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Comment: Re:Look outside, not inside (Score 1) 195 195

Those "quick scans of the instruments" are quicker when you can glance at the HUD (which can be done without refocusing) instead of having to look down at the dashboard and refocusing your eyes.

"quick scans of the instruments" are the whole reason the HUD was invented.

Comment: Re:Revolutionary approach? (Score 1) 134 134

The revolution is in being easily able to create complex shapes. Traditional manufacturing methods for these sort of parts fall in one of two categories:
1. Labor-intensive using simple tools. E.g. Welding the frame from stock pipe and plate.
2. Amenable to mass production, but at a huge initial cost (for tools). E.g. casting, forging, stamping.

3D printing allows complex shapes to be created from a CAD model without lots of labor. This is great for small production runs (i.e. runs too small for 2. to be cost-effective).

Comment: Bad advice (Score 1) 265 265

I see a number of highly-rated comments recommending using Google for mail rather than the ISP's mail service.
This surprises me, given the privacy implications. I can reasonably assume my ISP won't read my mail other than for spam filtering. Google, on the other hand, will use your mail as input for their advertising machine.

Comment: Fit problems (Score 1) 243 243

So this device fits around an alkaline battery. I've got a Wensn decibel meter that has a battery compartment big enough for alkaline AAs, but too small for any of my rechargeable AAs. The rechargeables have a slightly bigger diameter (the difference is 0.2-0.3 mm).
So there's a chance alkaline batteries using this device won't fit.

+ - Rosetta team proposes landing on comet to finish mission

schwit1 writes: Rather than simply turn off the spacecraft when its funding runs out at the end of 2015, Rosetta's science team have proposed that the mission get a nine month extension, during which they will slowly spiral into the comet and gently land.

Their proposal is similar to what American scientists did with their NEAR spacecraft, which hadn't been designed to land on an asteroid but was successfully eased onto the surface of Eros, where it operated for a very short time.

+ - ESA and Airbus Safran agree on deal to build Ariane 6

schwit1 writes: Airbus Safran have come to an agreement with the European Space Agency on building Ariane 6, Europe's next commercial rocket.

The key part of the deal is that ESA and Arianespace will be ceding ownership of the rocket to Airbus Safran.

The French government is likely to approve the sale of CNES's 34-percent stake in the Evry, France-based Arianespace launch service provider to Airbus Safran Launchers at about the same time as the Ariane 6 development contract is signed.

With that sale, Airbus Safran will control Arianespace, which means they will also own the rocket they are building for Arianespace. This is fundamentally different than the situation with Ariane 5, which Airbus built for an Arianespace owned and run by the many-headed ESA. The result was a bloated government-run operation that never made a profit.

Now Airbus will own it instead. They have already indicated that they will trim the costs at Arianespace. More importantly, with ownership will come the freedom to compete effectively in the much more competitive launch market created by the arrival of SpaceX. No need to get permission from ESA to do things.

OS/2 must die!

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