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Comment Re:I don't even know what "hyperloop" is any more. (Score 1) 195

Indeed. That's one of the few things that one can say has nothing to do with either the original Hyperloop alpha concept or the new college competition entries. Pneumatic tubes mean that they make use of pressure to push things - that's what the word "pneumatic" means. Pressure being the one thing Hyperloop (all permutations) distinctly lacks.

Comment Dated info. (Score 1, Informative) 17

Comment I don't even know what "hyperloop" is any more. (Score 1) 195

Seriously. I was a big fan of Hyperloop Alpha. But the MIT team that won the "Hyperloop" contest is proposing something nothing like Hyperloop. The test track that SpaceX is building is designed to support a wide range of vehicles, most nothing like that in the Hyperloop Alpha document. So if I say "I like hyperloop", I don't know what exactly it is I'm supporting anymore. What exactly is "Hyperloop" these days?

All I can say is that I really liked the alpha one. The MIT team's maglev thing is Meh^2.

Comment Re:The fun (Score 1) 195

If you're dedicated enough to climb onto a well elevated tube, cut a hole large enough to pour concrete in through inch-thick steel - after sabotaging all of the pressure sensors tbrough the whole length of the tube and feeding them false data - and then using a concrete pump with a very tall boom fill in the tube with concrete, in order to kill people.... then why not just fly planes into skyscrapers like most people? I mean, if you're going to go through that much work.
 

Comment Re:Price Is Still Just One of Two Sticking Points (Score 2) 166

Yes, the SSD does have a separate tracking algorithm to manage dynamic LBA mapping to cells for wear-leveling. And yes, and abrupt power outage can corrupt and brick the drive. The OCZ Vertex series have a history of this happening where it can't decrypt (internal) and mount the value due to said corruption. Newer SSDs such as the prosumer and enterprise variety include extra capacitance to ensure half-writes don't occur and thus recover from both a firmware and OS journaling file system error.

Comment Re:Price Is Still Just One of Two Sticking Points (Score 2) 166

Some swapping of live data occurs, but having extra slack free space to move around in helps the algorithm better work within those constraints. In fact, Samsung provides a utility called Magician to manage Over Provisioning for extended life. It's not required, but ostensibly it does help.

Comment Re:I can understand small first batches (Score 2) 106

Since you have experience... I've often had interest in physical computing, but have never gotten around to learning / messing around with it. What would you find to be a good "introductory" system (for someone with lots of programming experience but only grade-school/100-in-1-electronics-kit/basic soldering/etc level electronics experience) for the purposes of, say, controlling steppers, variable-RPM drive motors, taking voltage readings, etc?

Comment Re:Kessler, anyone? (Score 1) 41

Of course they're taking business from other players - but that's not the question. The question is if they're making new business that otherwise wouldn't be there. Thusfar, I haven't seen anything to suggest that.

But, the potential is there in the future if they can keep bringing down costs, as they're hoping.

And IMHO, we're not even remotely near the point where space junk is going to stop us from launching things into space. Not even close. Particularly in LEO where orbits decay relatively quickly. It's always a threat, a threat that rises with the launch rate, but as far as being prohibitive... no. And there's some good evidence that things are moving in a positive direction - increasingly, nations are passing laws mandating that satellites be moved to disposal or graveyard orbits at the end of their service life, rather than just leaving them out there as potential collision/debris generation hazards.

Submission + - SpaceX sets target date for next launch: February 24th

Rei writes: After some consternation about the pacing of Falcon 9 upgrades, SpaceX has announced that it plans to launch again from Cape Canaveral with a target date of February 24th. While the primary mission will be to place the SES-9 communications satellite in orbit, this will also mark their fourth attempt to land the first stage on an autonomous drone ship, after their last launch touched down softly but fell over when one leg failed to latch. SpaceX is working to significantly accelerate the rate of production and launches — they are reportedly moving the factory from 6-8 cores produced per year to 18 at present, and expect to reach 30 by the end of the year. After the upcoming launch, they expect to launch one rocket every two to three weeks.

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