183 posts • joined Monday 19th March 2012 16:19 GMT
Re: I expect to hear the MMCC co2 believers now
roughly the same amount of flooding maybe a decade ago afaik.
Re: Straight up and out in 10 minutes??
AC at 08:09
There is a very good reason for you NOT to do any of those things and its exactly the same incentive the data center guys have. Lowering your utility bills. If you want to keep the tap running, be my guest,most of the UK won't run out of water soon. Especially not if it's just your little pipe that's leaking a bit. (Compared to most industrial users, even at full blast, your home tap uses a TINY amount of water)
If you really think people keeping a 60 watt light bulb burning is going to matter much in the grand scheme of things then go ahead and ignore the industrial complexes whose consumption is measured in MegaWatts running 24/7/365 for several decades.
It WILL make a difference to you as a person. Your electricity and water bills will be through the roof. Which is exactly the RIGHT incentive to get people to use less resources.
Straight up and out in 10 minutes??
I don't know how fast mister Gore is driving on the highway, but assuming a normal 60 mph, it would take nearly an hour to get out of the atmosphere and into "space". (Depending on your definition of "the atmosphere", it could take significantly longer, or 10 minutes if you make a really weird definition)
Claiming that greening data centers is going to do much to halt the CO2 exhaust is kind of missing the point. It's small potatoes compared to MANY MANY other poluters and probably not worth the effort. (And more importantly, most companies don't need an extra incentive to "green" their datacenter as lowering power consumption is a goal in and of itself.
Even LEO might not be that safe
For instance, the first dutch astronaut, Wubbo Ockels, was recently diagnosed with highly aggressive renal cancer. He's got about 2 years left to live by current projections.
Re: Why not use Hydrogen?
You might have missed it, but they are infact planning on using Hydrogen.
Re: Fun fact
If kept dry and "packed normally" these explosives are quite safe to handle (Ofcourse taking some precautions to prevent stray ESD wherever possible). It's the "lying in salty water, piled in a heap, inside a rusty ships hull, undergoing chemical changes for 70 years" that makes these explosives dangerous and unstable.
So basically everything?
Judging from that list you still have a HECK of a lot of work to do. From experience as an engineer I can tell you with certainty most of the time needed for a design is in those lost few little details. Where to place servos, which servos to use, which other electronics, where to place the CG, etc, etc, etc.
Not to imply you guys have been slacking off, far from it. I'm just hoping you haven't underestimated time needed for those "last few details".
BTW, will the visual tracking/telescope expert (Whom I can't be bothered to find the name of right now) who couldn't make it to the PARIS launch join your venture on the 14th of september?
Beer, because we all know you'll be needing it :)
As in, bugger off now and we won't have to pester you later to get you to bugger off.
I give you: The PAL-V http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgHSaNtAMjs
Re: Zaphod.Beeblebrox @ Neil Charles, Matthew 3, etc. Trouble is ...
As a pilot (be it for unpowered aeroplanes only) I can safely say that history and experience has already shown that NOT everyone is suitable for flying. Anyone who can learn to drive can learn to fly. Not everyone capable of safely operating a car on a busy intersection is capable of safely flying an aircraft in a busy situation. Keeping track of 6 other aircraft in close proximity to yourself, your own flightpath, speed and altitude and still paying attention to directions from air traffic controllers in a 3D situation is enough to overload some people. Training can help, and a lot of people CAN learn to do it, but some will simply never manage it.
We are also FAR (very very very far) from being able to automate aircraft to the point where they could manage themselves at all times. Especially in case of engine failures or simply a loss of power (which happens quite regularly in GA). This is also why putting runways inside of built up areas is a BAD idea. Landing shortly after takeoff with only limited altitude and speed just requires space to land. Which wouldn't be available.
Lack of direction
It seems the UK government doesnt even know what it wants to do with the new ID cards.
In the netherlands its mandatory to always carry a form of ID (Drivers licence, ID card or Passport), to be shown to the plod when they have reasonable cause to stop you and suspect you of wrongdoings. The ID card is valid within europe and can be used somewhat like a passport within the EU. For people who will most probably never travel outside of the EU it's much cheaper to just get an ID card instead of a full fledged passport. Especially since it's much easier to carry than a passport.
Re: A quid a day
You'd be supprised how much it can save to cook for more than one person at a time in terms of price per person. I'd struggle to make myself a single portion of semi decent pasta for under roughly 2 euros. Yet I can make something that'll pass for a semi decent pasta for 30 people for roughly 50 cents per portion.
Biggest saving tip when it comes to cooking, buy bulk, get some of those cheapo refrigirator tupperware boxes and cook for more than one meal at a time. Put the leftover in the tupperware boxes, keep it cooled and warm when needed.
Re: Don't get it.
Actually, it IS possible to deorbit by pushing away from the surface of the earth. This action changes the excentricity of the orbit, and if done at the right places can lower the periapsis and raise the apoapsis. Decenter an orbit enough and the periapsis will be at a point where atmospheric drag can take over. (It is however far less efficient than a dead on retrograde burn at apoapsis.)
Re: Seriously, "Tony Stirk"?
I doubt that particular "playboy philanthropist billionaire" was much of a "thing" back when his parents named him.
The dutch operators took a different tak.
Most Dutch telco's now offer so called "lease" contracts. The monthly payments are ever so slightly lower, but the phone stays property of the telco. If, at the end of the contract you want to keep the phone, you have to pay an extra premium. Or you get a new phone with a new x year contract. In the end this probably works out cheaper for the telco's and it's usually just as expensive for the consumer
Re: Rats don't drink?
"Wot are we going to do tonight, Brain?"
"The same thing we do every night, Pinky: I'll get totally morose and drunk over my repeated failure to take over the world, while you sing karaoke."
"But I don't have $5 - how will I afford Don't Stop Believing?"
You forgot the "NARF!" at the end. Other than that well played, good sir!
Re: 70cm Links
That particular concern was adressed in the article announcing this undertaking: <url>http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/12/pi_camera_launch/</url>
I'm not exactly sure the rest of europe counts as "a less restrictive atmosphere" though.
Re: Something else
Reading back, I feel I need to clarify the last bit:
The only function the guides perform is to stop LOHANs wings from contacting the truss, so anything smooth enough not to dent or heavily scour LOHANs wings while she slides her curvacious surfaces over it could perform this function. No need to stare blindly at Teflon for being the only solution. I don't know the material composition of whatever LOHAN will be built out off, but it might even be softer than normal Teflon, meaning any rough edge would still scour the wing as it moves past.
Bootnote: I'm not trying to diss the idea or be a smartass, just trying to think along. It's sort of not really what I do for a living ;-)
Re: Something else
It would be worth a try for sure. The question is, can you obtain it in a small enough amount for a decent price? (The big challenge for any garden shed tinkerer for sure. Lots of stuff is out there. Getting just a bit of it is a challenge) I have no experience with that tape other than the mentioned application of proctecting the heating element on a sealing machine.
Come to think of it, from an engineering standpoint: Do you really need the Teflon strips? Would perhaps thin carbon or aluminium rods perform the same function adequately. Perhaps with a tiny patch of teflon on the wing of LOHAN at the contact point. 2 long teflon strips, with backing, etc is going add quite a lot of weight to the truss, something that is already at a premium i'd imagine.
I've mentioned it before, but I'll repeat it again. How are you going to mount teflon to the rubber backing, or to the truss for that matter. Teflon is very nice and slippery, but this also means there's no known sticky substance that will adhere to it properly. (Glueing foam is already a pain in the neck for that matter)
The products I work with every day contain a lot of teflon parts. NONE of them are glued, even though for several of these parts, my employer would love to.
Back to the drawing board?
Assuming the roughly 12 m/s (43 km/h) is also used during decent that means a glide ratio of roughly 1 in 32. Which is abismal for any glider by todays standards. Most achieve 1 in 40 at about 4 times the speed at least! Since the construction details would be pretty similar (Large slender, thin wings stuffed with weight. Water in gliders, batteries in case of Solar Impulse) I have a hard time believing they couldn't get better glide numbers.
*looks up the title on Amazon*
*Notices the cheapest second hand copy is 375 dollars*
I would love to read it, but not at that price. Unfortunately my library seems to be unable to obtain it for me either.
Re: Space Junk
This is indeed a very large worry, and one that even has a name. Kessler Syndrome.
(The wikipedia article does a good job of explaining it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_junk)
To quote: "Currently about 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5 cm are tracked, with another 300,000 pieces smaller than 1 cm below 2000 km altitude"
And that is just the tracked debris. Most of the debris is microscopic (paint flecks, metal fragments, SRB exhaust particles)
Currently, nobody is taking charge in solving the problem. Some agreements have been made about decommisioning sattelites, but there are fears we might already have reached the tipping point and are now in an unstoppable cascade of debris generating collisions.
Re: Dirty Laundry and Empty Packaging?!
Given that a lot of the experiments require extreme particle cleanliness, you can expect them to be packaged in at least a single bag. Most of them will actually be double bagged. (And a single PU or PE bag won't exactly break the bank in terms of weight)
Also, what do you think all that food paste, crackers, soup, etc comes packaged in?
In terms of doing laundry in space, they DO wash some stuff themselves, but large objects like coveralls become nearly impossible to wash properly and dry out IIRC. It becomes more economical to just shoot a few fresh ones up every now and then and bring the remainder back down or burn it up in the atmosphere.
Re: Why not use the blast plate for the power connection
The problem with using the blast plate is that a fair amount of rocking and bouncing is expected during the ascend. The mechanism would have to be able to tolerate quite a lot of misalignment and abuse. I doubt simply resting LOHAN on a couple of springs will provide the needed contact. Not to mention the problems with condensation, dirt, etc mentioned before.
Re: to Andrew Moore
Yeah, I have the blueprints to the AK-47 and sten sub-machine guns right here. (aka grease-gun) I also have a lathe, a milling machine, some steel stock, plate working tools, access to a welding machine, etc. I can also get the needed material to make a barrel without much fuss. The tooling I can build myself as well.
Building a working sten would be pretty damn easy. Building a working AK not that much harder (although getting the gas system to work is supposedly a bit of faff). Building a single shot or breach loaded weapon I could do in a few hours, without blueprints. Getting the ammo for them would be a little more difficult in this part of the world though. I have no interest in doing so, but building an arsenal without raising any suspicion is already not that difficult.
Building a completely printed 3d weapon however is not as easy as most of these idealist nutcases would seem to believe
Patents are not the problem
Patent laws protects the commercial exploitation of an idea. Meaning an individual is allowed to make a patented mechanism for his own use. He's not allowed to commercially market them though. Intellectual property law is a lot fuzzier though. What is and is not allowed has to be judged on a pretty much case by case basis. However, if you make a component that is not exactly the same, it's not the same design, thus not the same IP. And how the heck is a company going to find out about you making a few replacement parts for your clothes dryer?
As a mechanical engineer I'm extremely skeptical of all the claims about 3d printing. Most of them are simply false. Having witnessed the stupendous amount of specialist materials for all kinds of different application in just thermoplastics alone I can't see any individual ever being able to keep enough different materials in stock to be able to make parts with the same properties as the original. The design of thermoplastic parts is also not something for the layman. There's a lot of things to take into account to come up with a strong and lasting product. Lastly, when looking at cost, it's surprising how much cheaper economy of scale can make the production of parts. Some manufacturers order enough spare parts for something in a single run to last the supported lifetime of the product in a single run. Simply because the cost benefit of doing a single run is so great, it outstrips the cost for storage and shipping by a large margin. There is no way 3d printing is ever going to meet that kind of cost benefit. Just shipping the base material is probably as expensive as shipping a finished product.
When looking at the production of 3d printers themselves I also don't get the whole "self reproduction" idea. It's a nice thought, but in practice dedicated industrial milling machines, lathes and off the shelf parts are so much more effective at producing the required parts and tolerances it's amazing most hobbyists don't bother pursuing them. (For instance, most hobby printer designs I see still use brass or bronze friction bearings. However, recirculating ball bearing bushings of that size, with better accuracies and matching ground to size and made to length shafts can be had for couple of tenners. Throw in matching bearing blocks and the price rises to may rise to just over 100 coins. So why bother making the stuff yourself.
I can actually BUY ground shafts at the required length, including surface hardening and mounting holes pre-drilled cheaper than I can buy the base material. All this requires is that I set up a registered "company" and sell a few products in the name of that company every now and then for tax purposes (This costs quite a few bob every year unfortunately so you do need to make sure you save enough to justify the expense). I can then buy products directly from industrial suppliers)
Probably more about it being a very large bit of land, where meteorites stick out like a sore thumb against the white background, and being much easier to search in large teams than the woodlands and tundra of russia and the likes.
We shall dub it: The iPad Micro Mini!
The BOFH's boss is going to have an anurism.
I think most of us could have seen this comming right from the first announcements of TIFKAM.
I just can't see ANY advantage to having touch on a laptop or desktop. On a desktop especially it would just be unwieldy and tiring on the arms when you have the screen in a good location, or very taxing on the neck and back if you place it conveniently for using it as a touch device...
Not evil, just a little too nose-y.
Firefox itself is not really that buggy in my experience. It's all the crap add-ons that so many people seem to install. Chrome has the same problem. Add a few badly coded plugins and the thing falls to pieces.
Come to think of it though, if there is ONE plug-in that causes FF to slow down and/or crash it seems to be bloody Flash! I've never had any problems with the other plugins I run.
Re: And the Russians used a pencil
Contrary to popular belief, while the pencil is clearly the simpler and easier of the solutions, a pencil is by far the inferior one. Using a pencil in zero G leaves a lot of graphite dust floating. Fine if you're only making an orbit or 2 in a small capsule, but it gets messy over longer periods of time. On top of that, graphite dust is conductive and leads to the possibility of a short circuit being created somewhere.
And another fun fact, normal ballpoint pens work just fine in zero G the viscosity and surface tension of the ink mean it sticks to the writing end just fine.
As there is no way to even marginally reduce the CO2 production at the end user level there is only one possible approach, reduce at the production level. And the only viable option we have for that is nuclear. Sadly this is never going to happen either as there are too many paranoids to ever let that option get any traction.
If the FAA is smart
They'll either ignore this or come out with a "on your head, so be it".
Like they are already saying, there is no way to be sure electronic devices transmitting a signal won't interfere with the electronic devices of the plane. (Not to mention we are talking about hundreds of those transmitters in close proximity operating on more or less the same frequency. Who know what kind of interference it can generate). If the politicos really want to get rid of this ban so easily the FAA can just say: Well, we are warning you now we can't guarantee safety. If it were up to us the ban stays in place. We will lift the ban under your pressure only! Any resulting accident will be placed squarely in your area.
Re: Delayed parachute
Afaik this is not allowed. The minimal surface area of the chute is set by the rules governing this sort of endeavour and must deploy automatically when the balloon pops.
It's definitely something to investigate though! I like the idea!
Re: Still a chance?
Just FYI, the ship in question was the "Confidante", a 137 ton Gardline survey vessel based out of Shoreham. Too bad they didn't see anything. The timing and location were REALLY close...
I raise a pint to our heroic playmonaut
Re: Oh the humanity!
Hydrogen (or anything) doesn't burn all that well in an oxygen starved environment like high up in the atmosphere. Inside the balloon there won't be any oxygen to speak off and any sort of rapid oxidation is out of the question.
Re: Do you need the Pi
Ahh, right, I failed to pick that up from the article.
I'll get my coat and leave in shame...
The last few months felt like there has been little progress due to lack of news. This will probably more than make up for it. Splendid!
Will the igniter be fired in free air or contained is some sort of rocket nozzle stand in?
Do you need the Pi
I'm just wondering, do you really NEED the Pi. Sure it's not extremely big or heavy but I don't think it'll add anything to the mission a simple microcontroller circuit couldn't deliver for a quarter of the weight and power usage.
I've been using a 3310 for the past 12 years. Apart from a few new batteries (cheap chinese Li-ions for roughly $2,00 a pop) and 2 new screen modules (managed to fall on it while ice skating, repair it, then the next year repeat that process) it's still in perfect working order. I'll keep using it until it has fallen apart, stopped working and is unrepairable. (And a lot of the parts are still obtainable through flea-bay. Only the main circuit bord seems to be completely unobtainable now)
*Nuke, because I'm pretty sure the damn thing could survive one*
Re: An engineers view
Thanks for making a much clearer and succinct post than I was capable off. That was basically the point I wanted to make.
If your experience with PLC's is mostly or only with Siemens' Step7 program then I agree. Way too much crap needs to be taken into account for that system. Luckily there are now programs like CoDeSys, which work MUCH better, can program for "generic" PLCs and have the capability to simulate things in software and to build GUI's. And it's programming works to the IEC 61131-3 standard. Meaning it should be compatible with most if not all newer PLC hardware (See: http://www.codesys.com/) This is the program we used for all later Automation courses and it just works. And even better, an educational "no download to PLC" version is free!
I'm really not advocating schools should start teaching PLC programming though. It's a very specific field with very specific standards and practices. However, my point is that it might be better to start from a graphics based programming language, like ladder logic or SFC. Text based programming can then be introduced once student understand what the blocks do. This helps them to understand the structure behind programming. Something I feel is lacking in a lot of programming courses. Sure a "this is how to do it" is nice. But understanding WHY is what is most important in education. Especially if we want to get the youths interested in computers and science.
Re: An engineers view
I mean by "dry" coding that, coming from a background in engineering myself, the text based programming (be it PLCs structured text, Java or Processing) it's rather boring looking. It's just text with no visual reference to what it is you actually just typed. Ofcourse 99% of programming works that way, but when first starting in programming I don't think it's the best way. I never really "got" programming in my first encounter with it, which was an Introduction to Object Oriented Programming in Java. Sure it was nice being able to make the computer show "hello world" or calculate some numbers and move a circle around based on input and that sort of stuff. I still found it boring spending so much time looking at nothing but text because it just didn't make much sense to me.
Then later I had that first course in PLC programming, working up from ladder to FBD and SFC programming and THEN finally to ST. Starting in a graphical representation of the process made the whole thing much easier to understand. Being able to then translate that rather tedious process of programming function blocks into typing a few lines of text showed clearly WHY it was so good to do it that way and made it much easier to understand what each text command would be doing. The device then gives me a clear and mechanical representation of the actions I just programmed and tells me with loud noised or weird actions I messed things up. This makes for a (to me atleast) much more satisfying experience imho.
(I realise PLCs are expensive devices, hence me suggesting Arduinos or similar dev boards)
I can understand the way most people here see the RPi and programming. I've got a brother actually in the IT business and I understand how someone in the industry would like to see it taught. As an engineer I just think this approach of focusing on software programming for computers is not necessarily the only way to go. By combining it with other fields kids can be taught a lot more than just programming while still staying "on the same subject". But this approach could keep things fun for all kids, not just those into IT, computers and programming.
An engineers view
Keep in mind the following is written by someone who recently got a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Automation and Mechatronics.
I don't think the Pi is really the way to go if we want to interest more youngsters in computers, science and engineering in general. From what I can tell it's still mostly "dry" coding. Sure they can get a basic program working, but it's probably not going to keep the interest of most that are not interested in the finesse of the real IT coding bizz.
I'd suggest something like the arduino or industrial Programmable Logic Controller. Something that can be connected to a DC motor and battery pack, relays, lights, buttons, switches, servos, etc, and interact with them. It can then be used for more than just the IT classes. It can be involved in the physics levels or with teaching basic electronics.
I've done several experiments for my physics classes that would have benefitted from using a micro controller. Learning to code a program is great. Learning to code a program that takes into account what it does to things and what a user does is even better, and more rewarding. Now you get a tool that can interest those kids into coding (with the actual coding, moving to actual programming languages once they find out they like it) the kids into engineering/mechatronics (With all the stuff they can now move and bring to live) and those into the electrical bits and wires.
I suggest industrial PLCs because,while they are expensive, they are usually pretty fool proof, can directly drive/sink more current (thus less hassle with transistors/mosfets/relays to connect small dc motors) and have many options for programming methods. Things can start of easy with standard ladder diagrams. Simply "wait for this, then do this, then wait for that, then do that, etc". Next can come Function Block Diagrams and the likes, for more varied programming and parallel processes. Then lastly move into the "dry" text based programming and show how much more flexible things become, how to build functions, etc.
My engineering courses included a PLC programming course where the objective, using only boolean outputs at that point, was controlling a small "sorting" rig. Make it sort specific blocks to specific locations, while being protected against "idiot users" doing anything to crash the program. This was fun, but most importantly, when one of my nephews (11 at the time) showed an interest in the course material at one point he could easily think with me while I was working in FBD schemes and pikked up on it pretty fast. Kids like this sort of thing is my experience
Probably because you are allowed to distrubute YOUR mods? Just not the specific code of minecraft itself. Many of the early mods revolved around modding the minecraft.bin file and distrubiting the entire bin, including the mojang code. This practice is what their T&C is refering to.
For the normal version of minecraft this issue has been mostly resolved with the rise of specialised launchers and mod/patch programs. I assume the same could happen for a Pi-craft version.
Some glider pilots might get jealous...
The Slingsby T.21 Cadet (vintage glider first flown in 1944) uses the spitfire tailwheel as a main landing gear. And these tires are becomming harder and harder to come by. (There have been reports of people digging up crashed spitfires to get their hands on an original. I can't testify to the veracity of those tales though)
In other news, I still think the castor wheel is going to give you problems when moving over rough terrain, but we'll see how it handles.
I'll go grab my coat. I'd rather be flying right now anyway...
Talking about keeping it clean
If they are that worried about tiny mass differences they might start by putting the damn watt balance in a cleanroom environment. Even a class 10.000 (less than 10.000 free-floatingparticles of 5 micron or bigger per cubic meter,which is quite easy to achieve) would markedly reduce the number of stray fibers, dust and other crud accumilating in the works over time. (And no, just wearing latex gloves like in those piccies doesn't really help in that regard).
Also, How constant are they keeping the temperature and what temperature are they using? If one lab is constantly 23,4 degrees with a lot of equipment humming away, and the other is 21,2 degrees in a nice quiet isolated room, this could have an influence.
Re: Rename all things nuclear
Not to mention the untold hundreds of kilograms of radioactive material (mostly uranium) we just blow into the air using coal fired plants.