86 posts • joined 31 Jan 2012
Re: They advantage of an autocratic country
Sorry for you, Ken. And that illustrates a salient point: What can and should the other developed countries do about this? I'd say, at least quietly offer advice on how we implemented environmental policies, for the Chinese to copy or not. No-one profits if they suffer, after all.
Wasn't there once some lord or other...
who gave the parking space occupied by his Rolls-Royce as his residential address in London? (This was obviously in a time of abundant parking lots)
This Volvo scheme has a bit of the same ring to it.
18kg? No match for a hooligan!
Given their technical spec, those bots might be of some use against really serious evildoers but certainly not against groups of drunk, feisty Brits intent on a bit of fun.
Re: Relative distance?
It should have read "1.5 million km beyond Earth...", that would've been correct in an orbital-mechanics sense.
Does it mean, across the gulf of space -
that minds that are to their minds as theirs are to those of the slime, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, will regard their planets with envious eyes, and slowly and surely draw their plans against them?
Re: So what size is a 30-storey balloon in standard fishing rods?
Brilliant, you're right! A well deserved upvote.
And there was me thinking NASA's balloons were all of a quarter furlong high.
So what size is a 30-storey balloon in standard fishing rods?
Or in Lon don double decker buses, for that matter?
And certainly, we need a far-fetched, pseudo-figurative measure for "above 95% of the atmosphere". Suggestions welcome.
Oh, and OK, I know fishing rods come in all sorts of sizes.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but
a) Colossus was only used to automate the code breaking of the Lorenz machine after the manual deciphering was considered too slow;
b) The whole deciphering job only became possible after two very similar long messages were sent with almost identical settings on the Lorenz encoder, making it possible to deduce the cipher principle;
c) Depending on whether you consider relais as electronics, the Zuse Z3 which came before Colossus, could claim the title of "the world's first electronic programmable digital computer".
Re: [Psyx Re: ]Excellent article - b u t -
A very valid point, and well put.
Incidentally, this can already be observed to a degree. In western Europe, you see a small but growing flow of jobs back from low-wage countries where they were outsourced, to new Eruopean contractors with lower pay and less good conditions than they used to be over here; but at least they're local jobs. It's happening in industries from textile to electronics. At the same time, the very low end of low-wage jobs is moving out of places like China, to places like e.g. Bangladesh where the mean income is even lower. Hopefully, over time the wages there will also rise.
The upside for the business owners is, of course, as more people in hitherto low-income economies gain buying power, the market for goods expands.
Excellent article - b u t -
From where I sit, the article makes a perfectly good and valid point about the wage dynamics in the Valley. Very likely, the scope could also be extended far beyond IT engineers; the same principles and the same interests are prevalent all over the labour market.
The one thing that Marx did not take into account (as have far too few of his fellow economists in the 100-odd years since the last volume of Das Kapital was published), is the effect that international competition has on the economy, and particularly on wages. It's two-fold: On the one hand, the "reserve army" is extended all over the planet, as long as a free labour market exists. On the other hand, there also exists a more-or-less free market for goods, so competition from low-wage countries also has to be taken into account by the capitalists, or their market share would fall; that creates cost pressure, which of course translates into further downward pressure on wages.
Err, about Sentinels 2, 3, and so on -
Sentinel-2 has left the drawing board (which of course was never used anyway, more of a CATIA workstation, or several) long behind and is already in manufacturing (at least the first two satellites of it). So is Sentinel-3.
For Sentinel-4 and -5, the plan is that they'll just be instruments hitching a ride on upcoming weather satellites.
Rosetta will continue to loop around the Sun for the rest of time (or until it crashes into some other space object, or the Sun blows up). Voyager, on the other hand, is continuing to sail out furhter and further, and will put a growing distance between itself and Rosetta.
Re: So so far away
Because the stars that're closer aren't part of clusters.
A number of closer stars have known exoplanets, but if you want to find out about exos in clusters, well it makes sense you have to look at one of the nearer clusters, dunnit?
What I can't make out - why oh why was it ever put into hibernation?
It's not mentioned in the article and Wikipedia doesn't seem to know the answer either, for a change. Nor does it seem to make any sense. What's it, other funding priorities? Asteroid hunters' union calling a strike? Cosmic flux peak?
Paris 'cos, sleepy beauty, no idea, still searching...
Re: Long term planning
For one thing, people would have been glad to do this ten years ago. But it's done with public money, lots of it, and that tends to slow things down; plus the public wants its fair share...
For another, knowing your place in the galaxy doesn't really mean you get anything like the total perspective on the universe! It's typical galactic hubris to assume our little milky way is more than one among very many.
And finally, a man should always know his place, no matter where he is in the galaxy.
Re: lube points
As per standard for space hardware, that'll be dry lube.
Mine's the one with the MoS2 flask in the pocket.
Those Martians are just peaceful, that's why we can't understand them!
The organized life, ten feet deep in the soil, is very much aware of Curiosity rolling overhead. They have engaged reception,are listening eagerly, letting its alien thought saturate them. But alas - Curiosity's thoughts are as mechanical, as simple, that there's really no satisfying communication possible with it.
Maybe it's time to send out a probe to find Curiosity's creator...
I'd prefer a post rocket
Like this: http://www.astronautix.com/astros/zucker.htm
Delivers letters hot! :-)
Re: 80k km apogee?
Actually it means less delta-V for reducing the inclination of the orbit to zero - i.e. make the sat fly over the equator, rather than wobble between 28° North and South latitude (their launch site being at about 28°N).
You still have to trade that for a bit *more* delta-V needed for the circularisation, as unfortunately there's no practicable way to trading some of that apogee altitude for perigee rising *). Still, it works out in the end.
*) Bootnote: That's because while the energy of an elliptical orbit with a certain semimajor axis may be the same as that of a circular one with the same radius, it's the instantaneous velocity vectors that don't match.
So it's the SYLVIE experiment?
Like Servo-controlled, Year-Long Validated, Interesting Experiment or something?
Paris 'cos Sylvie isn't available as an icon.
Re: A programming nightmare
Actually, once you accept what it's for, it makes a great programming language for math subjects. You don't have to fiddle with memory allocation, define what type of data a variable holds, or whatever - you just concentrate on your problem, write that into mathematica, and hey presto.
The nice thing about Hyperloop is they don't even want to make a tunnel - they plan to make it a tube on pylons, rather like some natural gas pipelines (only larger). So there are at least useful costing models available. Not saying their calculations are necessarily realistic, but boring through California rock is not involved.
Re: I sort of wondered
Yeah, but are we even sure we all live in the same universe?
It would take quite an excited WIMP...
to strike any of the particles in such an imposing object as a Xenon nucleus! And remember, being WIMPs they can't be excited. So there's your dilemma for you.
Mine's the one with the Xenon flashlight in the pocket.
Millions or billions?
Quote "it was still just a £1.9m revenue company ":
Make that a £1.9bn revenue company, then it's roughly correct. Still would barely register in Apple's earnings curve.
Update: Apparently (according to the German newspaper Tagesspiegel) her secure phone wasn't even hacked, but the one she uses to call people who don't have secure ones - so e.g. for (political) party business.
Nonetheless, given the reactions in Germany today, one has the impression that Angie is not just making a show at being angry. The US ambassador was called in for a talking-to. We'll see if the matter has any more tangible consequences.
Re: Equal Opportunities
Whichever way they did find out, the fact that they did probably is what is keeping their jobs at present. Mind you, we haven't heard about that bug in Downing Street yet, or in the Elysée - oh in fact yes, that's one we did hear about!
Actually she's known to use an encrypted mobile all the time. She does it so much it got to be known as the Merkelphone, and it was a news item when a new generation of them was bought (I think last year) for all the government members and other officials. One might think the crafty Americans used that info to figure out how to hack them.
Which lets me think she'll probably send a three-word text to her purchasing officer.
That's it, one project too many.
The guy is getting as hyperbolic as Mr Stromberg himself. Sure he can pull off many things, or have them pulled off for him; but there's a limit to what even the most wacky genius can handle. Watch him peaking.
Err, last Neanderthals?
I says in the article that these sediments are 47.000 years old, but weren't the remains found in the actual Neanderthal from around 42.000 BC? That would seem to be later.
Re: There's a reason why the OSC Pegasus has an empty manifest.
"Actually some of those nanosats are starting to come with their own albeit limited propulsion systems."
Yep. very limited. Too limited for moving from GTO to LEO. Learn your orbital dynamics.
Re: Re: There's a reason why the OSC Pegasus has an empty manifest.
"here's a *reason* that the space shuttle flew with an embarrassing amount of CPU and memory. Radiation."
That's Space Shuttle, 80's technology. These days, you simply wouldn't go down that route anymore. The trend in satellites and launch vehicles alike (like the Falcon and Japan's Epsilon) is to use decent CPUs and pack them in several mm of metal against the radiation. Incidentally, one reason for that is you can't get the old stuff anymore.
Re: There's a reason why the OSC Pegasus has an empty manifest.
Calm down, John.
It's quite true many smallsats are launched as secondary payloads on big launchers, but that only works if all you need to be is somewhere in space. The trend towards sophisticated nanosatellites with demanding missions brings with it a need to launch these things into dedicated orbits - say sun-syncronous low earth orbits or suchlike - and there are considerably fewer opportunities there. So yes, there will be demand for a micro launcher at some point. How big, and at what price point? Dunno, let the experts figure it out.
BTW, for a micro launcher of today, I'm not sure you'd need much in terms of on-board computer. Maybe a new market for the Rasperry Pi-in-the-Sky?
Beyond the sky
Go for it, Adam!
There's bound to be a knighthood on the cards in rocketry, somewhere. There was for Hugo Drax.
Why bother with a scramjet? And why worry about the thermal insulation?
You only need a scramjet for this if you want maximum efficiency for maximum dollars. If "feasible and affordable" is the word, launch with a normal turbofan, go to Mach 3.5 or so with that at a reasonable altitude, and do the rest with a rocket. You can always play around with combined cycle a bit, inject some oxygen into the turbofan intake to get you as far as Mach 4 and maybe 50km up or so, but at the end of the day a rocket will do the job best - specially one fed from the same kerosene tank you've been using for that turbofan.
Regarding the thermal insulation, you're talking about a Mach 10 re-entry, not Mach 28. That's a totally different league. Mach 10 can be done with quite solid, light ceramics as demonstrated by the German Shefex-II experiment last year.
Armadillo out, Strato in
It appears - from a note published by El Reg on 12 August, no less - that Armadillo Aerospace have all but given up business, due to lack of funding from Mr Carmack. On the other hand, Stratolaunch, another ambitions upstart on a scale almost comparable to that of SpaceX, appear to be actually cutting metal on their carrier plane for a rather large, solid-fuelle launch rocket. If names and technical progress are anything to go by, then that company, with backing from types like Paul Allen behind it (and with Scaled as a partner), while being late to the party, seems to be making quite a showing.
It's clear: Those mountains are hollow!
Surely those icy mountains contain the enormous caves where the children of the Titans live - the Okeanids and other horrible creatures of ages past. Attempt no landing there!
Farmers, accountants, lawyers
These are exactly the sorts of people you a) don't expect to understand, or need to understand, about space science, and b) will stick to a goal once set, without bothering to check if tthe driving forces have changed, or if the stated goal is even still achievable or desirable. So don't ever expect those people to be sympathetic to NASA's changed plans - unless of course some of the Asteroid hunting happens to bring business to their constituencies, in which case there's suddently a good scientific reason to do it. But wait, that's political science, not space science? Oh what the heck, don't even bother!
Re: Re: What happens when a pigeon flies through the beam of a 10kW laser?
Ideally nothing happens to the plane, because the ranging&tracking station had just switched the beam off a minute to a microsecond before contact.
Now, if that was a stealth plane with no radio communications, no published flight plan, no TCAS equipment (that the laser ranging system could listen to) or ADS-B, and no clue about the location of the frikkin' laser (which I guess would be protected by a no-fly zone), at night...
... it would get the 10kW through some 10km or so of atmosphere, passing over its structure at a rate of about 250m/s, and probably warm up a bit.
Re: What happens when a pigeon flies through the beam of a 10kW laser?
Mmmh, roast pigeon.
Re: Lasers, check.
The sharks are too scared. That's because the Brits are already sharpening their space harpoons:
We gotta figure out a way to mind-meld with the sharks first, take their anxiety away. So we're starting with small fish, working out way up.
Mine's the one with the shark tooth buttons.
So, after years of research and development -
WD has found that an axle with bearings at either end is less susceptible to bending than one with just a single bearing? Well done!
Get the carriage and horses ready, Henry, I'm off to Irvine.
I can see...
A house coming on the market in Chelsea, for sale by someone who needs to pay their car insurance.
There, does that make me eerie?
BTW, Audi already predicted the future back in 2004!
Don't you remember Will Smith drove an Audi in the "i, Robot" movie? Except for the spherical wheels it looked just like the next generation A6. How's that for predicting?
Should make a dream team with Telefonica
According to today's paper, Telefonica is actually planning to introduce a system that measures your driving style - presumably via your in-car mobile phone - and offers you to use an adaptive insurance premium for that. And it's not planned for some faraway future - it's planned for this year. Apparently, AIG (the insurance company) and Vodafone have similar plans.
Expect insurance premiums to go waaaay up for Audi drivers then! *chuckle*
Bliss professorship and Dr King?
So what's this, a King-size battery that's Bliss for mobilie users? Or a Bliss that makes you the King of electric appliances?
At any rate, when I read that the same people who invented it are now looking for ways manufacture it in quantities, I can't help thinking of Buckyballs.
Paris because Bucky isn't around...
Re: By "carbon"...
If you can get gaseous carbon out of any metal at 1000° C, you might not be far from a nobel price in chemistry. For information, there's a difference between a substance and its oxides. If you don't believe that, watch what happens to a candle when you oxidise (burn) it; but do so under adult supervision.
As far as I understand after a quick Google search, the US Dept. of Energy has calculated thermal decomposition requires only 5.3% of the heating energy in methane. That could be supplied by burning a part of the hydrogen you've just created, heating up the Flüssigmetallblasensäulenreaktor in the process.
Just think of it: By running a few gazillion fantastitons of natural gas through it, you might produce enough carbon black to re-fill all those empty coal mines, and put the miners back into work! The late Margaret Thatcher would have been amazed. Oh wait - what purpose did coal serve again?
Re: That's FLÜMBLAR, please!
Vell, only if your sentences are unbalanced!
- Vid Hubble 'scope snaps 200,000-ton chunky crumble conundrum
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
- Windows 8.1 Update 1 spewed online a MONTH early – by Microsoft
- Something for the Weekend, Sir? Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?
- Review 'Mommy got me an UltraVibe Pleasure 2000 for Xmas!' South Park: Stick of Truth