* Posts by Tim 49

12 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

We're doing SETI the wrong and long way around, say boffins

Tim 49

Re: Smarter than us

"...He sprang to his feet and saw to starboard, and not a hundred yards from their heeling, pitching boat, a vast iron bulk like the blade of a plough tearing through the water, tossing it on either side in huge waves of foam that leaped towards the steamer, flinging her paddles helplessly in the air, and then sucking her deck down almost to the waterline.

A douche of spray blinded my brother for a moment. When his eyes were clear again he saw the monster had passed and was rushing landward. Big iron upperworks rose out of this headlong structure, and from that twin funnels projected and spat a smoking blast shot with fire. It was the torpedo ram, Thunder Child, steaming headlong, coming to the rescue of the threatened shipping."

It didn't end well for poor old Thunder Child.

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NASA's Orion: 100,000 parts riding 8 million pounds of thrust

Tim 49

Re: Bleedin' Dangerous

Commercial aircraft are squillions of times safer, and the degree of volunteeriness required to ride in them is different. It's not a fair comparison.

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Tim 49

Bleedin' Dangerous

Just finished Mike Mullane's "Riding Rockets" about his jaunts in the Shuttle, and it's jolly unsafe, this space malarkey. At least Apollo had launch-escape systems, but for phases of the Shuttle launch, you were stuffed. Mullane states that the "Contingency Abort" checklist, to cover 'landing' in the Atlantic was there to "give you something to read while you died". If you got beyond that gate, the next was a landing in Africa or Spain, seventeen minutes after lift off, although they didn't carry their passports.

I never realised that you could get woken up by cosmic rays hitting the optic nerve, & appearing as a bright flash.

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Bill Bailey: The man, the musician, the comic, the troll, the legend

Tim 49

"prostrate cancer"

It's a bugger when you lack the get up & go.

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Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

Tim 49

Re: It's wonderful, but...

It's not just the people. The rules around 'complex'-class aircraft are akin to modern airliners: there must be a full paper audit trail of every nut, bolt & widget, bonded-warehouses etc. There are no more zero-hour Olympyses, and RR no longer have the tooling or the processes to make them. As a commercial organisation, you can imagine the publicity if anything did happen to these 30+ year-old engines. Then there's the other critical systems and airframe fatigue - same applies.

People cite the marine Olympus, but it's a different beast: similar design, but non-aerospace components (weight doesn't matter in a ship, and aircraft generally don't eat salty air). 558's restoration only flew (ahem) because there were 8 zero-timed, bagged & audited Olympus 201s available from the old stock. Similar story with Concorde: without the approval of the Design Authority organisations, there would be no hope whatsoever of return to flight.

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Tim 49

Re: Seen it a few times

Minor nitpick, but the Vulcan didn't have afterburners (reheat). It used either Olympus 201 (the ones in XH558, & the ones that can make the howl), and the more powerful 301 (which seemed never to howl), and were used in the Falklands missions. The two types were not interchangeable.

It's mostly lack of available engine hours that's going to ground 558, however like the other two live vulcans (and the two live Victors), she'll still be able to do fast taxi ground runs.

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NotW accused of hacking Milly Dowler's voicemail

Tim 49

Don't buy the bl00dy paper.

If the general public are offended by the paper's deplorable behaviour, they'll stop buying the wretched thing. Anyone care to speculate whether in fact this'll happen?

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Women would rather be on Facebook than on the toilet

Tim 49

"They also seem unconcerned about flashing their location".

Especially after six pints of Babycham.

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BT boss brands Britain illiterate

Tim 49

I thought it was all scaremongering until...

I was tagged along with some others in a group in a facebook picture at the weekend , & the following day received this comment:

"wow piccys are good x mum looks well better now xx u with your friends look like u r at home xx "

What more can you say?

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Vulcan kept airborne by £400k refuel

Tim 49

Please donate!

If everyone who saw 558 fly last year had coughed up a quid, there'd be no money worries. Sadly, most people don't. Airshows don't pay for the aircraft.

Head over to the VulcanToTheSky website & do the decent thing. You know you want to.

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Apple fans targeted by smut-punting malware

Tim 49

ActiveX on OS X??

Someone's slip is showing here:

"The Jahlav-C Mac-specific Trojan poses as an ActiveX update needed to watch grumble flicks, as explained by ParetoLogic here."

The blog site referenced in the link shows a screen shot of IE 7 running under Windows, & it's somewhat unfair for you to say that Macs are vulnerable, & then omit the "providing they are running Windows at the time" part.

So the prospective Grumbler has to (1) run Windows on their Mac, (2) visit grumbleware.com, (3) hit the "yes, I agree that I'm an idiot" button, (4) save the .DMG file (5) reboot into OS X (6) do some more stuff that I can't be bothered to figure out.

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