* Posts by Rustident Spaceniak

156 posts • joined 31 Jan 2012

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Dark matter-hunting boffins spot EXCITING signal in X-ray spectrum

Rustident Spaceniak
Meh

Dark matter particles are a bit like singing talents -

All those people keep scouting for them, and every time they think they've come up with one, after a while it's just another dud.

Maybe we should just organize a particle contest?

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NASA prods sleeping New Horizons spacecraft: Wakey, wakey, Pluto's calling

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: Horizon name

Nah, you're not alone. In fact you're right. But it's just a sign of the times (at the day), selling a little deep-space robot as someone who'd explore vast unknown spaces, visit strange new worlds where no-one has been before... oh well.

Nonetheless, it is a fine and interesting mission and the best thing about it is, it won't be over just yet. After Pluto it'll probably continue to yet another dwarf planet even further out, so at least it'll have two horizons to peek at - Pluto's and the one of its to-be-decided-upon next target (dubbed, I think, PT-1), and who knows what else?

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Euro spacemen clear Ariane 6 for liftoff

Rustident Spaceniak
Stop

Re: I see that ...

Skylon is certainly nowhere in a project with a 2020 first-launch target. It is, however, in ESA's long-term plans and that's already a great success for the British (and a tantalizing prospect for all of us). So, just get your facts straight before you start complaining. Oh well, apparently you're British. Just give it a try, OK?

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Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

It's actually two-and-a-half stages!

Nothing is settled yet, but the latest iteration of Ariane 6 isn't four stages any longer. It's the so-called industrial compromise version that comes in two sizes; each with a liquid first and second stage, plus solid boosters - two for the so-called Ariane 6.2 (or 62), four for A6.4. Apart from that, they're pretty much the same.

This latest iteration (which may still evolve quite a bit) was mentioned by Mr Dordain, ESA secretary-general, as the current baseline, and we may assume (I hope) that he knows what he wants.

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Rustident Spaceniak
Meh

Re: Nerd carriage?

I think the first problem with nerds is, they like getting actual work done on the train, such as writing a quick analysis on a complex problem, or at least setting up a spreadsheet that helps them analyse a simplified version thereof. And those nerds i know hate being interrupted by people talking on the train.

Second problem: in the real world, including (to a degree) the Oxford-London-Cambridge triangle, the density of nerds working in the same field of business is low, even on board trains; there are so many different varieties of nerds that the partial pressure of each is low enough to make direct interaction unlikely.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Holmes

Re: Can't we have a murder carriage?

Yeees, but what about nerds who like reading crime novels?

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FIRST for HUMANITY: Fridge-size PROBOT headed for COMET TOUCHDOWN

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Re: Lighter than a feather...

Er, we did that feather-and-ball experiment at school in a one-meter vacuum tube, many moons ago.

Nonetheless, isn't it impressive to think this thing just falls down from 20km up, and reaches ground after seven hours and at walking speed? Try that, Franz Baumgarnter!

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Rustident Spaceniak
Alien

Re: In space no one can hear your sonar

Pssst - don't tell anybody yet! We're not sure what'll be generated.

Edit: In any case, alien worlds, like our Earth Mother, are female. Philae provides the male element.

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Rustident Spaceniak

Re: In space no one can hear your sonar

The trick is to stick your emitter and microphone right into the comet. The sonar equipment is attached to Philae's feet - much like the legs of a spider or cockroach I understand.

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BONFIRE of the MEGA-BUCKS: $200m+ BURNED in SECONDS in Antares launch blast

Rustident Spaceniak

So, was it Dr No after all?

And if it was, how did he escape that reactor basin? And where's James Bond when you need him?

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ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff

Rustident Spaceniak

Good point. Incidentally, do we have any information about the type and course of the sailboat and how they managed to contact or intercept it (if they even did)?

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Rustident Spaceniak

So, next time Dr No doesn't need his own island complete with mechanical dragon -

a little sailing dinghy with a suitably expendable minion in it will be sufficient to interrupt the US' top priority rocket launches.

Would've loved to hear what the coast guard patrol had to say to the skipper.

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Now: The REAL APPLE NEWS you need to know

Rustident Spaceniak
Windows

In fact, the reason that it's usually depicted as an apple tree might have something to do with the Latin word for it - malus means apple, but also bad.

But back to the original topic: It's astonishing when you make a quick google search for historic trees in Britain, how many different and fascinating results you get. Wonder if there's a market there for a book telling the story of the land by its arboreal reference points.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Angel

Not a tree in Britain?

Disclaimer: The following is not an earnest discussion of a theological subject.

You don't know - the location of Eden in Mesopotamia is by inference at best. It might well have been someplace in Hampshire.

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COMET 67P is basically TRAILING a HORRIFIC STENCH through space

Rustident Spaceniak
Joke

Go away 67P!

We don' need no stinkin' comets round here.

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RUMPY PUMPY: Bone says humans BONED Neanderthals 50,000 years B.C.

Rustident Spaceniak
Windows

So - modern humans were interbreeding with Neanderthals in 70k AD - and before that?

Who else may they have boned before? Various early human species among each other? Maybe those faraway love-ins laid the foundation for our tales of strange creatures, like elves, dwarves, and giants, meeting (and loving, or fighting) humans in some far, faraway past? Mind, no matter how old a fairy tale, the action alway plays "long ago".

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Apple's new iPADS have begun the WAR that will OVERTURN the NETWORK WORLD

Rustident Spaceniak
Meh

The question is, do you *have* to use the software SIM card?

-- or can you just swap it like an ordinary one, for whatever other SIM you like? In that case this would be at best a nice feature, at worst a sneak peak of the future you describe.

In any case, if great income fosters great investment - something that does not seem to be borne out by the financial industry, at least not investment into innovation - then it won't matter much, on a global scale, who makes that profit, as they will all have an incentive to make you spend as much as possible for the possibility to send your data around.

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That's no – actually it is: DEATH STAR MOON 'could be full of life-friendly water'

Rustident Spaceniak
Alert

Minas - wasn't that the one that looks like Pacman in infrared?

This one really seems to hold mre than meets the eye.

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: Physics 101

100MW is a lot, but these guys are used to dealing with jet engines, which tend to generate that sort of power. Granted, most of that is produced as kinetic energy, but it does start as heat; so if they can produce the power in the first place, I'm reasonably confident they'll find a way to use it.

Then again, those containment walls are frightfully thick, so to get much power through, they'd probably have to be full of cooling channels. Not sure what that'll do to the design, but I'm fairly confident the Lockheed guys have given it some thought. I've only been thinking about it for as many minutes as they have years, after all.

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Ice probe peers at hidden BOTTOMS of oceans from SPAAACE

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Re: How is that thing at finding Malaysian airliners?

Quite right. What Cryosat is looking for is more like in the many-million-ton range; and anyway, as a submerged sub has the same density and therefore the same gravity as the surrounding water, it won't lead to a surface-level depression!

If my task was to look for a missing airliner, though, I'd still appreciate a good subsurface map as it would certainly help to interpret what I'd see on my echo sounder. Though I guess I'd end up with a more detailed map from that anyway.

Back to a former topic: A sunken gazillion-ton ancient spaceship, now, that would be something completely different from a sub - that would create a signal.

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DOCTOR HELL and his henchmen score Nobel for the NANO-SCOPE

Rustident Spaceniak
Devil

So, to Hell with the Nobel prize!

Great job Stefan, Eric, Bill, I'll drink to you later tonight.

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Cut-off North Sea island: Oh crap, ferry's been and gone. Need milk. SUMMON THE DRONE

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: The puzzle of the Skies

Nope, the island gets invaded every summer, by tourists. That's what they live off.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Black Helicopters

Re: 12 kilometers of water

See above. The water goes missing at low tide, therefore flying is actually a good idea.

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Rustident Spaceniak

Cessna...

Such a flying machine is available there but operating on a fixed schedule, and the fare would be somewhat high for a single ad-hoc parcel.

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Rustident Spaceniak

Bad weather is a problem, bad tide is not

The ferry boats to Juist normally go only once per day, as they're dependent on tides - it's partly a mudflat sea when the tide is low. So flying is certainly a good option. Hovercrafts would be too, but they're nasty noisy smelly foreign things.

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SpaceX blasts a mischief of mice, a 3D printer and a cuddly toy* into SPAAAACE

Rustident Spaceniak
Thumb Up

See how efficient space research is?

Rather than just packing a couple of mice and waiting a few weeks, they actually count them up beforehand. Saves loads of prepackaged, sterilized mouse food. And you'll know where to look for them (and how many of them to look for, and after). Smart people.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Re: 3D Printers in SPAAAAAAACE...

... provided you bring amazing quantities of material, and amazing numbers of amazingly powerful 3D printers, plus some amazingly smart controllers.

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Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

Rustident Spaceniak
Stop

Re: Practice, Practice, Practice

Bit of a thread drift here, but DON'T use anything Star Wars related as an example of orbital motion, or illumination, or anything at all related to actual physics! It's so bad it's beyond laughing.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Paris Hilton

Re: That last Daly comment is a joke, or what?

Ya know, put that way it almost makes sense. Will let it stew brainside for a while.

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Rustident Spaceniak
WTF?

That last Daly comment is a joke, or what?

Since when did NVIDIA get access to the original negatives?

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WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups

Rustident Spaceniak
Coat

Re: Anyone remember the airline seat pairing app?

So try looking innocent - at least until you're inside.

Mine's the one with the pocket knife inside.

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Rustident Spaceniak

depends where Mickey's big and small hands are...

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Rustident Spaceniak
WTF?

Anyone remember the airline seat pairing app?

I rather think this one will go the same way. It's all nice and fine letting interested others know you're in search of a mate, but most people will prefer a little bit of discretion with it. Imagine standing in a queue somewhere and being approached with "I see you've got your 3nder on" - it could be just a little bit embarassing. What was wrong about going to parties or clubs?

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One sixth of the ENTIRE PLANET will buy a new smartphone this year

Rustident Spaceniak

no-none would own an iphone?

Considering that 500 million of the things had been sold by this March, a lot of people for whom price *ought to be* a significant factor must have bought one anyway.

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Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure

Rustident Spaceniak

Watch that watch!

Why, what with watch wizardry, wonder what we will not ever know? Just imagine if Sherlock Holmes could deduce the existence and recent history of Watson's elder brother just by looking closely at his pocket watch, a modern-day analyst should be able to deduce your secret girl friend's existence and her personal tastes by analysing the molecular-level traces of her perfume and hair spray on your watch, and matching those with a data base. They won't even need to bother looking at the actual data stored in the computing bit! Shame and exposure await you all, ye who buy those things.

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European Court of Justice allows digitisation of library books

Rustident Spaceniak

Creation and Duplication

You mention the salient point, mouse. It is only fair that the creators of intellectual property should be paid by the users of the same. For the distributors, it's a bit different. Producing a copy of a technical book with many graphs on dead trees once cost real money - far more than typesetting, and the books, with short print runs, were correspondingly expensive. Now that's no longer the case, so the price structure of textbooks (and sheet music) should rightly evolve to reflect technological progress. Strangely enough, that reflection appears quite faint in many cases.

For an editor like the house of Eugen Ulmer, the world has changed drastically in the last 20 or so years and I can understand they lag behind in adapting. Nonetheless, the first editors to find a universally accepted business model that enables easy duplication but provides a fair income per reader for the author and for the editor, will stand to make very serious money.

I have some volumes in the rack next to me that cost nearly as much as the laptop I'm typing this on, but most of that really goes into production and distribution; if I could buy newer electronic copies for 20% or so of their price (whatever reflects the fair cost of electronic publishing), I almost certainly would; and I guess the total number of electronic sales would dwarf the printing run.

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Airbus developing inkjet printer for planes

Rustident Spaceniak
Happy

Re: "the ship from Momo"

It's a 1973 children's novel by Michael Ende about a girl of the same name, who ends up defeating time thieves (the so-called grey men). In one of the early scenes, Momo and her friends play out an adventure in an imaginary ship in an imaginary thunderstorm. And the ship is cast in a single piece. OK, it's outdated, but still quite well known where I live.

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Rustident Spaceniak

Re: Silly idea

Your metallurgy must be longer ago than you realize. Airbus has introduced laser welding on aluminium sheets long ago for the A380. With the right alloy and right welding parameters, you get a better strength-to-weight ratio than with rivets, which are a pain from a production engineering point of view. The latest fab is of course friction stir welding, which is starting to show up in aerospace products.

Nonetheless, no aircraft I am aware of is made 100% of the same material, there are always a number of different production methods used. And I for one would hate to operate an aircraft that, like the ship from Momo, was all in one piece. Imagine the cost of replacing a danged bit!

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Rustident Spaceniak
Happy

Re: Silly idea

They've already begun 3D printing little parts. It's safe to expect those'll grow in size and number with each coming model. Nonetheless, at that size (both of company and product) they won't charge headlong into a technology just for the newness of it.

On the other hand, Ryanair might start selling you 3D printed food (probably with someone else's paid advertisement on it) soon enough.

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NASA on Curiosity bot: Mission accomplished (for now at least)

Rustident Spaceniak
Happy

Re: curioser and curiositier

You never know, they might hit upon the Martian equivalent of the dinosaurs in the next weeks. And then of course, Steven Spielberg won't take long to make a movie about them!

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Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one FUGLY space rock

Rustident Spaceniak
Thumb Up

ESA has been a bit more forthcoming today

Here are a couple of images - one in 3D - from OSIRIS. Still panchromatic, but this might be due to the low bit rate from Rosie.

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/08/Comet_on_7_August_a

In any case, the closer it gets, the nicer it looks.

EDIT: Looking at the jagged cliffs all around the duck's neck, in stark contrast to the cratered surfaces on top and bottom and the smooth surface below, I wouldn't say it's unimaginable that a number of large pieces of the original comet might have broken off there, and debris collected in the "valley" that is now the neck.

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Rustident Spaceniak

Re: This is driving me crazy

I think you have a slight misunderstanding there.

The daily images released by ESA are those made with the NAVCAM navigation instrument. It has a single CCD and, so far as I could ascertain, no colour filter. That wouldn't be needed for navigation anyway. The OSIRIS camera, on the other hand, has IR, multispectral and colour modes - but we've only been treated to a very few images from it so far (and haven't even been told whether they're panchromatic or what, as far as I could make out).

Re the colour of heavenly bodies, yes, comets are very nearly perfectly black (which is kind of a pity 'cause it makes them so hard to see) but the Moon is not. Its overall reflectivity is about 12%. Moon rocks brought back by the Apollo astronauts are darkish grey, with a very slight yellowish hue. So is the dust you can see at various museums, only darker. Nonetheless, there's an interesting anecdote related by Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon (on Apollo 17), about an endless discussion relating to the Moon's colour which he had on the way back with Harrison Schmitt, the mission's geologist. And indeed, if you increase the colour saturation of some Moon photos by a factor of ginormous, you see yellow, orange, and blue hues coming out in various places; but they can't be discerned by looking at the Moon with the bare eye (even up close), because they're so weak, and the sunlight is so bright up there that the human eye can only distinguish dazzling light and total darkness in the shadow. It'll be different for Rosetta which is now over 3 times as far from the Sun as we are, so gets less stark illumination. With luck and good camera settings, we may actually be allowed to discern colours.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

What did you expect a comet to look like in b&w?

What's surprising and beautiful is there actually seem to be patches of lighter gray that look like ET has been skiing down them - not that you could in cometary gravity, but I've seen less attractive slopes in the Alps. Speaking of the Alps, the thing looks a bit like the lower end of the Hochfeiler glacier, wrapped around some fancy thing out of Mathematica. To me, that's all par for the course.

What will be interesting is to see whether, unlike the Moon, it actually has a distinguishable colour. And just how soft the surface is. And what it's really made of. And when the Grebulons come out looking and pointing at Rosetta.

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Bill Gates asks telcoms standards boffins to define future of money

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: Sarcasm

Hm, OK - maybe try a different flavour next.

Incidentally, I think it's rather a good idea to enable mobile banking for the poor - although you need to be careful with it. The many Grameen-bank-like microcredit projects of recent years had a rather mixed record apparently. It's probably best to limit your target group first (I think people who can actually afford a mobile phone might qualify) and try payment first in regions where the rest of a transaction - the actual delivery of goods as ordered - can reasonably be relied upon.

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Rustident Spaceniak
WTF?

Re: Quite simple really!

err... what?

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Rustident Spaceniak
Coat

Re: Quite simple really!

It's the fur one with the deep pockets.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Happy

Quite simple really!

Every time you make a mobile online transaction, it'll pass through a clearing house; let's call that a gate. Then all goods and services paid through mobile transactions are billed by these institutions. So that all future mobile transactions will pass throug bill gates!

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Comet-chasing Rosetta spies SWEATY prey

Rustident Spaceniak
Go

Re: WD40

Ever seen one of the French cars near the launch site? It was specified to survive that.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

With all this transpiration -

Does anyone know how much of the volatile material will recondense on the comet nucleus after it has passed the sun and vanishes into the black yonder, only to return after many years? You'd think that with so much sweating and possible later dirty rain on the comet, its surface composition will change over the eons.

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