They could always draft some old ham radio operators. Quite a few of us still know Morse Code.
Then, again, would you really want a bunch of grumpy old men (and women) sailing around on boats with nuclear weapons on board?
318 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009
They could always draft some old ham radio operators. Quite a few of us still know Morse Code.
Then, again, would you really want a bunch of grumpy old men (and women) sailing around on boats with nuclear weapons on board?
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned hitting a frozen chicken. Oh, wait, wrong kind of vehicle. ;-)
The problem with American deer is that they dream of being actors/actresses. And, they frequently mistake headlights for spotlights. So, when they see those beams approaching them on the road, they absolutely must stop and do their rendition of a tap-dance. I think it goes two steps to the right, a hop to the left, and then spin around. Of course, by that time, there's usually an almighty PLOP, and a US$3000 bill for the owner of the car. :-(
I had a buddy who encountered one of these tap-dancing deer at speed late one night. Luckily, his wife had moved from the passenger seat to the back seat, because, when the PLOP occurred, there was also a mighty shattering of glass, and he looked over to see the bloody remains of the deer smeared all over his passenger seat. It seems that they're just about the right height to fly over the hood (bonnet), smash into the windshield (windscreen), and are heavy enough to penetrate it.
Now y'all know why most of the rednecks have pickup trucks with huge bush-bars on the front. ;-)
Dave (who happens to own a pickup truck...
And, what makes you think that SB would have sold them an exclusive copy of the purloined tools? Maybe they'd sell them a copy, and then, next month, they'd sell the Russians a copy, and the Chinese a copy, and the Norks a copy, and....
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the non-exclusive copy of the SB tools in the pocket.
Most companies track items via serial numbers (I know, because it's the time of the year when I have to do the annual equipment audit, which means I have to go around checking all of my equipment, and verifying that the serial numbers match what's in the database. Can you say "Mostly a waste of time"?). So, anyone who even had half a clue (or even a quarter of a clue) should have known that turning in a laptop with a different serial number would, eventually, ring all sorts of alarm bells. :-(
P.S. Is it Beer-o-clock yet?
Sadly, over here, they often put I/T departments in the basement. It does make it a bit more challenging to push the boss out the window, but, where there's a will... ;-)
Darn, y'all beat me to the catapult takeoff idea. Oh, well, great minds think alike, and all that.
As for the 3-4 gs, I've personally experienced a sustained 3.5Gs (courtesy of a NASA centrifuge), and, while not what I'd call comfortable, it wasn't exactly painful (It did make me want to toss my cookies when I turned my head, although I was able to suppress the urge, just barely.). Still, that was back while I was still rather young and in good physical shape. I'm not sure an octogenarian, or someone with heart problems, would fare nearly as well.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the "Astronaut Training Guide" in the pocket.
Down south of the border, someone would claim that it was the Russians.
I remember attending a talk that Cole Palen (RIP), of Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome fame, gave 30 years ago, or so. He stated that one of the reasons that the Fokker Dr.1 was so successful was that it was aerodynamically unstable. It required constant input from the pilot to keep it flying straight and level. Absent that continuous input, it would tend to spiral out of control. But, as a result, it was also very adept at turning quickly, much more so than some of the Allied fighters of the time.
Also, as of that time, there had been several reproductions of Fokker Dr.1s built, but all of them had lengthened the fuselage, in order to increase aerodynamic stability. From the article, it appears that this reproduction may be original with respect to the length. If that's the case, then I wish the pilot well.
Plus, the Germans had mastered the art of the interrupter for the machine guns, so that they could fire through the propeller arc, without shredding the propeller. That allowed the guns to be mounted so that the pilot could sight down them directly, rather than having them offset, as the Allies were required to do.
As for the Lycoming four cylinder engine, that's quite a deviation from the original design, which used an Oberursel Ur.II 9 cylinder rotary engine. The rotary engines contributed, somewhat, to the handling problems of the original planes, since the heavy mass of the engine, spinning as it did, created a rather tremendous gyroscopic effect. As such, planes with rotary engines tended to turn and dive in one direction much better than the other direction, and exceptional pilots tended to recognize this, and make predictions on which way an opposing pilot would turn while in a dog-fight.
Of course, rotary engines presented a BUNCH of rather serious problems. One was that they were two stroke engines, with the oil being mixed in with the gasoline. The throttle was typically set in a fixed position, and power was controlled by controlling how many cylinders fired on each revolution of the engine. In order to avoid fouling the spark-plugs, Castor Oil was frequently used. Unfortunately, the exhaust stream of these engines tended to direct a lot of the exhaust gases, which contained a fair amount of the unburned Castor Oil, back into the pilot's face. Consuming Castor Oil has a certain effect on the human digestive system. Not all emergency landings were due to mechanical problems with the plane!
Even with the lubrication system, the lifetime of a typical rotary engine was approximately 25 hours between rebuilds. OUCH!
Maybe that Lycoming 4 cylinder engine isn't such a bad idea.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the roll of toilet tissue in the pocket.
<sigh> This makes me feel old...
There was a version of a pong circuit which was published in, I think, Popular Electronics magazine a little over 40 years ago (I seem to remember a rather dark cover with a green image.). I remember saving up my lunch money to buy a copy. I never built the device, but it was interesting to study the schematic.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the punched cards in the pocket.
Ah, you forgot about the 2.88MB floppy disks.
I happen to have an IBM PS/2-model 9595 sitting here under the desk with one of those drives in it. ;-)
Ah, yes, the model 9595; those had that little 8 character LED "Information Panel" display on the front of the case. It only took a tiny bit of programming to write an OS/2 device driver to turn that into a time-of-day clock. For years, that was the only thing that I ran on that 9595 (I called it my "600 Watt clock".).
Hmm, why was there suddenly a price spike for old IBM PS/2-model 9595 machines? ;-)
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the copy of Warp in it.
I may (or may not; you'll have to decide) have some knowledge of secure buildings/systems.
Some installations do not allow outside repair personnel into restricted areas. Any failing equipment must be removed from the restricted area, which usually requires "sanitizing" the equipment. Any equipment reinstalled in the restricted area must be examined and approved for information leakage purposes. This gets around the issue of the "copier repair" person having access to the restricted area, or from removing the hard disk from the copier that contains copies of all of the images ever scanned (Look it up if you don't believe me!).
As for the scanner, remember that most Silicon photosensors are highly sensitive to infrared, well, unless a rather expensive infrared filter has been installed on them. So, just mount an infrared laser on the drone and have it sit 250 feet away from the building and pump out infrared all day (Or, mount the laser on a fixed item, such as another building, or a television/cell-phone tower, or...). Yeah, the window will absorb/reflect some of the infrared, but probably not too much for near infrared. How many high security installations regularly do an infrared scan of their buildings? (Darn. Just gave away a new job opportunity!).
If y'all want to do some research in the library, go look up how early black epoxy encapsulated transistors were sensitive to infrared light, so much so that removing the cover from a piece of equipment, and holding a light over it would dramatically change the bias conditions on the circuits being examined. The problem, as it turned out, was that that "black" epoxy was only black for optical wavelengths of light; For infrared light, it was almost completely transparent. That's been fixed now. Mostly.
That still leaves LEDs exposed, and LEDs can make great photosensors, at least if the circuit that they're wired into makes for reading from the port pin that the LED is connected to (And, when is the last time any of you examined the circuit connections for the machine you're using, with LEDs on it? Heck, when they're connected to an IC, can you even guess whether that pin on an IC is an output, an input, or some programmable combination of I/O?).
Of course, rather than going to all of the trouble to fit a laser on a drone, it'd probably be easier to just drop a pr*n magazine outside the building, with the commands/data encoded steganographically in some of the images. (Darn! I'm giving away all of my good ideas today.).
As for getting hired in as a janitor, the other option is to get hired in as a security guard. Not too long after the introduction of the PC, one of the security guards at the place I worked at was caught loading up the trunk of his car with the company's PCs. Whoopsie.
Then, again, it's sometimes easier just to call the network administrator and tell them that you forgot your password. :-(
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the punched card deck in the pocket that's labeled "Top Secret".
Oh, sort of like the messages, intended for the French Underground/Resistance, transmitted in the clear by the BBC, just prior to the D-Day landings, during World War II?
Everything old is new again?
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with a pocket full of message slips, with phrases such as "John has a brown cow.", "Becky has a large garden."
Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill, 728,000 game cartridges:
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the "Missile Command" cartridge in the pocket.
Well, the obvious problem is that people are using the wrong encryption algorithm. What needs to happen is that everyone needs to start using ROT13 to encrypt their data. Then, there will be perfect security, yet the government will be able to break it when needed. For really secure data, people can even resort to doubly encrypting their data with ROT13.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the Jefferson Disks in the pocket.
I have to wonder how many police officers, firemen, ambulance crewmen, etc., would fall victim to this rule?
Locally, there was a report of a bar fight which was telephoned into the local police agency. A police officer responded, in his patrol car, and slid it to a stop outside the bar (lights going and all that). He ran into the bar, which was dead quiet, and asked the bored bartender where the fight was. Turns out that there was no fight. But, when the police officer left the bar, he found that his patrol car was gone! Whoopsie!
P.S. They found it parked on the side of a major road, about 8 miles away, with the lights still going, but with it out of gasoline. I don't think they ever did catch the person who stole it.
What elephant? Oh, so you're seeing imaginary elephants in the dining room? What colour are they? Pink, perhaps? Exactly what have you been drinking, or what kind of drugs have you been taking? Should you really be coming to work after you've consumed those items? ;-)
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the pocket full of peanuts.
It would be interesting to know if they determined the orbital speed of the craft by using the doppler shift of the returned signal. Of course, to do that, they'd have to factor in the ground motion of the transmitting and receiving stations, as well as the motion of the Moon (libration and other).
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the radar detector in the pocket.
Sounds sort of like a Morin Transition, only using laser radiation rather than thermal radiation (phonons) to excite the system.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the pocket full of Hematite.
While she reportedly did have a security clearance, most classified information is shared on a "Need to know" basis, and it was presumed that she did not have a need to know about that particular bit of classified information.
P.S. On the other hand, even the internal telephone book tends to be classified in most places.
I think that's one of those British versus American things:
> It could be used for another cryptocurrency
But, wouldn't the next cryptocurrency be based on SHA-512, or SHA-3? That would make all of those SHA-256 ASICs even more obsolete.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the pockets full of corned beef HASH.
Yum! Need I say more?
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the vibrating pocket.
Not too many years ago, I was sitting in my office, in the tallest building in the city I worked in. My desk faced the wall-sized window. As I had my head down, looking at some documents, I became aware of a strange droning sound. It wasn't very loud, but it was gaining in intensity, and was definitely unusual, especially given that it seemed to increase and decrease in amplitude rhythmically. I looked through the window at the street outside, and didn't see anything unusual. Then, I looked up into the air, and spotted a B-17 making a simulated bomb run on the building! It was coming over at about 2000 feet elevation, with the bomb-bay doors open, heading straight over the building.
That was one of those situations where your brain simply freezes up. What is one supposed to do when one is confronted with a situation that can't reasonably be expected to ever happen? Who would ever plan on being in the path of a bomb run by an airplane that's been obsolete for 50+ years?
And, when you screw those calculations up, you end up with things like the "Gimli Glider":
"(*) these Apprentice errors are so predictable and repeatable that I'm constantly amazed that contestants don't make wure they've watched all the previous series first so they can start each task with a quick run through what went wrong before"
Which is one of the reasons philosopher George Santayana is so famous: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
Can't say that I've ever inhaled Sulfur Hexafluoride gas, but I have had it injected into my eyeball.
When I was growing up, we had the phone extension of 3825. We couldn't figure out why we kept getting so many obscene phone calls late at night, at least, that is, until a nice young lady called up one afternoon, and told my mom, when she answered the phone, "Did you know your phone number spells F**K?". We had a new extension the next morning.
If you're going for maneuverability, why not go with a Fokker Dr.I?
P.S. There are no originals left, mainly because they're so unstable that they tend to fall out of the sky if the pilot loses attention for a moment. But, that makes them exciting and challenging to fly, as well as great for dog-fighting.
P.P.S. I'm fortunate to have seen the airshow at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, back when Cole Palen was still alive and flying some of the planes there:
P.P.P.S I'll get my coat. It's the one with the neck-scarf attached.
See what y'all think of this:
Got this from a friend who got it from a state police organization. There are people looking into this, but probably at too low of a level to do any good.
The appropriate response is: "Yes, but in quantities that fall into the exempt category for reporting."
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the bottle of Atropine in it.
P.P.S. And, lest any of you think I'm jesting, I really do have a bottle of Atropine in my coat pocket!
Well, I only have one ID on that list. And, for that one ID that I have, most of the data associated with it is false anyway. Why would anyone enter their real data on a site like that in the first place?
Bad data rulz! ;-)
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the fake IDs in the pocket.
Hey, that sounds like a good project name!
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the project specification, with more red ink than black ink, in the pocket.
I've done it, decades ago, back in engineering school, on devices in the single digit KW class, using techniques mostly out of the 1930s. The concept is rather simple. You adjust the speed of the machine to be the same as the power line. Then, you adjust the voltage of the machine to exactly match the power line (where exactly can be in the milliVolt range, despite a multi-hundred or multi-thousand volt output from the machine). Then, you adjust the phase of the machine so that it exactly matches the power line. And, at just the right moment (because those conditions of matched frequency, phase, and voltage only exist for an infinitesimally small period of time!), you close the main breaker. If you got everything exactly right, and were lucky, the machine locks to the power line, and all is well. If you were unlucky, the breakers pop, possibly explosively. If you were really unlucky, and the breakers fuse, large multi-ton rapidly spinning machines explosively disassemble themselves. You don't want to be in the same building when that happens.
Now, there are automated, computerized devices that assist in synchronizing generators (well, actually, alternators). Those tend to make the process MUCH easier and simpler, when they work. When there's a bit of noise on the line, or harmonic distortion, if can cause things to mismatch, which produces a fail-to-lock scenario, at least until some frustrated low-level person is forced to push the manual override under pressure from upper management to get the thing back on line. In that case, see the previous paragraph about explosive disassembly.
We won't even get into power factor effects, line delays, and harmonic distortion causing difficulties.
The amazing thing isn't that it's so hard to synchronize alternators; the amazing part is that it's possible at all!
It's old technology (1899, 1907, 1950):
P.S. Now, if we could just get beer to flow along the surface of power lines...
Oh, I don't know about that. The few times that I've pushed a (l)user out of our faux window, which is painted onto the reinforced concrete wall of the basement, it has been quite effective. It does mean that I have to push a little harder, though.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the (saturated) Radon detector in the pocket.
My story is almost the reverse. I supervised the moving of a 150 person team into a new building. As the only company employee on site at the time, which was over a holiday weekend, I was responsible for the security of the equipment and data being moved into the building. I had a team of about a dozen professional movers working on the actual moving of the equipment (desks, file cabinets, servers, workstations, etc.). They finished about midnight on the holiday. As I was about to exit the building, I noticed that the security/maintenance team had never installed the cores in the locks on the doors. So, here we had just moved about US$1.5M worth of computer equipment into an unlocked/unlockable building. But, all I could do was drop by the security office and give them an earful about the missing lock cores. I wasn't about to sleep through the rest of the holiday weekend in that building.
Lawnmower Man can affect computer systems almost as devastatingly as Vacuum Cleaner Woman (especially when she unplugs the server so that she can plug her vacuum cleaner in). ;-)
And, I was pulling for John McAfee, but he lost in the primary election. :-(
Be careful out there, guys and gals. We lost one of our paramedics not too long ago in a tragic traffic accident. The dangers of being on a bicycle must multiply that significantly.
I'm glad I'm still running Windows XP. It does everything that I need, without all the annoying feetchures of the more modern Windows.
You subtitle is wrong:
"Scientists hope Big Smoke inhabitants will plant aphid-friendly flowers"
Aphids are obnoxious little creatures that suck a plant's juices, often killing the plant. They're also referred to as plant lice.
Perhaps you means "api-friendly"?
Rocket engines are nontrivial. Not only do you have white hot pieces of metal trying to contain a high pressure burning fuel, but you also have to ensure that the oxidizer doesn't impact the walls, else it will cause a burn-through. And, that has to be done at any throttle setting. Oh, and you have to make sure that the thing doesn't begin to oscillate in any matter (Think of a whistle.).
Starting a rocket engine is nontrivial, too, since you really need to inject the fuel and oxidizer such that there isn't an explosive mixture present at any time before ignition, else the pressure wave will shatter the thing. Restarting one, especially in space, is even trickier, given that the fuel (and oxidizer) isn't always positioned correctly in the tanks (Consider ullage rockets.). And, restarting multiple rockets engines in space is even trickier, since, if one ignites first, the thrust imbalance may cause a spin or destructive torque on the vehicle.
Thus, I'm amazed that he's had the successes that he has had, and has even come close.
As a friend of mine, who wrote most of the FCS (Flight Control Software) for the Space Shuttles, once said "It is rocket science!".
P.S. My friend also compared the flight characteristics of the Space Shuttles to a number of uncomplimentary items, such as "A Buick with the doors open", "A garbage truck", or, most commonly, "A flying brick". ;-)
The real secret to preventing people from borrowing your pen is to use a fountain pen. Very few people even know how to use one, and, fortunately, almost all of them know better than to even try (You can tell the very few who do try by the large permanent ink stains on their fingers, clothes, face, etc.).
P.S. And, yes, I actually do have an inkwell sitting in my cubical. 99+ percent of the people don't know what it even is. ;-)
P.P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the large ink stain on the pocket.
I haven't thought about scratch monkeys in years. I actually snorted when I saw that. Well done, sir, well done.
My deepest condolences from the left side of the pond. He was well respected over here on this side of the planet, too.
Has anyone thought to check with Edward Snowden to see if he has copies?
It's called a "Cascading Failure", and we have had experience with it in North America. All it took was for one tiny little tree branch to contact one phase of a electric transmission line, and a very large portion of the northeastern US and eastern Canada went dark, in some areas for up to two weeks. That one transmission line that experienced the fault went off-line. Incorrect network management software didn't spot that failure, and adjacent transmission lines were overloaded while taking on the load of that first transmission line, which caused them to go off-line. As more and more transmission lines overloaded and tripped off-line, power plants started seeing over/under-load conditions, and would go off-line, including a couple of nuclear plants that had the reactors scrammed. Restarting those was a fairly intensive process. And, all because of one tiny little tree branch.
Mainframes have been water cooled for quite a few decades. I can remember, from back in the 1980s, one of the mainframes had a plumbing elbow fracture (probably due to vibration or temperature cycling causing metal fatigue of the Copper joint). The first indication of a problem was when the people working on the floor below called up to ask why there was water dripping through the ceiling. Uhoh! The next indication of a problem was a CPU over-temperature alarm, and a subsequent automatic shutdown of the machine. The service tech showed up a few minutes later, and replaced the plumbing elbow. Everyone was really dreading the need to replace the CPU, which, at that time, was going for about US$50K! Fortunately, when the machine was powered back up, it started working normally, and did so for quite a few more years until it was finally retired.
Part of the trick is that you install the CPU, motherboard, and chiller such than any condensation/leakage/etc., drips down away from the electronics, not on to them (e.g., install the stuff "upsidedown"). Next, put a drip tray under the motherboard, with an appropriate drain in it to drain any drips out of the system and into a drain.
For those cases where you absolutely cannot use water, the alternative is Fluorinert. However, make very sure that you're sitting down before you see the price.
Oh, yeah, you can breathe the stuff, too. ;-)
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