Forgot your password?

Comment: MOD PARENT UP!!! (Score 1, Flamebait) 219

by Brett Buck (#48427461) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

Computer guys have a very dangerous tendency to think that because they can fix Mom's computer, and people are always asking for their help, that they are somehow much sharper than the regular person. All it really means is that they have some specific information that others lack. This leads to the absolutely sickening arrogance you see exhibited here all the time,

Comment: PR screwup (Score 5, Insightful) 519

by Brett Buck (#48423869) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

I get the mission design, and I think most people here get the idea, too. But ESA seems to have missed the boat on the PR and public affairs front.

  The demise of the lander after a complete primary mission is being portrayed as a huge failure. As near as I can tell, it did exactly what it was supposed to do for about as long as it was supposed to. Anything beyond that was "if possible".

    Additionally, the mission is being shown as a "lander mission" instead of an orbiter with a small lander tacked on. Rosetta is still doing the mission as intended, and most of the objectives are being met very nicely. I see all sorts of comments in the press (and particularly in the European media and media comments section) as another Beagle "cock-up".

        I think it's a very nicely done mission that is working very well. It's a shame that it is not coming across like that.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't it suffer eminent heat death? (Score 1) 519

by Brett Buck (#48423835) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

No, the parent post was talking about a radioisotope thermal generator that works by using the decay heat to drive a thermocouple and generate electricity.

    That would likely not have been a good idea for this tiny lander, because the RTG and the safety devices that would be required by the anti-nucular idiots would have made it unfeasible.

      It would have been an absolutely ideal application for a RHU - radioisotope heater unit, that doesn't bother generating electricity - you just attach it to the part you want to keep warm. The problem here is not so much electricity, it's the electricity required to keep it warm enough to survive.

        If you heat it directly, it may still go on and off from inadequate power, but it won't die the first time it cools off too much. When it has enough power to run the instruments and charge the battery, then you can get data, and it stays alive the rest of the time. You can get the data later, if necessary - it's not likely to be going anywhere, at least not on purpose.

Comment: Re:240km/hr? (Score 1) 418

by Brett Buck (#48392833) Attached to: Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

True, but of course the reason there is no interest is that it is not liable to be economically viable. The existing high-speed rail in the US is largely in the Northeast corridor because it can make money there. The proposed California high-speed rail (currently only planned to run between about Taft and Pixley) is a make-work project that has no potential for ever recouping the cost. That's the case for the vast majority of the US, there wouldn't be enough traffic and passengers to make it return the cost of building it and the astronomical cost of maintaining thousands of miles of high-speed rail.

Comment: Re: SO (Score 1) 377

by Brett Buck (#48376181) Attached to: How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

Im sorry, I have to disagree. Sure, many of them will starve to death, but at least they won't have their precious bodily fluids polluted with whatever bad thing GM seeds supposedly might produce, or not.

      I base this opinion on solid scientific information gleaned from extensive late-night conspiracy radio shows. Besides, Monsanto!

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn