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Comment No comments on the spacecraft? (Score 2, Interesting) 62

Disappointing because Elon Musk is doing more to make spaceflight exciting than probably anybody since the 1960s by being up front and centre about what he is doing. The Dragon 2 sounds quite interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing the evolving concept (especially in light of the experiments that SpaceX have been publicizing).

The Boeing entry, even though it is similar to SpaceX's just seems to be "corporate".

XCOR seems to be an (interesting) contender for sub-orbital while Scaled Composites & SS2 have kind of dropped off the radar and has been eclipsed by SpaceX showing that individuals can actually make it into space for real.

Nice to see progress and some renewed promise for space!


Comment Some of these were also considered... (Score 2) 149

"In your Face, Aldrin!"
"A quarter million miles, billions of dollars, and you won't believe what I just stepped in."
"What's that monolith doing here?"
"Man, you can't believe what a fart smells like in here."
"Houston, has Aldrin told you about his crotch rot yet?"
"Honey, I think I left the stove on."
"Houston, you're not going to believe this, but there's a flag with the Hammer and Sickle standing here."
"Man, I could use the fresh, relaxing taste of Coca-Cola."
"Suck it, Aldrin!"


Comment My daughter STILL remembers the PC... (Score 2) 370

My daughter, who has a hearing defect, was prescribed a listening program that only worked on - Windows 95.

This was in the early days of Windows XP, so finding a Windows 95 machine (or a set of disks) was somewhat hard.

I did manage to find one at a local electronics consignment store which claimed to have gone through and sanitized the system from the previous owner.

My seven year old daughter looked at the "Videos" folder and found somebody's collection of something that we could only described as "Jamacian Dungeon Porn". To use the vernacular of the article, these videos were not "pristine" and really quite disturbing.

She was pretty freaked out by them at the time and, ten years later, she still says she remembers the screams although she can't remember what was on the videos.

As for the store caring? We got the impression they were most upset at the idea we didn't save a copy of the videos for them.

I'm sure our story (and the one in the article) are pretty rare, but I can see the probability of something like this with "reconditioned" equipment is no where near approaching zero.


Comment Suggested Character:Transistor/cross dressing nun (Score 3, Funny) 68

Onto a more serious note; it's always great to see somebody bring in some new ideas to bring electronics to kids.

It will be very interesting to see how the concepts are brought across using puppets. I would have liked to see some examples before the story went live.

The big issue that I always find is that when somebody comes up with a new idea for teaching concepts, they can illustrate basic concepts very effectively but get bogged down when the material becomes deeper and not so readily obvious.

Having said that, if they have a character for a 555, maybe they have a good formula!


Comment Thank you for my childhood (Score 1) 129

Sad to hear Gerry. Anderson died.

Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet were my favourite shows as a young child. (Although I would say only "The Thunderbirds" had any kind of staying power now that I look back at them as an "adult").

When they came out, I never missed an episode of UFO and Space 1999 (although Space 1999 started out strong but didn't really have the chops to go the distance). If you get the chance, watch a few episodes of "UFO" - many of them are quite good and have aged reasonably well (despite being stuck in 1970).

My favourite quote about him came from Matt Stone and Trey Parker, after "Team America" said that Gerry Anderson must be insane, because of all the problems they had with the puppets in the movie.

A great legacy and I know many people who remember fondly growing up with his creations.

Thank you,


Comment Why is this posted AC? (Score 1) 307

Seriously as there are many people here (myself included) that do not respond to Anonymous Cowards. I would have thought the person doing this would want everybody to know who they are so that they will gain noteriety in the lead up to their attempt.

Very impressive numbers, but I would have thought there would be a YouTube video or somesuch which backed up the claim.

If I submitted as AC, would the editors accept my claim to my questions regarding my unusually long eyebrows, which irritate my eyes and I can't control with shaving, waxing, plucking, laser or electrolysis as well as let me know who else has this problem and what they are doing about it?


Comment Why would anybody use these solar cells? (Score 1) 46

I was going to ask if anybody has any addititional information, but you can go through the press release.

The two big things that jump out at me are:
1. The quoted efficiency (7.5%) seems to be quite low - aren't other more traditional cells at 20% or more? I don't see any indication that these cells cost half or less than traditional solar cells which would make up for the efficiency losses.
2. There doesn't see to be any method of passing current from cells that are butted up or overlapping each other which means that there must be wires running to each cell. This would mean that the process of putting on different surfaces is not as simple as implied in the article summaries.

Anybody who can explain more about the application of these cells?


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