34 posts • joined Wednesday 9th September 2009 09:31 GMT
It's not an original idea...
Google TV and YouView are both attempts to deliver TV over the top without a guaranteed QoS from a combined TV and broadband provider like Virgin or Sky. Right now, there seems to be more desire to provide the services than a demand to consume them, but if anyone can bring a gaggle of glassy-eyed fools to drink at the well, it's Apple.
On the other hand, the success of TV on the iPad etc seems to be largely in divorcing it from the traditional large fixed screen for people with more flexible viewing demands, so you could argue that Apple TV isn't reaching Apple's usual market. And on the other, other hand, as Apple's usual market ages and finds itself less mobile because of family etc, a TV from their favourite brand of cash-to-shiny-toy converter could be just what they want. And when it comes to Apple, it's all in the wanting.
Who sent men to the Moon?
Who was the last person to do something truly exciting with manned space exploration. Was it a Republican president?
Dubya? Dithered until he set up the pork barrel for his Republican allies and fundraising mates in the industrial-military complex, known as the never-to-fly Constellation/Ares/Orion programme.
Papa Bush? Refused to evolve the Shuttle, proposed impossible Moon and Mars missions with no supporting budget. But he did keep the space staiton alive as a pioneering international project (not that he had much choice)
Reagan? Refused to evolve the Shuttle. Spent a lot of money of bonkers Star Wars toys. Proposed the impossibly expensive and over-ambitious Freedom space station, for a nation with almost no prior space station experience.
Nixon? Axed Apollo. Crippled the Space Shuttle with compromises
Hang on...was it that super-lefty JFK who set NASA on a course to the Moon with one of the most inspiring speeches in Presidential history? And his successor who stayed the course?
Does anyone need work computers to do a bit of social slacking these days? Smart phones have surely made it easy to slack off anywhere, anytime.
Anthropocentric vs anthropomorphic
A good day for those in the anti-ACC camp, but are we supposed to believe that a rise in volcanism AND cloud-inducing cosmic rays has somehow caused global climate change at the same time as a massive rise in the human output of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, along with a sharp reduction in global forest cover? Isn't that an anthropocentric argument like believing the Earth is the centre of the universe?
That's quite a clusterfuck of coincidences, and seems to me more difficult to accept than that climate might be affected by 6billion+ people burning a billion years of stored hydrocarbons and ramping up industrialised and highly methanogenic agriculture.
PS - I generally favour the ACC argument on the precautionary priniciple. If we make the world a better place and ACC turns out to be wrong later, that's not the worst outcome.
Water at Mach 20
Is as soft as landing on a rock. A parachute wouldn't get you much luck either. To be fair, DARPA don't expect to recover these test vehicles, they just hope to keep them flying a bit longer. Somewhere near North Korea where the 'self-destruct' can do its business, for instance.
So this is what's behind the Argies' renewed interest in The Falklands
They need it for the terrstrial base of an anti-matter harvesting facility beneath the SAA. I say we start building our own and send down the Ark Royal to protect our interests pronto. What's that? We no longer have a maritime force protection capability? Oh.
Lack of development killed the Shuttle
The sad fact is that lack of development killed the Shuttle, and that's as much the US government's fault as it was NASA's. Instead of commissioning a lighter, safer, more powerful, and more efficient Shuttle for the mid-90s, first there was the adsurdly over-ambitious Freedom station, then an attempt to start from scratch and build over-ambitious SSTOs, then they panicked and tried to reinvent the Apollo programme with Constellation.
All the time, there was a platform that could have been incrementally developed and improved, but there was no policital capital in it, and the aerospace industry didn't really want Shuttle to become more efficient than expendables like Atlas V, so I'm sure they lobbied heavily to keep every NASA project in development hell, so the pork kept flowing with no results.
Could this be of use to the space industry? There must be huge amounts of radio energy washing out from the sun, through the Earth's radiation belts. Jupiter and Saturn are allegedly awash with radio energy - could probes use this to recharge their batteries instead of carrying radioisotopic power generators?
Odds of cosmic ray spike coinciding with industrial expansion?
Has anyone considered the incredible odds of cosmic rays, a fairly random phenomenon based on distant events, spiking at the same time as a the massive expansion of humanity's industries and carbon output? They must be, er, astronomical?
Cosmic rays don't have a known pattern like solar behaviour, but they do seem a convenient 'nothing to do with us' excuse for the deniers.
Either that, or the universe is trying to self-correct humans out of existence before we get off this dirtball and spread our filthy ways to the stars.
It's all about angular resolution
A true 'retina' display should match the typical angular resolution of the human eye at a given viewing distance. That's the specification behind NHK's Super Hi-Vision system, I'm not sure what resolution Apple's Retina display produces, but 300ppi should be similar to the 300dpi used in magazine printing, and that's a pretty good goal for any eReader at this stage of the technology.
And you are an unimaginative dolt. OP has identified a key issue in guerilla conflicts and an innovative way to separate combatants from civvies. Unless the entire population starts wearing flourescent warpaint, you could effectively make the enemy pariahs in their own community by targeting them with a dye round while they're dragging off their wounded.
The poet Lewirate
Some classic LP hyperbolae here - it's not like the Spirit and Opportunity rovers haven't survived months of Martian winters, not as cold but much longer, on just batteries. A lunar night should be easygoing for 21st century batteries.
And before you start refuelling satellites from the moon, I'm not sure how you turn water into the hydrazine typically used for satellites. Not that most satellite operators want to keep them in orbit beyond 20 years - most satellites comfortably pay back their costs and quite a lot more by the time they're retired, and then it's time to replace them with something bigger and better. There's no evidence of a demand for on-orbit refuelling or life extension, except maybe for military sats or megastructures like the ISS.
And before we go poking around in lava tubes, hadn't we better check for Selenites, Clangers and Soup Dragons?
Tight fisted right-whinger
You are an odd AC. You're right wing (anyone who thinks the BBC is so left wing it needs Fox News to balance it must be), but you're not willing to let market forces have their way and subscribe to pay-TV. Sounds like you don't know what you want.
It also sounds like you don't know how the tech works. HDMI is an uncompressed connection. Any artefacts would be introduced by the MPEG-4 compression, which is perfectly capable of providing extremely high quality pictures, but most broadcasters don't allocate enough bandwdth, so you end up with audio and video artefacts compared to an uncompressed medium like Blu-ray.
Ironically, while the young are increasingly switching to the internet for content, they're not particularly interested in AV quality.
This research is interesting but terribly flawed. The sample is too small to draw representative conclusions, and since there's no parity between content on the VoD and live platforms, many of the complaints revolve around not being able to find their favourite content.
It's 'analogue', not 'analog'
FFS. I thought this was a British website?
And economics hasn't changed because of computers. In any content medium, scarcity equals value and quality equals loyalty. What the 'digital' economy does is to reduce both by producing lots of low-quality content (look at news), which is why content providers like Sky are now focussed on buying so-called 'quality' content and restricting it available because there's an awful lot of rubbish available for free.
Cheap underground wireless?
I've thought for a while that mesh might me a good way to get WiFi and voice on the underground or in buildings with poor mobile reception, with no need to install expensive WiFi hotspots (expensive for both users and the provider).
It might not work well at the edges of the transport network, but on a city like London, every stations in Zone 1 is often has thousands of people whose phones could form a daisy chain to the surface, and these are never turned off, even when they're out of cover. The actual cost per user would be tiny because there are lots of them and they're copnstantly moving. It might even work in the tunnels when trains are sufficiently close to each other during rush hour.
Far from being a money loser for the network operator, this could be a siginificant value-add for a low outlay - they might just need to put a bundle of WiFi hotspots in easy-to-reach places near the station entrance. In London, for instance, the Tube WiFi trials are being conducted by O2, leaving 3, Voda, Orange et al with no benefit.
I take no responsibility for the social consequences of filling every tube carriage with idiots barking into their phones.
Are worth about as much as the paper they're printed on, and this is the Daily Heil, which hates everything the BBC does - so a heart-threatening dose of salt is probably justified when considering the truth of the story.
Not to mention it's repeating a story from last November, when YouView chairman Kip Meek was pretty honest about the difficulty of meeting the Easter launch target.
So wrong it's hard to know where to start
As already pointed out, moving a satellite doesn't cause a massive drain in fuel, and many satellites have lived long and productive lives despite being shuffled about several times during their lives.
Terrestar-1 is intended for use with small, portable handheld terminals using an aerial, not a dish, because it uses S-band instead of C-band or Ku-band.
And is it useful? Well, if you think offering low-cost communications to the poor is a good idea, then duh! Africa is building cellphone networks fast, but for remote locations they're still expensive compared to satellite, especially a satellite that's already in orbit. Unless you;re as patronising as UBFusion, that is.
Don't forget Proton and Soyuz
Actually, because most satellite launches are mid-sized payloads under 7,000kg, Russia's Proton and Soyuz put the most mass into orbit, partly because they're so cheap and reliable, even if they're pretty old fashioned. They're so popular, in fact, that ILS is building a Soyuz launch pad next to the Ariane pad at Kourou.
But if you're talking heavy lift, then Ariane 5 is the only player, although Falcon 9 Heavy might be a serious rival.
The Vipers were dual-role space/atmospheric craft so they needed some aerodynamic surfaces, even if they weren't much more than NASA put on the old X-15s. Plus, they had to look a little like the original series ships.
But what was that with the Blackbird? How many times would another one have been useful?
Ron Moore didn't do Voyager
He was showrunner on the latter part of Deep Space Nine, and infected that with some mad spiritual guff as well (although some of it did lead to great storytelling, just as it did in BSG). Does Gavin Clarke know the genre?
DS9 under Ron Moore is almost a trial run for BSG, with many of the same themes running through - the sacrifices a democratic society has to make for war, infiltration by an undetectable enemy, living under occupation. Moore successfully undermined the main problem with Trek that everyone gets along nicely, but even so, Starfleet is made up of the best of the best, while BSG is - by necessity - whoever didn't get killed in a genocide, mugging along to survive day-to-day. DS9's also got some of the most stunning space battles made for the small screen, with fleets of ships swarming across the scene. Who cares if it's not perfectly accurate (whatever that means for an imaginary universe 300 years in the future)?
And why are bullets and nukes or instant FTL any more realistic than phasers, photon torpedoes and warp drive? They're all just stylistic choices. The only reason Moore dropped the technobabble in BSG was 'cos he got sick of writing it in Trek and he wanted to focus on the characters.
DVB-T HD - three channels at best
If they'd stuck with DVB-T like they did in the trial, they'd be able to get *maybe* three channels of 720p or 1080i. As it is, they can get five channels on DVB-T2, and the platform is capable of 1080p, which you can't say for Freesat HD or the first gen of Sky HD products, and there's enough residual bandwidth for one channel to be upgraded to 3D using a service compatible system.
Sticking with DVB-T for an HD service would have been like using DAB for digital radio.
It's not just Bebo
They've already had forty years of TV, and are presumably just waiting for James T Kirk to turn up and explain "this thing called love"
Like they're the only ones
you could add bankers, talent show producers, warlords, the arms industry (sorry Lewis), everyone at Fox News, and anyone who posts on internet forums.
Isn't that why Obama said it needs a bit more thought?
Instead of just rehashing Apollo at great cost for the terrestrial employment opportunities and to keep politicians happy in states with significant space-related industry, Obama suggested NASA gets back to developing useful technologies for a long-term mission out of the gravity well, and let a private sector space industry develop to exploit LEO.
You might have to wait longer (I want my space holiday too!) but isn't that better than the plan Cowboy George got out of his Ladybird Book of Space Things?
The power of negativity
Shhh...Vulture Central is secretly planning a new power plant which feeds on the schadenfreude, negativity and smugness of people who sit at their desks all day saying "that'll never work" while doing bugger all themselves
Tiles of death
I bought a second-hand original Roomba, but every time I set it on the kitchen floor, the edge detection that's supposed to stop it falling down stairs would get confused by the black-and-white floor tile pattern, and I'd find it hopelessly spinning around until its battery ran flat.
I accept that the state of the art has advanced a long way in four years.
BolBoldenly going where no-one's gone before
"Vision without resources is a hallucination."
Bolden isn't wrong, but it's a bitter pill. For decades the Senate and Congress gave NASA just enough money to keep people in their constituencies employed, but never enough to achieve its goals, whether they were a better Shuttle, a new launch vehicle, the original ISS design, or a chance of actually getting to the Moon or Mars in our lifetimes.
Obama and Bolden have called their bluff, and they don't like it. Earth orbit is going to be a private enterprise and NASA's goal should be travelling beyond that. What Bolden should do is define a clear set of goals for achieving that which will spur both commercial spaceflight and research into interplanetary flight
A space programme that might deliver something
It's refreshing to see an attempt to make NASA live within its means, instead of always funding projects which would only happen if Congress suddenly turned round and agreed to massively increase funding. Constellation was nothing but Bush-era flag-waving, politics to keep people in NASA-related industries in jobs, even though the Moon was an unachievable goal, let alone Mars.
What Obama has also done is push international cooperation in manned spaceflight, which is the only way humanity will ever get anywhere beyond Earth orbit for more than flag-waving exercises. International cooperation is anathema to the neocons, and to their counterparts in Russia and China. Fortunately, as the ISS has shown, once the ball is rolling the scientists and engineers tend to just get on with working out how to do the thing with what they've got, while the bullshitters and demagogues continue to spout their only real product, hot air.
It seems unwise?
You're not f**cking joking? The ISS may not be the super-research outpost we all hoped for, but it's already returned a lot of research on the long-term effects of human spaceflight, generated huge amounts of experience in spacecraft design, orbital construction and repair techniques, automated docking systems, and when it finally reaches a state where it can carry a minimally-reasonable crew size to do some real science, they want to can it?
Contracts with SpaceX demonstrate that the ISS is even starting to encourage the private space sector, which is the real hope for manned spaceflight.
For the money they've spent bailing out AIG and car industry we could all go the Moon, Mars and a few NEOs. Christ on a bike
Walk before you can run
Why do you morons always think the first one is going to be the finished product? It's obviously not going to be the Heinlein power armour, just a step in that direction. It's not even a field prototype, FFS
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