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Comment: Re:Well that was an incoherent metaphor (Score 1) 263

by stridebird (#49723173) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Yup, Paul Bremmer - CPA1. His first act as Emperor of Iraq. The clumsy and sinister "de-ba'athification of Iraq".

and put disgruntled ex-army on the streets and out of work

...with all their weapons. Don't forget that part. He didn't disarm them first. No time for shit like that.

Paul Bremmer. Donald Rumsfeld. These two guys really need to put their hands up and say sorry. They fucked it up so bad. It's tragic.

Comment: Re:sampling bias (Score 1) 405

by stridebird (#49651073) Attached to: Is IT Work Getting More Stressful, Or Is It the Millennials?

oh yeah, you get time on IM to formulate questions. Lots of time. That's because you are 'talking' to people typing with one finger, whilst simultaneously 'multitasking' (aka not really paying attention anyway). I sit there watching the little pen icon scribbling away thinking, ok , this will be good. Then a 7 word response comes back. It's shit. A chat is so much more efficient. Jot down notes as you talk, then summarise the salient details in an email. Old school? I know it is. But it is simply better work practice.

Comment: Re:Hindenburg? (Score 1) 140

by stridebird (#49389611) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

That occurred to me too subsequently. I don't have any specialist knowledge and I haven't even read TFA, I just like studying engineering problems.

To alter the buoyancy there are four main possibilities as I see it. Alter pressure. Alter volume. Alter gas mix, Alter temperature.

The delta pressure that could be achieved is limited by the structural and hermetic integrity of the gas envelope. It's probably quite feasible to build an envelope capable of pressurisation above atmosphere to perhaps 1 bar which would certainly give you a good range of buoyancy control and I think an operating ceiling of 5000m, possibly more, based purely on range of alitudes where neutral buoyancy is obtainable.

Volume changes could be effected with some kind of mechanical bellow. But as this results in a delta pressure it's similar to the above.

Temperature change is the most promising mechanism. Additional lift could be created using hot air balloon principles. You would get fairly fast reaction control

Gas mix changes would allow for trim changes as the craft ascended or loaded / unloaded. It's easy to conceive a system of pressurised gas containers that can be selectively opened to adjust the gas mix. Nitrogen would be the obvious candidate for this. But the problem lies with recovering the helium. Unless you can fit a scrubber system that can selectively leach the gas and return helium, under pressure to the onboard storage. If this device leaks helium - and it almost certainly will - then it is a) evil and b) useless.

But I appreciate this machine is a hybrid and most of the buoyancy issues are taken care of by generating aerodynamic lift. However, they would want powerful trim controls so at least some of the above must be designed in to the craft.

Comment: Re:Hindenburg? (Score 0) 140

by stridebird (#49384181) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

ok. how do you unload it in the remote location? This is a game of buoyancy. It can't just rock up somewhere remote and unload a cargo. it would shoot up into the air, unless it takes on a new cargo at the same time. This can only be unloaded in dedicated docking stations with anchor tethers to hold the airship to earth when positively buoyant.

Comment: Re:Fuck flying (Score 1) 447

by stridebird (#49364759) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Would you let someone stick you in a tube of metal and then blast you into the air at 500+ mph?

Well, that's basically what flying is. If you're dumb enough to do that, you deserve to crash in a pile of smouldering flames.

That's not really what flying is at all. Sounds more like rocketry. Aircraft accelerate to 500+ mph in a really quite smooth and comfortable way, at least in commercial aviation. And as intelligence might well be defined by an ability to make good choices based on available information the fact that aviation is, currently, both safer than ever and really really safe means choosing to fly, on the basis of piles of "smouldering flames" is really not a dumb decision.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 385

by stridebird (#49359191) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

You are right, although it's a lot less likely then this current type of very nasty yet very passive crime. Your scenario requires the perp to commit another crime and it's a crime of a very different nature - visceral, physical and in this context likely very personal as the cockpit victim will also be a colleague.

However, with so many flights, pilots and aircrew operating in budget air space and pilots increasingly looking like interns paying for their own training, it's impossible to discount your scenario. Given time, it will happen, basically. If it can, it will.

All this of course takes place in a context of a massive reduction in risk to passengers in commercial flight. These events are, every time, examples of "availability bias" in human decision making.

The most intriguing part of this, for me, is to what extent this event will foster debate on fully autonomous computer flight systems and remote cockpits. I think we will soon see pilots at the front of the plane removed of final authority to command the aircraft controls. The fact that this is technologically available now, practically off the shelf in a hardware store, makes this, for me, an absolute certainty.

Comment: Re:Just put the date on the webpage (Score 1) 68

by stridebird (#49332827) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happened To Semantic Publishing?

This. They want a semantic web and so far we haven't even got a reliable DatePublished. Technical search is slowly going to shit at the moment on account of this issue. And each lost forum post by bewildered users unable to parse search results for relevance adds further to the problem. Google has date search filters - they should be much more prominent.

Comment: Re:Ummmm.... (Score 1) 319

by stridebird (#49086005) Attached to: Java Vs. Node.js: Epic Battle For Dev Mindshare

Very true, I remember those days too. ASP was always seen as welded to VBScript but it could be coded in JScript too, and the code looked a lot more readable and proper too. I can't remember any round-tripping of code, it wasn't really on the cards. We are talking about the dawn of the DOM at this point here. getElementById() was just below the horizon and IE4 was the only game in town. One feature of ASP/IIS I liked was the Application object, allowing data sharing on an application level. PHP has never had that really. IIS was replaced by apache in 2002 in my career and became irrelevant in web development. It's been at least 5 years since I last met a dev with an IIS/ASP gig.

It is not well to be thought of as one who meekly submits to insolence and intimidation.