* Posts by SkippyBing

1440 posts • joined 21 May 2008

Page:

Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Results speak for themselves.

Makes you wonder how much Microsoft are allowed to mess with the engine side considering Red Bull have basically the same power plant.

20
0

Noise-canceling headphones with a DO NOT DISTURB light can't silence your critics

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: "the low-flying aircraft that keep my neighbourhood affordable"

'I find this kind of noise is "blankable", it's the constant talking and people moving that I find distracting.'

Unfortunately I have this terrible condition where I have to try and identify any aircraft I hear, although I agree people talking is a distraction from that.

4
0

Mad scientist zaps himself to determine the power of electric eel shocks

SkippyBing
Silver badge

I'm sorry, they appear to have glossed over how they did the tricky bit. I.e. attaching the wires to the eel in the first place!!

23
0

Farewell Cassini! NASA's Saturnian spacecraft waves goodbye for its Grand Finale

SkippyBing
Silver badge

'"Cassini was born to die."

Aren't we all?'

Currently human mortality only stands at around 96-97% so fingers crossed...

3
0

Yet more British military drones crash, this time into the Irish Sea

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: droning on

'Depends on the target - is it easier to defend against 1 single £15M drone vs 100,000 x £150 drones coming at you at knee height with 1lb of unpleasantness underneath

It's an unarmed drone for over watch of ground forces, if you can make a £150 drone that can do that for 14+ hours crack on, but I don't think having 100,000 of them would be particularly useful.

2
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: droning on

'Totally agree there is much more complexity, but 15.9m quids worth that's my point?'

That £15M is the programme cost divided by the number of airframes, so it won't cost £15M for an air vehicle as the programme also includes, ground control stations, recovery equipment (arrestor wires and a radio aid from memory), communications systems (to the aircraft, to ATC, to the ground recovery point etc.), the aircraft payloads, the storage system, any specialist tooling to service the aircraft, ground stations etc., manuals, training courses, etc. etc.

1
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: All weather claims

'Given its low weight and high aspect ratio wings and tail surfaces, any claim of an all-weather capability, at least with regard to strong winds, is very dubious.'

All weather generally means able to fly in IMC and above the freezing level, all aircraft have a wind limit. A lot of the airframe mods Thales have made from the Hermes 450 were to do with making it able to fly in icing conditions*.

As for flying in limited visibility, it's a robot, it doesn't need visual conditions to fly and I think one of the payload options doesn't have any optical sensors. The operator tells it where to go, the aircraft decides how to get there, there's no direct control available even for landing. That's fine until you get near the ground where for some reason Thales thought a LASER altimeter would be a god idea...

* I'm not saying they work, I'm just saying that's what they said they were doing.

3
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

'There is Stonehenge I believe'

Yes, that's not the location remarkably free of things to crash into. That's the one in the middle of the South Atlantic.

4
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: droning on

'but is there really £15,999,550.00 worth of difference in capability per drone'

Does yours have a moving target imaging radar as one of the optional payloads? Or a multi-spectrum imaging system? I suspect a lot of the difference in cost, other than making the control unit squaddie proof, is the systems it's carrying rather than the airframe itself which is pretty basic.

2
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: This is good news...

Unlikely, they've got more they haven't used yet than have.

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: I presume

To give you an idea of the success of the recovery effort:-

'What's the difference between a Watchkeeper and a Lobster pot?'

'I don't know'

'Neither does the sonar'

22
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

What's shocking is the amount of money paid to Thales to take a Hermes 450 UAV, which isn't all-weather, and redesign it as the Watchkeeper, which isn't all-weather.

15
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Worth noting, 47RA don't operate them from Aberporth, that's where the manufacturer does its test flying.

On the rare occasions the Royal Artillery does actually fly them it's from Boscombe Down or Ascension Island. One being handy for Salisbury Plain training area, one being handy for being remarkably free of things you could damage by crashing into.

11
0

Drones aren't evil and won't trigger the Rise of the Machines: MoD

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Drones are not evil

In the same way vans are not evil, to make a point I didn't think would need making.

2
0

Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

SkippyBing
Silver badge

'Anyway, how would you get out of a doomed drone without being blended by the rotors?

Oh I meant a parachute for the whole thing, like the Cirrus SR20 light aircraft has. Actually that might make it useful for dropping stores out the back of a C-130, maybe they should just go for that line...

5
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Does it have some sort of parachute in case of a total electrical failure?

If you want to ask them a tricky question ask if the rotor blades can alter in pitch to allow it to make an auto-rotative landing.

If they answer no to both those questions. Then no.

8
0

Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: £1,149

'It was a presentation failure rather than a technology one.'

Now try and imagine that happening with Jobs at the helm.

2
0

Chirpy, chirpy, cheap, cheap: Printable IoT radios for 10 cents each

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Oh sh*t

'Do you try in vain to dam a river, or do you channel it?'

To be fair I think there's a whole engineering discipline devoted to successfully damming rivers, so I think that might not be the analogy you were looking for.

5
0

Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Bindun

Would that be the Welsh Guards who were told not to offload personnel and ammo on the same landing craft in a war zone?

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Innovative, effective and affordable solutions

Sea King Mk7, although to be fair they did ignore a lot of the procurement rules for that one...

2
0

Apple's 'shoddy' Beats headphones get slammed in lawsuit

SkippyBing
Silver badge

$200 for headphones for working out?!

Seriously, unless your idea of working out is walking on a treadmill for half an hour you can get some perfectly adequate ones on Amazon for around £20. Frankly the noise the blood makes pumping round my head sound quality is irrelevant so you might as well go for something that's effectively disposable so you're not worried the waterfall of sweat is going to short them out. What? Just me?

Now if you want something that provides a quality listening experience when you're not fighting the signs of ageing by making yourself hot and sweaty, don't buy Beats, do what John 104 said above.

16
0

Apple’s facial recognition: Well, it is more secure for the, er, sleeping user

SkippyBing
Silver badge

I believe they're worried about low sales in German speaking countries.

That or they've been reading XKCD's Thing Explainer which goes to great lengths to avoid the number 9 as it isn't one of the 1000 most used words in English. Unless I'm confusing cause and effect...

8
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Currently my phone is lying flat on my desk, I can unlock it without picking it up it with my finger or a pin and check the screen for notifications. How is a system that requires picking it up to be scanned by its camera(s) making my life easier?

Android phones have had face unlock for a while, I don't think it's concerns over the security that have prevented its widespread adoption, more the fact it's less convenient that any other method.

24
0

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: 6 Ways All phone manufacturers can make a better phone

'So the challenge is still out there: Make us a phone that is small, but powerful and sturdy, and thickness DOES NOT MATTER.'

Well it does, I mean otherwise you could end up with a 5" cube and that would be a right pain to get in your pockets.

3
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Bollocks.

Sounds like someone wasn't allowed a BMW...

3
2

F-35 firmware patches to be rolled out 'like iPhone updates'

SkippyBing
Silver badge

The planes flying over Korea are already forward based in Japan and have reached Initial Operating Capability, they were taking part in a show of force with F-15s and B-1s. It was literally doing operational tasking.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/news/amp28034/b-1-f-35-north-korea/

0
1
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Which does seem odd as the USMC have been flying theirs over South Korea recently, which is hardly the place you want to be taking a non-combat capable aircraft. Unless they're saying it's not reached FOC (Full Operational Capability) yet, which isn't quite the same as being non-combat capable.

4
1

Fruit flies' brains at work: Decision-making? They use their eyes

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Time flies like an arrow.

'It took me a few moments before I realised that the «flies» in «fruit flies» can be a noun as well a verb in this context.'

To be fair, fruit does fly like a banana.

9
0

Argentina eyes up laser death cannon testbed warship

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: @Voland's RH

'There are three commissioned RN nuclear hunter-killer submarines, with three more under construction in Barrow, and a seventh planned.'

I think you mean 3 Astute class hunter-killers in commission, there are still 3* Trafalgar class boats floating around. Okay not always floating, more sort of lurking.

*The RN website says four but they decommissioned 1 last week and I'm fairly sure the site isn't updated yet.

11
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

The Ponce would be far from the first former US warship acquired by Argentina.

As well as the USS Phoenix the Argentine invasion force also featured the submarine formerly known as the USS Catfish and the patrol vessel formerly known as the USS Salish. Both of which also suffered a degree of damage at the hands of the Royal Navy.

5
0

Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: I don't get it...

'But it seems irrelevant since this will help equally well or badly for both sides.'

The trick is for the the platform using the radar warning receiver to turn its own radar off and passively track the other one*. You could then just follow the bearing until you saw the other vessels, although obviously they'll get a return at some point.

*Yes this does break a few rules about using your navigation radar, again there's a risk/reward pay-off to consider.

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: I don't get it...

'"All things being equal you can detect a transmitted radar signal over twice as far away as the transmitting antenna will get a usable return."

It would therefore appear the military have wasted rather a lot of money on developing radar warning receivers.'

That's literally what the military ones do.

2
1
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: I don't get it...

'It is however a very sensible point. You should have made it earlier.'

It's exactly the same point. I just laboured it more.

3
1
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: I don't get it...

'"a straightforward radar receiver to detect another ship's emissions long before you're in radar return range." Please explain'

All things being equal you can detect a transmitted radar signal over twice as far away as the transmitting antenna will get a usable return. I mean you seem to know a lot about maritime electronics so I would have thought that was obvious...

9
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: I don't get it...

'Wrong. You don't know much about AIS do you? Or shipboard electrics'

I know most things have an on/off switch, even if you have to disconnect them from a supply bus to do it.

'So you think SOLAS etc. are for the obedience of fools?'

Yes, or do you think they should be ignoring it?

My point remains, if you're trying to sneak up on a whaling fleet at sea you may want to take a greater risk in order to achieve your aim. Turning off AIS increases your collision risk, marginally in the areas of ocean they're likely to be hunting whales, but greatly increases your ability to sneak up on them. So it's a question of what risk are you willing to take to achieve your aim, personally I would have thought it a risk worth taking, while looking for what other mitigations I could put in place, such as extra lookouts etc.

4
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: I don't get it...

'wrt AIS. Ships fitted with AIS must keep AIS in operation at all times, except where international agreements, rules or standards provide for the protection of navigational information. OK?'

It would be a shame if the circuit breaker popped and you didn't notice though right? Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men, which are Sea Shepard?

4
0

Nest cracks out cheaper spin of its thermostat

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Agree..

'are you going to be in a position to get your phone out and tell Nest to turn the heating on early?'

I don't need to, it does that automatically based on my location*. I mean if you're really worried about Nest tracking you you can turn that off but I'm not that paranoid. This is also how it knows to not pre-heat the house if I'm more than about 5 miles from home at the usual time so it probably saves about 30 minutes of pointless heating every time I'm late back.

*As far as I can tell it's using the lowest accuracy/power consumption location option which is all it needs to decide if I'm coming home or going straight to the cinema/friends/music lesson instead.

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Agree..

'Seriously, how big does your mansion have to be that, to avoid dying from hypothermia, you need to pre-heat your home from your phone 'cos you are going to be home an hour early?

I don't but if for some reason I'm home a few hours late nice it's handy not to have paid for the house to be warm with no one in it. Now if you live a predictable schedule there's no real advantage over getting the timer settings right, but if you're out different nights of the week on a random basis it's a definite money saver.

Also my old thermostat seemed to be a model where they hadn't learnt how to do battery connections properly, so it was big improvement over that.

3
0

Look, we know you're all hacking DJI drones. How 'bout a bug bounty?

SkippyBing
Silver badge

The problem you have there is you'd need a hardware patch for it to measure it's above ground height, i.e. a LASER or RADAR altimeter*. Or a lot of extra memory to get a decent digital terrain elevation model into its brains, and I'm not sure where they'd be able to source one that accurate from at a sensible cost.

*I seem to recall they don't have one but land by getting near where they took off from and then descending slowly enough they won't get damaged.

1
1

Airbus issues patch to prevent A350 airliner fuel tanks exploding

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Do you drive a car?

'Unless you think that cars are driven by zombies, you should only include the extra food consumed to fuel the transportation running/cycling.'

I believe that was taken into account but the delta should be quite large. A quick google shows 29 calories for a 15 minute drive, which is how long it takes me to drive the ~8 miles to my nearest place of work. Running that takes me about an hour, but on the conservative side that's 800 calories. Cycling would appear to be around 300 calories from another quick google. So you're looking at about a 10 times greater calorie burn cycling vs driving and 27 times for running.

The sources the programme used are here: http://www.trutv.com/shows/adam-ruins-everything/blog/adams-sources/adam-ruins-going-green.html

I suspect they're considering someone with a omnivore lifestyle as meat production consumes a lot of energy. Vegetarians can probably be smug about their food's energy consumption. But they don't get to eat bacon so their loss.

Just to be clear I'm not saying I buy the argument but I suspect it's more closely balanced than people may think.

3
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Do you drive a car?

'It also reduces the probably larger risk of killing/shortening lives by pumping out pollution.'

I have seen an alternative take on this, although I haven't had a chance to verify the numbers. Essentially fuel is a very efficient method of storing and transferring energy, whereas food isn't. Also food production and transportation takes a not insignificant amount of energy, which involves producing pollution. Consequently it is possible for a cyclist to be responsible for more pollution than a driver, it's just not in the immediate local area.

It was on one of a series of youtube videos called 'Adam Ruins X' which seem to have been at least moderately well researched, but as I say I haven't run the numbers myself so I'm not sure how valid the argument is, e.g. does it just apply when comparing a mad keen cyclist with someone who drives 1/4 mile work.

2
1
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: "The A350's hydraulic fluid cooling system is located inside its fuel tanks. "

On at least one occasion someone left a chair in a 747 fuel tank, so getting in the to fix things isn't usually a problem.

Most (all?) aircraft have an an unusable amount of fuel, the heat exchangers will be covered by that. Not forgetting they'll normally be landing with reserves for diversions etc. So it's rare to land with less than a few tons of heatsink.

3
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Brilliant!

'I wonder why there are not so many people to react to the fact that placing a "cooling system" in a gas tank is completely stupid...'

So completely stupid that most major airliners use exactly the same system and have done for decades. Not to mention using the fuel to cool the engine oil.

Some Russian fighters even use fuel as the hydraulic fluid to actuate the engine nozzle, although that's not strictly relevant to airliners.

13
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Welcome aboard..

'No. Many airlines override this manually. All it takes is an airbus engineer to sign it off.'

I'm not sure I follow you, I don't think anyone can over ride the MMEL, an airline might decide to over ride it's own MEL as that's more restrictive than the MMEL.

5
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: I Am Not An Aeronautical Engineer

Wasn't there a problem a few years ago which was thought to be due to ice crystals forming in the fuel?

That was the BA 777 that 'landed*' just short of the runway at Heathrow, I think the issue was the crystals forming/collecting at the point where fuel left the tank for the engine while they were essentially at idle during the descent to land. They'd taken a long route over Siberia through an exceptionally cold layer of air which led to the fuel being cooled beyond the assumptions made in designing the system, as I understand it.

*It was undoubtedly a much better landing than I would have achieved in the circumstances.

15
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: I Am Not An Aeronautical Engineer

It also helps prevent icing in the fuel, although I think that's mainly the job of the fuel/oil heat exchanger.

10
0

Oldest flying 747 finally grounded, 47 years after first flight

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Poor Design

'It's hard to blame them for making such a poorly designed aircraft, it was only the 1970s.'

There is a certain element of poor design in the 747, the forward section, with the hump, is an oval cross section. You'd probably noticed. Every time it gets pressurised it's basically trying to become circular which must have required quite a bit of excess weight to get the fatigue life out of them that they've managed.

I'm not sure how the A380 compares, although Singapore Airlines are retiring the first one they got 10 years ago to be and returning it to the leasing company.

1
0

US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

'Colreg 72 is specifically aimed at high-sea vessels, I think we can agree on that, it's explicitely stated.'

Rule 1:

(a) These rules shall apply to all vessels upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels.

So they apply all over the place, e.g. the Thames in the middle of London, unless the local authority has made special rules, which should conform as closely as possible with the Rules of the Road.

Meanwhile, Rule 3

(b) The term "power-driven vessel" means any vessel propelled by machinery.

I don't think you can argue oars are machinery, in fact my copy of 'The Seaman's Guide to the Rule of the Road'* which the Navy optimistically issued in the hope I'd learn from it, states on p6&7 that an outboard motor dinghy being rowed along, because its motor has broken down, is not a power-driven vessel because it is not being propelled by machinery. To add confusion the rules on lighting have a section that applies to 'Lights for sailing and rowing vessels'. But at no point do the rules state, or the lessons amplify, what priority a rowing boat has.

You might be able to claim not under command, the definition is:

'The term "vessel not under command" means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to manoeuvre as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.'

But then a pilot gig or whatever those things Oxford and Cambridge race should happily be able to manoeuvre as required.

*Morgans Technical Books Ltd 6th Edition, 1st Impression 1995.

2
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: weight and manuverablity

'Wife thinks with 2 accidents, it was some diddling with gps signals that gave bad info on purpose.'

I'm guessing she's never driven a ship.

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

'posited the possibility that the navigational systems of the civilian craft involved had been hacked'

But then CNN have reported that there was a steering gear failure on the McCain, which sounds more likely. It does raise questions about the crew's preparedness for such an event and how recently they'd practised the drills for going to reversionary mode.

1
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017