*exactly* 1 year to the day from Spacex's 1st Dragon launch).
*Could* still happen. Depends how much *active* help the docking system needs and if it can be handled from the ground.
It's the lauch escape system Spacex is working on that's on a 36 month development schedule. c April 2014 latest.
However the Boeing CST-100 has *already* test fired it's escape system and *might* be capable of being carried by Falcon9.
"Data analysed and available based on classifying postcodes - individuals aren't identifiable."
Quite true. But the information is *derived* from the post code data base. While it could be brought down to the individual it's not delivered by default.
Unlike the UK census which *is* handed to a US company in detail (The UK census used to operate down to the *household*, now it's down to the individual).
The head of the programme claimed they could launch a Shuttle within 18 months.
However given the final round of redundancies completed last week and NASA's tendency for shall we say optimistic schedules call it 21/2 to 4 years.
The ISS larder is well stocked, but not *that* well stocked.
Downfall of civilization predicted *yet* again
As it was in the 50's, 60's and 70's
That's the 1850's, 60's and 70's.
Will all those who feel that way give in to *your* despair and kindly purge yourself from the gene pool.
No one is going to die on ISS because of this situatino.
It is likely they will not be able to resolve this for the 1st group to come down and they will come down in Sept. *If* they still can't resolve it by Nov them the 2nd come down, taking out the rubbish, switching everything to remote control etc.
Frankly I'd suggest getting Soyuz to fly on an Atlas is closer to flight ready (possibly with the Boeing CST-100 capsule behind as it's already had LAS tests) than
BTW if you think my words harsh you might like to look up Chuck Yaegers thoughts on hearing of the Challenger crash.
I smell Phorn's "Everyone whose not opted out is opted in" routine.
No doubt there are many who would be happy to have their behaviour tracked online if there was some sort of reward for them to do it.
But that proposal gives *nothing* for your co-operation. In fact it doesn't really *ask* for your co-operation
Why the hell...
.was a project involving personal details of UK citizens handed over to a US company in the first place?
Because it worked so well when Lockheed Martin handled the national census this time round.
And the last time round as well.
(HMG. "What's that you say? The PATRIOT act give UG govt departments unlimited to any data held by a US based company. What's "The PATRIOT" Act?")
Fear not "They already are re-modelling"
So we can look forward to another well structured package of data and models from the CRU at East Anglia, crafted with all the TLC and attention to detail this group showed the last time round, as shown in the harryreadme file.
Even bigger bit of luck that what crashed was *not* a Soyuz but a Progress supply ship.
Same origins, different design.
You might also note early indications are the 3rd stage was to blame. Had this *been* a crewed mission they would have hit the abort button or manually separated if too high.
But think of the potential
For a limitless supply of room temperature (depending on where you live) water.
Of course it *is* 9 LY away.
In pretty much every sense of the word.
Even handier they could string some large power cables inside and sell electricity from some of those Siberian reactors that seem to be still running.
Now does that price factory in the "OC" tax?
But have seen the *size* of the desktop?
Slightly more seriously looks like the sort of thing people are talking about to expose the next generation of silicon chips.
Although 40TW does not sound a small laser to me.
Note that £100k was what the govt *wants* to pay.
Time will tell if that's what they end *up* paying.
As others have pointed out it's the old byzantine *secret* data base schema which will lock the govt into them forever and a day.
Your product is managing *our* data. If we want to dump it we want you to be able to write out that data and it's structure in a way that *allows* us to re-load it into another system.
That's a *contract* issue. Not OSS or proprietary.
"Sage's market cap has fallen to *about* £3.1bn "
Well you may not like them (and if you've used the latest version of ACT unpatched you certainly won't) but they are *substantial* UK software house that does not depend on HMG.
Still MYOB customers have probably had a lucky escape.
Some of the *best* & *worst* of British innovation
High density code using "prefix" coding on byte sized chucks, potentially allowing processors with external data buses made of *any* number of bytes, giving (with the right job mix) 10 MIPS at a time when 1MIPS was impressive.
Interrupt service routines coded *exactly* as a normal process attached to the relevant pins.
Stack architecture (internally the model used by many if not *most* compilers) in hardware. Could have support FORTH as readily as C.
Hardware scheduler for *all* processes, including "messages" on serial I/O buses (which I think live on as "Firewire").
Use of formal methods to verify the FPU.
Bit counting instructions which allowed software decoding of GPS in real time.
Software architecture *supporting* (rather than allowing) apps to be broken into processes and distributing across as many processors as necessary *without* change.
Tungsten Silicide gate material may have been what gave it high radiation hardness.
On chip clock generation from *relatively* low frequency shared clock, simplifying board design (not sure how modern chips do it theses days).
It's designed to be used in *big* arrays but they premium priced it like an Intel processor as core of a system, at a time when you *desperately* want design wins to build volume.
No low end version (Like the 68008) which could have been 1 bit serial internally with a byte data bus. Poor performance but that *total* scaleability across the range would let a customer scale up as market and budget allowed.
No MMU, because it's going to be used in big arrays with no address translation (but it costs an arm and a leg)
No *nix port because no MMU (yes it's possible but it's a PITA without one)
Ran US DRAM operation as "Cash cow," which most start ups don't have and don't know how to make effective use of.
"Origami" editor. No doubt very neat but made *another* entry barrier to discourage people from learning it at a time you want *maximum* exposure.
Money from sale of Inmos went to Treasury, *not* Inmos, which somehow did not seem to be appreciated at the time. Inmos got nothing for the sale of itself to Thompson.
Welsh chip plant got stuffed one Christmas because they failed to realise the water company would dump a shed load of disinfectant in the water *without* telling them and clearing off for the holiday, trashing the ion exchange system.
I think ARM learned a lot of lessons from Inmos, but most of them were how *not* to do things.
Amdahls law was known 40 years ago and Intel still don't get it. 50 cores /1 *data* bus.
Can you spell "contention"?
No. that should have read
Claus Von Bülow could have murdered his wife and escaped jail cheaply.
Been coming for a *very* long time.
There's an old DDJ article about a guy trying to unscramble the serial port data from his glucose monitor.
As the actual *device* sets smaller (more concentrated insulin, more efficient pump design, smaller batteries) the UI (the buttons) become the limiting factor on reduction.
But what's OK for a *Monitor* should change *radically* when you can actually effect stuff IRL.
Logging the last changes is just a *start* (and note I'll bet that's just a good idea, *not* mandatory in the design of medical devices).
BTW some countries have a "Grandfather" provision for medical devices *unlike* drugs.
So I say "It's an insulin pump, just like insulin pump X" and the licensing authorities say "Fair enough type X passed you're clear to go."
It doesn't have to be *better* it just has to be *different* (but not *too* different).
While the idea that no one would investigate a diabetic whose just going along and suffers a massive insulin OD should be *very* far fetched given competent forensic techs and autopsy it's less clear cut if they were *doing* something which damaged the body. Driving a car would be the obvious one but I'm sure someone motivated to do this would find others.
"Are there really no commercial solutions available off the shelf?"
But, but,but that would mean buying something "Off the shelf"
As every (defense IT con-tractor) knows the MoD has a *wholly* unique set of problems which simply *cannot* be met by *anything* other than a lovingly hand crafted software solution developed by skilled software artisans in Mumbai/Beijeing/Tijianna/Some-other-s***hole.
Of course buying a wholly unique solution costs a *little* more (3x, 4x, 5x...) but nothing's too good for the boys in the front line.
Would you want them to have barcode scanners that jammed in the sand?
Of course not.
Sage now own the ACT CRM product
I had personal experience of it straight out of the box.
What a dog. For some reason they moved the development team to a different state and seemed to have lost some key people. Result 10-20 secs moving between records in a 2000 rec database.
As always benchmark software (fully patched) *before* you buy.
Expect your MYOB performance to go down the gurgler ASAP.
Joking aside I'll remind people of Spacex
4th launch. Success.
Mind you I'd hoped for a bit of an improvement and some "Lessons learned" being applied.
And some would argue that flying M20 *inside* the atmosphere is *lots* harder than just getting to orbit It's like all the problems of re-entry *continuously*.
Better luck next time?.
A few pointers
GPRS is a *data* transmission standard separate from voice. it is one (of lots) of standards within the whole GSM standards package.
In the 2nd decade of the 21st century it is p**s poor that *all* subscriber data channels on *all* networks are not encrypted.
How serious this is to any *real* subscriber depends on what services rely on GPRS for delivery and how much encryption they apply *before* their data goes into it, and how easily it would be to shift to another delivery mode by sliding in a different element in the protocol stack (you did implement your app as a layered architecture, didn't you). I'm not sure what does use it IRL.
*All* GSM neworks have tapping by *authorised* users built into the network standards. Who "authorised" is depends on that countries record on observing human rights. Hopefully there would be some kind of *legal* oversight and audit trail.
This looks like yet *another* case where the GSM standard relies on "Security by obscurity," which has worked *so* well all the other times the network operators have depended on it in the past. See previous El Reg articles.
And in case anyone thinks I don't think this is a big thing let me repeat that In the 2nd decade of the 21st century it is p**s poor that *all* subscriber data channels on *all* networks are not encrypted.
Italy may know something about this.
Look at "Made in " label on half of the modules of the ISS.
Of course it does nothing about the umpteen paint chips, nuts bolts (and at least 1 ISS toolbag) but it's a start.
Getting a substantial package to 850Km is still pretty challenging
How polite of them *not* to name names
I guess it'd be likely some people might feel their "User experience" had been fiddled with.
Bet they don't have a date management policy either
so the DB will get bigger and bigger and backups (if they do them of course) will get slower and slower.
Might I suggest they fire the admin and hire the student part time.
I'm guess the student would not do something so dumb.
Note this should be widely publicised so parents know how much care will be taken of their personal details.
Anti-proton catalyzed micro fisson/fusion is what I think you're looking for
Originated from the U. Pennsylvania IIRC.
There is a paper but basically 200g (roughly golfball size) spheres (199g Lead, 1g Uranium and some Gold) are hit by multiple ion beams (or lasers, but the ion beams are more efficient to make which helps) and start to be compressed up to a fission density. Then they get hit by a small burst of anti-protons and things really start to cook.
But where to get the anti-protons? The team writing the paper reckoned 1 years production would do it but the containment traps were not up to holding onto them long enough to be ready for the deceleration burn when you got to Mars/Venus/Jupter. This is being worked on.
However if there is a *natural* (and renewable?) supply that changes things quite a bit.
Note also any *solid* object passing through that zone would be *guaranteed* a nasty dose of high energy X and gamma rays. A magnetic shield that repelled Protons, wound attract Anti-Protons.
The SAA is the weakest part of the Earths magentosphere, roughly where the field lines channel incoming particles to. The field of view of a satellite mounted camera show *lots* of bright flashes when the shutter is closed in a way it does not anywhere else on orbit.
An astonishing piece of serendipity.
"If you don't have physical security for your control systems then you don't have security."
It's the little things. Household alarm boxes tend to have a microswitch wired to the cover to trigger the alarm if someone takes off the lid.
But how many "Professional" alarm systems put something like that on all the *junction* boxes?
If you have a lot of people with lots of people with time on their hands and a *real* interest in breaking the system (IOW the prison population) you'd better plan for defense in depth.
"Had an argument with someone a while back about the legality of a nuclear coffee table, seems that even a non functioning but authentic looking device will get you a visit from the MiB'"
There is usually quite a difference between "authentic looking " and "non functioning "
"authentic looking " could be viewed as a piece of creative art.
I'd be *very* surprised if you could get a "non functioning " physics package anywhere.
But either way some people might find it a tad provocative.
"That's SERIOUSLY quick development!!! →"
I would caution people that docking will only go ahead if *all* tests in the first part of the flight are "nominal". Any under or over performance would be grounds for NASA pulling the plug and Dragon returning to earth.
The original Dragon launch was Dec1 2010 and the COTS2 launch was scheduled for around June this year but then reports started to surface that the final date for changes had been put back and Musk stated they were hoping to merge the COTS 2 & 3 flights together.
I guess the sticking point was Spacex's view that if you meet all the milestone in 2 flights but do it in 1 flight you should receive *all* the milestone payments (seemed fair to me but this is the US govt they are dealing with).
Note that a lot of this will be down to Spacex's pre-planning. If you *know* ahead of time you're going to want to go crew rated you put in the wiring and plumbing during the build as *standard*, along with the mounting hard points for seating, control panels etc.
They make a point that *all* Dragon capsules have a window. Point is if you leave it out of the cargo version you now have two *door* designs to design/test/manufacture and keep in inventory. Why bother?
I suspect that the understanding of the *true* cost of having multiple versions of stuff, and the savings to be had by just stacking multiple *copies* (or different sized versions of the same stage) together are *key* features of why they have done so much at *relatively* low cost so quickly.
Note that this will *not* be the crew rated Dragon as it won't have the launch abort system, which they've only been funded for since April this year on a 30 months schedule. That said it's not impossible they may have already started to work up to it and try out a few bits and pieces on Dragon. *Provided* the core test are successful Spacex usually try a few extra test maneuvers of their own. IIRC they had a go at putting the 2nd stage onto a GTO for COTS1
"Shouldn't they try docking with something else first? Or at least do a dry run?"
No. COTS1 was the dry run for launching Dragon.
They've just spent several months getting NASA to *allow* 2 flights to be merged into 1.
There's this thing called computer simulation that allows people to practice doing things *before* they do them. Spacex have probably run 100s of these *already*. They will run quite a few more before launch.
BTW Both the European ATV and Japanese HTV docked with ISS on their *first* launch.
Assuming you're not a troll let me explain.
There is *no* launch vehicle that is a)crew rated and b) big enough to hoist a *returnable* crew rated payload to geosynchronous orbit. Communications satellites go on *one* way trips to that orbit. ISS is at the *top* of the Shuttles altitude range and was part of the reason for the development of the "Super Lightweight" version of the expendable tank. This disregards a slowish trip through the inner Van Allan radiation built at c 1000 Km.
Doing it is a problem in physics and engineering but doing it *repeatedly* in an affordable and *reliable* manner is a very difficult problem in economics. the last mission BEO which *returned* was "Stardust". You might like to find out how it came down.
Spacex have talked of a for profit "Apollo 8" style trip on their Dragon capsule on Falcon Heavy (multiple orbits of the Moon, then return) which *would* be in the same sort of delta v range *but*
a) Falcon Heavy has not flown yet (Simple fact. No reason to think it won't or at the predicted performance level)
b) Dragon is not crew rated and will need a dozen safe flights and a fully tested crew escape system before it is. The crew escape system is funded (by NASA) and in progress. Again there is no reason to think Spacex cannot deliver what is needed at the spec required.
The US went to the moon 40 years ago. it shut down production of the Saturn V in 1968. The NASA designed SLS is not expected to fly a crewed mission before 2021 (*if* NASA *keeps* its existing budget and it does not get cut. You may have heard the US Govt is on a bit of an economy drive at the moment).
If you know of a large, capable, relatively inexpensive crew rated launch vehicle that can fly this mission and is in production you should talk to NASA.
"Until another nation gets people into space and back, the Russians have their foot on everyone else's windpipe. Just like keeping Europe warm in winter."
Well that will depend if Spacex can achieve 12 successful cargo deliveries to ISS *and* complete the crew rescue system on the budget NASA has given them
If so they estimate they will be ready to carry people by Oct 2013 or April 2014 at the latest.
That's a big *if* of course. Other options will be the crew rating of the Atlas V for Dragon, CST-100 or the NASA MPCV
The NASA SLS is looking at a first crewed flight for MPCV in 2021, given present NASA budget levels. Presumably by then a crew rates MPCV will exist for it to carry.
Of course Europe *could* upgrade its ATV design to human rating and add a heat shield to support down mass. Something like the ARD.
Anyone *heard* of mantech before?
Although I think they're about to get a lot more famous.
Hope they aren't computer security specialists.
"FWIW, the Russians have supported the ISS better than the EU. I am always amazed at EU pundits taking swipes at the commitment of Russia and the USA when the EU commitment is SOOOOO much softer and SOOOO much less money."
You might like to keep in mind that Thales Alenia based in Turin, Italy *built* 1/2 of the habitable volume of ISS.
They are also building the pressurized section of the OSC Cygnus cargo carrier based n the MPLM. Now due to have it's *sole* test flight sometime in Q112 on the 2nd flight of the Taurus2 launcher.
Eliminating the European, Japanese and Russian hardware contributions would leave a pretty small station.
Spacex has a multi-billion dollar supply contract to the ISS and Dragon can carry cargo and humans. It's the *only* US transport that was designed to do this.
The last Russian price for a Soyuz trip is $60m a *seat*. Spacex are talking $80-100m for the *whole* package.
They've also got Bigelow's "space hotel" models on their launch manifest.
Dragon was not developed *just* for NASA use.
"But are prison security systems really built with over-the-counter PLCs? I'd have expected them to be controlled by access control systems."
What did you think these "Access control systems" *are* built out of?
Custom CPU boards?
These companies are *primarily* systems integrators of pre built hardware. The ability to do this *properly* is a significant skill but as always if someone can identify the hardware used they'll be a manual for it somewhere.
"compared the empirical evidence against six climate models."
Crikey. Compared *actual* data with the soothsayers prognostications.
He is an unbeliever
the early indications were it was going to take off late October and dock about Dec 8th
Looks like they have negotiated with NASA to knock that down a bit.
I wonder if they managed to get the payment for *both* the flights. Given up to now it's been payments for milestones reached they deserve them.
it will be slightly over 1 yr from the 1st Dragon flight to that point, which is pretty impressive.
Still no word on first launch of its Taurus2 competitor.
"Perhaps they'd like to start paying some tax on their income?"
Oh now come on old boy that's a bit harsh.
Paying taxes as *well*.
Besides, Junior's probably started putting a bit aside in case of any "unexpected" legal bills due to practices that *might* come to light (but which he was *wholly* unaware of) while running his part time job at News International.
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