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Comment Probably not useful (Score 4, Informative) 25 25

If the simulations turn out to be correct, the new alloy may be useful in parts like jet engines, and the door will be opened to using similar simulations to search for substances with even higher melting points or with other exotic properties.

No, it won't. Materials for jet engines must be reasonably affordable, machinable or otherwise workable, and available in large quantities. I have about 4600 lbs [2086kg] of 422 stainless going through my shop right now for a single row of blades for one machine. They're big blades, but even for small blades, hundreds of pounds of material is common. An alloy of hafnium, nitrogen and carbon isn't going to be cheap enough for that to ever be feasible. It is probably a brittle material as well. Brittle materials and a high vibration environment don't mix.

Maybe you could apply it as a coating, but I'm not sure how that would be possible. Almost all coatings of this type require you to liquify or vaporize the coating material. Plus, you run into the same problem as before- a thin coating won't protect the base metal, and a thick one would be prohibitively expensive.

Comment Re:SD Card? (Score 2) 114 114

Cost of 160GB of SD card NAND: $48 Cost of 48GB of same NAND soldered to the board: $50 They don't want you storing videos, pictures, music, and audio books on SD card; they want you to pay over 3x as much for that same SD card.

Compare the IOPS between an SD card and on-board NAND. Not the same thing.

Do you see a need for high IOPS for storing or viewing videos, pictures, music, or audiobooks? Because I don't. Even for loading apps that's a tough sell. I have a microSD card on a Windows 8 tablet and the only noticeable affect is that read/write speed is slower than the on-device storage. And that's because they used a cheap SD card controller- the card itself is more than capable. It isn't an issue with media consumption devices like phones and tablets.

Comment Re:Hopefully the actual plan defines the terms (Score 1) 546 546

$60 Billion for 500 million panels = $120 per panel. Of course, panel size is not specified (not a needed detail when hawking votes), but the present incentives are more than that per panel if you are talking $1kw panels or larger. Is she proposing a reduction in incentives?

My first impression is that this is the standard politician trick of promising something that is already highly likely to occur or inevitable. Most successful politicians, regardless of political party, use these kind of promises all the time. Especially in areas where the measurement of progress can be boiled down to a single or a small number of numerical values.

Comment Re:More Republican corporate welfare (Score 1) 241 241

sure, and we didnt have the tech to send us to the moon in the 60s...but we did it

So what are you trying to say here? He3 is only useful in a fusion reactor and we don't have a working design. People have been working on one ever since they invented the H-bomb and come up short, we have enough He3 here on earth to experiment/test with. Maybe we should see if we're able to do something useful with it before we spend billions trying to build a moon mining operation?

I completely agree with you and it is sad to see this tired old argument every time there is a moon story. There are plenty of good reasons to go to the moon, He3 isn't one of them. There is no reason to even bring up the subject given the numerous other reasons to go to the moon.

Comment Re:Holy Jebus (Score 1) 220 220

It is one thing to use such techniques to test something in a quiet area like a testing chamber, and something completely different to use this technique not only in a rocket that is accelerating at 32 m/s^2 but also has a whole bunch of other noise going on from nine operating turbo pumps, the rocket engines themselves, and other things rattling around tied to that whole system. In addition, to be able to locate a cause while the whole rocket is undergoing massive unplanned disassembly (aka an explosion releasing as much energy as a small nuclear bomb). Also doing that remotely off of recordings made on less than ideal microphones sharing bandwidth with many other more critical data functions over 30 miles away from where you are at.

As something SpaceX can and perhaps should be doing as a part of their Q/A analysis, no doubt using some sort of sound probing to detect faults is going to be done. I just don't know if this has been done on something like a black box of an airliner to perform fault analysis post-mortem on a vehicle failure.

Submission + - SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-7 Failure: Broken Strut on Helium Tank->

Teancum writes: In a press conference held by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, he released some findings about what caused the explosion of the launch vehicle carrying the CRS-7 Dragon spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station.

Apparently a Helium tank was held in place inside of the Liquid Oxygen tank on the 2nd stage that failed while it was under going the nearly 32 m/s^2 acceleration (about 3.2 time Earth's gravity acceleration). This part was manufactured by an undisclosed 3rd party contractor for SpaceX and was rated to being able to hold up to 10,000 PSI, but failed at 2000. In the past week, SpaceX has been "testing an enormous number" of this exact strut that is currently in their inventory intended for future flights, and confirmed that at least one of them failed in a similar fashion where metallurgical analysis has been performed trying to identify potential defects.

It was also confirmed in this press conference that the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was tracked after the explosion and remained intact until it could no longer be followed by the tracking station due to it falling below the horizon. The Dragon could have survived the explosion and been recovered, except that the on-board guidance computer was not programmed to deploy the parachute during ascent. In the future, SpaceX plans on having this parachute deployment as a standard procedure even on cargo missions in the event of a rocket failure.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:First thing I thought of (Score 5, Interesting) 446 446

The first thing that came to mind when I heard of this site is "This is a prime target for a hacking/blackmail scheme." The only surprise here is that it didn't happen sooner.

As someone who has data in there (out of curiosity), it couldn't have happened to better people. The people that run AshleyMadison are worse than the lowest spammers. Not because they sanction marital cheating, but because they are exceedingly scammy in every aspect of the way they operate their business. They make Paypal and look like saints.

Comment Re:What could possible go wrong? (Score 5, Informative) 120 120

I'd like you to point out any launch site for orbital rockets that is anywhere even remotely close to tall buildings or even aircraft flights? The FAA routinely makes a pretty large exclusion zone around any launch activity. With the recent launch disasters from SpaceX and Orbital-ATK, I think such warnings should be well heeded even for ordinary Kerosene fueled rockets, much less something with an exotic propulsion system like this. It sure isn't going to be launched out of Central Park or any other urban center.

Besides, the CEO addressed this specific issue in an interview recorded a few months ago. Not only is the launch going to be far from cities, it will also need to happen in an arid region in part due to the microwave power being absorbed by water in the atmosphere. In other words, it is likely that this won't be launched from KSC in Florida either.

Comment Re:Reviewers should be ignored after so many years (Score 0) 58 58

I dunno, IIANP, but I watched a youtube video at a Holiday Inn express last night and most of the mass of a proton is due to the bound up energy, and only a small fraction due to the mass of the constituent particles. I'm gonna say 100% plausible.

Comment Re:Hard to believe (Score 2) 116 116

I find that hard to believe. I have had 4 legal experiences in my time.

1) a divorce - (family law) 2) a labor dispute over a layoff - (labor law) 3) a private investment - (securities law) 4) A copyright filing - (intellectual property law)

In every case, there were some areas that could have been algorithmic, but in many dimensions on each one there were things that came about from advice from the attorney on how to position myself and under what laws I could make a case, which has a lot to do with language parsing and the definitions of the words used and their context. Unless this was paired with something like Watson which can determine meaning from context, I don't see this as being anything more than a paralegal replacement, but not a lawyer replacement.

Yes, but the vast majority of cases are fairly straightforward. Laws are nothing but a set of rules, and computers are great tools to track rules and figure out which apply. Precedents are set which further define what happens when the law falls short. Law (at least US Law) is chock full of "tests" which are fairly easy to apply. They come in the form of "If this AND this AND this, then $ruling". Unless you are in a precedent-setting case, which is rare, then I absolutely believe that a computer can be fed the results of a bunch of yes/no questions, asset values, and come up with the right answer with very high accuracy. If the two parties can agree on the answers to the yes/no questions and the asset valuations, want to reduce costs, and are not at each other's throats, then why not use a computer?

A computer doesn't have an interest in wasting time and accumulating billable hours like a lawyer does. No matter how much honesty and integrity the lawyer has, getting paid is always going to be on their mind.

If all else fails, lower your standards.