* Posts by Stuart Rogers

25 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Apr 2007

Cheap laser could help save expensive aircraft

Stuart Rogers

Re: This idea resurfaces...

> What if it's the tube that's iced and therefore unable to reflect cleanly?

I've flown on many research flights and seen icing on probes. Ice builds up on the leading edge of the probe, but not on the sides - I assume that any ice/water besides the probe is swept away in the airflow. The end result is a stick of ice at the front of the probe no wider than the probe itself. They can grow quite long.

> what if the aircraft is flying through a cloud that introduces ice crystals or other particulate matter into the beam's path?

If this is truly a Doppler-based system then the sideways motion of any interrupting particles shouldn't affect it - Doppler detection measures the along-beam motion. If there are enough particles to actually block the line-of-sight then you've flown into an iceberg.

LOHAN ideas..

Stuart Rogers

Re: Control electronics

> I figure accelerometers and gyros are pretty much a given for any autopilot.

I was thinking more along the lines of monitoring the movements of the rig rather than part of the payload's attitude control. This might be useful during any test launches to see how the rig moves when there's a mighty thrusting rocket trying to slide free from it. For example, if the release isn't as smooth as hoped for, a plot of rig movements might show whether or not it's likely to jerk around and risk catching LOHAN's rear end and knock it off balance.

Stuart Rogers

Re: Control electronics

> There's no final decision yet on the electronics payload.

On the assumption that this won't be El Reg's last high altitude venture, and following the maxim that there are no experimental failures, just more data, I suggest (if there's space) including an accelerometer and solid state gyroscope to monitor just how much buffeting this system gets. It could save a lot of arguments on the next project, or indeed this one if you go ahead with a launch trial run.

Google preps identity spotter app

Stuart Rogers

Peter File?

This is going to be the cause of so many lynchings...

Asteroids the source of Earth's water, NASA suggests

Stuart Rogers

Re: Go back to astronomy class

"When flying from Earth you reach Mars before Jupiter and therefore also before any asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. So going to Themis enroute to Mars would be like going to Glasgow when travelling from London to Newcastle."

Yes, but what if there was no service station at Newcastle? Refuelling at Glasgow ready for the return trip might be your only option.

Pandora plus Endor: Multi hab-moon motherworld discovered

Stuart Rogers

Re: 460 parsecs, eh?

> I won't hold my breath for the 280-odd years it'll take to get a reply to any interstellar A/S/L messages...

Neither would I. 460 parsecs is about 1500 light years, so the round trip time for a message and response will be at least 3000 years.

Airport scanner staff object to vetting

Stuart Rogers

Frankly Offensive

When you have a body as fabulous as mine, the idea that security guards *aren't* going to get kicks out of seeing a blurry grey image of my body is frankly offensive.

If the authorities aren't going to trust me to not carry a bomb on board, I see no reason why I should trust the authoriities to not abuse my privacy.

Knuckle rap for riot shield sledging coppers

Stuart Rogers

It's the future of policing...

Although, like most commentators here, I think Supt Andrew Murray needs to lighten up a bit, there is a potentially sinister aspect to this...

When global warming really kicks in and the Gulf Stream switches off, the UK will see more winters like this. Want to know how the police will go into battle against the massed ranks of warrior eco-hippies whilst up to their ankles in snow? These seemingly playful bobbies have shown the way. This isn't innocent fun but training material.

Trouser-bomb clown attacks - how much should we laugh?

Stuart Rogers

How about a full body scan protest contest?

The introduction of full-body scanners is just crying out for some form of protest, and if we can get hold of the scanner images we have the basis for a protest slogan competition.

You'll need some lettering made of a non-metallic dense material that will show up on the scanner but won't trigger a metal detector. A set of fridge magnet letters (sans magnets) should do.

All you have to do is come up with a suitable protest phrase, sew it on to your under garments, and get in line at the airport. Getting a copy of the scanner image to verify your competition entry could be tricky. Bonus points for getting arrested for the most trivial slogan.

Write haiku, win home server

Stuart Rogers

Here's one...

Wintel Home Server

Is a fitting replacement

For dead Time Capsule.

Star-watchers: Famous moon left half-smeared by dirty ring

Stuart Rogers

Pedantry alert

"it doesn't spin about its own axis, instead always keeping the same face to its primary"

It does spin about its own axis - its spin period is equal to its orbital period, which is why it always presents the same face to its primary.

Nokia's £500 netbook: What were they thinking?

Stuart Rogers

Re: @Stuart Rogers

>> Can you name me a netbook that comes with a full non-trial version of MS Office SBE and a full internet security suite?

No. What I'm getting at is that trialware is hardly something worthy of being an advertised feature of the product - they should either include the full thing or not mention it.

Stuart Rogers

Featured software

The supplied software, as listed on the specifications page, is a bit of a joke:

MS Office Small Business (60-day trial)

MS Internet Explorer 8

Ovi Suite (must be downloaded separately)

Social Hub (must be downloaded separately)

F-Secure Internet Security 2010 (30-day trial)

Of the five featured apps, two are trialware, another two aren't even included in the box let alone installed, and the remaining one is what everyone (EU antitrust cases notwithstanding) would expect to come with a modern OS.

El Reg space paper plane christened Vulture 1

Stuart Rogers

@jonathan keith: Separation anxiety

"can't the crew just cut the string connecting Vulture 1 to the launch vehicle with some tiny scissors?"

No - the crew will never get the scissors through security. They'll have to use the plastic cutlery that comes with the in-flight meal.

iPhone 3.0 - born on schedule...

Stuart Rogers


"I found myself searching for the Undo button. Couldn't find one."

Try shaking it, in an Etch-A-Sketch stylee.

Virgin Media boosts bottom tier broadband

Stuart Rogers

All 'content' no 'information'

A couple of weeks ago VM sent me an email announcing the upgrade, but at no point did they ever say what the upgrade actually was, or what it meant for me (beyond the likelihood of a few minutes of outage during the upgrade). Their website was no help - worse, it said that 'no maintainance was planned'.

Blighty to become old-time Inundation Nation

Stuart Rogers

"same priority as terrorism"

Does that mean the War on Terror is now the War on Terror and Flooding? WTF?

Supersized stellar blackhole prompts model rewrite

Stuart Rogers

Re: Doesn't fit... time for a re-write...

> Let's be honest, what does us understanding this black hole 3 million light years have to do with the price of fish?

Nothing. Then again, what does the price of fish have to do with understanding our place in the universe and finding out how it works?

Chuck Norris to do battle in El Reg Arena of Death

Stuart Rogers

Chuck Norris - hard enough?

Chuck Norris may well be "Hardest Man in on the Planet - Ever!", but will he blend?


Uranus strikes a pose for Hubble's camera

Stuart Rogers

An oddball corrects an oddball comment...

"The planet is a bit of an oddball because it is orbiting the Sun on its side, with its axis almost parallel to the path it takes around our star."

Like all the other planets, barring the odd precessional wobble, it's spin axis maintains its orientation as it orbits, so its axis is only parallel to the orbital path twice per orbit.

Crazed NZ fanboy mows down churchgoer

Stuart Rogers

Who believed what?

I'm not sure what's meant here...

<quote>... and as police attempted to extricate him from his motor, he "clutched his laptop computer and screamed the name of Apple's CEO Steve Jobs". A fireman later told 3 News "he believed the man had a mental illness".<unquote>

Did the fireman say the policeman believed the driver had a mental illness, or did the fireman say that the driver believed Steve Jobs had a mental illness...?

El Reg seeks ultimate 'nom de sex'

Stuart Rogers

Street names can make good porn names

My porn name would be the rather limp "Fred Willow". However, some street names that make good porn star names in their own right, such as "Apollo Rise" in Farnborough (somwhere near GU14 0GT).

Oracle sends bloke cardboard laptop

Stuart Rogers

Re: I want one!

"- or set light to it and complain their wi-fi firewall is faulty"

- or set light to it and put in a claim for an exploding battery.

Jesus appears in Samsung Flash memory chip

Stuart Rogers

It looks more like...

It looks more like Papa Lazarus from The League of Gentlemen.

US deploys cloaked airliner

Stuart Rogers

Surely it's just changed course!!!

My guess is that the plane pulled to starboard, out of view of the camera, and towards its intended course.