* Posts by SteveastroUk

38 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Dec 2012

Mountains on neutron stars are not even a millimetre tall due to extreme gravity


Re: Dragon's Egg

Bob Forward died the week before we acquited our 101 Forward Control Landrover, in 2002. The Landy has been called Bob ever since.

RIP Robert Forward, your stories were the hardest science fiction.

Try placing a pot plant directly above your CRT monitor – it really ties the desk together


Re: Your headline reminds me...

I have a friend that collects and restores old mainframes to full functionality. He created a museum to look after them

It's about time! NASA's orbital atomic clock a boon for deep space navigation – if they can get it working for long enough


Re: Reserve power?

Who CARES ? Its all very clever, but at one part in 10^16 or one part in 10^17 what's the point ?

Scottish rocketeers Orbex commission Europe's largest industrial 3D printer to crank out 35 engines a year


Re: Suddenly..

One of my all-time favourite anthologies.

Habitable-zone exoplanet potentially spotted just around the corner in Alpha Centauri using latest telescope technique


Re: So just around the corner

three titties ?


Voyager 2 receives and executes first command in 11 months as sole antenna that reaches it returns to work


Re: Boldly Going...

Boldly STILL going and going

EU aviation wonks give all-electric training aeroplane the green light – but noob pilots only have 50 mins before they have to land it


Re: Reserve power?

Has an airliner ever been designed that lands at its takeoff weight ?

Will that old Vulcan's engines run? Bluebird jet boat team turn to Cold War bomber


Re: Not British

IIRC this was originally controlled by the pilots, but was eventually handed to an analogue computer to begin with, then to a digital system a few years later, and the digital system was the frst flight control computer.

It's 50 years to the day since Apollo 10 blasted off: America's lunar landing 'dress rehearsal'


Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

Yesterday I got to actually touch Geminii 8, the one that nearly killed them, at the Neil Armstrong museum in Ohio.

Well worth a couple of hours tour

Douglas Adams was right, ish... Super-Earth world clocked orbiting 'nearby' Barnard's Star


Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

Robert Forward, who was a professional physicist and science fiction author used described the deceleration of a laser powered space ship in his Rocheworld books.

IP freely? What a wind-up! If only Trevor Baylis had patent protections inventors enjoy today


Re: Concerning Trademarks

In Europe, Pyrex IS still borosilicate - its made by St Gobain.

Grab your lamp, you've pulled: Brits punt life-saving gravity-powered light


Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

RIP Trevor Bayliss. This was your idea.

Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller


Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

Except GP was about the THEFT of a private company from its owners - like Nationalisation.

NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object


There's a branch of amateur astronomy dedicated to watching these occulations with networks of cameras placed on the predicted track of the event. Then its possible to deduce the occulting objects shape, mass, spin etc. Bloody subtle. Some guys put out a 10 mile track, with cameras and integrated GPS clocks every 1/2 mile.

Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests


Re: Did Dyson participate in the standards setting process?

Well, no, to participate in the European standard making process you have to be a member of a recognised body, or a stake-holder in the standard - and invited to participate. I know American companies who serve on EU standards bodies.

Contrast that with the ASTM in the USA, where anyone can turn up to their meetings and have their say. If its worth listening to, its acted on.

That's speaking as a member of European and US standard making bodies. The EU ones are a fix-up, as this and dieselgate should have demonstrated.

Try not to scream: Ads are coming to Amazon's Alexa – and VR goggles


First ad I hear on my Echo, it goes in the bin. Or, better, send it to Amazon HQ

Uncle Sam backs down on slurping passwords from US visa hopefuls


Of course no one in the EU or UK needs a "visa" to enter the USA, so its moot, you DO need to sign up for the visa waiver program though.

US visas are complicated things. My O-1 needed a comprehensive list of where I'd been and why, where I'd lived etc etc, 4 years ago, when, I believe, the sainted Mr Obama was in charge

Coming to the big screen: Sci-fi epic Dune – no wait, wait, wait, this one might be good


Re: Make something new

....speaking of unfilmable epics PFH would be high on my list. Especially Night's dawn. Keep it to something like the length of Nanoflower and its bearable, but Nights dawn was two volumes too long

US Navy runs into snags with aircraft carrier's electric plane-slingshot


Its very sad to note electric catapault systems were mooted and developed by the late Professor Eric Lathwaite at Manchester University, then Imperial College from the mid 1960's. I've even seen pictures of the designs in action, possibly in "An Engineer in Wonderland"

Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire


What the fuck is the battery management system doing BEING "Configrable" unless its a separate system under active development, it should be totally locked, and beyond the adjustment by any poor bloody intern.

Thirty Meter Telescope needs to revisit earthly fine print


Re: Time to move to La Palma

Well, no, with the naked eye, even in the darkest sky conditions, you can only see 100,000 stars IIRC

Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules


Re: The Evoque

I thought Evoques were those little hairy bastards in Return of the Jedi.

Dialog box shut: Now Microchip is set to gobble up Atmel


Friend of mine hates Atmel. They got him fired.

He had a project with a serious bug in it, which he traced back to the actual Atmel silicon, duly notifying Atmel of his discovery. His boss reviews the project, hears the explanation that its the chips fault, calls Atmel to confim the story, for them to deny all possible knowledge that there could be a bug in their chip. Friend (consulting) is fired from the project.

A month later Atmel publish a datasheet errata with a potential workround, for the bug my friend reported.

PHONE me if you feel DIRTY: Yanks and 'Nadians wave bye-bye to magstripe


Re: Cards?

Frank Lloyd Wright coined the term Usonian for you. Better ?

Goodbye Vulcan: Blighty's nuclear bomber retires for the last time


I now live and work in the USA, and I was very surprised when I told one of my US colleagues that this was to be the last year of the Vulcan - I saw him wipe away a tear - he was a US MP serving somehow on a British base, and the Vulcan was his favourite plane of all-time.

Attack of the IT monuments men: Museum wants your kit


I got several boards of core memory pulled from something that WE thought was ancient...30 years ago...

Marvell: We don't want to pay this $1.5bn patent bill because, cripes, it's way too much


Re: Blasphemy

Yeah, because your snow-fairy is completely incapable of striking anyone down.

Building a better society from the Czechs' version of Meccano


Re: Bits of metal with holes in it....

You sure ? I thought Vex used 12.7mm spacing, just like Meccano

Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse


Who the hell is Tom Paulin......

<rummages on Wikipedia>

Oh yes, a complete dick head.

Assemblers were once people: My aunt did it for NASA


What an amazing aunt you had Mark, sorry for your loss.

A great obituary for an interesting lady.

Paul Allen buys lovingly restored vintage V-2 Nazi ballistic missile


Re: Redirecting V1s

Knocking the bastards off was also one of the first deployments of the proximity fuze on a shell.


Re: British Intelligence

I had the great pleasure and privilege of inviting him to give a talk to the Manchester IEE younger members section, and for him to accept. It was the only time we ever filled a 500 seat auditorium to capacity, and with people standing. It was ALSO the only time a lecturer gave an encore. My dad and I took him to dinner afterwards, a meal I shall never forget.

Jones was also a brilliant and ingenious experimental physicist, and his other professional works are well worth reading

How I nearly sold rocket windows to the crazy North Koreans


Re: Fingers crossed...

FFS, if you see a rabid dog, why go and poke it with a stick?"

....I'd get a gun, and from as far away as possible shoot the bastard full of holes.

Amazon boss salvages Apollo engines from watery grave


Re: I don't suppose

mmm. Not unless he swam to Florida before drowning.

Is world's first space tourist Dennis Tito planning a trip to Mars?


Re: Just what you need

IIRC NASAs budget is 0.5% of the current US budget. In a poll taken recently over 70% of Americans supported a manned, landing mission to Mars, even if that meant doubling Nasa's budget


Brit 2.5-tonne nuke calculator is World's Oldest Working Computer


Re: 1.5kW?

I don't SEE much sign of people wilting from 1 megawatt being dissipated behind them.


Greedy Sky admits: We crippled broadband with TOO MANY users

Thumb Up

Zen Internet. The best. Absolutely no-one else comes near them for reliability and service

NASA to smash its spacecraft INTO THE MOON


Newest crater on the moon

Gotta be named "Patrick Moore"