137 posts • joined 13 Aug 2007
Re: Soft landing on the ocean
If it was me I'd be tempted to have a barge or flat-decked cargo ship in place at the expected landing area, then if the approach was going well tell it to land there - otherwise you could choose/be forced to miss and land it in the sea anyway.
Seawater and complex systems are a bad mixture, why dunk it if you can help it?
Re: How much does this wrap weigh?
It's a weird thing with planes, especially gliders, which this essentially is - after a looong balloon phase and a few seconds of rocket powered terror, anyway. Weight makes them go faster. A given airframe will have a certain glide ratio, i.e. it will go a certain distance forwards for every amount it drops. Within sane limits this ratio is constant, so if you make it heavier it drops faster, therefore it has to fly forwards faster. With radio controlled gliders it's common to add lead or even tungsten ballast to really get the weight up. Full size gliders use water so they can easily ditch it.
In this case there are other factors that come into play. The vinyl will make the surface smoother which will help especially at very high speeds. The weight becomes an issue when you have to lift it with a balloon to ridiculous heights. But it also makes it tougher - I have a foam flying wing covered with vinyl which is super tough and super fast, at the expense of needing a really good day to go gliding.
I just want to see this thing FLY!
"PS: The dichotomy of not liking my widescreen laptop and liking my widescreen TFT, I can rotate my widescreen TFT into portrait mode and get ungodly number of lines (well, 120+) on the screen"
I managed to get dual monitors for all the developers by showing the boss something that he could understand - an IBM report saying that programmers were 15% more productive with dual screens. Getting that more work from you for only a couple of hundred pound a head, for monitors that could be nicely depreciated against tax makes business sense.
We got crappy widescreen monitors as well, but if you're willing to put shiny and conventional aside (and what true techie isn't?) then you can either use both vertically or even better one landscape and one portrait then use which ever layout works best - vertical for coding, wide for browsing.
It looks daft, but it works brilliantly.
Re: Restrict Glass to GPS when driving
"Maybe Google should make it so that only the GPS function can be active above a certain speed... "
That would be a pain if you were a passenger. Or on a train. Or in a self-driving car...
Re: Damnit, I'd just about decided not to renew my BMFA ticket...
"Still flying the paraglider though: model planes scare us and we do our best to keep well away."
I wish... there are lots of good paragliderists, but there are a minority who seem to feel entitled to fly wherever they like whenever they like, even at slopes where there are long standing agreements between model fliers and the local PG clubs. The same minority also seem to spend a lot of their waiting around time getting the nerve up with the help of funny smelling fags...
Human safety comes first obviously but having to risk crashing an £800 model because some knob has deliberately decided to keep flying across directly in front of the RC slope is painful. Frankly with a few kilos of pointy nosed carbon fiber model doing unpredictable aerobatics at 100mph+ I'm not sure I'd want to invade the RC airspace, but then again I wouldn't risk flying a PG either, so maybe it just enhances the 'fun/danger' aspect for them..?
When we co-operate, it can be very good. I'm always happy to scout around for thermals then leave them to the PGs if they are having trouble finding lift, and many PGers are happy to work together at the meeting of the airspaces. But some PGers seem to be on a power trip from the get go and cause nothing but trouble and bad feelings.
Some modellers are as bad probably, but then again PGers seem to be mainly 30-40ish well-off blokes, whereas RC gliderists are largely 55+ retired blokes. Sometimes obnoxious certainly , but not really so aggressive.
"I remember seeing a study from a top US university some years ago that said the only difference between a CEO (or other top executive) and a psychopath is the methods they use."
I found that this explained it all quite well for me...
Re: red dots
The red dots are the moving objects against the static starfield.
I guess in this image the fast thing is asteroid (872) Holda, the red streaks are earthly satellites. There are similar images from its earlier incarnation on their website.
Re: DNS blocking on port 53
Where would you get your source DNS entries from? DNS is a hierarchical system, running 'your own' DNS server only gets you a cache of things you've found from other DNS servers, or sites you manage yourself. And if unfiltered DNS is blocked, you won't be able to build your cache.
Even if you were to collect it all 'now' then it would go stale over time.
Some DNS suppliers may well offer other ports such as the 5353 mentioned above which would help, but if you had alternative suppliers then why run your own in the first place?
Re: One of my favorites...
I saw an IRC transcript on bash.org about that - someone fell for it, then came back and complained. In a masterpiece of trollage, they convinced him he must have hit Alt-F5 by mistake, and he should be sure to hit Alt-F4 this time... which he duly did. Again.
Nearly as good as the 'hunter2' one.
Re: I have never understood the English system for unmamnned tills
We can't have those on the tills because it's been snapped up as a separate 'business opportunity' by Coinstar: give the machine all your loose change and it will deduct 8.9% then print you a voucher for the rest.
8.9%!! If anyone has a ton of small change to handle I'll count it for them for a measly 8%. Can't say fairer than that!
Re: Maximise visibility
Go easy with the paint, though: its heavy and will really impact Vulture 2's performance
Seconded. Paint is heavy. And a light sanding would probably be a good idea, although given that it's printed in nylonish stuff I'm not sure how well it would work?.
For good solid colours and added strength, rc combat gliders use coloured parcel tape - it doesn't weigh much (especially if it's only a partial covering, e.g a red checkerboard) and as a bonus could be removed and redone differently for the next flight - reusable near-space vehicles wahey!
Re: Not British Racing Green
Oh... and test fly it BEFORE you paint it. Otherwise it'll just have all the corners showing white and any replacement parts or repairs (although hopefully not) won't match.
Not British Racing Green
Not green, you'll never find it after it lands, even in Spain.
Nothing very complicated either - I've had a nice realistic Zebra scheme on a much bigger glider than this and it totally disappeared into the background, both in the sky and on the floor.
Dayglo orange (or Register Red at a pinch) with black tips would do nicely for me.
Re: Have you printed any spare parts?
You're not allowed to ask about that, I suggested flight tests a few times and just got sarcastic replies and down votes.
Which is a shame because I have lots of experience of test flights...
To be fair last time it was 'wait and see' so now I'm waiting.
Re: Regardless of the merits of the Apple patent
This link explains it very clearly.
The crucial thing is that if you have a good idea and tell everyone about it publicly then in most countries other than the US, you have torpedoed yourself. In the US you have a year long grace period to patent it after that point.
Re: Solar Thermal storage
It's being done - Gemasolar in Spain uses BIG well insulated tanks to store molten salt at 550C+overnight and generate power 24/7. Full tanks can run the plant for up to 15 hours with no sunlight at all, or just top it up on dull days to keep the output at full power for much longer.....
Re: "What is wrong with this idea?"
Although the capital cost of solar will fall further, for it to be used externally the panels and supports use quite a bit of material. Unlike chips, there are fairly high transport and installation costs.
Is there any reason not to make generic roof covering solar panels, instead of having layers of tiles, insulation, brackets, rails, framework and *then* solar PV panels?
Simple interlocking weatherproof insulated panels designed to be slapped on a roof by your average roofer then plugged in by a domestic electrician would be a massive seller as far as I can see - but the nearest I have seen is hugely expensive tiny solar tiles designed to be installed in amongst normal roof tiles.
There's nothing at all to stop some of the panels being for solar thermal (water heating) instead of/as well as PV either.
I'd buy a roof-full.
I'll be interested to see how it glides, especially given that it looks designed for a high cruising speed. Maybe a KNICKERLASTIC bungee launcher could be useful?
Where is the CG on it? Looks like it would be near the front of the main wings, where they meet the fuse?
One thing to watch out for is that the failsafe which kicks in when the 2.4GHz kit is out of range doesn't do anything nasty to the autopilot, like turn it off. DAMHIKT.
For servo arms and pushrods I favour making an L bend and threading the bent bit, then tapping the rod into a too-small hole in the arm. Because the arm only moves over less than 180 degrees it cant come unthreaded, but there is very little slop and a lot of resistance to the end pulling out sideways. I've tested this on a lot of combat wings - it can take a beating and stay attached.
With a bit of your low temp grease it should be immune to freezing too, which a ball joint might not be.
"For instance, in the last year or two there's been some debate whether Voyager has actually past the 'edge' of the solar system into interstellar space or not."
Well, to be fair that isn't anything to do with knowing where Voyager is, or even where the edge of the Solar System is. It's to do with 'what' the edge of the solar system is. And do you even need to know that to know where the centre of mass is? Isn't it just going to be the centre of rotation of the combined bodies making up the solar system?
Re: Does it only have rudders?
You're right, well spotted. That should work well once it has enough air to bite into, and the canards do look big enough to work.
I'm looking forward to seeing the test flights...
What are the plans for that?
Does it only have rudders?
Does it really only have rudders?
I know it already has two control surfaces more than Vulture 1 had and that's laudable, but just rudders seems like a bit of an issue if that's the case. Or does it have elevons as well (in which case rudders are a bit excessive...)
Has anyone built a foam mockup of this to check how it flies, where the CG should be etc.? It shouldn't be too difficult to do as an RC model and could easily be tested at high speeds with a ducted fan motor or even hobby rockets.
Re: Does this use the same plastic that everything seems to be made of these days?
Have a look at PolyMorph, plastic granules that you can melt down in warm/hot water then form by hand. Tough as Nylon when it's done, but can be melted and resued many times.
Places like Maplins sell it in the UK.
Re: Virgin Media tried this
I'm with Virgin cable broadband and 'don't take the mick' does seem to be their policy.
They do allow pretty much any use you like as long as you don't mess the network up for other people, and that's policed purely by their throttling which kicks in after a certain data transfer threshold has been passed, which varies by time of day.
A lot of people seem to hate this as 'not really unlimited' but it rarely gives me any problem at all, and I'm what I think of as a fairly heavy user, in bursts. The only thing I could quibble about is the actual thresholds, but that's minor compared to 'no servers at all' or other similar draconian policies.
Re: Slow down
In fact if I'm on a long boring drive, I tend to speed up until it gets exciting enough to keep me WIDE awake.
Anyway, speed doesn't kill people, _speed_difference_ is what kills people. Whether it's the difference between you and a static lump of concrete, or between you and the idiot doing 50mph down the middle lane of a fast flowing motorway.
There are some usually arbitrary numbers-onna-stick as well, but they don't really count for anything safety-wise, as long as you are doing roughly what everyone else is doing.
The point --------------------------------------------> *
Rightpondians spell it 'litres', as it should be.
Re: Funny you should say that
I thought Audis had taken over from BMWs in the last few years?
Anyway, I drive an old but high end BMW (bangernomics yay!) and a similar spec Audi. I let people out at junctions just to confuse them.
Personally I find its not the make of the car but the proximity to large cities that seems to determine the quality of the driving. Closer = More aggressive.
Re: Directional Arrows
Apply game theory: If a QC inspector finds a mistake one of the others didn't he gets a big bonus. If he finds a mistake both the others missed, he gets a MASSIVE bonus.
If a QC inspector misses a mistake found by one other, he pays a penalty. If he misses a mistake found by two others (and hence easier to find), he goes to Siberia.
NOW they will focus on the job...
Although I recall a tale of a company paying testers per bug found and paying coders per bug fixed. Unfortunately the coders and the testers spoke to each other and it all got quite lucrative...
Re: Apropos of nothing..
A friend of mine lives in a converted telephone exchange. Until the numbers were all standardised, her number was just <village name><nought>
Why... does that phone have a sticker on it that shows the same numbers as are already printed on the phone?
Re: Reboot required
I'm sure I remember my Solaris and HP Unix machines reopening my windows when I restarted back in the 1990s. When did they all stop doing it? Was it just because Windows didn't do it, so everyone else stopped bothering?
Or has my failing memory failed again?
I like Waze
I like Waze, it has worked better than most other satnavs I've tried, with the added bonus of being able to fix any local errors yourself.
They've gone to considerable lengths to avoid problems with people copying in details from any other mapping suppliers, so having free and official access to the Google maps and aerial photos should help quite a lot. Searching for places should hopefully improve as well - at the moment I believe it uses Bing and it's a bit hit and miss!
I hope they use a light touch to keep the social aspects going, which are a major differentiator for Waze - although the recent Facebook integration stuff (e.g. 'take me to <facebook event>') will presumably slow down a bit now ;-)
Re: Wonder where
Err.. doesn't this just show that Virgin have so much capacity they can sell Sky several 10's of GBs while still carrying on business as usual?
Virgin is still Virgin - it's anti-Virgin Sky-ites who are now going to be using Virgin wires whether they like it or not.
> Why not NUKE those derelicts to smithereens? There are tons of as-yet-unused Pu lying around!!
...because that as-yet unused weapons grade Pu is perfect to feed the next generation of long-life maintenance-free Thorium cycle reactors - which over their thirty year life will also turn it into much nicer stuff to handle, and also reduce the need to actually handle it at all!
On the other hand, really big bangs are awesome!
Re: Oh no!
> I love getting regular updates via the "exoplanet" iPhone app:
Well, if it just started sending out fake updates every so often, would it really make any _practical_ difference?
Nobody who is alive now or for the foreseeable future has any chance of ever getting there, and the only proof we have that these planets even exist is readings from Kepler.
Cold start time setting?
So after the lithium battery runs down and it loses the current time/date, how does it get reset to sufficient accuracy?
NTP over Bluetooth wouldn't cut it to get sub-microsecond precision so presumably you need a calibrated, rack mounted and UPS protected atomic clock it can connect up to and resync?
Re: An alternative is to tell fishermen to ...
"the fishermen being fishermen and not technicians, could tell the differnce btween old-style copper cables and the new fibre-optics"
COULDN'T tell the difference. COULD NOT.
The NOT is important. It changes what you're saying from being "right" to being "wrong".
It all started with 'couldn't care less' being replaced with 'could care less' which at least has a slight justification, but has spread to many places where it's just WRONG. Stop it.
Re: Should be nice and hackable...
Samsung have generally not been all that helpful to the community, except for specific PR friendly moments making promises that then turn out not to be fulfilled.
It's got to the point where, for instance, the primary maintainers of things like Cyanogenmod have abandoned Samsung devices altogether: http://codeworkx.de/wordpress
I have an i9300 (International S3) myself and run Slimbean on it which works pretty well, but there isn't a stable CyanogenMod 10 (Jellybean) release for it and it doesn't look like there ever will be.
Should be nice and hackable...
It look like this will be a very good choice for those of us who like to root their phones...
Sony (yes, Sony!) are actually pretty good to the Android community, making it easy to get into and hack the phones, and supplying lots of good information. Unlike certain others, including Samsung who are really missing a trick.
Having a Qualcomm CPU goes along with that, Qualcomm are also very pro-hacking, whereas the International version of the S3 has an Exynos CPU which is not well documented.
After Sonys chequered (solid black?) past in these things it's very good to see them being more open.
Re: The fault is that caller ID is useless
To all those companies who withhold caller ID - why not set it instead to a central number which has at the very least a recorded message stating who the call was from? Ideally it would be a switchboard staffed by clueful people, but you can't have everything.
Not to mention people like 3 who text you a voicemail notification where the caller ID isn't the right number to call to collect the said voicemail, but is in fact unobtainable? - what idiot thought of that one!
Re: Faraday cage
"All that are caught become instantly PNG in the UK"
i.e. images of them were all that were left...
Re: Setting default apps
"Is there any way to set a 'default action' in Android?"
I was confused by this for a while. Every time I clicked the 'Always use' choice I got a popup telling me to clear default associations in some other menu. And next time I needed a browser it would give me the same choice, so it didn't seem to be working.
I think (ICBW) that you get the choice for every new file type - so .htm, .html, .php etc. all get the choice popup the first time you see them, although because it doesn't say what it's asking about you don't see that, it just seems to be asking every time.
I've taken to picking the same browser always and over a week or so it does seem to be setting them for most variants and I'm getting asked less.
It's a pity browsers don't come with a decent set already configured, or offer to take over a group of associations like IrfanView does for images instead of having to pick them one at a time...
I've known quite a few rocket scientists. It's not that hard...
Research mathematicians, on the other hand! Wow! Brilliant, brilliant minds, able to leap huge gaps of intuition in a single bound.
Couldn't tie a shoelace and had less than zero common sense, though.
I also got told off for speeding up his hacked about Matlab so it took three seconds instead of twenty minutes per run. Apparently that was his 'thinking time' and he missed it...
Re: Fixing the wrong problem
ISTR Mercedes started using thumbprint recognition security on their high end cars. In the first attempted carjacking it saved the car but did lead to the owner having his thumb macheted off.
Didn't really catch on after that... there's a limit to how far you should go to protect 'stuff'.
Re: microwave down a tube
Yes - it's called a waveguide.
But they don't like bending, or being strung across everybodies heads like a microwave beam would be.
Also, in a tube the EM wave only travels at what's called the Group Velocity which might only be 60% of the free-air velocity, making it all pointless anyway.
Surely these days it wouldn't be hard for the operators to keep an occasionally updated database of 4G locations/cell towers on the device, so they don't waste battery power scanning for non-existent 4G signals?
Re: The best cup
"I have still to track down the exact method to make this infrequently occurring cup of awesome."
Exactly the same here. On the first day at a new job I dutifully took my place on the office Tea Roster and made a cup for everyone. Every cup was universally acclaimed as 'awesome' (including by me) and they tried to get me to make it every time.
But it was never like that again. Never.
I have no idea what changed.
Re: My hairs stand on end
"almost budget-neutral in the long run"
Surprisingly for super-cynical (realistic?) me, I read that more as that the projected growth due to better connectivity was projected to make up for the costs of doing it in the first place.
Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
When some yobbo decided to slash the tyres on a number of cars including mine on a city centre street at 9pm, the CCTV spotted him and his mates and they were being arrested as I returned to the car a few minutes later. So CCTV worked well there.
Not so much the 'Justice System' where he got sentenced to a couple of weeks doing "hard time with TV and burgers". I was told it wan't worth trying to get any recompense for my nearly-new tyres as he would at best be told to pay it back at 20p a week forever and in the process would probably be told my name and address...
Some people seem to get upset about _other _people_ using their own gadgets anywhere near them. This seems more like a 'come and hide from them with us' rather than a 'you're hopelessly addicted, let us remove the choice from you'.
Now if they wanted to put up jammers in cinemas, that would be just fine with me... or snipers for particularly annoying cases.
- Mounties get their man: Heartbleed hacker suspect, 19, CUFFED
- Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
- Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
- Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
- Wall St's DROOLING as Twitter GULPS DOWN analytics firm Gnip