Is it difficult to build on Mars?
Nah. Piece of piss, mate.
68 posts • joined 22 Aug 2016
Agree, solar panels in space to provide power on earth is a definite R. Goldberg solution. Technically possible, but at a huge cost. Maybe if that space elevator gets built... naw.
The obvious solution to reliable, reasonably priced solar power is to add energy storage, and/or use solar energy to create "green" fuels for vehicles, neatly meshing the intermittent nature of solar with the energy density/power/recharge time problems of current BEV technology. Could even be batteries, but doesn't need to be the expensive Li-Ion type since weight and bulk are not as important for a fixed installation.
Sure, there are increases in cost if you add storage. But it's GOT to be cheaper than lifting solar panels into geosynchronous orbit, PLUS needing the collector/converter equipment on the ground.
> Microsoft said that "we've also rejuvenated Settings to keep pages from feeling overwhelming and make finding what you need easier." This was done with a "consistent navigation system," which sounds good, but also with "progressive disclosure, which allows advanced settings to remain hidden until you want to look at them."
How about just leaving the fucking menus and control panels alone for a change, and making everything work better under the hood?
The constant drive to move things around and change the user interface in Windows, simply for the sake of change, is infuriating.
It's akin to moving the letters around on a keyboard to make them easier to hit (yes, I know, Dvorak, etc.). Millions upon millions of us have spent literally decades finding the obscure places Microsoft put the various Windows controls, only to find with each new version, they hide/move them to new and difficult to find places.
> my next project: build a "remote control translator" out of an IR diode and an arduino
I did exactly this. I have a Yamaha soundbar attached to the Samsung TV with optical cable. No integration of control codes over HDMI (CEC?). Lived with two remotes for some time until I hit upon the idea of using one of the unused A B C D buttons on the Samsung remote to operate the soundbar power, and translating the Samsung Volume + and - codes into codes the Yammy soundbar would understand. Arduino, IR photodiode sensor, IR emitter diode + a couple of resistors. Put it all in an old video camera battery charger enclosure so it actually looks like something a toddler didn't make.
It took a couple of weeks of fiddling with hardware & code but it's been working flawlessly now for years. Sure, I probably could have bought a universal remote but I learned a lot and that's worth something to me.
The author Vartanig G. Vartan wrote a book called "The Dinosaur Fund" which I read many years ago.
The _only_ fact I remember from that book is that the highest denomination US note to ever be in circulation was the $10,000 bill, featuring Salmon P. Chase.
 Besides of course, the name of the author.
...that normally on takeoff, the pilot would be using everything short of War Emergency Power, throttles to the stops. I would hate to clip an obstacle at the end of the runway because the airline was trying to save a few bob's worth of fuel, and the passenger cohort had more than the normal fraction of bloaters.
Every day's a school day.
I well remember saving programs to (and sometimes successfully recovering them from) cassette tape on my Timex/Sinclair ZX81. I don't think I ever had a program on a vinyl record, though. Still have the computer and the tape player, and I'll bet if I dig deep enough I'll find the primitive drawing program (1 bit graphics!) I wrote.
Mine's the one with the audio jumper cables in the pocket.
"What no one has asked or disclosed is who is making the [AOA] sensors? Name and shame."
Angle Of Attack sensors are reliable, up to the point that they suffer a bird strike or other FOD. Which is why all A/C have two or three of them. Only using one of them as a basis for actuating MCAS, or not adding a third sensor, is another discussion altogether.
I suppose I could be accused of being a 'clockwatcher' but the idea of responding to work calls and emails outside of work hours is a complete non-starter for me.
Voicemail and email is there for those times I am not 'at work', even when I'm working from home. Once you start down that slippery slope of essentially being on-call at all waking hours, it's hard to claw your personal time back. Before the pandemic, I might have taken my laptop home with me less than a half-dozen times in 5 years, while my co-workers did nearly every night. Still don't understand that mindset.
"So if unprofitable apps got cancelled, it's no great loss."
Maybe not everything beneficial to society as a whole should be "profitable" as in putting money in some corporation or individual's pocket, especially when it's in the area of public utilities or basic infrastructure. If it's helpful to consumers and results in decreased electricity usage, it's a boon to everyone and maybe the utilities should be actively encouraged or perhaps even required to provide such useful apps by the agencies that regulate them, rather than forbidding them.
 Postal service, anyone?
Rest assured, the other bits, including both humps, will soon be squarely in the tent.
I won't be surprised when this is SOP for all cars, and in fact I expect it will eventually be illegal to disconnect or tamper with the government mandated spy system(s).
They'll need to replace fuel tax when all cars go electric, for one thing. No doubt the powers that be can come up with as many other excuses as needed. Joe Public won't care so long as the car's got plenty of USB outlets and multiple cup holders.
Those are all good- I just want to know what to call those cunts in airports who talk loudly on their phone set to speakerphone, held a good 2 feet from their face, thereby forcing us to hear both sides of their conversation, instead of holding it up to their ear so we only have to hear from one of the participants.
Admittedly that twat would still be bellowing his side of the conversation. Why is it that some folk can't just talk at a normal level and trust that their device's microphone actually works? And why can't they get a set of earbuds, a headset, or something else that doesn't subject all and sundry to their inane drivel? Hanging's too good, &c.
I'd be interested in knowing which model of Sony Blu-Ray player has Windows 7 embedded in it. I've got a Sony Blu-Ray player myself but the "smart" network dependent features, I never use. So far it seems to play DVDs OK (I don't think I actually own any Blu-Ray disks).
As it happens, I *just* unpacked a 4TB WD Red drive that I ordered three days ago. And thanks to Chris Mellor's article, I specified the old 64MB cache version (model WD40EFRX, CMR) rather than the new 256MB cache (SMR) drive.
The model number is identical to the 4TB drive I intend to pair it with in my NAS... but there is no external indication on the label that it is the 64MB cache version, unlike the older drive that explicitly says "64 MB". I suppose hooking it up to a Linux box and running hdparm is in order.
Every time I encounter such unwarranted precision, I am reminded of this exchange:
KIRK: Mister Spock, can we get those two guards? What would you say the odds on our getting out of here?
SPOCK: Difficult to be precise, Captain. I should say approximately 7,824.7 to 1.
KIRK: Difficult to be precise? 7,824 to 1?
SPOCK: 7,824.7 to 1.
KIRK: That's a pretty close approximation.
SPOCK: I endeavour to be accurate.
KIRK: You do quite well.
A former cow-orker accidentally skittled a tame Canada goose in the company car park with his pickup truck. Roast roadkill goose was an integral part of the next office pot luck lunch. Tasted a bit different than the wild harvested one he also cooked (typically mostly corn-fed), not bad, but different.
My instructor at an HP training school in the early 90s out in Fort Collins, CO was a Scotsman named Angus who had lived in the Netherlands for some time.
The only thing I can now remember him teaching me was the saying "Dutch cows drink Grolsch and piss Heineken".
Odd fellow, but he took the entire class out for beers at Coopersmith's.
"All storage is vulnerable to physical decay, fire or other calamity, or mis-configured systems that mean the data stored is not what you hoped it was. ®"
By law, that wording should be engraved in the largest font size that will fit, on every single data storage device sold.
And hopefully burned into the forehead of anyone who places critical data in a single place, such as a laptop drive, and who then whinges about the consequences when it inevitably gets destroyed due to any one of a number of foreseeable causes.
"I really struggle to see the business sense in this..."
They got your money, and having decided to exit the Internet of Tat business, obviously figure letting folk down gently is just a waste of money, simple as that.
It's exactly like the revolving door model of executive leadership in today's short term profit driven companies. Get while the getting is good and get out, leaving the mess behind for someone else to deal with.
"If the avatar is still in your email client, an Outlook account reset (Inbox >> Gear icon >> Email Account >> Reset) will remove it, we're told. "
Umm, just out of curiosity, is there any way to not remove this avatar from my email client?
Asking for a friend, naturally.
> the bigger concern is unintended consequences of "minor" deviations from the original design, even if the new part has "better" specs.
Which is why any engineering based company worth two shits have for-real component engineers on staff. I can't count the number of times I've seen stuff break because folks think pretty much any IC with the same generic part number will perform the same, because "I checked, and all the specs are the same or better!".
Not all characteristics of the parts you buy are captured by the spec sheet. Sometimes there's a lot of qualification work that doesn't show up on the purchased part drawing, and the approved vendor list isn't just there as a helpful pointer of where to buy the part...
"error rates increase rapidly with rising altitude; for example, compared to sea level, the rate of neutron flux is 3.5 times higher at 1.5 km and 300 times higher at 10–12 km (the cruising altitude of commercial airplanes). As a result, systems operating at high altitudes require special provision for reliability."
Which is why avionics invariably use EDAC memory.
Believe it or not, one of the ARINC 429 dataloader boxes in my lab loads flight software for some of the avionics that my company supplies to Airbus and Boeing using... wait for it...
3-1/2" 1.44 MB floppies.
At least it uses "modern" floppies, not the 5-1/4" or 8" floppies used by some of the older (but still operational) equipment that's sitting on the next shelf.
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