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Comment: Re:Wrong optimization (Score 4, Insightful) 73

Send the supplies ahead the slow way, just like cargo/freight ships. Then send people the fast way, like on airliners.

This. the described method could be used to litter Mars' orbit with supplies, which would be scooped up by the planet periodically.

Comment: Re:I think its gonna be a long long time (Score 3, Interesting) 73

This has been standard NASA thinking for decades, that it was too hard to start an engine in the supersonic regime, hard to control flight, and therefor too risky to incorporate into any mission. However, SpaceX has shown that you can relight an engine pointed into a supersonic flow, and maintain control of the vehicle with the engine pointed into the supersonic flow. It's not without flaws, but it works. There are groups inside NASA that are beginning to rethink the old arguments and investigate this for use in future applications.

Comment: too slow (Score 1) 84

by confused one (#48677695) Attached to: High Speed DIY M&M Sorting Machine Uses iPhone Brain
Neat. But way to slow for an industrial sorting process. Use a fast PLC with a vision system. Use bursts of high pressure air to blow the M&M into the appropriate chute as it goes by on a high speed conveyor. blah, blah, blah. Actually, isn't it faster just to buy the M&M's in bulk, pre-sorted, directly from M&M Mars ?

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 2) 39

It's pretty common for there to be a data link from the control system to the outside world. This is to provide feedback and monitoring capability -- for load balancing, security, and so the managers have access to information about the state of the machine(s). If they're smart, this data stream is one way only, with an intermediary firewall / server controlling access. If they're really smart, the cable only has the Tx pair connected.

Comment: Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 1) 433

by confused one (#48596307) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand
No. The "warmth" he's referring to had more to do with the way a needle tracked the groove, the way a tube amp interacts with the speakers (damping and harmonics), and the way a guitar amp that uses tubes rolls off instead of clipping. All is not a bed of roses in analog land... Us old guys grew up with this stuff and remember it as "the way music is supposed to sound". Digital's not the panacea it's made out to be either... overcompression, lossy recordings and poor reproduction from most modern releases leaves something to be desired. You young guys have been trained to ignore all the high frequency digital artifacts that bug the crap out of some of us.

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