* Posts by Roy Etter

8 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Apr 2007

Emotional baggage

Roy Etter

Another bag supplier...

Try these guys:


You should be able to buy the components you want and zip them together to get the bag you really need. As an extra bonus, you can remove extra bag components for the times you don't need them.

Artificial leaf produces electricity through photosynthesis

Roy Etter

So I just put it in a bucket of water?

And then I (eventually) get the perfect ratio of Hydrogen and Oxygen for a nice boom.

<- Grenade icon for obvious reason.

Perhaps something more complicated than a bucket of water would be a good idea?

LightSquared squares off against GPS worriers

Roy Etter

For aviation users, this is a big deal

"Garmin might have demonstrated interference is possible (pdf showing who and how), but it ranks pretty low on the things to worry about."

Err, no. Try again.

For a lot of airports, the approved IFR approach (in clouds, can't see out the window) is a WAAS GPS approach. Apparently Garmin did a test with their GNS 430W that showed that Lightsquared's proposed trsanmitter can cause the 430W to fail. And if you're on approach, this means you (at the very least) have to break off the approach and try the whole thing again... from maybe a couple hundred feet above the ground... or (at the very worst) you lose situational awareness and die.

It's also worth mentioning that the NextGen air traffic control system is pretty much going to be built on GPS - how many "ATC freakouts" do we want to deal with when a bunch of blips on the controller's screen suddenly show "no position or speed info available"

I have heard (from Lightsquared themselves) that their mitigation plan involves installing filters on affected GPS receivers. For aviation that means the filter needs to meet a TSO (that isn't written yet), be approved by the FAA, the installation probably would need to be STC'ed, and then the actual filter installed properly by an A&P mechanic. It's fair to say that there's hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in paperwork there for the TSO and various STCs, plus at least a couple hundred dollars per airplane. Who is gonna pay for that?

Cheaper stuff is great, but if they really need any part of that satellite spectrum for "a tiny fragment of its (LightSquared) traffic to be satellite-routed," then they need a new plan.

Microsoft chucks bargain bin at world's youth

Roy Etter

Why did MS bother?

If you're an "IEEE Student member", then you're likely a college student. If you're a college student, then your college only has to submit a little paperwork to offer MSDNAA to it's students. So exactly how many students interested in free MS stuff are IEEE members and study at colleges who don't participate in MSDNAA?

Somebody didn't do the math....

Foldable sports plane gives Everyman a chance at crashing

Roy Etter
Thumb Up

Wow! Now I know where the bitter people go...

Love the airplane - can't stand the article or most of the comments.

Points to be made

1. 20 hours is the bare minimum for a Sport Pilot license. You still need to pass the knowledge (facts and figures) and practical (in the air skills) tests. The sort of person that can pull it off in 20 hours is probably also the sort that is destined to win Red Bull's aerobatic air races.

2. $139,000 USD is actually a pretty "normal" price for a shiny new LSA. Yeah, it's out of my budget too. But it is possible to get an airworthy 1970's era plane for $20,000 - $30,000 USD.

3. I'll be very surprised if the company fails due to technical issues. All the engineers are former Scaled Composites guys and Burt Rutan doesn't hire dummies. Look up "virgin Galactic" if "Scaled Composites" and "Burt Rutan" aren't familiar names to you.

4. @Christopher Emerson and the like : You and all of your chicken little friends are quite safe if you should choose to fly on a commercial airline in the USA (but I wouldn't blame you if you took a miss on it due to the TSA and our current silly security rules). Commercial airliners fly into towered airports that lie inside controlled airspace. If some idiot flies an airplane into controlled airspace, then the air traffic controllers route everybody else around him (yes, he will show up on radar), and the idiot will eventually get punished (revoked llicense and possible jail time). If, on the other hand, the airliner is at cruising altitude between two airports then it's way too high for an LSA to reach.

Expedition to hunt Amazon 'yeti'

Roy Etter

Wrong name?

"The Mono Grande myth was first recorded by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Cieza de Leon. "

Surely it was Pedro de Cervesa de Leon that penned the myth? You remember him, the consistently potted nephew of Ponce de Leon

Military thinktank sees dark future

Roy Etter

RE: amanfromMars

I've always assumed the amanfromMars is actually somebody's joke. The posts always read like the output from a 419 letter writer .

Will there ever be a real 'Lie Detector'?

Roy Etter

RE: Enormous missed opportunity

"If we routinely lie-detected all possible suspects and then concentrated on those that had 'problemmatic' readings we would get a lot further with crime detection than we do now. Admittedly some people can lie their way to clean readings and some innocents get caught but no-one has developed those ideas to explain why it's just rejected out-of-hand.

It's the same with DNA databanks, RFID chips etc. People are not protecting freedom. They are worried they are going to get caught doing things they know are illegal."

GAH!!! What you forget is just how lazy your average human being happens to be. Why bother going through all all of that tedious detective work? No need to check alibis, figure out motive, analyze clues, etc. Just use the magic techno-bullet to finger the criminal.

What's that? Oh, the lie detector fingers nearly 10% of every group as potential suspects worthy of further grilling? Well, they should be happy to be grilled for days just to catch that nasty murder/rapist/grafitti artist. What's that? We keep dragging in the same 20 "suspects" day after day because they happen to:

1. be nervous around police officers

2. live in an area where murders occur

In the USA, that would essentially mean dragnets for all the folks living on the poor side of town.

The reason I hate this stuff is because it gives petty little bureaucrats the power to endlessly harass folks who didn't do anything wrong.