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* Posts by imanidiot

391 posts • joined 19 Mar 2012

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China set to be buried under mountain of surplus robots, warns biz chap

imanidiot
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Forced automation is going to create a bubble no matter what

Automation for Automations sake is just nog going to work. Righ now, for many applications human labour is just cheaper than the investment required to automate the work. Forcing automation on that kind of job then means a lot of people are out of a job. You might boost productivity a little bit, but the negative effects on the economy of all those jobless people is going to far outweigh the positives.

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China lunar mission readies for return to Earth

imanidiot
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I suspect fake

The angles, lighting, focus and relative size just seem a little off to me. But then again, I am not an astronomer or photo expert.

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FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on

imanidiot
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Re: Exqueeze me, but...

In the second case it also deletes data completely unrelated to the function of the device or the driver. So yes, there is a difference

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imanidiot
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easy to fix for an typical end user, no. Easy to fix to anybody with some knowledge of electronics, like the vendor, yes. The process control system in his factory probably keeps working, the FTDI chip handles communication with a computer for diagnostics or readout, but only performs control functions in terribly designed systems.

Harm to persons from an RS232 widget going bad??? Seriously? I've had these cables go bad from just being looked at funny. These things are just not EVER used in a function where they are responsible for human safety. EVER. And if they are you have bigger problems than a driver borking a cable. (Most cables would be unaffected anyway)

On top of that, NO there is no damage. The cable stops working with the official FTDI drivers. Thats it. Drivers which clearly state in their EULA/TOS only support official FTDI chips. It's entirely possible this means some people won't be able to use their widgets again with these drivers. I will agree its a very hamfisted way of handling things. I'll even agree its an arsehole move from FTDI. I am however NOT convinced it would constitute legal damage

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Re: intentional or unintentionally?

Since FTDI has pretty much admitted to it, and the code itself leaves little to the imagination, it's quite certainly intentional.

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imanidiot
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a. there is no damage, the PID in the chips ROM is simply set to 0 instead of the FTDI PID the driver wants.

b. it is not done to a (protected) computer but to a connected device

c. the process is (quite easily) reversible. Just reprogram the required PID into the chip using FTDIs config toolset. Only problem is that next time you connect it the device drivers reset the PID to 0 again.

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imanidiot
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Not exactly recent

This problem of pin compatible, stamped as FTDI (and not actually visually distinguishable from the real deal) chips have been around for ages. Some enterprising chinese vendors are even simply using mask programmable generic chips for this purpose. Dodgy as hell but for non demanding applications they more or less work. In fact, most non-FTDI FTDI chips on the market are packaged to look exactly like the real thing, not just behave like it.

Problem with buying stuff from china is that the first 200 parts might have genuine parts, and the last 1.999.800 parts use counterfeit chips. Unless a reseller actually desolders the parts, decaps them and takes a look under a microscope they are just not going to notice the difference. And what is a western company going to do once they find out? Sue them? Good luck under the Chinese legal system. Chinese manufacturers have no qualms about substituting a 2 dollar part for a 1.99 dollar part if it means they get some extra profits. And if the customer won't notice, who cares.

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Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight

imanidiot
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Re: Down at about 17:30Z

Go Edge! Very nice

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imanidiot
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Re: Enclosure insulation

"heat" at altitude is a bit weird. Because of the rarified atmosphere heat transfer starts to rely much more on radiance and much less on convection. Meaning that the air outside the craft could be at -100C and electronics inside the enclosure still melting down from overheating.

Apart from that, even if they make it to 40 km it'll still be a nippy -25C outside the craft.

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imanidiot
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Enclosure insulation

How is the rig insulated from the outside environment in this test flight? Will the heat transfer from the rig to the environment be comparable to the actual LOHAN flight? (Too much insulation now might give a false positive result. Too little could give a false negative)

Lets just hope we don't get any of that -->

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Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring

imanidiot
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Re: Sold

Unless the driver has had SOME training and knows how to handle non-abs brakes, in which case the car will stop even quicker. (seriously, abs still lets the wheels lock up slightly, causing the characteristic interrupted brake mark. A skilled driver can apply JUST a bit less brake pressure than locking up the wheels en keep the tire rolling. This creates more brake force than the interrupted skid of ABS)

ABS is better for MOST drivers and in MOST situations, but it's not the IDEAL solution

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imanidiot
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Re: Interactive photo?

Also, for me, the help "screen" on the lytro photos wouldn't go away. I could close it, but if I dared click anyway it would just pop back up again. really annoying.

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Billionaire's pet DRAGON SPLASHES DOWN off Pacific Coast

imanidiot
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Re: Neat!

near the end of the video you see the nav/collision avoidance lights come on (green, right next to the root of the solar panel) The flashing light right above the main hatch is probably a maneuvering thruster (the pulses seem to be too irregular for it to be one of the strobe lights) as pointed out by Tsunamijuan

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MAVEN snaps eight-bit SPACE INVADER

imanidiot
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Probably a previes

I would imagine they take a very low res quick shot and beam that home ASAP so they have time to set up a new imaging instruction before the target is gone. I'm amazed they even manage to photograph something moving at 56000 m/s from another thing moving at dozens of m/s.

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How to get $542m from Google: Dress as a SPACEMAN with dayglo dancers – Magic Leap

imanidiot
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Re: And the technology is... Oculus Rift v2 with depth of focus adjustment

So they are going to make the leap... to being a patent troll? (That seriously seems like the most likely application of that particular patent. It's not exactly all that innovative.)

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imanidiot
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No product

There IS no product and there never will be. That presentation makes it pretty clear they are just taking the piss.

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Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes

imanidiot
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Hover? Possibly. Controlable? Probably not.

It might be possible to get a board to float above a non-ferric conductor with some electromagnets. With some good design and switching electronics you might even be able to do it without melting either your board or the surface conductor.

Controlling the thing is a different matter though. I doubt they can pull that off.

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MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less

imanidiot
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Joke

Re: This'll never work

How many women with PMS does it take to change a lightbulb.

15.

Why?

IT JUST DOES. OK!

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OnePlus One cut-price Android phone on sale to all... for 1 HOUR

imanidiot
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"Sold at cost"

Yeah right. So how is it they are running so much marketing, servers, shipping, (probably) a complains/service department, etc, etc. They are probably making a tidy profit on this thing. With some clever bookkeeping (even legally) the outside world does not need to know this.

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The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

imanidiot
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Why the obsession with compulsion

Forcing kids into any STEM (Yes, buzzword, but it does cover the meaning) subject is not going to work for a lot of them and probably even going to turn some of those with a talent away from it.

Much better to keep things like math, chemistry, physics, programming, etc for those that actually have a feeling for it. And I'm not saying they have to actually WANT to learn it badly enough to voice it out themselves. Kids are bad at saying what they actually want and it's hard enough looking forward to the end of school for most, let alone what they might enjoy doing 20 years later. Teachers and parents on the other hand often have a pretty clear idea what kids have a feeling for and what they might enjoy.

Second to that there needs to be more linking between subjects. Teaching JUST programming, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, history, geography, etc all by themselves without looking at it from different angles is not the right way to go about it. Being able to create an abstract model of a car with some blocks and springs, and then translating that into math calculations you can use in a program to model that car teaches abstraction, modeling, physics, maths and programming. All at the same time. This can be applied to pretty much the entire STEM cirriculum in most schools. Integrals and differentials make no sense if you are taught just the math part of it. Learn to apply them in physics and suddenly you have a use for them, making them much easier to understand.

Some kids (speaking from experience) cant be motivated by just basic programming, but getting a LEGO robot to follow a black line on the floor suddenly makes it metric tons of fun.

Heck programming and grammar could be linked with some creativity, improving language classes as well. Kids need information on a subject, encourage them to look for info in not just their native language. Suddenly knowing another language can be useful.

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Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box

imanidiot
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Pint

Good stuff

Things must be kicking into high gear over at the SPB shack with the shipping day getting closer and closer!

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A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers

imanidiot
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Just another tip

If you want to dick around with a quadcopter some time, I'd also recommend the Syma X1 quadcopter. Comes complete with all the bits needed to fly, spares are plentyful and it can take a serious beating. (Hitting concrete, upside down, falling from 40 feet is not a problem I can attest). The flightcontroller is only 3 axis stabilised and a little over cautious at times, but it's good fun. And it's small enough to zip about the living room, scaring the daylight out of the cats.

As for learning to fly one, the author has it wrong, if you can turn OFF all stabilisation and help from the flightcontroller and learn to fly it like that. It's just no fun any other way. Plus, you'll still be able to fly it if you screw up your PID settings and take off a litte over-eager. Just flick the stabilisation off and land.

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imanidiot
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Re: Ignore the licence requirements

"So you are basically saying you have insufficient visibility and poor control of your paraglider so as not to be able to see or avoid obstacles in the sky. Why is it that you are allowed to fly them again? Lets regulate the unsafe vehicle in this scenario of yours, not the highly accurately positioned and stable one"

Air traffic on a collision course is static against the background. A 9 meter long glider, on a perpendicular but intersecting course, at 1000 meters distance (time to impact: 36 seconds) is only a tiny white blip of optically maybe a millimeter big. At 200 meters (time to impact: 7.2 seconds) that is STILL only a few millimeters. What hope in hell do I, as a glider pilot, have of spotting a slender framed drone against a busy background, which appears to be stationary? Paragliders have it a "little" easier, because of lower speeds. But the same thing applies basically. Drones (and birds btw) are often nearly invisible until you are right on top of them. Birds usually have the wit to get out of the way. Drones do not. That "Highly accurately positioned and stable" is exactly the problem most pilots have with drones. The one who decides that position often doesn't have a bloody clue WHERE he is actually positioning the thing in relation to other air traffic and doesn't get it out of the way if there IS such traffic. Any drone flight would be classed as VFR traffic, meaning see-and-avoid rules apply. By definition, FPV and autonomous drone operators are bad airman as they cannot avoid other traffic the same way "normal, ass in cockpit seat" pilots do.

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imanidiot
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Terrible, terrible article

Any author who dares proclaim the license should be ignored "Because it will change anyway" needs a serious bollocking from his editor! Not a published article.

IF the rules for licensing will change, it'll only be for the worse, with stricter regulations. Simply BECAUSE of all the numbnuts out there flying unlicensed in stupid areas. And quite frankly, speaking as a glider pilot, it damn well should be! I have a piece of paper that shows I know airspace structures, aeronautical navigation and traffic avoidance rules among other things. I'd expect anyone sharing my airspace to either do so in a specified area, so I can avoid them, or know those same things, so they can avoid me.

If you are going to be operating ANYTHING (quad, helicopter, plane) above treetop level, outside of designated model flying clubs/fields, you best purchase one of these: http://shop.flybubble.co.uk/caa-uk-vfr-air-charts-1-250-000 and bloody well know how to read it. If you can't understand that chart, you have no reason operating any air vehicle in any non-designated-safe-for-RC--model-flying airspace.

solely on your quad.

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Ancient Brits 'set wealthy man's FANCY CHARIOT on FIRE' – boffins

imanidiot
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nothing ever changes

So maybe, like todays supercars it just spontaniously combusted.

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Beers all round as Vulture 2 lands in Blighty

imanidiot
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Re: I need to speak to your engineers

Addendum, as I've just looked it up. They are Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. So not NiMhs (Which are crap for HAB flights as many balloonists have found out).

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imanidiot
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Re: I need to speak to your engineers

The batteries are of a very specific and carefully chosen type. The LOHAN boffins have learned through experience few batteries keep working in the chilly upper atmosphere.

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Hardened Hydrazine the source of Galileo satnav FAIL

imanidiot
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Re: UDMH

Plain hydrazine is used as a monopropellant. UDMH requires an oxidizer. I doubt they have fuel-oxidizer thrusters for orientation.

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Trolls have DARK TETRAD of personality defects, say trickcyclists

imanidiot
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Trollface

Well have a downvote then.

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SHATTERED: Apple's jilted glass supplier to shut down sapphire ops

imanidiot
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Re: Sapphire is unnecessary for the application

Innovation does not come from using barely more suitable materials just for the hell of it. Innovation comes from using materials in ways nobody ever thought of before. Using sapphire glass on smartphones I would hardly call innovative.

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Foxconn exec on iPhone 6: You're BENDING it WRONG

imanidiot
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Re: Ill give this my best shot...

The conclusion can only be that the iPhone 6 is some sort of sentient cake serving scoop.

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Inflatables in SPAAACE! ISS 'nauts to enjoy bouncy castle spaceship

imanidiot
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Coat

The technology is quite interesting, though I was expecting them to attach something a little larger than this. Some astronauts who flew on Skylab and later on the spaceshuttle have been known to reminisce about the amount of space they had to "screw around" inside Skylab (Which had a 10m diameter open space). If the aim of bigalow is space tourism, at least they should have a similar space for fun times. (No no that kind. Yes, I know how that sounded. Fine, I'll get my coat.)

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What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

imanidiot
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Powerusers

It's sad to see that most programs now consider the keyboard strokes/shotcuts to now be something only for the poweruser. Anyone should learn the keyboard presses required. And then let them decide for themselves if they want to use them or not.

I've baffled many of my Solidworks teachers at school by being about twice as fast as anyone else simply by keeping my left hand on the keyboard and knowing a lot of the shortcuts. It saves so much time not having go into context menus.

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

imanidiot
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Re: Clean energy NOW

Designing a reactor to not be able to go explosively critical is not really all that hard. Basically: "Is it designed as an atomic bomb, with explosive lenses, high speed detonators, a very acurately shaped core and a sparkplug?" No? then it won't go go explosively critical.

BTW, any current design uranium based reactor has a supercritical core. Insertion of neutron absorbing materials (the regulator rods) makes it behave somewhat like a subcritical mass (but not quite).

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imanidiot
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Re: Clean energy NOW

@ecofeco, how is that bizzaro? I call it realism.

Or are you one of those BANANAs? ("Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything" for those who are new to this term. Basically the NIMBY squared)

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imanidiot
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Re: Clean energy NOW

Nuclear doesn't have to cost that much in comparison to fossil fuels. For instance, look at this article <url>http://depletedcranium.com/hope-this-works</url>. A 2 gigawatt plant comes up to about $1000 dollars per kilowatt installed capacity. That is cheaper than a modern coal plant and cheaper than any gas fired plant. If all the bullshit is cut from the regulations then this could be substantially lower still.

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imanidiot
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Then there's just the safety issues to address; personally I don't think H2 as a fuel is any more dangerous than LPG or petrol overall, but irrational public fears are still fears. Make sure that H2 powered vehicles are crash tested to the same standards as petrol vehicles (including passenger safety) and we should be good to go :)

Not quite. You could easily open up an LPG tank to atmosphere and let it sit there for a while without problem. (People have done it, replacing the fill gauge on a tank while it's filled is not really THAT dangerous). Petrol is also very docile. It'll just sit there all day long, happily exposed to the atmosphere and requires quite a lot of energy to ignite. A lit cigarette won't do.

Hydrogen needs to either be stored cryogenically (VERY cold and requires constant burning off of the evaporating gasses if they are not used otherwise) or stored under very high pressure.

An LPG tank needs to be heated before it'll create a proper explosion. Just tossing an opened tank into a fire will only create a conflegration. Same with petrol. It'll burn quite spectacularly, probably create a good whoosh, maybe even a bang, but the damage to the surroundings will be limited. A closed LPG tank in a fire (would normally allow quite some time to get it cooled before exploding).

Crash testing to the same level as a petrol vehicle would not do. Some leakage of petrol or LPG is not really a problem. Any leakage of hydrogen IS.

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imanidiot
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Re: Clean energy NOW

I'd use H2 at home as a fuel. I already have a gas cooker and central heating, and methane has explosive limits of 4.4-15% and is being piped though the whole ground floor of the domicile. Gasoline surprisingly has an LEL of a mere 1.2%. I'm not saying H2 is not dangerous, just that all combustible fuels are dangerous yet we use them anyway.

There is a BIG difference between natural gas/methane and hydrogen. Methane is, comparitively, a pretty large molecule. It needs fairly large pores to escape the pipes or solder joints. I'll trust most monkeys to be able to solder a gas tight solderjoint in copper gas pipes or screw together threaded steel pipes with a gastight seal. A quick check with some soapy water and you're done.

On top of that, at any concentration, gasoline and methane do not self ignite. Hydrogen will. Gladly and with gusto.

Hydrogen is a WHOLE different beast. It'll escape from the tiniest of pores (and do so quite fast as it's a very low viscosity gas). Place a hair or some dust on the sealing gasket and it'll leak enough to create dangerous concentrations within hours. Reuse an old gasket (because, you know, they DO cost like a buck apiece) and it could very well leak. Hydrogen embrittlement and corrosion are major factors and only select materials are suitable, not the standard uncleaned low grade steel pipes from the local DIY. Most hydrogen installations use double walled pipe. The only way to properly leak test a hydrogen installation is by vacuum leak testing. All this is stuff I wouldn't trust a low grade mechanic or home DIYer to service or touch, which makes the tech unsuitable for home use.

I perform maintenance on machines using hydrogen in a vacuum system. All spaces these machines are installed in are equipped with triple redundant hydrogen detectors. Full evacuation of the entire building is required if any of them detect a level above 0,4%. All vacuum exhaust streams are strictly isolated and routed through hydrogen abatement systems which actively burn off any remaining hydrogen. Special flushing routines using nitrogen are performed before shutting down any of these things, etc, etc. This may seem like paranoia to some, but from what I know it's the industry standard for working with hydrogen. For good reason.

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imanidiot
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Clean energy NOW

It's called nuclear. Look it up some time.

Its the ONLY viable option for the production of clean energy we have RIGHT NOW. So it should be what we focus on NOW. We can't keep holding out for technology that will be here "in 10 years" when we have the tech to produce very low carbon emission power right now. All that is needed to make this possible is cut the INSANE amount of beaurocratic bullshit and red-tape hoop jumping needed before construction can even begin (Well over HALF the total cost of a nuclear plant is eaten by licensing, approval and other bureaucratic expenses)

Hydrogen as a power source has been shit in the past, is shit now, and will always be shit. It requires massive amounts of energy to produce (at atmospheric pressure), then massive amounts of energy to compress for storage, then you lose a lot of it while storing it (hydrogen is the Houdini of gasses, it'll leak. No matter what you do), it has a crappy energy density meaning a lot of space needed to store a given amount of energy and finally if given half the chance it'll blow you and the surrounding 3 city blocks into the afterlife. (It has a MASSIVE explosion band. LEL of just 4% and an UEL of 75%) Not to mention the miriad of material problems that have to be overcome when working with hydrogen and the utter lack of ANY iota of common sense on those that would probably use such an installation in the home. It MIGHT, theoretically work for some niche small scale applications, but in general it's just crap.

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Etsy security rule #1: Don't be a jerk to devs

imanidiot
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Re: Bribe developers with tee-shorts

Damn you all, my coworkers are looking at me funny... AGAIN!

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Indian MOM just LOVES it on Mars, tweets fave holiday snap

imanidiot
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Re: Growth rate

Well okay, billionS was a bit of an exageration. But still substitute billions for billion and my comment stands.

Have an upvote.

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imanidiot
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Re: Congratulations India.

India invests MASSIVE amounts of its GDP in improving the state of its billions of impoverished citizens. A larger percentage than say the US or any European country even.

This kind of mission is an advertisement to the world. "Look here, we can do this! Maybe you can give some of those orders to our industry? We're not as expensive and can deliver good quality". It cost them 74 million. A tiny investment compared to the INSANE amount needed to even make a dent in the impoverishment of the BILLIONS in the country. And an investment that COULD land them some international manufacturing deals for its industry worth a multiple of that.

Just because they spend 74 million on this doesn't mean they AREN'T working on improving standards of living. Creating more jobs for the middle and upper class (ie engineers and the likes) means more people paying taxes (a large problem, the poor don't pay taxes so don't help the problem. A relative lack of middle and upper class means lower tax incomes).

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SpaceX breaks ground on first commercial spaceport in Texas

imanidiot
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Re: Aw yeah.

Now I'm curious, why the downvote?

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imanidiot
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Mushroom

Re: Aw yeah.

I think we'll be safe as long as SpaceX doesn't name its next generation of big engines the Mainsail.

(For those who are not addicted to Kerbal Space Program, the Mainsail is the biggest default engine. Lots of power, with a tendency to overheat and explode 2 seconds before MECO)

I think the Icon speaks for itself in this case. Its KSP afterall.

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Ordnance Survey intern plonks houses, trees, rivers and roads on GB Minecraft map

imanidiot
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Re: Sound of.. what? ;)

Or possibly the sounds of creepers. Massive unending amounts of creepers...

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imanidiot
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Re: No Profit

I was about to post this, have an upvote. Since its release only the first few years were run at a loss. Since it has been in beta (which is already quite a while) Minecraft has made a tidy profit for Mojang each year.

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Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone

imanidiot
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*Standing ovation*

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Oh God the RUBBER on my SHAFT has gone wrong and is STICKING to things

imanidiot
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Cheap material, bad testing

The problem with a lot of materials testing is that they just expose it to more UV and a bit of extra heat to simulate the aging of the material in a shorter timespan. This completely ignores the influence of skinfats and other stuff the material comes into contact with in normal use.

Another problem is mentioned by razorfishsl, chinese manufacturers will use the cheapest material they can find, often by using insane amounts of plasticizer. And very often without the client they are manufacturing for knowing.

(I'd recommend reading: Poorly Made in China by Paul Midler. It was recommended to me here on the Reg, and I enjoyed every page of it)

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

imanidiot
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Re: 57.7-foot ... robotic arm

Much more importantly, what is that in standard double decker busses or brontosauruses?

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

imanidiot
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Interesting render engine, silly topic

Trying to "debunk" the " moonlandings were faked" myth by digitally faking it is not really going to convince any conspiritards.

The render engine used however is quite a clever bit of coding and modeling. It's quite capable of generating some truly stunning results. (If you have enough time on a render farm to spit out results.)

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