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Comment Unlocking the feathers during powered flight (Score 5, Interesting) 150

Why unlock the feathers during powered flight?

Because if you get into space and find you can't unlock them, the aircraft is going to burn up on reentry. So you unlock them during powered flight. If they don't unlock, you can shut down the engines and still have enough atmosphere to control the aircraft and direct it out of its trajectory into space.

Why do this during powered flight and not before, perhaps just before the aircraft is released from its carrier?

Because the aerodynamics and stress on the aircraft at engine start are dynamic to say the least. Once under stable, powered flight there's much less risk in unlocking the feathers. The aerodynamic loads should not be high enough that they would overcome the hydraulics keeping the feathers in place after being unlocked.

The big question right now is why did the feathers deploy. The NTSB says they saw nothing to indicate the pilots had tried to deploy them; the handle used to do this was untouched based on the internal cockpit video they have.

It's way too early to even speculate that it even might be pilot error. That the unlock happened a couple seconds early should not have caused the feathers to deploy on their own. Unless the transition to supersonic speed induces stresses that could overcome the hydraulics and force the feathers to deploy and the unlock happened just before or during that transition.

We need to find out why the feathers deployed before we start blaming anyone or anything.

Comment Doesn't CloudFlare Scare Anyone? (Score 4, Insightful) 67

You've got a single company who is encouraging web site operators to direct all traffic through CloudFlare's network. Now we don't need things like 'web bugs' to track you as you browse the internet, CloudFlare has your IP and can watch you as you go from one CloudFlare site to the next. Even if the site uses SSL, it's being decrypted now inside CloudFlare's network where they can watch everything you do.

And the NSA/CIA/etc must love that too. They don't have to subpoena many different web sites, they just subpoena CloudFlare or even work with CloudFlare like they do with AT&T and Verizon, stick an NSA black box on the network just after the connection has been decrypted, and watch everything you're doing while you think you're protected with an SSL connection to the web site you're visiting.

Comment Bookmark buttons a bad UI change (Score 1) 688

The button to quickly bookmark a page, and the button to pull up your list of bookmarks, are now paired together. This is not a good UI design choice. Now when I try to pull up my bookmarks I'm bookmarking pages and vice versa. I wish they were separate. I also wish that the button to bookmark a page was back in the address bar where its position provided better context.

Comment Re:It has a combined address/search bar (Score 5, Interesting) 688

Type a single-word search query into the address bar in Firefox. Instead of searching for the word right away the browser attempts a DNS lookup. With the search bar that DNS lookup step is removed. For the more privacy-conscious this is an important thing. Especially if you've got an ISP that redirects a failed DNS response to their own search engine.

Comment Still on the fence... (Score 2) 254

I like that Sony provided the teardown. It shows a certain amount of openess and I get the sense that the engineers that designed it want us to see it in all its glory.

But then I see other things pop up, like having to download an update and register the device before I can play Blu-ray discs, that it won't play MP3s or CDs, that it won't stream video content from my computer. All of this reeks of a lame attempt to force PS4 owners into subscribing to Sony's Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited by placing artificial limits on the hardware.

What I love about my PS3 (and I bought mine the day it was released and haven't had a single problem with it) is that I could use it for more than just games; it became my HTPC.

It seems like the PS4 won't be able to fill the shoes of its predecessor. And that's a shame. And the reason why I won't be buying a PS4 at launch and probably won't touch it until sony "patches" the firmware to fix these "bugs".

Comment Re:No. .Just No. (Score 2) 246

What are your concerns with Firefox 21 versus 17?

Is it the social api? That was introduced in 17 so you already have it. And it can be disabled in about:config, just search for "social.enabled".

Is it the health report? You can disable that as well either through the advanced tab under preferences or through about.config, just search for "healthreport".

Comment Re:Why are there no counter attacks? (Score 1) 222

The problem of launching a counter attack isn't technical, it's legal. A user broke into my system, they've broken the law. If I retaliate and break into their system, I'm now guilty of the same offense.

Could a case for self-defense be made? Maybe, but IANAL and I don't think a court would consider it in the same way they would a physical confrontation.

Comment Re:Problem with egos really (Score -1, Troll) 525

Just another journo that you can safely not read. I think Broder was caught in a near-total lie.

Did you read Broder's reply to Musk? It's not even remotely a "near-total lie".

Tesla reps gave Broder the wrong information. They told him to give the Tesla a 30 minute charge on a lower-power charging station, which he did. They said even though the car's computer said 32 miles that he'd get back the extra range lost over a cold evening and be able to make it to his destination.

You're chastising Broder for listening to Tesla.

And the previous two charges Broder listened to the car. When it was sufficiently over the range required to make his next destination, he unplugged and continued on his way. Should he not have trusted the car's computer? If that's the case then Tesla has a bit of a problem, you can't trust what the car says.

The speeds? Is that the "lie"? Teslas have 21" wheels normally. He was driving on 19" snow tires. If the system logging his speed wasn't calibrated for the wheel difference you'd see the logs indicate speeds about 10% higher than Broder was actually traveling. There's your discrepancy between the two.

What other lies? The visit to downtown Manhattan? Which actually wasn't a visit to downtown Manhattan (Tesla's own map shows that to be the case.)

The running around a parking lot for a half mile? A single loop of the rest area he stopped at to charge would be... about 1/2 a mile and would be consistent with someone trying to find the charging station. If his goal was to drain the battery, why only 1/2 a mile/ Why not 2 or 3?

sheesh.

The willingness to disregard the reporter's store outright as 100% lies is incredibly disheartening.

I had hoped /. readers would be a bit more reasoned and impartial.

Comment Re:Problem with egos really (Score -1) 525

Duplicated it in weather 20-30 degrees warmer than Broder did, which is significant for battery performance.

And did with with the updated advice from Tesla after they learned from Broder's trip what not to say, such as a 30 minute charge and keeping the heater running would revive the batteries to the range that they had before a cold night.

Comment Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (Score 5, Informative) 841

That Jalopnik article has since been updated, pointing out how both Musk and Broder could be correct.

UPDATE: A source who has seen the data logs explains how it's possible how Broder and Musk could both be truthful but sort of wrong. The high-voltage battery in the pack, allegedly, had enough power to move the car a much greater distance than needed to move the car onto a flatbed, maybe as far as five miles, but the 12V battery that powers the accessories and gets its juice from the high voltage battery shut down when Broder pulled into the service station.

When Broder decided to turn the car off, which was a mistake, the parking brake (operated by the 12V battery) was rendered unusable. If Broder was told not to turn the car off, it's his mistake. If Tesla told him to do it, or didn't inform him he shouldn't do it, then it's their mistake.

Comment Staying Connected (Score 1) 236

When you make a phone call or send an e-mail you're breaking routine to specifically take part in connecting with someone. What's lost are those little, seemingly insignificant (but I think incredibly important) moments where you're just doing your own thing, but doing it around family and friends and there's a kind of passive sharing of that experience happening. That doesn't happen in an e-mail or a phone call.

This idea feels like a way to engage in that passive sharing that I think is important in relationships. And it does this in a very simple, but familiar way.

Some kind of services that shares every detail of a person's daily routine is just information overload and becomes annoying (twitter, 4square, facebook). This is just a nice, simple message (I'm home) that is personal, but unobtrusive and "feels right".

Comment Expectations of Promotion? (Score 3, Insightful) 308

It seems Rubicon's beef was the lack of promotion by Microsoft of their title. Is this promotion Rubicon pays for or is this an expectation that their app would be freely promoted for them?

Is an app's success due in large part to the operator of the app store promoting said app? That seems like a system ripe for bribery.

[A computer is] like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy. -- Joseph Campbell

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