* Posts by Mike Flugennock

2068 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

4G found on Moon

Mike Flugennock

I'm actually fascinated by the idea. No, seriously.

I'm having as much as anybody here enjoying a laff about mobile quality on Earth vs the Moon, but I've been reading up a bit lately on issues like communication infrastructure for lunar and Martian expeditions and thinking all hype aside, this'd be really cool if it worked.

I'm even more fascinated by the idea of their visiting and imaging the Apollo 17 site in HD. I'm really curious to see what kind of "weathering" there is on the artifacts left behind -- the descent stages, the PLSS's, the ALSEP components, the LRVs.

Mike Flugennock

Re: No risk of interference from Earth

I'm also curious about how it'll be affected by the horizon dropping off so much sooner.

Mike Flugennock

Re: And if there are any problems just call our hotline

Actually, the Moon is roughly a quarter-million miles distant; 240k miles or so.

If I recall from watching the teleoperated video from the LRVs on Apollos 15-17, the one-way signal time is something like 2 seconds -- enough that there's a discernible delay, but not so much that you can't have a normal radio conversation. Still, working the remote-controlled cam on the LRV required the operator to kind of guess ahead by about 2 or 3 seconds.

When transmitting the live video of the Apollo 15-17 LMs lifting off from the Moon, the LRV cam console op in Mission Control would hit "tilt up" at about T-3 seconds, so that the camera at the site got the "tilt up" command just at T-0 and followed the ascent stage up.

Web searching died the day they invented SEO

Mike Flugennock

re: YouTube searches with quotes...?

Hmm, that's news to me.

I've always had really good luck with something like

stones "gimme shelter" domain youtube.com

...where the band name and "song title" can vary to taste.

So, Nokia. What makes you think the world wants your phones?

Mike Flugennock

"The older generations like to feel like millennials at heart..."

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, man.

I turned sixty this year, and I'm perfectly happy with the generation I grew up in.

JEEzus, somebody smack that guy.

At last! Vivaldi lets you kill looping GIFs

Mike Flugennock

And also, as I recall...

...Firefox and SeaMonkey (I use both) also have options for the number of times -- down to zero -- looping GIFs are allowed to run.

Also, the Flash-blocking extensions for SeaMonkey and Firefox pretty much take care of the auto-playing media issue for me.

Mike Flugennock

I tried Vivaldi once...

...but its lack of ad/Flash/JavaScript blockers made it a non-starter for me.

Sailor Moon? More like sail to the Moon: Japan vows to set foot on lunar soil by 2030

Mike Flugennock

Just ONE astronaut?

Am I reading this right? Does JAXA intend to send just one astronaut to land on the Moon, do EVA/sampling/photography etc.? No crewmates to tend a mothershp in lunar orbit (will it be EOR/LOR or direct-ascent?), and serve as copilot for the lander? Or, does JAXA plan on a one-man lunar orbit/flyby mission as a kind of "technology demonstrator"? This article doesn't mention that.

Towards the end of the Mercury program, if I remember right, plans for a one-man lunar flyby based on a modified capsule were kicked around and quickly dropped. At least Gemini could carry two and, in the context of the heavily-studied Lunar Gemini proposals, one man could tend the Gemini in lunar orbit while his crewmate flew a bare-bones lander down to the surface. Also, the USSR's original plans for Soyuz lunar missions called for a crew of two working in a similar fashion as the proposed Lunar Gemini missions.

Just one guy, though? I don't think they've really thought this through enough.

Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

Mike Flugennock

Y'know, this is real sweet n'all, but...

...but let's face it, gang. Supersonic airliners are so 1970s.

Screw that crap; I wanna go suborbital, man.

NYC to London in, like, 20 minutes. YEAH.

Mike Flugennock

Oh, yeah, it WAS gorgeous, wasn't it?

See my comment above on Concorde takeoffs from IAD over our neighborhood.

You literally couldn't talk to someone next to you when one of them was taking off from IAD, but yeah, man, they really looked sweet, didn't they?

Mike Flugennock

Re: Engines

As a teenager in the '70s, I lived in western Fairfax County, Virginia, less than 15 minutes' drive from Dulles International, where the British Airways (then BOAC) and Air France flew their Concorde service in our area. Depending on the outbound flight path, the accelerating Concorde -- though subsonic -- was louder than pretty much anything else flying in and out of Dulles back then, even the L1011's.

If takeoffs were routed westward, over what was then entirely farmland west of the airport, it wasn't that bad, but eastward-routed takeoffs heading pretty much straight over US Rte 50 had a high-midrange kind of shriek, almost like the sound of somebody ripping cloth, only much louder, right in that most annoying range of hearing.

Oddly enough, 747's were among the quietest planes to fly over our neighborhood, either approaching or taking off.

Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Mike Flugennock

Re: Not optimal ...

Very good point. As I recall, while not doing surface EVA, Apollo crewmen spent a large amount of time cleaning their suits -- especially the hose connectors and sealing rings at the arms, legs, and neck. That friggin' dirt got everywhere. Check out some of the EVA fotos from Apollo 15-17, especially; those guys were filthy from about the waist down after the second day.

Mike Flugennock

Stop me if I'm wrong...

...but aren't there at least a dozen NASA studies from the 1970s - 1990s which at least partially suggest what Musk is suggesting here? In situ propellant/resource utilization and creation, tanking in orbit, ferry ships in "cycling" orbits, etc etc?

I could be wrong.

Try to sell stuff through Facebook Marketplace and get locked out for 72 hours – nice one, Zuck

Mike Flugennock

Picture? They want a PICTURE?

Cripes, man, now I'm even more glad I ditched Facebook three or four years ago.

Mike Flugennock

Re: competition

Competitor against Craigslist?

M'eh, that ain't sayin' much.

Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

Mike Flugennock

Re: Scroungers

I did most of my growing up in the late '60s and '70s -- turned 60 last month -- so I tend to think the '80s were debatable as the "best"... though they did give us The Police, REM, UB40, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, The English Beat, and The Smiths.

So, if not the best, still damn' good, I guess. But, then, I'm officially Old now.

Inasmuch as the '90s gave us Nirvana, Green Day and Smashing Pumpkins, still -- yeah, pop started going to hell on a rocket sled after the '80s.

Mike Flugennock

Re: "watching licensed live TV in a pub or a friend’s house is an ethical alternative."

So, basically, the way my Dad and his pals used to watch ballgames or fights on TV back when Dad was just a young dude, in the late '40s and early '50s when TV sets were still a bit expensive for your average family -- get together and watch it on the TV at a local bar'n'grill.

Mediaeval Yorkshirefolk mutilated, burned t'dead to prevent reanimation

Mike Flugennock

BRING OUT YOUR etc. etc...

Sorry, couldn't help it.

Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

Mike Flugennock

You forgot something...

That said, this is very far from cutting-edge technology and it suffers many of the same issues that have stymied growth in the smart home market. Most significantly: a lack of interoperability and the need for a gateway...

...and the near total lack of fucks given by all the folks out here who are being constantly pestered to buy IoT tomfoolery.

Profitless Twitter starts rumour of paid-for Tweetdeck option

Mike Flugennock

Sad thing about TweetDeck these days...

The sad thing about TweetDeck these days is that a cup of lukewarm vomit would actually taste BETTER.

TweetDeck's such a mess now -- busted prefs pane layouts, glacial image-upload times, those pop-up tool tip squares that won't go away -- that the Twitter native Website interface is actually working better for me right now.

Plus, the Twitter Web site will let me blacklist "eggs" with one click.

Mike Flugennock

Re: Couldn't it simply ask money from Trump for every tweet?

...yeah, and Twitter would end up polluted with worthless, self-indulgent dross from politicians and show-biz dipshits.

Mars One puts 100 Red Planet corpses colonists through fresh tests

Mike Flugennock

Cripes, are they still going ahead with this?

Jeezus, I thought these clowns had been laughed out of the place long ago.

Why does an Android keyboard need to see your camera and log files – and why does it phone home to China?

Mike Flugennock

Why have 50 million people downloaded it?

Uhhmm... because you can't fix stupid?

Post-Safe Harbor: Adobe fined for shipping personal info to the US 'without any legal basis'

Mike Flugennock

Meanwhile, however...

...the developers of Adobe Flash remain unscathed.

Mars' poles shrink during ice ages, boffins say

Mike Flugennock


Nice one, but I think you meant to comment on the article about the inflatable ISS module becoming swollen and engorged.

Mike Flugennock

Ah, HA. So, they were RIGHT...

The GOP leadership is already claiming this as evidence that global warming is a hoax.

ISS 'nauts to face Mark Zuckerberg grilling

Mike Flugennock

Oh, jeezus. What did they ever do to deserve this?

How much do you want to bet that the current ISS crew won't want to return to Earth after this?

Vostochny cosmodrome caught on Soyuz rocketcam

Mike Flugennock


Yeah, that's right, now that you mention it... they did have the film cameras in the sealed boxes mounted at the bases and tops of the stages to shoot the staging. That Apollo 6 staging footage with the falling interstage catching fire from the S-II blast is something I can watch over and over. They had those cams mounted inside the stages, just behind the engine nozzles, but they didn't have any outboard back-facing cams that I know of.

Btw, in most documentaries, that shot of the S-IVB pulling away from the S-II is usually cut way early; in the documentary For All Mankind, they use much more of that shot, showing the view from the S-II as it starts tumbling and falling. The effective POV is of someone hanging on for dear life to the inside of the engine fairing; it's really crazy-looking.

Mike Flugennock


Man, I'm a fool for footage like this. It really looks like you're riding that damn' thing.

Too bad they didn't have camera tech like this back in the Saturn V days.

...and yeah -- I don't know the exact reason, but that's probably the kind of "roll program" I've seen on nearly every launch going back to at least Gemini. The Shuttle did one to "heads down" attitude to take the stress off of the orbiter/main tank mounts, but I'm not real clear about the roll program on "traditional" boosters.

Saturn V also did a very slight yaw manuver off the pad to eliminate the possibility of the booster accidentally striking a tower swing-arm on the way up. It looks like an optical illusion in the fotos, but that monster really is leaning off the pad just a slight little bit.

Microsoft rethinks the Windows application platform one more time

Mike Flugennock

Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

If I go to acme corp and download the acme corp widget tool, then I know who I'm getting the code from. I;'ll rely on reputation and AV/AM tools that I choose to decide if they look safe...

Oh, for god's sake, NO! What are you, nuts or something?

Don't you know AcmeCorp were taken over by a coyote last year?

Who'd be mad enough to start a 'large-scale fire' in a spaceship?

Mike Flugennock

Re: I hope

It will not be anywhere as bad as people think it will be.

A fire in zero G may not even burn unless you set it up in an oxygen enriched atmosphere or support it with electric heating...

Y'mean, more or less like Apollo 1?

OK, that was on the ground, but, still... many historians mention that the Apollo 1 fire -- ironically, sadly -- bought time for Apollo Block II development and improvements in fire-safe cabin materials and atmosphere.

I still don't like to think what it would've been like had the infamous "plugs-out test" gone as planned, and Apollo 1 had launched, and that goddamn' fire happened in orbit.

$3bn for an IT services outfit? Bloody Dell!

Mike Flugennock

He didn't pay $3bn for that damn' JACKET, THAT'S for sure

Seriously, man, where'd he find that goddamn' jacket? Did he tear it off Sammy Davis Jr or something? Does his mama still pick out his clothes for him? DId he get dressed in the dark? OUT, MY EYES.

Space fans eye launch of Lego Saturn V

Mike Flugennock

Re: Shuttle

*Pedantry welcome over the actual name of the flying brick.

You're close. The nickname I recall seeing/hearing was "flying brickyard".

Lego could probably just get the specs on all the heat shielding tile shapes and reproduce them as Lego blocks.

You'd need a whole lot of nasty-shaped Lego bricks to replicate the black heat-shielded areas, though.

Mike Flugennock

Re: You want real models?

Wow, what an awesome page! Not into paper modeling myself, but man, there's some gorgeous stuff there -- and an impressive range of models available as well.

I like that they've included a good selection of Soviet/Russian craft and launch vehicles as well.

Still... no N-1 model? It'd be really cool to have an N-1 to the same scale to stand up next to your Saturn V.

Mike Flugennock

Re: Count me in!

Wow, you actually had to nag your parents to let you stay up and watch the first visit to another world by humans?

My mom and dad rushed to my room and woke me up so I could watch it.

Mike Flugennock

Re: Specialised Lego?

Yeah, I knew Lego was jumping the shark when they started issuing specialized kits for specific projects.

Granted, I was only 6 or 7 at the time, but looking back it always seemed more fun to figure out on my own how to build a spaceship with just the big box of standard Lego bricks that I had.

Mike Flugennock

Re: I'd have that

I first got into the Airfix kits as a young teenager around '69 or '70, while our family was stationed in Germany.

The Airfix kits were way cooler than even the best Revell kits I built back in the States at the time. Airfix had models out of planes I could never get kits for in the States, lots of really sweet models of early MiG and Dassault fighters. I had a really nice Airfix MiG-15 hanging from my ceiling along with my Mirage and my F-100 and my X-15.

Mike Flugennock

What, no VAB or Crawler Transporter kits?

This sounds really cool, but are they not releasing an accompanying VAB Crawler Transporter kit with it? Jeez, c'mon, you guys.

I had the Revell 1/72 scale kit back in '69, when I was about 12. It stood about three feet high and dominated the "model space" in my bedroom at the time, along with my separate larger-scale models of the Apollo CSM/LM stack, and Gemini.

Touchnote breach: Wrote a postcard with us? Thieves have your pal's name, address

Mike Flugennock

Oh, yeah, Radio Shack pulled that crap some years ago

Sounds like Radio Shack when started pulling that crap here in the States about eight, ten years ago. Pretty goddamn' outrageous, considering they could've gotten my zip code if I were paying by credit card. I don't know if they still do that anymore, as I stopped shopping there after they started doing it.

Verisign, .xyz and the ABCs of a cutthroat domain-name industry

Mike Flugennock

On the upside...

...the .xyz TLD has proven to be an excellent spam indicator.

Seriously, I'd love to know -- out of all the domains .xyz has claimed to have registered, how many of them are spammers? ...because the only email I've ever gotten from .xyz domains has been spam.

Microsoft offers to PAY YOU to trade in your old computer for a Windows 10 device

Mike Flugennock

Re: Sad

Yeah, sad's the word. Microsoft's marketing has been crass, ham-handed and tone-deaf as far back as I can remember.

That foto reminds me of that video from a few years ago, of the dancing sales drones at a Microsoft Store in a shopping mall.

That's MS's marketing strategy in a nutshell... nothing about specs, capabilities and such -- just a bunch of singing and dancing.

A thousand mile Atom merci mission: Driving from Monaco to London in an open-topped motor

Mike Flugennock

The Rolls is a sweet-ass ride, I'm sure...

...but I'd rather cruise in the Atom. Kinda reminds me of Patrick McGoohan's Lotus in "Danger Man" (or "Secret Agent" in the States).

Mike Flugennock

Re: The bloody flies (and other airborne thingies)

On a cross-country motor trip about 25 years ago, the most discouraging part of the trip was taking two days to cross Texas despite making time as good or better than I had going from Washington DC to Arkansas.

PRIME SPACE: Bezos in Cape Canaveral SPACE PODULE debut

Mike Flugennock

I can't help it, but...

...I keep seeing the Blue Origin launch vehicle as a giant rocket-powered dildo. Did Bezos do this on purpose?

Tech turned on its head: 'Dislike' button in Facebook, pay Snapchat $1 to defuse self-destructing sexy selfies

Mike Flugennock

Pay to replay?

On reading this news, I can't help wondering... just what the hell kind of crap is on Snapchat that anyone would pay to look at again?

Mike Flugennock

Facebook introducing a "dislike" button is all very well...

...but what I think they really need is a "Fuck This Post With A Baseball Bat" button.

'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

Mike Flugennock

Re: Fight!

What seems so ironic to me about all this is that most of the sites pulling this shit are the kind of sites I almost never visit... like the Amaz... uh, Washington Post.

Besides, we already get the print edition (for what it's worth) at our house.

Mike Flugennock

What these clowns don't realize...

...is that there are many, many, many other places I can go on the 'Net for unbiased, unfiltered -- and often underreported and mis-reported -- news and information entirely free of marketing bilge slowing my load time and attempting to dump malware on my computer.

Bite me, Bezos.

Mike Flugennock

So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

Somebody call the WAAAHHHHHmbulance!

I'm not obligated to assist your goddamn' "business", Advertising Age. I cordially invite you bastards to bend over and smooch my ever-widening...

Did GCHQ illegally spy on you? Now you can find out – from this page

Mike Flugennock

Not that I don't think PI is doing a good thing here...

...but I can already sense the first wave of phishing spam from identity thieves claiming to be from Privacy International, and saying that they can find out if the GCHQ has been spying on me if I'll just send them my name/address/email password/mobile phone number/credit card info.

After all, I've already gotten three phishing spams from people claiming that they can find out if my non-existent Ashley Madison account has been compromised.