280 posts • joined Tuesday 8th May 2007 14:28 GMT
Downside of retro-rockets
Just an observation: It seems so obvious to use rockets here that one might wonder why they aren't used more extensively.
Well, besides additional complexity and risk (over-and-above the already complex and risky 'chutes) is weight: Using parachutes gives you a "free" slow-down by using the atmosphere, whereas the additional rocket-fuel is extra weight you have to take up with you in the first place, and thus reducing your useful payload.
Of course, on the Moon you have no significant atmosphere, but the reduced gravity-well allows you to use smaller retro-rockets. Mars is a problem: There's a bit of atmosphere, but much less than Earth's, but a much higher gravity than the Moon.
Which just makes the whole NUCLEAR-POWERED, LASER-ARMED TANK ON MARS project so much more awesome. That landing system used a complex arrangement of both rockets and parachutes, and it worked flawlessly.
"It's not illegal when the President does it."
- Richard M. Nixon
Re: Radiation sources
Well put, sir, well put.
I've read that about 1 in 4 people will die of cancer, a vastly increased proportion compared to previous generations. And statistics like this are what make alarmists proclaim that "our modern lifestyle is killing us!" and "all the pollution is giving us cancer!"
The truth is, our "modern lifestyle" is helping us live longer than ever before, thus increasing our chances of getting cancer. Every single day we run a infinitesimal-but-real chance of contracting cancer, and the longer we live, the more times we roll the dice. Eventually they will come up snakes-eyes.
Which is not to say that we shouldn't be concerned with the hazards of our current lifestyle (e.g. sedentary jobs, high stress with no outlet) , or that urban and rural pollution is non-existent. Just that we must keep it in perspective, and focus on the real dangers (e.g. cigarette smoke, carbon monoxide), not the bogey-men like "cell-phone radiation".
Re: Can I suggest we send a microsecond coil....
And no cross-compilers, you cheaters! You have to code, compile and test on the orginal hardware!
TBH, over the last few years I've learned to to relax the "efficiency over all else" mindset I developed during my formative programming years. A shell script or Python program is plenty fine for most jobs on modern hardware. But there will always be certain cases where performance trounces all other considerations.
Re: Feminism was created to destabilize society
And what would monsieur like for dinner tonight? Billy goat?
Re: not again....
Because socialism is bad, and anything that has any connections to socialism is bad, and anything that any socialist anywhere has ever done is bad.
And vegetarianism is ultra-evil because [Godwin]
(Where's the Facepalm^x icon when you need it?)
Re: not again....
Inflammatory troll is inflammatory
Could everyone here stop saying that attractiveness is subjective? That's pretty well known
Actually, some people seem to disagree. See the post by ACx a little higher, who seems to think that it's entirely objective and biological.
Re: So many factors..
Of course a lot of it is biological. But a lot is also cultural and thus subjective. We're a damn long way from our animal roots, so attributing *all* the blame on "nature" and discounting "nurture" entirely is naive*.
Unfortunately "studies" like this shed very little light on the subject, as they provide no breakdown on the balance between biological and cultural influences, and don't actually tell us anything that we don't already bloody know! (Within the context of Western norms, anyway.)
*) Also, there is a high correlation between calling political correctness "bullshit" and being an asshole. Just sayin'
Re: looking at our medal haul at the Olympics
Well, maybe snarking on Sports Science is probably unfair. But Evo-Psych has become a cesspit of sexism, self-reinforcement, and just-so-stories.
It may once have had some respect as a "soft-science" but it lost every last shred of that a long time ago, largely due to "research" such as this.
Why am I all in "defend LP mode" today? Maybe it's because lame arguments annoy me. Or maybe I'm just a lame fanboi/sycophant myself. :-)
Anyway, I didn't read the article as suggesting that you Limeys sink all your non-carrier assets, just that without a carrier to defend, frigates and destroyers have only limited utility.
Not going to be sued?
That's naive. All this means is that you won't be sued by the people who released the specification. Given the insanity of the current worldwide patent systems, you're still vulnerable to some patent troll who might claim that the spec originator (un)wittingly infringed the troll's patent, and who will then sue you, too!
I think you're confusing *design* age with *aircraft* age. The design of the Blackhawk may be old, but the examples the army would be buying would be new-build. Whereas the Pumas, apparently, really are 30yo flying accidents-waiting-to-happen.
Odd, it seems straightforward to me, but this is the second time I've seen someone make this same error. Perhaps Lewis can word things a bit more clearly in future?
No appropriate laws
The problem here is that there ARE no existing laws. They tried everything to convict Lori Drew and all they came up with was a a shockingly lame "breaking the terms of service of Facebook" pseudo-offense.
If there had been existing laws that could have been applied, Drew would already be turning big rocks into little rocks.
I just noticed: Chris W already said the same thing, but it seems some people didn't notice that.
"What's the saying.... ahh, yes.... "F_ck you if you can't take a joke!" - says the anonymous man. Irony much?
@ Useful research please
The moon and the Earth were seperated at birth. Things we learn about the Moon's geology mmight give us clues to unlock some of the secrets of Earth's geology. And maybe not. And the only way we'll know is to go there and try! That's what exploration and research are all about: Finding stuff you never knew existed.
Also, please remember that, despite the eye-wateringly high price-tags on NASA missions, the _entire_ NASA budget, including Earth observation missions, terrestrial aeronautical research, and unmanned missions, is still only about 1% of the US Federal budget.
When politicians slash NASA budgets they're really just grand-standing for the public. The actual influence on the budget is negligible.
Alien rock on alien planet
@By Steen Hive
"Something "Alien" managed to hit the martian surface without leaving a great big bloody hole?"
Actually, small meteorites don't make holes on earth. If they're small enough they get slowed down to mere "terminal velocity" before they hit the ground.
Of course, that's on Earth. The definition for "small enough" is much, err, smaller on Mars, given that the tenuous atmosphere would slow down an incoming meteor much, much less. So you may still have a point.
Anybody else got any ideas how this rock could have got there without making a mess of the surrounding surface?
So you figure a fit human is less attractive to EATR than a mouse-potato like myself? That's not good!
But it is like a shark: Apparently sharks only eat humies by mistake, as we taste absolutely horrible: Stringy and sinewy compared to the blubber-insulated seals and fish they prefer. Not enough energy in a human to balance the energy used in catching the things!
Defn: Recursion - See "recursion"
I agree, this is a statement of the bloody obvious. We all know that people not in agreement with us are blindly rejecting our superior position, or avoiding us entirely.
Whereas we ourselves are perfectly open-minded, and only reached our current positions after carefully viewing /all/ sides of the debate, and picking the correct one.
Unlike all the sheep.
11 years not at all excessive
This guy is an unrepentant and obsessive criminal. His stunts weren't just 'bad', they were life-threatening. And interfering with witnesses is rightfully treated very seriously by the courts.
Plus he's too damned stupid to realise that when you're already in a hole, you need to stop digging!
"lady got so pissed screaming it had taken 2 months to organise the rape scene"
My heart bleeds for her. Not!
There are serious and obvious risks involved in realistically enacting a violation of the law. It is the duty of the police and the public to react to any perceived crime. Anyone with an IQ in double-digits or more could have foreseen this.
This dim-wit will probably end up "simulating" some other outré and dangerous act soon, again without properly assessing and preparing for any dangerous consequences thereof, and get herself a Darwin Award in the process.
Torture the torturer
My initial reaction to stories like this is to wish all sorts of horrid retribution on the perpetrator, to make him suffer as much as the victim did. But then I take a breath and remember that what holds society together is justice, not vengeance. This man shouldn't (and won't) be tortured, he should simply be removed from society like a cancer-cell is removed from the body, for the greater good.
Dump him in solitary for the rest of his life so that he can't hurt anyone again.
What, you say that living in solitary confinement for years or even decades is itself torture? Nonsense, no-one laid a hand on him! <evil, self-satisfied grin>
Since the wireless signal probably has to travel no more than a centimeter or two, and can probably be isolated from interference by a layer of tin-foil inside the gun, I doubt that jamming or spoofing will be much of a problem.
I'm sure the designers have come up with other safeguards, too. They've had enough time and been paid enough money to do so! Just how long has this development program been dragging on?
Hey! That was really funny - A most excellent imitation of your typical brainless, racist, scum-sucking, Bush-voting redneck. You got all the nuances just right. :-)
Oh! I just had a horrible thought...
Dear God! Please tell me you weren't actually SERIOUS!
I am intrigued by the oft-proposed (at least here in The Register Comments) explanation for your govt's actions: That it is not (just) prudery, populism and the usual moralistic grand-standing which lies at the heart of the problem of (especially) sex- and drug-related mal-administration of the law.
It is also the fear in national politicians' hearts that their usefulness has been supplanted by the European Union's over-arching legislation. That since broad policy is set in Brussels, not London, people might question either (a) how democratic this "government once-removed" is, or (b) if all the work is being done in Brussels, just why so many politicians are needed in Blighty. Thus, an endless stream of pseudo-populist legislation is produced, just to show that "local" (i.e. national rather than inter-national) government still has a purpose (and that its members deserve their high salaries.)
I have absolutely no evidence to back up this assertion. I don't even live on the same continent, so I don't have first-hand knowledge of the problem. And my second-hand opinions are derived from the scribblings of a skewed, self-selected sample of people (a small proportion of The Register commentors, which is in turn a small proportion of The Register readers, who are in turn only a small proportion of the British electorate.)
In fact, I can't even state categorically that there is a "problem" in the first place.
So I guess I in fact know enough to produce legislation on the subject, no? :-^
"can their site be distributed over multiple servers?"
IIRC, that is exactly what they already do. Multiple sites across multiple jurisdictions. Makes a meaningful take-down rather tricky to achieve.
Thanks! You've actually answered my question nicely, by telling me the good things, the bad things that are not really so bad after all, and one more bad thing. Useful info I shall now mull over before my next upgrade.
You, sir, are a fanboi.
You contributed very little more than a lot of hot air to this discussion. You insulted me and called me ignorant, but you did nothing to relieve that ignorance - You didn't tell me what any of the good points are! You reacted as if I had insulted you, personally. It's just a sodding chunk of plastic silicon, not your penis! Who's the 12yo in this discussion?
Please remind me...
I've been ignoring the iPhone for so long now I'd forgotten all its glaring omissions. No cut-and-paste, no tethering, no MMS, one app open at a time. That's just primitive! BTW, how's the Bluetooth stack looking these days? The last I heard it stank, but that was a while ago.
So can anybody tell me just why people like it so much? Is it the Jobsian Reality Distortion Field?
Having gotten used to all these features on *much* cheaper mid-range phones, it would irritate the blazes out of me to suddenly have them taken away. That's why even a free-with-contract offer didn't tempt me - I'd rather pay more for a supposedly inferior phone, such as the N85.
And I know it's probably childish, but I just don't like the way I can only do what Steve and his marketroids tell me I can do. What features I "don't need". What network I can use. What apps I can use, and where I can buy them. Making me pay twice for the same song if I want to use it as a ring-tone, or, potentially, make me pay extra to send bytes to my laptop.
In his essay "In the Beginning was the Command Line", Neal Stephenson described the Apple corporate culture as one with a slick image of openness, non-conformity, and general "coolness". But behind this entirely artificial facade, it's really being run by sinister control-freaks. Probably a bit harsh, but more than just a grain of truth in it.
@Who gave these morons the power to confiscate property?
AC: "It's only a matter of time till some security moron tries to confiscate a really valuable brooch (say ten times the security moron's annual salary) because it has a "dangerous" pin."
Already happened. Except it wasn't worth 10x the id10t's annual gross - It was literally priceless:
(A WW2 vet and ex-State Governor nearly had his Congressional Medal of Hono(u)r confiscated.)
@AC at 20:04
You Godwinned yourself. Also, I see a lot of assertions. Could I actually see some arguments, please?
Too many people on the innertubes seem to be unable to distinguish the two. They think that simply *saying* that the Liberals/Conservatives/Christianists eat babies is enough. Challenge them to present evidence and argue a conclusion from that evidence, and all they do is assert the same bullshit all over again, as if that settles it.
I'd weep for the death of reason and logic, if I believed the the unwashed masses had ever had any. The intertoobs just highlighted this lack, it didn't create it. (This paragraph is unsupported assertion, not argument. But at least I admit it!)
Does this 1/4-wit have even the faintest idea how many schools, churches, government buildings and other "terrorist targets" there are in the world? Or even in his own State? Does he have any idea how much manual labour it will take to locate and blur out every single one of them? Or that this effort would be so outrageously expensive that not even Mountain View would be able to afford it, let alone find it profitable?
He may as well ask all these services to simply shut down completely.
Actually, he's not mathematically impaired. He's not even arithmetically impaired. He can't even count: He's innumerate!
It's not illegal...
...if the President does it!
Anyway, as we all know, "everything changed after 9/11":
Firstly, terrorists, bombs and even airplanes didn't even exist till 9/11.
Secondly, after 9/11 a new zeroeth Amendment magically came into being:
"The President shall do whatever the fcuk he wants, if he can somehow relate it to terrorism. This Amendment supercedes all other Amendments within the Bill of Rights".
Isn't there one of those geek "rules" that says something like "Reality will always be wierder than the most outrageous joke or satire"? We have here some more evidence supporting that statement. :-)
@robbie: I guess 200m is the best they can aspire to at present, rather than the most they think they'll ever need. Come any further advances in tech, and they'll gleefully extend the range to hit targets ever further inland. Anyway, we already have a large proportion of the human population within 200m of the sea. Russia, China and Iran may be out of range, but there are lots of smaller countries they can terrorise with such a weapon. And the Marines will love it - Having heavy arty support you as you land has got to have advantages over just having Harriers.
@Greg Trocchia: What I read years ago suggested that "Mach 5+" at launch is in fact Mach 7. If that is still correct, the shell only loses 2/7 of its velocity before hitting the target - A smaller fraction than I would have thought, but I guess travelling 200m at hypersonic speeds happens too quickly to matter much to the shell.
...they want a decent AI. They've just come up with a few new, insightful criteria. But it's still the same AI that scientists have been failing to produce for half-a-century or more.
What difference does it make that DARPA tells the world that they want this? It's been a bloody obvious goal for a very long time now. People will be working on this whether or not they they have official knowledge that DARPA will want it. They've known that implicitly for decades!
It's not like DARPA have created some new Grand Challenge with a clear, unambiguous, challenging yet realistic goals. It's not like they're putting any money on the table at all.
Unless I'm just not getting it, this seems like nothing more than an excuse to show some more Powerpoint slides.
Actually, they really are intending to do that. You must be psychic!
They're only firing inert rounds for now, while they're trying to get the basic gun to work. But other people are working on how the hell to make a GPS guidance system that will survive kilo-G accelerations. They really do want "Which window do you want it to go through?" levels of accuracy, even after a 200km flight.
The Army managed to get this idea to work with the Copperhead anti-tank artillery round. But I'm guessing the acceleration of a rail-gun round is a couple of orders of magnitude greater still
The excess heat from nuclear power-plants can apparently be used to help crack water. So while it is true that it takes a shed-load of energy to produce H2, it doesn't matter as much if much of that energy would have been wasted anyway.
And producing H2 from natural gas is not a long-term strategy, either, because we'd still be relying on fossil fuels and still pouring CO2 into the atmosphere.
Does anyone know when or if methanol fuel-cells will scale up to car-powering sizes?
Chimps are bad news
I believe the problem is that adult chimps are just as obnoxious, bad-tempered, violent and downright murderous as their cousins Homo Sapiens. Just 6x stronger! Thus they are very hard to control, and capable of dishing out extraordinary amounts of damage to the comparatively puny human physiology.
Those few crazed humans that think that the best way to to save the planet is to destroy mankind in its entirety really should consider taking out the chimps, too. Leave the world to the gorillas (deceptively gentle giants) or to the bonobos (too busy having to sex to be violent).
Coupl'a points on the ravings of others
1) The Kursk: This incident has no bearing on the Kursk tragedy. Even at the time, everyone already knew that there was an American sub in the area, spying on the Russian fleet operations. Which means it had to get damn close, leading everyone to suspect that a collision was the cause of the disaster.
Due to the partial failure of the salvaging operation, there will probably never be a definitive answer: The USA insists that it was a dud torp (and poor sub design) and the Russians will insist that it was a collision with a nosey and irresponsible Yank sub.
2) The subs deliberately shadowing each other: If this really was the case, one or both captains would deserve to be shot! Hunting boomers is a job for dedicated attack subs, not for other boomers.
A boomer's job is to be always ready to destroy a small country at a moment's notice*. Something that is hard to do if you're playing silly buggers with another nation's boomer. So we'd be talking serious dereliction of duty on the part of the captains, which I judge rather unlikely. No nation will leave the keys to their only boomer in the hands of an irresponsible idiot.
*) Unless, of course, the boomer in question is a Russian Typhoon. Their job is to be always ready to destroy a LARGE country at a moment's notice. Can you imagine 200 warheads each of 200kT** yield? That's gonna leave a mark!
**) More than 10 Hiroshima-sized bombs (13-18kT)
3) Men have died under these circumstances before. As noted in the article, collisions were relatively common during the Cold War. I've read about one such incident where the Soviet sub struck the American sub's sail with its prop. The prop-shaft was bent so far out of shape that the water-seal ruptured. The sub filled up so quickly that there wasn't time to seal the bulkheads, and she imploded just a few minutes later.
(Obviously these details had to be inferred from the damage to the American sub, and the recordings of that sub's passive sonar. No-one on the Soviet sub survived, and I doubt anyone ever even found the wreckage.)
Laws of chance...
I think it's not only plausible, nut inevitable that this would happen sooner or later. While I agree that the volumes we're talking about here are ginormous, we do have thousands of satellites up there, many of them criss-crossing each other's orbits. Sooner or later, there will be a collision.
If you keep lobbing those peanuts, 100 times a day (figure dragged from a handy orifice), for 40 years (roughly how long we've had artificial satellites) they're going to connect eventually.
So, it was random chance that sent a goose or three into the engine, but God himself who arranged it that everybody was saved?
Or maybe it was random chance/good engineering that saved the plane?
It is really a cheap trick to ascribe to chance/the Devil all the bad things, and your favourite Deity all the good.
So no, Mr Sanctimonious Doug Glass, I have not "sold myself to the devil" literally or metaphorically. There is no Devil, and I don't see why it's wrong to put my trust only in things that are real, not in wishful thinking and superstition.
re: Everyone's fav troll/moron
All these replies, and no-one has commented on the irony of being called cowardly by some-one too scared to put even his registered *pseudonym* on his rantings?
I comfort myself these days with the thought that many of the fuCk-you-foreigners, America-first, "all things things are permissible 'cos of 9/11", "genocide is OK if it's against brown people", "Jesus and George Bush are my saviours" - type pond-scum are having apoplectic attacks at the thought of Hussein Obama taking over the White House.
For everyone of those that dies of stroke, that's one less dose of Darwin-chlorine needed for the human gene-pool.
If there's one thing that the patent trolls must have noticed it's IBM et al stomping on, grinding into the dirt, and then setting fire to the remains of SCO. While not actually a patent dispute, it illustrates a universal point: If you're going to be a bully, don't pick on kids bigger than you, for crying out loud! You'll get what you deserve, in spades.
To all the hard-of-thinking who have recommended earplugs: The bloody article states that theyve already tried that, to no avail.
And this story does not help Emirates. They'd be admitting that their cattle-class is a miserable, noisy, sleep-depriving place.
But it does look good for Airbus, and whichever engine-maker they chose.
There's a tendency to react with "Oh the poor little darlings. Now they know how we feel, stuck in cattle class for the whole flight".
But it's actually not a joke. The last thing I want is for the pilot landing the plane to be sleep-deprived!
But I also note with amusement that now even the pilots have to suffer for the sake of the comfort of the well-heeled. And we're still waiting for our luxury shopping level/gym/what-hav-you -equipped flying hotel. :-)
@Stu (cool name, btw.)
"[T]hat quite chunky fighter aircraft" you're thinking of is probably the US A10, aka The Warthog.
Just two niggles: It's not a mini-gun. I think the term "mini-gun" refers only to Gatling guns under 20mm, and usually "just" 7.62mm. The A10's weapon is a terrifying 30mm!
Secondly, it's not so much a plane with a nose-mounted gun as it is a gun with a breech-mounted airplane! :-)