183 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009
Re: Minor quibble
What is this "maintain the phone booths" item you speak of? Are you sure that it exists in this Universe?
Latest news indicates one fatality and one injury. :-(
Designing rocket engines is hard. VERY hard. You have to mix very a very volatile fuel and oxidizer in the combustion chamber thoroughly to ensure complete combustion. And, you have to do this at some rather incredible temperatures, temperatures which are very close to the melting point of even the most refractory materials. And, these refractory materials have to withstand some fairly high pressures, and are subjected to extreme temperature changes. Plus, the chamber material has to withstand both fuel and oxidizer materials without reacting to either one. Now, couple this design with the fact that the fluid dynamics of rocket chamber combustion isn't a well understood science (definitely not well enough to adequately computer model), and the fact that instabilities can build up such that the combustion process goes non-linear and starts to pulse or vibrate, which can stress those refractory materials well beyond their limits, and the end result is that it's VERY hard to design a new rocket engine. Furthermore, rocket engine designs don't necessarily scale very well, which means that the only way to design a new rocket engine is to build a full size model and empirically test it. But, even static testing can't try all of the conditions that a rocket engine will encounter during its flight. So, it's not too surprising that even a tried and proven 50 year old design may encounter some conditions which cause it to go BOOM in a most unpleasant way. :-/ Rocket science is HARD.
How much analysis does it take to determine that a person is posting yet another crazy cat video to a social networking site?
Any discussion of the Espionage Act of 1917 should also include the Sedition Act of 1918 (which was really just a modification of the Espionage Act of 1917). That made certain types of speech illegal. Somewhat surprisingly, it was upheld by the Supreme Court, although some subsequent decisions make it unlikely that it would be used again.
The conductive grease sounds like a good idea. Note that Copper oxidizes, producing Copper Oxide (I or II), which is either non-conductive, or a semiconductor. The conductive grease should prevent the oxidation. One could also get fancy and Silver plate the interior of the Copper tubes (Silver Oxide is a conductor); consider some of the electroless Silver plating solutions, which will deposit a few Angstroms of Silver (Cool-Amp is one maker (I have no connection, etc.).).
You might also consider ensuring that the end of the Copper tube has a slight flare to it, or, at least, is deburred. Cutting Copper tubing tends to produce a burr, or slight squeezing of the tube at the cut point, and, if you're counting on a dependable release, you don't want anything binding at the end of the Copper tube.
You could also consider some type of spring contact that would be inserted in the Copper tube. I'm thinking of something along the lines of a piece of Beryllium Copper that is folded and soldered to the wire.
Good luck with it!
P.S. Remember that any landing you can walk away from it a success.
47CFR97.113(4) still prohibits encrypted communications on the amateur radio bands in the US:
"(4) Music using a phone emission except as specifically provided elsewhere in this section; communications intended to facilitate a criminal act; messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning, except as otherwise provided herein; obscene or indecent words or language; or false or deceptive messages, signals or identification."
Thus, anyone using encrypted communications would quickly find their connection dropped (if they were using someone else's node), or would be quickly triangulated and reported. Amateur radio operators are VERY protective of their bands and privileges.
Now, it might be possible to use some of these techniques on some of the ISM bands (47CFR18):
or, maybe even using the limitations in Part 15 (47CRF15):
And, of course, they could definitely be used up in the "uncontrolled" RF spectrum space (which is most of the way up to infrared now).
However, some of the things they'll be fighting are, with conventional radio equipment, they'll either be seriously limited to their data rate (2400 bits per second for unmodified VHF/UHF radio equipment, closer to 300 bits per second for unmodified HF radio equipment). Or, they'll be seriously limited in their range (for VHF/UHF/microwave/infrared bands). There's a bit of trade-off involving data rate and distance/power; for example, some of the QRSS techniques allow for minimal power for extreme distances, but at the expense of data rate (1 bit per second or less?).
Still, I think they're thinking that radio equipment can't be easily located, which is obviously false. Foxhunts (e.g., searches for hidden radio transmitters) typically take less than 30 minutes for a well trained team (and, there are a LOT of well trained teams out there). Even mobile transmitters can be pretty quickly located. I've seen some amateur automated bearing location equipment which will provide the bearing to a signal in well under one second (which allows for a dynamic, real time bearing, even for a moving transmitter).
Plus, there's a technique of performing "RF fingerprinting" of a transmitter's output that allows it to be uniquely identified (e.g., signal rise time, quiesce time, noise characteristics, etc.). Heck, for that matter, there has even been quite a few successes locating receivers, via their local oscillator radiation (e.g., British TV locator vans, radar-detector-detectors, etc.).
Thus, before Anonymous puts too much credence in this approach, I think they need to do a bit more research of just how many holes there are in it. Yeah, tracking down such an RF link may require that some people get out of their easy chair to locate them, but it's certainly possible (and, when you make those bureaucrats get out of their easy chairs, well, they're not going to be happy!). ;-)
Oh, yeah, ditto the comments about the US$10,000 fines, per day, for unlicensed radio signals. I saw a news article just yesterday where the FCC imposed a US$46,000 fine for a violation. You REALLY don't want to get them mad at you!
Ah, yes, recycling bottles. It they were serious about that, then they'd make bottles with a 12 inch opening instead of those little half-inch openings. After all, it's devilishly difficult to hit a half-inch opening to refill them after you've consumed the contents. ;-)
P. S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the "dry" pockets.
Oh, isn't this what's called Poetic Justice? ;-)
Where is Frank Church when you need him?
Oh, and haven't we all been here before already?
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
P.S. For those that don't read Latin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_custodiet_ipsos_custodes%3F
P.P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the listening device in the pocket.
Oww, MY EYES! MY EYES!
Could this be a version of Darwin's Law in action?
Re: Yeah, right
More information on fusors can be found here:
And, agreed on the availability of Deuterium. It used to be pretty common for physics students to make ice from heavy water (Deuterium Oxide) to put in drinks. The Deuterium, being slightly heavier than Hydrogen, causes the ice cubes made from it to sink rather than float (And, no, I don't think I'd drink one of those drinks, although several people have. And, there's some evidence that a slight concentration of Deuterium may actually help memory, although too much of it may be fatal.).
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the heavy ice cubes in the pocket.
Why? The whole premiss of Facebook is based on advertising. But, who wants to advertise to a civilization that doesn't have any money to spend on the advertised products?
Or, maybe the advertising isn't about physical products, but ideology? Oh, sure, that'll go over well when the advertising prompts the next revolution. How long until some administration starts buying obsolete microwave ovens, removing the doors/interlocks, and starts beaming interference up to those planes? :-(
Plus, what happens when the batteries on one of those birds deteriorates just a bit, and allows it to drop down into a commercial air traffic corridor, taking down a commercial airliner in the process? Can you say "Liability"? I bet there are a LOT of lawyers that can! US$60M? That'll be a drop in the bucket when the suits are finally settled.
Decades ago, our group moved into a set of temporary trailers, while a building was being renovated for us. A year and a half into the six month stint in the trailers, I was able to upgrade my office from an interior office to an office with a window, and <gasp> a thermostat. No more suffering from a horribly cold or a horribly hot office (usually at different points during the same day). Life was good...for about two hours. Then, the endless stream of people along the same duct started showing up, complaining that their office was too hot/cold, and could I please increase/decrease the thermostat. I finally decided that the best way to handle this was to let them fight it out outside my office door (and, make a small fortune selling tickets to the fights!). Eventually, we were moved out of the temporary trailers (We were only in them for about 6.5 years of the six month period.), and, as they were demolishing the trailers (or, should I say, finishing demolishing them, since they were pretty well demolished by the time we moved out of them anyway), they discovered that the heating duct attached to the heat-pump controlled by the thermostat on my office wall had never been attached to anything!
P.S. True story!
P.P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the thermal lining and ice in the pockets.
Re: Some plastics do stink
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the bottle of Mercaptans in the pocket.
For a better approach, why not use Ethanol and Dry Ice? (And, if things get too bad, the techies can resort to drinking the coolant!). Note that this isn't unprecedented (Err, the Ethanol and Dry Ice, not necessarily the techies drinking it, although that has been known to happen, too!).
There are some mainframe manufacturers who have resorted to using Helium as a cooling agent (e.g., "TCM"). Plus, there has been some work done on using Liquid Nitrogen immersion as a cooling agent for overclocked systems.
Large electrical generators are frequently cooled by Hydrogen gas (It has a low viscosity, so as to not interfere too much with the rotating components, and conducts heat well. Of course, one has to have a very good seal on the bearings, else one runs the risk of the "Hindenberg Effect".).
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the Kentucky bourbon and Dry Ice in the pocket.
Oh, you mean the Aurora:
Re: @Anonymous 14:01
And, don't forget that, when the engines started, they blew green flames out the back.
They have an SR-71A at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, USA:
I met one of the SR-71 pilots a number of decades ago, Major Brian Shul, and even got him to autograph a copy of his first book "Sled Driver". His story is quite an interesting one:
And, how many of those (L)users actively suppress the ads, or passively ignore them? How many of those users have disposable income to blow on the advertised goods, versus being 12 year olds spoofing their age, and with no money? How many of those (L)users have the attitude that "I'd never buy anything from a company that advertises on a site like this!"
P. S. How long before FB succumbs to the dark side, and starts allowing pr*n images, to attract even more (L)users?
I just installed Firefox 23 this morning.
I haven't been able to print anything successfully since they took the IBM 1403N1 printer out. Now that was a printer!
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the print chain in the pocket.
Interesting comments, but maybe I can shed some enlightenment.
Note that most drive-through order systems require some way of sensing that a car is present (else the order taker has to listen constantly to noise in their headset). That may be via a magnetic loop sensor in the pavement. These are notorious for not sensing smaller vehicles, such as bicycles, motorcycles, and horses, as well as pedestrians.
As for taking a horse inside a McDonalds, there are usually (health department) restrictions that only service animals may enter. However, horses can be service animals!
P.S. I'll get my coat, it's the western style duster, with big pockets that I can fill with burgers while riding my horse.
I always seem to get those terms, inside and outside, mixed up. After all, it's easy to get confused. Which side of the line am I standing on? Is that the inside or the outside? Isn't it all relative?
P.S. I also have trouble with the concept of left and right. Maybe that's why I had such trouble in kindergarten? ;-) I ought to be a shoe-in for a job with an intelligence agency!
P.P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one that's inside-out (or, is that outside-in?).
Looks like the rest of FB users may be locked out now, too. It's throwing an error screen when I try to connect:
Sorry, something went wrong.
We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.
Facebook © 2012 · Help
I think Morgan Freeman would make a good doctor.
Re: Sonic Screwdriver
There are companies that can analyze/reverse-engineer a surprising number of "secure" chips. Here's one, for example:
And, while these guys are legit, there's probably dozens of illegit or university lab students who could/can/are doing the same thing.
P.S. Yeah, I've got some experience in the computer security field, too. Can't say what exactly, though. ;-)
Re: Redirecting V1s
V1s are, apparently, somewhat rare. There is one mounted on a pedestal outside of the courthouse in Greencastle, Indiana, USA:
I happened to be unaware of this fact, and, while driving through Greencastle one night, almost ran off the street from the amazement of seeing it!
I seem to remember that one technique for bringing down V1s was for a pilot to edge his plane close to one, and insert a wing under the V1's wing, and flip it. Apparently, the control system in the V1s wasn't able to cope with the device becoming inverted.
Re: British Intelligence
Originally written in memory of his girlfriend, who had just been killed in a plane crash in Canada. Later, it was given to Violette Szabo, for use by her while on assignment in occupied France (which, sadly, ended rather badly for her). :-(
I seem to remember that Hamburg and Dresden suffered a bit of "marshmallow roasting" from firestorms:
Of course, the Soviets had their own urban renewal plans for Berlin.
Re: A question for rocket scientists on El Reg...
The problem is that, unless the two subcritical lumps are mechanically constrained when bumped together, the criticiallity will, almost certainly, mechanically separate them before an explosion can result. Remember the two "Demon Core" incidents, and how the two criticiallity incidents only killed two people:
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the Iodine tablets in the pocket.
Rise Of The Machines
Don't they know that they can't stop the Rise Of The Machines? Resistance is futile...
Of course, governments can promise that they won't design/build such machines. And, they'll stick to that promise, at least until they get wind that some other governmentis building such machines, at which point, an arms race in autonomous killing robots will occur.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the badge that says "I welcome our new robot overlords".
Re: Defuse The Situation
Might be good to release a batch of them in North Korea. Not only would it give the Nork's military something useful to do, but it would also be a new food source. That would have to be a win-win situation!
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the "Tastes like chicken" labels in the pocket.
Unborn to actively avoid flying through the middle of thunderstorms
So, when can we see a rule from the FAA/etc. restricting unborn pilots from flying their aircraft through the centers of thunderstorms?
P.S. Mine's the one with the pockets full of prophylactics.
The scariest scenario may be that NK mounts one of their nukes on one of their missiles, and flies it well over SK or Japan, whereupon they detonate the nuke, causing a nuclear EMP. Given the electronics in both SK and Japan, such an EMP could do an INCREDIBLE amount of damage. :-( Plus, it wouldn't be a direct strike, nor would their be any direct casualties. That could create a bit of a political nightmare, since there's no equivalent retaliation in kind (An EMP doesn't damage a 15th century feudal society.). Plus, if NK spouts off that it was a nuclear reactor powered satellite that only exploded because SK/Japan/USA shot it with a missile...
P.S. Mine's the one with the dosimeter in the pocket.
Re: Won't somebody think of the history?
They'll also believe that we worshiped cats, based on the number of "cute" cat photos that have been posted to Facebook, Pintrest, etc.
P. S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the kitty litter in the pocket.
Maybe she was an environmental terrorist who was trying to smuggle Cane Toads?
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one making croaking noises.
Oh, such as the boss's phone line becoming short circuited with the 68 KV electric transmission line that runs down the road outside the building? Can't imagine how that might have happened. Perhaps it was one of the neighbourhood kids that was flying a kite with a wire instead of a string, a wire that just happened to be anchored to the boss's phone..
Compilers in their own language
I have worked on a compiler that was written in its own language (one of the infamous PL/x compilers, see wikipedia). Having a compiler compile itself was an excellent test of the compiler. Can't say much more about it, though.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the punched cards in the pocket.
Drat, I gave away my PDP-11/03 decade or two ago. Of course, it was only a /03 model, designed for industrial process control, and, as such, only had 4K (or so) of RAM. Plus, it didn't have a fancy blinking-light console, instead being relegated to a dual gray box. But, it was a cute machine. About killed myself lugging those Rx-05 drives down to the basement.
Hmm, isn't there a PDP-11 simulator available out there somewhere? And, I have a feeling that the simulator probably runs faster than the real PDP-11.
P.S. I'll get my coat; It's the one with the paper tape in the pocket.
How about this one:
Not to be overly gross, but didn't the Nazis have quite a bit of experience with burning human bodies? I seem to recall some reports describing how the bodies of fat people should be intermixed with those of skinny people to achieve complete combustion of the corpses. :-(
Ok, so how long until they get rid of the glasses and do this with contact lenses? (Ohoh, did I just ruin someone's patent application?) ;-)
Umm, when are they going to mount them on sharks? (You knew that someone was going to ask that question, didn't y'all?)
As for the screen burn-in problems, that's mostly to do with sputtering of the electrodes by the electron/ion current in a plasma display (And, there was a similar burn-in problem for certain monochrome CRTs, caused by the electron beam, for a static image, burning the phosphor coating.). That shouldn't be a problem for lasers, at least as long as they don't go with an ultraviolet laser, which could cause some burn issues (Ohoh, did I just ruin someone else's patent application?).
Or, use a ultraviolet laser, and paint a phosphorescent strip on your arm, allowing the laser to make the phosphorescent area glow/fluoresce, seemingly by magic. Perhaps image this with a optically filtered camera (on the other side of the glasses?) to perform the detection. (Ohoh, another idea publicly disclosed?).
Oh, yeah, don't forget that most laundry detergents include a "whitening"/"brightening" agent, left behind after the wash cycle is complete, which is actually a fluorescent material.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the optical brightening agent on it.
Just wait until they have that Google asteroid being mined...
Then, they can drop the mining refuse onto the heads of anyone they don't like! ;-)
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the tin-foil hat in the pocket.
Re: This will change things
The real trick will be when we can go to 4D! ;-)
I'd vote for the Nobel Peace Prize!
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the alternative reality glasses in the pocket.
Re: I feel conflicted.
Re: I'm wondering ...
Ah, getting the kids ready for a cashless society by training them to be dependent upon little pieces of plastic. Sounds like an excellent training ground to teach the more advanced of them to become hackers by reprogramming their little pieces of plastic. ;-)
As for the bathroom access, I still say that a few mysterious brown piles and yellow puddles would remove that requirement VERY rapidly (although the guys are probably better equipped to create those mysterious yellow puddles more easily; hey, is that a case for discrimination?!?). ;-)
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the waterproof pockets and the RFID card duplicator in it.
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