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Comment Re:Why not an MBED? (Score 1) 106

You can develop for mbed with GCC - it takes regular binaries, and the mbed website walks through how to use alternate toolchains. However, the project was developed in order to reduce the barrier to entry of developing embedded software. It's extremely easy for a novice to get started.

A Hyper-Velocity Impact In the Asteroid Belt? 114

astroengine writes "Astronomers have spotted something rather odd in the asteroid belt. It looks like a comet, but it's got a circular orbit, similar to an asteroid. Whether it's an asteroid or a comet, it has a long, comet-like tail, suggesting something is being vented into space. Some experts think it could be a very rare comet/asteroid hybrid being heated by the sun, but there's an even more exciting possibility: It could be the first ever observation of two asteroids colliding in the asteroid belt."

Comment Re:No, not the Avionics... (Score 5, Insightful) 369

No, this happened at the worst possible point. Over the middle of the ocean the aircraft will have been at perhaps 38000 feet and in a flight configuration, giving time to attempt various restart procedures, declare an emergency and glide to an airfield - a transatlantic flight is rarely out of gliding distance to a landing strip, and a flight from China likewise.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.