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* Posts by Tom 80

10 posts • joined 18 Jan 2010

TfL wheels out digital bus info upgrade

Tom 80

It might be a minute or two out sometimes, but is largely very accurate. Not a big deal for regular routes, but late at night in the middle of nowhere, with one bus every 30 minutes, it's invaluable.

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Brit boffins' bendy bamboo bike breakthrough

Tom 80

Not First

Here's an earlier one: http://www.urban75.net/forums/threads/my-new-bicycle-warning-big-pics.253113/

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So, how does your economy grow?

Tom 80
WTF?

Stick to technology reporting

You're good at that.

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Virgin space rocketship trials 'feather' re-entry system

Tom 80

Because...

...they're going so very fast. Orbital velocity for low earth orbit is around 25,000km/h. In order to go that fast, you need to make your vehicle nearly all fuel. To slow back down again would take an equal amount of fuel, which means lifting it all, which means more take-off fuel. You very rapidly end up launching fuel to get fuel which needs fuel which needs fuel etc. and you no longer have a spacecraft.

Therefore, the only option is to use the atmosphere to slow down. You can do this slowly or quickly, but your limitation is how much heat the spacecraft can absorb. Even with the best insulation in the world, if you spent too long slowing down, the interior would get hot enough to cook the astronauts.

Of course, none of this is a concern for SpaceShipTwo, which only goes 4,200km/h which only generates a small amount of heating. No such suborbital craft would ever need tiles or active cooling or other advanced protection system. The 'feathering' system on SS2 is mostly concerned with maintaining a safe attitude during re-entry, when the air is thin and control surfaces have little effect.

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Apple stuns Wall Street with 95% earnings surge

Tom 80

It's the UX, stupid

I don't own a smartphone (need that battery life), but of my friends who own iphones, the reason they all do is "it just works and it's easy to use." A couple of them bought Android phones but have since gone back to iphone. Why? "it just works and it's easy to use." The only Android owners are geeks, and they geek out with each other about who's got the latest Android version or the highest resolution screen.

Apple are absolute god kings of user experience. That's why they're successful. If it was all a great big marketing con, the mask would have slipped by now.

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Bubble-baron Bigelow bags Boeing boosters

Tom 80

What this really is

- A truncated version of the Orion capsule designed for the now-cancelled Constellation program. Boeing would very much like to make a return on all that development time.

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Wii Fit fall woman turns into nympho

Tom 80
Thumb Down

Not uncommon

Apparently. My other half works in mental health and decreased sexual inhibition is a well known symptom of head injuries

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Pentax K-x

Tom 80

And also

As with other Pentax DSLRs, not only is image stabilisation built into the body, but so is the autofocus motor, allowing you to use any old pentax AF lens without modification.

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GM plumps for long-distance hybrid Cadillac

Tom 80

It's the American car-buyer

If it doesn't weigh at least a ton and look like a bull waiting to charge, then it's not a real car.

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Acer T230H multi-touch monitor

Tom 80
FAIL

How's the arms?

Is it just me that doesn't fancy holding their arms out in mid-air to control their computer for anything over a minute or two? I'm pretty sure it's an SAS stress position and in a grey area re: the Geneva Convention. Or something like that. A touch interface has to be down at desk level to be comfortable.

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