* Posts by spinynorman

13 posts • joined 17 Sep 2014

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes


Re: Criminal Negligence and/or Corporate Malfeasance? Those are a Rock and a Hard Place

"with a commercial aircraft there should be no actual reason for not giving it the best possible stability and ease of control"

When I finished my apprenticeship at BAe in Bristol in 1979 I worked in the Avionics department. There were two research projects active: Relaxed Stability; and Gust Load Alleviation. The former investigated reducing the size of the tail plane, thus reducing stability, but regaining stability via a control system. The latter adjusting control surfaces to reduce thermal gust load on the wings, using a control system, allowing for a thinner wing skin. Both control systems would allow for a lighter, and therefore more efficient aircraft.

The reasons for these changes are obvious. The competitive pressures between aircraft manufacturers is huge, and the flying public expect / have become accustomed to, cheap air travel. I wouldn't say that this kind of design is defective - but the control systems must be expertly scrutinised and employ majority voting.

As others have pointed out, it's possible that where there are multiple sensors if one sensor fails, they might all fail. In this case the failure must be detectable and ... safe. Perhaps for this particular aircraft more effort should have been taken to design a more robust AoA sensor.

The future of radio may well be digital, but it won't survive on DAB


Re: Radio as a gateway drug

@Nigel Whitfield. My dad was (on and off) a TV Service Engineer (remember them). That's where my interest in all things radio / TV / electronics came from. I still remember building my first crystal set, closely followed by the purchase of a red spot transistor from "Pitts" in Picton Street, Bristol, to make the sounds a little louder ... using drawing pins and a piece of wood! I couldn't try a piece of coal, because we lived in a smokeless zone, so had to use coke for the fire, so an OA81 it had to be!! I am hopeful that medium wave a/m will continue for many years to come, but think the simplicity of something like a crystal set is lost on most of today's youngsters with their sparkly 'do everything' digital possessions. Sad.


Re: There are plenty of reasons NOT to use IP

@The obvious ... and exactly how many people use multicast?

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain


Re: Supersonic flight

@Thoguht - it was Lightning aircraft from what I can remember.

Recording Industry Ass. says vinyl and CD sales beat digital downloads


Re: You'll thank yourself later on.

Oh how I pity your aural sense. I think that your statement should really read: "is 99.7% not engaging for me". I don't subscribe to the idea that there is such a thing as "bad music". If there is, it would be something that not one person finds engaging, and if that's the case then I would suggest that it should not be categorised as music anyway.

At 62 I always have, and can still, certainly on a weekly if not daily basis, find music that I find engaging. After a short blip during the sixth form at school, when I decided that anything that was in the singles chart was sh*te, I came to my senses and realised that if any particular music brought pleasure to my aural sense, then it was good for me. My music discovery isn't hampered by 'genre' or location boundaries. Of course, that is a problem ... being able to afford the next biggest microSD to keep my ever growing music collection on (I buy in most formats). I also stream music (even if I 'own' it), as another way of supporting an artist.

Dyson to build electric car that doesn't suck


They'll be made of plastic that goes brittle and disintegrates / falls apart after ten years ...

BlackBerry's QNX to run autonomous car software


I remember that floppy disk very well. It ran on my PC at the time - composed of 'random' components and not very much memory. I was so impressed when it dialled up my Internet provider and displayed the QNX web page. It was a truly amazing demonstration.

Subsequently, RIM / Blackberry got their hands on it ... and (perhaps not so) suddenly the derived O/S required a minimum 2gb of RAM. Whilst I appreciate that BB10 contains significantly more functionality than was contained on that floppy disk, I can't but help thinking that very little care was taken to optimise its RAM requirement. My Playbook is somewhere at home, not even gathering dust because it's probably buried under something else.

BlackBerry boss mulls mid-range Androids


Re: Just can't make it work?

Well, I obviously bought a dud, because in the 2.5+ years that I have owned my Z10 it has continued to spontaneously reboot in spite of all software updates. I was drawn to BB10 by my experience many years ago of the single floppy disk QNX demo. The demo installed flawlessly into the RAM of my nondescript PC hardware. It recognised my modem and dialled up and displayed the QNX web page. It was a stunning demonstration. So, along comes Blackberry and, oh dear what happened? The RAM minimum spec. became 2GB! That was the first nail in the coffin, before the o/s had even begun to walk. In my experience, the second nail has been the constant unreliability. I don't care whether it's the hardware or the software. And now BB10 is all but buried. RIP.

I use my Z10 to keep in touch with my fiancée, who hopefully will join me soon from distant shores. BBM has mostly been a good solution to keeping in touch, and that is the only reason now for hanging on to my Z10. I also keep in touch with friends and family on Facebook. The BB10 web 'solution' is not good, dispensing with what was one of the (if not THE) biggest attraction of BB10 - the hub. At the moment I don't know what I will replace the Z10 with. If anyone knows of a way of providing BB10 hub like functionality on Apple or Android phones I would be interested to hear.

Palaeoboffins discover 500 MILLION year old ARMOURED WORM


You called?

Apple Music: First three months for free? We lasted less than 3 hours


Re: Meh is right.

Excuse me! I am fast approaching my 60th year ... and I am buying NEW music all of the time. Buying music is (generally) the best way to support an artist, especially if the music is produced and published completely independently. I use Spotify (free) so that I can hear more than just 30 seconds of each song on an album before considering a purchase. I may consider subscribing to Spotify at some point, but that would not stop my purchases. Apples service is attractive because of the multiple user 'allowance', but I really don't want to be so dependent on iTunes. None of the services are likely to include all of the rich and varied artists that I enjoy listening to on their own, and when artists pull their songs from a service, or a service goes titsup, I will still have my music to listen to.

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


Re: A beautiful aircraft though - Possibly the loudest thing I've ever seen move.

Yeah - I've witnessed a Vulcan both quiet and loud. Last year it flew over the old runway at Filton (Bristol) - it was quiet and graceful. Must have been around 1980 at a British Aerospace open day at the same location I witnessed a near vertical climb from quite low above the ground. That was loud ... very very loud! To this day the loudest noise I have ever heard ... and felt through my body! I don't think they perform climbs quite like that with X558 because of the age of the airframe.

Mars was a WET mistress: Curiosity probes once-moist bottom


Re: well , there you have it....

Any truly spiritual person does not attach the notion of God solely to the human race - that person attaches the notion of God to everything! So actually finding evidence of any other form of life does nothing to detract or reduce the notion of God to a spiritual person - it serves to enhance the respect for the whole of creation. It certainly does not disprove the existence of something that is greater than what most humans appear to accept is their own physical existence. It is clear that you are obviously not a spiritual person, so I wouldn't expect you to understand or accept this. Perhaps one day you will have cause to open your mind.

4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch


re. 4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

I'm wondering when you last had your eyes tested? I can certainly tell the difference at 3 metres from my 46" Sony. I have upgraded a few of my DVD's to Bluray and appreciate the improvement in picture quality. Have you also removed the pointless overscan that some televisions display out of the box? That can also make a small difference. For me, the transition from analogue to SD digital was very much a retrograde step. HD finally presents an improvement to what was achievable with a good analogue broadcast signal. 4k should be great for projected film viewing.


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