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Comment: "succumb to the gravitational pull"??? (Score 2, Insightful) 40

by idji (#49489227) Attached to: NASA's MESSENGER Mission To Crash Into Mercury In 2 Weeks
When will people stop talking about gravity is it it is in a struggle with object X and eventually it wins. People constantly talk about "Black Holes" sucking in, "inevitable"....
MESSENGER did NOT run out of fuel and SUCCUMB to the gravitation pull of Mercury. Mercury ran out of fuel and continued on it's gravitationally influenced trajectory which was chosen to crash it. they could have left it in an eternal orbit if they wanted too - and the journalist would probably say it "did not succumb" to gravity - which is equally nonsensical. Gravity did not some get the upper hand because this spacecraft ran out of fuel. That craft will always be influenced by Mercury's gravity, no matter how many fragments it smashes into, unless a fragment gets an upwards speed of more than 4.3km/s, in which case it will ESCAPE Mercury's gravity.

Comment: Pi (Score 1) 39

by idji (#49424097) Attached to: Getting Started Developing With OpenStreetMap Data
I was doing some development with OSM and was using my own formulae to convert from latitude/longitude to OSM tile coordinates. I spent days getting the wrong results until I realised the problem was pi. i had been using pi=3.1415926535. It turns out that that is not GOOD enough to zoom into house level. I added 5 extra 5 or so digits of PI and then all my tiles were correct to the house level. I was awed that for a simple, practical task i needed 15 digits of pi!

Comment: Re:Sad For My Gender (Score 1) 369

by idji (#49069079) Attached to: Two New Male Birth Control Chemicals In Advanced Stages
I am the father of 3 beautiful daughters from my wonderful wife, and I see it as my responsibility to manage birth control. I don't like my wife using the pill as it effects her emotionally and physically too much each cycle - she hasn't touched the pill in 14 years. And she loves it that I take initiative here.
I am not sad for my gender, i am just sad for women who never meet a man who would respect her.

Comment: Re:Old (Score 1) 628

by idji (#48658809) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?
In the past humans needed to work hard to produce enough food to survive. Today machines assist humans in producing food. Eventually when robots can produce enough food for humans the game changes because no human will need to do work to survive. Perhaps humans can then focus on making the planet liveable, instead of exploiting it to build robots to make food. I am optimistic about the future. We could find ourselves heading towards a more "primitive" lifestyle of discovery, art, music, creativity and care of nature - and we find value in being part of creation and interacting with what we love and value, not an exploiter of it.

Comment: Re:fuel weight (Score 1) 81

by idji (#48616513) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship
As Elon Musk says MANY times fuel is only 10% or less of the cost of a launch, and as he says MANY times no-one would throw away a Boeing 747 after each flight as it is too expensive.
He takes extra fuel for the landing - this means he can only launch a lighter cargo, but he can one day reuse his rocket again, so it is worth it.
The last Falcon 9 flight did not attempt a landing because it took a cargo of 2,216 kilograms (4,885 lb). The last flight which attempted a landing, only had 1000 kg payload.
The will be able to lift up to 53,000 kg and land again because it is 3 Falcon-9s strapped together.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir