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Comment went with Dell (Score 1) 264

I had to use Windows and Monte Carlo my sim "locally". I sat two Optiplex 790s w/ 3.4GHz i7-quad cores on a rack shelf for under $3000. Their small form factor is a sweet chassis (can't say that about their Precision desktop). I moved the boot disk into the optical drive's bay, and installed a sub-$190 3TB 3.5" drive internally. No power supply for a serious graphics card but native is good enough for my sim. Many-hour runs are 20-25% shorter than my older X9650 and E5540 so I'm happy.

Comment Never broadside (Score 1) 198

A broadside trajectory sounds spectacular and does the greatest benefit, but any error at all is a miss. There's no way to fly enough sensing gear, thruster fuel, etc for a hyper-high speed, broadside intercept. There can also be unpredictable out-gassing shifting Apophis' course. Rather, going up the tailpipe matches vectors so the time of intercept can be off by a lot more.

Comment Re:I don't get it... (Score 1) 194

Technically no, other than testing, development, and integration, a payload is a payload. However nukes involve military infrastructure and there's treaty protocols like international observers and bases were nukes are supposed to be and not supposed to be. For instance Vandenberg and Cape Canaveral are where ballistic launches always occur. Violating these "norms" is an "escalation in tensions" and also means the other sides can do it too. Not tantamount to war, but a clear step away from controlling all the possible mistakes associated with nukes. So as long as this hypersonic glider is never associated with or launches from a known nuke site, PGS thinks that all the other players will treat it as yet another weapon in our inventory and not a destabilizing game changer. Tomahawks have been down this path for decades.

Comment WWII Cargo Glider Snatch Pickup winch (Score 1) 615

I know a guy who was trying to recreate a CG-4A cargo glider snatch pickup for a Normandy anniversary, but couldn't find the necessary winch to fly in the pickup tow plane. He could use the All American Aviation model 80, model 120, or I'd like to see the model 160 winch. Blue prints are supposedly in the Smithsonian but none have existed for decades.
Social Networks

Submission + - "The Angry Aughts" 1

ImWithBrilliant writes: This decade is winding down with an editorial calling it the Angry Decade as 9/11, wars, etc. converge with social media for instantly expressing anger or instantly angering multitudes. I recall netiquette of the '80's and the 24-hour cool-off rule in the '90's, and this certainly won't be the decade of decorum. Slashdot discussions don't even cycle through most time zones, yet moderates anonymous/voluminous postings into a usable format. Care to comment quickly or emotionally?

Comment flight efficiency (Score 2, Insightful) 250

That link is an interesting read. His back-of-the-envelope calculation normalizes a Boeing 747 to just slightly less efficient than the Grey-Cheeked Thrush: 4.79 watts to 4.5. He's right that no one would want to fly an airliner at 31mph, however 1 or 2 people flapping to work at 31mph could someday be highly attractive over driving a car.
Earth

Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar 635

js_sebastian writes "According to an article on the New York Times, a historical cross-over has occurred because of the declining costs of solar vs. the increasing costs of nuclear energy: solar, hardly the cheapest of renewable technologies, is now cheaper than nuclear, at around 16 cents per kilowatt hour. Furthermore, the NY Times reports that financial markets will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants unless the risk of default (which is historically as high as 50 percent for the nuclear industry) is externalized to someone else through federal loan guarantees or ratepayer funding. The bottom line seems to be that nuclear is simply not competitive, and the push from the US government to subsidize it seems to be forcing the wrong choice on the market."
Idle

The World's Strongest, Most Expensive Beer Served Inside a Squirrel 228

If you have $765 burning a hole in your pocket, and a penchant for drinking alcohol out of a taxidermied animal, the good folks at BrewDog have just the drink for you. Their latest creation, called The End of History, is a 110 proof beer that comes packaged in a variety of small stuffed animals.

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